Experience report Separett Tiny
Separett Tiny Review - Michael and Fleur van der Burg
The following testimonial was written for us by Michael and Fleur based on their experience and provided to us. You can find their Instagram channel here. Please note that this is the personal opinion of the authors. We have provided and left the product free of charge for this occasion for the effort of content creation. Also note that the Separett Tiny separation toilet is usually not suitable for wet areas and the toilet was installed here on its own responsibility and design accordingly.
We are Michael and Fleur, and together with our two kids we have been traveling in our expedition truck for almost two years full time (2020-2022). Our original plan was to make a trip to Canada, Alaska and the rest of North America. Unfortunately, our trip was cancelled due to the pandemic only a few weeks before we would depart. Instead it became almost two years traveling through Europe, exploring 22 countries. It was an amazing experience, yet we still regret not being able to make our dream trip which we had been preparing for years. That’s why we are going to make another attempt to reach Alaska this year (2023).
Why we chose a different toilet
Since we now have some experience with living in an expedition truck, we knew well what we wanted to change in our truck for this new trip. We noticed that the toilet (a cassette toilet) was not ideal for the four of us. It had to be emptied every 3 to 4 days, which we found too fast (and to be honest, too gross really). We also noticed that the service stations to empty the cassette were not easily available everywhere. There was a huge difference between countries. Emptying the toilet sometimes took an unnecessary amount of time because of this. In addition, the use of chemicals (to prevent unpleasant odors) stood against us.
All in all it was clear that we wanted a new toilet for our new longer journey. That’s why we started looking into other toilet options for our home on wheels. We heard about the Separett Tiny through friends, they have it installed in their expedition truck and were very enthusiastic about it. It sounded like this toilet would meet all our needs and we dug into it. We became very enthusiastic ourselves: this system seemed perfect for us and that is why we actually went for the Separett Tiny urine separating toilet. In this review we describe our experiences and we hope to help you with your choice of toilet in your camper, tiny house or boat.
First of all, what is the Separett Tiny and how does it work?
The Separett Tiny is a urine-diverting toilet specially developed for Tiny Homes and other small spaces such as campers, caravans, boats etc. It works completely waterless.
All that is required for installation is the electrical power of 12 V or 110-240 V and a tube of 50 mm used for ventilation of the toilet. Urine is removed from the toilet with a 32 mm hose (which in our case is then led to the grey water tank). It is designed especially for use in small spaces (I’m sure that’s where the name ‘Tiny’ comes from). The fan has a very low energy consumption and is therefore also suitable for use on batteries or solar cells.
The fan exhales the small odor that arises despite urine excretion and also contributes to a better indoor climate by constantly moving the air in the room and removing humidity out of the area. This is why it has to run permanently in order to dry faeces well.
Because the urine is separated, both the odor and the volume of waste that needs to be disposed of are reduced. Urine is directed to an external container or to the existing grey water tank through a tube. It can be emptied when needed.
As for the solid waste: the solid waste is collected in the waste container that is equipped with a compostable waste bag. The view screens are pushed away when you sit down to go to the toilet. As soon as you stand up they close again, thus they ‘hide’ the solid waste in the waste container. It means you never see the toilet waste except when it's time to empty. We were told if the toilet is used in a household with two people full-time, you must empty the waste container approximately after 2 weeks of use. This sounded like music to our ears, and it seems to us to be a huge advantage compared to the cassette toilet we have.
We already mentioned it, but it’s good to know that The Separett Tiny is available in two versions: with a urine container or with a tube that leads to the grey water tank . So the first step was to think about which variant would be best for us. Eventually we decided to choose the variant with a tube that leads to our grey water tank. The variant with the urine container lasts about 2 to 3 days before it is full. Yet it can be emptied just about anywhere as it's solely urine. It thus shouldn’t be a problem. However, since we have a grey water tank with large capacity, the variant with tube just seemed less of a hassle to us. Having to empty the toilet less often was one of our reasons for choosing a different toilet after all, so we chose the version with a tube.
