Part l: TMI Review of the Separett Tiny, #1270-01
Firstly, I neither work for or received donations from Separett https://separett.shop/collections/to...rine-container for the purposes of my possibly useless opinions hereby declared forthwith. In fact, I hadn't seen or used any of their products before purchasing this small, waterless toilet, the day of it's official release to the US. The non Swedish website that sells here was so overloaded the day of my purchase, I had to enter my credit card info three times, and so lost the item I intended to purchase. After five minutes, the Tiny with urine tube evaporated from stock, so I bought the model with the urine tank. Now that I've done the install, am glad I did. I will explain why in a detailed installation post separately in the future.
Secondly I will attempt to keep this “clean”, both linguistically and well, graphically, and to minimize the puns. Well, maybe not. Let's say a first grader is interested in reading about this fascinating subject- that of the methods we all use, to dispose of poo and how this particular toilet may suit their disposal needs. I mean, shouldn't this be a required subject matter for first graders?
Thirdly, my objections to this and other brands, who sell and market a lovely off white but essentially glorified 5 gal bucket with a mighty fancy seat, for the amazing price of only a thousand bucks, is how their marketing departments have convinced the public, but not most septic engineers, that this is a “composting” toilet. This unit, under the hot knife of review, and active real world usage, is most definitely NOT a “composting” toilet. It will deliver 14.5 Liters of solid material, in as long as time it takes to be generated by your happy camping party, in the wonderfully useful form of raw excrement, in a slightly (and hopefully) drier form. It will not even be close to a form of rich, loamy fertile compost, something most people would identify as dirt, something you could plant a seed in and expect it to grow. There is an art and skillset required to produce real compost; it takes, after the correct amounts of ingredients and knowledge, patience; in the heat of summer with ideal conditions, Ive never been able to complete a cu yd of finished material in less that 3-4 months, and that's like having a part time job as a Compost Turner. The manual states, “ Place it (poo) in a container and have it standing in hibernation for at least 12 months”. Okay, I ask myself, Do I want all my and others' poo standing by in hibernation? And where is it going to stand? Not by the already very tight squeeze between the shell wall and the bed? If its that close I'm going to be nervous. I have to take this for 12 months, standing by my bed? Wait a minute...How did I get here?
To me, this is similar to the milk industry taking objection to the
almond/hazelnut/oat/cashew/hemp/walnut/soy/rice/coconut/macadamia/picka nut beverage manufacturers calling their product “milk”. Milk is from mammals', er, mammary glands and compost is from multiple, er, ingredients, one of which apparently is good ol human manure, combined over time to form a soil amendment.
Here are the Specs:
19.6” Distance out from wall
17.3-17.8” Seat height*
* I'll explain why the seat changes height.
18.7 lbs, no poo included
7.1 Liters Urine Capacity
14.5 Liters Solid Waste
AC adaptor for 120/240V
12V x 1.1w=0.04 kwh/day, 14 kwh/yr for the solar geeks
The size is very close to the OEM Dometic 310
I felt confident about the ability to place the new throne in the stately WC of a 2021 Globetrotter 27' without involving a divorce lawyer and I also became aware, after spending a half an hour scratching my head and doing calculations, I would have to completely GUT the bathroom, including removing the water heater from the space, simply to run an 1 1/2” pvc powered vent pipe. Placing the vent pipe to the left of the unit to tie in with the OEM stack, would make a very obvious alteration and be difficult to conceal the junction at the 45 degree finished panel, and would require gluing PVC to ABS. Not impossible, but... (Certain other parties who use the facilities on a daily basis, have FIRM opinions on “obvious alterations” and unless you're a highly skilled salesperson or smooth liar, neither of which I qualify well for, convincing this said party that is the ONLY installation option, requires memory altering drugs which I have no access to. This digression is a quagmire of quicksand filled with land mines and cannot be resolved in a simple forum post: (see “Marital Relations; Renovating a New Airstream while Full-Timing”, Vol. 1-52, by Sigmund Freud.) I've ALSO learned to treat these procedures on a spanky new trailer, like any good surgeon; give the loving and concerned family members a perfectly good dogeared magazine and a separate waiting area while the process unloads, I mean, develops. In this case, it's easier on everyone if the parties in question only view the finished project, when the mess is totally cleaned up and the installer has had a chance to regain normal facial contortions and full control of the use of their hands again. And, heaven forbid, remembering to hook up the hot water heater for their evening ablutions! But this is also yet another slippery digression concerning the relationship challenging installation, which is a whole other entertaining story, (see“Marital Relations; Renovating a New Airstream while Full-Timing”, Vol. 5, by Sigmund Freud.)
