Composting Toilet — Report on 8 months full time usage

Coachgeo

Explorer
So what am I missing here ? I cross a border with a bagfull of pooped sawdust, and Tull/Passcontrol wants to take it away from me.
Am I supposed to object to that ?
at the crossing they take the not yet used material you intended to put into compost toilet. NO not the stuff in your gut...... the pete moss, sawdust etc..
 

Sitec

Adventurer
So what am I missing here ? I cross a border with a bagfull of pooped sawdust, and Tull/Passcontrol wants to take it away from me.
Am I supposed to object to that ?
The poop filled mix is one thing.. It's the bag of compost material used to replenish the toilet after an empty that has to be taken into account too.. In Oz it's not so bad as the main interest on state borders (only some) is fruit. Africa (from memory) was the same.. Limited interest, but more interest in who's traveling and what they're carrying rather than fruit or compost medium..

Which countries have you had dramas with Neil? Cheers.
 

Neil

Observer
Mainly Chile they are very thorough and seize everything. Sometimes they use dogs in the search.

All borders here in south america wpuld probably have an issue with the stuff. However Chile are the most professional and most thorough.

Neil
 

grizzlyj

Adventurer
But it's only supposed to be biodegradeable and create a bigger surface area for the moisture to evaporate from, combined with probably keeping your deposit off the bottom of your highly expensive bucket. So, grass for instance. Paper. Heather, moss, wood shavings, apple cores etc etc etc. I'm not sure why people think it has to be a purchased bag of zip locked pre-processed sawdust/coco shell from a shop? The loos are used in remote Swedish houses with just bracken for instance.

Neil maybe you could post up some pics of your system from the outside because it is both quite cool and not quite a normal black tank perhaps? If it works well maybe more would try it. How can you tell when the cassette is almost but not quite full?
 

DiploStrat

Expedition Leader
Even if your medium were seized, you can get straw at the next farm or sawdust at the next carpentry shop (village) or hamster bedding at the next pet shop (big city). (And that is before even considering real field procured media - see post above.) The good news is that you only have to worry about this every time you cross a border. You only have to worry about dumping every ten days to two weeks.

The stuff coming out of a cassette toilet is really vile and it takes a lot of water to really clean the tank. And you have to do it every three days.

After a year of dealing with a cassette I sooooooooooo miss the composting toilet. Yeah, I really prefer it! ;-)

Crossed a lot of borders in South America and really doubt that anyone is going to look inside my toilet.
 
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Neil

Observer
Our toilet is a Thetford Bravura. Low model with full size pan and seat. It is mounted on a black tank inside the cabin that holds about 60 litres.
Below the cabin outside is a flange with a gate valve. The bottom of the flange is a standard thetford cassete adapter.

We use a normal small cassete to simply decant the contents of the black tank away.

Ie a full tank could take 5 cassete's.

I gues you could use a hose to drain the tank. We havent . This method is clean and simple.

The whole system is powered by gravity which i have found available freely everywhere.

Now the yucky bit. After a short drive the content of the tank is pure liquid which makes it easy to dispose.
The tank is vented to outside.

It works fantastically and we could get 20 days ish if we ever filled it it20180726_100310.jpg20180726_100428.jpg20180726_100517.jpg20180726_100528.jpg which we never have.
 

DiploStrat

Expedition Leader
Very slick! How do you avoid over filling the cassette? I.e. since gravity is free ... ;) "Decanted" Like a fine wine!

Friends of ours, recognizing the challenges of a black tank outside the US, use a macerator pump and a long hose. Same system used by the very expensive Advanced RV. Has worked in 55+ countries. http://www.travelin-tortuga.com/Travelin-Tortuga/index.html

I bought a SOG when I was last in UK. Everyone that I respect and met at Stratford was running them. Sadly, the "D" unit does not fit my C400. (Grrr!)

HOWEVER, part of the "magic" of the Nature's Head is that the toilet is always under negative pressure - that is, it is drawing air into the toilet, not letting it out. The SOG is designed to do the same thing but only when the flap is open.

Part of my dislike of the cassette comes from the fact that we have a solar vent which is always drawing air out of the bath, and, by extension, out of the cassette whenever the flap is open. We have learned to use the lid and minimize flap open time.

BUT! What if I could tap into the cassette and rather than attach it to an intermittent fan, simply tie it to a solar roof vent? There are many models available, indeed, Nature's Head sells them as an option.

At this point, the project is beyond my time/money/technical skills, but now that I see how the SOG is supposed to work, there may be possibilities. The folks who make the SOG swear that the increased air flow makes chemicals unnecessary. The trick is gaining access to the vent outlet under the cassette.

And don't let the Aymara depress you, Sucre, Potosi, and even La Paz (for the music and a bit of "big" city restaurants) are wonderful. The Cerro Rico at Potosi is a true visit to hell.

N.B. For those looking for sources of REALLY good ideas and execution - read Neil's sites. I wish that I had before certain decisions had been made with my truck. I know whose example I would follow.
 
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Darwin

Explorer
Diplo, do you have any plans to remove the cassette and install a Natures Head?

I currently have a cassette toilet but I don't really like it and plan to go with a compositing toilet in my next build. I think if I had the SOG kit for the cassette it sounds like it would probably help, but I like that with the composting toilet I could longer between emptying.
 

DiploStrat

Expedition Leader
Diplo, do you have any plans to remove the cassette and install a Natures Head?
Would, if I could, but I can't. the existing space is wide enough, but not deep enough.

If you are building from the ground up, incorporate a SOG, or, look closely and see if you could not simply arrange a solar powered exhaust stack.
 

Neil

Observer
Sorry should have added that i have a small extractor fan on the tank that is triggered by a movement pir sensor when you enter the bathroom. By the time you push the flush its negative pressure in the tank. Never smells.

I know the cassette is full by counting to 8. 10 is too full. Its a knack

Neil
 

DiploStrat

Expedition Leader
Sorry should have added that i have a small extractor fan on the tank that is triggered by a movement pir sensor when you enter the bathroom. By the time you push the flush its negative pressure in the tank. Never smells.
Air movement sensor! Dude you have too many toys! Of course, you still have that bouquet when you dump.

I know the cassette is full by counting to 8. 10 is too full. Its a knack
I'll bet it is! The value of knowledge is determined by the cost of gaining it? Would have loved to have observed, from upwind, your experiments! :eek:
 

Neil

Observer
Hasn't yet. Only the spigot is exposed. The tank and contents are all inside. So the content is at a nice room temperature.

It was a concern I guess you could apply an insulating cover over the outlet but we have had it at minus 20 for 4 days and it didn't freeze .

I think it would have done so so far its been ok

The movement sensor is on the wall in the toilet. It has a timer built in so when you enter the room it starts the extraction.

It was 2 pound on eBay from China.

Neil

Neil
 
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