Toilet Solution for LONG TERM Overlanding trips

DiploStrat

Expedition Leader
#76
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My only hesitations at this point are the amount of space it takes up, needing to mount it in a fixed spot where it can be used and all the bins and crank can be accessed, and the need to vent it.

Diplostrat, you obviously liked your natures head. Did you have any issues with it while off roading? Any issue with dust or water coming in through the vent and causing problems?
-- Space: About the same as any other toilet. A bit deeper than the C400 cassette, but not as wide. (And my problem is that the shower in our new camper is wide but not deep.)

-- Fixed spot: Nope. See here for a clever, slide away installation - https://www.expeditionportal.com/fo...-camper-build-adrift-motorhome.141578/page-22

-- Crank/bin access: Not a problem. The cassette may be a bit easier as you can access it through the camper wall. (But you still have to deal with the stuff inside! :mad:)
FWIW, we installed the spider crank which you can use while seated on the toilet. In any case, you don't spend a lot of time cranking, five or ten turns is plenty.


-- Vent: Actually one of the best features of the Nature's Head. (I just spent $200 for a SOG vent for the cassette, only to learn that it won't fit.) The fan is on the toilet and they provide some flex hose. Ours was simply "T'ed" into the grey water stack. You can also install a solar roof vent or a "Siphon 360" to increase the air flow.

-- Dust or water: Never. Again, we simply used the grey water stack. The factory fan does not provide real pressure, but the air flow is out, not in. The only water that is a problem is shower water in a wet bath and you DO have to pay attention to that.

Designing for the greatest ease of use, I would make sure that the bathroom door is wide enough so that you can simply pick the whole thing up and remove it. I had to turn it sideways, so I always had to bag it before I could remove it.

Again, all of this is much easier than it sounds and so much nicer than cleaning/dumping a cassette, which most people take as the industry standard. If nothing else:

-- The wide mouth of the Nature's Head assures that you generally have a perfect crap shoot - no cleaning necessary. Contrast with the tiny mouth on a cassette.

-- The powered vent means that there is no odor when you open the flap. Again, contrast with a two day old cassette. :sick:

Hope this is helpful. Good luck!
 
#77
-- Space: About the same as any other toilet. A bit deeper than the C400 cassette, but not as wide. (And my problem is that the shower in our new camper is wide but not deep.)

-- Fixed spot: Nope. See here for a clever, slide away installation - https://www.expeditionportal.com/fo...-camper-build-adrift-motorhome.141578/page-22

-- Crank/bin access: Not a problem. The cassette may be a bit easier as you can access it through the camper wall. (But you still have to deal with the stuff inside! :mad:)
FWIW, we installed the spider crank which you can use while seated on the toilet. In any case, you don't spend a lot of time cranking, five or ten turns is plenty.


-- Vent: Actually one of the best features of the Nature's Head. (I just spent $200 for a SOG vent for the cassette, only to learn that it won't fit.) The fan is on the toilet and they provide some flex hose. Ours was simply "T'ed" into the grey water stack. You can also install a solar roof vent or a "Siphon 360" to increase the air flow.

-- Dust or water: Never. Again, we simply used the grey water stack. The factory fan does not provide real pressure, but the air flow is out, not in. The only water that is a problem is shower water in a wet bath and you DO have to pay attention to that.

Designing for the greatest ease of use, I would make sure that the bathroom door is wide enough so that you can simply pick the whole thing up and remove it. I had to turn it sideways, so I always had to bag it before I could remove it.

Again, all of this is much easier than it sounds and so much nicer than cleaning/dumping a cassette, which most people take as the industry standard. If nothing else:

-- The wide mouth of the Nature's Head assures that you generally have a perfect crap shoot - no cleaning necessary. Contrast with the tiny mouth on a cassette.

