At Kildwick, we show you a step-by-step guide on how to build a separation toilet yourself and thus counteract water pollution through toilets and wastewater. If you're aiming for a sustainable lifestyle, sooner or later you'll inevitably stumble across the impact of your daily waste on the environment.
One thing is certain: every person uses an average of around 35 liters of water per day to flush their excrements. With every liter, drug residues and other chemicals that cannot be fully filtered by sewage treatment plants end up in our groundwater.
Dry toilets counteract the pollution of our groundwater.
You can find more information about water pollution in this blog article.
The way a dry toilet for campers works
The principle of a separation toilet is as simple as convenient.
With the help of a diverter, liquid and solid waste are separated. Since the separation principle would not work properly without it, it could be called “the heart” of the toilet. Unless you use the Kildwick HappyLoo, your excreta ideally fall into two different collection containers - a solids tank and a urine tank. The strict separation of the excreta means that there are no unpleasant odors, as it is the case with conventional chemical toilets - for example, potties at festivals – you can smell it just while thinking of it, huh?
Ok - we need to be a little more specific here. Odors in the solids tank, which you prepare with a compostable bag, are primarily bound by the litter.
If you have a sensitive nose and perceive odors despite accurate separation and bedding with our litter, you can additionally equip your separation toilet with our custom fan. We will go into this more detailed at the end of this article.
Finally, you can dispose the waste very easy. You can also return them - in processed form - to nature as a valuable resource. Without the use of chemicals, your excrement can serve as valuable humus and your urine as a nutrient-rich plant fertilizer. For this reason, the separation toilet is also called a composting toilet.
We also explain details about composting human excrement and using urine in the garden in our blog. (LINKS!!)
The must-have's to build your own separation toilet
First things first: The placement of your toilet
Thorough preparation is half the battle when it comes to building your own separation toilet. Before you get started, you should choose a quiet room and measure the available space carefully. At Kildwick, we've created workable toilet solutions for even the smallest space. This saves you the trouble of building a basic structure for your toilet in campers.
While you can pop up the HappyLoo anywhere in no time at all, our MiniLoo fits into narrow niches of around 34 cm wide. The EasyLoo as well as FancyLoo need more space with a width of about 43cm. For those toilets that do not meet these dimensions, you can build your own individual separation toilet with the help of our Kildwick separation toilet kits without housing. Consider the space you need to store the two collection containers and, if necessary, the fan, and determine the dimensions for building the base frame.
Step Two: Building the basic frame & its cladding
When you build your own separation toilet, you saw the wooden slats and timbers or other available materials, which you can give a new use with your toilet project, for the base frame according to the dimensions determined in step 1.
You can also get the utensils from your local hardware store.
Either the materials tilt and thus provide the framework with support by themselves, or you screw the individual components together with the help of angles, hinges and screws. Screwing the components together is the safer option, especially when using the separation toilet in vehicles where the ride can be a bit bumpy. The stability of your construction is ultimately up to you, but we always recommend playing it safe.
…..After completing the basic framework, you can proceed with the cladding of your new dry seperation toilet. There are no limits to your creativity, because whether you use wooden panels or give it a new look à la upcycling is up to you. The only thing you should keep in mind is that the front or the lid must be removable or openable in order to empty the containers regularly. It is therefore best to attach this part to the base frame with a hinge.
Last but not least: The fine-tuning of the dry separation toilet/toilet for campers
The housing of your new composting toilet is now ready to be fitted with the collection containers, the diverter, a toilet seat and a toilet lid.
In step 1, you've already thought about stowing the two collection containers when you measured the available space. Either you have measured the space for the toilet enclosure so that the two containers can perfectly fit in it without further effort, or you need to take further precautions and stabilize them with additional wooden slats, for example.
Build your own separation toilet - here is an example
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Since the collection canisters contain your excreta, you should make sure in any case that they cannot slip during a trip. However, leakage of the urine canister while driving on bad or unpaved roads, through deep potholes and over open terrain cannot always be prevented even by the sturdiest toilet design.
