March 31, 2023

Composting toilet: chemical or compost toilet?

A toilet is an indispensable part of the motorhome for many people. And that’s not surprising, because a camper toilet brings a lot of convenience and freedom. But suppose: you want to build a camper ; what options are there when you are looking for a camper toilet? How do the toilets work and which toilet is most suitable in which situation? We cover it in this blog!


The advantage of a camper toilet:

A camper toilet brings a number of advantages. Especially when you are camping in the great outdoors – where there are no other sanitary options – a toilet in the motorhome is essential. But also when you go from camping to camping, having a camper toilet is a nice idea. This way you never have to leave the house at night on the campsite and you are no longer dependent on the often unhygienic public toilets.


Does every motor home have a toilet?

Not every motorhome is equipped with a toilet. Especially campers who use relatively small motorhomes have to make choices about the layout of the motorhome. To save space, the toilet is quickly one of the first parts to be omitted. However, when you camp in a place with many other campers or go to the great outdoors, it is often difficult to relieve yourself in a comfortable way. That is why, if at all possible, a toilet in the camper is usually chosen.


What types of camper toilets are there?

When you are looking for a camper toilet, you have the choice between two types of toilets, in addition to the outdoor toilet: the chemical toilet and the compost toilet. But what is the difference between these toilets anyway?


Chemical toilet:

The chemical toilet is generally the most used camper toilet. Chemical toilets are characterized by their container with a chemical agent, in which the needs are met. Different chemical toilets can be distinguished. For example, we know the porta potti and the cassette toilet as well-known, frequently used chemical toilets. Where factory campers usually have a built-in cassette toilet, the choice for DIY campers usually falls on the portable porta potti.


Compost toilet:

In addition to the chemical toilet, a compost toilet is also an option when you are looking for a camper toilet. Where the needs of a chemical toilet are met in a container with chemicals, no water or chemical agents are used in a compost toilet. Instead, the needs are met in a dry container, in which it can compost. This makes the compost toilet a more sustainable solution than the chemical toilet.


Outdoor toilet:

Is it not possible in your situation to use a camper toilet? For example, does the space in your motorhome not allow this or do you simply not attach much value to the convenience of a motorhome toilet? Then you can of course always use the outdoor toilet. Or rather: doing your needs in nature. However, as said before, this is not easy in every situation.


Types of chemical toilets:

When you choose a chemical toilet, you can choose between two different types: a fixed chemical toilet and a porta potti. Broadly speaking, both chemical toilets work in the same way, although there are of course differences between the two toilets.


Fixed chemical toilets:

The big difference between the two types of chemical toilets lies in the portability. Fixed chemical toilets, also called a cassette toilet, are permanently mounted in the motorhome. Only the removable collecting tank is portable.


Porta potti chemical toilet:

Unlike the fixed chemical toilets, the porta potti is completely portable. Because the toilet can be moved in its entirety, if desired, it can easily be stored in a different place.

How does a chemical toilet work?

At first glance, the operation of a chemical toilet is broadly comparable to a ‘normal’ toilet as we all know it at home. However, where this toilet is connected to the sewage system, this is not the case with a chemical toilet. Instead of the faeces ending up in the sewer, they are collected in a collecting tank with chemical agents. This agent ensures that the faeces are broken down, so that less foul odors arise. In this way you can easily use your own toilet in the camper.


Do you need to empty a chemical toilet?

It is, of course, important to empty the toilet’s collecting tank every now and then. Depending on how you use the toilet, you do this on average every 3-5 days. Fortunately, in most European countries there are special facilities where you can empty your chemical toilet.


How a compost toilet works?

A compost toilet is also called a dry toilet. This is due to the fact that, unlike with a chemical toilet, no liquids are used. Instead, the urine and faeces, usually separated, are collected in a dry collection tank. By covering the faeces with wood chips after every toilet visit, the faeces dry faster and odors are prevented.


How do you empty a compost toilet?

Where special places have to be set up for emptying a chemical toilet, this is not the case for emptying a compost toilet. Because no chemical agents are used, the urine can simply be emptied into a normal fixed toilet. The faeces may be thrown away with the residual or green waste – provided that biodegradable bags are used.


The best compost toilets:

Would you rather go for a more sustainable solution and opt for a compost toilet? Then the Swedish Separett is one of the leading brands. Separett has been producing various types of compost toilets for over 30 years. The toilets are known for their separation of urine and feces, which prevents bad smells. In addition, the collecting tank of Separett’s compost toilets opens automatically when it is sat on.



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