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Old 02-23-2018, 07:22 PM   #21
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I love talking about toilets. It's been a while since we had a good composting vs tank toilet talk!

I bought a sailboat, it came with an AirHead composting toilet. This is basically the same as the Nature's Head unit, they both cost a thousand bucks and really only differ in cosmetic ways. I think it's a great unit, but I also think having a thousand dollars in my wallet is pretty great. I mimicked what it was doing and over 3 iterations came up with a DIY composting system with urine divieter, negative pressure ventilation, and bug-free composting material. Other than routing changins, I haven't messed with it over a year, I'm probably $100 invested in building it. It's not pretty like the commercial units, but that's fine.

I've also used tank systems before, and I think people have covered most of the positives and negatives.. They do consume water, they are seventh level of hell nasty if you ever have to fix a broken one, and don't even get me started on that see through singly ply stuff they try to convince you is TP.

Since we're built for boondocking, a tank system was never really an option for us. Other people have different priorities and I don't begrudge anyone who chooses differently than I did.
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Old 02-23-2018, 09:05 PM   #22
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I've also used tank systems before, and I think people have covered most of the positives and negatives.. They do consume water, they are seventh level of hell nasty if you ever have to fix a broken one, and don't even get me started on that see through singly ply stuff they try to convince you is TP.

Since we're built for boondocking, a tank system was never really an option for us. Other people have different priorities and I don't begrudge anyone who chooses differently than I did.
Hahaha, loved your views on tanks. As I plan on doing more boondocking than my in-laws (who were our inspiration in living the good life outdoors) I definitely fell in love with the idea of a composting toilet. And now I have one and can't wait to use it .... might sound weird but I don't care!
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Old 02-23-2018, 09:08 PM   #23
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Personally I want to go compost because I want to use what I expel.

It is possible to create a pretty darned good fertilizer if you go green with your composting (i.e. no chemicals).

Plus I don't want to have the extra plumbing and weight that would come along with a tank system.

I've done a lot of camping in my life and I always carry out my poop, so dealing with a laden bag doesn't really bother me.
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Old 02-23-2018, 09:10 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by brokedown View Post
I love talking about toilets. It's been a while since we had a good composting vs tank toilet talk!

I bought a sailboat, it came with an AirHead composting toilet. This is basically the same as the Nature's Head unit, they both cost a thousand bucks and really only differ in cosmetic ways. I think it's a great unit, but I also think having a thousand dollars in my wallet is pretty great. I mimicked what it was doing and over 3 iterations came up with a DIY composting system with urine divieter, negative pressure ventilation, and bug-free composting material. Other than routing changins, I haven't messed with it over a year, I'm probably $100 invested in building it. It's not pretty like the commercial units, but that's fine.

I've also used tank systems before, and I think people have covered most of the positives and negatives.. They do consume water, they are seventh level of hell nasty if you ever have to fix a broken one, and don't even get me started on that see through singly ply stuff they try to convince you is TP.

Since we're built for boondocking, a tank system was never really an option for us. Other people have different priorities and I don't begrudge anyone who chooses differently than I did.
I would love to see any specs you might have on how you built that, I'd really like to save the $500 to $1,000 needed for a pre-built.
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Old 02-23-2018, 09:37 PM   #25
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Mine will just be a custom built "bench" made of Corian, with an oval hole cut out and profiled and sanded smooth. 5 gallon bucket and gallon milk jug inside and a properly located and secured funnel. Mount a seat combo and voila', $100 compost toilet.
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Old 02-23-2018, 09:42 PM   #26
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we're all going to come and see you when we've got to go.
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Old 02-23-2018, 10:31 PM   #27
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Also, the typical flush toilet wastes 2.5 gallons of water per flush. The opposite of environmentally conscious.
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Old 02-23-2018, 10:51 PM   #28
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Also, the typical flush toilet wastes 2.5 gallons of water per flush. The opposite of environmentally conscious.
Typical RV toilets use less water than residential toilets. Manufacturers claim 1/4 gallon per flush. Having lived with them I think that is optimistic. Maybe 1/2-3/4 gallon per flush would be more realistic.
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Old 02-23-2018, 10:55 PM   #29
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we're all going to come and see you when we've got to go.
Bring it, I'll let you guinea pig it.
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Old 02-24-2018, 06:14 AM   #30
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Well.... I clearly owe you all an apology.

I'm sorry. I usually try to approach subjects with the idea in mind that there are many possible definitions and/or ways to accomplish the thing. I didn't do that in this thread. I thought of 'dumping the holding tanks' as one possible thing - the way I do it. That is clearly not the case - there are a variety of approaches.