We've racked our brains over this too to come up with the perfect solution for you: Installing the Kildwick Stainless Steel Siphon or Kildwick Spillguard Kit between the diverter and urine canister ensures leak and odor protection even on bumpy adventures.
And that leads us to the heart of the composting toilet mentioned at the beginning: the diverter. Depending on the space available in your chosen toilet, our three different versions of the Kildwick diverter will reliably separate your waste. In addition to the classic insert, we offer you the option of cutting the separator individually to your desired size with the XL separator insert and another option for installation under any standard toilet seat with the compact diverter insert. After you have decided on the heart of your composting toilet and installed it in the housing, the installation of the toilet seat is your next step.
The sturdy Kildwick bamboo toilet seat is an ecological alternative to standard plastic toilet seats and is easy to install. When you order this item from our online store, all the necessary installation materials are already included. After some measuring, hammering, gluing, sawing, cutting, screwing, nailing and whatever else you did in the previous steps to build your separation toilet, you are now ready and a happy owner of a self-made compost toilet ...
Useful add-on: The optimal custom fan solution for your composting toilet
Those super fine noses that can detect even the smallest odors can pleased with our Kildwick fan sets.
Thanks to its USB adapter, our 5V fan set can be easily connected to a power supply via a cell phone charging cable, a power bank or the Kildwick solar panel, while our 12V fan set is connected directly to the 12 V mains via the two-pin connector. The connection cables have two ferrules, so you can freely decide how you like to connect this fan - everything is possible.
The position of the fan can be varied. In our EasyLoo with fan is either left or right rear. In the first step you have to drill the necessary holes, where our templates for the 5V or 12V fan can be very helpful for you.
Since the following steps for the dry separation toilet for camper are very different while installing the two fan alternatives, we refrain here from a much too long description. Instead, we refer you to our assembly instructions, which you can find in Kildwick Support.
Build your own separation toilet: The most important things summarized
Advantages of DIY dry separation toilets
You and the environment will reap a lot of benefits when you build your own separation toilet:
You save the most important resource on earth: Water
Ecological production due to minimal use of plastics
Almost odorless due to separation system, litter and, if necessary, fan system
Guaranteed hygienic safety without additives: bacteria and germs have no chance on the smooth surface of the urine separator
No use of chemicals and therefore no risk of allergies or irritations with this toilet for campervans
Environmentally friendly and sustainable disposal of waste
Simple and clean emptying possibility as well as easy to clean excrement containers
In small spaces the emptying of the canisters is possible from above
You can make the best out of the available space
With the Kildwick seat cushion, you can create an additional seating option for yourself
High load capacity pared with low dead weight: Kildwick Loos have been tested up to 140kg
High seating comfort: With the Kildwick bamboo toilet seat, your composting toilet will be as comfortable as a normal toilet.
You can add your own design ideas
Bottom line: a (Kildwick) dry separation toilet will bring maximum comfort to your adventure without a guilty conscience towards the environment.
Necessary components in the construction of a dry toilet / toilet for campers
In summary, this is what you´ll need to build your own composting toilet:
Wooden slats, squared timber, or similar for the basic framework
Screws, hinges, nails and angles for fastening all components
Wooden boards or similar for the cladding
A solid fuel tank and a urine canister
A siphon or spillguard
A Kildwick diverter
A toilet seat
Litter / Bedding
Compostable solid waste bags
If applicable, a 5V or 12V fan if you have a fine nose
Last but not least: Not only the installation of the housing ventilation, but also all other steps to build your separation toilet you will find explained in detail on our website, where we have collected downloads and information for self-assembly.
We wish you all the best and lots of fun while building your dry toilet! Share your project with us by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org or linking to us on your social media channels. If you have any questions about the article, the instructions, or get to a point where you're stuck, we're happy to assist you via email or phone.
Your Kildwick Team