View Full Version : Finally sold the rolling portable "darkroom" RV

2-Nov-2017, 16:26
Over the past few years had owned and used a Rialta (mini) SUV as my "portable" darkroom up here in New England. Used brooks and streams to wash my negatives in since the Rialta's "fresh" water supply capacity was less than minimal at best. Distilled water for the final Photoflo treatment with no problems. Carrying around several gallons of distilled water always a pain as to where to store them... "out of the way" never realized in the Rialta. Had to do process film after dark and with all windows internally covered if I was in an RV park. Used a JOBO processor with JOBO tanks. 120v AC outlets inside the RV so no problem there. Always carried a lot of distilled water to rinse out the JOBO processing tubes. Temperature controlled water bath... Had to drain the water bath and store it in a container while traveling to the next over night processing location. Small closet was totally filled with photo equipment to keep it hidden. JOBO processor and tanks resided on the rear seats with a blanket over them. The idea being that no photo equipment would be visible to someone looking through the windows when I was away. When overnight camping away from the Rialta, was always worried that someone would break into the RV, so the photo equipment was either hidden or covered. The curtains all up so that nothing of value was to be seen out in the open.

I now use a mid-sized SUV to drive around New England within a days drive from home. Shoot a lot from the rear of my vehicle, but then most of the time park and backpack the photo equipment to my destination. Eventually I just returned home to process the film.

I really do miss miss the Rialta's full kitchen, bathroom, heating, AC, and sleeping quarters. Now have to pack a thermos of hot tea rather than make it whenever I wanted to.

Would be interested in other's experiences with using their RV as a traveling darkroom. Met one other photographer who used his full sized RV as a "portable darkroom". He only processed film and prints when he was hooked up to water in a RV park. He towed another vehicle to drive to his photo destinations.