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John E Davies

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

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My LE II hull number 351 was delivered this past June. Mine also came with a 1 Amp fuse installed for the composting toilet. Luckily it hasn’t blown yet.  None of the local stores have them in stock.  As John shared someplace, they’ll need to be ordered.

 

Of more concern was the electrical power connector for the Natures Head ventilation fan was forced together backwards. Though the connector is keyed to maintain polarity, someone with enough determination forced it together backward.  Result?  The fan ran backwards. Luckily I checked to make sure it was working correctly before puttting the toilet into service and was able to make a serviceable repair in the field myself.

 

Insects have been a problem with mine too.  I now realize they probably came in through the vent. In addition to the infected compost bin, the clear vent hose had dozens/hundreds of dead insect bodies laying in the bottom. I was able to disconnect everything and shake them out during the disinfection process.  I’m adding a filter to the EXHAUST side.  I mistakenly originally added one to the intake side.   While disinfecting the bug infestation I saw that the intake side comes with a very thin foam filter installed.  My mistake.  I knew that I read someplace that an air filter was missing. Now I know that it’s missing on the exhaust side.

 

Even with the initial teething issues, I’m willing to put up with it to avoid the dump station and the ability to stretch out the available on board water supply.

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2013 Toyota Land Cruiser 200

2018 Twin Bed Elite II #351

 

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I am picking up my new LEII in April 2019 and have decided (I think) to get the composting toilet. These bug and fuse issues seem easy fixes by Oliver - are they aware and will they fix for 2019 models? Should I ask about these things when I visit the factory in October? Does Oliver monitor this forum and implement these adjustments (I hope so).


KWR


2019 Oliver Legacy Elite II, Hull#444


2019 GMC Sierra 2500HD Crew Cab, 4WD, Denali, Duramax 6.6L Turbo Diesel V8 Engine with Allison 6-speed transmission

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We have a working fan now!! It was the fuse. What is the deal with them using the wrong fuse? Seriously ?. I’m telling you the sound of the fan running is one I’ve never heard since we picked the trailer up in December. It was blown from day one and all this time I’ve been trying to figure out what I’ve been doing wrong. I wanted this composting toilet to work so badly. Now maybe it will!! Yay! I might still submit a ticket to alert them. Or just call and ask them why they used the wrong fuse. The last ticket I submitted for another issue never got a response.  Thanks John!!

 

Now to check the screen issue and make sure nothing else is wrong.

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It’s very important to file a service request online, under the CONTACT/ SERVICE tab at the top of every page. This alerts Jason Essary and also keeps a complete paper trail of the issue and whether it has been solved, or not.

 

I just send a request asking Jason to read this entire page, and issue two Service Bulletins:

 

Natures Head bulletin, describing the fan failure problem and the procedure for installing either the recommended 2.5 amp fuse, or the acceptable 3 amp one.

 

Fuse Box bulletin, describing how the fuse socket “ears” are weak and may loosen their grip if the fuse is inserted at a slight angle or wiggled, causing intermittent or no connection. Plus the method to retension them by squeezing with insulated mini needle nosed pliers.

 

If you have been affected by the NH fuse problem, or for issues with other fused circuits, please alert the factory in writing. Phone calls can go astray.

 

Thanks,

 

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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My LE II hull number 351 was delivered this past June. Mine also came with a 1 Amp fuse installed for the composting toilet. Luckily it hasn’t blown yet. None of the local stores have them in stock. As John shared someplace, they’ll need to be ordered.

 

Of more concern was the electrical power connector for the Natures Head ventilation fan was forced together backwards. Though the connector is keyed to maintain polarity, someone with enough determination forced it together backward. Result? The fan ran backwards. Luckily I checked to make sure it was working correctly before puttting the toilet into service and was able to make a serviceable repair in the field myself.

 

Insects have been a problem with mine too. I now realize they probably came in through the vent. In addition to the infected compost bin, the clear vent hose had dozens/hundreds of dead insect bodies laying in the bottom. I was able to disconnect everything and shake them out during the disinfection process. I’m adding a filter to the EXHAUST side. I mistakenly originally added one to the intake side. While disinfecting the bug infestation I saw that the intake side comes with a very thin foam filter installed. My mistake. I knew that I read someplace that an air filter was missing. Now I know that it’s missing on the exhaust side.

