How does a separation toilet work?

A separation toilet or dry separation toilet works like any other toilet in a motorhome or camper. The difference is that here a separation and drying of liquid and solid takes place and no water or chemicals are necessary for use. In addition, disposal is very easy with separation toilets, as both can be disposed of separately.

How is a separation toilet constructed?

A separation toilet or dry separation toilet consists of three important elements. The first element is the solids tank. This is either lined with a bag or, in the case of higher-quality dry separation toilets, is equipped with an agitator. Here, the excreta are only tipped into a bag during cleaning. Another element that every separation toilet has is a canister for the urine. This is there to collect the liquid and prevent it from coming into contact with other waste. How much urine this tank can hold depends on the model of the toilet in the motorhome or camper. It is important that it can hold at least 3 litres and at most 10 litres, otherwise odour neutrality can no longer be guaranteed. Probably the most important element of the dry separation toilet, which is responsible for separation, is the separation insert. This is designed in such a way that the solids and urine are separated from each other during use. Due to the lowered shape, such as with our OGO Nomad S, the urine automatically runs into the tank. The solids also fall into the designated solids tank through the second opening. The composting toilet has another special feature. Here, an additional separating flap is built into the separating insert. This makes it easy to use, especially for women, as all liquids are drained into the urine container and thus no aiming is necessary. It also serves as a visual cover for the solid waste canister.

How a separation toilet works?

A separation toilet or dry separation toilet for the motorhome can be thought of as the toilet at home, except that the excreta is separated and dried. Another difference is that separation toilets do not use water to flush and dispose of the excreta. In addition, they work entirely without chemicals, which are required for use in chemical toilets, for example. A distinction can be made between different models of separation toilets. In the classic form, the solids container is usually lined with a bag, and here the solids are covered with litter or peat after use, thus immediately preventing the formation of odours and starting the drying process. The urine is drained through the separating insert to the front into the urine container, is thus separated from the solids and can be disposed of separately. Another variant, the highest class of separation toilets, is the composting toilet. This is used without a bag, but with a fan for drying and an agitator. The agitator is located inside the solids container and automatically covers the solids with litter when it is started up. Therefore, it is important that the substrate is filled into the solids canister of the dry separation toilet in advance.

How do you use a partition toilet?

In order to use the toilet, you have to place it in the motorhome or wherever it is needed. Thanks to the compact size of separation toilets and the advantage that it does not require a connection, water or chemicals, it can be placed anywhere and at any time. This is different from a composting toilet, as it requires a power connection. With a dry separation toilet with a bag system, the container must be lined with a suitable bag before use. If you have a composting toilet, the solid waste canister must be filled with litter beforehand, as this is not done by hand, but by an agitator. With the urine tank, nothing needs to be done before use, the liquids are automatically drained off. When using it, you should pay attention to how many litres it can hold and that you do not fill it beyond its certain capacity, otherwise it can spill over during the journey or during disposal.

How can I install the separation toilet?

Installing separation toilets in a motorhome or camper is easy as they do not require water and, unless it is a composting toilet, electricity. The most difficult part is to remove the existing chemical toilet, as the water connection must be disconnected here. Once this is done, you can place the separation toilet wherever it is needed thanks to its compact size. It does not necessarily have to be permanently installed. Just bear in mind that you will need some space for accessories such as litter and a spray bottle for cleaning. A composting toilet, on the other hand, must be permanently installed, as the fan requires it to be connected to the mains. In this case, an exhaust hose is also required as an accessory, which dries the solids with the help of the existing fan and the agitator and thus prevents the formation of odours. The accessories can be purchased cheaply from the dealer or are already included with the initial equipment.

Where does the urine go?

All liquids are always drained into the container provided for this purpose with the help of the separating insert. This has a different capacity of litres depending on the model of the toilet. If this is not sufficient, the canister can be connected to an external tank to increase the volume. Disposing of the urine is very simple. The urine canister can be emptied in a normal toilet, a manhole or in the forest where it does not bother anyone. It can also be diluted and used as fertiliser in the garden. When using it, however, care should be taken that it is not used on edible plants.

How should solids be handled?

In a separation toilet with a bag insert, this must always be replaced when it is too full and the substrate can no longer bind the liquid. This can cause unpleasant odours to develop. The range of the solids canister is individual, as there are different models and sizes of separation toilets. With a composting toilet, you have the advantage of a longer range because the capacity of the solids canister is larger. Here, the solids canister only needs to be emptied when the substrate is too moist and the agitator can no longer work properly as a result. The solids can then, with both variants, be disposed of in a bag in the residual waste. The consistency of the bag or container contents is comparable to loose potting soil. This also does not smell unpleasant, but is similar to the smell of forest soil when coconut fibres are used, for example.

How often does a separation toilet need to be emptied?

This varies depending on the model. With a classic dry separation toilet with a bag system, the range is a few days with 2 people in continuous use. If you have a composting toilet, you have a range of up to 6 weeks with the same number of people and continuous use until the container has to be emptied. The urine container must be emptied depending on the capacity, but to avoid odour formation, it should be emptied after 3 days at the latest. Alternatively, an odour trap can be used, for example, with a larger tank.

How do I keep the urine tray clean?

Cleaning the urine tray in the dry separation toilet does not require any chemicals either. It is sufficient to clean it with a mixture of vinegar and water. To do this, a few squirts from a spray bottle can be applied to the surface of the dry separation toilet and wiped with toilet paper. The urine container itself does not need to be cleaned with urine-diverting toilets. However, if you want to clean it, it must dry out completely before the next use. If some water remains in the canister and the urine mixes with it, ammonia is produced with its typical unpleasant odour.

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