Composting toilet and more fresh water? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-07-2015, 04:44 PM   #1
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Composting toilet and more fresh water?

I was wondering what some of you Oliver owners think about adding a composting toilet to the Oliver and replacing the black tank with a fresh water tank? Thus increasing the fresh water capacity to 48 gallons. We are planning on fulltiming.
Thanks for any help or suggestions
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Old 03-07-2015, 06:25 PM   #2
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I did take a close look at adding a Nature's Head composting toilet, a tankless water heater, and a 12v compressor refrigerator to an Oliver. Decided against the Nature's Head toilet after talking this over with Robert Partee of Oliver. For the composting toilet you do want to install a vent pipe and it would be best to use 12v to run a small exhaust fan on that vent pipe. Oliver is very careful/concerned with added hull penetrations. Per Robert, their vent pipe for holding tanks is molded into the hull and would be difficult to make connections for the toilet vent. He also brought up the concern of height as the existing toilet sits on a step. With the Nature's Head installed on the step you would sit but your feet would probably dangle. We did not get to the 12v fan issue as the vent pipe connection decided against installation.

I do believe the composting toilet is a very smart idea but probably better suited for a flat floor, dry bath installation. The discussion and videos made by Gone with the Wynns concerning composting toilet usage in their motor homes is very good. They installed one in their old motor home and liked it so well they took it with them when they upgraded to their new motor home.

Composting Toilet
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Old 03-07-2015, 06:31 PM   #3
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Most of those that are full timing wouldn't want to carry 48 gallons (400+ lbs) of water from point to point. Is there a specific need you will know you will have to need that much water?


Ditto for composting toilets, not terrific justification or need in the FGRV world out there.


Unless you be full timing across Africa?



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Old 03-07-2015, 06:49 PM   #4
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Thanks for the info Greg.

Bob we are going to be doing a lot of Boondocking and the extra water would be nice and not concerned about the weight.
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Old 03-07-2015, 07:01 PM   #5
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I am a big fan of the natures head. If the toilet in my egg ever breaks I will move my NH in to it! It is much easer to empty and you don't hVe to empty it as often.


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Old 03-08-2015, 12:24 PM   #6
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I am in a Casita 17 which has a similiar toilet. Comparing the smell and labor of using the black tank and emptying it and dumping it vs. putting a biodegradable liner in the toilet that exists with kitty litter and separating urine with a divider is no comparison. Once dry it does not smell and put a fan in and you can draw anything out. Easier to separate it at the source than later. This black tank mess is like creating artificial diarrhea. Go with the natures head....you can reroute the airflow.....if need be out the window or hook into the outflow already there....it is just plastic pipe.
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Old 03-08-2015, 12:54 PM   #7
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We have a composting toilet at our lake cabin , it is called an outhouse. Simple to use and maintain and only smells when it is warm out , I do not see the issues with using or dumping our trailers black tank. I would rather pull one valve than shovel out the outhouse but to each their own.
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Old 03-08-2015, 01:21 PM   #8
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Just thought it would help extend our Boondocking was the thought process.
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Old 03-08-2015, 02:23 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Masterstilll View Post
Just thought it would help extend our Boondocking was the thought process.

It will!


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Old 03-08-2015, 05:42 PM   #10
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Take a look at this 'composting' toilet to compare it with Natures' Head.

C-Head portable composting toilet system

Technically, neither of them are true composting toilets since they don't finish the job of composting but both are separating toilets.

Personally, after comparing the two, I'm investing in the C-Head for both cost and technical aspects.
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Old 03-08-2015, 06:33 PM   #11
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I would think the standard 18 gallon black tank would get you thru 2 weeks before needing to dump. You can always carry an extra water tank in the bed of your truck if you need more water. You can also get a wheeled tote to dump your black and grey tanks and carry to a dump station.

