A brief introduction to the Caravan Toilets
Everything you’ve always had wanted to learn about your toilets, but weren’t sure if you should inquire
It’s possibly the least exciting aspect of caravanning, but it’s not until you’re stranded at the middle of the night, and it’s throwing it out at the peak of the typical British summer, that you realize that the bathroom inside your camper is well worth the weight of gold in metaphorical terms.
In the olden days when you were a kid, you’d have to get flashlight, waterproofs, and toilet paper rolls and fight the elements in those moment of necessity. If you were a camper you may have an outdoor toilet of some type, however no matter the size of your tent or awning is, it’s inside your tent.
The introduction of chemical toilets – first as a standalone device, later built-in comfort and luxury to levels that were not recognized and meant that, the modern day toilet will not be able to get caught again…
Different types of caravan toilets
Modern caravans have the cassette toilet. The toilet is built into the caravan once it is constructed. In your bathroom all you can see is a standard seat on a flat panel or a pedestal, and possibly a lever opening door to the trash tank as well as an option to flush. The waste tank (the cassette) is accessible from outside . This means that the procedure of disposing of waste – which is in actual fact, not as hazardous as many people imagine is performed completely outside of the caravan in order in order to make the experience so clean and tidy as it is.
In the past, older caravans might have been equipped with bathrooms, but before the advent of cassette toilets there was a lot of a separate chemical toilet. These toilets either function in a similar way like a cassette toilet including a flush tank and an empty tank joining together into an integrated unit, but separated for emptying the waste and refill the toilet – an example of a Porta Potti or as a one-piece unit that had to be flushed together when it was full and able to hold a tiny volume of flushwater.
How do chemical toilets work?
The clue lies in the name: chemical toilet. Instead of flushing the waste down the sewer system, and then on to a massive disposal facility the toilet in a caravan stores the waste until it’s ready to be removed – every day or less frequently based on the use of the toilet – at the facilities provided by the property that you’re staying on.
Chemicals are employed to start with the breaking process for waste materials and removing the smell prior to it being disposed in the system that your facility utilizes. It could be a cesspit – the underground storage tank which takes in waste and must be cleaned out frequently or an septic tank that employs a simple treatment method to separate liquid and solid waste, and then allow treated water to absorb.
The issue is with formaldehyde.
The chemical toilet waste fluids were built on formaldehyde which is extremely effective in eliminating the bacteria that are present in human waste, and causing it to break down rapidly. One of the issues that it has is that it kills the bacteria utilized in septic tanks, for instance, or in larger-scale treatment processes and stop them from functioning.
This is why some modern chemical producers tend not to employ the ingredient (though there are some that use it, so be cautious) and include a variety of other components that aim to fulfill the same purpose, but without impacting treatment systems further in the future. They include biocides that control harmful organisms, as well as probiotics and enzymes that operate on the same basis as probiotic drinks that enhance the bacteria. There are however some disadvantages and the way biocides are controlled over the next few years will become more stringent and probiotics and enzymes, although efficient, can take some time to get going – 12-14 hours. If your toilet is subject to frequent or heavy use, you might have to empty it prior to when they’ve begun to show any tangible impact. Therefore, products like Qalkem’s Eco Green have been developed to help break down the process functioning quickly without affecting other treatments later.
No harmful chemicals
Many people are familiar with the brand name Elsan The chemical expert also produces an organic compound that functions as flush fluid as well as a waste fluid. It does not contain harmful chemicals, so as per the manufacturer the waste container is able to be dumped into an Septic tank. Dometic is perhaps best known for its fridges as well as its range of chemicals, such as waste-tank tablets that reduce the risk of spills, as well as an array of cleaning solutions for toilets, to the entire caravan.
Although the waste will be kept in a storage tank, which will later be flushed the toilets at caravans need flushing systems, similar to those one would be found at home. This must be mostly water, to flush the waste out when you’re completed. Typically, toilets equipped with flush tanks, and not those on direct-feed water sources will include an ingredient that is chemical due to two reasons: firstly, it can aid the waste in flushing away and keep it from sticking to the bowl. Secondly it gives off an appealing scent to disguise the smell of the tank that holds waste.
When shopping for caravan toilets make sure you check out Auto Leisure.
Suggestions for Chemical Alternatives
There is an idea that suggests instead of using chemicals which some individuals oppose in principle, laundry products could be utilized instead. In particular, a biological wash liquid – the more affordable the better – could dissolve the solid waste, particularly inside the tank.
But, they do it with enzymes and, as we’ve learned, these aren’t as effective as they should, creating a buildup of odours that emanate from your waste tanks. It is also suggested that fabric conditioner could be added to the water tank used to flush. This can give a pleasant scent during flushing. However, this an additional masking technique instead of addressing the problem at its root.
There is also discussions about the effects it could affect the sewage treatment process in the future; however, at home, waste from washing machines and toilet will be able to flow into the same sewerage system. more concentrated amounts could cause harm to the septic tanks, as an example since they are made to wash clothes, not to treat human waste. They can also contain bleach.
To be on the safer side, we’d suggest the use of specific fluids specifically designed for the task on hand.