Results 1 to 19 of 19

Thread: Best Composting toilet?

  1. #1

    Default Best Composting toilet?

    I'm moving into a travel trailer and building after that, but won't have running water/ septic for probably a year or two. I did all the research online, and I'm between the Biolet NonElectric and the Sun-mar Excel NE. Looking for reviews on either of these before I get one?
    Thanks!

  2. #2

    Default

    Second hand info, but a very good friend put a Biolet in his full time cabin. After less than a month, he opted to take it out and use an outhouse. Odor was the biggest issue he had with it. After using the outhouse for a year or more, he got a Destroilet, kept it for three or four months and ended up taking it out and going back to the outhouse. He did keep a honey bucket inside with lime, for those times he couldn't/wouldn't go to the outhouse.
    "96% of all Internet Quotes are suspect and the remaining 4% are fiction."
    ~~Abraham Lincoln~~

  3. #3
    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Wrangell
    Posts
    7,600

    Default

    I'll scond outhouse and honey bucket for mama on cold nights. you can place a cut off 55gal drum under the outhouse and burn it off once in a while if worried about waste in the soil.

  4. #4
    Member moose-head's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    @ Seminary, Dubuque Ia
    Posts
    839

    Default

    one of the guys I used to work with had one ( I have no idea which brand) and he had no odor issues. I will call him this week and find out which one he used.

  5. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    19

    Default

    one of the guys I used to work with had one ( I have no idea which brand) and he had no odor issues. I will call him this week and find out which one he used.
    it may be an electric model. the ele models have fans that suck the odor out through a vent to the outside. the non-ele models don't do that and more likely to smell.

    if you're going non-ele... i'd rather use an outhouse or a 5-gal bucket for those really cold nights.

  6. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    3,293

    Default

    Composting toilets depend on biological agents to break down waste. Biological agents don't like cold temps. If you're heated 24/7 the composting toilet may work. If it's not adequately heated you have a problem.

  7. #7

    Default

    I imagine you have read this book? http://www.jenkinspublishing.com/humanure.html

    If not, you should, before you spend money on a composting toilet in Alaska. I have never met anyone who liked them in Alaska.

    The method in the book puts the composting outside the house.
    Wasilla Real Estate News
    www.valleymarket.com

  8. #8

    Default

    Well, not exactly what I was hoping to hear, but appreciate the feedback.
    I'll be on an rv lot where I can't dig in an outhouse or any other type of outdoor setup until sometime this summer. I'm pretty sure the trailer will be kept at least 60 F, but who knows what kind of fun I'll run into trying to live in it during the winter. So far it sounds like people that use them on weekends in a cabin like them and don't mention a smell, but those that have actually lived with one on a regular basis aren't big fans.
    I'll check out that book and think twice about buying an indoor unit.

  9. #9

    Default

    Hey moose-head, have you heard from your buddy? I'd be very interested in what he had to say...

  10. #10
    New member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    867

    Default

    I have two different types at the lodge. I have a SunMar in my cabin for the wife and a Econolet at the main lodge. I love the Sunmar, it is the non electric. It does smell if I am not maintaining it right and that takes some paying attention. I will be putting a 12 volt fan in the vent to help with the smell and venting. Have been using the SunMar for 6 years summer only.

    I am not happy with the Ecconolet at all the aggitation system is BAD. I plan on changing it out for a SunMar this year. I installed a vent fan on this one and it was night and day difference with the smell.

    Toilet paper is the most important issue I am facing. Need the type that breaks down quick. Still searching for this one. The composting TP that is sold is spendy. Talked with some sewer pros this winter and they suggest Angel soft or Fred Meyer or Walmart brand for break down. Stay away from Charmin even with septic systems...

    One thing with composting toilets, you must stay on top of daily maintenance to keep the micobes working but after you get dialed in it isn't so bad. If you are at a park, what about a chemical toilet? I am assuming (u know w/that means) they will have a dump for the RV's.

    Hope this helps and you can email me with more questions if you wish.

    Happy New Year,

    George

  11. #11
    Member moose-head's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    @ Seminary, Dubuque Ia
    Posts
    839

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by thekernel View Post
    Hey moose-head, have you heard from your buddy? I'd be very interested in what he had to say...
    He is taking some time off work for the holidays, so I will catch up with him later in the week. His cabin is near Libby Montana and is used mostly during the summer until his week long fishing trip Thanksgiving week. I will be talking to him toward the end of the week.

  12. #12
    Member 1stimestar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Fairbanks, AK
    Posts
    758

    Default

    So with the balance of microbes needed to compost properly, using bleach would be bad? How much bleach would be bad? I mean, I clean the toilet with bleach occasionally with probably a couple of cups worth of bleach. Would that be enough to ruin the breakdown?
    Alaska, the Madness; Bloggity Stories of the North
    http://cloud9doula.wordpress.com/

    Does this shotgun make my butt look big?

