CAMPING - GEAR
This battery-operated ‘dry flush’ toilet looks like the answer to campers’ prayers, but it’s not that simple. Some camping gear websites hurried to give this product an award, but we never rush into these things…
The chemical portable-potty style toilet is the most popular solution for most caravaners and some camper trailer people, but it has several challengers, including composting types and storage types.
The Laveo Dry Flush toilet system is a US-made storage type that has a progressively-opening bag insert that stores toilet deposits, providing around 15-20 ‘flushes’ before the bag is full. At that point the bag and its contents can theoretically be disposed of in a waste bin.
The bag cartridge sits under the toilet seat and after each ‘flush’ a vacuum pump ensures that a fresh section of the bag forms a clean bowl shape inside the dunny.
The ‘flush’ is actually the bag being twisted a few times by an electric motor and that action encapsulates the toilet bowl contents and then seals them below the bowl. It’s a system that has been used in nappy disposal containers for years and has proved to be smell-free.
We’ve spoken to people who have used the Laveo and they agree that it works very well. Battery life to operate the ‘spin cycle’ and the vacuum pump is excellent, at around three months between charges.
The downsides are the initial cost, the cost of the replaceable bag cartridges and the fact that you can’t buy them in the bush. If you don’t take enough cartridges with you; you’re in trouble.
Also, the full bag, its contents and the cartridge ring all have to be disposed of and that’s a large garbage bag that won’t fit into the typical Aussie roadside bin that has a lid-opening restrictor welded in place. Nor will it fit into the typical rural town street bins that have only a small hole at the top.
The cost of the Laveo Dry Flush is $1996, plus the cost of bag cartridges at $41-$49 each, depending on how many you buy at a time.