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Old 12-30-2013, 10:49 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Larger(55 gallon) composting toilets for mobile use?

Hey Skoolies!

I see many skoolies using 5 gallon bucket or smaller composting toilets. Like any prospective skoolie owner, I have some apprehension about the toilet system. Both blackwater and small cassette type systems require frequent messy emptying.

I have been thinking about a composting system where the floor is cut out to accommodate an insulated compartment holding either 1 or 2 55 gallon drums. There would be a toilet seat above the drum. I plan on leaving some headspace to allow for later addition of a urine diverter or conversion to a more traditional black tank if the composting toilet doesn't work well.

The two biggest drawbacks I can think of are the difficulty of handling the 55 gallon drums, requiring some sort of machine, and the requirement for a 'home base' for the storage of the waste until it becomes useful/spreadable as compost, which I estimate to be about 2 years to be safe.

I'm attracted to the long times between empties, and the minimal handling of the waste.

Any thoughts?

JDecker
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Old 12-31-2013, 11:47 AM   #2
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Re: Larger(55 gallon) composting toilets for mobile use?

I know its not really an answer to you question, but I thought this was interesting. I have used many composting toilets and the box type body of the sh!tter is really uncomfortable and awkward, it's really nice to have the "heel space".

I was thinking of doing something like this, with only a 4" to 6" hole and the compost tank mounted below.

Maybe you could have some sort of mount with a hinge contraption that detatches one side and dumps it like a dump truck, then just take the top off the 55 gal drum and just scoop it out with a shovel.

That's what I was thinking of doing
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Old 01-01-2014, 11:35 PM   #3
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Re: Larger(55 gallon) composting toilets for mobile use?

Skip,

I hadn't considered the 'ankle room' issue. The traffic cone looks kind of hokey, but like Nat's suggestion perhaps a plumbing funnel could be used. As far as the dump hopper goes, it sounds like a BIG mess! I'm contemplating just leaving the waste in the drum! Sturdy plastic 55 gallon drums are about $10 each on craigslist, and at that price I could afford to let them compost right in the barrels, and never have to mess with the stuff until it's pretty much potting soil.

Nat,

I agree about the 'responsible' bit. I plan on making sure I see the waste through until it is safe to spread. I will be storing it on my parents farm (likely in the 'original' drums) and then eventually on our own piece of land a few years down the road. The plastic bag bit would work for me but I don't expect my wife would like it! Also, I'd like a wood stove, but I don't plan on burning it in the summertime!

That's another reason to go with bigger drums-- to make sure we can boondock for at least a couple months at a time without coming home to dump. Water, electricity, food and fuel are easy to find but our current plans don't include too many campgrounds where we'd find dump stations.

What kind of toilet are you running these days?

JDecker
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Old 01-02-2014, 03:44 AM   #4
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Re: Larger(55 gallon) composting toilets for mobile use?

Quote:
Once you have the barrel under the bus, on the ground, reinstall the bungs, tip it over, and roll to destination. Like over a cliff or down a mountainside.
I was worried you were serious about that one. I'm about a full year behind you-- I'll be watching your build pretty closely. I wish you luck getting the budget together and pulling off the build that quickly!

Your option #2 is sounding like my Plan A. Would you be mounting the drum sideways or vertical? I checked out the 310 domestic, it looks like it's supposed to be plumbed to flush, which would reduce the time between dumps.

You have to watch those girlfriends, they'll do their best to make you soft!

JDecker
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Old 01-02-2014, 10:35 AM   #5
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Re: Larger(55 gallon) composting toilets for mobile use?

JDecker,

I agree the traffic cone is definitely some rednecks invention , but I figured the picture could give some inspiration. Also, on the other note, i think that if you are planning on put a new empty drum in place of the full one you should consider building some sort of device (for the full drum) that could turn the barrel every couple months, because it needs this mixing motion to properly compost, or i guess you could just roll it over every once in a while.
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