Author Topic: Composting loo - our experience so far  (Read 2560 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline KeithB

  • Hard Floor Camper User
  • *****
  • Posts: 1412
  • Thanked: 266 times
  • Gender: Male
Composting loo - our experience so far
« on: January 26, 2021, 03:57:17 PM »
There’s been a lot of chat about composting toilets for RVs on the internet, but nobody much with any experience of them here in Australia. We have now been running ours for a couple of months and you may be interested in how well they do or do not work. So why did we fit one to our caravan build?

Without going into too much gory detail, I got rectal cancer about 20 years ago which has left me running to the loo on short notice 4-6 times at all hours of the day and night, worse when things are bad. At that rate a cassette dunny would need emptying probably every day or so, something I wasn’t keen on. The other reason is that the contents of a composting dunny can be bagged up anywhere and disposed of as garbage or simply emptied harmlessly down a long drop loo. The compost itself is not usually smelly at all; but it does contain a lot of pathogenic stuff.  Nevertheless, a composting loo was the logical choice for us for bush camping.

Mind you, a “composting” loo does not compost all that much. It does more drying out than it does composting. But after several weeks of not being used, the “compost” in the main bucket does not smell bad; more like a horse stable would smell. Not unpleasant at all, with no trace of toilet paper.

You start off by putting in a standard Bunnings brick of coir and about 3.5 litres of water. You can also add any kind of compost starter if you want to, but the supplier of the loo says that the remnants of a previous fill are enough to start the compost off. I had been using enzyme drain cleaner, but can’t say whether it helped or not and have not used it after the first fill.  The coir soon expands and you have a nice fluffy bed of stuff ready to poo into.

So we settled on an Airhead loo which I think cost from memory about $1,650.
http://www.abetterwaytogo.com.au/airhead

The other option was the Nature’s Head, which is pretty much the same design. For that money we expected it to be good. It seems to be well made and was fairly simple to install. Basically it consists of a bucket with a crank handle agitator and a little exhaust fan which keeps it under suction 24-7 and provides fresh air for the compost bed. This makes it absolutely odourless when in use, which makes it great for use in a confined space. The fan draws only a fraction of an amp. I didn’t trust this fan when I was installing the toilet and put a 3 inch bilge blower in series with it. The bigger fan was totally unnecessary.



In front of the compost bucket is a 6 litre bottle which collects urine separately from the solids and loo paper. Getting wee into the compost bed buggers it up with excess nitrogen and makes it go rancid with too much moisture. The design of the toilet bowl is supposed to separate poos from wees. And that’s where the trouble started for us, because it doesn’t.

A wee problem

It’s taken as a given that blokes have to sit down to pee with this toilet. And you have to pee straight ahead as you sit or pee straight down. One woman on an international forum was commenting that her husband’s penis was much bigger than normal and folded around in the bowl so that he peed backwards, which buggered the compost.  Needless to say, I do not have that problem.

But it seems that ladies often pee in random directions. I didn’t know that and didn’t want to. But after the first week or two of using our composting loo in very cold weather, the thing went all swampy and stank like hell. Adding more coir material and running the big fan helped. But it did not solve the problem. We were in a caravan park and had to march the putrid compost bucket down to the dump point and hose it out; not pleasant.

The supplier says that the wee bucket should last two people several days. It doesn’t. For us, it won’t last two days if you are using it all the time, which means we have to empty it every day. Maybe it’s too much chardonnay. There is a little window on the wee bucket that is supposed to tell you when it’s full; but it’s useless.

To empty the wee pottle, you loosen the wing nuts that hold the compost bucket in place, and the same for the wee bottle. The you tilt the compost bucket back and withdraw the wee bottle, hoping not to spill any. Urine in storage soon stinks like hell. They say you can add a bit of sugar to the wee bucket to stop that, but we found that half a cap of Napisan did the job quite well.

Nevertheless, having to empty the wee bucket every day is a nuisance. But not as big a nuisance as it is if you let it overflow. Then you have to take the whole toilet assembly apart to do a clean up.

