Josh Campbell Makes Sure These Tourists Are Happy Campers

Missouri’s Fresh and Clean Restrooms runs a seasonal route serving visitors at five riverside resorts in the foothills of the Ozark Mountains

Josh Campbell Makes Sure These Tourists Are Happy Campers

Technician Brad Easter is onsite at the Bass’ River Resort in Steelville, Missouri, using a service truck from FlowMark Vacuum Trucks carrying a Masport pump. The restroom is from Satellite | PolyPortables.


Josh Campbell is the owner of Fresh and Clean Restrooms in Bismarck, Missouri. His staff includes his mother and office manager, Kathy Campbell; Tracy Boesing, receptionist; Aaron Wilkins, shop manager; Jeff Nichols, lead driver; and drivers Kyle Wilkins, Brad Easter and Matt Coffman.


The company was started in 1986 by Josh Campbell’s parents, Charles and Kathy Campbell, when Charles Campbell lost his supervisory job at a lead mine when the mine closed. His great uncle and great aunt, Clyde and Dorothy Sansom, helped set them up as a franchise of their Johnny on the Spot portable restroom and septic business. Josh Campbell was 6 years old at the time. In 2005, Campbell bought the company, changed the name to Fresh and Clean Restrooms and operated it as an independent company. Shortly thereafter, he picked up one of his largest and longest-lasting projects when the nearby Taum Sauk Dam collapsed. For six years during the rebuilding, he provided 125 portable restrooms and serviced them daily along with 16 1,000-gallon water tanks. Business quickly grew, and today the company has 600 portable restrooms. About 85 percent of their work is portable sanitation, of which events account for half. They work a 70-mile radius around Bismarck.


Each summer the company provides portable restrooms for five campground resorts along the Meramec, Huzzah and Courtois (also called Coataway) rivers in the popular tourist area near Steelville in the foothills of the Ozark Mountains: the large family-friendly Huzzah Valley Resort, the more sports-oriented Bass’ River Resort, and the smaller Lucky Clover Resort, Bird’s Nest Lodge and Arapaho Campground. Visitors come from across the country to enjoy rafting, canoeing, kayaking and tubing. The company also services the resorts’ holding tanks, dump stations and shower houses.


Campbell had been eyeing the Huzzah Valley Resort as a possible customer, and in 2008 he finally got his chance. “They were not happy with the service they were getting,” he says. “They tried us out and have been happy with us ever since.” That success opened the door for picking up business at other resorts, with Bass’ River Resort and Lucky Clover Resort contacting them in 2009 and Bird’s Nest Lodge and Arapaho Campground in 2017. “They all go around and look at the other campgrounds and see what they’re doing. They liked our restrooms so they called us.”


The company supplies about 60 units, all with hand sanitizer. Most were from Satellite | PolyPortables in the company’s signature blue, which Campbell likes because it’s “bright, clean-looking and very appealing,” and about 15 were their new Zeniths from Sansom Industries with hands-free doors and solar light J-Lights from J&J Chemical. Campbell prefers 80-gallon holding tanks. “It accommodates more use, puts the user farther from the waste and has the reverse pyramid sump in the bottom, which causes the deodorizer to work better.”

The company delivers most of the units in May for the season that runs through October. They use a couple of vacuum trucks pulling trailers from Liquid Waste Industries (22-unit, 16-unit, 6-unit) and Lane’s Mobile John (12-unit), as well as a company-built 10-unit trailer. Units are not staked down because campground owners have to be able to move them quickly in case of flash flooding, which usually occurs a couple times a year. “It’s preplanned and arranged with them that they do that,” Campbell says.

Huzzah Valley Resort took 20 units in early May, ramping up to 35 as the season progressed. Units are scattered around the 30-acre site near campsites and rafting/canoeing departure points, mostly set out in singles. Bass’ River Resort took 10 units set up near the volleyball court, performance area and boat launches. The company also brought in extra units for special events during the season including the popular, all-terrain vehicle Riding for Reason cancer fundraiser in honor of Stephan Bass, the late founder of the resort. Lucky Clover Resort took three units: one for the pool and two for the fishing lake. Bird’s Nest Lodge took two in May and two later in the summer, placed near campsites. And Arapaho Campground took 10 units spread throughout the campground.


Using a 2016 Dodge 5500 with an 800-gallon waste and 400-gallon freshwater FlowMark Vacuum Trucks aluminum tank and Masport pump, restrooms are serviced Wednesdays by a regular route driver and Saturdays by rotating drivers, as technicians take turns being on call on the weekends. Servicing is done between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. when most campers are out on the river. First stop is Bass’ River Resort, about an hour from the shop, followed by Huzzah Valley Resort 3 miles down the road and then nearby Bird’s Nest Lodge and Lucky Clover Resort before a 40-minute trek to Arapaho Campground.

For the most part, units are set up in the same place every year, but occasionally a few get moved by the resorts as campground dynamics change over the season. Units are numbered, Campbell says. “The number is printed on the route sheet so we check them off as we do them, and if we don’t get all of them, we drive around until we find them.” Campbell makes sure there are no accessibility issues. “That’s a big stipulation of mine — that they keep the service areas open,” he says.

The company has a tried-and-true servicing method. “We still do things the old-fashioned way — with bucket and brush,” Campbell says. “We’ve been doing that since 1986. It’s been very effective for us. We have power washers on the trucks (Burks DC-10) for rinse-down, but everything still gets scrubbed with a brush and hand-dried with a towel.” They use J&J Chemical deodorant products.

Holding tanks, shower houses and permanent restrooms at Huzzah Valley Resort and Bass’ River Resort are pumped using a 2006 International 4300 from Satellite | PolyPortables with a 2,500-gallon steel tank and Masport pump.

Waste is taken back to the company’s facility to be screened, lime-treated and stored before ultimate land application on Campbell’s or his parents’ property as part of what Josh Campbell calls his Green Initiative. “My building is 26,000 square feet so it has a huge roof. I’ve got 7,000 gallons of rainwater storage. We take that rainwater, pump it into our trucks and use it to service our restrooms. Then we turn back around and use that as land application for fertilizer.”


Communication is part of the company’s service package. “We stay in close contact for any changes that need to be made or if they’re having a big booking come in,” Campbell says. “At the end of the year, we check with them and make sure everything went well or see if there are any changes we need to make, like if we need more units at boat launches instead of the campground. Just routine checkups.”


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