Composting Toilet

A composting toilet has been one of the best off the grid mods we've made. A composting toilet doesn’t use any water, its environmentally friendly and we don’t have to worry about a stinkin’ black tank! Sound too good to be true? Click on any of the posts below for more information.

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127 Comments

  • sarah

    March 20, 2018 Reply

    Would love to get an update about the process for your composting toilet on the boat. How has the dumping changed? Did you setup the liquids to go to the black/grey water tank? I read on another part of your site that you kept a marine head and your composting head, do you use one over the other in certain situations? Can you guys do a Head video that details the changes that have happened since changing to boat life and how the compost & marine heads play into that? Thanks!! Love your channel and your blog. You two are so professional and great to watch.

  • CindyR

    May 23, 2017 Reply

    THANK YOU for sharing ALL of this great info! HAPPY TRAVELS!

  • Amanda Clifford

    March 2, 2017 Reply

    I noticed a small layer of mold growing over the toilet contents. Any ideas what I'm doing wrong, is it ok, how to fix?
    My assumption is that it is a too much moisture issue, so could I just add some extra dehydrates coco coir?

    • Curious Minion

      March 3, 2017 Reply

      A little mold isn't a problem, but a lot of mold could be signs that the compost is too wet (it should be moist, but not "wet") or that the vent fan isn't working properly. If your compost is too wet, yes you can add a little more coir.

  • Gary H

    January 15, 2017 Reply

    Hey guys - really enjoy all of your videos and insights into full-timing. We are getting ready to convert a bus and are considering a composting toilet. You mentioned in this video that it is legal to put the urine into your gray water tank. I have heard varying opinions on this. Can you confirm this? Thanks so much!

  • Chris

    December 26, 2016 Reply

    I see all your videos deal with composting head in the RV and can't find any video about the set up in your boat. Did you go with the natures head in the boat also? Did you vent it to outside?

  • Jeffrey Thompson

    October 9, 2016 Reply

    Nikki, We are getting really close to full timing in our Arctic Fox 25 p trailer. Besides solar installs the composting toilet is high on the list.Question,one thing that is never mentioned much is what do you do with the toilet paper. Do you put it in an container that is tight and dispose of it in the garbage? Also ,after you do your duty do you clean bowl with brush and cleaning liquid. Wish we could test drive one- but since you guys are seasoned users you might fill in the rest of the story on using one. I think we have adequate room for one--how much clearance do you need for the handle to turn..Also how big is your trash container which will be taking up room in the bathroom. We will probably get the same brand you have and will purchase it through your site. Do you have a trash can with a tight lid recommendation- and can I get one through Amazon..Good luck with your new journey..thanks Jeff and Liz Thompson.

    • Meg Magruder

      November 2, 2016 Reply

      Howdy Jeffrey,

      We bought a Natures Head this summer... Best $$$ spent. We use ours for camping & RV'ing at A&M Football Games and have it in a shower tent behind our teardrop trailer. I thought I'd answer your questions. We use regular Trader Joe's TP, it goes in the solids container and it breaks down. we have a small painter's bucket with plastic lid with an X cut in the top, that we put "butt wipes" and lady items in. As for clearance you need enough room to clean. The spider handle is compact. We have been using it on weekend trips off and on since July and this weekend we finally need to empty the poo side. When not in use, it sits in the garage and i turn it daily to keep it composting. We spray with water weekly, since it is not used daily and can get too dry. IT DOES NOT SMELL. We have our spray bottle with Young Living Thieves Cleaner and spray the bowl with each use and wipe with a little TP if needed.
      Buy a 2nd liquid bottle... We were not paying attention this last weekend at the Texas A&M game and well... over filled the liquid. That was a bit of a mess... oops, it did not smell as bad as I expected, I am guessing it was the Thieves. someone suggested an LED light to see where the liquid is, and after my clean up this weekend, I'll be hooking up a light and we will be emptying before post game tailgating.

      Honestly I can't say enough positive things about the Natures Head. If we every upsize from our [email protected] Max XL (king sized bed on wheels) we will be installing the Natures Head.

  • Alyssa Zimmer

    June 29, 2016 Reply

    Also, we really love your site! :)

  • Alyssa Zimmer

    June 29, 2016 Reply

    My husband and I are preparing to build a mobile tiny home of our own! We will definitely choose the composting toilet route, however, we also have 4 cats. Have you found a way to compost the cat waste efficiently?

    • Nikki Wynn

      June 30, 2016 Reply

      I haven't looked into it but I can say that we use "worlds best catlitter" (which we have in our gear store) and it is all natural (made from corn). So you could easily compost it as well.

  • Aaron T.

    June 27, 2016 Reply

    hi, thanx for a great site. i have not seen anything about the disposal of the toilet paper.

    • Nikki Wynn

      June 27, 2016 Reply

      For us, if it's a #1 it goes in the trash, if its a #2 it goes in the toilet.

  • Mike

    June 2, 2016 Reply

    Great videos, I learned a lot and am looking to get a Natures Head Toilet for my house. I heard your comments about men sitting down to pee and recalled an article I read a few weeks ago. Medical research reported in Sweden’s Folket newspaper said that sitting might mean reduced prostate cancer risk and be better for you in the bedroom. So all you manly men out there - sit down, live longer and have more fun.

  • Geoff

    May 10, 2016 Reply

    Jason and Nikki,
    I've enjoyed several of your programs. I am a structural engineer working in residential construction. I work with several "green" builders and designers. We have installed solar swamp coolers, wind generators and LED lights..... but no composting toilets. If you were to settle down in a home, would you trade out for composting toilets? To me it sounds practical.... you have the experience. What would you do?

    • Nikki Wynn

      May 10, 2016 Reply

      I most certainly would as the household versions are even better! There are so many that have great urine tanks that combine with water at an outside hose for water the grass and all kinds of nifty ideas.