Dealing with a crappy issue

The question then arises: how long will it go before you have to empty it? Like all RV toilets, the less you use the composting loo, the better it works. If it sees too much material, toilet paper especially, the bed becomes very dense and the handle gets hard to turn. That’s when it’s time to (a) give it a day of rest and use public loos when you can or (b) check to see that the compost bed has not dried out and add a bit of water, usually a glass full.
 
Apart from excessive use and drying out in hot weather, there are two other things this composting toilet does not like: cold weather and too much toilet paper.

The second problem is easy to fix. We had to learn to use loo paper very sparingly. We put only heavily soiled toilet paper down the loo and put the rest folded into a plastic bag, which we dispose of every day or two. Wet toilet wipes come in handy as well.  The bag never seems to smell. I am down to four squares of Kleenex into the loo per poo and would invite comment from anyone who can get away with less.

Bruce Loxton, before Kimberley Kampers went under, did a lot of good work on composting toilets and penned this very handy manual.
https://www.safiery.com/assets/files/automatic waterless toilet manual 20181123.pdf

He maintained that compost had to get to thirty-something degrees for several hours to kill all the pathogens. He also said that turning the compost frequently and heating the compost was good for speeding things up. He actually fitted his composting toilets with an automated crank and a heating element. It’s a shame his company fell on hard times, because he was one of the industry’s  innovators. He was certainly right about turning the compost regularly if only to keep the bottom of the bed from drying out. Every time you pee, turn the handle.

The Human Manure Handbook is very authoritative on the subject of composting toilets, but the author deals with fixed installations that mix wee and poo together in the one bed. He says that, in a cold climate, it tales well over a year for pathogens to be killed. He does not really address the subject of dry composting toilets like we are using in any detail.

So I did three things to try to make our composting toilet a little bit more fit for purpose. I made up a bowl liner insert to direct all of the pee into the pee bottle; I plumbed the pee bottle outside and I rigged up a low voltage heating system.

The bowl insert


Here’s a shot of the little bowl insert I made, complete with the removal cover that goes over the top of the poo chute. We formed it by hand from the same thermoplastic that therapists use to make hand splints. That’s another good reason to be married to a physio.  It took a fair bit of fairing, sanding and painting to get a slick finish, so that wee would drain away without hanging about.



Here's what the bowl looks like as it comes from the factory, with the chute open.



Here’s what the bowl looks like with the insert in place.



You have to lift the lid off and retract the sliding chute in the bowl to perform a Number Two.  This completely fixed the leak you have when you go for a leak and kept all of the urine out of the compost. Blokes can even stand up to pee if their aim is true.

I had a plastics welder put a screwed socket into the side of the urine bottle and then plumbed it via a valve to a tee before the drain on the grey water tank. This means that I can divert the pee to the grey water tank (not a good idea because of the stink) or simply let it drain away onto the ground continually though a 6 metre garden hose with the grey water.

I move the outlet of the hose once or twice every day to spread the joy.
When parked in a public area we keep the pee in the pee bottle and the grey water in the grey water tank until we can empty them. Running the shower and sink water out onto the ground with the pee results in no offensive odours and no visible residues the next day. The sun, the wind and the bare ground seem to deal with it quite well.

The Heater

I found some little 12 volt heating elements online from Core Electronics. They are only a couple of millimetres thick and about half the size of a cigarette packet. Using their data, I figured out that two wired in series would draw one amp and heat up to about 63 degrees at 12.8 volts. We have a big solar system on the Glamper so the current draw was not a problem.

I made up a new base for the toilet out of 25mm low density PVC, with a cut out section underneath the compost container to house some fibreglass and foil insulation and the two heating elements. The new base is glued down to the floor.
Here’s what it looks like.



