Composting Toilet for Casita Spirit Deluxe - Page 3 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-21-2020, 11:34 AM   #41
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Composting the compost

Only way to truly attend to the waste after removal is to put it in a composter. Shouldn’t be added to consumables when finished, though. I’ve heard mixed opinions but...
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Old 03-21-2020, 11:39 AM   #42
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Composting Toilet for Casita Spirit Deluxe

Bob: Our SD17 is on order... God willing we will pick it up in May (or whenever ready). We plan to retrofit ours with a C-Head, and to ventilate to the outside. We also will take great care to preserve the ability to convert back to black tank use (as a future option). This I anticipate may require building some type of raised box over the toilet bolts (but I have yet to examine exactly what will be required). There's at least one vid out there of a couple who made this mod.

I'd love to see what you plan to do with your install, and I appreciate your helping to blaze this trail and share your experiences. I will do the same. 😎👍 Thank you, and Best of Luck!!

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Old 03-21-2020, 11:45 AM   #43
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Airhead

I looked at airheads when deciding on a new toilet. They are thinner, lighter models but I consider them to be inferior builds as a result. I think they’re (relatively) over-priced, too. There’s no fan and they are essentially a sawdust toilet with a diverter. Incidentally, any of these toilets mentioned could be made for about 50 bucks. My friends often ask me why I don’t just build another one but the store-bought models are lighter, smaller, just as rugged and have a look of legitimacy that I like.
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Old 03-21-2020, 11:51 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by Bob Penn View Post
Lyle's list of reasons for composting is the main reason that I considered going to a composting toilet. I plan to mostly boondock. In that scenario, fresh water is at a premium. I upgraded my Casita to a 25-gallon fresh water tank. That is still not a lot of water. Being ex-Navy, I am very aware of what we called "Navy showers". Boondocking will push that to the very limit.

How long do you plan to boon dock at a time? I assume you don't own place?

I have a 16 foot scamp with the standard toilet and sink setup and tanks. It is a no brainer how to handle this if you are going to camp grounds obviously. ;-) Do what everyone else does. ;-) ;-)

I also do camp away from services for several days at a time. I also go to festivals most of which have available but not individual water. And an on site dump station. Some of them have over 1000 camp sites so the line for the dump station(s) can be long. There are also dump stations at some truck stops. There are a couple local campgrounds where you can still get by with just pulling in and dumping at their stations. All this said I have experience at living on my tanks.


I take a couple potable water jugs with me. Well I also kind of fill up locally if I can. Why pay for gas to haul water? One thing I have is a small 12 volt pump to pump it into the tank. Tried the hold the jug up and dump one and only one time ;-) I find that I can actually get about 5 days or more out of my black water tank. Did four with a kid with me one time. If I can get somewhere that part of the time your going is done elsewhere that can be expanded a quite a bit. Now I bag my TP generally and then bag that and dispose of it. Probably not ideal, but not that big of a deal.

Now I also camp away from services where I have a connection to the places. A couple places have an old abandoned septic tank. I just dump in that. I also put one in at one of the locations kind of. Basically just a barrel with a slow drain to a couple perfed pipes. Don't use that much and it seems to work fine for quite a while now. And I also go places where I can go back home by those locations and just make a stop. A lot of times over night as they also make a good way to break up long drives.

As people point out here, you are going to have to come up with a good soluton to handling the waste. As they say these really take a while to process and are more designed for fixed locations. You will want to plan your whole process.

Actually one thought I have had is to rig by toilet so I can use gray water to flush it.
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Old 03-21-2020, 11:51 AM   #45
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[QUOTE=Bob Penn;770800]I purchased a 2019 Casita 17 ft Spirit Deluxe. It is still very new and unused.
I would like to replace the factory installed toilet (never used) with a Nature's Head Composting Toilet.
----------------------------------------------------
Why mess with "tried and true"? Modern travel trailer sanitary systems are durable, reliable and relatively speaking, convenient to use and repair. You would do well to become familiar with what you already have. Use it. Enjoy it. Your trailer has many well-designed features that you may not yet appreciate. Give yourself some time to get to know your rig. Why waste time and money to reinvent the toilet?

Invest in higher benefit yielding projects like solar, maybe, or extended battery storage or personalized conveniences that enhance the enjoyment, comfort and reliability of the fine travel trailer you already own. See? I just saved you a lot of money! :>)
Regardless enjoy and stay healthy!
-Teddy
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Old 03-21-2020, 11:59 AM   #46
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I
Do you know of any trailer manufacturers who are installing composting toilets as standard equipment? I would ask, why not?
I understand Oliver is offering it as an option.
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Old 03-21-2020, 12:03 PM   #47
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Incidentally, any of these toilets mentioned could be made for about 50 bucks. My friends often ask me why I don’t just build another one but the store-bought models are lighter, smaller, just as rugged and have a look of legitimacy that I like.
The advantage of the rotomolded PE in the commercial composting toilets is that it is a very low energy plastic surface, therefore almost self cleaning. Unfortunately there is little large scale adoption of these, so the high costs of tooling and the cost of keeping a business alive are borne by relatively few customers. Best guess is that the AirHead could have a list price south of $400 if they were higher volume.
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Old 03-21-2020, 12:08 PM   #48
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I think that’s the problem with all of these composting toilets. Very few sales internationally and the prices are outrageous. None of them should be more than 400 bucks. Materials can’t be worth more than $100. R&D Isn’t terribly innovative
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Old 03-21-2020, 12:20 PM   #49
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Bobby, congratulations on your soon to be new purchase. I am excited for you and assure you that you will be pleased with the welcome you will receive from Casita. May I suggest that when you are there that you ask for a factory tour. It is well worth the time and effort and it will help you to understand your new acquisition better.


