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Old 07-18-2010, 04:56 PM   #1
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Installing a composting toilet

I found a few threads discussing composting toilets but very little about the actual installation. I would appreciate some input/answers on the subject (please no pros/cons of composting toilets as it has been covered in other threads).

I purchased a Nature's Head composting toilet. It is bigger than the factory toilet and needs tilting clearance for maintenance and side clearance for the cranking. It fits in my bathroom but might not in smaller units.

The 12v wire for the fan is not fun to run but I found a route and think I can manage.

Now, my real issue is the venting. On the side of the unit (either one you pick), a venting tube comes out and needs to be connected to a vent line. I initially thought of hooking it up to the bathroom exhaust fan but it is a ceiling mount vent skylight type so not possible. I also tried to locate the gray water tank vent and T to it but can't reach it without taking out cabinets/walls.

I am now thinking of just dropping the venting tube of the toilet through a hole in the floor into the black water tank as it won't be used, seal it and let it use the black water tank vent tube. Is that an acceptable solution?

Cheers
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Old 07-19-2010, 03:56 PM   #2
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I didn't like the idea after all and ended up removing some wall partitions to access the riser pipe of the black water tank. I put a 1-1/2" T and drilled a 2" in the partition et voila!

A much cleaner job and I get to remove my black water tank to install another fresh water tank.
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Old 05-09-2011, 08:40 PM   #3
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We would lime to install a compost model. repot back in after a few uses.
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Old 07-18-2011, 12:47 PM   #4
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Composter in my total renovation

Hi there,

I'm in the midst of a total shell-off restoration project on a 31' AS. I'm looking for feedback from anyone who has installed and used a composting toilet in their Airstream before I go that route. I've had a Sunmar composting toilet in a cabin I built and it worked great so I'm not afraid of including one... but still would like to know how your installation went and if you still like the idea.

Thanks,
Pete
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Old 07-18-2011, 02:40 PM   #5
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We have a Nature's Head in the Tin Pickle. It works; we've not used it much for solid waste but the liquid waste have been emptied many times. Easy to install (plumbed our vent into the former black water tank vent) and readily removable for maintenance, access, etc. It's basically there to avoid nighttime/early morning runs to the privy (port-a-potties at Burning Man).
It is strong and well-made, and allowed us to deep-six the old (non-working) toilet, black water tank (w/ stuck valves, rusted fitting, etc), etc.

- Bart
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Old 07-19-2011, 08:10 AM   #6
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Hello Bart and thanks for the quick reply. If I may ask one follow-up question... you said "liquid wastes have been emptied many times..." Are you saying that evaporation wasn't sufficient to handle the liquid waste? Or... are you saying you or your guests were emptied of liquid wastes...? :-)

Just want to be sure before I order one. I'll be glad to get rid of all the extra plumbing when I rebuild.

Thanks,
Peter
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Old 07-19-2011, 11:14 AM   #7
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Hi Peter. The Nature's head stores liquid and solid waste in two separate compartments. The liquid waste needs to be emptied often depending on the amount of users. We are four and I empty every two to three days. The solid waste is the composting compartment and should/mustn't receive any liquid waste. It needs emptying every month, again for four users. The longer you keep it the better. I personally like the system a lot and happy to have an empty black water tank.
I was even considering replacing the existing black water tank with a fresh water tank to increase the capacity while boon docking.
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Old 07-19-2011, 12:31 PM   #8
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We did a temporary installation of a NH composting toilet in our 57 Caravanner for the trip from Alaska to bring her home. It works well, but you must allow a bit more room for it than for a conventional toilet. We still have not settled on a floor plan When we do our remodel, but serious consideration has to be given to the space it requires. Installation instructions can be found on the NH website.

Paula
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Old 11-05-2011, 03:39 PM   #9
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Could anybody who has installed or used a Nature's Head composting toilet give me an idea of the workable dimensions for a little room that would house just the toilet? I am thinking seriously of installing one of these in my 20' Caravelle and would like to have enough room for it to be functional without any space wasted.
I am starting the interior from scratch so I don't have any obstacles other than the wheel wells which are seriously getting in the way of every idea that I have.
I have looked at the web site and found those dimensions, but my questions are: how much clearance do you need in front of it to sit down in a little room with the door closed? How wide would a room really need to be for a normal sized person to use the toilet if that was the only function of that room?
Thanks for all the insights on this thread. I am inspired by the idea of a composting toilet. My parents have a Sunmar in their cabin which has trouble when too many people use it since it does not separate wastes, but it works great when there are only a few users and the moisture levels stay low. The separate urine container is genius I think. Now I just need to figure out where it can go?
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Old 01-11-2012, 06:52 PM   #10
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I'm curious about the Nature's Head. The only thing I'm not crazy about is the frequency of having to empty the liquid jug, since I'll be full-timing. Has anyone investigated the possibility of keeping the black tank installed and routing the liquids into it?
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Old 01-11-2012, 08:18 PM   #11
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Since the late 70s, the Marine Industry has developed several toilet waste systems. It is far more difficult for boats to find dumps, than for RVs. Some of these systems emit almost drinkable water and a container of solid waste, easily handled and disposed. They are usually expensive, and do use lots of electric power do to their work. Most "heads" in boats are at or below the water line, so when using the holding tank method, a good pump is required and must "suck" from the boat and "push" to a big tank located some distance away on shore where it can be reached by a "Big Red" truck.

