We've done a few product reviews on this site. They are normally pretty straightforward and easy to write, but, on this occasion, its a little left of centre. This is a review of the SOG RV toilet cartridge ventilation system and, straight away, you can imagine where we're going to have to go to do this review.
Firstly, let's recap. As part of our preparations for our trip around Australia, we decided to fit one of these SOG ventilation kits to our van. You can see the full instructions on how we did it by clicking on the link below. Basically, the system consists of a small fan which sucks air from the toilet bowl through the cartridge and out through a vent on the exterior of the access hatch door. The outlet has a carbon filter which neutralises any odours from the cartridge so they don't offend your neighbours. It's a very simple solution and quite ingenious.
We had feedback from others who had fitted a SOG system to their toilets and all were very impressed with the results. Many claimed that the system was so effective that they no longer needed to use any chemicals in their cartridges.
Even after hearing these claims, I was still a little sceptical. You see, the fan only operates when the flap in the toilet is open. When the flap is closed, the fan stops. I couldn't quite imagine how this could prevent the odours from seeping out when the fan wasn't operating.
There was only one way to find out how effective the SOG system really is and that was put it through the ultimate test and that meant we had to break our number 1 rule for the caravan loo. We had to use our toilet as we would use a normal household dunny and that includes number 2's in the caravan loo...!
So for the last 2 weeks, we've been doing just that and we've done it full bore. No chemicals in the cartridge. Regular, daily wees and poohs...! I even brewed up one particular load that would've rendered any normal toilet uninhabitable for 20 minutes or more. You know the one....hold on to it long enough until you can't stand the smell of your own flatulence....! The worst possible crap imaginable.
And the result....?
To our absolute amazement, all the claims we've head about the effectiveness of the SOG system are completely true...! It does prevent the smells of your worst excretions permeating into your van. What's more, any odours from the externally vented gasses are pretty much undetectable by the human nose. It really does work...!
Emptying the cartridge is also surprisingly inoffensive although we do recommend a drop or two of eucalyptus oil in the cartridge to make emptying it just that little easier on the nose.
The cartridge toilet in an RV is a wonderful luxury but it has its drawbacks and the smells from your number 2's can make it quite unpleasant when nature calls. The SOG ventilation system solves all the problems with cartridge toilets cheaply and effectively. We highly recommend fitting one to your caravan.