A Complete Guide to The Nature’s Head Composting Toilet

We bought our Nature’s Head Composting toilet about 3 years ago. We’ve had plenty of time to discover the pros and cons of this unit and we’re going to share our experience with you today. This is the only brand we’ve tried, but we’re currently renovating an Airstream Argosy and we plan to install an Airhead composting toilet, to see what the difference is. We will do a comparison between the Natures Head and Airhead in the future…shall we call it a “head to head”? 😅

What is a Nature’s Head Composting Toilet?

A composting toilet is a toilet that treats human excrement by allowing microbes to break down the organic matter into compost. This happens under controlled aerobic conditions and usually in some sort of medium like peat moss or coco coir. However, this process takes months to fully compost, so most RV composting toilets are actually more of a dry toilet.

The biggest brands on the market are Natures Head and Air Head and both have a unique diverting system that separates the urine from the solids to prevent a foul odor from forming. Though to be honest, the urine reservoir can smell really bad when changed. We’ve tried the recommended vinegar and sugar and it doesn’t help much, but we only smell it when emptying the reservoir or after we’ve travelled with a full tank.

We hear a splash of bleach works best for the urine odor, but never use it in the solids compartment or it could kill those microbes doing all the compost work. The composting side typically just smells like soil and have never found it offensive, unless than fan goes out and isn’t able to evaporate the excess liquids.

Why did we Choose a Nature’s Head Composting Toilet?

We went with a Nature’s Head composting toilet for a few reasons. We have a ridiculously small black tank on our 16ft 1985 Fiber Stream camper and the composting toilet needs to be changed less often than the original the black tank. It saves a ton of water, none is needed for flushing, so we can be extra conservative with our water and we can get rid of our black tank.

How do you Dispose of the Waste?

Ideally it would be added to a compost pile or bin, but while traveling it can be buried or disposed of in a bag. We wouldn’t recommend burying it, because of the potential of contaminating ground water, the size hole required and that it may not be allowed where you’re camping. We recommend a sturdy bio-degradable bag that can be disposed of in the nearest public use dumpster or trash can. Urine can be dispersed in nature, or emptied in public restrooms.

Is it safe? From all our research this seems to be the safest, recommended method for those of us who travel full time. Our friends Live Small Ride Free wrote a great blog post about proper disposal and the answers they found when contacting EPA and other government agencies.

Thoughts After 3 Years

Our composting toilet has suited our needs and method of travel well. I definitely think there are some design elements with the Nature’s Head that could be improved upon though, especially for the price point. We look forward to trying out the Air Head in our new rig and seeing how it differs. We will report back with our findings!

Overall, we’ve been satisfied with our experience and think we made the right choice in going with a composting toilet. Here are our pros and cons for this unit –

Pros :

  • Easy Installation
  • Conserves water
  • Can remove black tank or add extra gray tank
  • It’s self-contained, so it can be removed or moved easily

Cons:

  • We’ve had to replace the fan about 4-5 times
  • The compost bin has to be opened to remove the urine bottle
  • The seat is not comfortable
  • The agitator does not reach the compost in the corners of the bin

Here’s the link to A Nature’s Head Composting Toilet if you’re interested in trying it out! We especially love the Nature’s Head because we love boondocking – learn all about boondocking here!



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RV BUYING GUIDE: THE RV PURCHASE PROCESS

This is third blog post in a six-part series aimed at new RV owners. The first post gave tips for choosing the right RV type. Should you buy a Class C, a Fifth Wheel, a Toy Hauler, or some other RV type? We attempted to help you answer those questions. In the second post we gave valuable tips about how to pick the perfect floorplan.  

Now it’s time to dig down deep into the RV purchasing process…

 

The first thing you need to understand is that shopping for a new RV is very different from shopping for a new car or truck. While there may be some similarities, there are many more differences. Chances are you have dozens of car dealerships, representing every major brand, within a short drive from your house.

This is not the case with RV dealerships. They can be spread out far and wide. So while you may have a local RV dealership nearby (we consider a dealer within two hours drive to be “local”), you may also need to drive a few hours to a non-local dealer to find the RV of your choice, or you may need to buy at an RV show. These are all good options, but there are some important things to consider with each.

 

 

PURCHASING FROM A LOCAL DEALER

 

  1. Purchasing local is very convenient for shopping: Shopping at a local dealer saves you precious drive time and if they have your dream RV, may just be the ideal situation.
  2. Purchasing local is very convenient for warranty service after the sale:  Every RV needs to go in for either warranty service or basic maintenance at some point, and when the dealer is close to home a trip into the shop can be very convenient–or at least not too inconvenient!
  3. But a local dealer may not have your dream RV, or a preferred brand: Very few dealers carry every, or even most, RV brands. So, if there is a certain dream RV that tickles your fancy you may need to expand your search geographically to find it.

 

 

 

Purchasing From A Non Local Dealer

  1. Purchasing from a non-local dealer greatly expands your RV brand options: If your local dealer doesn’t carry your favorite brand don’t despair, just get ready to drive further to find it.
  2. Expanding the reach of your search may also increase your bargaining power: The more dealers you look at geographically, the more bargaining power you have when it comes to negotiating a purchase price.
  3. May not be convenient for warranty work or maintenance after the sale: This might be our most important tip–so listen up! If you do end up buying your dream RV far from home, are you prepared to drive it back for warranty work and maintenance? We strongly recommend that you call around to your local dealers to see if they will do warranty service on an RV purchased at another dealership. Having a game plan for this type of situation will save you a lot of irritation in the long run.

 

 

Purchasing at an RV Show

 

  1. RV Shows have a carnival like atmosphere making for a fun shopping experience: We love going to RV shows because they are a complete hoot! RV owners are a tribe of happy and adventurous folks–when we go to shows we feel like we are among our people and you will too!
  2. Free educational seminars prepare you for RV ownership: Many RV shows have free seminars about maintenance, RV travel, and RV culture. As a potential newbie RV owner there is so much to learn, and you can learn a whole lot of it by attending a good seminar.
  3. Many brands and floorplans to explore all in one place: While a good local dealership may carry three or four brands and dozens of floorplans, a good RV show will give you a chance to look at dozens of brands and hundreds of floorplans. A massive national RV show will enable you to look at the vast majority of RV’s in production. Bring good walking shoes!
  4. RV Show pricing is very good because many dealers are competing in one place: If you are not a big fan of heavy negotiating, but you still want a great price, an RV show may hit the sweet spot for you. RV show prices really do tend to be very competitive–dealers are competing with each other and they are motivated to move a lot of inventory in one day.
  5. But you don’t get to drive the rig home that day: You will need to pick up your RV at the dealership even if you buy it at a show. They will want to prepare the rig for you, and give you a walk through to teach you all of the RV’s systems and operating procedures.

 

 

And that is the topic of our next blog post in this series! We will give you a detailed list of items and systems to check while your dealer is giving you the walk through, so that you can be fully prepared to bring your RV home and start enjoying it!

 

 

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The Complete Guide to Workamping

If you’re interested in learning about what workamping is, how to find a workamping job, or the unique challenges of workamping…then you’ve come to the right place. At the end of the article we’ll even include 5 tips from current workampers on “how to find the best workamping jobs!” We were able to create this […]

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