Sani-Star: Sanitation Product Distributor

The Challenge:

How to move an RV dump and fee collection system from traditional cabled power to remote, off-the-grid locations.

Sani-Star, an established company in the sanitation product business, needed an economical way to expand their RV dump stations and fee collection systems to more remote locations, away from established hardwired power supplies.

Campgrounds are typically in remote locations where electricity isn’t easily accessible.  The company’s current fee collection units were made of heavy-duty steel – very durable, but also very expensive to produce and install. With the installation cost per unit already high, the extra investment to run wires or trenches to the main collection unit and to the dump station foot pedal control was often cost-prohibitive for campground owners. An additional consideration was that since these units are often in unsupervised areas, they are also prone to theft and vandalism. The final result needed to be secure, flexible, affordable, and easy to install in less accessible places.

The Solution:

sanistar-comboBy applying a combination of technologies – including low-power battery-operated electronics, wireless communications, electronic locking, and remote payment capture – Bellatrix Systems was able to develop an integrated, “off-the-grid” solution. This new system does much more than simply address the power issue between devices used in the system… it also completely eliminates the need for traditional cabled power and allows installation and operation in unsupervised, remote locations.

  • Bellatrix Systems re-engineered the payment collection unit into a kiosk with a weather-hardened card reader for accepting credit card payments, as well as capacity for coins, tokens and cash.
  • Bellatrix provided rugged, single purpose custom handhelds for collection of the credit card data as a reasonable cost per unit.
  • A new keypad and LCD display provide an additional code-based payment option.
  • Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology allows the payment kiosk and the dump station foot pedals to ‘talk’ to each other. Once the customer pays at the fee collection unit, the foot pedal unlocks for a limited period of time.
  • Efficient lithium batteries power the kiosk and a revised motor-driven locking mechanism on the foot pedals.
  • An alarm system was engineered and added to production units that detects when a user has blocked open the access foot pedal.

The Outcome:

The new, more efficient, automated, RV dump fee collection system means Sani-Star can provide:

  • 24/7 attendant-free service systems, which provide a steady, hassle-free revenue stream for campground owners.
  • A system for easy pre-payment before dumping, offering four payment options for customers (token, coin, credit card and code-based), even in the most remote locations.
  • A low-power, battery-operated payment kiosks and foot pedals that ‘talk’ to each other using BLE wireless technology, eliminating the need for expensive power lines and trenching.
  • A secure, stainless-steel, tamper-proof kiosk and alarmed access foot pedals that works even in the harshest environments and resists vandalism.