 

Even with the initial teething issues, I’m willing to put up with it to avoid the dump station and the ability to stretch out the available on board water supply.

 

 

Is disinfecting the only way to get rid of the bugs?

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Their website says that you can use diatomaceous earth to prevent insects - I assume it would get rid of them as well.  I'd think it would be just as easy to dump the toilet and start over.

 

We haven't had any bug issues with ours.  I've been dumping and cleaning the toilet after each trip, which I'm sure helps in that respect.

 

We've found that peat moss is much easier to deal with than the coco coir.  We filled a bunch of zip locks with it and cary just enough to refill the toilet in case we need to.

 

Our fuse was blown on delivery - either that, or it blew in the first few days.  It's entirely possible that without a shower curtain, water from the shower could short out the fan and blow the fuse.


Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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I decided better safe than sorry on the bug thing.  I had the ladder out yesterday to install the easy start on my AC, so why not add a screen to the plumbing vent while I was up there.  Taking off the vent cap is just one screw and it pops off.  Once uncovered, the PVC vent sticks up a half inch or so from the roof, making it a simple task to add some screen.   I had a pack of these in the trailer for repairs, and they fit perfectly with just enough overlap to zip tie one on the vent.  (Those particular patches come with tape around the edge, but it didn't want to stick so I took the tape off and used a zip.)  Took all of five minutes, if that.

 

Just be sure that if you go through the trouble of adding a screen that you use a finer mesh like a tent screen.  I think standard screen that you'd get at the hardware store is probably not fine enough to keep out the sort of gnats that would infest your toilet.

 

IMG_2253.thumb.jpg.a5722896012b80d7c7e66c66d6ba8c40.jpg

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Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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Nice mod. Very neatly done!

 

BUT, if you camp in below freezing temperatures the screen may ice over due to the moist air coming up through the pipe and condensing on the mesh.

 

Maybe, maybe not, but keep it in mind if you start to get some stinks in the bathroom in cold weather.

 

I think some screen inserted into the vent pipe where it attaches to the toilet would be better.

 

John Davies'

Spokane WA

  • Thanks 1

"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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#359, delivered July 19, 2018.  The Natures Head was fused at 2 amps. The fuse  panel , however listed it as 1 amp. No issues so far. Will do the vent screen mod soon.


Cindy,  Russell and  "Harley dog" . Home is our little farm near Winchester TN

2018 Oliver Legacy Elite II - 2018 GMC 2500 Duramax 

"Die young - As late as possible"

ALAZARCACOFLIDMTNVNMOKORTNTXUTWAWYd56201524964bac5483378b34b491562080842sm.jpg

 

 

 

 

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Why not just simply put a garbage bag over the toilet…KISS Save a lot of engineering.

The bugs normally will come down the exhaust vent. I have never had any problems with insects.

 

Would you really be OK with a trash bag over your toilet? Talk about hideous!

 

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, if water around the base of the Pee container causes a problem while showering, a five-minute use of a white plastic garbage bag over

the toilet...eliminates the water problem, then it is a simple solution ... rather than drilling holes, attaching tubes, etc. Like some folks say,

"Keep it safely simple"... KISS

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For clarity - As long as your window and door screens are in good condition, "bugs" have but the vent tube to gain entrance - which is attached into the head fan/vent tube, and eventually into the head. A simple screen on the entrance is a simple mod. A bag has no effect on the bug issue as previously detailed.

 

I would suppose - if there are a few other entrances - entry would be possible - but not likely, as it is the "perfume" that attracts, and the vent area is concentrated.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Cindy,  Russell and  "Harley dog" . Home is our little farm near Winchester TN

2018 Oliver Legacy Elite II - 2018 GMC 2500 Duramax 

"Die young - As late as possible"

ALAZARCACOFLIDMTNVNMOKORTNTXUTWAWYd56201524964bac5483378b34b491562080842sm.jpg

 

 

 

 

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How to inspect and clean the TWO vent air filters.

 

Yes, there are two, one at each side opening. It is really easy if you do this when the toilet is removed for servicing and cleaning. I set mine on a workbench for easy viewing.