We run the heaters most of the time in cold weather and it is unnecessary on hot days. If the toilet is not regularly used, especially in hot weather, the stuff at the bottom tends to dry out and go hard, more so if I overdo it with the heating elements. So you have to throw in the odd glass of water when that happens. If you leave it too long in hot weather without adding water, the compost in the bottom of the bucket sets like concrete and the handle gets very hard to turn. When that happens, you have to dig it out with a trowel. It doesn't smell at all and here's what the dried up stuff looks like.



Poo is about 70 per cent water which means the thing can dry out if it is not used. On one occasion, it looked a bit suss and the bed getting too hard to turn, I took the seat assembly off the loo and turned the bed over with a trowel to get things going again. Surprisingly, this was not an altogether unpleasant job.

So where are we now?
We went away for a week, two weeks before Christmas, and the two of us used the loo every day, with occasional breaks using the camp ground loo. Then it sat for two weeks before Christmas, with me adding a small glass of water and turning the bed every day. The volume dropped enormously and no paper was evident. We did not empty it before going away again.

At the time of writing, we have been on the road again for 31 days and have used the toilet almost all of the time. After 18 days away it had not had a break and I thought it might be time to empty it because the handle had got a bit hard to turn.  I added some water (to much) to see if it would make the bed a bit crumblier and it did the opposite – turned it all muddy, anaerobic and smelly. So we emptied it in the dump point and refiled with fresh coir, this time with no enzymes.

That’s a total of 25 days without having to empty it. Not bad, for a bloke who visits the loo as often as I do. It’s now been another two weeks since it was last emptied. We have been using the loos in the caravan park for Number Twos for three days and the compost bed looks fine, after adding a glass of water every day during the very hot weather that we've had. The compost bed is currently at 30 degees.

Future mods?

The crank handle is poorly designed and does not scour the very bottom of the compost bed. The shape of the compost bucket also means that the compost at each end of the crank doesn’t get turned over. I’ll have to get my thinking cap on about that.
Will report progress on the composting loo over the coming weeks.

But overall, for us this loo seems to be the best choice available.
Happy crapping.
Keith
« Last Edit: January 26, 2021, 04:05:19 PM by KeithB »
200 Series 2008, bull bar, Airmax snorkel,rack with 200 watt solar, third battery, winch, 33's with 2 spares, long range tank, drawers & barrier, bash plates, lifted & locked, Richards transmission lockup plus plenty of dings. Now towing the new Off Road Glamper.
The following users thanked this post: rexy03, GBC, tryagain

Offline plusnq

  • Hard Top Camper User
  • ******
  • Posts: 2171
  • Thanked: 190 times
Re: Composting loo - our experience so far
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2021, 04:30:50 PM »
Great write up. Thanks KeithB. 🏆

Offline Bird

  • Once Was Lost, now am found
  • Soft Floor Camper User
  • ****
  • Posts: 550
  • Thanked: 1433 times
  • Gender: Male
  • Life is far too long....
    • My Place.
Re: Composting loo - our experience so far
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2021, 05:09:08 PM »
Quote from: KeithB
...one woman on an international forum was commenting that her husband’s penis was much bigger than normal and folded around in the bowl

I got to there and cracked up!
-
Click to enlarge

Gone to a new home

Offline Jeepers Creepers

  • Hard Top Camper User
  • ******
  • Posts: 7591
  • Thanked: 318 times
  • Gender: Male
Re: Composting loo - our experience so far
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2021, 05:11:34 PM »
I got to there and cracked up!

Wouldn't be my problem.

Reading this while eating.....hmm, average.

Offline Bird

  • Once Was Lost, now am found
  • Soft Floor Camper User
  • ****
  • Posts: 550
  • Thanked: 1433 times
  • Gender: Male
  • Life is far too long....
    • My Place.
Re: Composting loo - our experience so far
« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2021, 05:21:55 PM »
Quote from: Jeepers Creepers
Reading this while eating.....hmm, average.
Cheese Kranskys ???
-
Click to enlarge

Gone to a new home

Offline rags

  • Hard Floor Camper User
  • *****
  • Posts: 1428
  • Thanked: 176 times
  • Gender: Male
Re: Composting loo - our experience so far
« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2021, 05:52:28 PM »
Thanks Keith, we were recently looking at https://visionrv.com.au/ who are using composting toilets in their builds. Being a plumber I had my doubts.
You have just confirmed my thinking, no composting toilet in our next van.