So, please read my first post on the subject as related to the fairly typical (I think...) motorhome style process. A large 3" sewer hose connected to a valve that allows the tanks to drain via gravity into a sewer 'hose/hole' at ground level.

Definitely some good reasons FOR a composting toilet here.

Having owned two sailboats, I look at the toilet system in them quite differently due to the need to pump the contents of the toilet UP to a holding tank (and/or out) and the use of much smaller hoses/lines (than typically used in motorhomes) to accomplish that. Additionally, disposal of the composting toilet contents (solids and liquids) is very easy/convenient on a boat. I know it varies from place to place and is a very heated/debated topic so hesitate to mention it but.... If you think it is "ok" to "dump" the liquids container (and the solids) out on the ground (on most public land), you might want to research it a bit before doing so.

I have a Dometic 310 Toilet and it does not use much water and is quite comfortable (doubles as a reading chair). It is actually ceramic so does not feel cheap/tiny like some of them.
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Old 02-24-2018, 11:18 AM   #31
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Also, the typical flush toilet wastes 2.5 gallons of water per flush. The opposite of environmentally conscious.
Not since 1992 has a toilet used that much water.The Energy Policy Act of 1992, which became law in 1994, mandates a maximum flush volume of 1.6 gallons for toilets manufactured and installed after this date.
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Old 02-24-2018, 12:35 PM   #32
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Reasons I will have a homemade composting toilet:

-not gonna waste fresh potable water flushing shite
-not gonna waste space under the bus with a black tank
-not gonna blow 1000 on a factory made composting toilet
-not gonna blow money on a septic system
-from what I know, it's a simpler system, I like that
-great for boondocking
-would enjoy having good compost, great for tomato plants and such

that said, does anyone have any ideas on how to create real compost while traveling? I know it needs to ferment for a while, so you'd have to carry it with you, perhaps a compartment under the bus? In a big plastic tub? Vented of course...
Is it do-able? Difficult sure, but how would you do it?
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Old 02-24-2018, 01:52 PM   #33
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Well.... I clearly owe you all an apology.

I'm sorry. I usually try to approach subjects with the idea in mind that there are many possible definitions and/or ways to accomplish the thing. I didn't do that in this thread. I thought of 'dumping the holding tanks' as one possible thing - the way I do it. That is clearly not the case - there are a variety of approaches.

So, please read my first post on the subject as related to the fairly typical (I think...) motorhome style process. A large 3" sewer hose connected to a valve that allows the tanks to drain via gravity into a sewer 'hose/hole' at ground level.

Definitely some good reasons FOR a composting toilet here.

Having owned two sailboats, I look at the toilet system in them quite differently due to the need to pump the contents of the toilet UP to a holding tank (and/or out) and the use of much smaller hoses/lines (than typically used in motorhomes) to accomplish that. Additionally, disposal of the composting toilet contents (solids and liquids) is very easy/convenient on a boat. I know it varies from place to place and is a very heated/debated topic so hesitate to mention it but.... If you think it is "ok" to "dump" the liquids container (and the solids) out on the ground (on most public land), you might want to research it a bit before doing so.

I have a Dometic 310 Toilet and it does not use much water and is quite comfortable (doubles as a reading chair). It is actually ceramic so does not feel cheap/tiny like some of them.
It's worth pointing out that there are good arguments for both systems.

It's also worth pointing out that most of the perceived disadvantages of composting or dry toilets come from unfamiliarty. They don't actually exist in practise and many RV owners are switching, and using the black tank to double their grey tank capacity.
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Old 02-24-2018, 03:35 PM   #34
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I went with the Nature's Head - and do not regret the money spent. I tried a DIY version for 2 months and it didn't work for me (though I have heard other success stories). I am sure a comparable one could be created - but I like my choice.
I have an extra 5 gallon bucket that I attached under the bus with venting holes - but no fan. I am not sure how it will work - but it's a test. There is no smell so far (except a dirt odor). I have used the Nature's Head for 2 months regularly - and have empties the #1 into rest area toilets - I am not a fan of the trucker solution to just dumping it on the pavement. The smell lingers. Out in the woods may be a different story.

I don't think I would ever want to deal with a holding tank / black water. I would install a composting toilet in my house (if I ever move out of the bus).

Again, there is no right or wrong way. It all depends on preference. I know some people who are perfectly happy with either choice.




