Title:
Flushable Campsite Toilet
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A flushable campsite toilet includes a water inlet port configured to receive water from a campsite water source, such as a spigot, and an inlet pipe to transport the water to a toilet bowl, wherein the toilet bowl leads to a drain opening and can receive waste therein. The toilet bowl and piping are supported by a portable housing. A valve is included in the inlet pipe so as to control the inflow of water. The toilet includes a stopper removably covering the drain opening in order to create a seal therebetween. The toilet further includes an outlet pipe extending from the drain opening and attached to an outlet port, wherein the outlet port comprises a connector that can be attached to a campsite septic system in order to remove the waste from the toilet.



Inventors:
Mcnamee, Bruce J. (Delran, NJ, US)
Mcdonough, Susan B. (Delran, NJ, US)
Application Number:
14/880401
Publication Date:
04/14/2016
Filing Date:
10/12/2015
Assignee:
MCNAMEE BRUCE J.
MCDONOUGH SUSAN B.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E03D11/10; E03D5/012; E03D5/08
View Patent Images:
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20120240318Toilet seat hingeSeptember, 2012Sims
20120227173TOILET FLUSHING METHOD AND SYSTEMSeptember, 2012Kaikov
20030213055Drainage device for siphon action toiletNovember, 2003Yoneda et al.
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Primary Examiner:
NGUYEN, TUAN N
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Boudwin Intellectual Property Law, LLC (Pinehurst, NC, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A flushable campsite toilet comprising: a housing configured to support a toilet bowl, wherein said housing is configured to be disposed within a tent; a toilet bowl supported by said housing, wherein said toilet bowl includes a base, one or more sidewalls, and an open upper end, wherein said base comprises a drain opening, wherein said upper end of said toilet bowl is configured to receive waste therethrough; an outlet pipe having a first end in fluid communication with a second end, wherein said first end is connected to said drain opening and configured to transport said waste away from said toilet bowl; an outlet port having an open first end and open second end form a channel therebetween, wherein said open second end is connected to said second end of said outlet pipe, wherein said open first end of said outlet port is configured to be connected to said septic system of a campsite; an inlet pipe having a first end in fluid communication with a second end, wherein said first end is connected to said toilet bowl; a water inlet port having an open first end and open second end form a channel therebetween, wherein said open second end is connected to said second end of said inlet pipe and configured to connect to and receive water from an outside water source; a valve disposed in said inlet pipe, wherein said valve is configured to control water flow therethrough; a stopper removably covering said drain opening.

2. The flushable campsite toilet of claim 1, further comprising a control mechanism operably connected to said stopper and disposed on said housing, wherein said control mechanism is configured to remove said stopper from covering said drain opening.

3. The flushable campsite toilet of claim 2, wherein said stopper is operably connected to said control mechanism via an actuating mechanism.

4. The flushable campsite toilet of claim 3, wherein said actuating mechanism comprises a fulcrum assembly having a spring, a pivot pin, and a pivot rod, such that said pivot rod comprises a first end and a second end wherein said pivot pin is disposed therebetween and serves as a fulcrum, wherein said first end of said pivot rod is secured to said stopper and said second end is connected to said spring and said control mechanism such that when said control mechanism is actuated, said spring compresses and elevates said second side of said pivot rod such that said first end of said pivot rod lowers removing said stopper from said drain opening.

5. The flushable campsite toilet of claim 4, wherein said control mechanism is a foot pedal.

6. The flushable campsite toilet of claim 1, further comprising a gasket disposed between said stopper and said drain opening in order to create a seal therebetween.

7. The flushable campsite toilet of claim 2, wherein said stopper and said valve are operably connected to said control mechanism in order to simultaneously remove said waste from said toilet bowl and fill said toilet with said water.

8. The flushable campsite toilet of claim 1, wherein said open first end of said outlet port comprises a threaded connector, wherein said threaded connector is configured to connect said outlet port to said septic system of said campsite.

9. The flushable campsite toilet of claim 1, further comprising a conduit removably secured to said outlet port and configured to release said waste into said septic system of said campsite.

10. The flushable campsite toilet of claim 1, further comprising a conduit removably secured to said inlet port and configured to transport water from said outside water source to said inlet port.