The good thing about the Tiny is though, that you can easily change from urine container to the version with a tube to the grey water tank. The only thing you would need for this is this kit (or the other way).
So you could change the system after a while if you think that it is necessary.
Separett Tiny - technical information
The toilet has the following dimensions.
- - Height: 470 mm (18.5”)
- - Length: 497 mm (19.6”)
- - Width: 398 mm (15.7”)
- - Seat height: 440 – 452 mm (17.3 – 17.8”)
The empty weight is 8.5 kg. The urine container has a capacity of 7.1 liters and the solid waste container has a capacity of 14.5 litres. We have also choose to have the urine-diverting child seat. This accessory enables our kids to use the toilet as well.
Now we move on to the installation. First of all, it is good to know that all necessary parts for installation are included with the Tiny.
The Separett Tiny has no requirements for temperatures, it works in both cold and warm places. The only requirement it has is that you must be able to fit a ventilation pipe. The toilet should be placed on the floor, against the wall. For extra stability, it should be attached to either the floor, the wall, or both.
The first step for us was to remove the previous toilet. Because our previous toilet was glued this chore was quite difficult. We then cleaned it thoroughly (kit removed, among other things) and placed the Tiny loose for a while to determine where we could realize the drainage and ventilation.
Our bathroom has the size of 80 cm x 100 cm. We chose to place the toilet in the corner so that we had as much space as possible for showering. We left 8 cm to the wall on the other side.
For us, connecting the drain was quite difficult, because our grey water tank is not directly underneath the toilet. In the end, we succeeded in making a construction to guide the pipe to the grey water tank. It did take some thinking and trying though.
Making the ventilation outlet, on the other hand, was a lot easier. It is connected straight from the toilet and runs to the backside of the truck. It is important that the end of the ventilation pipe is protected from rain and snow, and prevents insects from entering the toilet. This is why we slanted the pipe. After that, all that remained was to screw and seal the Tiny.
Because we previously had a cassette toilet, we were able to connect the electricity, drainage and ventilation via the existing hatch of the cassette. We have made a switch between the electrical connection of the Tiny so that we can also switch off the extractor (when we are not using our Truck, for example). All in all, installing the Tiny took us about a day and was not difficult, even without a manual it would have been possible to do it.
Before the Separett Tiny can be used, a compostable waste bag must first be placed in the waste container. The bag should be held in place by the yellow clip-on strip to ensure it is firmly attached. Then you should place an absorb pad at the bottom of the waste bag to soak up excess moisture. If you chose for a Tiny with container you should also place a Bio Drain Cleaner in the basket of the urine bowl. This makes for a fresh scent and it also keeps the urine drain free from sediments. However, the latter is not applicable to us because we chose the Tiny with pipe.
Our first days of use
We have used the Tiny for several days now. We were very curious if it would all work well, especially for the kids. First, it took some getting used to for Michael to sit down to pee, which is necessary when using this toilet. In addition, you have to sit a little further back than usual, so that the urine and solid waste are separated. That also takes some getting used to, but it's not annoying.
The view screens just moved aside correctly when we were seated. This was also the case when the kids were using the toilet thanks to the urine-diving child seat. Thanks to the non-slip surface, the child seat sits firmly on the toilet seat which is nice.
Toilet paper can be thrown in the same bin as the solid waste. We have not yet had to empty the container for solid waste. The fan should run continuously to avoid odors in the bathroom. We have not experienced the noise as disturbing so far. Summarized, we had a good first impression of using the Tiny!
All in all, we are very satisfied with the choice for the Separett Tiny so far. It just seems like the best solution for our needs. We like the fact that we can stay off grid much longer because we don't have to empty the toilet every few days. We also appreciate the fact that we no longer have to use chemicals.
Another advantage is that the toilet doesn't use any water to flush it. Also, we have not noticed any unpleasant odors yet.
For now, there's nothing we're missing from the Separett Tiny. However, we are curious about our experiences over a longer period of time. That’s why we will give an update of our review after 4 weeks and after 6 months of use of the Separett Tiny.