I think the composting toilet can easily become a big old mess. You still have to dump a pee bucket rather frequently (and somewhere proper). It's a reaction that has to be constantly maintained to work properly. And as some have said, is a constant 12v draw. And you have to carry the peat moss (or similar material) that has to be stored somewhere.
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Old 03-08-2015, 06:40 PM   #12
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Ya... but being "Green" seems to trump costs and all other sensible counter excuses.
If this was a biggie, where is the list of trailer builders offering it, even as an option?



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Old 03-08-2015, 06:41 PM   #13
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What is the size of the gray water tank on the Oliver? That should probably be taken into consideration.
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Old 03-08-2015, 07:03 PM   #14
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The OP wants to remove the black tank and add a second 24 gallon fresh water tank. What part does the grey tank play?


But it doesn't appear that he even has the Oliver yet ?????



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Old 03-08-2015, 07:11 PM   #15
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The gray tank is 35 gallons.

No manufacturer offers a composting toilet as an option that I know of. They are all retro fits. I can't imagine it's something they would want to provide, since improper operation would lead to rather messy warranty claims.
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Old 03-09-2015, 06:34 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Bob Miller View Post
The OP wants to remove the black tank and add a second 24 gallon fresh water tank. What part does the grey tank play?


But it doesn't appear that he even has the Oliver yet ?????
I'm thinking that once you use the extra fresh water, it will need a place to go? I know a lot of people run the grey water on the ground whether it is legal or not and this contributes to areas being restricted from boondocking. They did this in the parking lot of one of the Tucson Wal-Marts which was among the first to close their parking lot to boondocking. Not saying that OP or anyone else here would do it but it is done and worse. Too often I see commercial campgrounds blamed for boondocking locations being closed but that is not always the case. It wasn't only the grey water they were dumping either.

One needs to realize that a composting toilet has limits also. I read on them extensively at one time and anyone considering them should do that. It is funny though that people say they don't smell and they say that about black tanks also. The temperature and humidity have a lot to do with "smell" so it can differ and you can get accustomed to smells. Two of my uncles had farms with cattle, dairy farms - they didn't notice the smell. We sure noticed the smell.
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Old 03-09-2015, 07:20 AM   #17
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"Where to put it" is an exceptionally good point. I wonder if the op had considered that problem. Thanks for the clarification.


FWIW: When I bought my house about 14 years ago there was still a chicken/egg operation down wind from me. The chickens weren't bad, but on hot days the huge piles of droppings were. When asked about it, the owner responded with "What Smell?"



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Old 03-09-2015, 08:18 AM   #18
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I watched the wynns video and they said there was no smell.
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Old 03-09-2015, 08:28 AM   #19
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Quote:
Ya... but being "Green" seems to trump costs and all other sensible counter excuses.
If this was a biggie, where is the list of trailer builders offering it, even as an option?
I love to try new things and learn Bob.
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Old 03-09-2015, 02:48 PM   #20
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Much misunderstanding on how things operate. Nature's Head, Airhead Toilet and C-Head are all urine diverting toilets such that the solid waste is what is composting. Since they divert liquid waste, this makes them much different than the older style composting toilets, Clivus or Sun-Mar.

Your typical RV toilet system has a flush valve that flushes into a vented blackwater tank. When the toilet flush valve is closed and the blackwater tank valve is closed the only fume escape path is through the vent pipe. The Nature's Head toilet is also a vented sealed system. The Nature's Head trap door (flush valve) is similar to what is used on porta potty. With a 12v exhaust fan installed in the vent line and turned on when the trap door is opened the composting area will be under a slight negative air pressure exhausting fumes from the composting area.

To my knowledge the most extensively engineered production travel trailer is from the Australian manufacturer Kimberley Karavan and it is a fiberglass rv. They are available for import into the US delivered to Los Angeles however I would guess they are costly, more than an Air Stream. The Kimberley Kruiser (off-road full size caravan) does offer three toilet options, one of which is the Nature's Head. Their discussion and comparison of the toilet options advantages and disadvantages is linked below.

Kimberleykruiser - 3 Choices of Advanced Camping Toilet Technologies
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