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Lois
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Hello.  My husband and I toured the plant and are very interested in possibly purchasing an elite 2 once I retire.  Our one disagreement is on a composting toilet vs a conventional toilet.  What do you all think of the composting toilet?  I would love to here the pros and cons.  Thank you.

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Lois,

You will get hundreds of opinions on the pros and cons of standard and composting toilets. I would suggest you use the search window a really great feature to learn about which system to consider. It has been discussed on here a lot. One thing for certain please do not be misled by the word compost. It takes a long time for human waste aka “hazmat” to reach its full compost state where it might be useable in a garden or as a fertilizer.  
You will need to to clean and sanitize the compost toilet and dispose of the “compost” properly in a dumpster or trash receptacle somewhere. With a compost toilet you will also need to dump your Ollies gray water at the dump station if where you camp does not allow gray water to be drained onto the property. Gray water with food particles can attract ants, insects and rodents.
So lots to consider of which system is best for you and most importantly how you plan to camp. Also consider checking out YouTube University videos on the pros and cons of a compost toilet. You will see some real scoop on compost toilets pun intended 😅.

We chose the conventional toilet as it totally suits our needs. I have zero desire to clean a compost toilet or dump a sitting urine bottle every few days. Let the comments begin!! 😊

Best of luck with your choice. 

-Patriot 🇺🇸
 

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2020 OLEII - Hull #634   TV -2021 F 350 6.7 liter Diesel Lariat Ultimate “Tremor”

 

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@Lois We love having a compost toilet. It saves so much water! We don’t find it difficult to clean at all and emptying the urine container is no big deal. I was uncertain when we got the compost toilet but now I’d never go back to a traditional toilet in an RV. 

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2021 Dodge Ram 1500 

2021 Oliver Elite ll 

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Michigan 

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If you are going to camp without hookups the majority of the time, go composting.  If you will have hookups the majority of the time go with a conventional toilet.  

We have a regular toilet since that was all that was available back then, we do boondock and can go 4 or 5 days before we need to dump.  We’re usually ready to move anyway.  

I like things to be simple.  When my hot water tank gives up I will replace it with another tank, not a Truma.  I don’t want a composting toilet because the flush and dump of the regular toilet is easy with very little to go wrong.  That’s just me.  Mike

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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/

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I am excited to lose the black water tank and save some water. For us, emptying the urine container and dealing with the composted waste is less of an issue than full black water tanks, honey pots, and worrying about dump stations. We have always boondocked a lot of the time. 

Kirk

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Kirk and Carrie Peterson

Twin Falls, Idaho

2018 Ram 3500, 8 foot bed with overland conversion.

Elite 2 before the end of 2022!

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There is another option that a few of us use (I learned this option from another Oliver owner on our delivery day).   We have the standard flush toilet in the camper but since we took delivery of our Ollie brand new, it has absolutely only been used for #1.  No solids, no toilet paper ever go into the black tank.   #2 is done either at the campground restrooms, or roadside rest stop restrooms while traveling, or if absolutely necessary, using the bathroom in the camper, but then #2 and toilet paper go into disposable camp toilet bags (bag is placed in the toilet while doing your business) and then disposed of into a suitable trash receptacle.   Makes life with the black tank very easy.  Keeps water usage to a minimum.  Takes a very long time to fill up the black tank before it needs emptying.  No toilet cleanup/no scrub brush needed.  No stuck/clogged drain valves, easy black tank emptying, easy black tank rinse.  

Trail Essentials Toilet Bags, Certified Biodegradable and Compostable; Use and Bury in Ground –Includes Convenient Water Resistant Carry Case https://a.co/d/ab7IGyb

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2019 Oliver Legacy Elite II - Hull #461

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22 minutes ago, Frank C said:

used for #1.  No solids, no toilet paper ever go into the black tank.   #2 is done either at the campground restrooms, or roadside rest stop restrooms while traveling

We have had that policy for our last camping vehicles, a Host slide in truck camper and a HQ15 Black Series. It worked well for us. We would continue that approach if we were not getting a compositing toilet. 

