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Old 02-03-2019, 10:28 AM   #21
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With either approach there are pros and cons. It all depends on how you want to roll.

If you're a weekend warrior or an occasional camper it is probably not worth it. If you tend to spend your time in RV parks with full hook ups it is probably not worth it. If you have a bunch of little kids who will be using the toilet it may not be a good idea (that pee bottle will fill up fast!). If you want to entertain a bunch in your rig and will have guests you may not want one since you'll have to explain how to use it and some may find it weird. If you're a guy that insists on standing up to pee, then don't get one (you have to pee sitting down).

But if your trailer use is boon docking or camping without full hook ups (like a State or National Park) it is something to consider. Who wants to leave a nice camping spot so you can find a dump station because your tank is full? With a CT you can go a least a couple of weeks before you dump the solids and you don't have to leave your spot to do that. Since you are not flushing, your fresh water lasts longer. Since you can now tie your gray and black water tanks together with a $20 Valterra valve, you double your gray water capacity.

But there is a small price to pay for this. As some have done, we did not plumb our pee bottle to the black water tank (which is now gray water). So one of my daily chores is to dump the pee. Not a big deal. I put a bit of white vinegar in the bottom of the bottle which takes care of any pee odor. Some report going days without dumping the pee. To me it is just easier to make it a daily chore then you never worry about it. When it is time to dump the solids I disconnect the toilet and carry it outside to dump it. Some may find carrying their toilet full of composting poo through their trailer a bit distasteful. But in all honesty it is not bad at all. Just don't trip...

Yes, with a composting toilet you still have to dump your gray water but it is different from sewage and less messy.

It's all how you want to roll.

Steve
Thanks; the pro's and con's of course are still a bit uncomfortable to think about; least for me. I get the extra gray water capacity, but not the "pee disposal every night". Where do you go to dump the pee when your boondocking or in a park...do you carry it to the bathroom? To me, going to a dump site and dumping after 5-8 days or so has not been a big deal to me in past 15 years of touring with our AS's. Also, if your already at an RV site with hookups, (as one of the folks with the CT mentioned above,) why are you going thru all this with an expensive composting toilet? I may get there some day, but after reading all this, seems like an extreme I am not ready for...
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Old 02-03-2019, 10:49 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by gypsydad View Post
Thanks; the pro's and con's of course are still a bit uncomfortable to think about; least for me. I get the extra gray water capacity, but not the "pee disposal every night". Where do you go to dump the pee when your boondocking or in a park...do you carry it to the bathroom? To me, going to a dump site and dumping after 5-8 days or so has not been a big deal to me in past 15 years of touring with our AS's. Also, if your already at an RV site with hookups, (as one of the folks with the CT mentioned above,) why are you going thru all this with an expensive composting toilet? I may get there some day, but after reading all this, seems like an extreme I am not ready for...
I don't understand what's so "extreme" about this. It's just a way to manage your toilet that's different from a traditional RV toilet. What's the big deal?

We end up dumping a liquids tank about every other day for two people full time. If we're at a park with a public toilet, we dump it in the toilet. If we're in the middle of nowhere, we find a friendly tree or bush away from human activity and dump the liquids there.

If we had full hookups all the time, then yeah, it would be more work to take care of a composting toilet than a traditional RV toilet. But we rarely have hookups, and we're often boondocking for weeks or months at a time in the same spot. Having to pack up and move our rig to a dump site every 5-8 days would be a much bigger ordeal for us than just carrying out the waste. That's why the composting toilet works so much better for us.

If a traditional RV toilet works well for you, then great! Use that. Composting toilets are not for everyone.
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Old 02-03-2019, 11:26 AM   #23
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Oh my! This is a first world problem for sure!

Nothing *extreme*, just a different way for those of us who choose to live/travel in our beautiful shiny AS full-time. We now have flexibility to travel to far flung places with out being attached to our 3” slinky hoses. And, we escape the odors of the black water tank. I think the OP was trying to ask about smells and get an answer to her question.
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Old 02-03-2019, 11:58 AM   #24
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Having to pack up and move our rig to a dump site every 5-8 days would be a much bigger ordeal for us than just carrying out the waste. That's why the composting toilet works so much better for us...

@TheGreatleys - This would be my chance to say thank you! Your advice/information was invaluable to our decision (along with @blkmagikca) to consider removing our RV toilet. Y’all are the reason we had Airstream at Jackson Center install a Nature’s Head toilet into our new Globetrotter.
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Old 02-03-2019, 12:47 PM   #25
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Interesting video that discusses the pluses and negatives.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_c...&v=vM71d8wMuUU
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Old 02-03-2019, 01:00 PM   #26
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Well, we're both tired of dealing with the black water tank....and we're considering a composting toilet.

I've found conflicting reports....some love them and others complain about the smell (sometimes "stench").

I'm looking at the Nature's Head, but will go with whatever works and doesn't stink.

Any suggestions?

