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John E Davies

Nature's Head composting toilet installation in an Oliver. Big thread.

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There are a number of threads asking about this toilet. I hope we can gather up a lot of the talk here in one place. I think there has been one other installation in an Ollie but there have been NO published pictures of any kind, that I have been able to find, even from the factory. This is baffling to me.

 

I really wanted to cut the dump station umbilical. We routinely dry camp and finding an open station during a busy holiday weekend or off season is not something I want to face. With the NH toilet we can get rid of our grey water with a 3/4 inch garden hose. In many western states it is legal and encouraged to run a hose out  to a nearby shrub and let your water trickle into the ground.

 

The black tank, drain plumbing and vent system are all completely retained. The factory folks are extremely reluctant to delete these parts, since they are part of their certification. If you wanted to reinstall a regular toilet, it would be a very minor job. The fresh water line is even in place, next to the wall. You could sell the used NH for $400 and that would pay for the replacement conventional RV toilet, with a lot left over. An RV toilet is less than $200....

 

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I chose to charge the base with coconut coir rather than peat moss, since it is a renewable resource and doesn't damage the environment. https://smile.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=coconut+coir

 

I made the mistake of just dropping a dry 2 pound brick into the bottom, adding water and then letting it hydrate. I ended up with WAY too much material. You need to do this in a bucket, outside, and then transfer the expanded stuff into the base, and the leftovers into gallon zip bags. The correct height is even with the internal agitator centerline. Any higher and it becomes difficult to turn with the handle. It takes about two gallons, I did not measure.

 

There are many online sources with info. To summarize:

 

Sit to pee, everybody, so there is no splashing. The trapdoor stays closed and your pee goes forward, and then down into the reservoir. Which you pre-treated with a half cup of vinegar, to kill the odor. That part is easy.

 

To poop, open the trapdoor, finish the job, wipe and close the door. Give the agitator handle two or three turns.

 

The poop and paper will decompose rapidly once the natural process gets going, which may take a few days. The fan keeps a steady flow of fresh air into the reservoir and out of the trailer through the existing roof vent. I never noticed any bad odors except the first days, before I figured out that Oliver had installed the wrong fuse, a 1 amp, which had blown. Once I installed the correct fuse (2 to 5 specified, I used 3 amp), the fan worked as designed. The fuse is located in the main distribution panel under the dinette table, right row, bottom position (UN-labeled!).

 

It is best to put only the absolute minimum amount of RV toilet paper into the base. If you put a lot in, it wraps around the agitator and makes it harder to turn. Only stinky paper goes down - the rest (damp with pee) goes into the small covered waste can to be disposed of weekly. The can came from Walmart, $10 I think.

 

Cleaning is simple: spritz the area lightly with a dilute vinegar spray and wipe down with a disposable baby wipe, toss in can. Done. The residual vinegar and wipes control any odor from the can.

 

The pee tank is big but it will fill up faster than you can believe if you have four people using it! Empty when it gets to within an inch or two from the top:

 

Flip the two side latches, carefully rotate the top off the base, remove the pee bottle and cap it. Dump it in any approved location - a pit toilet or a rest stop restroom. Rinse with fresh water a couple of times and recharge with half a cup of vinegar. Reinstall into the toilet and close and latch the top.  The pee will eventually form crusty yellow deposits. The fix, I have read, is to add gravel and water and shake it hard, then rinse several times. In two weeks of use I never noticed any significant deposits.

 

The longer you let the poop decompose the better. If you can leave it over the winter, dump it out in the spring and it will be totally benign. If you need to empty it mid-season, remove the pee bottle and vent hose, unscrew the two hold down knobs and lift out the entire unit.  Carry it outside and put a 13 gallon or larger trash bag on top, flip it over and empty the compost. Refill with clean coir to the centerline. There is NO need to clean it out. Any residual material will just help the next batch get started.

 

The organic waste you can double bag and put in the trash, or if fully decomposed, it can be spread out in the woods, but not near a potable water supply or garden.

 

The way to keep the smell in control is to keep the pee out of the main reservoir. It's the urine that makes a pit toilet smell so bad.... If you throw up or have a messy poop, you can add a little more fresh coir to help absorb the extra fluids. I keep a gallon bag of the hydrated stuff in the overheard cabinet (along with a quart of vinegar) and haven't had to add any extra.

 

The fan has a dust filter that is supposed to be checked every few weeks, by removing two Philips screws. I think that is way too often in the clean environment of a fiberglass trailer, unless you have a dog that sheds. You can put your hand over the left (inlet) opening and feel a light suction. If that isn't present, you need to clean the filter.