Offline KeithB

  • Hard Floor Camper User
  • *****
  • Posts: 1412
  • Thanked: 266 times
  • Gender: Male
Re: Composting loo - our experience so far
« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2021, 08:04:36 PM »
Thanks Keith, we were recently looking at https://visionrv.com.au/ who are using composting toilets in their builds. Being a plumber I had my doubts.
You have just confirmed my thinking, no composting toilet in our next van.

Rags, there is no doubt that these toilets have to be managed. On the plus side:

1. There is no odour of any kind in the caravan at any time.
2. If you plumb in the wee bottle you solve the emptying problem.
3. There is no doubt that they don't like continuous very cold weather, but that may not be an issue for you.
4. If there are just the two of you and you can get away with 3-4 weeks without emptying, that would have to be a plus. If you give it a few weeks rest after that, you may get several more weeks without having to empty it. How you'd go with a family I just don't know. Probably more frequent emptying.

As far as the matter of urine leakage into the compost bucket is concerned, that may just be us. It's a female thing and I don't know if all girls are the same. The fact that they have sold heaps of these things around the world suggests that our case may be uncommon.

Maybe do some more research and don't base your decision just on our experience. Maybe Vision RV could put you in contact with some other users. After our experience, I would still stay with the composting toilet.

Cheers
Keith
200 Series 2008, bull bar, Airmax snorkel,rack with 200 watt solar, third battery, winch, 33's with 2 spares, long range tank, drawers & barrier, bash plates, lifted & locked, Richards transmission lockup plus plenty of dings. Now towing the new Off Road Glamper.

Offline Champin

  • Soft Floor Camper User
  • ****
  • Posts: 669
  • Thanked: 54 times
  • Gender: Male
Re: Composting loo - our experience so far
« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2021, 06:46:21 AM »
I'm using the nature's head in the bus and the solids are going about a week and a half before needing empty out. I only use 2.5 litres of water per block of coir peat. I put about a cup of white vinegar in the empty per bottle which keeps the smell at bay. I also use a spray from the nature's head supplier to stimulate the solids breakdown and I use that after a visit to clean the bowl whether needed or not. The system is as supplied with no mods and I have had no worries with it at all. Beats having to empty out a black tank any day of the week.

Sent from my TA-1024 using Tapatalk

The following users thanked this post: GeoffA

Offline DandyD

  • Soft Floor Camper User
  • ****
  • Posts: 264
  • Thanked: 24 times
  • Gender: Male
Re: Composting loo - our experience so far
« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2021, 09:01:57 AM »
We have been using a Separatt Villa 'composting' loo in our static caravan for a couple of years now. The urine drains out into a soakaway. The solid waste is collected in a tub that automatically indexes around a few degrees every time you sit down so that it doesn't build up into a peak under your bum. The tub is lined with a biodegradable bag. Emptying is just a case of putting the lid on the full tub, lifting it out and replacing with an empty one. The unit comes with three tubs. The idea is that you leave the full tub for six months with the lid cracked open while the contents compost. We just dispose of it straight away. The bag means that there is no cleaning up to do.

There is an internal 12v fan that keeps the casing at a lower pressure than the outside so no smell gets out. It also reduces the water content thus volume of the waste. We use the van in UK winters and haven't had any issues as a result of low temperatures

Previously, we had a chemical loo and, quite honestly, I preferred to go outside. The fluid it used stank the van out too.

