Now for the moment you have all been waiting for: Along with the repairs to the waste tank dump valve, the new Nature’s Head composting toilet was installed. (Am I officially a hippie now? Hahaha) Two weeks of living with the new toilet have gone by. The verdict so far…it’s terrific! No nasty black tank smell (Yay!) and no mess. I am impressed with the simplicity of the toilet and how well it works. I read numerous reviews (see below for links) and forum posts before making the switch. All of them stated there is no smell other than a slight earthy smell-sort of like gardening soil. I still had my doubts, but I figured nothing could be worse than the black tank and sewer connection smells. If you live in an RV, you know what I am talking about. Gag! Crazy thing is the reviews were correct regarding the smell. I don’t know if it’s the vent moving smells out of the camper or what exactly, but let me tell you it works. I couldn’t be more pleased.
The Nature’s head toilet requires no water connections, and basically any part of it that breaks can be repaired by me, myself & I, without calling a plumber. Also, if I am ever without access to full hook-ups in the future I can use my black tank for gray water (with some slight modifications that I can also perform myself). The lack of water connections will also be great news in the event of an extreme freeze during the winter. The toilet will work even if the rest of my water system is ever temporarily out of service. I hope it never comes to that, but I do believe when living in an RV full-time it pays to be proactive for some of those what-if scenarios.
The toilet comes with everything needed for installation except for the external vent cover, and the peat moss or coconut coir. Five feet of flexible vent tubing comes with an order, but I added an additional 5 feet. The extra length was necessary to run the tubing through the rear compartment along the path of my plumbing lines to my curbside external storage door. This was the simplest venting option and avoided cutting or altering the external appearance of my lovely TinCan.
It was necessary to cut out a slightly larger space in the framing surrounding the original toilet to fit the new one in comfortably. As you can see in the photos I still need to finish this area. I’m thinking some corrugated tin or some aluminum sheeting will look nicely as a surround. I will keep you posted on what I figure out. The old connection was capped off and is still in place under where this toilet sits. This way in the sad event I ever do part with the TinCan…a new owner can easily convert back to a more customary toilet if they so desire (or if I so desire to take this not inexpensive toilet with me to my new abode). Don’t panic. I am not leaving her anytime soon. She is my home. This is her toilet:
Tada! Here sits the new throne!
The hideous cords have been rerouted to a more unobtrusive setup since the taking of these photos.
Liquids drain through the front two holes and a small indentation behind them that isn’t visible in the photos.
Open the hatch and solids drop in here (no skid marks even…Sorry. Was that too much information?). Now don’t get all grossed out on me. At the time of this photo all that was in there was pre-moistened sphagnum peat moss.
They offer several different vent options on the Nature’s Head website, but I ended up going with a simple cover found at a Marine Parts store for around $5. We simply placed a small circle of window screen behind the cover to block insect entry.
Fortunately we were able to install the vent in an external compartment door and no holes had to be cut into the actual structure of the TinCan. Looks pretty good, right?
Summing this all up I am really happy about upgrading to the composting toilet. It seems to work very well and is one big thing crossed off on my list of desired enhancements to the TinCan. One concern (is that the word I want?) to note with this new toilet is having to explain how it works to any visitors. I am contemplating painting a funny poem containing the instructions on the inside of the toilet lid just to make the process more entertaining. I am quite certain that not all visitors will find this toilet as simple and useful as I have. I’m sure some people already find me odd. What will they think now? (Hahaha. She’s really lost it.) On the up side those visitors who aren’t as adventurous probably won’t stay too long when they visit. I mean a person can only hold it so long, right? So there you have it. I have cleared the air. This issue is not a serious concern. I shall call it an amusement instead. The toilet is a win!
I’m not going to go into all the details on how the toilet works here. Other’s have already done a great job of that. If you are interested in further information on this particular composting toilet or composting toilets in general see the links that follow:
Nature’s Head official website.
Gone with the Wynn’s – These guys have created videos answering almost any question you can think of regarding the Nature’s head composting toilet.
1960 Airstream Renovation– Informative post detailing another Nature’s Head toilet installation
The Flying Cloud-Eco Discovery Tour– Another happy user of this toilet.
Green RV Life -This post also shares some information on some of the other available brands of composting toilets.
Compost Junkie – A site about composting in general with a page directed at composting toilets
The Good Luck Duck – Last but definitely not least. This lady tells is like it is and writes an entertaining post about poo and composting toilets.