I think if they were the "hot set-up" for RVs, the industry would have gone to them a long time ago.

The flush toilet and holding tank system works very well for RVs. Dumps are not usually hard to find, and we have gravity on our side when it comes to dump time.

For the money spent, and chance of failure, I think I still prefer the dump into the holding tank and dump the holding tank system most of us still use.

Complex sewage systems can lead to expensive equipment, very expensive repair, and in the event of failure, you're done camping.

Just my thoughts.
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Old 01-11-2012, 10:03 PM   #12
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There are a couple of pretty good reviews of the Nature Head by full time rv'ers at Amazon.com. This is the link http://www.amazon.com/Natures-Head-D.../dp/B003EX7LV6
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Old 01-12-2012, 10:02 AM   #13
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Thanks for that Amazon link. I think the idea of replacing the black tank with another grey tank is pretty solid. I emailed Larry (who runs Nature's Head) and he said that someone has definitely modded the Nature's Head to dump into the existing black tank and he's going to send me photos. Exciting.
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Old 11-22-2015, 05:42 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timzog View Post
Could anybody who has installed or used a Nature's Head composting toilet give me an idea of the workable dimensions for a little room that would house just the toilet?
tim,
I measured my space which i would feel is the minimum comfortable use-
3ft deep x 2ft4in wide. also mine is elevated on a 4x4+plywood riser to clear the wheelwell and make it 'adult height' comfortable. mine is installed in my shower (its designed so it can get wet without damage.) i drilled a hole in the bottom corner of the shower to vent out the side and covered the outside hole with a small atwood clamshell cover, very inconspicuous and looks like it should be there. be sure to put screening material on the intake and output of the toilet as well as on the output of the hose to the vent bulkhead. i got some gnats in there and were hard to get rid of. after using screen window material to keep them out of it no problem.

MY NATURES HEAD INSTALL

dave
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Old 12-03-2015, 10:27 PM   #15
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Hi there,

I know your posts were several years ago but this is exactly what I was hoping to do. We full-time and are currently in Colorado, last winter were in Missouri. Frozen tanks are not fun but a necessary evil of not being able to head south. I think the Nature's Head would be excellent as we could just leave the gray tank open and not worry about dumping the black. I would like to combine the black and gray tanks into two gray tanks and divert the urine to them as you suggested. Did you end up going ahead with this installation and do you have any of the pics that were sent to you from Nature's Head?

Thanks!
Tiffany
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Old 12-04-2015, 06:16 AM   #16
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Frozen tanks are not a necessary evil if you winterize properly. There have been threads on winterizing and still being Able to use the trailer. Composting toilets may work but the gray tanks will have to be winterized as well as the fresh water system.
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Old 02-04-2016, 01:44 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by tifspiff9 View Post
Hi there,

I know your posts were several years ago but this is exactly what I was hoping to do. We full-time and are currently in Colorado, last winter were in Missouri. Frozen tanks are not fun but a necessary evil of not being able to head south. I think the Nature's Head would be excellent as we could just leave the gray tank open and not worry about dumping the black. I would like to combine the black and gray tanks into two gray tanks and divert the urine to them as you suggested. Did you end up going ahead with this installation and do you have any of the pics that were sent to you from Nature's Head?

Thanks!
Tiffany

Tiffany, check out this post here: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f382...ll-146271.html
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Old 10-07-2016, 03:05 PM   #18
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good info here for sure..

now for another question on the install..

I was seeing where someone was asking about piping the urine into the gray or black tank and was wondering if that was a good or bad thing.. seem dulation would take care of any issues with that.

On my 2005 classic there is no vent pipe to tap into so I was wondering if it was possible to vent into the sink drain line up high just under the bowl, and also diverting the urine there as well.. would that need a p trap(get it "Pee" trap) or would the existing p trap be fine.

thought??
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Old 04-03-2017, 09:48 PM   #19
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so to follow up a bit it now time to get the natures head installed.

This weekend after dewinterizing the unit, I removed or tried to remove the old RV toilet. right off the bat the nuts on the bolts holding the unit to floor flange were a bit@h with LOT of corrosion.. after spraying with some rust buster product and holding screw with pliers it still wouldn't budge.

Had to get chisel and bust the bottom of toilet to get it off.. not a big deal but was hoping to clean up and sell the old part.

so next i unscrew the screws on floor flange and unscrew the floor flange.

My plan is to get a 3" screw on cap, put a piece of 3/4" plywood on floor on top of cap, cut slot in plywood and figure out how to get hose on liquid part of NH and route into cap through hole I drill and seal so liquid goes into black tank, which can now be combined with gray tank to increase capacity.

there is a clean out past the elbow in gray line from sink to tank. I got a 1 1/2" barb, screwed in the the fitting and was going to fit the vent hose on this. see picture.

still working on project and will get more pictures.
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