  • Michael

    May 7, 2016 Reply

    I withdraw question on toilet removal. Sorry, I found a video explaInning it. Very simple. Thanks again

  • Michael Tubens

    May 7, 2016 Reply

    Hi, my wife and I are trying to order a landmark 5th wheel with the composting toilet. We never considered this until we saw your video. Which are awesome. My question is, do you remove the whole toilet to empty it, from the brackets? If you do, Does it slide out on rails or will you need to unscrew and re screw it back on every time? We are preparing to fulltime as well. Retiring early. Army life has been tough. We're done. Thanks for the great videos.

  • Jeff

    May 5, 2016 Reply

    One old Long-Hair's take on holding tanks & similar,
    I've often heard some "experts", (from the root-words "Ex, a has-been', and 'spurt, a drip under pressure") expound on "never draining Grey-water tanks onto the ground", and have found that this can be very misleading.
    I can't find where they're getting their info, or if their holding-tank set-up is correct, or "other", but here's one example of why you SHOULD be OK with draining excess Grey-water wherever you have to, and it'd not be a problem (AFTER you've checked to ensure you know exactly what is going into your Grey-tank & where it's coming from!):
    FIRST RULE OF THUMB: I ONLY USE BIO-DEGRADING CHEMICALS, NEVER FORMALDEHYDE &/OR SIMILAR, so with that being said:
    In my 1989/1990 National RV, the Fresh-water tank holds a maximum of 70 gallons; (when they were still in business, National said to "only fill it to 60 unless you have no idea when you'll be able to get more fresh water", such as when extended Boondocking, as more weight = more fuel usage in a "gas-burner" like mine), while both the Grey- and Black-water holding tanks are made to hold 40-gallons each, (gotta watch those levels!);
    The ONLY thing that goes into my Black-water holding-tank is dropped directly from the toilet above it, + some extra water from the lav sink, (and a small amount of bio-friendly deodorizer, or just "Rid-X" septic-tank enzyme powder), & I've never had any problems with odors or anything similar.
    The ONLY thing that goes into my Grey tank is from the galley sink and a straight-drop from the shower floor-drain.
    Since I go with foods that the "leftovers" and "trimmings" of, tend to be snapped up by any local wildlife before one can blink, that part isn't a problem; why put another critter's "dinner" in your holding tank?
    That means that the ONLY thing in my Grey tank is about 99.8% water, a few drops of biodegradable suds, and "earth" or "dirt" that gets washed off of food prepared in the galley sink or of me.
    (I used to do a lot of "rough-in"-camping, where the rule is: "Pack out what you brought in, and if you see something that someone else left, pick IT up & pack IT out, too"),..
    So, if I drain a little bit from my "getting-too-full" Grey-tank, even while in my own driveway, it's just putting back all but a tiny bit of what went into it, where it came from.
    (I DO prefer using a sub-micron filter when filling the fresh-water tank, to keep that part of the system lasting longer.)
    I would NOT advise most people to drain their Black-tanks anywhere other than an approved Sanitary Waste Dump-Station, since they're at every Interstate Rest-Stop I've ever been to, (and many Truck-Stops which have some extra space for RVers), although since I live "out in the boonies" to begin with, I CAN just run 30 or 40-feet of drainage hose to the acreage that's below & behind the house & dump everything back there, since most "agricultural areas" are "overpowering" during certain times of the year to begin with, but again, I do NOT recommend anyone else doing that; I have a "unique situation" in that regard.
    For those of you who are old enough to remember the serious droughts which California suffered some decades ago, back when you could turn on any "Tee-Vee Nooz" station, and you'd likely see an example of "How to save water and your lawn at the same time";
    An otherwise-clean 60-gallon plastic trash barrel (or two) was/were on the receiving end of the home's clothes-washer drain hose, and once a barrel was full, a garden-hose was draped over the edge & went to the bottom, and laid out so it was easy to start to siphon out the grey water from the 60-gallon barrel that had been filled by the clothes-washer; then a lawn-sprinkler connected to the other end of the garden-hose was moved to wherever it was needed, which was a great way to recycle the water, save the lawn from dying off, and still not waste any water by using "potable"-water to only spray on the lawn.
    In my own experience:
    After I'd returned from a 5-week outing in the summer of 2007, and when I arrived home, I realized I'd just hooked up the RV to shore-power, fresh-water, leveled it, etc., but had completely forgotten to stop at the local "RV Park", (which is tiny, but DOES have a Sanitary Dump Station with a Washout-hose), so I ran the drain-hose from the RV to the "south forty" of the property and emptied the black-tank, then the grey-tank, and noticed that even I did't smell any objectionable odors.
    I asked my neighbors the next day if they had smelled anything, and all said "Nope, not a thing."
    I know that some RV's are not "plumbed" the same way mine is, but for the majority which are, check to see where the grey-tank gets filled from, and if it's only sinks & shower, there should be nothing wrong with draining off a little bit whenever & wherever necessary, especially if you're Boondocking, or in most other places, without raising the ire of anyone else, (including Mother Nature).
    If you're in an RV Park, or near others in a semi-populated area, even "out in the boonies", always ask anyone else who may be "downwind" of you first! They may already know of a place designated for just that purpose.
    (If you're really boondocking a lot, & find your tanks are at the "Empty Me Or Else" stage, if you're located where your drain hose can reach existing vegetation that no wildlife in the area wants to eat, and you're also much lower than any streams or other clear water where wildlife may get their drinking water from, you may be OK to "unload some excess" from BOTH tanks, but always remember that water CAN and DOES flow uphill, and always avoid the chemicals that use formaldehyde & such, in favor of strictly bio-degradable ones.
    I treat my Black-tank like a miniature 'septic tank', & I just have to be sure that I only use a very small amount of "Rid-X" or similar, along with a gallon or two of clean water, after it's been dumped out, to avoid anything failing to liquify & damaging the seals on my tank-drain valves.
    One last tip: I always carry basic tools, spare drain-valves & related hardware in the RV, so when I had my Black-tank handle open and kept coming out until it was completely in my hand while the tank drained into a Sanitary Waste Dump Station, I only had to empty the Grey tank, then I replaced both valves, rinsed out the tanks with the complimentary Wash-Out Hose there, (a big "Thank You!" to the Pilot/Flying-J truckstop at LaSalle on I-80), & picked up a new pair of valves & stainless hardware at the next opportunity.
    While on the road, whether it's a fan-belt or a drain-valve, it's great to have the spare-parts you need & the tools to use them, right when you need them!
    Have a happy 2016!

  • Wanda mabe

    May 5, 2016 Reply

    Have door handle on 5th wheel will not stay on.wall not thick enough to hold handle,even if make new hole in wall,nothing in wall to hold it

    • Nikki Wynn

      May 5, 2016 Reply

      I am not sure what you are saying here or if you are trying to ask a question. Maybe try again?

  • Joe

    May 3, 2016 Reply

    Hi, new to RVing: thanks for the great info! We're already sold on the composting toilet mod. Would it be a bad i.e. smelly idea to modify the urine container so it continuously drains to the greywater tank? Just for added convenience of not emptying the urine tank often?
    THANKS!

    • Nikki Wynn

      May 3, 2016 Reply

      We have heard of other doing this and considered it ourselves. I don't think it is a bad idea at all and if you can figure out a simple way to do it...please do come back and let us know!

  • Chris

    April 19, 2016 Reply

    Dumb question... your video was great and it spoke about keeping solids away from liquids in the composting toilet... obviously, I've never used one but am interested... when going #2, you still go #1, so how do you separate the two in that instance?

    • Chris

      April 19, 2016 Reply

      Ahhh... I think I see the setup now... hence the suggestion for males to sit down!

    • Nikki Wynn

      April 19, 2016 Reply

      Not a dumb question...its one people ask all the time. The toilet is designed with the human anatomy in mind so all is lined up appropriately and goes where it should. You'll find its all really very simple...so simple it makes you think you must be missing something. ;) Traditional toilets, plumbing, sewage systems and all that are way more complicated.

  • Susan

    March 12, 2016 Reply

    As a nurse, I know that urine stinks if it sits for even a few hours.
    So doesn't the urine stink?

    Is there water or another dilutant in the water tank?
    Thanks for your time. I especially liked your " how not to install a composting toilet".

  • Dave

    March 10, 2016 Reply

    How do you handle the top half which is connected to the vent and power when you are dumping the composting tank?
    dave

  • Stacey

    February 29, 2016 Reply

    Where did you guys get the idea to use the sewer plug and board to cover the old toilet space? It sounds so easy, yet I've postponed buying a composting toilet while I've tried to sort out this install hiccup. I've been wracking my brain for the last number of months trying to figure out how I would do exactly this where our existing toilet sits. I have watched video after video, and been to tons of install blog posts, but no one has shown the plug and covering board to mount the toilet. Genius! THANK YOU!!

    Now, seriously, was this in the install notes? I feel like an idiot for not figuring this one out months ago.

  • Rhonda

    February 17, 2016 Reply

    Since the urine is diverted any way why not hook it up to just go into the black/gray tanks?

  • Phredd

    February 12, 2016 Reply

    Is there a certain length of time you must wait between your last 'go' and when you can dump the compost bin?

    • Nikki Wynn

      February 13, 2016 Reply

      Natures Head suggests waiting 6-8 hours...for us we wait overnight and take care of dumping and refreshing it first thing in the morning.

  • Anne

    January 4, 2016 Reply

    hi there - we are going to use a Seperett composter that separates urine and feces. The holding tank for the urine will go under our Sprinter; from what I'm reading, once diluted the urine is good for plants and shrubs and trees. My question - do you know whether the kitchen sink grey water can go into that same urine holding tank to serve as a dilutent, or would it cause other problems (food particles, bacteria, etc)? If you know or have suggestions where I can go, thanks!

  • Carol

    January 3, 2016 Reply

    A quick question - do you deposit toilet paper in the Composting toilet? It doesn't break down without liquids.

  • Larry

    October 12, 2015 Reply

    I am planning on buying a new fifth wheel trailer to live in soon. Would it be a good idea to have the RV dealer install the Natures Head or would you do it yourself. I know you did a video on this but the fifth wheel has a lot more room and access. Thanks

    • Jason Wynn

      October 12, 2015 Reply

      Larry,
      If you're handy I would suggest installing yourself, otherwise you'll be paying the dealership $100/hr to 'figure it out'

  • Matthew Yodis

    August 8, 2015 Reply

    HI! Great communications about RV living, very helpful..... Is there still a discount buying code available for the composting toilet? Thanks !

    • Nikki Wynn

      August 8, 2015 Reply

      Thanks and yes, it is mentioned in each post I believe but it is Wynns2015.

  • Christopher B.

    July 15, 2015 Reply

    My wife and I have just recently built our own motorhome from a Ford Tranist (UK name) van. The most novel feature was the installation of a Natures Head Composting Toilet, which we decided to purchase based on your videos. I have to say how much my wife and I are impressed with the solution, and as you have said repeatedly there is no smell.

    The Composting toilet is a very simple and practical alternative for installation in a motorhome or RV. The design is simple and elegant ensuring that it is easy to maintain and use. The fact that it comes apart into three sections and only uses two nuts to secure it means that it is simple to install and easy to remove if you need to clean it.

    There has been a lot of discussion about smell, which was something we were concerned about. As has been stated by both Jason and Nikki, the toilet is completely odorless!

    As an aside the first time my wife used it, she suddenly screamed that the toilet was leaking, after jumping into the motorhome shouting I'll get some paper, don't panic, only to be greeted by my wife laughing at me .... All was fine.