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Kirk and Carrie Peterson

Twin Falls, Idaho

2018 Ram 3500, 8 foot bed with overland conversion.

Elite 2 before the end of 2022!

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6 hours ago, Patriot said:

You will need to to clean and sanitize the compost toilet

This is not correct btw. Per the instructions for the Nature's Head toilet, you just empty the bin out into either a compost bin where it can go on to fully compost (and then be used on ornamental, NOT food plants) or into a trash bag that goes into the usual trash waste stream, and then you refill the bin with more compost medium (moist peat moss or coconut coir), and the residue left behind from the prior load will serve to help the population of beneficial bacteria build back up. And they are quite strident in their documentation to stress that it is vital NOT to sanitize the bin with bleach or similar cleaners. 

But for sure, as you note, it takes a while for the material to fully compost, so if you're on the road for a while you'll be disposing of the partially composted material in the trash. The nice thing is that for two people, we've found that we can go *at least* 3 weeks before needing to empty the bin, and if there are gaps of time between weeks of camping, we can go longer as the volume shrinks over time. The benefits of that partial composting include no poo smell even if you are working with an opened bin as long as you let the last "deposit" sit for half a day or so before doing the work, and it really isn't disagreeable to do the emptying at least from a smell perspective. Since it's not fully composted, though, you should assume there is still some fecal bacteria, and just as you should do if you have a full black tank to empty, you should probably be wearing gloves and you should be thoughtful about cleaning your hands and avoiding spillage (which is not hard). If you let it continue composting in the toilet (or a separate compost bin) at home after camping, you can eventually consider it fully composted, i.e. free of that nasty fecal bacteria. I would refer to manufacturer documentation of how long that takes versus social media or web forum claims in that regard.

We, btw, put toilet paper in the bin along with the poo deposits, and it's been no problem other than that it can make the crank a little hard, but not impossible, to turn until it's decomposed a bit which it does relatively quickly.

Given how rarely we camp with full hookups, the composting toilet has been great for us and I would absolutely choose it again if I were buying another trailer.

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Jim and  Yanna, Woodinville WA

2004 Ford E250 camper conversion

Oliver Elite II hull #709

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From the Nature's Head online User's Guide:
 

Quote

One of the simplest methods to empty is to place a 13 gallon kitchen bag over the opening of the base (NOTE: the bag does NOT go in the base.) The bag should fit tightly over the rim and allow you to invert the base and empty the contents into the bag without spillage. This is especially useful when the toilet is used for boats and other mobile units, as removing the toilet is unnecessary.It is unnecessary to clean the interior of the solid waste container as composting will continue from the residual matter clinging to the sides.

Cleaning the base unit, especially with any chemicals, may inhibit its ability to generate the good bacteria that is breaking down the solid wastes. Simply empty, put in more sphagnum peat moss, and re-assemble your toilet.

 

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Jim and  Yanna, Woodinville WA

2004 Ford E250 camper conversion

Oliver Elite II hull #709

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11 hours ago, Lois said:

Hello.  My husband and I toured the plant and are very interested in possibly purchasing an elite 2 once I retire.  Our one disagreement is on a composting toilet vs a conventional toilet.  What do you all think of the composting toilet?  I would love to here the pros and cons.  Thank you.

Lois,

You may or may not have seen this video by Oliver, if not here ya go. This clearly explains all that is involved with using a “compost toilet”. And it clearly states you will need to clean the poo 💩 bin at some point.
We find using the standard black/gray tank system is very simple, and a whole lot less work. As you probably already may know you will still have to visit the dump station to empty your gray water tank if you ever camp in a FHU CG.
Roll with what works best for your style of camping. 

Best of luck in your choice. 😊

Patriot 🇺🇸

 

 

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2020 OLEII - Hull #634   TV -2021 F 350 6.7 liter Diesel Lariat Ultimate “Tremor”

 

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If you are germ-phobic, don't get it. (although it's actually very hygenic.) 