11. The flushable campsite toilet of claim 1, wherein said open first end of said inlet port comprises a threaded connector, wherein said threaded connector is configured to connect said inlet port to said outside water source.

12. The flushable campsite toilet of claim 1, wherein said housing comprises a base, one or more sidewalls, and an upper wall having an opening therein for receiving said toilet bowl.

13. The flushable campsite toilet of claim 12, wherein said housing comprises a square shaped cross section.

14. The flushable campsite toilet of claim 1, further comprising a toilet seat disposed on said open upper end of said toilet bowl.

15. The flushable campsite toilet of claim 1, further comprising a lid pivotally secured to at least one of said toilet bowl or said housing, wherein said lid is configured to removably cover said open upper end of said toilet bowl.

16. A flushable campsite toilet comprising: a housing configured to support a toilet bowl, wherein said housing is configured to be disposed within a tent; a toilet bowl supported by said housing, wherein said toilet bowl includes a base, one or more sidewalls, and an open upper end, wherein said base comprises a drain opening, wherein said upper end of said toilet bowl is configured to receive waste therethrough; an outlet pipe having a first end in fluid communication with a second end, wherein said first end is connected to said drain opening and configured to transport said waste away from said toilet bowl; wherein said outlet pipe comprises an S-trap; an outlet port having an open first end and open second end form a channel therebetween, wherein said open second end is connected to said second end of said outlet pipe, wherein said open first end of said outlet port is configured to be connected to said septic system of a campsite; an inlet pipe having a first end in fluid communication with a second end, wherein said first end is connected to said toilet bowl; a water inlet port having an open first end and open second end form a channel therebetween, wherein said open second end is connected to said second end of said inlet pipe and configured to connect to and receive water from an outside water source; a valve disposed in said inlet pipe, wherein said valve is configured to control water flow therethrough.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 62/062,994 filed on Oct. 13, 2014. The above identified patent application is herein incorporated by reference in its entirety to provide continuity of disclosure.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to campsite systems for the disposal of human waste.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Camping toilets (i.e. toilets suited for use at a campsite) are generally primitive devices. The least refined examples comprise little more than a toilet seat situated atop a vessel for holding human waste. More refined examples known in the art typically require either a fresh water reservoir with water for flushing the toilet, a wastewater reservoir for holding the mixture of water and human waste, or any combination thereof. None of these camping toilet systems previously described include a mechanism which enables a user to automatically “flush,” or discharge their waste from the system. Users who use any such camping toilets known in the art are periodically obligated to manually empty human waste and/or wastewater from the system. This is an unpleasant and potentially hazardous task.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In view of the foregoing disadvantages inherent in the known types of camping toilets now present in the prior art, the present invention provides campers with a portable, flushable toilet for use within a privacy tent, thereby offering an easier and more sanitary method of disposing waste while camping. One embodiment of the invention includes a water inlet port, a toilet bowl, a stopper at the bottom of the toilet bowl, and a water outlet port. The water inlet port can receive water from a campsite water source such as a spigot. The inlet port, in turn, is directly connected to and in fluid communication with the toilet via inlet pipe, whereby the inlet port can provide water to (i.e. rinse) the toilet bowl. The user controls the inflow of water into the toilet by actuating a valve disposed in the inlet pipe. If the stopper is covering a drain opening in the toilet bowl, the toilet bowl will fill with water while the valve is in an open position. The user can deposit waste into the bowl and the wastewater (comprising waste and rinse water) can be evacuated from the toilet by removing the stopper from the drain opening. The valve and the stopper can be operated by various controls known in the art, such as hand levers and foot pedals.

In an alternate embodiment, both the inflow of water and the stopper are operated by the same control, e.g. a foot pedal. Wastewater can be sent to a campsite septic system, and the campsite toilet of the present invention can be placed in a privacy tent, to afford the user privacy.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Although the characteristic features of this invention will be particularly pointed out in the claims, the invention itself and manner in which it may be made and used may be better understood after a review of the following description, taken in connection with the accompanying drawings wherein like numeral annotations are provided throughout.

FIG. 1 shows a side cutaway view of an embodiment of the flushable campsite toilet.

FIG. 2 shows a front cutaway view of the flushable campsite toilet.

FIG. 3 shows a perspective view of the rear of the flushable campsite toilet.