    The one thing that surprised us the noise wee makes when going into the collecting vessel, which is something we had not thought of, only a minor observation.

    Since installing it two of my friends who are both motohomers are considering installing this toilet as they are both amazed at the practicality of it.

    Also people are quite taken aback when you say you have a composting toilet in your motorhome. However everyone we have shown it to are very impressed with what it is and how it works.

    Thanks so much
    Chris & Teresa

    • Jason Wynn

      July 15, 2015 Reply

      Chris,
      Thanks for the kind words and we're so happy you took the "plunge" and decided to go composting in your custom rig. Have fun out there!

  • Micah

    July 1, 2015 Reply

    What if you connected the liquid tank to the black tank so you didn't have to empty it so often? Is that something you guys have considered, or is there a reason that wouldn't work?

    • Dave

      October 14, 2015 Reply

      Did you ever get an answer? I have been wondering the same thing. It would certainly solve the problem of dumping the liquid bottle every other day.
      dave

      • Micah

        October 14, 2015 Reply

        Never got an answer...

        • Nikki Wynn

          October 14, 2015 Reply

          Sorry about that. We have not found a solid solution for that yet but it most certainly could be done! When we transition onto a sailboat we hope to have a solution by then.

  • D. Robert Whatley

    June 26, 2015 Reply

    For those people who desire to compost at home yet are concerned to maintain their water closets, I suggest changing out the closet to a low flow, say 1.6 gal. and plumb the black water to an Aquatron model 4x100 or greater. This can be in a basement or crawl space below the floor where the closet is located or following a 6 degree minimum continuous down-grade drop to a separate enclosure or "house" with the Aquatron system (http://www.aquatron.se/aquatron/). I as an architect, I've found the Swedish Aquatron system to be an amazing composting alternative that utilizes only worms. The entire process from waste to soil will naturally take place by the time you are ready to cycle back to the 1st bin. I recommend running the grey water into a sand filter pond with water hyacinths, then once the water has sifted through the sand bed, plumb this water to your garden.
    Additionally, in consideration of the environment I promote rainwater harvesting in a 10,000 gal. tank rain barn, if your state permits. This will provide all the water a family of 3-4 will need in most areas of the country for daily showers, drinking, cooking, and a weekly car wash. In dryer areas where you receive the bulk of yearly water over a 2 or 3 month period, I suggest doubling the catchment tanks to 2 x 10,000 gal. in a rain barn. With grey water management to fill toilets, you have eliminated one of the major utilities in living. Add to this solar, or if you have some grade and a year round creek, hydro power (vastly more efficient). I've designed several luxury homes successfully utility-free in Arizona, Hawaii, Germany, and Austria. Just wanted to plant the idea.

    • Cass Tippit

      September 19, 2017 Reply

      I love everything you said. Sadly it's been 2 years, so I'm not sure you'll see this. I'm curious where you went about purchasing your setup? I onoy came across your comment here because I'm already trying to track down an aquatron stateside and it seems very difficult. Any info on you tron and UDFT would be helpful. Thanks!

  • Stephanie Witski

    May 24, 2015 Reply

    Hi guys thanks for the great video on the natureshead my question is how do you clean the potty? Are pinworms or other human parasites an issue, in the event someone may unknowingly be infected? Thanks for your answer.
    Stephanoodles

  • Tim Johansen

    May 11, 2015 Reply

    I have seen that a single bale of peat moss would last about a year for two people. Do you have any idea how much coir brick would be required to last a year?

  • Kyle Henson

    March 16, 2015 Reply

    Hey Nikki and Jason! Thank you so much for all of the great videos and information about the NH composting toilet! It's because of you that I was able to confidently install my own this past weekend :)

  • Cydney

    January 28, 2015 Reply

    Hi there! Just saw your videos on composting toilets as I was researching systems for our van conversion. I'm in love with the idea!
    However, since it'll be limited space (22 ft van) we were hoping to do a shower/toilet combo in one Fiberglass stall.
    In your opinion, do you think a compost toilet would work in this scenario since its humidity and moisture sensitive? I'm hoping that when water gets on top of it the tank during showering, it would be sealed enough to not let the water into it.
    Does that make sense? And do you have any thoughts?
    Love your blog!

    • Jason Wynn

      January 30, 2015 Reply

      You can find the answer to your question from Larry the owner of Nature's Head towards the bottom of the comment thread. In short the answer is "yes" it will work in a wet bath.

  • Janet

    November 12, 2014 Reply

    I've been wondering...can kitchen scraps be thrown in there? Like coffee grounds, vegetable scraps, egg shells, tea leaves, that sort of thing? It would fill up faster, but...can it be used as a general composting bin?

    • Jason Wynn

      November 12, 2014 Reply

      The mfr. recommends adding coffee grounds for moisture if necessary, I don't think other compost is recommended but you could send the mfr this question to double check.

  • scott

    November 3, 2014 Reply

    i have watched a few video`s of yours,good info.a fun twist.the composting toilet you reviewed,make model ? i`m am inspired to build my own rv.got am e mail i would like to share the site. gdstechnologies.ca/index.html also seen where your next project in saling,this generator along with a water maker could power an electric outboard motor along with all power for cabin. Scott

  • Alma Naylor

    October 16, 2014 Reply

    I really appreciated running across your video, and I've been quite intrigued by your trip and some of you other videos. I was really interested to here that it doesn't stink at all, as I've read where some people said that they did sort of smell. Separating the liquids must make a real difference. I've been concerned about this. By brother has sold several of the Sunmar's in his solar business, and he said he only had one problem, and that was when the people using the toilet got sick and took antibiotics. Evidently, it killed all the bacteria in the toilet and stuff stopped breaking down. They had to clean it all out and start over, but it's been good since then. Something to keep in mind. I'd be interested if you have had any experience in this.