When you receive the indoctrination tour by one of the service department members, be sure to insist on a full indoctrination, even if you feel that you have the information already. I allowed a couple of short cuts which I discovered later should not been neglected. My sales person was displeased with me that I did not insist on a full indoctrination.



In my case, the failure was not lack of information, but in failing to identify items that were missing in the delivery. Also several items were not tested to ensure they were fully functional before leaving the factory. Those items are now on my head if they fail. Casita warranty does not cover the stove, hot water heater, furnace, AC, awning, vent fans, etc. These items are individually warranted by the manufacturers of those items.


It is great to hear that I am not alone in my quest to avoid "black water" and wasting of precious fresh water in the factory installed toilet. Particularly important when boondocking.


The weather is still on the cool side here in Idaho, so I have not yet attacked removing the factory installed toilet. I need to see what awaits me when I do.
I watched a few YouTube videos and in each case, they put a cap or cover of some sort over the plumbing going to the black water tank.



I agree with you about keeping the black water tank in place and functional as a black water tank option in the future. Not everyone is going to want to use a composting toilet.


The existing toilet has a vent that is accessible as a vent for the composting toilet. I am challenged in how to access the vent without destroying the factory toilet option.


12 VDC power is available through the wet bath wall. I will need to drill a small access hole to feed the power through to the storage seat on the opposite side of the wall where a factory installed 12VDC outlet is located. I will wire into the back of the outlet.


The majority of people opting for composting toilets go with the Nature's Head. I have seen a few using the C-Head. Some are manufacturing a very rudimentary compositing toilet of their own. All operate on the separation of fluids and solids.


I will follow up with pictures and further details as I complete the project.
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Old 03-21-2020, 12:38 PM   #50
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I own a small company. Our basic fixed cost to open the doors is upwards $9,000/mo, with salaries for the two folks averaging $44,000/yr./ea. included in this number.

On top of this is COGS, trade shows & promotion, legal & professional fees, and all the other ducks that nibble you to death.

I would consider the individual composting toilets market to be very much a niche market, and I've met and talked with the owners of a couple of the manufacturing companies. These guys are not becoming wealthy on the fruits of treehuggers. I'd say that they are making reasonable personal incomes, but that the costs of doing business combined with the low volume inherent in the business likely are keeping the product prices much higher than they could otherwise be.

A huge step forward would be if a crossover RV or trailer manufacturer would include composting toilets as a factory option, with a blackwater system delete adding a storage compartment.

At that point the volume would increase enough to allow professional third-party support, larger molding runs, lower hard parts costs, etc., which would allow lower costs.

It's a big speed bump to cross without cushion capital, also....
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Old 03-21-2020, 12:39 PM   #51
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I think that’s the problem with all of these composting toilets. Very few sales internationally and the prices are outrageous. None of them should be more than 400 bucks. Materials can’t be worth more than $100. R&D Isn’t terribly innovative
I own a small company. Our basic fixed cost to open the doors is upwards $9,000/mo, with salaries for the two folks averaging $44,000/yr./ea. included in this number.

On top of this is COGS, trade shows & promotion, legal & professional fees, and all the other ducks that nibble you to death.

I would consider the individual composting toilets market to be very much a niche market, and I've met and talked with the owners of a couple of the manufacturing companies. These guys are not becoming wealthy on the fruits of treehuggers. I'd say that they are making reasonable personal incomes, but that the costs of doing business combined with the low volume inherent in the business likely are keeping the product prices much higher than they could otherwise be.

A huge step forward would be if a crossover RV or trailer manufacturer would include composting toilets as a factory option, with a blackwater system delete adding a storage compartment.

At that point the volume would increase enough to allow professional third-party support, larger molding runs, lower hard parts costs, etc., which would allow lower costs.

It's a big speed bump to cross without cushion capital, also....
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Old 03-21-2020, 12:52 PM   #52
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We have a 2018 17' Casita. When we bought it we were planning to install a Natures Head ASAP based on our research. This is our first RV and really had no idea on what to expect. We used it for a year with the black tank. YUCK! Needless to say we installed the Natures Head with no regret whatsoever. It never smells, easy to maintain and is a very responsible way of dealing with waste. Disposable diapers are the worst and most everyone finds those acceptable.

I did carpentry for 25 years, 19 years in a hospital. My skill level is very high so the install was not much of a challenge. But anyone can do it if you have some basic tools and time.

