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Old 04-22-2013, 10:33 AM   #1
Len and Jeanne
 
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Anyone here use a composting toilet?

The current blackwater thread got me thinking about composting toilets. They seem like a sensible solution to problems of tank cleaning and conserving water while desert boondocking, although I understand they are not trouble-free and some need an ongoing source of power so the bacteria can digest the crud.

Any success stories out there about your AS composting toilet? Or can we learn from your problems with them?

After a recent trip when we accidentally over-filled our waste water tank and had icky sewage water backing up through the shower floor drain , I thought, "There's gotta be a better system."

Have you got one?

p.s. The 16-foot Bambino has one tank for both gray and black water, and insufficient roof space for a serious solar panel. Plus we can't count on the sun for much of the year in interior BC.
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Old 04-22-2013, 11:21 AM   #2
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I got one

Greetings:

When I remodeled my 21 AS, the toilet, black tank, floors were all shot. So I moved the wc to the side, ìnstalled a natures head. Two years later, no regrets. Take a little getting use to. Coffee filters as targets, saves on cleaning for #2, spray bottle at the ready. I have found that it easily will last a month for #2, the tank with #1, 4/5 days. Small compter fan keeps it fresh. Although when I change the peat moss, That is all I smell.

I would definitely would do it again..

Jeffery

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Old 04-22-2013, 11:26 PM   #3
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Thanks, airjeff-- this looks like the one Nature's Head Composting Toilets - The environmentally sustainable waterless toilet for Your Boat, RV, Cabin, Big Rig, Barn, Workshop, or Yurt! .

It appears to retail for $875. Without getting too detailed, does the liquid/solid separation take care of itself? I've heard of one marine toilet that requires people to pee into a bottle. Hoping this one isn't it...
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Old 04-22-2013, 11:39 PM   #4
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We are planning to make the switch to composting toilet this spring (whenever it decides to show up on Colorado this year - snowing again!) and are considering also the airhead toilet (Air Head Dry Toilet: Marine Composting Toilets - Environmentally Friendly Marine Composting Toilet System) that other AS folks have spoken highly of. Both separate the #1 from #2. And checkout greenrvforlife.com they have a Nature's Head and say it's terrific.
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Old 04-24-2013, 09:24 AM   #5
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compost

Yes, it takes care of most of the details with very little fuss. The learning curve is quick.

A few comical incidents, but, no joke intended, everyone seems to have a story or two.

It just does its job with little fuss, I certainly would buy another.

Good luck,

Airjeff
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Old 04-24-2013, 10:53 PM   #6
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Thanks!

I guess we could say we've had a "comical incident" when our wastewater tank backed up into the bathroom. Except that it didn't seem so funny at the time.
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Old 04-25-2013, 07:06 AM   #7
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Hello , we have had our Airhead composting toilet for nearly 3 years, love it! Check out the difference between Natureshead and Airhead. Changing out the liquids is easier in the Airhead, we think. We have not missed our black tank! We are living full time In our in a boon docking situation in Canada. Just pm if further details needed.
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Old 04-25-2013, 10:21 PM   #8
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Thank you!

I will check out their website.
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Old 04-25-2013, 11:21 PM   #9
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We have a Nature's head too and it's been easy to deal with. Our trailer had only a black tank, so now the black tank is a gray tank and the composting toilet does it's thing. Yes everyone has to sit to pee, but in the middle of the night, that's not a bad thing.
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Old 04-26-2013, 09:53 PM   #10
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.... especially not for the ladies!
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Old 04-27-2013, 12:11 AM   #11
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The Nature's Head knows no gender boundaries.
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Old 04-27-2013, 11:55 AM   #12
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We have a natures head as well. No regrets. My parents put one in their outhouse as well. We highly recommend them.
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Old 05-12-2013, 10:35 AM   #13
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So how many of you installed your own (DIY) composting toilet?
I expect to remove the wood box my present toilet sits on.
I expect to keep the black water tank.
I expect to connect the composting vent to the black tank vent pipe.