FIG. 4 shows an exploded view of the outlet port of the flushable campsite toilet.

FIG. 5 shows a side cutaway view of an alternate embodiment of the flushable campsite toilet wherein a control mechanism operates both the water inlet valve and waste outlet stopper.

FIG. 6 shows a side cutaway view of an alternate embodiment of the flushable campsite toilet wherein the waste outlet stopper is replaced with an S-trap.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Reference is made herein to the attached drawings. Like reference numerals are used throughout the drawings to depict like or similar elements of the camping toilet. The figures are intended for representative purposes only and should not be considered to be limiting in any respect.

Referring now to FIGS. 1 and 2, there are shown cutaway views of an embodiment of the flushable campsite toilet. In the illustrated embodiment, the flushable campsite toilet 100 comprises a toilet seat 60 and a lid 90, wherein the toilet seat 60 and lid 90 open and close by hinges, 62 and 92, respectively. The toilet seat 60 comprises an opening in order to receive waste therethrough. The flushable campsite toilet 100 further comprises plumbing disposed within a housing 17 positioned beneath the toilet seat 60. The plumbing enables the toilet 100 to receive water from an outside water source in order to flush and drain the toilet 100 into a campsite septic system. In the illustrated embodiment, the housing 17 includes a base, one or more sidewalls, and an upper wall having an opening for receiving waste therethrough. The housing 17 comprises a square cross section, however, in alternate embodiments, the housing 17 cross section may include any suitable shape, such as a polygon or rectangular. The flushable campsite toilet is portable and adapted to be positioned within a privacy tent or the like.

The flushable campsite toilet 100 further comprises a water inlet port 10 extending through a sidewall of the housing 17, wherein the inlet port 10 is adapted to be connected to an outside water source, such as a spigot. The inlet port 10 comprises an open first end and second end, forming a channel therethrough in order to receive water. The water inlet port 10 is connected to an inlet pipe 12 disposed within the housing 17 of the toilet 100, wherein the inlet pipe 12 is in fluid communication with a toilet bowl 20 disposed beneath the toilet seat 60. A valve 14 is disposed within the inlet pipe 12 in order to control the inflow of water to the bowl 20. Any suitable valve 14 may be used, such as a ball valve. The flow of water is controlled through the valve 14 by repositioning the valve 14 into an open position via a control mechanism 16 operably connected thereto. In the illustrated embodiment, the control mechanism 16 is a hand-operable lever extending through the sidewall of the housing 17, wherein the lever is adapted to be pressed downwards in order to open the valve 14. If the valve 14 is in an open position and the water pressure of the water from the outside water source is sufficient, water will travel through the inlet pipe 12 and past the open valve 14 and fill the toilet bowl 20 until the valve 14 is repositioned closed.

The toilet bowl 20 comprises a base, one or more sidewalls, and an open upper end. The toilet bowl 20 further comprises a drain opening 24 disposed at the base of the toilet bowl 20. The drain opening 24 is connected to a first end of an outlet pipe 32 disposed therebelow, wherein a second end of the outlet pipe 32 terminates at an outlet port 34 disposed through a sidewall of the housing 17. The outlet port 34 comprises an open first end and second end, forming a channel therethrough in order to receive wastewater. The outlet port 34 is configured to be in fluid communication to a campsite septic system via a waste hose or pipe. In the illustrated embodiment, the outlet port 34 comprises a threaded connector that is configured to fasten to a corresponding threaded connector disposed on the waste hose. However, in alternate embodiments, the outlet port 34 comprises any suitable connector in order to attach the waste hose thereto, such as clamps.

A gasket 28 is disposed around the perimeter of the drain opening 24. A stopper 22 is located below the gasket 28 and drain opening 24. The stopper 22 is configured to removably cover the drain opening 24 of the toilet bowl 20. The stopper 22 is urged upwardly against the flange 28 in order to create a seal therebetween to prevent contents from leaving the bowl 20. The dimension of the stopper 22 is substantially similar to the dimension of the drain opening 24 in order to create a seal a therebetween.