 

The pee bottle sits in a sealed cavity to catch overflows, This is a problem since when you take a shower, a bunch of fresh water gets trapped there. I intend to drill a couple of small drain holes in the bottom. I don't care if the pee bottle overflows onto the floor of the head, at least that way I will notice it! unless it is dark, and I am barefooted.... that would be bad ;) This is why you want to empty the tank before it gets too close to the top.

 

Agitator handle: ours fell off right away, the shaft has a set screw with lock nut. It is very easy to tighten correctly. I am not sure why the factory guy couldn't do it successfully.

 

Spares: I intend to purchase a spare pee tank ($40), spare lids, and a fan.I already have extra 3 amp fuses. ... http://store.natureshead.net

 

I intend to wire in a small LED in the wire harness to show that the fan has power. You can probably hear it running, faintly, if you are in a very quiet area and don't have bad tinnitus, as I do.

 

The Nature's Head is a cool device, but it is really just a fancy bucket. A solidly built, very expensive bucket. I wish the price were about $250 instead of $800. That seems about right for what you get. OTH it is very rugged, and long time users seem to love it.

 

My wife still has some reservations about using it, and we need to get a short step stool since it sits so much higher than even a tall toilet. This one might work well, and it might fit in close to the base with a bungee cord around it for travel: .... https://www.squattypotty.com/shop/poop-better/classic-ecco

 

I am still learning, but I have no regrets at  this time.

 

Questions?

 

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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Thank's John let us know how you like it after a season of use!


Jason
If you think you are too small to make a difference just try sleeping with a mosquito –- The Dalai Lama

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Looking at the photos, my only initial comment is that the mounting hardware and vent hose aren't the most attractive things in the bathroom.  But that's a minor concern.

 

I wonder if one of the teak shower matts from teamworks would raise the floor enough that you don't need the stool.

 

I assume that you'd want the fan running while the trailer is in storage.  Maybe it's best to dump the compost prior to storage, in off chance that the fan might go out or if you wanted to disconnect the battery.


Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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Looking at the photos, my only initial comment is that the mounting hardware and vent hose aren’t the most attractive things in the bathroom. But that’s a minor concern. I wonder if one of the teak shower matts from teamworks would raise the floor enough that you don’t need the stool. I assume that you’d want the fan running while the trailer is in storage. Maybe it’s best to dump the compost prior to storage, in off chance that the fan might go out or if you wanted to disconnect the battery.

A teak mat won't be enough for a height challenged individual. My wife is 5'6" and she wants at least five or six inches of lift. At 6' I can get on OK but it is a stretch. I think the stool I linked to would work fine and take up minimal space when stored up against the base, with a bungee going to the two base knobs during travel.

 

Purty it ain't, does that really matter? You can go with a purty conventional toilet, and admire the sleek lines, and then contemplate and smell your gross 3 inch Stinky Slinky and the nasty stuff coming out the end every time you dump..... your choice ;)

 

The fan only uses about an amp, max. I would not bother with dumping before storage, but I keep my trailer in a conditioned RV bay, aka The Hanger Deck, and plugged in all the time. You would not want the parts to freeze more than ocassionally, especially if full. For outdoor storage in a freezing climate the head should be decommissioned in the Fall and unplugged.

 

Useful links:

 

https://theboatgalley.com/our-composting-toilet/

 

 

The coconut coir I use: ... https://www.amazon.com/Planters-Pride-RZP3041-11-Pound-Beats/dp/B004HLSL7W/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&qid=1464718104&sr=8-1&keywords=beats+peat&linkCode=sl1&tag=theboagal0a-20&linkId=07579bfa2f7cd988a4f0550e9448ab6d

 

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 wanted to add another pic and a comment.

 

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That is the unused water supply for the standard flush toilet. It sits directly behind the NH toilet, close to the streetside wall. It adds a complication for winterizing. You should blow it out and flush with antifreeze, but exactly how is problematic, without making a substantial mess. You could invert a cup over the top and let the fluids run out onto the floor.

 

Maybe I will install a fitting and a 2 food flex service hose on top, so I can direct the flow into a gallon milk jug....

 

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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I think that I would just go back to the Tee, which should be inside the vanity, then just pull the Tee off and put a coupling straight in to the bathroom faucet. Then just blow the now empty toilet line out once and forget about it.

