Thursday, August 28, 2014

DIY Composting Toilet for RV's and Small Spaces

Gordon and Sue provide detailed information on designing, building, and successfully using a compact composting toilet that he built for their small RV.



Gordon's DIY composting toilet is based on a recycled plastic barrel that was used to ship olives.  






The toilet seat was salvaged from an RV toilet.



The box surrounding the barrel has all the supplies needed to keep the toilet running smoothly.

A small muffin fan (1.3 watts) continuously draws fresh air from the RV into the composting chamber and exhausts it to the black duct to the outside.  This keeps the composting process aerobic and eliminates any smell.




A picture of the small RV that the composting toilet is used in and the venting outlet for the toilet.

Probably even more valuable than the how to build it information is the how to successfully use the composting toilet so that it works well and produces no odor.  Between the RV and their tiny cabin, Gordon and Sue have many years of experience living successfully with various composting toilets.

For the full story on Gordon and Sue's composting toilet...


In addition to the material on Gordon's composting toilet, I've added a section on composting toilets for RV's and small spaces with some good info on compact commercial composting toilets and how to use them...


Gary
August 28, 2014

9 comments:

  1. Amazing what can be achieved in such a small space. Have you thought of using solar for other items like lights, charging devices etc?

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    Replies
    1. Hi -- I'm not sure what Gordon is doing on his RV, but on our new RV conversion we will have 315 watts of PV which should generate all the electrical power for it under most conditions. It has all LED lighting and tried to make other electricity users (like the small fridge) as efficient as possible.

      Gary

      Delete
  2. Hi Ron -- Gordon emailed in a response, and its pasted in just below:

    The short answer is that we certainly had, but, in practice it has proved to be difficult.
    Over a decade ago we used three 1 ft by 3 ft PV panels with our tiny bumper-pull RV/trailer. There being no room on the roof, we pop-rivited the panels to a pair of long straps made from a fire hose. This enabled one to fold them up and store them under the bed, or open them out a short distance from the trailer - in an A-frame for solar collection. A pair of sticks threaded up each of the hoses stiffened the A-frames. PV in conjunction with a composting toilet made boon-docking quite attractive.
    Unfortunately, with the current tiny truck-bed camper, there is simply no room in the camper, in the cab, nor either on the roof or under the bed to mount or store panels. Hopefully RV manufacturers will be more considerate in their 'land-use planning' of future rooftops.
    At this time, the PV panels have been re-purposed to assist the powering the circulator pumps on our variant of the BIS $1k Solar Water Heater.
    To reduce our RV's electrical needs, we have replaced most of the original lamps with LEDs, installed a more efficient battery charger, and replaced the generator with a small inverter unit.
    Gordon

    ReplyDelete
  3. If you don't separate the urine it will smell. My advice is to get the Privy 501 kit here: https://www.separett-usa.com/index.php/purchase-urine-diverting-toilets.html?page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage-ask.tpl&product_id=22&category_id=4

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks Josh.
    Gordon talks about a method they use to avoid odor problems from excess urine, but the separation might be less work.
    Gary

    ReplyDelete
  5. I have a 1991 Toyota Winnebago Warrior RV... We want to put a composting toilet in the small space we have, and could really use some advice on how to get started! Who installs these toilets if we cannot? Best place to find local contractors in NW Montana?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi,
      There is a detailed account of our compact composting toilet build/install here: http://www.buildagreenrv.com/our-conversion/promaster-camper-van-conversion-composting-toilet/

      Some more info on composting toilets with links to installs here: http://www.buildagreenrv.com/design-and-build-information-for-camper-vans/installing-toilet/

      Gary

      Delete
  6. Can anyone help me to find a source for the olive barrels? I live in southeast Idaho. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Found a barrel
    Next question? How does one empty such a large (and heavy? ) receptacle?

    ReplyDelete

 
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