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The Real Truth About RVing With A Composting Toilet

RVing with a composting toilet seem gross to most RVers. But when you think about it, don’t all RVers haul around their poop? The question is, how close do you want to be to your poop in the RV?

Traditional black tanks are underneath the floor, but a composting toilet puts all of your waste inside living quarters. It stays there for weeks at a time until you dump the decomposed matter. That begs the question:

Is it gross to go RVing with a composting toilet?

Natures Head composting toilet

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We turned to one composting toilet owner, Bill Bailey, whom you might remember. Bill is the proud owner of the skoolie bus project dubbed “The Journey Visvi.” He recently moved into his bus to go full-time RVing. Right now he’s putting the finishing touches on his vintage skoolie RV while living inside and using his Nature’s Head RV composting toilet.

Bill on the other throne, driving his vintage skoolie bus.

William Bailey

The Nature’s Head RVing composting toilet “is completely self-contained, and can safely be used in places where there is no plumbing or sewage facilities,” says the company website. It goes on to explain that “Nature’s Head Composting Toilets were designed for the harshest of conditions and will stand up to years of trouble free service.”

With a price tag near $1,000 we asked Bill, “Are you glad you bought it? Does the Nature’s Head toilet live up to the hype?” Here’s what he says:

“I love my composting toilet!” he proudly told us. “I only have to clean it about every two months. (There’s) no dumping a stinky black water tank when leaving the campgrounds.”

“But doesn’t leaving your poop and pee in the RV make it smell?” we asked.

Nope, he says. “This morning when I dumped the urine tank, even after I used the toilet two hours earlier, it only smells like dirt, or peat moss. Which is what I use as a composting material, at $10.0 for 3 cub ft, it is cheap.”

Composting toilets are a good fit for many RVs.

Composting toilet dimensions

We wondered how an off-grid boondocker might use a composting toilet since it requires a constant supply of electricity to run the ventilation fan. Bill had a good answer for that too and told us “Oh they have an option of using a solar powered vent fan.”

Even after all the good points he shared, we were still skeptical. There has to be at least one drawback to RVing with a composting toilet, right?

Bill managed to think of one: “Getting visitors to us it,” he said. “They are like ‘Yuk!'”

Another Great Composting Option

One of the most popular options in both the RV and marine space for a composting toilet is the OGO Compost Toilet. With its power agitation, patented urine diversion technology, built-in liquid Sensor and other available options, the OGO compost toilet is easy to use and easy to clean. No black tank is needed, has no odor, and chemical free.

3 thoughts on “The Real Truth About RVing With A Composting Toilet”

  1. We are in the process of renovating a 1990 Holiday Rambler and part of that is installing a Nature’s Head.
    I’m glad to hear it works well on Terra Firma. Emptying the pee jug seems simple. You can dump it in any public toilet or if Boondocking on the ground away from water sources. The nitrates in the pee are a good plant fertilizer.
    I wonder if a back flow valve would solve your mixing problem? Something for the mechanically inclined to ponder.

  2. Your composting toilet must have a small pee tank or you must drink a lot of beer,both my wife and I used ours last fall and only dumped ever 4 the to 5 the day.

  3. Funny, how the articles about composting toilets pop-up all over the place all of a sudden. I have used a composting toilet on my sailboat and in the beginning, I was convinced this was the only way to go. I never had an issue with smells. So much so, that I stuck my head into the composting chamber to proof to myself that peat moss was all I would smell. I removed the composting toilet, however, once I experienced an issue which you will come-up against when sailing long distance. In a nutshell, a composting toilet works only, when the liquid and the solids are separated. There are times on a sailboat, when that is impossible, when you are on the “wrong” tack.
    To come to another point and a huge issue. The pee tank fills-up in no time. Just 2 people with regular use will fill the tank in a day or two at the very most. So what do you do when the tank is full and you are on the road? Do you just stop by the side of the road and dump the contents?
    If you are in a campground, you have the option to dump it into the sewer. If you are on the road, you do not.
    Composting toilet makers used to offer an option, which allowed you to connect a hose between the pee tank and your regular waste tank to overcome this issue. Great. But then, what difference does it make to a regular RV toilet?
    In my opinion, composting toilets are great for a cabin or a residence (to save water).
    Unless, you will always dock your boat at night or enter an RV campgound, composting toilets do not belong in an RV or on a boat.

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