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Happy Camping,


null


Reed & Karen Lukens with Riffles our Miniature Poodle


2017 Oliver Legacy Elite II  Standard, Hull #200 / 2017 Silverado High Country 1500 Short Bed 4x4


Past TV - 2012 Mercedes-Benz ML350 4Matic BlueTEC Diesel


Click on our avatar pic above to find the videos on our Oliver Legacy Elite II


 

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I think that I would just go back to the Tee, which should be inside the vanity, then just pull the Tee off and put a coupling straight in to the bathroom faucet. Then just blow the now empty toilet line out once and forget about it.

That may be my final solution, thanks for the suggestion. I could always attach a looong hose to it and use it as a hand held bidet ;)

 

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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This is the fabulous thread with tons of information...BUT...and I know this is a female thing:  I just can't wrap my mind around composting poop in a toilet vs a regular flush toilet.  Emptying the black tank doesn't seem unreasonable to me, but composting....shivers.

 

Thank you all for such wonderful pictures and explanations.

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This is the fabulous thread with tons of information…BUT…and I know this is a female thing: I just can’t wrap my mind around composting poop in a toilet vs a regular flush toilet. Emptying the black tank doesn’t seem unreasonable to me, but composting….shivers. Thank you all for such wonderful pictures and explanations.

If you read those articles I linked to and talk to people who have these, it doesn't seem quite so alien. My wife had pretty major reservations, but she has come to accept it, if not exactly embrace the idea... ;)

 

It truly is nastier dealing with raw sewage and the big stinky hose. If your husband is doing that job, then good for you. But if you have to do it yourself, you will soon understand that it is unpleasant at the best of times, and potentially VERY nasty if there is a spill, backed up drain, or ripped hose....

 

Dealing with soapy water from the grey tank is painless and odor free.

 

Composting toilets have truly revolutionized toilets in cruising boats. They are starting to catch on in RVs. There is a steep learning curve, to get past the initial wierdness.

 

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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However the "human waste" stored gets disposed of, it will be me doing it.  And I am still about six months away from making any purchase.   The whole idea of having to empty any sort of tank was and still is a bit daunting to me, but I do realize it is the price I will pay for traveling with a travel trailer.  I am praying that which ever trailer I decide to buy, the information given will familiarize me enough to be able to do it with little or no mess.

 

I was serious about the wonderfully useful information and photographs being so good.  Perhaps doing some research and learning more about a composting toilet will become an idea that doesn't give me pause.  Thank you again for sharing so much with everyone.

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My friend Mark was sitting here with me this morning and he's been thinking about installing the Nature's Head as well. Then he was thinking about running a line from the nature's head urinal down into the black tank... This way he could flush the urine out the back with some water added into the black tank and it sounds feasible. You could take that waterline and plumb it into the black tank flush line to add water in the beginning... And you could put some Nature's Miracle or something down the black tank to prime it and get rid of the ammonia smell. Or maybe you could just add some baking soda also... Just some thoughts anyway :)

 

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Happy Camping,


null


Reed & Karen Lukens with Riffles our Miniature Poodle


2017 Oliver Legacy Elite II  Standard, Hull #200 / 2017 Silverado High Country 1500 Short Bed 4x4


Past TV - 2012 Mercedes-Benz ML350 4Matic BlueTEC Diesel


Click on our avatar pic above to find the videos on our Oliver Legacy Elite II


 

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Thanks, John. I loved this information. I knew from the get-go I wanted a composting toilet and the full solar set up because boondocking for 1-2 weeks at a time is my ideal. The one thing I've always wondered about and still don't fully have my head around is how you can have a composting toilet in a wet bath. I've heard/read one of the most important things about making sure a composting toilet works as it should is to make sure it's kept dry. Isn't that impossible in a wet bath?

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Thanks, John. I loved this information. I knew from the get-go I wanted a composting toilet and the full solar set up because boondocking for 1-2 weeks at a time is my ideal. The one thing I’ve always wondered about and still don’t fully have my head around is how you can have a composting toilet in a wet bath. I’ve heard/read one of the most important things about making sure a composting toilet works as it should is to make sure it’s kept dry. Isn’t that impossible in a wet bath?

Thanks for the kind words. See the second picture down from the top of Page 1. There is a significant lip around the seat part, under the lid, that keeps shower water out. You are correct, you want to keep the compost damp, but not drippy wet.