« Last Edit: January 28, 2021, 09:23:59 AM by DandyD »

Offline GeoffA

  • 2017 National Meet Volunteer
  • Hard Top Camper User
  • *****
  • Posts: 9090
  • Thanked: 522 times
  • Gender: Male
  • "If 1 axle is good, 2 must be better........."
Re: Composting loo - our experience so far
« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2021, 09:19:07 AM »
....I also use a spray from the nature's head supplier to stimulate the solids breakdown and I use that after a visit to clean the bowl whether needed or not.....

This is the stuff...

https://www.natureshead.com.au/catalogue/category/compost-cleaner_3/

 :cheers:
Geoff and Kay

1999 GU TD42T wagon
2005 Coota Camper - gone, but never forgotten
2020 North Coast 15' Titanium - tandem, of course

Land Cruiser.....the Patrol that Toyota try to build.....

Offline Champin

  • Soft Floor Camper User
  • ****
  • Posts: 669
  • Thanked: 54 times
  • Gender: Male
Re: Composting loo - our experience so far
« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2021, 03:08:07 PM »
This is the stuff...

https://www.natureshead.com.au/catalogue/category/compost-cleaner_3/

 :cheers:
Yep, thats it. Smells ok too. Thanks Geoff.

Sent from my SM-T700 using Tapatalk

The following users thanked this post: GeoffA

Offline mike.c

  • Sleeping Bag User
  • *
  • Posts: 36
  • Thanked: 9 times
Re: Composting loo - our experience so far
« Reply #11 on: January 29, 2021, 08:38:36 AM »
We have a Natures Head in the nose cone of our Metalian Maxi, and use it in a Joolca ensuite shower tent. It has proven to be a really good although not insignificant investment.

Maintenance is as simple as emptying the urine bottle daily and keeping the fan running as much as possible although there were some days that I forgot to hook it up when putting it away for travel. It's also reasonably heavy and awkward for one person to manhandle into the tight storage spot in our camper when packing up, but it is what it is.

The only concession we have to it being a camping toilet is that we keep brown paper bags handy and put all toilet paper into one as it is used rather than into the poo compartment. When convenient this is burned which is usually every morning. We also use the starter spray they sell after every use.

We did experience the dreaded black midge infestation one day while traveling, but it was my fault as I forgot to connect the fan up when we stopped. No big deal a squirt with insect killer sorted them out. I have since added some midge mesh over the fan outlet and we have not had this issue since.

Recently after 5 weeks away with two of us using it every day the poo container ended up about 2/3rds full. On return home I just left it for a few weeks with the fan running and turning the handle when I walked past and remembered to before emptying it.

Sure beats having to regularly find a dump facility which for us would be a big issue as we prefer to stay as far away from civilisation as possible when travelling, and in our experience requires very little maintenance.
The following users thanked this post: GeoffA

Offline KeithB

  • Hard Floor Camper User
  • *****
  • Posts: 1412
  • Thanked: 266 times
  • Gender: Male
Re: Composting loo - our experience so far
« Reply #12 on: March 13, 2021, 08:16:21 PM »
The last fresh compost fill, with 3.5 litres of water, lasted for a little over two weeks before the handle became too hard to turn. It looks like adding water to make the compost easier to turn was not a good idea. So I went back to first principles. I called the supplier who said that you should add 4.5 litres of water to a standard Bunnings coir brick. That didn’t sound right and had failed before, so I went to the original online instructions from the American manufacturer.

The American instructions say to use 1.5-2 US quarts (1.4-1.9 litres) of water with 80 cu inches of compressed coir brick, less water if the loo is used full time.. I measured a Bunnings coir brick and it is a little short at 74 cu inches.

So, this time, I used one-and-a-bit bricks and added just 1.6 litres of water with a handful of drain enzyme pellets dissolved in it. Rather than throw the brick and the water into the compost bucket to expand, I broke it all up into very small pieces and mixed it with the water in a separate bucket. This gave a lot better mix, without a lot of saturated material at the bottom of the compost bucket. This time I ran the heating element full time and added no water afterwards at all.