  13. #13
    New member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    867

    Default

    Bleach, BAD.

    I was told to use only water to clean, no detergents...

    Unless there is something new that is OK?

    George

  14. #14

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by George Riddle View Post
    Bleach, BAD.

    I was told to use only water to clean, no detergents...

    Unless there is something new that is OK?

    George
    I remember reading about using small amounts of vinegar, supposedly doesn't kill off the microbes.
    As far as the comment about using a chemical toilet - mm, would like to be as eco-friendly as I can (er, in a trailer with 2 ft walls), and I will need to be mobile as well. The rv lot is a temporary solution. I want to be able to park it on undeveloped land and not have to worry about putting in septic right away. I'll have several months to work with it - I'll dig an outhouse if it ends up being too smelly.
    And actually, after measuring my itty-bitty bathroom, I'll be going with Sun-mar's "mobile" unit designed for boats and rv's. As soon as I pay for the damage the -40 to -50 temps have done to my car anyway!! I'll put an update on here once it's in use for a month or so.

  15. #15
    New member
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    9

    Default Biolet - Ugh.

    We had one. You can read what I wrote as well as other opinions about the Envirolet here; I'm Dan:
    http://www.softtechreviews.com/gener...g-toilet-blog/


    We've been living in the cabin for a year now. I am using a marine "separating" toilet that keeps the liquids out of the compost area (which is still plenty wet).

    Needless to say, I'm building an outhouse for summer use and as a place to empty to composting toilet into.

  16. #16
    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Wrangell
    Posts
    7,600

    Default

    Yep Mother Earth is the best at it and overall has less effect on the enviorment

  17. #17

    Default

    mow my uncle had a stange toliet set up in the cabin that he bult..
    for he was in the navy for 20.years on subs and he bult the toliet system like the sub system once your get used to the system is was a lot easlyer to deal with and not a complete mind trip for the first time you used it..

    first you did was lift the lid for n-1-
    or sit down in the unit for a n-2-

    then when done you pull the first arm lever to open the pipe section that went down into the holding tank backs towards you to open the pipe section


    then step on the pedal on the side of the tank and it flush the tank ..

    then by pushing the second arm towards the wall it refilled the tank with grey water for a rinse and then pushing the lever down the side it flushed the grey water down into the holding tank

    and flilled the bowel with clean water to be used again,..by useing the small lever handle on the other side of the toliet in the rear and it let fresh water into the bowel to filled up for the next user

    he had a metal toliet set up

    i never had a smell in the house inless i cooked chili the night before and it was bad ,..

    he had a two round plastic tanks in the basement for black water and grey water holdings

    the grey water tank held all the water from the shower and sink etc,,
    and it was about 100,gallons sized

    and the black water tank was about a 100,gallons with stewage grinder pump set up to grind all the big lumps down into very small peices to be able to be pumped out as need ...

    for he used a hand pump system to pump the black water tank set up out into a septic line waste field line set up with a gravel rock garden as he called to hold the water waste ..

    to use the system to pump the waste water out into the septic line was a simple value unit that was mark in bright red letters to say what it did..

    i would get about a week of use out of it before it need to be pumped out and i could pump it out in about 20.mins of pumping on the lever arm to clear the tank out..

    the rock garden area is where the septic lines ran where a series of underground piles of rocks with the tubeing that it sit ontop of the rock piles set up with small cut outs in the sides and bottoms of the pvc pipes so to let the waste water go into the piles of rocks and soak the water unit with the rocks of diff sized mixed in with pea gravel typle rocks of it would help soak the water up and move it away from the tube cut outs..

    the pipes where down about three ft from the surface

    now my uncle was a hull tech in the navy and they where called tur--chasers also ..
    so that where i think he got the idea for the toliet..

    the family members that got the cabin from me are puting a modern toliet with all other items need for they could use the toliet system way it is right now and like the more modern version of a toliet system..

  18. #18

    Default

    he also had two round plastic 250 gallon sized water tanks for fresh water in the house filled at all times for use if the main water was out from the well .

  19. #19
    Member Medo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    North Pole Alaska
    Posts
    17

    Default

    Ahoy hoy,
    I have had the sun-mar electric for almost 5 years. The top case cracks every year. The fan burns out and you have an open septic in your house. The crank handle just broke off this morning, so it has a vise grip on it right now. If the screen clogs you will dress like a bio disaster has occurred to crawl in and chisel the screen clean. It beats an outhouse, but not by much. Its great when it works like its supposed to. Too bad it never does like its supposed to. You cant barely find the rough peat moss to make the wood-chip/peat mix it needs.
    FYI Your results may vary. Void where prohibited by law.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •