Last Update: 9/08/2017

Close That Vault Toilet Lid, Dammit!

typical forest service vault toilet
This is a Public Service Announcement: When you leave up seat in a vault toilet and open the door, you're doing the opposite of helpin'. Close them up! Here's why ...

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See, your vault toilets – the kind ya find these days in U.S. Forest Service campgrounds, rec sites, etc. – is much more than your ol' stinky latrine. That's good to know, 'cause in van life, you're gonna be usin' these a bunch!

3 Ways Vault Toilets Stink Less

  1. The concrete vault (the shit pit) keeps out varmints. Plus bio-hazardous shit don't leach into the groundwater.
  2. The vent chimney uses passing breezes and the sun's heat ta vent the stink out up high'n away.
  3. The vault and chimney are screened off from flies (except for the shitter seat hole).

Now, all them three factors depend on you puttin' down the toilet seat when you're done. And closing the door helps too, plus keeps out the bigger varmints from makin' a mess in there.

If you even *think* that leavin' the seat up and openin' the door is gonna freshen things out, you're just plain wrong. You're invitin' more flies and suckin' that stink up into the throne room. Plus, you're an asshole.

Also See ...


  1. I had to use a vault toilet that had been misused. It was loaded with flies. I had them buzzing around my bare butt.

    1. There's a country-western song in there somewhere.

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