Any suggestions?
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Old 05-14-2013, 07:42 PM   #14
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I just put a 4" threaded ABS plug in the tank, and put the composting toilet where the flush-toilet was. I attached the composting vent to the black tank vent. It's not difficult to install.
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Old 05-14-2013, 10:37 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Globie64 View Post
I just put a 4" threaded ABS plug in the tank, and put the composting toilet where the flush-toilet was. I attached the composting vent to the black tank vent. It's not difficult to install.
Thanks, Globie. The 4" plug sounds like a good idea. Was it easy to attach to the black tank vent? Perhaps it's easier to see when I remove the wooden box the existing flush toilet sits.
Where did you get the continuous power source? I think I want to run the composting fan directly off the battery - or some power that stays "on" even when the trailer power switch is on "store". Does that seem right - so the composting toilet always has power even if the trailer is "off"? We keep the batteries charged via a direct-connect solar panel.

Jim
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Old 05-15-2013, 10:30 AM   #16
Len and Jeanne
 
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Thanks to all who responded.

Any installation and upkeep tips would be helpful. Electrical power is an issue. Our steep lot is such that we can't park the Bambi near our house, though on occasion we have run about 3 big extention cords down to where we park the Bambi by the road. Winter is more problematical, as the Bambi sometimes goes into an RV storage place in town with no power outlet. Our "little guy" has a combined black & gray-water tank.
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Old 05-15-2013, 09:53 PM   #17
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Details

Quote:
Originally Posted by Globie64 View Post
I just put a 4" threaded ABS plug in the tank, and put the composting toilet where the flush-toilet was. I attached the composting vent to the black tank vent. It's not difficult to install.
Where did you find a DC power source for the fan? I'm assuming I'll need to run wire back to the fuse box/block?
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Old 05-16-2013, 12:00 AM   #18
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I have the power to the fan switched, not sure where it comes off of, I had someone do it for me, but I don't think it's that difficult to find where to take power off. The toilet flange just unscrewed from the tank, a standard ABS thread, and in went the plug
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Old 06-19-2013, 05:36 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimmyT View Post
So how many of you installed your own (DIY) composting toilet?
I expect to remove the wood box my present toilet sits on.
I expect to keep the black water tank.
I expect to connect the composting vent to the black tank vent pipe.

Any suggestions?
We considered a manufactured composting toilet but decided to try a homemade version first...

Since they are essential two receptacles with a urine diverting seat and a 12v fan it seemed simple enough.

After trying to source a quality seat and reading up on the varying opinions of wether to divert the urine or not we went with the single bucket method.

I was skeptical at first but we have used it for over a month with no regrets!

Basically we have a bench in the bathroom with a standard toilet seat and a bucket below. After your done you add peat moss or saw dust to completely cover. No smell, flies, water, power or $$$ in a manufactured toilet!

You can checkout this article for more info: http://www.livinlightly.com/off-grid...osting-toilet/

-NICK
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Old 06-20-2013, 04:52 PM   #20
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Livinlightly-- I love it!

I saw a similar suggestion for a simple indoor potty in a 1970s Mother Earth News. My only somewhat delicate question is how to dispose of the "stuff" while traveling; human waste being considered more like a hazmat than kitchen waste.

I once bought one of those desert camper's human waste disposal bags: the "pack out what you pack in" mandate is taken to the nth degree in sensitive, heavy-use environments. I got this one just for emergency purposes, but then I thought it might work to keep the current Bambi toilet as-is, but without water in the tank; and line it with a sturdy plastic bag, layer it with sawdust or peat moss ( + possibly baking soda or lime) as necessary, and then discretely dispose of it in the CG dumpster after a few uses.

While I think a CG manager would take a dim view of disposing of adult human waste like this, nobody frets about disposable baby diapers in campground dumpsters.

We may go on another longish desert camp-a-thon in National Parks and Recreation Areas next winter, where most of the sites are boondocking only. I keep looking for ways to "economize" on our water, power, and waste systems.
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