 

Unfortunately, as I noted, there is nothing to keep shower water out of the hollow that the pee tank sits in. So when you are done washing, you can either leave that water sitting there, lift out the tank and dry the parts, or drill a couple of holes in the bottom of the receptacle .... NOT the pee tank itself, LOL. I plan to do the latter, but I keep forgetting.

 

I suppose that you could fabricate a rubber seal around the top, but that might make removing and reinstalling the tank harder.

 

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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My friend Mark was sitting here with me this morning and he’s been thinking about installing the Nature’s Head as well. Then he was thinking about running a line from the nature’s head urinal down into the black tank… This way he could flush the urine out the back with some water added into the black tank and it sounds feasible. You could take that waterline and plumb it into the black tank flush line to add water in the beginning… 

This would work, but IMHO it adds unnecessary complication. If you were full timing, it might be beneficial. but it isn't hard to empty the tank manually. There might be problems with hard crusty deposits forming in the drain line. I am not sure if you could chemically remove those periodically. The deposits that form in the tank require some hard scrubbing, using a handful of gravel, some water, and shaking vigorously is a common method. You can't do that with a small drain hose.

 

A composting toilet is definitely a different kind of system compared to a regular RV toilet and tank...

 

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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John, Did you have a shower curtain installed? I can't quite tell by the photos. I'm considering doing that as a way to help ensure the toilet stays dry. But in reading through other threads about shower curtains, it seems like the water doesn't really spray every where and I could go either way and still be okay with the composting toilet.  I didn't quite understand it on your first set of photos but then when you told me where specifically to look for water collecting, I understood it much better. That's when I started wondering if a shower curtain would eliminate the issue altogether.  For me, the down side of the shower curtain is the aesthetic. All the photos I've seen with them seems like the shower curtain kind of over runs the tiny little room. I'm on the fence about this add-on.

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John, Did you have a shower curtain installed? I can’t quite tell by the photos. I’m considering doing that as a way to help ensure the toilet stays dry. But in reading through other threads about shower curtains, it seems like the water doesn’t really spray every where and I could go either way and still be okay with the composting toilet. I didn’t quite understand it on your first set of photos but then when you told me where specifically to look for water collecting, I understood it much better. That’s when I started wondering if a shower curtain would eliminate the issue altogether. For me, the down side of the shower curtain is the aesthetic. All the photos I’ve seen with them seems like the shower curtain kind of over runs the tiny little room. I’m on the fence about this add-on.

No shower curtain, it is not needed, though it might stop water collecting in the pee receptacle. I would rather just have drain holes.....

 

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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Some more pics! This is the floor under the toilet, after cleaning the area. It gets a little dirty under there since it isn't sealed in any way. You can see the black tank, which has no hole or flange for the regular toilet. I am surprised at that, all it has is a small hole to one side, capped with a translucent pvc plug...???? You can also clearly see the unused fresh water tap that needs to bypassed by blocking the hose to it, for winterizing.

 

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The toilet emptied of its, uhmmm, contents and stuff, ready to be refilled. The old stuff was very benign and did not smell at all, I just secured it in a heavy leaf bag and added it to the trash. You are NOT supposed to clean out this area, leave the remnants behind to help kick start the new batch of good bacteria.:

 

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A fresh batch of coconut coir hydrated for about 45 minutes. The toilet is filled just to the agitator center line (no higher or it gets hard to turn!), and there is enough left for another fill. I bagged and labelled that extra material and set it on a garage shelf with my other RV supplies, so my wife would not pot a plant with it:

 

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Not shown is the pee tank receptacle. I drilled three 1/4 inch holes right at the bottom facing the center of the bathroom, so any accumulated shower water would naturally drain out instead of getting trapped there.

 

We are both liking the toilet. It does take a little regular maintenance but it's in no way hard, just different from a black tank system. We like being free from dump stations, tho we still have to deal with the gray water. But that is not a big deal out West.

 

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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John, thank you for providing the excellent and detailed information on the Nature's Head installation in your Oliver. I'm planning to visit the factory next month to have one installed in my Ollie. Emptying the black tank and the slight odor associated with the regular RV toilet have been the only things I've struggled with as an Oliver owner. The information you've provided convinced me that the Nature's Head should make me a happier camper! Thanks again for the excellent posts on this subject.