Thank you,
Lara
I did a ton of research on this topic, watched loads of youtube videos, the overall prognosis was 90% good. I'm not convinced ... mine hasn't been good ... really bad smells ... i need to do more experiments ... I'm thinking it might be heat related... my trailer sits in full sun and can get very hot in the summer time ..
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Old 02-03-2019, 01:46 PM   #27
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@TheGreatleys - This would be my chance to say thank you! Your advice/information was invaluable to our decision (along with @blkmagikca) to consider removing our RV toilet. Y’all are the reason we had Airstream at Jackson Center install a Nature’s Head toilet into our new Globetrotter.
Glad it worked out for you! We've benefited quite a bit from others' experiences, so we try to pay it forward when we can.
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Old 02-03-2019, 01:49 PM   #28
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Well, there is an alternative. Runs on propane and produces sterile power. See below:

https://shop.ecojohn.com/collections...erating-toilet
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Old 02-03-2019, 01:50 PM   #29
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I did a ton of research on this topic, watched loads of youtube videos, the overall prognosis was 90% good. I'm not convinced ... mine hasn't been good ... really bad smells ... i need to do more experiments ... I'm thinking it might be heat related... my trailer sits in full sun and can get very hot in the summer time ..
What toilet do you have? Is the fan working? Can you talk about your routine ... frequency of use, how often you empty, what you prime the tank with, etc? Bad smells from a composting toilet is not normal, so something is wrong if that's what you're experiencing.
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Old 02-03-2019, 05:14 PM   #30
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Thank you all for your inputs! My apologies for not watching the conversation more closely.

Given all that's been said earlier, I believe we'll convert to a composting toilet in the near future. It just sounds like it'll fit our camping and travel routine better (more state and national parks than full hookup campgrounds).

Thank you,
Lara
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Old 02-03-2019, 07:10 PM   #31
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Not disagreeing with your review and experience in any way - jus a legitimate question because I honestly don’t know- if urine is going to the gray tank - is that technically still gray?
My thought is that 1 gallon of urine with 64 gallons of gray water is not going to be an issue. There are some youtcombinedube videos showing how others before me piped the urine into the gray tank. Major advantage is not having to cart the 2-gallon bottle of urine to some place to dump it.

I should add that it is imperative that you DO NOT over moisten the coconut coir (or peat moss) when you put it in the bin - it should be barely moist. As well, be sure that the fan is working - it is necessary to exhaust moisture created by the composting process.

As for TP, I started out putting it in the bin along with coffee grounds, but found that having a small waste basket works better. As well, the guy who uses the compost in his flower beds isn't grossed out by bits of TP.
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Old 02-03-2019, 10:32 PM   #32
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What toilet do you have? Is the fan working? Can you talk about your routine ... frequency of use, how often you empty, what you prime the tank with, etc? Bad smells from a composting toilet is not normal, so something is wrong if that's what you're experiencing.
Natures Head, fan appears to work and expelling through the plastic tube to outside ... i used a coconut core product that I think is correct, got it kind of moist but not overly damp. Is that correct ? I really want to understand why it's smelling ... was thinking maybe the heat was drying out the fiber and creating a smell ?
thanks for asking
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Old 02-04-2019, 07:39 AM   #33
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Natures Head, fan appears to work and expelling through the plastic tube to outside ... i used a coconut core product that I think is correct, got it kind of moist but not overly damp. Is that correct ? I really want to understand why it's smelling ... was thinking maybe the heat was drying out the fiber and creating a smell ?
thanks for asking
Where is it smelling? Inside your rig or outside? If the fan is working, you should smell nothing at all inside, and it might smell kinda bad if you put your face right next to the fan outside.

The worst offender for a bad smelling solids tank would be getting pee in the solids tank. That will make the whole thing smell horrendous. Make sure that's not happening, and if you suspect it might have, dump and reset your solids tank.

I like my coco coir to be just barely moist. Enough to break apart and not be dusty, but no more. Drying out is good, as long as you can still stir the tank. People make the mistake of thinking that the solids need to be wet for the bacteria to break it down into compost. But you're not really composting inside the toilet. If you want to compost your waste, you need a compost pile where the temps can get high enough to kill bad bacteria. That's not going to happen inside the toilet, so best just to keep it in the condition that's not going to smell.

How often are you using and emptying the toilet? For two people full time, we empty the solids tank about every two weeks. If you wait too long, it gets hard to turn the crank, and there isn't enough dry material to cover the new solids, so odors are more likely to develop. Emptying the solids tank obviously fixes that problem.

If you've tried everything else and it's not working for you, you can try adding some enzyme to your coco coir. It's the powdered enzyme drain cleaner you can find in the hardware store. Make sure you get the enzyme stuff, not lye. Add a tablespoon or so to your coco coir at each change and it can help your solids break down a bit while they're inside the toilet.
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Old 02-04-2019, 12:46 PM   #34
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"I don't understand what's so "extreme" about this. It's just a way to manage your toilet that's different from a traditional RV toilet. What's the big deal?"

Well, a “big deal” to some, obviously may not be a big deal to all…
We do often camp with grandkids and other folks, who use our AS toilet. (tent camping with us). We purchased the AS for the “conveniences” especially the toilet! Not suggesting composting is bad, just not for us...(yet)..