-- The powered vent means that there is no odor when you open the flap. Again, contrast with a two day old cassette. :sick:

Hope this is helpful. Good luck!
Thanks. It is helpful. I got to take a look inside the Adrift camper at expo. very cool build and a nice guy. He was very helpful as well.
 
#78
Tiss why I am thinking of a twist on incineration though it will take time and effort...
Oddly enough I've got extensive experience with poop burning due to my time in the desert. When we deployed there wasn't an established infrastructure yet to so had to burn our own waste (tens of thousands of soldiers create a lot of waste!) Poop retains a surprising amount of moisture and doesn't release it readily unless you're actively breaking it up and stirring it around while heating it. Which let me tell you, stirring a cauldron of of steaming poop is one of the worst experiences to add to your list of life accomplishments.
And the smell is awful! We couldn't locate out burn drums far enough from camp no matter how much we tried. The wind shifts, you get a nose-full of burning fuel and feces, and your appetite is ruined for the day. Not to mention you catch a whiff of normal exhaust 10 years later and it reminds you of that terrible smell of burning poop all over again.
I can't think of any situation incineration beats other methods when mobile or even as a permanent off grid home setup. It takes a lot of work to get the poop in a burnable state, and once in that state it takes a lot of fuel to render it to a neutral incinerated state.
 
#79
I'm been starting to use the Cleanwaste in the last couple of months to get a feel for the bag system while deciding if I want to get the Wrappon toilet for my new van. I was worried that it would be gross. Guess what! All these options are gross and the Cleanwaste isn't too bad. I'm getting used to it.

The best part is that I don't have to stop to dump a black tank (or any tank) on the way home. I'm really interested in building the Wrappon into a bench seat within the van for stealth. Here is a picture of something similar in a boat:

wrappon copy.jpg

Would be great for winter camping. Would have no toll on water usage. Other than the cost, I'm having a hard time trying to find a downside.
 
#80
Oddly enough I've got extensive experience with poop ... Poop retains a surprising amount of moisture and doesn't release it readily unless you're actively breaking it up and stirring it around while heating it. ..
Did you mix the desert poop with any natural compounds like typical compost toilets (wood shavings and the likes?). This will help dry it as well. Was the urine mixed with the poop adding more moisture?

I will be separating the urine before it even reaches the poop and will also be treating poop as if was compost in advance to help drive off moisture. (dry added materials as well as fan driven drawn out moisture). Thus will only be dealing with solid matter not a mix of it. Thinking on also using exhaust temps to drive out moisture as well.
 
#81
Did you mix the desert poop with any natural compounds like typical compost toilets (wood shavings and the likes?). This will help dry it as well. Was the urine mixed with the poop adding more moisture?

I will be separating the urine before it even reaches the poop and will also be treating poop as if was compost in advance to help drive off moisture. (dry added materials as well as fan driven drawn out moisture). Thus will only be dealing with solid matter not a mix of it. Thinking on also using exhaust temps to drive out moisture as well.
Why complicate things trying to make some kind of exhaust heated toilet?
The Natures head is simple to use, cleaner than a cassette, lasts 3-5 weeks for two people between changes, can be changed out in 10 minutes anywhere, does not smell, needs no expensive plastic liners, minimizes environmental impact, can be installed anywhere, does not smell, will work without power, uses no water or chemicals, (does not smell twice because it really is true!). I am sure there is more...
 

DiploStrat

Expedition Leader
#82
Why complicate things trying to make some kind of exhaust heated toilet?
The Natures head is simple to use, cleaner than a cassette, lasts 3-5 weeks for two people between changes, can be changed out in 10 minutes anywhere, does not smell, needs no expensive plastic liners, minimizes environmental impact, can be installed anywhere, does not smell, will work without power, uses no water or chemicals, (does not smell twice because it really is true!). I am sure there is more...
Always seems that those who are most dubious of composting toilets are those who have never used one.
 