If you have delicate sensibilities, don't get it.

If the thought of wiping down the bowl if your aim isn't perfect makes you faint, don't get it.

If the thought of putting your TP in a bag after wiping freaks you out, don't get it.

If you plan on mostly camping in sites with water hookups and dump tanks, don't get it.

However,

If you consider yourself sort of rough and tumble, get it.

If you plan to boondock, get it.

If you're comfortable talking about (joking about) BMs, get it.

 

 

 

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2021 Elite II #841, 2020 GMC Sierra 1500 AT4, 3.0 diesel

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15 hours ago, Patriot said:

And it clearly states you will need to clean the poo 💩 bin at some point.

To be clear, since I weighed in on this, the video states the same things as the Nature's Head user manual I linked - that cleaning the interior of the bin is unnecessary and in fact may inhibit composting a bit since that matter that's left behind will give the composting a good start with the fresh material when refilling. However, the video and manual note that *if you want to periodically clean dried on solids from the inside of the bin* that you should only use water or a combo of water and vinegar - no "sanitizing" type chemicals which might inhibit composting bacteria from doing its thing. So yes, some periodic cleaning may be desired or possibly needed (we have yet to see a need but we're only a bit over a year and a half in). 

And for sure there's some work either way. It takes maybe 5-10 minutes ish after 3+ weeks of use for two adults to do a swap out of the full bin contents for some new moistened peat or coir. I agree that folks should pick the tech that they think will work best for them. I'm not here to pitch the compost toilet - I am simply sharing what I've learned about the regular maintenance (and I'll also note that as someone who tends to camp w/o water hookups, I really appreciate not having to use water to flush a toilet - for me this is the big selling point for going w/composting, as I think the maintenance is kind of a wash between the two types of toilets/tanks, so long as you keep your black tank blade valve lubed or you avoid getting the wrong things into your compost bin).

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Jim and  Yanna, Woodinville WA

2004 Ford E250 camper conversion

Oliver Elite II hull #709

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14 hours ago, Cameron said:

If the thought of putting your TP in a bag after wiping freaks you out, don't get it.

I know a lot of folks do this, but honestly we have had no issue with just putting the tp into the solids composting bin (as suggested by Nature's Head). It does make that crank a little harder to turn at times, but not super hard and the older TP just turns into compost pretty quickly so that crank resistance doesn't just keep getting worse at least in our experience. We aren't particularly sparing with our TP use either, and despite that we are still getting at least 3 weeks of use between emptying (longer if the 3 weeks of use is broken up with some weeks between trips, as the contents do shrink down a surprising amount with time). Again, I'm not trying to make sales for Nature's Head - just sharing our experience in case it's useful for folks trying to make this purchase decision.

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Jim and  Yanna, Woodinville WA

2004 Ford E250 camper conversion

Oliver Elite II hull #709

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We just spent 8 days dry camping in a state park with bathhouses. We only used the (standard) toilet overnight/early morning and for "emergencies." We used the bathhouse the rest of the time. Our black tank read 69% full when we dumped on the way out. 

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Stephanie and Dudley from CT.  2022 LE2, Hull #1150: Eggcelsior.

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Has anyone used a Wrappon toilet?  It’s sorta like the Cleanwaste folding toilet we use now in our squaredrop, but it “flushes” at the touch of a button, sealing the bag and loading the next one. 
Not pretty, but definitely functional. 
https://www.setechnologiesltdusa.com/wrappon

It is similar to the Laveo, but 50 flushes for the same price as Laveo’s 17, and much more compact refills. 

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Steve - Northern Ohio, USA
Wandering around on occasion, always lost.
2021 Toyota Land Cruiser - 5X8 Hiker Highway Deluxe Squaredrop Trailer
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1 hour ago, Steve and Deb said:

 

Has anyone used a Wrappon toilet?  