When the handle started to get a bit stiff to turn after a few weeks of use in cool weather, I broke the bed up with a hand trowel it was a dark brown crumbly bed, smelling only of compost, with no paper residue anywhere. The toilet finally lasted for a full month, and would perhaps would have lasted a bit longer had it not been for some particularly heavy use, the less said about the better, in the days before emptying. We emptied it because it was convenient to do so, rather than by necessity. When I emptied it, the compost was again crumbly and odour free. But a little bit had to be eased out with the help of a hand trowel.

I have just refilled it, this time using 200ml of liquid drain cleaning enzyme from Bunnings rather than the pellets, mixed with 1.4 litres of water, with the heater on as before. Will report back, if anyone is bored enough to be interested.

Keith
200 Series 2008, bull bar, Airmax snorkel,rack with 200 watt solar, third battery, winch, 33's with 2 spares, long range tank, drawers & barrier, bash plates, lifted & locked, Richards transmission lockup plus plenty of dings. Now towing the new Off Road Glamper.

Offline Pottsy

  • Hard Top Camper User
  • ******
  • Posts: 1913
  • Thanked: 256 times
Re: Composting loo - our experience so far
« Reply #13 on: March 13, 2021, 08:44:09 PM »
As they say Keith, it’s a sh....ty job but someone’s gotta do it. ;D
if God had meant me to walk he wouldn't have invented 4wds! Mitsubishi Challenger Pc 2014 (Blondie)
Challange Meredien Offroad Walk Thru

Offline nab

  • Hard Top Camper User
  • ******
  • Posts: 1577
  • Thanked: 198 times
Re: Composting loo - our experience so far
« Reply #14 on: March 13, 2021, 08:49:21 PM »
Keep on giving updates, I could talk Shit all day
2005 Jayco Dove

Offline jwb

  • Hard Top Camper User
  • ******
  • Posts: 2327
  • Thanked: 116 times
  • Gender: Male
Re: Composting loo - our experience so far
« Reply #15 on: March 14, 2021, 06:08:55 AM »
I'm finding this "weirdly " interesting! :)
Please keep em coming!


Sent from my SM-G973F using Tapatalk

Cheers

Jwb

Offline Aussie Iron

  • Swag User
  • **
  • Posts: 94
  • Thanked: 10 times
Re: Composting loo - our experience so far
« Reply #16 on: March 14, 2021, 05:19:09 PM »
It might be talking Shit, but I must say all good information to any of us that are thinking of going this way.

Dan.

Offline tryagain

  • Hard Top Camper User
  • ******
  • Posts: 4276
  • Thanked: 600 times
  • Gender: Male
Re: Composting loo - our experience so far
« Reply #17 on: March 14, 2021, 07:44:00 PM »
Will report back, if anyone is bored enough to be interested.

Keith

Keep the reports coming, I read a whole book on the topic, not sure what that says about me 🤔

Offline rags

  • Hard Floor Camper User
  • *****
  • Posts: 1428
  • Thanked: 176 times
  • Gender: Male
Re: Composting loo - our experience so far
« Reply #18 on: March 14, 2021, 08:59:35 PM »
Just to add to this fine discussion and for something to be aware of, if a person was having cancer treatments, be it chemo including some cytotoxic drugs you need to be weary of being near or coming in contact with faecal waste.

The Faecal waste of the cancer patient will easily kill the anaerobic action of a  septic and turn compost into a hazardous waste.
With the grey nomad crew, andd many potentially taking cancer drugs I’m not sure a composting toilet is a wise choice, and probably better to have a cassette toilet rich in the formaldehyde solutions that the blue additive contain and which with a level of safety can be disposed of in a dump point.

« Last Edit: March 14, 2021, 09:02:31 PM by rags »
The following users thanked this post: KeithB

Offline DandyD

  • Soft Floor Camper User
  • ****
  • Posts: 264
  • Thanked: 24 times
  • Gender: Male
Re: Composting loo - our experience so far
« Reply #19 on: March 15, 2021, 01:43:42 AM »
Reading this I'm so glad I went for the Separett.

