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Old 10-31-2016, 07:06 AM   #21
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I'm all for composting toilets. You guys are building em and that's great. I just can't stand seeing folks pay a thousand bucks for a molded plastic poop tray.
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Old 10-31-2016, 08:49 AM   #22
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I kind of think of it as eliminating the competition. )
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Old 10-31-2016, 08:54 AM   #23
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Water. I have a small bus and a 40 gallon tank. No flushing on a composting toilet.

No screwing around with messy stinky hoses. No storage of same. No dump costs. No lines.

I'm sure there are more reasons.

Ross
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Old 10-31-2016, 09:31 AM   #24
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I'm trying to figure out all the hubbub also...
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Old 10-31-2016, 11:38 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geo Jeff View Post
what is the big draw to composting toilets? I hear people at the marina using them as well. I just don't get it? A black tank is pretty simple and the world is set up for it.
I appreciate your question.

I have been typing and erasing responses to this post for 10 minutes... I don't want to be snarky in my reply

I suspect that you probably have not had to deal with many black water system failures.

I have had to replace a black dump valve when the tank was 1/2 full. I have had to disassemble and repair macerator pumps that broke midway through pumping the black tank three times. I have had blockages that I have spent several hours trying to clear using plumbing snakes, broom sticks, a shop vac and compressed air. I DO NOT recommend trying compressed air unless you enjoy cleaning s#!t off of the bathroom ceiling while your wife gives you the evil eye...

Keep in mind that some of us live full time using the black water system. I think that what is a rare failure in the world of the weekend camper may become a common failure in the world of the full timer.

For me and my lifestyle the composter is so much easier. Once a week or so I lift the lid and pick up a non-offensive 5 gallon bucket that weighs less than 20lbs and carry it out to the compost bin or trash receptacle. I place a fresh liner in the can and put it back. If needed I dump the pee jug which, surprisingly, has virtually no odor.

If I am dry camping in appropriate areas I can legally and responsibly bury the waste from my composter. In the same location I cannot dump my black tank. If I am on the road I can dispose of it in any trash receptacle that I can put diapers in. No need to drag the RV to a dump station. In a pinch I could pick up a couple of spare buckets & lids and store it in the back of the pickup until I get someplace that I can dispose of it. With 4 buckets I would be good for a month.

In my humble opinion, much of our society has gotten so used to the "push a button and the yukky stuff will go away" idea that any task that involves looking at, lifting, moving or otherwise handling waste that the idea of the composting toilet may offend them. Just my $0.02

Thanks again for the question. I hope my response helps answer it.

S.
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Old 10-31-2016, 11:55 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
I'm all for composting toilets. You guys are building em and that's great. I just can't stand seeing folks pay a thousand bucks for a molded plastic poop tray.
I can see some advantages to the expensive ones. Personally I would not spend $1k for one. I don't think that the added cost is worth the minor advantages.

There are also some downsides to the expensive ones. They are a much more complicated machine. More parts & pieces to fail. If something breaks and you need a part likely it has to come from the manufacturer.

I only have one toilet. If it is broken and cannot be used I have to tell my Lady to potty in the woods. Not something I want to do....

My DIY composter is MUCH simpler can be repaired with parts from Home Depot and Napa auto parts. But really there is not much to break.

One unit that is kind of in the middle is the C-Head. It sells for $500-$600 and is simpler than many of the others. I looked at it and still prefer my dirt simple solution.

Do we have anyone lurking here that has one of the more expensive units? We would love to hear another perspective.
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Old 10-31-2016, 11:56 AM   #27
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Having owned rigs with traditional black tanks...I will never own another. Even when they are functioning properly, they are a thoroughly disgusting RPITA. But when they crack, leak, freeze, etc.,...well it's enough to make me a believer in composting units. I researched them with numerous boat & RV owners and they all agreed...they'd "never go back".
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Old 11-02-2016, 08:06 PM   #28
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I built a composting toilet. Kinda got carried away actually. The idea of spending a grand on a plastic bowl with a crank irked me so I, er, overdesigned it a bit...

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B3...jV3SnF2c3l0UEE

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B3...ThFcXFYd250RTA

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B3...klBTkpZdWM3NjA

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B3...Ut6MmtkYVkzbU0

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B3...VBmb1BwYzZRc1k

I know I got carried away. I figured if I was gonna get my wife to use it it was gonna have to crank itself. So I motorized it and put in a timer. Press a button and close the lid. A few seconds later the motor comes on and stirs things a bit, effectively covering it up and mixing it in. There is a small computer fan built in to the wall behind the toilet drawing air across it and out through a pvc pipe through the roof. This holds down the smells (if any) and removes excess moisture. The motor keeps it aerated for aerobic bacteria. The motor is pretty small but I think it will last a while geared down the way it is. I hate the noise but it seems to work. I have sawdust in it but will add coconut choir. The choir is darker and will likely aid in appearance during use if you get what I mean.