 

We have a similar toilet for our overland truck, bought for a drive to Alaska that hasn’t happened yet. We have only used it a few times but it works great! There is a pelican box that the toilet fits perfectly into to keep everything sealed and confined for travel. We keep it inside our 4 door full size Ram. Flush uses a battery, but you can plug it in or put a little solar panel on it. 
Kirk

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Kirk and Carrie Peterson

Twin Falls, Idaho

2018 Ram 3500, 8 foot bed with overland conversion.

Elite 2 before the end of 2022!

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46 minutes ago, Steve and Deb said:

Cool, what brand? Wrappon has been unavailable for months. 

I’ll let you know, we are out of town now, I’ll let you know when we get back. 🙂

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Kirk and Carrie Peterson

Twin Falls, Idaho

2018 Ram 3500, 8 foot bed with overland conversion.

Elite 2 before the end of 2022!

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On 8/19/2022 at 1:33 PM, Jim_Oker said:

I know a lot of folks do this, but honestly we have had no issue with just putting the tp into the solids composting bin (as suggested by Nature's Head). It does make that crank a little harder to turn at times, but not super hard and the older TP just turns into compost pretty quickly so that crank resistance doesn't just keep getting worse at least in our experience. We aren't particularly sparing with our TP use either, and despite that we are still getting at least 3 weeks of use between emptying (longer if the 3 weeks of use is broken up with some weeks between trips, as the contents do shrink down a surprising amount with time). Again, I'm not trying to make sales for Nature's Head - just sharing our experience in case it's useful for folks trying to make this purchase decision.

We have a basket in the head for Pee TP. Cuts down on how much TP goes into the composting bin. We got used to doing this when vacationing in the BVI's where it is common place. 

Got reminded of the the idea from 2 other Oliver owner's when we viewed their Oliver prior to buying.

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2018 Oliver Elite II, Twin Bed, Hull #354 

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We recently stayed at a combination of campgrounds where there was no water hookup. With the NH toilet we did not have to use fresh tank water for flushing thus stretching our water supply. We can easily see this "light" boondocking (no water hookup) in our future as well as full boon docking when we head out west. We carry a spare pee jug. It gets emptied in restroom toilets or dump stations, whichever is more convenient. There are many articles on safe disposal of urine when boondocking.

In our one year thus far, we have not cleaned out the solids hopper. To dump it, we use 13 gallon trash bags and toss it in regular trash.

The main benefits of the NH are the saving of water and not having to deal with sewage (formed by mixing urine with feces) from the "stinky slinky". There is not much smell in the hopper once the poop is mixed with the medium. The NH exhaust system pumps the remaining smell outside. Also, you'll never have to deal with a stuck black tank valve with a full tank.

The main disadvantages are separately dealing with the liquid (almost daily for us) and solids (every 2 weeks, although it could go longer). You will still need a dump station for gray water.

I drain and rinse the bottle, and then start it off with an ounce+ of white vinegar which gets swished around.

I use either sphagnum peat moss or coco coir in the hopper. Having done both, I prefer the peat because it comes ready to use, where the coco coir comes in bricks that have to be hydrated. Two full one gallon ziploc bags contain enough of either type for one fill.  I also add diatomaceous earth (bug killer) and Gnatrol WDG (for gnat larvae that might be present in the bricks).

Emptying the solids is a matter of removing (and replacing) the NH, using disposable gloves and a kitty litter scooper to break up the medium, stretching the bag over the hopper, inverting it to do the dump, removing and tying off the bag, and adding new medium. This whole operation takes about 10-15 minutes.

Most of the time spent emptying the liquid is transporting it to the toilet. Dumping is 30 seconds and rinsing is less than a minute. It goes quicker each time you do it.

We don't put any TP in the hopper. All of it goes into a lined stainless steel barrel with lid that fits perfectly next to the NH.

Having said all of this, we are happy with the NH. It sounds like a lot of work but it really isn't (but it's definitely more work than a flush toilet).

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