After removing the original toilet i wrapped it in plastic and put it in the attic to maintain original equipment.
The biggest hurdle is hooking up the vent hose. I created a 'saddle' using a schedule 40 tee that fit the existing vent pipe. The saddle is like the tee's that Little House makes for their towel bar mod. I used a 1-1/4 hole saw to drill into the existing vent pipe. Clamp on the saddle and put the hole saw in the tee and drill the hole for perfect alignment. I placed my tee as close to the bottom of the pipe as possible. Use silicone sealer to affix. I cut the supplied vent hose to fit after the total install was complete.

The fan is a must and is simple to hookup. I used the bathroom light for the 12v source. Just drill a small hole in the side of the fixture and solder the wire to the switch and ground. The fan is a very small computer fan. You could also build a simple battery pack with switch, probably overkill.

I created the base mounting plate using 3/4 inch baltic birch plywood. I applied a coat of spar varnish on both sides to water proof and painted the top white. The overall shape conforms to the fiberglass being mounted on not the toilet. This gave a seamless look. I took T-nuts and put them in small blocks of wood to silicone under neath the mounting surface to hold down the base plate. Used the same holes as the original toilet. Use duct tape to hold in place until the silicone dries. Now the base plate can be secured using threaded bolts into the T-nuts. Silicone to affix and seal edges.

We will never go back to the black tank. The confined mixture of urine, feces and chemicals is a unpleasant noxious blend to avoid. When cleaning out the compost it has a light musty compost smell. Put it in a plastic bag and in the trash dumpster. A lot of places allow hooking a water hose to our dump, buy a special cap for that, and letting grey water out as you create it. Use responsible soap and limit food particles when washing dishes. If not just dump when you can. The black tank should remain unused. Do not re-purpose. Dump your urine bottle responsibly. In a pinch, vegetation will thrive on small amounts. This is the highest maintenance item, not a big deal.
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Old 03-21-2020, 12:58 PM   #53
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We have an air head. We chose it over the naturehead for the smaller foot print. We plugged the hole and cut out a pywood base with feet for the gap, if that makes sense. We did not install a fan. We have a screened opening window in the bathroom, not sure if that is standard and just run the vent fan as needed. Biggest issue is urine odor and we deal with that by spraying down toilet bowl with a vinegar/water mix after each use.
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Old 03-21-2020, 01:09 PM   #54
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I get it

Thanks Thomcat. You enlightened me. Still, even though the manufacturers aren’t ripping me off the price for composting toilets is sky-high. They make so much more sense than using clean water, septic systems, septic services and sanitization plants.
I’ll be more careful in the future. There’s material, R&D and overhead. My complaint should be with cultural aversion to getting a bit more personal with their waste.
Appreciate the insight.
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Old 03-21-2020, 01:43 PM   #55
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I like the idea of plumbing the wet to the tank! Still would like to hear good ideas for dealing with the poop since it apparently is far from being actual compost.
correct: you have "pre-compost" in your composting toilet!
With proper ventilation (I tied mine into the vent pipe Scamp provided for the original marine toilet, but did not bother to add a fan), poop quickly shrivels up to little odorless nuggets: I use a 5gal bucket, and, with liberal use of cococoir cover material, can go about 3 weeks (single person), before it needs emptying. My camping is almost all near-local, going home after a week or so in the wilds. So I decant the poop into one of 2 compost bins I have for the purpose: one active one to add to for a while; the second one sitting quietly and digesting for about 6 months. I check the temp occasionally to make sure it stays hot enough to kill bacteria, but leave it alone otherwise. Then it goes into my garden and grows luscious veggies!
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Old 03-21-2020, 02:37 PM   #56
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So I decant the poop into one of 2 compost bins I have for the purpose:!
Now there’s something I have never heard before. “Decant the poop.”
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Old 03-21-2020, 03:09 PM   #57
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Now there’s something I have never heard before. “Decant the poop.”

I am probably dating myself, but I remember when "sanitation engineers" used to be called trash men or garbage men. The change in job title supposedly improved their status in society. So "decant the poop" is a move in the right direction. We just need a more dignified word for "poop". My own degree is in BS.
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Old 03-21-2020, 03:13 PM   #58
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My camping is almost all near-local, going home after a week or so in the wilds. So I decant the poop into one of 2 compost bins I have for the purpose
Sounds as if you have an excellent plan. Would be great if folks farther from home had good options.
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Old 03-21-2020, 03:19 PM   #59
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I am probably dating myself, but I remember when "sanitation engineers" used to be called trash men or garbage men. The change in job title supposedly improved their status in society. So "decant the poop" is a move in the right direction. We just need a more dignified word for "poop". My own degree is in BS.
“Decant the excrement” does not sound any better.
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Old 03-21-2020, 03:46 PM   #60
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Now there’s something I have never heard before. “Decant the poop.”
it appears this alien (my German is better than my English - sorry!) used an inappropriate term: what I was trying to say is that I carefully transfer the contents of one container into another, without spillage etc.
Turns out, the word "decant" really is applied specifically to liquids - whereas the contents of my poop bucket are more the consistency of potting soil
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