The majority of tiny home dwellers on wheels are environmentalist. They care about the impact they leave on the Earth. This is why they will add solar panels to their roofs. They wish to acquire electric power not only for a low price but by causing little disturbance to the surroundings as much as possible. Their respect also extends to how they deal with human waste.
Most of them will choose to have a composting toilet over a traditional one running with water. They see no point in wasting drinking water for flushing human urine and manure. There are a few types of composting toilets in existence, but which one is the best? Let us compare two types on the market, Nature’s Head and Sun-Mar-excel.
What Should You Expect From A Composting Toilet?
First, your compost toilet should separate urine from manure because they both need to be dealt with differently. Then you need a stirring method to mix the manure into coco fiber and cedar chips to prevent smells from developing and to help it decompose. You also need a ventilation system, like a small fan to air out moisture that can cause odors.
A very simple compost toilet looks like this picture.
There is a bucket for peeing and one for pooing. I don’t know what is used for stirring, but I will assume there is a stick somewhere for that task. For ventilation, the toilet box is likely left open. You might think that would smell but when coco fiber and cedar chips are mixed with manure, it odors are killed.
Once the manure mix bucket is full, its contents can be dropped off as fertilizer for non-edible plants or it can be dropped off at a compost pile for human waste. You must never use human compost for vegetables. The urine can be used in any type of garden edge as it is sterile, or dumped in a sewage system. The urine container can then be rinsed or cleaned out for future use.
What About A More Sophisticated Type Of Composting Toilet?
One type of popular composting toilet with international success is called Nature’s Head. The toilets were originally used on boats. The word “head” meant Toilet. It is appreciated for its small size, being lightweight and durability.
It has three parts, the seat, the urine container and the manure container. On one of its sides, it has a crank to stir the manure into the coco fiber and cedar chips. It also possesses a small twelve-volt electric fan to create air circulation and a vent hose. Here is a youtube video link on how it functions.
Nature’s Head comes with a five-year warranty and can take up sixty to eighty number two uses. It does not use up any water.
Some of the cons of this brand are that the simplicity of its structure may require more work and involvement from the purchaser compared to other expensive brands of compost toilets. If you are uncomfortable dealing with your own waste, you may not like this toilet.
It does not necessarily work well in cold weather. Some people don’t think it has enough ventilation and needs a better computer fan to pull out smells. The trap door for manure gets filthy. Some people use vinegar and water to clean it but not everyone likes to do that or finds it does not work very well. They use an alternative cleaning product.
Here is a youtube video on how to use some tricks in dealing with Nature’s Head.
Here is another review on Nature’s Head on Youtube
Another Type Of Composting Toilet Is The Sun-Mar-Excel
Like Nature’s Head, the Sun-Mar-Excel does not use up any water. Unlike Nature’s Head, it does have models that do not use up any electricity for a fan. It uses a variable diameter bio-drum and a recessed handle to make compost. No odors, should be created as it turns human waste into compost. It about the price of a flush toilet.
It is made to be used as a principal toilet for residential purposes and it can handle the waste of three people during normal weekdays. When having a party in the woods, it can handle the waste of a crowd of people for two to three days. The only thing you have to do is provide it with is a drain hole. Everything else you need to make it function will be provided for when you buy the compost toilet. This will include a venting kit.
One plus factor with Sun-Mar-Excel is that you don’t have to deal with any urine, as it evaporates inside the diameter Bio-drum.
Reported problems with this composting toilet are that it is not well made and smells during hot weather. Composting toilets are not supposed to smell. There have been complaints that not all of the waste will go down into the tank like it should. It causes a mess when you empty it. Some people say it is not always an easy composting toilet to figure out how to work, but when you do you will have a great working toilet.
Some people think it best to drain the waste into a cedar filled hole beneath the toilet because it takes longer for it to break down in the tank. There are owners who have used these composting toilets for years and are very happy with it. They do advise you to buy a vent fan to keep smells and flies away.
Chemicals are sometimes used to keep smells away during hot weather. One of the points of having a compost toilet is to live in a natural way without chemicals. There is a contradiction here. Other drawbacks are that not everyone thinks it is a very sturdy toilet and some people find the front step annoying. It is there because the toilet seat is higher than normal.
A metal stool would have been a better pick, especially for big people. To be fair though, not all models have this step. Here is a youtube video on the Sun-Mar-Excel composting toilet.
Here is a negative report on the Sun-Mar-Excel
My Personal Choice Between The Two Composting Toilets.
I prefer the Nature’s Head Composting Toilet. It does need a bit of electricity to run it, but there have been no reports of chemical use to combat odors with it. With a tiny home on wheels, the small amount of electricity needed to operate the fan could be created with solar panels. Most tiny home on wheel dwellers view solar panels as a necessity they should have.
It seems to me Nature’s Head Composting Toilet would be easier for a woman to transport as it comes in three easy detachable parts. They can be carried and dealt with one at a time. Both Nature’s head and Sun-Mar-Excel seem easy to empty but the latter seems bulkier to have around.
Nature’s Head has a good reputation for not causing any smells. If there is any it is from the liquid and that can easily be gotten rid of. Some people have a very sensitive sense of smell and claim it smells more than other people. My sense of smell is not that sensitive so I think I will be all right with a certain degree of smells. Nature’s Head does not get many negative reviews.
Whatever Type Of Composting Toilet You Choose To Use You Are Helping The Environment By Your Action.
Using composting toilets helps preserve drinking water. Compost made from human waste can be used as a fertilizer as long as it is not thrown on edible plants. Composting toilets that are working properly do not smell, unlike flush toilets. It is another way it makes the environment a pleasant place to be in.
If you have any questions or want to discuss this topic please leave a comment below and I will get back to you as soon as I can.
Pictures are taken from across the net.
Information is taken for reviews under the search words Nature Head And Sun-Mar-Excel reviews and youtube documentaries.
The Youtube videos appearing in this blog are not my creation.
If you have any questions about this topic or would like to discuss it please leave a comment below and I will get back to you as soon as I can.