The operation is simple (ha!): you feel the urge to have a visit with your new shiny purchase. Of course, you dutifully check first to see if “someone” remembered to refill the paper holder. (Wait, Honey, what do you mean there's no TP holder? Oh, that's what those extra screws were for.)You raise the lid, contemplate the current overinflated Thor stock price, finish the paperwork, wash your hands. And your done! Well, did you think the operation would be any different than the perfectly functional, ceramic bowl Dometic you just threw on the junk heap? But now, you need to turn around and consider if any further actions are required because here's where the operation turns complex. Oh sorry, I forgot to tell you better have checked to make certain there were some rubber gloves under the sink, because most likely, unless you have an accurate and impeccable AIM, there will be additional effort required. (You know, when you dozed off just for a second during your marital vows and someone said something about “Additional Effort Required”.) I'll bet you my day off of cleaning rotation that it won't be pretty. The size of the lid opening in which you had to aim for is an oval 7” x 4”, and no that is NOT a typo. Normally this opening is hidden from view by a set of swinging doors, which pivot open as weight is applied to the seat, which is *why the seat height changes; the seat is spring loaded. However, my Tiny has no doors because I gleefully threw them out! Not because I enjoy seeing what the previous visitor left behind, but because it was IMPOSSIBLE for them to fully open even with a 400 lb gorilla setting on the seat. (My friendly campground neighbor loaned me his pet gorilla for a few helpful minutes; thanks King.) The harder the spring is depressed, the farther open the doors swing. Thats good, right? Well, the converse is also true. For someone in the family who may be a lighter weight, say a child for example, the door opening becomes smaller for them. Need I say more? The over-engineering and marketing hype that went into the lid/door design that they tout as an industry first, (there's even a set of roller bearings that contact the lid underside, I'm not kidding) is an industrial sized failure IMHO. If you think this is trivial, consider the term “debris build-up” together with “very difficult to clean nooks and crannies total lid/door mechanism teardown toothbrush scrubbing I can't believe I bought this **@@$#%^!%!$@^% toilet” phrase. And remember we're taking about poo here; even though this may be required a discussion for first graders, this is not a joking matter.
The maximum door opening with a seated 400lb gorilla
Part ll: TMI Review of the Separett Tiny, #1270-01
The manual states “the solid waste container needs to be emptied every two weeks” based on two adults daily usage.
Holy Shrimp! The Swedish sanitary engineer conducting that test must've been a very Tiny little person, or else they tested this exclusively with a couple of Miniature Chimpanzees. I don't know who's donkey they pulled these numbers from but they aren't anything even close to what a real, American diet would produce. And, there's no way that 14.5 liters of poo would percolate for two weeks in our AS, new or used. (Just TRY to ask that question, to certain other parties.) I know for a fact, in two weeks, that fancy lid would not even close, ball bearings or not. Other than that Tiny misinterpretation of food to nationality/waste ratio, there seems to be only the normal, daydreamy chore of removing, handling, smelling and if you dare, looking at the contents of the two tanks, which you'll need to dump, without spilling mind you, through your new AS with the frilly textured composite floor, then rinse and clean. Maybe rinse and clean again? Then dry, inspect, maybe rinse and clean again, install a new $1 each composting corn fed plastic bag and tuck everything in neatly. Hey, just an average, pleasant morning, or evening, or both, for any fake composting toilet (US) owner. However, this brings me to the real, deep dark secret problem with any fake or real CT, that isn't mentioned in any manual or cute you tube video anywhere, that I've ever seen; VOLUME.