    Also, if you use the toilet, and then decided to empty it shortly thereafter, like the same day, or the following day, wouldn't their be harmful matter still in there? How fast does it break down? Do you need to wait for a while to empty it?

    Lastly, I saw one other review that talks about the bowl staining pretty bad from urine. Do you find to be the case at all?

    • Jason Wynn

      October 17, 2014 Reply

      no issues with staining so far, we spritz a little vinegar + water after going #1.
      We did answer your other question in our other articles if you want to read those.

      • Justin Atwell

        March 16, 2015 Reply

        Jason,
        What kind of coffee do you guys drink? We have been hooked on your videos and are seriously considering taking the composting toilet plunge....no... pun... intended?? Is there a pun there? Maybe. So, basically, we think our #1 is going to smell way worse than "no it doesn't smell at all" due to the coffee/espresso we like. The only way we can possibly fathom that yours doesn't stink (with our vast array of knowledge of toilets and biology) is your brand of coffee. Please enlighten.

        Justin & Trina
        Windsor, CO

        • Jason Wynn

          March 17, 2015 Reply

          haha, yes you are correct the urine is the smelly part of the two, but only when you're dumping it. We are working with the mfr. of the toilets to address this issue. As for coffee: we make it a point to find a quality local roaster to purchase our coffee beans from, so we drink all kinds. Trust me, if you're seriously considering a composting toilet you should definitely take the plunge, we are so happy with ours.

  • David Ahn

    October 9, 2014 Reply

    I mentioned on the solar post we got a 2015 Airstream International Signature 19'. I was adding this as a PS on that post but thought it belonged here in the composting toilet section. So...

    We got a Natures Head composting toilet, which I love. (Thanks, Jason & Nikki!) Well, I love the IDEA of no black water in my tank, the actual practice of dumping the liquids is taking some getting used to. My wife is getting used to the idea, slowly. Still figuring out how to take advantage of the black tank capacity, as we have 21 gal gray and 19 gal black, the gray tank fills FAST. I just ordered Bricor UltraMax 0.625 GPM shower head and 0.375 GPM aerators for the faucets, I hope that helps!

    David

    • Jason Wynn

      October 12, 2014 Reply

      David,
      Those water saving upgrades should help immensely with your water conservation, glad you're liking the composting toilet.

    • Beth

      October 29, 2014 Reply

      David -- How are you and your wife liking the Bricor UltraMax 0.625 GPM showerhead? I'm considering ordering one myself, but I can't find any reviews online.

    • delfina

      July 20, 2015 Reply

      david, we have a 23 ft flying cloud airstream, corner bed and the toilet area is small. how did you get a nature's head in your 19 footer? we are looking into an airhead, you can remove the liquid container without tipping the seat up by just pulling it forward. if you have a secret on how to get a nature's head in we would love to know. the wynns have convinced us that it is the best, but size does count here. thanks.

  • lindsay

    September 9, 2014 Reply

    hello Wynns,
    I am going to ask some questions that you have addressed before, but I need a more detailed answer. You say that simultaneous elimination and menstruation are ok, but don't say why. Will the structure of the toilet handle the SE by physically separating as it happens or is it ok because a little pee in the solids part every now and then is ok as long as you add extra coconut or peat? Same with menstrual flow? Does it get emptied with your liquids or sent to compost with your solids? I have only a week or so to decide between a sun mar and a natures head. There are so many opinions out there, and I've heard that the separation issue can be problematic and backfire if you don't get it just right. I have a five year old who might not always get it right...... thoughts?

    • Jason Wynn

      September 10, 2014 Reply

      Are you considering a Sun-Mar for an RV? We like the Sun-Mar products but they are huge compared to the Nature's Head. Here's my best answer based on our use, I would recommend you call/email Nature's Head and tell them you know us. Larry is the owner and ususally answers email very quickly.
      Simultaneous Elimination - When seated solid waste is directed down and liquid waste is directed forward, this happens naturally so it is not a problem.
      Menstrual Flow - Should a small amount of liquids flow into the composting chamber it will be dried out with the built in fan. If a large amount of liquids fall into the chamber you should mix in extra composting material right away.

    • Nikki Wynn

      September 10, 2014 Reply

      I really think you need to contact Larry at Natures Head and discuss your concerns with him. He can give you lots of info and tips and is very easy to get a hold of. If you are considering this toilet for your RV or Boat you need to make sure that the size and weight of the sun mar will work. It is much larger and much heavier. That is the reason we went with the Natures head. It has the smallest footprint and lightest in weight. I am sure you have already done your research I just thought I would speak up just in case. nothing worse than ordering something only to realize you have to send it right back. Good luck and so glad to hear you are going to be going greener!

      • lindsay

        September 13, 2014 Reply

        Thanks for the response, I should go ahead and call Larry. We are toilet shopping for our Tiny House, so size and weight are only a part of the consideration. We've got room for a sun mar, but after watching your videos, the nature's head just seems so much better. The separation would provide a safety net in case of an electrical glitch, mechanical issue or malfunction of either the system or our solar setup. It seems to be the "less needy" of the two. Thanks again- your videos have been a HUGE help.

        • Jason Wynn

          September 14, 2014 Reply

          Good luck, make sure you tell Larry you know us and he'll take care of you. Let us know what you end up with.

  • Ainsleigh

    September 8, 2014 Reply

    Dear Wynns,

    Thank you so much for all your advice you guys have made my transition to full time rving a lot less stressful. I wont have to waste money constantly going to rv parks because I am taking your advice on getting solar panels, a composting toilet, and what to do with my black tank. You pretty much did all the research I was going to do for me and made it way less intimidating.

    With much appreciation,

    Ainsleigh and Rory (The Cat)

    • Jason Wynn

      September 8, 2014 Reply

      Our pleasure to help Ainsleigh, you may also want to joint a program like Thousand Trails if you're going to be in their campground areas. Have fun and safe travels.