I added a switch that will assure the motor stops with the tines horizontal and out of the way each time.

The urine is diverted to a greywater tank. With just the two of us using it for camping I think we can probably go a month or better with regular use before dumping the solids. I haven't placed it in service yet as I am still completing my build. The inside wood is lined with resin and fiberglass for waterproofing and durability.

I hope it works. It fits the bath nicely.

Ross
I was just going to ask why not run the urine to the grey water tank.
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Old 11-02-2016, 08:19 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PNW_Steve View Post
I appreciate your question.

I have been typing and erasing responses to this post for 10 minutes... I don't want to be snarky in my reply

I suspect that you probably have not had to deal with many black water system failures.

I have had to replace a black dump valve when the tank was 1/2 full. I have had to disassemble and repair macerator pumps that broke midway through pumping the black tank three times. I have had blockages that I have spent several hours trying to clear using plumbing snakes, broom sticks, a shop vac and compressed air. I DO NOT recommend trying compressed air unless you enjoy cleaning s#!t off of the bathroom ceiling while your wife gives you the evil eye...

Keep in mind that some of us live full time using the black water system. I think that what is a rare failure in the world of the weekend camper may become a common failure in the world of the full timer.

For me and my lifestyle the composter is so much easier. Once a week or so I lift the lid and pick up a non-offensive 5 gallon bucket that weighs less than 20lbs and carry it out to the compost bin or trash receptacle. I place a fresh liner in the can and put it back. If needed I dump the pee jug which, surprisingly, has virtually no odor.

If I am dry camping in appropriate areas I can legally and responsibly bury the waste from my composter. In the same location I cannot dump my black tank. If I am on the road I can dispose of it in any trash receptacle that I can put diapers in. No need to drag the RV to a dump station. In a pinch I could pick up a couple of spare buckets & lids and store it in the back of the pickup until I get someplace that I can dispose of it. With 4 buckets I would be good for a month.

In my humble opinion, much of our society has gotten so used to the "push a button and the yukky stuff will go away" idea that any task that involves looking at, lifting, moving or otherwise handling waste that the idea of the composting toilet may offend them. Just my $0.02

Thanks again for the question. I hope my response helps answer it.

S.
You make it sound so simple. I just assumed it would be fighting a smell all the time. I have a automated composter at my green house that rolls plastic 55 gal drums around. works amazing. I don't have any issues with animal waist smell? Who would have thought we would go back to out houses. whats old is new? I'm not sure about building one yet. who has a link to the best ones out there and the least expensive. I guess i'm to another college course at youtube. thanks for insight
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Old 11-02-2016, 08:43 PM   #30
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Quote:
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I was just going to ask why not run the urine to the grey water tank.
I guess there wouldn't be any real health reason not to, I mean it's not like poo which can harbor dangerous pathogens.... urine doesn't pose any health hazards... in fact I've heard if you dilute it you can use it as a weed killer. And in a 100 gallon grey tank, a couple of gallons of pee is sort of insignificant... though I suppose you'd probably want to install a larger tank in consideration of the added volume, or add a second smaller tank to an existing system (but not really sure where you would add it so it wouldn't overflow before the main tank fills up)...
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Old 11-02-2016, 09:01 PM   #31
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I was just going to ask why not run the urine to the grey water tank.
The only thing I can think of is that it could develop a smell that my be a challenge.

I can tell you that the pee jugs do not smell. I don't know how that may change when mixing with your grey water.

I think that I may give it a try and see how it works.
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Old 11-03-2016, 01:37 PM   #32
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So I watched the series on composting toilets from Gone With the Winds Youtube channel.

I'm sold if that young lady is okay with it then I'm sure I will. Great series they have on it as well.

Price and style is my question. I don't want to build one and I would like it to be plastic so I can take it out and its weight is low as well as washing I don't want the wood to get stained around its base? I don't want to build one.

I am wondering about if it should have a mixer?
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Old 11-03-2016, 01:44 PM   #33
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So I watched the series on composting toilets from Gone With the Winds Youtube channel.

I'm sold if that young lady is okay with it then I'm sure I will. Great series they have on it as well.

Price and style is my question. I don't want to build one and I would like it to be plastic so I can take it out and its weight is low as well as washing I don't want the wood to get stained around its base? I don't want to build one.