Offline KeithB

  • Hard Floor Camper User
  • *****
  • Posts: 1412
  • Thanked: 266 times
  • Gender: Male
Re: Composting loo - our experience so far
« Reply #20 on: March 15, 2021, 09:07:25 AM »
Reading this I'm so glad I went for the Separett.

I think they have discontinued the Airhead, at least in Australia, and are bringing out the Separett Tiny, with the option of a urine diverting drain.
How does your unit go in very cold weather?

Keith
« Last Edit: March 15, 2021, 09:34:22 AM by KeithB »
200 Series 2008, bull bar, Airmax snorkel,rack with 200 watt solar, third battery, winch, 33's with 2 spares, long range tank, drawers & barrier, bash plates, lifted & locked, Richards transmission lockup plus plenty of dings. Now towing the new Off Road Glamper.

Offline DandyD

  • Soft Floor Camper User
  • ****
  • Posts: 264
  • Thanked: 24 times
  • Gender: Male
Re: Composting loo - our experience so far
« Reply #21 on: March 15, 2021, 11:09:33 AM »
I think they have discontinued the Airhead, at least in Australia, and are bringing out the Separett Tiny, with the option of a urine diverting drain.
How does your unit go in very cold weather?

Keith

It works well. It is made in Sweden where the winters are severe. They do recommend that a large diameter (40mm) drain is used if the unit is going to be used in very low temperatures. -12 is about as low as it goes here but that's rare. I decided to fit the 40mm pipe anyway.
The following users thanked this post: KeithB

Offline KeithB

  • Hard Floor Camper User
  • *****
  • Posts: 1412
  • Thanked: 266 times
  • Gender: Male
Re: Composting loo - our experience so far
« Reply #22 on: March 15, 2021, 11:19:15 PM »
It works well. It is made in Sweden where the winters are severe. They do recommend that a large diameter (40mm) drain is used if the unit is going to be used in very low temperatures. -12 is about as low as it goes here but that's rare. I decided to fit the 40mm pipe anyway.

I have put in a 12mm drain from the urine bottle, which has been trouble free so far, with no crystalline buildup (I think). But I put a fair bit of Napisan in it to kill the smell before emptying, which may be keeping it clean.

Keith
200 Series 2008, bull bar, Airmax snorkel,rack with 200 watt solar, third battery, winch, 33's with 2 spares, long range tank, drawers & barrier, bash plates, lifted & locked, Richards transmission lockup plus plenty of dings. Now towing the new Off Road Glamper.

Offline DandyD

  • Soft Floor Camper User
  • ****
  • Posts: 264
  • Thanked: 24 times
  • Gender: Male
Re: Composting loo - our experience so far
« Reply #23 on: March 15, 2021, 11:41:02 PM »
Separett recommend simple white vinegar to prevent the crystalline build up. That is what we clean ours with. It kills any urine smell too, although the fan does keep the casing at negative pressure so any smell would go up the flue and not leak out into the van.

When I was researching which loo to buy, there were people in the US recommending putting one cup of vinegar in the urine bottle on the Nature's Head loos to neutralise the urine, which is alkaline.

There was one YouTube video of a skanky mare with a Nature's Head in her cabin that emptied the bottle on the stones around her fire pit. She didn't use a fan either. She didn't have many visitors.

« Last Edit: March 15, 2021, 11:52:12 PM by DandyD »
The following users thanked this post: KeithB

Offline austastar

  • Hard Top Camper User
  • ******
  • Posts: 4046
  • Thanked: 241 times
  • Gender: Male
Re: Composting loo - our experience so far
« Reply #24 on: March 16, 2021, 08:28:05 AM »
Hi,
   8<-------
    Normal urine pH is slightly acidic, with usual values of 6.0 to 7.5, but the normal range is 4.5 to 8.0.
www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov › NBK470195
8<---------

According to Mr Google.

Cheers



Sent from my SM-T380 using Tapatalk