The stopper 22 is separated from the flange 28 and drain opening 24 via an actuating mechanism. In the illustrated embodiment, the actuating mechanism is a fulcrum assembly comprising a spring 112 and a pivot rod 110, wherein the spring 112 is affixed at opposing ends to the base of the toilet bowl 20 and the pivot rod 110. The pivot rod 110 comprises a first end 126 and a second end, wherein the first end 126 of the pivot rod 110 is connected to the stopper 22 and the second end is connected to the spring 112. The pivot rod 110 is disposed through a pivot pin 130, whereby the pin 130 is disposed between the first and second end of the pivot rod 110 and serves as a fulcrum.

The spring 112 is movable between a compressed and expanded configuration, wherein the resting state of the spring 112 is in the expanded configuration. In the expanded configuration, the spring 112 biases the second end of the pivot rod 110 away from the base of the toilet bowl 20, wherein the spring exerts a downward force on the second end of the pivot rod 110 which translates to upward force on the first side 126 of the pivot rod 110. Thus, in the resting state the pivot rod 110 pushes upward on the stopper 22 and flange 28, maintaining the seal therebetween. While FIG. 1A depicts a spring 112 attached above, and pushing down on, the pivot rod 110, those skilled in the art will recognize that it is possible to attach the spring 112 below, and have it pull down on, the pivot rod 110.

The pivot rod 110 is operably connected to a control mechanism 70 operably connected to the stopper 22, whereby a user can selectively actuate the stopper 22 to release or maintain the seal with the flange 28. One such example of a control mechanism 70 is a foot pedal. In the illustrated embodiment, the second end of the pivot rod 110 is pivotally connected to the control mechanism 70 via a vertical rod 18 disposed therebetween. A first end 102 of the vertical rod 18 extends downward and substantially perpendicular from the pivot rod 110. A second end 104 of the vertical rod 18 is pivotally secured to the control mechanism 70. However, in other embodiments, the pivot rod 110 is operably connected to the control mechanism 70 in any suitable configuration that enables the stopper 22 to break the seal with the flange 28 causing wastewater to be discharged from the toilet bowl 20.

The control mechanism 70 is actuated in order to move the second end of the pivot rod 110 upward in order to move the spring 112 into the compressed configuration. In the compressed configuration, one end of the foot pedal 70 is depressed, thereby moving the opposing end of the foot pedal 70 upward such that the vertical rod 18 and the second end of the pivot rod 110 are moved upward. The spring 112 is compressed via the second end of the pivot rod 110. The pivot rod 110 pivots about the pin 130. The upward force on the pivot rod at first end 102 of the vertical rod 18 is sufficient to overcome the downward force applied by the spring 112, thereby lowering the stopper 22. Lowering the stopper 22 breaks the seal, allowing the wastewater to flow through the drain opening 24, past the stopper 22, past the outlet pipe 32, and through the outlet port 34.

In operation, a user will open the lid 90 and sit atop the seat 60. The user may wish to pre-fill the bowl with water from the inlet port 10. The user will then their deposit waste into the bowl 20. The user will then flush the toilet bowl 20 by introducing water from the inlet port 10 and also releasing the stopper 22 in order to allow wastewater comprising water and waste to leave the toilet 100 through the outlet port 34. To flush wastewater out through the outlet port 34, the user will step on and depress the foot pedal 70. The separate inlet port 10 prevents the flushable campsite toilet 100 from requiring a freshwater reservoir in order to operate. Further, the outlet port 34 provides allows for the waste disposed in the bowl to be automatically removed therefrom, rather than manually by any means such as a bucket, wastewater reservoir, or other means for the intermediate holding of waste. The present invention thus saves the user from this unpleasant and potentially dangerous step.

Now referring to FIGS. 3 and 4, there is shown a rear perspective view of the flushable campsite toilet and an exploded view of the outlet port of the flushable campsite toilet, respectively. The outlet port 34 extends through a sidewall of the housing 17 and terminates in a connector 34a. The inlet port 10 extends through a sidewall of the housing 17 and terminates in a connector. In some embodiments, a cap is configured to removably cover the connector 34a when not connected to a conduit 35, 11, such as a pipe or hose. In one embodiment, the conduit 35 of the outlet port 34 leads to a campsite waste pit and is configured to be removably attached to the connector 34a. The end of the conduit 35 comprises a connector 35a that is complementary to the connector 34a on the outlet port 34. This connector 35a on the conduit 35 threadably couples with the connector 34a of the outlet port 34 to secure the two together and allow wastewater to flow out of the toilet 100. The conduit 11 of the inlet port 10 is configured to connect to an outside water source, such as a spigot.