  • Elli K.

    August 12, 2014 Reply

    Hello Wynn Family,

    My partner, 18 month old, and I (together with our dog and cat) will be starting our full time adventure as soon as our house sells.

    We will be upgrading to a composting toilet within moments of buying our rig. But, this comes with questions.

    My three questions are as follows:

    First, how does the toilet you have handle simultaneous elimination? Meaning if the hatch is open and you urinate, does the urine still flow into the proper holes?

    Second, with the subject of potty training, how would you go about that? If we get a potty chair for our child, we would have no place to dump it (because it doesn't separate liquids and solids). However, the composting toilet seems made for adult sized bodies so sitting a child on one and hoping it fits seems silly too.

    Third, how do you handle menstrual flow? Anything special need to be done? Open the hatch or no? Etc.

    And finally, we just want to say thank you. Thank you for normalizing this way of life.

    Big, big fans.

    • Nikki Wynn

      August 18, 2014 Reply

      Congrats on deciding to take the plunge into the RV world, hope your house sells soon! Here's the answers to your questions:
      1. Simultaneous elimination is not a problem.
      2. Not sure about potty training, I'd contact Nature's Head through their website to see if they've come across this issue.
      3. Menstrual flow is not an issue.
      You can find a lot of Q&A in the comments section of each of our Composting Toilet posts, I'd recommend spending some time browsing those and you might get answers to questions you didn't even know you had.

      Hope to see you on the road soon.

  • David Lee

    July 6, 2014 Reply

    Hello, Wynn's!

    I love your website and have learned so much from it. I plan to incorporate many of the ideas and projects you guys have done; especially the solar and composting toilet. The one question I have is why is the toilet so expensive? $960 seems awfully high for what you get. Supply and demand, I suppose. Thanks for all you do.

    • Nikki Wynn

      July 6, 2014 Reply

      Thanks David! I haven't asked the manufacturer that question but I do know that having custom made plastic molds, like the toilet, are crazy expensive and I am assuming that has something to do with it. Every type of composting toilet option we have found is expensive and this was actually the cheapest of all of them. You can go for a DIY version but we wanted something that we knew would work and would look like a regular toilet.

      • David Lee

        July 6, 2014 Reply

        Oh no, no DIY for me on this issue. I hadn't really thought of the start-up costs of making composting toilets. I'm sure the economies of scale aren't the same as a supplier to Lowe's or Home Depot would have.

      • Seth

        August 6, 2014 Reply

        It is about twice the cost of the head we were considering (Lavac Popular) but after considering the cost of through-hulls, piping, fittings, holding tank, tank vent, etc. the cost is more than competitive.

        I still have some reservations about how well the unit and the mounting hardware would handle a roll-over or severe knock-down, and what kind of mess we might have in that case. Thankfully that is a rare experience but after seeing firsthand what can happen, it is someting I consider.

  • Keith

    July 5, 2014 Reply

    Dear Wynn family,

    I have just discovered your blog. What a revelation! My partner and I are currently converting a decommissioned transit bus into an RV, and I've already learned a lot from you two. I do have one question, however, which was prompted by my coworkers when I told them about our plans to install a composting toilet. Both my coworkers were skeptical about whether one can legally transport poop and pee across many different states. My response was, "why would anyone care?" But perhaps they are right. Is there some sort of regulation you know of that restricts the transportation of uncomposted feces and urine? I can't imagine it's treated any differently than a conventional RV with a black water tank. Do you think this gets stickier (sorry, gross word) legally if one's composting toilet is a homemade one? I know you're busy, so by all means, take your time. I don't need an answer for months! But any info would be helpful. Thanks!

    Best regards,
    -Keith

    • Jason Wynn

      July 6, 2014 Reply

      This is a good Question Keith, let's see if we can get the owner of Nature's Head to chime in. My guess is the composting toilet is no different than carrying your waste in the black tank across state lines. As for the homemade type of composting toilet I would guess if you get inspected (which isn't very likely) you will be more susceptible to further questioning, unless you are an expert craftsman and can make your homemade composting toilet look like a 'normal' toilet. Keep us in the loop on what you decide to do.

      • Keith

        July 6, 2014 Reply

        Thanks Jason!

        I will let you know what I discover on my end. I have been religiously reading The Humanure Handbook and I want to make a system similar to that one only we'd be carrying the compost with us for a looooong time in order for it to break down. Who does the inspections of your RV and its toilet system when they do happen? Is it the BMV? I just want to know who to call about this DIY thing.

        -Keith

        • Jason Wynn

          July 6, 2014 Reply

          Keith,
          I'm sorry I wasn't clear about inspections. I do not know anyone that would come and inspect your toilet. The only inspections we've received over the years are a Sheriff looking for contraband in Texas; a Custom’s Agent when crossing into Canada; a Bomb Inspector at the Hoover Dam, and a few Agriculture Agents when crossing back and forth into California. I do not know if any of them would comment on the legality of your toilet. Good luck, if it were me I'd just purchase the Nature's Head and a couple extra bases for continued compost...but then again I'm not much a DIY guy.
          Let me know if you find out anything.

          • Keith

            July 11, 2014

            Thanks Jason,

            I see! The inspections are more of a random thing. Got it. I feel like because a DIY composting toilet would be incorporating ALL an RV's compost (kitchen scraps, etc.) then there would be little to differentiate the compost bin as composting human manure anyway. I am definitely a DIY kind of guy ;) . If it interests you, check out The Humanure Handbook. http://humanurehandbook.com/ Very cool stuff. Thanks again!

            -Keith

      • Larry

        July 6, 2014 Reply

        Our composting toilet is no different than a black water system as far state regulations go. There is no need to have an inspection done on the toilet.

  • David

    June 19, 2014 Reply

    Will the Compost toilet work in a Truck Camper?

