Paul Doughty on the benefits of personal bathroom facilities for glampsites.
Bathroom and toilet facilities, whilst not very glamourous, often turn out to be one of the most important parts of any camping or glamping site offer. They are frequently neglected in the first instance in favour of purchasing accommodation. Pods, shepherds huts, bell and safari tents are far more glamourous and a more exciting purchase for site owners. Many only realise after the event that the accommodation will not sell or be able to be used effectively without the equivalent quality bathroom and toilet facilities.
Most website reviews seen this season concern shower blocks and bathroom facilities and are inevitably not very complimentary. These often negative reviews end up being the most widely reported and can devastate a season of bookings.
Pitch side bathroom pods offer personal facilities to each group or family. Alternatively, a lockable and numbered bathroom pod even a short distance away still means personal facilities can be offered to each pitch or few pitches.
Offering a heated facility can extend your season and these so-called ‘super pitches’ will increase income by anything up to 30%. With the savings made on cleaning this means the investment can be recouped in three to four years. Personal bathrooms usually mean cleaning is reduced to change over days only as most families and groups tend to keep their own bathrooms clean during their stay thus eliminating, for the most part, the least favourite job on any site.
Most sites only need 10 amps per individual bathroom with a sewage connection and water supply completing the site requirements. Off-grid sites can usually heat water using bottled gas heaters and provide 12v lighting using a small solar panel setup. Sewage can be handled with a septic tank and water can be easily supplied through water tanks. Grey shower and sink water can be drained to a soakaway. Ideally a well-designed durable unit will last many years and should be able to withstand intensive commercial use.
Units can be supplied complete with all wiring and pipework connected, so with only three connections a new bathroom offer is soon ready to go. Bathroom pods would normally include a toilet, shower and wash hand basin as standard. Higher specification pods may also include heating, inside and outside lighting, mirrors, shelves and an outside tap for cleaning boots and dogs. Optional washing up sinks complete the luxury pitch side facility
Some pods can also be moved easily using a forklift and in some areas moveable structures do not need planning permission. This should be checked with your local planning department. In some areas of the country certain structural restrictions may be required by local authorities to ensure compliance with building regulations for portable buildings. A reliable manufacturer should be able to advise on such matters and be able to provide groundwork drawings for installation.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Paul Doughty distributes the Campplus SOLO and DUO en-suite bathroom pods in the UK. These compact plug and play units offer glampers a complete shower room with toilet and sink. 07834 463710 / firstname.lastname@example.org / www.campplus.co.uk