Page 3 of 8 FirstFirst ... 234 ... LastLast
Results 71 to 105 of 266

Thread: Nature's Head vs. Air Head Toilet

  1. #71
    Join Date
    Apr 1999
    Location
    Hyannis, MA, USA
    Posts
    45,517

    Default Re: Nature's Head vs. Air Head Toilet

    A further note on the AirHead and dry compost toiletts in general: The Toilet Paper Problem.

    Before that - one thing not stressed enough by AirHead et al is that you need to consider where you'll be finishing the compost process after it leaves the tank in your head. It really needs a full year minimum with nothing new being added. The composting bin need be nothing more than a barrel screaned at both ends but you'll want two so that one can be left a full year or more with no new deposits. This is not such a big deal - Marmalade's head, used about daily by myself and add guests less than 90 days a year, needs emptying twice a year. So it's not like huge barrels or anything.

    The toilet paper will compost - - - eventually. So will the coffee filters if you use them. However it takes more than a year. This is actually a good thing since the unsightly white visible before full composting is a good clue that it's a bit early to spread on your garden.

    Some installations discourage putting toilet paper into the system. I think that besides opening the door to too-early spreading, that just moves the soiled toilett paper problem. Unless you've trained all to use damp towels, and that involves other hygene issues that can be dealt with but take some training.

    Note that most shore composting systems need peat or sawdust added on each use. The AirHead model, on the other hand, stirs things every use and so does not need more and more peat for airation.

  2. #72
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Northern NSW Australia
    Posts
    72,518

    Default Re: Nature's Head vs. Air Head Toilet

    The way to make the material disappear quickly Ian is to bury it in topsoil and mix it in well .It will be indistinguishable in 8 weeks .Whether or not such things are legal in your flower garden is another point .
    '' You ain't gonna learn what you don't want to know. ''
    Grateful Dead

  3. #73
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
    Location
    Muncy, PA, USA
    Posts
    1,872

    Default Re: Nature's Head vs. Air Head Toilet

    I pulled the plug and bought a Nature's Head. A 5 day cruise on the Chesapeake with a porta-potti was the final straw. I went back and forth between the two composting heads for a year, following this thread closely. My choice was made by delivery time; Nature's Head shipped that day while the Airhead had a 1-2 week wait.
    We used it on a 3 day cruise last week and I can say, without reservation, that I am delighted. Installation was a snap, the handling of liquids/solid works as claimed and there is no smell. Zero. Nada. Both units are pricey but the ease of operation, lack of holding tank and no pump outs really make them a bargain. Rick

  4. #74
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Rockford, IL
    Posts
    9,639

    Default Re: Nature's Head vs. Air Head Toilet

    Friends are very satisfied wth their Nature's Head. We plan to get one; maybe for next seasom.

    Moby Nick

  5. #75
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Cape Fear, NC, USA
    Posts
    2,782

    Default Re: Nature's Head vs. Air Head Toilet

    Great to hear the continued reports of satisfied composters. We will likely join the club in the near future

  6. #76
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Shubenacadie NS
    Posts
    4,272

    Default Re: Nature's Head vs. Air Head Toilet

    Speaking of composting, anybody read the humanure handbook? A bit off topic, sorry.
    If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.
    -Henry David Thoreau-

  7. #77
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Rockford, IL
    Posts
    9,639

    Default Re: Nature's Head vs. Air Head Toilet

    Question about the urine tank:

    Do you have multiple NH or AH tanks? Or do you pour contents of the fitted tank into a stout plastic jug stowed in the lazarette untill you find a suitable place to get rid of it?

    Moby Nick

  8. #78
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
    Location
    Muncy, PA, USA
    Posts
    1,872

    Default Re: Nature's Head vs. Air Head Toilet

    Nick, the NH tank lasted about 3 full days. A second tank would be a convenience but we put into port somewhere at least that often so I haven't contemplated buying one yet. Rick

  9. #79
    Join Date
    Mar 2000
    Location
    Ashburn ,VA
    Posts
    231

    Default Re: Nature's Head vs. Air Head Toilet

    I had a air head put into my Gypsy build.
    So far it has been used 2 or 3 times for #2.
    No smell at all. I have ours hooked up to a solar panel vent instead of the stock vent provided. Seems to work fine.