 

Front exhaust filter. Remove the two housing machine screws and lower the unit onto the nearest star wheel arm to support the delicate fan wires.

 

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Remove the two fan screws and carefully pry the fan and filter away from the rubber gasket. Leave the gasket undisturbed. Seperate the fan from the filter. Blow off the accumulated dust from the filter and the fan blades (hold the fan with a finger so it does not spin). Reassemble. My filter was visually clogged with fine coconut coir dust but it was still pulling air.

 

Note: if you keep the coir moist with fresh water from the sink sprayer, it reduces the amount of fine particles that might get sucked into the exhaust fan when the wheel is rotated. If it is allowed to dry out (turns a very light brown color on top) it will send lots of dust into the filter.

 

410161D1-EDDA-4AC1-B7CE-4CA9A06A49B1.thumb.jpeg.329e9bf66fd8ed81e00ef9b7eb02a5b8.jpeg

F96E89C0-F41E-4ADF-B681-0941F8B69CD0.thumb.jpeg.9e15ffdbb5918d4552b0597e64216fdb.jpeg

6FC495C9-D7D4-4109-BA77-F3FF8B733DC3.thumb.jpeg.f9c76fe9f5526199afe2070679c36198.jpeg

 

Rear inlet filter. Remove the housing and then the filter, clean and reinstall. This filter was barely dirty.

 

77AADFE0-63F8-445E-89B3-4787E3217E99.thumb.jpeg.5ddad5d8164781a1ef159d0a04e27c74.jpeg

 

This was the first time I have cleaned these in 18 months. The manufacturer recommends to check them every two weeks. LOL.... I think annually is fine, unless you have really fluffy dogs that shed. After cleaning the fan did move more air. It is really important to keep positive flow of air through the toilet for it to function well.

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

 

 

  • Thanks 2

"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

 

EXCELLENT description, with pictures! I intend to purchase the composting on my April 2019 Oliver so this maintenance info is very helpful (as long as I can remember how to find this post when comes time to check the fan). Is there a way to "bookmark" these more helpful posts? I suspect by searching composting toilet I can stumble my way back to this post next year.


KWR


2019 Oliver Legacy Elite II, Hull#444


2019 GMC Sierra 2500HD Crew Cab, 4WD, Denali, Duramax 6.6L Turbo Diesel V8 Engine with Allison 6-speed transmission

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Is there a way to “bookmark” these more helpful posts?

I don't think there is a way to save user-specific bookmarks within this forum.

 

My method is to copy the URL of the post and paste it, along with some notes, in an outlining program. I can then search for any term, in this case "composting toilet." You could do the same in any text editing program such as Word or Google Docs.

 

Another strategy would be to save bookmarks within your web browser. I think all browsers will allow you do to this, and probably most will allow you to create folders to organize these many bookmarks. Many browsers have the capacity to sync your bookmarks between multiple devices.

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David Stillman, Salt Lake City, Utah

2016 Oliver Elite II  Hull 164    |    2017 Audi Q7 tow vehicle. 

Travel and Photography Blog: http://davidstravels.net

 

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Has anyone tried purchasing the official natures head vent for the top of the trailer that actually has the bug screen in it? Why did Oliver remove the bug screen? For those of you not on the Oliver Trailer Owners Facebook page I have had a terrible time with an infestation of disgusting bugs.  I am having trouble, even after all of the mods and suggestions getting rid of them.  We are full time right now and basically have an inoperable toilet until I get the bugs under control.  I have several theories, but at this point I don't care what happened (other than if I can keep it from happening again).  I just want to do every single mod and preventative measure to keep it from happening again, or if it does on a smaller scale.  Those suckers proliferated and were overflowing from the toilet.  I had a problem once before, but nothing like this.  I could go on and on about all the ways I have tried to solve this problem, but you get the idea.