Let's pretend we're Swedish. We wake up, eat our Tiny Danish, drink our special Svedish expresso in a Demitasse cup, do our business and go to work at our Ikea decorated home office. (What a life, eh?)Through the day we each (typical 2.0 member Swedish family) produce .052L of compostable material a day. To solve for V (volume)-I'm not going to show any of my work and just cut to the stinky finished product- two people will produce a Cube of Poo 12.3 feet wide, 12.3 deep, 12.3 high per year. Okay, while you visualize that pooroblem, (sorry I should've warned you to stop eating first), I ask a simple question; where pray, in your pristine mountain lakes and pure unpolluted Svedish countryside, do you plan to place this gigantic Cube of Poo? You should probably not visualize adding children, Taco Bell or an all you can eat rib night to this equation. No, do not go there. AND, I don't think any toilet paper even made it into the final size winning Cube, but that is unconfirmed due to the unavailability of said Svedish septic engineer.
Oh, and there's a very expensive Tiny muffin fan that whines incessantly (24 x 7), which set's up a harmonic vibration in the aluminum amplifier shell (it's like they were made for each other!) that pierces even the deepest darkest dreams, causing you to awake in the night and exclaim out loud, “Why did I ever buy that **@@$#%^!%!$@^% toilet!!!!!!!!!!” This fan does not remove odors; it runs forever, to remove moisture from the poo. Also, there is NO switch for the fan. No, no switch. No, Honey- I looked- there's no off switch.
So let me tell you how poosistent, I mean stupid I am. Yes, I have some loose rocks in my head. Yes, I was in so pooishly deep, I had to at least try to fix this pooaster. I tore the Tiny apart. I ordered another expensive german muffin fan with new rubber anchors and a lower dbL rating-(34 to 28). And I added a $.96 rocker switch, called a Marriage Saver “off” switch. No, did not void the warranty because it was already void when I unplugged the old perfectly good $83 fan and installed the new lower CFM $38 fan. AND, I'm not really worried because all of my phone calls and emails concerning the Tiny seat opening combined with the doors hanging out, unsanitary debris build-up and the shreeking fan noise, went completely unanswered, by said Svedish Toilet People. So not having the chance to ask about a warranty or return, I am perfectly content with my purchase; I only feel a slight twinge of pain when I sit on it and I'm sure that will pass, in time. I guess I'm most concerned that we, dear fellow AS'ers, will never have the chance to shoot the poo over coffee and danish at the campground dump station, ever again. I will wave “good morning” to you as I pass by, promise. Sadly, I've had to halt my hobby of counting Airstream sightings in order to spend more dootiful time with my Tiny waste container. Oh, and my forum posts may drop somewhat, as I've also had to fall back on my previous career as a Compost Turner, but hey, at least I've got some experience.
The Ratings,(0=No Dice-5=Smooth Move)
-.5 if lid was recessed in about 1/2” on either side, the side to side clearance could be reduced an inch. (Otherwise you loose the inch bc the side toilet edge has to be set back from a corner to allow the lid to be raised.) Overall, a tidy small package w clean lines; it does not scream “fake composting toilet” when you enter the lavatory.
Ease of Use: 1
Well, it depends on what you had for dinner the night before. But in general, its a PITA, literally. Prepare for a lyfestyle change and possibly add up to an hour to your daily chores. Oh, I think I'd rather fold laundry...ask my wife how many times I've done that in 19 yrs.
Clean up: 0.5
I mean, I think I'm being generous here. I could've said 0.
Water Consumption: 3
Uses approximately .5-1 gal/day, Rinsing the urine tank and general cleaning, unless you're the kind who doesn't clean regularly.....
Value to Price: 1.5
Another generous score. Yes it has a lid with two ball bearings, but a white used 5 gal pickle bucket from a dumpster (thanks to Ray Eklund for the tip) is completely free.
Olfactory Factor: 3**
**This is a conditional score, based on the power consumption to CFM ratio of the WC ceiling vent fan. If it is being installed in an AS, I recommend having that sucker (vent fan) serviced, tuned up and clear of dust or debris, because what goes in the Tiny Viva Las Vegas, stays in the Tiny Viva Las Vegas, until you or another responsible party removes it.
Overall Rating: 2.25* out of 5
*This is not a Disposer Reports recommended best buy.
Well, that answered a number of un-asked questions. Glad it's well ahead of dinner and no my turn in the rotation :)
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