    • Nikki Wynn

      June 20, 2014 Reply

      I don't see why not. As long as you have a spot to put it and a place to vent the hose out, that's all you need!

  • Doris

    June 17, 2014 Reply

    How do u clean the composting toilet? Clean the inside of the bowl, specifically?

    • Jason Wynn

      June 18, 2014 Reply

      Doris,
      we've answered in depth towards the bottom of this post: https://www.gonewiththewynns.com/compost-toilet-big-questions
      Hope this helps.

  • Mara

    June 16, 2014 Reply

    Sorry to be indelicate, but what about "monthly" issues for women? Is blood safe in composter or do women have to use a public toilet for the week ? What about hygiene products like tampons?

    • Nikki Wynn

      June 17, 2014 Reply

      Totally legit question Mara. We have answered this question and lots of others here: https://www.gonewiththewynns.com/compost-toilet-big-questions I encourage you to watch the video if you are really interested in the toilet because it covers a lot of the questions most people have.

    • Deborah

      June 17, 2014 Reply

      I watched the video and even read all of the text...I didn't see or hear and answer to this question. As someone with extremely heavy "monthly" issues, I would really like to know about this as well.

      • Nikki Wynn

        June 17, 2014 Reply

        If it is a bodily function it can handle it. It's not a problem. However just like a regular toilet, all feminine products should go in the trash.

  • Pamela H.

    June 13, 2014 Reply

    Loved the FAQ video!! But the one question I did not hear asked was what if you go #1 & #2 at the same time?? Is the toilet bowl designed to keep them separate automatically? When you do need to clean the bowl, did you spritz it with water & vinegar?

  • Erik Markus

    June 9, 2014 Reply

    But, but, but, you two, you make talking about ones and twos, seem so enjoyable and comfortable.
    What happened to the big scary, "WE DON'T talk about THAT stuff", attitude, most of us were brought up with?
    I NEE-EEE-EED, really need, to get a compost toilet shaped coffee table. I know that now.
    These things come with fans for venting? Didn't know that. That's cool.
    I use shredded leaves for my composting needs. I can't see using peat moss to eventually throw in the garbage.
    I love that these things have the separator. It makes everything so much easier.
    If you dilute with 9 parts water, to liguid, you can apply direct to plants as nitrogen rich fertilizer.
    6:50 YES. Right on. Great job explaining !
    Extra toilet paper merely supplants the use of other absorbents like moss, or shredded leaves.
    Standing and peeing? Mainly a guys thing, though some women love a challenge....
    You can buy a mini wall hung urinal, with a hose you can route to the drain area. Even a large funnel hung at just the right height on the wall, with a piece of hose to the drain will also work. Don't forget to dump a 1/2 glass of water in, as a rinse, when done, to keep from crystallization.
    Do some people vomit on a regular basis? I'm trying to think of the last time I did that. I guess I need to reconsider my vomit activities, and try and incorporate more vomiting into my daily routine.
    65-80% of solids- are water.
    Interestingly enough, ( I know from experience) when you dry fecal matter, it basically turns into a small amount of nutrient rich, and 100% safe, SAND.
    It's really incredible.
    All the "hoop-la" and scariness about poop. All the social stigma and the source of many derogatory jokes and classist rhetoric, over what can be reduced to a couple of Tablespoons, of top soil.
    Essentially what you're doing with a compost toilet where you're mixing absorbents (peat moss or shredded leaves) with solids, is to dry it out. Once it's dry, there is no longer any living bacteria remaining.
    18:30 100% agree. I would never return to knowingly polluting drinking water, and that is what we do when using any type flush toilet.
    Flush toilets do not treat human waste, all they do is move it, AND make it a worse problem. Sewage water IS scary, and smelly, and dangerous.
    Composting is not. There is a real sense of doing the earth a favour, when your doing Eco-friendly things.
    Just imagine, if everyone adopted these techniques, how that would change things like water conservation, and the energy and chemicals needed to manage our sewer treatment plants. We could see amazing savings on our taxes and the amount of water we use as communities. And clean drinking water is becoming more and more difficult to get.

    Two books to consider reading, if one wants to understand composting.
    "The Humanure Handbook" and "The Toilet Papers".
    The best ways to neutralize solids is either to dry them, heat them, or freeze them. Exposing to ultraviolet rays is a great way of drying, as well.
    The goal is to kill the bacteria in solids.
    Interestingly flush toilets don't do any of these things. In fact, they make the situation worse.
    I've found that heating is kinda smelly and it uses energy. Not the best choice.
    What I do is freeze the solids. This kills most all bacteria instantly, and suspends the few that don't die during the freeze.
    After that, one can simply dispose of the frozen items in the garbage, put it in a typical compost bin, or dry it in sun light. After it's dried, its literally a couple of stained napkins and a tablespoon, or two, of sand. 100% sanitary. One thing is for sure. Once it's completely dried, it no longer poses any risk, and there is very little smell.
    Other interesting facts.
    Solids, WITHOUT coming in contact with urine, has a certain smell, but it's NOT the worst.
    It's only when the solids are tainted with urine, that you get that awful smell that makes the nose cringe. This is one reason for separating.
    Solids do contain dangerous bacteria, however, as soon as they are expelled from the body, they begin to quickly die. As soon as a consistent body temperature is no longer present and drying begins, the bacteria can't survive.
    On the flip side, urine is Sanitary, or sterile, when leaving the body. However, because it is so rich in Nitrogen, it causes neutral bacteria, in what ever it comes in contact with, to start growing rapidly. This can be good or bad.
    Solids, as soon as they are covered with absorbents, like toilet tissue, peat moss, shredded leaves, and the like..... stop smelling.
    I don't like any smell. When I built my Tiny house, I put the bath fan about 2' off the floor right next to the toilet. When ever I use the toilet, it takes any smell directly out.

