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trumpetguy

Composting toilet

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Is anyone using a Nature's Head.  I am thinking about installing one and then connecting the Black tank to the Gray for a total of 50 gallons.  Chime in with your thoughts.

 

I really hate the dump station and the stinky slinky.


Current 2007 Airstream Classic Limited 31


2015 Oliver Legacy Elite II (Sold)


2016 Ram 2500 HD 6.7i Cummins turbo diesel


 

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I think that you would have to have a _really_ strong interest in, and commitment to, the environment to use one. They require a lot of fussy maintenance. You do know that you have to dump the urine tank regularly, then dump or spread the compost, and recharge the holding tank with peat? While not not nearly as nasty as dealing with raw wet sewerage, neither task is pleasant or mess free.

 

While it may be OK to dump a large container of concentrated pee on the ground it will stink and you should do it well away from any campsite. Maybe combine it with a gallon or two of gray water.... It's not something I would be happy to do in a busy campground, but you could carry it to an outhouse.

 

I would love to be able to order a cassette toilet installation, to be able to roll the cassette over to and dump into an outhouse, but Oliver simply won't do it. When I get an Ollie I will probably use a portable macerator. Busy or closed dump stations are THE worst thing about owning an RV.

 

I wonder if Oliver would be willing to design and offer a built in macerator dump system in place of the big gravity drain hose everybody hates.

 

http://www.gonewiththewynns.com/all-composting-toilet

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

 

 

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"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

 

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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For me it's more a function of time.  At only 18 gallons the black tank gets full quickly even with agressive management.  The Wynns say you can get about 60 poops before dumping and re charging.  That plus the ability to combine black and gray tanks has me researching composting and electric toilets.


Current 2007 Airstream Classic Limited 31


2015 Oliver Legacy Elite II (Sold)


2016 Ram 2500 HD 6.7i Cummins turbo diesel


 

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In my daily browsing, deliberating, researching, one of the biggest dilemmas I am facing is regarding the composting toilet option, should Oliver soon offer it as a possible installation in a new trailer.  I've watched the vids and read the forums but I'm still unsure.  The vast majority of my trailer use will be for dry camping, I plan on BLM getaways for weeks at a time.

 

Would certainly appreciate all input, recommendations, plus and minuses from current and prospective owners.

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I think it is a good thing and will have one installed sometime.  The only drawback is the height.  We measured our present Thetford and the Natures Head is seven inches taller.  Might need a foot stool.

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Current 2007 Airstream Classic Limited 31


2015 Oliver Legacy Elite II (Sold)


2016 Ram 2500 HD 6.7i Cummins turbo diesel


 

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Since Oliver is now offering the Nature's Head composting toilet as an option, I have been researching further and there are lots of good vids on YouTube especially those done by "Gone with the Wynn's" (as noted by John above).   I've yet to find a down side to the composting toilet, compared to the typical wet toilet.  And the fill capacity time for the Natures Head is about 60-80 uses.  That would allow a much extended time window for boon docking.  Plus all that extra water capacity, gray and black, once using the composting toilet.

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Is it an official option?

 

 

Yes, it is, and I received a separate options PDF from Heather this morning. The options list on the website hasn't been updated quite yet.

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Awesome.  I need to email them to get the current options list.  Thanks for the heads up!


Snowball • LE2 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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I see on the new price sheet that they are also offering the Thetford Sani Con system, which looks like a really nice option if you want to go the macerator route.

 

And also an auto drain option for the grey/black tanks.

 

My wife and I went through all the Wynns' videos on the composting toilets last night, and we're sold.  It's one of those things that sounds awful at first but the more you learn and think about it , the more sense it makes.

 

I wonder if there's a way/option to plumb the urine tank directly into the grey water?


Snowball • LE2 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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I wonder if there’s a way/option to plumb the urine tank directly into the grey water?

 

Anything is possible, but in the videos it is clear that you need to flush and even scrub the pee tank often, to keep the yellow crud from hardening inside. A good cleaning followed by a cup of vinigar is supposed to keep the smell down. I think you need to plan on hand dumping and rinsing routinely. You could always dump it down the shower drain in an emergency, followed by a good dose of fresh water afterwards. You don't want to have pee standing in the trap, no sir.

 

I was not too keen on the idea at first but I am coming around. If Oliver will offer the system with extra fresh water in place of the black tank, I would go for it. I like that the longer you leave the compost bin sitting the better, in terms of decomposition... You could leave it full over the winter and start fresh in the spring. Try that with a full black tank!

