Gear Review: Selway Toilet
Something everyone uses on river trips is a toilet, affectionately known as “the groover”. Back in the day, rafters had to attempt to sit or hover over a metal box and risk getting grooves in their backside. Now, we have the luxury of using toilet seat lids over these boxes, or even better, the Selway Fabrication River Bank Toilet. These are the cream of the crop option for rafting trips. They are eye catching, comfortable, easy to clean, and simple to set up and take down. Here is a review of the Selway Toilet and why it should be your go to groover.
First of all, they are very stylish. If you contact Selway Fabrications, you can customize your groover with different colored lids, boxes, and seats. For extra style points, you can match your groover to your raft. My favorite color is the bright pink. Photos of beautiful groover locations look even better with a colorful toilet. In addition, guests love learning they get to go to the bathroom in a bright pink box. Even though they fade a little over time, the color just shows your friends how many rafting trips you have been on.
The box that holds the inner compartment is square and comes in at a girthy 15 by 15 inches. The wide base gives users good stability. If you are the one setting it up, I recommend sitting on it (with the lid on) to test how stable it is. Furthermore, the lid is also the toilet seat. It feels just like a regular porcelain throne! It is very comfortable and is a good place to sit while you admire the river views and do your business.
Pro tip: You can use rocks or sticks underneath the box to level it out or prevent it from being tippy.
Sanitary and Easy to Clean
The design of the Selway River Bank is very well thought out. There is an outer and inner box each with lids. The lid for the outer box also doubles as the toilet seat, making it impossible to forget the seat. The inner box, where you deposit directly into, has a gasket sealed lid. This important feature will contain the mess in the case of an accidental flip or rowdy rapids. Unfortunately, the outer lid has no latching mechanism, but we found an easy solution by wrapping a cam strap around the whole system. What is more, the cam strap then doubles as a good handle. The double box system ensures there are always two layers of thick plastic between you and the goods.
When it comes time to clean at the end of the river trip, you simply remove the inner box and proceed to use a scat machine or RV dump. Easily compatible with scat machines, the inner box is simply strapped in and the machine does the rest of the work. The inner box can be cleaned easily at an RV dump if you have the correct pieces. All you need is a connector for the water hose and a sewer hose tube. However you clean your toilet, do not forget gloves and to bleach spray the whole system afterwards. Plus, a toilet brush in your cleaning kit can be helpful to get rid of persistent smudges.
Simple to Set Up
Finally, out of all the groovers I have used, the Selway Toilet is the easiest to set up and take down. Since the lid is also the toilet seat, the step of attaching the toilet seat to the box is unnecessary. The most important thing is remembering to take off the inner gasket lid.
I have a friend who set up the groover at camp before the guests arrived and he decided to wait to take the inner lid off until the guests arrived. Once everyone made it to camp and got settled in, he went to take the inner lid off only to find the groover had been moved a couple feet. He picked it up to move it back and stepped in a surprisingly squishy pile of...well not sand! Apparently, someone (we suspect a kid) had an emergency, did not know what to do with the lid still on, and was forced to improvise. The lesson learned is to always fully set up the groover.
Just as important as remembering to take that lid off, is remembering to put it back on! It is essential to the toilet being sealed and the contents not sloshing overboard.
The Selway Toilets are game changers. They are simple, effective, and can be bright pink. We use them on commercial trips and they have held up very well to the abuse we put them through. What is your favorite river toilet? Comment below.