 

See Facebook post below:

 

"Folks, I could just cry. I’ve been trying so hard to make this composting toilet work. We have been camping in the same spot in Colorado for 3 months. Our toilet has an infestation of crawling bugs and gnats. The diatomaceous earth killed the gnats but the crawling bugs took over. I took the whole toilet outside and opened it up. It was teeming with bugs. I dumped the whole thing and hosed all parts down. It was unbelievable the amount of bugs that came out of all of the crevices. It has not had any compost for 2 days and I’m still finding bugs that seem to be coming in from the window. I have spread DE around the “baseboards” in the bathroom and now all around the crevices of the window. I don’t feel I can use compost until I figure this out. Next step is to take toilet apart and bleach it. I’ve got bug screens. They managed to get into the toilet another way. But how did this infestation happen so fast? I have some theories but I’m at my wits end here! Also it’s been freezing at night and quite cold during the day here, (snowing too)so I’m running out of outdoor time to do this. Any help appreciated. Also, sorry for the huge rant."

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Bugs are sometimes an issue with the Nature's Head composting toilet. You can do a few things to get these little buggers taken care of.

 

1) If you don't have the mushroom vent or the PVC vent for structures, you should find a way to get a bug cover over your vent. Some people will use panty hose to cover the flange that the vent hose connects to. Other have taken mesh and glued or screwed it into the vent flange.

 

2)If you have done the above, then you can try to use Ortho Home Defense for flying bugs with Essential Oils or Wondercide Indoor Natural Pest Control for Home and Patio (Cedar scent) or moth balls to help control the pests. You can also try adding Diatomaceous Earth to your composting medium in the solids bin.

 

3) If the above two didn't work, try emptying the solids bin and giving it a good cleaning with vinegar and water. Put in a new batch of composting medium.

 

4) If you are using peat moss as your composting medium, try microwaving it for a few seconds. The process to package peat moss doesn't always kill all of the bugs that are in it when it is harvested. By microwaving it after bulking it up, it will kill any bugs that are alive in it. We use coco fiber as it goes thru multiple processes before it is packaged.

 

Here is a great resource regarding the Nature's Head and questions about it. Questions about Nature's Head

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Has anyone tried purchasing the official natures head vent for the top of the trailer that actually has the bug screen in it?

It doesn't seem like any of the vent kits they offer are meant to be direct replacements for an RV stack vent.  The only one that looks like it might work, seems to be designed for houses and so I doubt it's designed with high speed winds in mind.  Might be worth calling them to see.

 

I think Oliver should probably screen the vent at the factory just as a precaution, even though it's a fairly easy mod for an owner.

 

 


Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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What do folks do to empty the pee container when parked for a month at an RV Park?  Empty it in the bathroom sink?  Empty it in the bathroom of the RV Park?  Something else?

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In the toilet at the RV Park bathroom. Even though it’s just urine it is not odor free. The sink would not be the courteous thing to do.

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Dump it in a campground toilet for sure and flush a couple of times. Don’t ever pour it down a sink there or in your Ollie! That would make for very noxious grey water.

 

I do have to comment, if you are in the habit of staying with full hookups for long periods, it might be better to remove the Natures Head, sterilize it, sell it on eBay for $400 and install a regular flush toilet, so you can just stay hooked up to the sewer connection all the time.

 

I love the NH but I try very hard to never stay where there are hookups,... and it works very well for that scenario. I still have to dump the pee bottle in a toilet or outhouse, but it is less embarrassing to be carrying it around a more primitive camping area. LOL.

 

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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Since I will not begin using my NH until April 2019 upon picking up Hull #444, my vision to avoid campground embarrassment is to place the urine container in a carry tote bag and proceed to the campground toilet facility. Also thinking, while at the facility, will likely use the campground facility for other necessities to reduce OTT wet bath use.

 

Even though my vision is to stay in campgrounds with facilities a majority of the time (I live in the east where boondocking may not be quite as popular as out west), I have no desire to transport and manage black tank raw sewage. All my camping friends tell me no big deal, and I am sure it isn't, just prefer to avoid the campground dump stations as much as possible (my experience most State Park campgrounds have a single centralized dump station for emptying the black tank upon leaving the campground - not so much individual station access beside each camping site - I could be wrong). My plan is to stay at National and State campgrounds and not so much commercial camp grounds - this plan may change once I become an actual camper.


KWR


2019 Oliver Legacy Elite II, Hull#444


2019 GMC Sierra 2500HD Crew Cab, 4WD, Denali, Duramax 6.6L Turbo Diesel V8 Engine with Allison 6-speed transmission

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