For us, boondocking is a regular part of our camping and going a week or so before dumping is typical while on the road including camping. Haven’t really had the smell problem with the solutions we use, but understand that can be an issue to some. I don’t feel inconvenienced at all when having to dump if camped longer than 5-7 days. From what I read in this thread, not really appealing to alter our routine yet….no having to carefully carry out a container of pee every day or 2; no asking ladies to put their TP in the trash when peeing (we also use biodegradable tp); no “peete smell” from the “coconut coir” outside….(if that is an issue?) a few quotes below...

We did have a composting toilet when we purchased our cabin in MT back in 2002 before we had running water…we quickly got a well, a septic holding tank, installed toilets and shower...run the gray water from the showers and sinks now and have been pretty happy since.. the guys still use “nature” sometimes, like we do sometimes when "streaming"…, to cut down on water. (and for “convenience”!) But I appreciate your sharing info and admire your persistence. I appreciate the info on connecting the gray to flow into the black. Perhaps someday we will re-look at this option.

noted some of the "interesting" comments listed:

"we *flush* our Nature’s Head toilet when going #1 using a spray bottle mixture of water and white vinegar."

"We end up dumping a liquids tank about every other day for two people full time."

"I did a ton of research on this topic, watched loads of youtube videos, the overall prognosis was 90% good. I'm not convinced ... mine hasn't been good ... really bad smells"

"I like my coco coir to be just barely moist. Enough to break apart and not be dusty, but no more."
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Old 02-04-2019, 02:33 PM   #35
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We purchased the AS for the “conveniences” especially the toilet! Not suggesting composting is bad, just not for us...(yet)..

Like I said earlier, to each his/her own. Obviously, no composting toilet works for you. I can completely understand how in your situation, this doesn’t make sense. Given what you have posted in this thread, I would NEVER suggest that you should install a CT in your rig!

The OP wanted to gain some insight into how a composting toilet smells, so that she can make a more informed decision about whether this might be an option for her AS lifestyle. Camping in National Parks, and state parks where hookups are not readily available. Being free of the stinky slinky, etc. That is what she wanted to know. Not your opinion of composting toilets. Especially since you don’t have one/use one!
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Old 02-04-2019, 04:13 PM   #36
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Cannot believe no one has mentioned the Valeo waterless toilet as an alternative to conventional and composting toilets. My wife and I love the toilet and there is absolutely no smell even if you don't change out the cartridge for months. Negative is the cost of the cartridges that last us a few days and are kinda of a pain to switch out. But, no black water and no smell. And no need for a vent or power. Charge the battery and it lasts a LONG time.
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Old 02-04-2019, 04:34 PM   #37
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Cannot believe no one has mentioned the Valeo waterless toilet as an alternative to conventional and composting toilets. My wife and I love the toilet and there is absolutely no smell even if you don't change out the cartridge for months. Negative is the cost of the cartridges that last us a few days and are kinda of a pain to switch out. But, no black water and no smell. And no need for a vent or power. Charge the battery and it lasts a LONG time.
People mention it all the time. About a dollar per flush!

Certainly might make sense for occasional use, but for full time? Might as well use a stack of dollar bills for toilet paper.
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Old 02-05-2019, 12:01 PM   #38
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Like I said earlier, to each his/her own. Obviously, no composting toilet works for you. I can completely understand how in your situation, this doesn’t make sense. Given what you have posted in this thread, I would NEVER suggest that you should install a CT in your rig!

The OP wanted to gain some insight into how a composting toilet smells, so that she can make a more informed decision about whether this might be an option for her AS lifestyle. Camping in National Parks, and state parks where hookups are not readily available. Being free of the stinky slinky, etc. That is what she wanted to know. Not your opinion of composting toilets. Especially since you don’t have one/use one!
Well thanks for your "opinion"! Looks like the OP is sold on the CT anyway...I am not sold on the $1/flush, maintenance, and the potential "smell" some have reported and that is noted in the videos on this topic. But, everyone has an "opinion"...that's why the Forum is so helpful...not just hard data; opinions! I may take a look at this option down the road...if my Slinky gets too Stinky!
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Old 02-05-2019, 12:12 PM   #39
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Well thanks for your "opinion"! Looks like the OP is sold on the CT anyway...I am not sold on the $1/flush, maintenance, and the potential "smell" some have reported and that is noted in the videos on this topic. But, everyone has an "opinion"...that's why the Forum is so helpful...not just hard data; opinions! I may take a look at this option down the road...if my Slinky gets too Stinky!
The $1 per flush is referring to the Laveo dry flush, which is not a composting toilet. My composting toilet takes a $3 brick of coco coir every two weeks or so for two people full time.
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Old 02-06-2019, 11:09 AM   #40
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The $1 per flush is referring to the Laveo dry flush, which is not a composting toilet. My composting toilet takes a $3 brick of coco coir every two weeks or so for two people full time.
thanks for clarifying that...my wife uses the AS toilet all the time...especially while traveling vs gas station bathrooms...I try to use the "external" bathroom facilities at camp grounds or gas stations for a number of reasons, including keeping our black tank from filling too fast...I admire the options you have chosen and sometime may elect to be more adventurous...thanks for sharing.
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