I am wondering about if it should have a mixer?
I would love to have a mixer on mine. After using it without one I can see the merit.

However.... The mixer would prevent me from using bin liners and that is a trade off that I am not ready to make.

Take a look at C-Head, they have both versions and are more reasonably priced. Website: C-Head portable composting toilet system
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Old 11-03-2016, 02:15 PM   #34
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I guess there wouldn't be any real health reason not to, I mean it's not like poo which can harbor dangerous pathogens.... urine doesn't pose any health hazards... in fact I've heard if you dilute it you can use it as a weed killer. And in a 100 gallon grey tank, a couple of gallons of pee is sort of insignificant... though I suppose you'd probably want to install a larger tank in consideration of the added volume, or add a second smaller tank to an existing system (but not really sure where you would add it so it wouldn't overflow before the main tank fills up)...
From C-Head's FAQ section...
Quote:
And finally, if you are using your C-Head for
weekend forays or week long cruises, you can take the urine home and dilute it half and half with water and pour it in your flower
beds or around your trees as a great fertilizer.
I know when I pee in the bushes.... everything dies!
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Old 11-03-2016, 05:24 PM   #35
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lots of nitrogen in urine, people have been using piss as fertilizer for thousands of years...
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Old 11-03-2016, 08:05 PM   #36
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I knuckled under and purchased the $1K composting toilet about a year ago. I have NO complaints about it and, despite having no overboard vent connected, I have no offensive odors in my skoolie, unless you count my socks after I take off my shoes.
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Old 11-03-2016, 10:35 PM   #37
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I knuckled under and purchased the $1K composting toilet about a year ago. I have NO complaints about it and, despite having no overboard vent connected, I have no offensive odors in my skoolie, unless you count my socks after I take off my shoes.
Thank you Capn' for joining the discussion. As the first here that has one of the more expensive factory units we would love to hear more about your experiences?
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Old 11-03-2016, 10:48 PM   #38
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I did read some manufactures saying diverting the urine to the grey tank. I really like that C-heah. it churns mixture so your composting properly. I did read that if your not churning it your prepping it to be put into a compost. I do composting myself I can see what they mean. if you don't move the product around it will not ever fully compost. the milk jug replacement is very simple. I don't under stand the c-head turning the handle 20 times seems like a lot? Natures head says 3 times to turn it. Both systems work fine in the reviews.
Having a fan running all the time at .5 amps is not a big deal and the moisture it would remove seems to me would be to much but its not like your trying to compost your garbage and keep works alive. Its all about smell and being easy to haul out in a bag.
What i could not find was i thought the C_head used a bag in the bucket and you just pulled it out but maybe its like the natures head and you must dump the toilet into the bag. I assume if you churn your system the bag wont work.
I'm not ready for it at all so I'll keep reading up on it but c-head so far is #1 on my list just because its a few hundred less than Natures head. Then anything after that I guess i would just build one with ebay kit I saw (maybe).
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Old 11-04-2016, 01:36 AM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PNW_Steve View Post
I can see some advantages to the expensive ones. Personally I would not spend $1k for one. I don't think that the added cost is worth the minor advantages.

There are also some downsides to the expensive ones. They are a much more complicated machine. More parts & pieces to fail. If something breaks and you need a part likely it has to come from the manufacturer.

I only have one toilet. If it is broken and cannot be used I have to tell my Lady to potty in the woods. Not something I want to do....

My DIY composter is MUCH simpler can be repaired with parts from Home Depot and Napa auto parts. But really there is not much to break.

One unit that is kind of in the middle is the C-Head. It sells for $500-$600 and is simpler than many of the others. I looked at it and still prefer my dirt simple solution.

Do we have anyone lurking here that has one of the more expensive units? We would love to hear another perspective.
We have recently purchased a Nature's Head unit. The reasons for not going a DIY route on this particular aspect of our second home are two-fold. First, our limited engineering abilities and, second, a perspective similar to the way we should all treat our feet... i.e. shoes are not something we skimp on.

We are still in the midst of our conversion and the unit has yet to be installed, let alone used. So, I will report back in the future with comments regarding its performance but I will say that we are pleased with the spacial efficiency and quality of construction. On that note, it remains to be seen if capacity will become a drawback.

However, to touch on the larger discussion, it seems to me that the decision to go sans black water is a no brainer. Of course, that being said, we tend to like things a little more rustic anyhow. Otherwise, would we still choose to live in a school bus?
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Old 11-04-2016, 10:31 AM   #40
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And...the composting route saves precious potable water from going into a poo tank.
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