 

Don

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Don

 

2020 Conqueror UEV 490 Extreme Platinum

 

 

2019 Ram Rebel

 

 

States I visited with my Ollie (Sold October, 2019)

 

 

States Visited Map

 

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John, thank you for providing the excellent and detailed information on the Nature’s Head installation in your Oliver. I’m planning to visit the factory next month to have one installed in my Ollie. Emptying the black tank and the slight odor associated with the regular RV toilet have been the only things I’ve struggled with as an Oliver owner. The information you’ve provided convinced me that the Nature’s Head should make me a happier camper! Thanks again for the excellent posts on this subject. Don

Don, ask them to cap off the now-unused fresh water line, they can do that out of sight under the sink, I think. That way you won't have to mess around with winterizing that segment every fall.

 

Make sure to pre-purchase your consumables, and maybe some spares like an extra pee bottle and/or cap. Oliver doesn't give you any. http://store.natureshead.net

 

Make sure they use a large enough fuse, and have them label it! Since it will be a retrofit, they will probably use an inline one, and pick up power close by, maybe under the sink. Make sure it is readily accessible. The fan uses less than an amp running, but the fuse must be 2.5 to 5 amps as per Natures Head support.

 

Ask for a small led light so you can see if the fan is operating. It is audible if your tinnitus isn't too bad, but it is very quiet.

 

Get a 3 inch sewer to male garden hose adapter, so you can dump your gray water with a 3/4 inch hose. It's slow but very convenient if time is not a factor.

 

Post your thoughts here after having used it a while. I hope you like it. I am sure you will love being able to pass by dump stations and laugh at the lines. For off season and especially off-the-grid camping, it is a revelation.

 

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 have been interested in this conversion for some time. Currently our travel habits have made it possible to use toilets (pit and other), peeing only in the Oliver, and showers when available and when not the Oliver shower. But our time on the road is increasing and making free and dry camping options more the norm. As this happens, my interest becomes more and more acute. I really appreciate the information you have provided John and have had similar questions that others have expressed. Directing pee to black tank would be the primary one. By doing so you would have a system that not only used the equipment provided (black tank) but also one that only required the activity of dumping something once a month at most.

 

Thank you for this interesting and informative thread.


Grayson and Ann Cook


Northwest CT and Mid Coast Maine


2016 Oliver Elite II, Twin Bed FP


Toyota Tundra, Extra Cab, Long bed, 5.7 V8


Yippee-i-o-ki-yah

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John,

 

Thanks again. I've ordered coconut coir and I've established an account at the Nature's Head store. I have two extra fuses and a spare bottle cap in my basket. Did you purchase an extra liquids bottle? What circumstances do you anticipate that would make this a good purchase?

 

Don


Don

 

2020 Conqueror UEV 490 Extreme Platinum

 

 

2019 Ram Rebel

 

 

States I visited with my Ollie (Sold October, 2019)

 

 

States Visited Map

 

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A couple of additional comments about my initial experience with the composting toilet. First, I hadn't considered the amount of fresh water that flows into the black tank each time you flush the standard toilet! I would guess that a high percentage of the contents of the black tank when you dump it is water from flushing. The compositing toilet will help me conserve water when I'm boondocking or camping where I have electric service only in a campground (many National Park campgrounds provide electric-only hookups). I always have a 20-litre jerry can to lug water from a spigot to the Ollie, and this will make those trips less frequent.

 

Second, I purchased Coco Coir and took a couple of gallon bags full to Hohenwald anticipating using it after the composting toilet was installed. I didn't buy the "brick" type. My bag contains very fine particles of the coir. I decided to use peat moss after I arrived in Hohenwald because I didn't know how much moisture to add to the coir.

 

Is anyone using the fine particle coir rather than the bricks? If so, any advice on how much water to add to 2 gallons of the stuff? I want to switch to coir after this first fill with peat moss for a couple of reasons. My son, a soil biologist told me that the mine peat moss and that coco coir is a better ecological choice. Also, the peat moss has a pretty strong odor. When using coco coir, what does your Natures Head smell like?

 


Don

 

2020 Conqueror UEV 490 Extreme Platinum

 

 

2019 Ram Rebel

 

 

States I visited with my Ollie (Sold October, 2019)

 

 

States Visited Map

 

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A couple of additional comments about my initial experience with the composting toilet. First, I hadn’t considered the amount of fresh water that flows into the black tank each time you flush the standard toilet! I would guess that a high percentage of the contents of the black tank when you dump it is water from flushing. The compositing toilet will help me conserve water when I’m boondocking or camping where I have electric service only in a campground (many National Park campgrounds provide electric-only hookups). I always have a 20-litre jerry can to lug water from a spigot to the Ollie, and this will make those trips less frequent. Second, I purchased Coco Coir and took a couple of gallon bags full to Hohenwald anticipating using it after the composting toilet was installed. I didn’t buy the “brick” type. My bag contains very fine particles of the coir. I decided to use peat moss after I arrived in Hohenwald because I didn’t know how much moisture to add to the coir. Is anyone using the fine particle coir rather than the bricks? If so, any advice on how much water to add to 2 gallons of the stuff? I want to switch to coir after this first fill with peat moss for a couple of reasons. My son, a soil biologist told me that the mine peat moss and that coco coir is a better ecological choice. Also, the peat moss has a pretty strong odor. When using coco coir, what does your Natures Head smell like?