 

I don't have the new spec sheet, how much is this going to cost?

 

It seems as if there would be considerable assembly labor saved by not having to plumb the dump valve and black pipes, but OTH a new fresh tank would require new plumbing, check valve and most likely a second water pump, to transfer the water to the main tank. I suspect that relying on gravity will not prove satisfactory - it's too easy to get reverse flow when the trailer is not perfectly level since the tanks are so shallow. Setting it up like an auxiliary gas tank in a pickup truck ought to work well. You could use the main tank until it's below half full, then flip a switch to transfer the entire contents of the second tank into the main one. A check valve prevents reverse flow.

 

Or maybe I am overthinking things once again.

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA


"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

 

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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Looks like it's an $800 option, which I guess is about the retail difference between the nature's head and the domestic flush toilet they were using. I wish Oliver could offer a better deal, but I'm not sure I can fault them. At $950 retail, the nature's head is ridiculously priced for what it is - a glorified bucket.

 

So we're putting this on the 'to be considered' list for now.  Things like this will really depend on prioritizing other options we want, plus what kind of discount can be had from Oliver when it comes time to deal.


Snowball • LE2 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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Looks like it’s an $800 option, which I guess is about the retail difference between the nature’s head and the domestic flush toilet they were using. I wish Oliver could offer a better deal, but I’m not sure I can fault them. At $950 retail, the nature’s head is ridiculously priced for what it is – a glorified bucket.

So we’re putting this on the ‘to be considered’ list for now. Things like this will really depend on prioritizing other options we want, plus what kind of discount can be had from Oliver when it comes time to deal.

 

Yes, I too thought the price for the Natures Head that Oliver has listed was a bit steep, as I imagine, but may be wrong, that the installation would be so simple compared to the plumbing for the Dometic.

 

Thus far I have not heard of any sort of discounts that can be had by anyone who has actually purchased an Oliver. Maybe that just comes with the territory, but some incentives would be most appreciated.

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It would be good to have installation instructions for a retrofit.


Current 2007 Airstream Classic Limited 31


2015 Oliver Legacy Elite II (Sold)


2016 Ram 2500 HD 6.7i Cummins turbo diesel


 

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I've been following the Nature's Head discussion for  a long time. Paul and I met with a couple with two installed in their houseboat at a boat show a fe w years ago. It looks like a simple operation, good system. The owners, who were working on a per diem basis, loved the results on their boat.

 

Has anyone actually installed one in an Oliver? A year ago, we were camped in the same park as the Wynns (Lake Louise), but too tired to walk and find where they eventually camped. I spoke to Nikki as she drove thru looking fo a campsite for the bus, but.....

 

Composting toilets and incinerating toilets offer a lot of freedom, and little water use. Incinerating toilets use a bit of energy, so we;re evaluatating.

 

On a funny note, one comment on a website said, well, it's funny to look at a composting toilet, but hey, we've all been taught to pee in a bowl of water....  How funny is that?   Yes, after 45 days of primitive camping in  the Yukon and Alaska, pit toilets kind of rock (from an evnironmental standpoint). Why, indeed, is a bowl of water the preferred place to do business?

 

Yes, it is what it is.

 

Sherry (Paul may not agree)


2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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Just received an email from Christine. The NH toilet installation is in place of the standard flush toilet, but everything else in the black system remains - black tank, fresh and waste plumbing, dump valve, and shut-off valve. She said it is not practical to install a fresh water tank or storage underneath and it would be too hard and costly to install a regular toilet if the other parts were not there.

 

Cost of the Natures Head option is $800.

 

Sorry, but IMHO this is utter BS. If I wanted TWO complete waste systems I would be happy as can be, but this approach is bogus. If Oliver is going to offer the composting toilet, then they should engineer and offer a creative solution for 2.5 cubic feet of unused space under the bathroom floor.

 

I am bummed. How about you guys?

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

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"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

 

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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I am very disappointed to hear of the reply that the factory gave you, makes no sense to me either, and would save a great deal of otherwise expensive duplication of plumbing etc by not making it as a foreseeable double waste system simply because someone might want to retro fit it with a conventional wet toilet.

 

I would have thought that they would be more pragmatic and customer oriented than this.

 

Might indeed be a deal breaker for me.