  10. #80
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
    Location
    Muncy, PA, USA
    Posts
    1,872

    Default Re: Nature's Head vs. Air Head Toilet

    Second cruise; 4 days on the Erie Canal. Number 2 is not an issue, no smell whatsoever. The urine tank fills up pretty fast but is easy to empty everywhere. Again, the only reason I chose the Nature's Head over the Airhead was availability; NH shipped the same day while the AH had a 2 week lead time. The Naturehead really is a nice product. Rick

  11. #81
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Port Townsend WA
    Posts
    11,764

    Default Re: Nature's Head vs. Air Head Toilet

    We use an Herreshoff cedar bucket on "Bright Star". When in port a liner known as a "Wag Bag" is placed in the container which turns any moisure into a solid and also masks the odor of urine and solid waste. Just as a disposable diaper, the used wag bag can be taken ashore and disposed of in the same manner. At sea wag bags are unnessisary. "Wag Bags" can be purchased at REI or most camping suppliers.
    http://www.rei.com/product/662978/cl...-package-of-12
    Jay
    Last edited by Jay Greer; 08-18-2011 at 02:44 AM.

  12. #82
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Portland, OR
    Posts
    830

    Default Re: Nature's Head vs. Air Head Toilet

    Hey Jay - always the traditionalist! Although that Wag Bag idea is pretty high tech. I need to get over to REI and check it out.

    Do you know how it came to be called "Wag?" All I can think of is someone walking down the docks swinging a bag of the stuff.

  13. #83
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Richmond, VA
    Posts
    1,931

    Default Re: Nature's Head vs. Air Head Toilet

    Quote Originally Posted by John P Lebens View Post
    Do you know how it came to be called "Wag?" All I can think of is someone walking down the docks swinging a bag of the stuff.
    It's actually "WAG". I'm betting it started out as an acronym - probably something like "water absorbing gel," since it has something like that in it.
    - Bill T.

    "How many politically-correct people does it take to screw in a light-bulb?"

    "Look, I don't know, but that's not funny."

  14. #84
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Port Townsend WA
    Posts
    11,764

    Default Re: Nature's Head vs. Air Head Toilet

    I think Bill's explanation is much better than considering the refrence evolving from a means of picking up after your pooch. When bringing the trash bucket contents up from the cabin it is a simple and legal procedure to include the evening Wag Bag in the morning dumpster run.
    Cheers,
    Jay

  15. #85
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Home Port Washington DC but now wandering around the US West Coast on our Schooner
    Posts
    1,164

    Default Re: Nature's Head vs. Air Head Toilet

    We've been living aboard with an Airhead composting toilet since we relaunched the boat in 4/2009. We had the Airhead in the boat when we moved aboard in the boatyard 8/2008 but only used it for dire emergency when there.

    Experiences:

    I drink lots of water and hubby does too. So, we quickly learned that we should have two liquid tanks--the one we use and one in "reserve" just in case. The tank can be easily carried to a marina bathroom if you're at a marina. In the past two years we've usually not been in a marina but at anchor. That means either emptying urine overboard (when at sea/ not in a no-discharge zone) or rowing and then carrying the tank(s) to a shore-side facility (yes, a hassle). Many people do plumb an existing holding tank to hold urine and then discharge it while at sea.

    We empty the solid waste into a trash bag and place it in a dumpster every 2 to 5 months. If you don't use the solid waste part of the toilet enough (you're using a shore side facility), because of the fan, what is there will simply dry out and not compost. We were advised by Airhead that if we wanted to use the compost we should have two solid waste tanks as well so that we'd remove one and let it continue composting for a few weeks before spreading the compost. Since we don't have a need for compost and throw it away, we don't do this. The solids tank comes with a lid for this purpose.

    Cleaning--we have a small spray bottle with white vinegar in it and spray the bowl after EACH use. That goes very far to keeping things clean. The coffee filter prevents the solid waste from soiling anything as well. Every month, I take the toilet tank part off of the solid tank (put the lid on the solid tank for the interim) and scrub clean the "toilet" part of the whole system. I use Simple Green when cleaning it. The liquid waste containers get rinsed out more frequently as they're emptied but also are scrubbed during this cleaning evolution.

    We've managed to break the agitator recently and upon calling Airhead learned that it was re-designed because of the problem we experienced (a screw holding a socket for the handle failed). So, even though it had been 3 years since we purchased the Airhead, they sent us the new design replacement agitator for free (we paid the shipping which was not costly at all).