Referring now to FIG. 5, there is shown a side cutaway view of an alternate embodiment of the flushable campsite toilet in which the foot pedal operates both the water inlet valve and waste outlet stopper. In the illustrated embodiment, the foot pedal 70 is operably connected to the valve 14 that controls the inflow of water from the inlet port 10 and the stopper 22 that removably covers the drain opening 24 of the toilet bowl 20. Thus, the foot pedal 70 controls both the inflow of water (through the valve 14) and the outflow of water (by controlling the stopper 22). In operation, a user steps on the foot pedal 70 in order to elevate the vertical rod 18 and second end of the pivot rod 110 so as to dispose the spring 112 in a compressed configuration, thereby depressing the stopper 22 in order to allow waste to be removed from the toilet bowl 20. Simultaneously as the foot pedal 70 is depressed, the valve 14 is opened, thereby allowing water from the inlet port 10 to flow into the toilet bowl 20.

The foot pedal 70 comprises a horizontal rod 140 extending therefrom in order to operably connect the foot pedal 70 to the valve 14 and the vertical rod 18. The connection between the horizontal rod 140 and the valve 14 can be biased relative to the connection between the horizontal rod 140 and vertical rod 18. In such a configuration, depressing the pedal 70 will open the valve 14 prior to depressing the stopper 22, thereby releasing the pedal 70 will re-seal the stopper 22 prior to closing the valve 14. Such a configuration allows for water to remain in the bowl 20.

Referring now to FIG. 6 there is shown side cutaway view of an alternative embodiment of the flushable campsite toilet. In the illustrated embodiment, the flushable campsite toilet 100 comprises an S-trap 60, rather than a stopper in order to remove and drain wastewater from the toilet bowl 20. An outlet pipe 32 extends from the toilet bowl 20 and connects to the outlet port 34. The outlet pipe 32 curves and descends to a well 63, curves again and rises to a peak 64 and then curves downward once more and attaches to the outlet port 34 where wastewater is disposed outside of the housing. When the outlet pipe 32 and toilet bowl 20 are filled with water, the water level equilibrates to the lower end of the outlet pipe 32 of the well 63, thereby allowing water to remain in the outlet pipe 32 and the toilet bowl 20.

In operation, the toilet bowl 20 is filled with water from the inlet port 10 by actuating the valve 14. The valve 14 is operably connected to and controlled by the lever 16 to regulate the flow of water through the inlet port 10 and into the toilet bowl 20. The water level will equilibrate at approximately the point labeled 64A. When waste is added to the toilet bowl 20, it will displace an equal volume of water in the toilet bowl 20 and outlet pipe 32. The wastewater will flow out through the outlet port 34 when the additional volume raises the water level of point 64A above the lowest level of the peak 64. After the user has deposited their waste, the user operates the valve 14 to the water inlet port 10 and fills the toilet bowl 20 with water. The additional volume of water in the toilet bowl 20 will provide pressure, and will remove the contents from the toilet bowl 20 and the rest of the system. The user then turns off the valve 14. The water will re-equilibrate to level 64A, and the toilet will be ready for another user to use it. The outlet port 34 is configured to connect to the septic system of a campsite, wherein the water remaining in the S-trap 60 will prevent the backflow of sewer gasses through the toilet 100.

It is therefore submitted that the instant invention has been shown and described in various embodiments. It is recognized, however, that departures may be made within the scope of the invention and that obvious modifications will occur to a person skilled in the art. With respect to the above description then, it is to be realized that the optimum dimensional relationships for the parts of the invention, to include variations in size, materials, shape, form, function and manner of operation, assembly and use, are deemed readily apparent and obvious to one skilled in the art, and all equivalent relationships to those illustrated in the drawings and described in the specification are intended to be encompassed by the present invention.

Therefore, the foregoing is considered as illustrative only of the principles of the invention. Further, since numerous modifications and changes will readily occur to those skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction and operation shown and described, and accordingly, all suitable modifications and equivalents may be resorted to, falling within the scope of the invention.