Quote:
Originally Posted by DreamWeaverBus View Post
Reasons I will have a homemade composting toilet:

-not gonna waste fresh potable water flushing shite
-not gonna waste space under the bus with a black tank
-not gonna blow 1000 on a factory made composting toilet
-not gonna blow money on a septic system
-from what I know, it's a simpler system, I like that
-great for boondocking
-would enjoy having good compost, great for tomato plants and such

that said, does anyone have any ideas on how to create real compost while traveling? I know it needs to ferment for a while, so you'd have to carry it with you, perhaps a compartment under the bus? In a big plastic tub? Vented of course...
Is it do-able? Difficult sure, but how would you do it?
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Old 02-27-2018, 08:11 AM   #35
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So my question is, why is everyone so insecure with their decisions?
Seems every thread on every forum anymore, does'nt matter the topic, everyone feels compelled to defend their decision at the expense of everyone else.

If one wishes to install a black tank and flush toilet, do so. Be happy and let others be happy with their preferences. If you wish to use a bucket system, do so and be happy with it and let others be happy with their systems.

There are poorly designed and installed water flush systems that can be no end if trouble. There are also very well designed and installed systems that can be trouble free, and very low maintenance.
There are people that have no education or experience with sanitation that attempt composting toilet usage and fail, as well as toilet manufacturers that make poorly designed product. There are also people that are well educated in proper sanitation that use composting systems with the greatest success. There are also makers of composting toilet systems that make excellent designed product.

Pooping and peeing are FACTS of life. Not opinions, not some do it, some dont etc. If you cant deal with it one way or another, then dont make it.

Think how difficult it would be for the urban life today to deal with outhouses or composting toilets. It would be a real mess. The water flush system is an absolute necessity. But prior to people gathering to live closely together and building multi-story buildings etc., the rural life could, and still can, safely use a family outhouse or composting system.

The decision to compost or flush should include your intended usage of the bus or rv. Are you always going to have a facility to empty, maintain or if needed, repair your flush system? Or are you going to off grid or in such a way that without power, the tanks will freeze, or no way to empty or maintain a flush system if something fails?
Do you have kids? Are the children old enough and experienced enough in your lifestyle to be able to use a compost system safely? Do you have guests to your bus or rv on a regular basis that do not understand composting?
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Old 02-27-2018, 08:54 AM   #36
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I'm not sure I agree that people giving their pros and cons are doing so because they're insecure about their choices. Someone asked for opinions, people throw in their 2 cents. Heck, most of the composting negatives listed in the OP are inaccurate and warrant correcting.

Use whatever works for you, if we all had the same opinions this would be a dull world indeed.
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Old 02-27-2018, 11:06 AM   #37
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An outhouse! Well sure, get all fancy.

Oddly each of us thinks our method of waste disposal works best. Some feel quite strongly about their system.

Personally I'm really disgusted with black tanks, but I can't argue the convenience it provides. Also sharing a composting toilet with any number of children simply does not work out all that well.

If I'm away from home I make a strong attempt to use the facilities at any commercial location, including fast food joints, home supply stores or whatever is nearest. You can park at a big tire dealership for 5 minutes while using the facilities and nobody raises an eyebrow because they think you're arranging for tires.

It's just not that hard to use other people's facilities. If you're far enough away from civilization that there are no facilities, you're in luck. Watch out for snakes because nobody is going to suck the poison out.
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Old 02-27-2018, 11:16 AM   #38
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An outhouse! Well sure, get all fancy.

Oddly each of us thinks our method of waste disposal works best. Some feel quite strongly about their system.

Personally I'm really disgusted with black tanks, but I can't argue the convenience it provides. Also sharing a composting toilet with any number of children simply does not work out all that well.

If I'm away from home I make a strong attempt to use the facilities at any commercial location, including fast food joints, home supply stores or whatever is nearest. You can park at a big tire dealership for 5 minutes while using the facilities and nobody raises an eyebrow because they think you're arranging for tires.

It's just not that hard to use other people's facilities. If you're far enough away from civilization that there are no facilities, you're in luck. Watch out for snakes because nobody is going to suck the poison out.
What complications arise while using a composting toilet with kids? I have two kids who will be living with me on the bus so now I am wondering if I might need to get them something else.
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Old 02-27-2018, 11:20 AM   #39
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I can't think of anything in particular that wouldn't affect them with other types of toilet. Don't put things in it that don't belong. Make sure anything that is supposed to go in actually does go in. Wash your hands when you're done.
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Old 02-27-2018, 12:17 PM   #40
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What complications arise while using a composting toilet with kids? I have two kids who will be living with me on the bus so now I am wondering if I might need to get them something else.
There is a learning curve is all. Kids adapt well.
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