 

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I would have thought that they would be more pragmatic and customer oriented than this. Might indeed be a deal breaker for me.

 

Well, it isn't a complete deal breaker but it just pisses me off because it is unprofessional, half-assed and sloppy. I suspect that if they weren't running the production line flat out, they would be more inclined to work on the more complicated options. As it is now, they have no economic motivation to expend the time and manpower to engineer this weird kind of stuff correctly.

 

For the life of me I cannot understand why they refuse to offer a spring over axle option. That bothers me a little, but at least I can get that done down the street. It would be a real chore to get all that unused junk out from under the floor. That is nuts.

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA


"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

 

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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Well, I guess that' s "throwing the baby out with the bathwater".  C'mon guys lighten up.  Oliver is a production line trailer.  True they do bend over backwards to accomodate requests, but these things are not custom built.  My guess is there is another reason to leave the black tank in.  Prolly to do with certification.

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Current 2007 Airstream Classic Limited 31


2015 Oliver Legacy Elite II (Sold)


2016 Ram 2500 HD 6.7i Cummins turbo diesel


 

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Not knowing the layout or dimensions of the tanks, it's hard for me to guess how difficult it would be for them to switch them up.  If I remember correctly, the fresh water is on the passenger side and the black is on the driver side, so connecting them together might mean adding pumps or connections which would be difficult or even impossible to service once the tubs are put together.  The other solution I guess would be to swap the sides of the fresh/grey tanks - I don't know how difficult that would be.  It's always been a mystery to me why the grey tank is larger than the fresh water tank to begin with.

 

It's not an ideal solution, I admit - but I'm pleased that Oliver understands that people are looking for alternatives to the black tank, and they are at least searching for solutions.

 

 

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Snowball • LE2 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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Well, I guess that’ s “throwing the baby out with the bathwater”. C’mon guys lighten up. Oliver is a production line trailer. True they do bend over backwards to accomodate requests, but these things are not custom built. My guess is there is another reason to leave the black tank in. Prolly to do with certification.

I have to agree.  For its small size, Oliver has been very willing to incorporate new features into its production line.  It wouldn't surprise me if their R&D folks are some of the same guys assembling these quality trailers.

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Mike and Carol | Fair Oaks Ranch, TX | 2016 Elite II #135 | 2020 Ram Rebel 4X4 5.7L Hemi

ALAZARCACOFLGAIDILKSKYLAMDMSMOMTNENVNMNYNCNDOHOKSCSDTNTXUTVAWVWYsm.jpg

 

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For those who have experience with composting toilets, in those RV's in which they have been installed, would it not make sense to connect the grey tank to the black?  How difficult might that be for those who already own an Oliver, and know the layout.   This would leave the original engineering of the tanks in place and should be easy to reverse if a future owner opted for a wet toilet.   Another thought would be to plumb the urine bottle on the Natures Head, directly into the black water tank.  That would at least allow the black tank to remain in place and serve a function, and only have the need to dump it very infrequently.

 

I'm very enthusiastic about the composting option, but don't want to have unused space and a black tank sitting idly, or maybe their introducing the Natures Head at this point doesn't seem well thought through?  I'm really seeking solutions and suggestions to make a well informed decision.

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When the Wynns did theirs they connected the gray and black together for more gray water capacity.  I like this idea and it should not be too difficult a mod.

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Current 2007 Airstream Classic Limited 31


2015 Oliver Legacy Elite II (Sold)


2016 Ram 2500 HD 6.7i Cummins turbo diesel


 

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When the Wynns did theirs they connected the gray and black together for more gray water capacity. I like this idea and it should not be too difficult a mod.

 

I had overlooked that vid of theirs previously and just now watched it:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T1dXcBchbuQ&list=PLG5YKEqC5FquFfv8wzgz3OuVpJbZWBh2H&index=3

 

Would in fact this very modification work on the Oliver?

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Here's the combined black/grey water tanks outlet in the Ollie bumper connecting to the drain hose:

 

 

 

Don't know if the drain valve has enough room be rotated/secured to the existing outlet fitting, like in Laps video, without removing the top top diamond plate aluminum cover. If the cover has to be removed, the rivets can be drilled out, cover lifted, valve installed, cover with rivets installed.

 

Edit: The more I watch Wynns video, looks like the top diamond plate cover will not have to be removed.

 

Hope this helps! :)

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Bill

LE2 Tundra

 

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