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Old 07-17-2011, 03:09 PM   #1
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Homemade composting toilet

Hi all,

I am planning on making a composting toilet in my bus. I have done a lot of research but I really can't find much about composting toilets in motorhomes/busses, except for the self contained ones you can buy. Has anyone else done this? I have an idea in mind, and I'll try to explain it here, but I may have to sketch up some drawings for anyone to understand what I'm talking about. You may have to read it over a couple times to figure it out...let's see how this goes.

So far my idea is to have a tray underneath the bus where I will be able to slide 3 or 4 separate composting containers (perhaps buckets or heavy duty plastic totes with lids). Basically the poo would drop down into the bucket on the end, and when it fills up I would dump the one on the other end (fully composted), then slide the others down and put the empty one under the toilet. All the buckets would be composting at all times, but at different stages.

I am building a wood stove for heat that will also have a boiler, so I can heat the compost during the colder months. I have two ideas on how to do this.

Idea #1:
Run the hot water from the boiler through a small radiator, and blow hot air across the compost. I would accomplish this but having lids for the buckets that have holes in them, where two air ducts go in. The lids would stay at each "station" so when the buckets are advanced, they each just go to the next lid which is hanging there, still connected. Hot air would blow into one bucket, then come out and go into the next bucket, and so on. At the last bucket, the air would go out to a vent pipe that runs to the roof.

Idea #2:
Insulate the whole tray where the buckets are (I may want to do this anyway), and run hot water pipes around inside the tray. To advance the buckets, I'd just open a big insulated door. The issue I see with this is getting air movement over the compost. I could still have a small fan that just vents air from one side of the tray to the other, where it would go out the vent pipe (I am trying to keep electricity needs to the minimum, though). I'm not entirely sure how much oxygen is required for productive composting.

Some things that might be issues:
Evaporating urine. I just piss outside anyway, but other people might not. If I do successfully evaporate the urine, will the salt or other minerals negatively affect composting? Anyone have a brilliant idea for a urine separator that won't be a pain in the arse?

How long will it take to completely compost? How big/how many buckets do I need?

Thanks
Arbor
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Old 07-17-2011, 07:55 PM   #2
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Re: Homemade composting toilet

go check out Smittys toilet
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Old 07-18-2011, 09:11 PM   #3
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Re: Homemade composting toilet

Thanks y'all. Where can I find smitty's toilet? I'll keep searching but I haven't come across it yet. I don't currently have a composting toilet, and I never have, but I think it's a cool idea. As far as I know, it'll just be me living in the bus full time, but I want to build it to handle two people full time, and maybe 5 people for a week.

Thanks
Arbor
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Old 07-18-2011, 09:59 PM   #4
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Re: Homemade composting toilet

Look under the Search Box (up top on the right hand side in the blue banner) and you will see "advanced search", click on the words. you can search for keywords (toilet or composting toilet) and you choose to search by author (in this case you would enter "Smitty). It will yield a lot of info.

But here's Smitty's Bus thread. It's a tad long but full of good info.
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Old 07-24-2011, 07:32 PM   #5
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Re: Homemade composting toilet

im sorry guys, but i just not a fan of a composting toilet, I just think of it as a litter box, but thats just me, if it works out for you thats great, I have a sealand 210 toilet, and a 21 gal black water tank, it works great uses very little water . right now there is 3 adults, 1 9 year old , and we have been on the road for 20 days, no porblem with the size of tank,no smells, or running out of water, thats just me.

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Old 07-24-2011, 09:03 PM   #6
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Re: Homemade composting toilet

Why not just use your bucket and dump it when you get the chance?????? Thats why they made lids for them....
In Viet-nam we just poured diesel (an a little mo gas) and burnt the poop. took a lot of stirring.hahahaha
oh the flash backs sure do suck.... not to mention the smell....
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Old 07-24-2011, 11:22 PM   #7
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Re: Homemade composting toilet

Quote:
Originally Posted by gbstewart
... I have a Sealand 210 toilet, and a 21 gal black water tank...
We have a Manfield 910 (same design/parts as a Sealand Travler 910) and a 25 gallon black tank to be installed. How long is your black tank taking to fill?
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Old 07-25-2011, 08:56 AM   #8
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Re: Homemade composting toilet

Quote:
Originally Posted by lornaschinske
Quote:
Originally Posted by gbstewart
... I have a Sealand 210 toilet, and a 21 gal black water tank...
We have a Manfield 910 (same design/parts as a Sealand Travler 910) and a 25 gallon black tank to be installed. How long is your black tank taking to fill?
not to sure we dump enough times that we havent filled it yet. I might know today cause we are on day3 of not dumping, but we are being carefull and useing the camp toilets during the day. the rule is use the bus for nights, and mornings. so far so good. Im thinking just useing the bus toilet 3 days would be about it. what im going to do is try and stay in a camp ground with full hook up, and not dump the black water till its full, that will let me know how many days we can go.

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