Hi Don,

 

Extra pee bottle: I haven’t bought one but I think I will, along with extra caps. With multiple adults using the toilet full time, the level goes up really fast. You can’t see it until it is about 3/4 full, so I can envision a time when it needs to be removed but there isn’t a good spot to dump it.  You can store a full capped bottle behind the toilet.

 

Water conservation: hoo boy, you nailed it. This really helps the fresh water supply. When boondocking for a long period, it will be noticeable.

 

Coir: I have only used the bricks since they are very compact and so simple to store. They do have some long fibrous stuff but mostly it is small particles. It doesn’t smell bad, just a slight earthy odor.

 

Hydration: the stuff needs to be moist but not wet or dry. You will soon learn what works best. Watch the motion when you agitate and you can see if it is OK in terms of water content. If too wet it will look runny and will tend to bog down. If dry it will be a little dusty looking on top and the decomposition rate will be slowed. If the toilet sits for a long time unused with the vent fan running it can dry out on top. I just add a few ounces of fresh water and spin the agitator a few turns. Don’t pee in there to moisten it, or it will smell bad!

 

The very best tip I can offer is NO TOILET PAPER WHATSOEVER IN THE RECEPTACLE. TP just adds lots of mass, it is slow to decompose, and if in long sections it tangles up around the agitator, making it hard to turn. With no TP the volume does not change fast and it is dead easy to agitate the contents. If you put all the TP into the small covered trash receptacle and spritz it with vinegar it does not smell, but empty it often. I empty the trash can and install a new liner every four or five days and at the end of a trip, so it does not remain sitting for a long time with soiled contents.

 

Post some pics! Does the seat height bother you? It is a stretch....

 

Hope this helps.

 

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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John,

 

Thanks for the additional information. I agree that putting absolutely no toilet paper in the head is best for decomposition, but I'm not ready to do that. Instead, I'm using a very small amount of TP that goes in the head and baby wipes that go in a small ziplock bag with a paper towel liner. I toss the ziplock every day. I plan to call Natures Head tomorrow to talk to them about the fine coir I have on hand and to ask whether I can store the camper for months in the winter without emptying the composting material. I have indoor storage without any electricity available. I disconnect the batteries to avoid any drain during storage, so the toilet fan won't run. I assume the composting process will continue and that the purpose of the fan is to dissipate odors. Do you agree?

 

I started using the composting toilet Wednesday evening and returned home late Saturday afternoon. I was the only user and the liquid tank was about 3/4 full when I arrived home. I camp alone most of the time so I think I'll be able to get by with one tank, but time will tell. I'll order an extra cap but hold off on a spare tank.

 

I failed to answer your question about the water supply valve for the old toilet. Oliver left the valve in place. On some earlier conversions, they removed it and capped the line. Some people have returned and asked to switch back to the regular toilet and the cost to do so was higher because they had capped the line. Now they leave it in place in case you or a subsequent purchaser wants to switch back. Richie advised me to open the valve and pour antifreeze in the valve using a small funnel. This is now part of my winterization routine.

 

Don


Don

 

2020 Conqueror UEV 490 Extreme Platinum

 

 

2019 Ram Rebel

 

 

States I visited with my Ollie (Sold October, 2019)

 

 

States Visited Map

 

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the slight odor associated with the regular RV toilet have been the only things I’ve struggled with as an Oliver owner.  I am not sure whether to post a reply to the "slight odor"  here or post in mods.  Please move to New topic, mods, or leave it here - whatever is appropriate.

 

To rid Revilo of the light toilet smell, I had a METAL Venturi air vent installed.  I love this mod because the air is always circulating and removing the odor.  I have had it installed for a number of years and recently had all vents resealed as a keeping up with maintenance.  It makes a slight noise as it is turning but I haven't figured out what minor fix to make to keep it quiet while sleeping or just enjoying being inside.   Has anybody else installed this vent? Thoughts, comments, etc?

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