    My question- When solids are completely dried, or neutralized, they are no longer poop, right? They no longer carry any of the harmful, untreated bacteria that man has, for centuries, toiled to deal with.
    So, what are they at that point?

    Love your site.

    • Jason Wynn

      June 11, 2014 Reply

      Erik,
      That's the "chicken vs. the egg" type of questions that I'm not qualified to answer...sorry. Maybe we'll get a technical scientist to chime in?

  • Michael

    June 9, 2014 Reply

    Jason & Nikki You guys are great! Us being new RV'ers continuously watch your videos over and over. Great info! The Composting video answered all our questions but one. I might be over thinking this but, If no water is used, how do you keep the bowl clean after #2 use. Is the trap that big that you can't miss. LOL We are pretty much sold on the compost toilet idea.

    Thanks Mike and Patty

    • Nikki Wynn

      June 10, 2014 Reply

      I don't really need to clean the bowl other than general cleaning once a week when I use the 7th generation antibacterial wipes to give everything a quick wipe down. The trap door is large enough that you don't have to worry about much of anything else.

  • Mandeno Moments

    June 8, 2014 Reply

    Hi. How smelly is the liquids tank when you're emptying it? How does your toilet keep that smell in the tank? Stored urine usually reeks.

    • Nikki Wynn

      June 9, 2014 Reply

      We never smell the urine anytime other than when we pull it out to empty it. Putting a little bit of raw sugar or vinegar in the tank really does make a difference. It does smell like urine when you dump it (not lovely, but not overly offensive), but nothing close to what the black tank smell like with a regular toilet!

  • Harry

    May 11, 2014 Reply

    Can you throw the (used) toilet paper in the composting toilet, just as you would in a regular toilet?

    • Jason Wynn

      May 11, 2014 Reply

      Yes you can Harry, the toilet will handle toilet paper no problem.

  • Larry H.

    April 28, 2014 Reply

    Hello, My wife and I are considering putting in the Nature's Head Composting Toilet in our motor home.
    We saw your clip on why you need one. We now have some questions reference the toilet.
    1. What is the average time between changing the compost?
    2. Would it be possible to remove the agitator, install a plastic bag then reinstall the agitator. Then when full remove agitator and lift bag out and dispose of it.
    3. Now that you have had it awhile is there anything that we should know before we attempt this change.

    Thanks for input
    Larry & Barb

    • Jason Wynn

      April 28, 2014 Reply

      Larry,
      We are 100% satisfied with our Nature's Head toilet and we feel its a great upgrade for most any RV.
      1. We typically change the compost every 3 weeks or so.
      2. The agitator cannot be easily removed, and installing a plastic bag wouldn't work due to the agitator tearing the bag up. The dumping process is very clean, and you don't have to worry the "leftovers" in the compost bin after dumping as it will help kickstart the composting process.
      3. The only downside to the toilet for us was installation; once its installed it's worked beautifully for us.

      We have a video that should launch next week (if we can finish it up) that will go into more depth about how to prep and dump the toilet. Hope this helps, if you decide to purchase make sure you use our discount code.

      • Mark S

        April 29, 2014 Reply

        Thanks for this response Jason. It has been almost impossible to find a video demo or written detail about clean dumping of the base. I did see the manufacturers video regarding the 13 gal. trash bag, but that only raised more questions for me. Looking forward to your next video.

        Thanks and happy trails.
        Mark

  • Mike Summers

    April 22, 2014 Reply

    OK Guys; This all sounds great, but what do you do with your pee pee? How often do you have to clean out the boom base with the spinning handle? Do you take it out and hose it down? Just curious.

    • Jason Wynn

      May 2, 2014 Reply

      Mike,
      We have a video that should launch next week that describes the answers to your questions in detail.

  • tim

    April 22, 2014 Reply

    Jason, there are worst things in life than being considered as poop experts,ha ha , well maybe not?. anyhow what do you say about a composting toilet in a wet bath, like allot class b' motor homes have.
    thanks
    tim

    • Jason Wynn

      April 26, 2014 Reply

      Tim I have no clue! It wouldn't work with the electric fan, but maybe the solar fan. I'll ask Larry the owner and see what he says. Good question.

    • Larry

      April 27, 2014 Reply

      Tim, we designed the toilet to work in a wet bath. The only thing you will need to do is drill a hole in the bottom of the urine bottle holder, so the shower water does not collect in the holder. Please feel free to call or email with any questions.
      Regards, Larry
      251-295-3043
      Nature's Head

      • Nikki Wynn

        April 27, 2014 Reply

        Thanks for chiming in with that Larry! I was wondering if any mods would be needed.

  • Elizabeth Bookspan

    April 15, 2014 Reply

    Has anyone tried using clumping cat liter in their Natures Head Composting toilet? We love our Natures Head, but we only take the RV out once a month, so I like the idea of "scooping" the bucket and using the rest of the cedar, pine and corn clumping litter instead of dumping the entire bucket upon return from our 3 to 5 day trips. Please comment.

    • Jason Wynn

      April 15, 2014 Reply

      Elizabeth,
      You do not have to dump the entire toilet each time you use it. The compost will go dormant while you are not using it. Also Larry is great, I'm sure he can tell you why they don't recommend using litter in the toilet.

  • Wylie

    March 12, 2014 Reply

    hey guys,
    so my natures head arrives at the boatyard tomorrow. they are going to fabricate a bracket and step/platform so users won't be perched 25" off the ground!
    venting!? did you guys try the solar vent or go with the hardwired computer fan? i was thinking to try solar but wanted to hear your experience first.
    Wylie

    • Jason Wynn

      March 14, 2014 Reply

      Hey Wylie,
      Great news, sounds like you're on the same boat as us with the platform :)
      We did not go for the solar vent, although I'm sure it will work well. For our install there was 12v power right under the toilet so it just made sense to tap into that.
      Enjoy your toilet, and let us know how it works out for you.

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