#83
Why complicate things trying to make some kind of exhaust heated toilet?
The Natures head..., lasts 3-5 weeks for two people between changes,...
"Being Realistic" is first reason why.... a compost toilet in any kind of RV or boat is NOT in reality a true compost toilet. This is because realistically there is not enough time "composting" to have really done much unless the user; when they need to empty the one in their camper, transfers the material to a different compositing station outside of the camper that will continue to be maintained long enough to further compost to inert material. I question that they even compost long enough for short time they are kept in a camper to kill the harmful bacteria which is the minimal intended purpose of composting; especially in winter.

Second...... cause I like to tinker. Not planning as much to rid of it via incinerating it... but more of turn it into bio-char (charcoal). Making Bio-Char is also a more closed circuit burning and should not smell as much; if at all. So it is sort of a sustainability experiment. BTW the first steps in the process will be pretty much the same as a composting toilet thus will allow for using it same as Natures Head till have the rest of things figured out; but I will have a place at home to dump solid toilet contents so it can achieve complete composting to inert material.
 
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#84
Composting Toilet is just a product category name, the goal for 99% is not producing compost, just dealing with our poop in the least unpleasant manner.

Not using chemicals, relative environmentally friendly, are bonuses.

The resulting material, whatever you want to call it, is usually just tossed in the trash.

But greenies with access to true composting facility could certainly use it there.

Call it a Separating Toilet if you prefer.
 
#85
Composting Toilet is just a product category name, the goal for 99% is not producing compost, just dealing with our poop in the least unpleasant manner......
and there in lies the problem. When will sanitation code enforcement rulings start banning their use as they begin realizing they are "compost" toilets only by name there for they in reality are containers of un-treated waste in a large enough amounts to be considered unsanitary to dump them thus not allowed.
 
#86
Actually dumping completely untreated poo into the normal waste disposal stream is perfectly legal in most jurisdictions. Think diapers, both babies' and the infirm, dog poop from those being responsible. Adding that from some campers passing through is just a drop in the bucket.

It's not considered hazardous biowaste unless from persons with certain communicable diseases.

What these separating / composting toilets transform it into with coir etc in just a week or two is no more unpleasant than coffee grounds.

From an environmental POV, at least you're not adding harmful chemicals.

The normal waste disposal stream is usually a complete horror show from almost any POV. And is dealing with all kinds of much more hazardous and toxic stuff.

Of course those sticking to travelling in first world locations with designated dumping stations for chemical toilets along the way, feel free to go that way, but not for me personally.
 
#87
And even if they're not fully composting they're jump starting the process. Compare to a good old cat hole where you're burying raw poop in the ground. Imagine if it had a 1 month jumpstart on the process before burial.

Honestly the appeal of composting toilets isn't earth friendly composting. It's the ability to store the waste for a short (weeks to month) time in a manner that doesn't smell too bad or slosh around creating a mess. With the side benefit that is doesn't require water or toxic chemicals to do so.
 
#89
When will sanitation code enforcement rulings start banning their use
Its going to be amusing when Code Enforcement tries to comment on whats inside of my camper...
Composters are great, I use one at my cabin. Its exhaustpipe smells, but no indoor smell, holds about 80 poops plus feminine products before I empty on average once per year.
Spring clean up, all the trimmings get bonfired, compost too.
 
#90
Sooooooo.... To throw another question into the works, which one? Composting is the way to go, I've got that bit worked out. I was set on a Natures Head as everyone talks about it being very good, but in my internet searching I found several threads (in other far less interesting forums ;) ). There seems to be three favourites in the US. Natures Head, Air Head and C Head. Who knew there was soooo much choice in the world of composting toilets!? The C Head looks a bit simple, so I've kinda discounted it already.. The Natures Head and Air Head are both available to me in Australia and are of a similar budget, so I'm asking the question here in the world of Overlanders. Air Head or Natures head? I'm leaning towards the Natures Head still as several of you have had real time and long term use of this product and speak highly of it. Poll needed! Cheers in advance.