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Old 11-13-2012, 09:57 PM   #1
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Composting and incinerating toilets

Trying to price out a build and wondering if it makes sense to use a composting or incinerating toilet and just avoiding blackwater storage all together. Has anyone on here done this. It makes alot of sense in our situation. Trailer would be parked on property without access to septic/sewer. Greywater drainage field will water the grape vines.
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Old 11-13-2012, 10:00 PM   #2
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Hi, I have a composting toilet, a Nature's Head Nature's Head Composting Toilets - The environmentally sustainable waterless toilet for Your Boat, RV, Cabin, Big Rig, Barn, Workshop, or Yurt!
I was curious to try it, wanted to convert our black water tank to a gray water tank and couldn't fine a replacement I liked for our old water toilet. It works great, a little different than a conventional toilet, but no disgusting black tank.
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Old 11-13-2012, 10:01 PM   #3
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the downside, I neglected to mention, is they're ugly. I'm currently working on a design for a new bath, and want to enclose the toilet somewhat.
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Old 11-13-2012, 11:34 PM   #4
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Agreed, they are ugly. And it seems like there is some maintenance involved.

It seems like the incinerator ones are smaller and less hassle. They seem to run about the same price. I just wonder if we would have to be worried about burning down the house.
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Old 11-13-2012, 11:56 PM   #5
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incinerator ones are not going to burn the place down, they are safe enough, but take a lot of gas and power to run them. If you have that, they work ok. They are not for boondocking though.
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Old 11-14-2012, 12:02 AM   #6
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I have not installed one yet, but I am planning on replacing the toilet in my 66 Tradewind with an Airhead Composting toilet. It appears to be slightly more compact than the Natures Head and will fit in the space available in my Tradewind. They are not attractive, but the bathroom design in my Tradewind covers the toilet completely except for the cover.

There does not seem to be much experience with installations in trailers, but the experience in sailboats appears to be quite positive.

I am going to a composting toilet for the same reason as you. My toilet is on its last legs and I don't want to install a gray water tank. After installation of the CT I won't need a black water tank and all its problems.

Dan
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Old 11-14-2012, 01:03 AM   #7
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I too have a natures head. My parents got one and we took it camping for a week. We were pleased with our experience.

I have not used my trailer yet (2 year remodel and counting). But I think we will be happy with our choice.

I am having my cabinet guy bend a thin piece of plywood to wrap around the toilet to make it blend into its surroundings.
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Old 11-14-2012, 01:21 AM   #8
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I found this quote here:
"Finally, electric composting toilets draw and waste more electricity than incinerating models, thanks to their continually running heating element."
Source:
Incinerating Toilet | Composting Toilet

Any truth to this? Truthiness even?

Again, this trailer will never be boon docking. I was not even on planning to hook up any DC system at all.
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Old 11-14-2012, 11:34 AM   #9
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It depends. Composting toilets that are set up to evaporate the accumulated liquid typically do need at least an electric fan.
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Old 11-14-2012, 01:08 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeremymm View Post
I found this quote here:
"Finally, electric composting toilets draw and waste more electricity than incinerating models, thanks to their continually running heating element."
Source:
Incinerating Toilet | Composting Toilet

Any truth to this? Truthiness even?

Again, this trailer will never be boon docking. I was not even on planning to hook up any DC system at all.
I believe that the amount of power a composting toilet takes depends on the specific design of the unit you select. The smallest ones use an electric heater to keep the process going, and to evaporate the liquids, as well as a fan to move the air through the process. The larger ones may be able to get by with no heaters or fans. What the author is saying is that although the incinerator toilet takes more power when it is actually incinerating the waste, over time the heater and fan in the composting toilet uses more energy. So, what he is saying is that the electric bill would be more for the composting one than the incinerating one, over time.

I have absolutely no idea how true that statement is, as it depends on the specific composting toilet. To actually test it, you would need to set up a side by side comparison, and meter the energy use of each one, over, lets say, a year time. I have my doubts that the author of the article has done that.
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Old 11-15-2012, 10:25 PM   #11
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jm

New solutions have new problems, but lets not make them bigger than they are. The Airhead website says you need to run the fan all the time. It says a 5 or 10 watt solar charger will take care of the battery drain. I have seen a 10 solar charger for $40 at Harbor Freight. I keep my Tradewind at home so battery drain will not be a problem. I will deal with this after I install the toilet and can determine just how much of a battery drain there is.

Dan
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Old 11-16-2012, 12:08 AM   #12
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the nature's head doesn't use electricity for any kind of heat, but it does have a tiny fan, that could be run using pv. I think it's a lot easier and less gross than dealing with the black tank, myself. Nature's head vs the other one, I'd look at them, the NH looked a lot better made. The Nature's head website or blogs on the subject talk about power necessary for the fan. The other reason for the composter is if you're boondocking, you don't need water to flush the toilet, wether it's fresh or gray water you've saved.
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