    Our impressions were that Airhead had great customer service and that we like having this system aboard. Visitors to the boat hate the entire system though.


    Other stuff--
    Our head (the room) is very large. So, we actually have the originally installed Skipper head direct discharge in that room as well as the Airhead composting toilet. This is so the Skipper can be used at sea.

    If you have a toilet that was installed direct discharge prior to regulations forbidding it (the date is something like 1978 or so) it is not illegal to keep that toilet but it can only be used where it's legal to do so--that's out at sea if you're in the US.

    Hope this info is helpful.
    Last edited by redbopeep; 11-25-2011 at 02:42 PM.

  16. #86
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Portland, OR
    Posts
    830

    Default Re: Nature's Head vs. Air Head Toilet

    Well, we put down our money and bought an Airhead. We chose it mainly because it will fit our space better than the Nature's head. I also like buying the "original" instead of a knockoff. Soon, we'll be removing the old system of three noisy pumps, a holding tank and many feet of stinky hose. We can abandon two through-hulls. Other than some urine, we won't contribute a thing to the waterways or the wastewater system. The airhead will have one tiny computer fan and two or three other simple moving parts. Photos to follow in a few days. Of course the promise is high, but the proof will be in how it actually works.

  17. #87
    Join Date
    Apr 1999
    Location
    Brunswick, Maine, USA
    Posts
    296

    Default Re: Nature's Head vs. Air Head Toilet

    Looking forward to the photos. I've been back and forth several times about how to upgrade my ancient system, and everyone's comments here are appreciated. One week it's upgrading the holding tank, the next week, AirHead, and the week following it's the Raritan ElectroSan. The ladies really kind of like the Wilcox Crittenden bronze throne (Winner), so it's kind of hard to part with it on the floating woodpile.

  18. #88
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Cape Fear, NC, USA
    Posts
    2,782

    Default Re: Nature's Head vs. Air Head Toilet

    Thanks all for sharing your thoughts and experiences, we will likely install a composting head this year.
    This is the first lesson ye should learn: There is so much good in the worst of us, and so much bad in the best of us, it doesn't behoove any of us to speak evil of the rest of us.
    E. Cayce

  19. #89
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Montreal
    Posts
    7,469

    Default Re: Nature's Head vs. Air Head Toilet

    Just to churn things over a little bit, here is something that is considerably less expensive than either Natures Head or Air Head. Not too $hitty either,considering its' miserable fate........

    http://www.c-head.com/




    Cheers!



    Peter
    Do it,do it,do it,do it,do it,do it,do it,now!
    J.Lennon

    This boat was built with ten thumbs.No fingers were harmed in anyway.

  20. #90
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Puget Sound, WA, USA
    Posts
    879

    Default Re: Nature's Head vs. Air Head Toilet

    Quote Originally Posted by P.L.Lenihan View Post
    Just to churn things over a little bit, here is something that is considerably less expensive than either Natures Head or Air Head. Not too $hitty either,considering its' miserable fate....... http://www.c-head.com/ Cheers! Peter
    There's booklet and manual pdf files here.....I put them on my website for easier access.....they're also available on the C-Head Yahoo Group site. Page 5 of the booklet makes some good points:

    Booklet: http://www.yachtflyers.com/forum_images/C_Head_Book.pdf

    Manual: http://www.yachtflyers.com/forum_ima...ead_Manual.pdf

  21. #91
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Montreal
    Posts
    7,469

    Default Re: Nature's Head vs. Air Head Toilet

    Thanks for those two links,KAIROS.I would never have thought there was also a Yahoo group for a compositing head. What a sheltered life I lead!


    Cheers!


    Peter
    Do it,do it,do it,do it,do it,do it,do it,now!
    J.Lennon

    This boat was built with ten thumbs.No fingers were harmed in anyway.

  22. #92
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Portland, OR
    Posts
    830

    Default Re: Nature's Head vs. Air Head Toilet

    Another indicator of the value of composting toilets: At a boating symposium in Port Townsend a couple of weeks ago there was a discussion of boating reliability issues. Of course heads came up as a topic. After the usual discussion of stinky hoses and holding tanks and failed pumps, a woman behind me practically leaped out of her chair to shout the praises of her composting toilet (Airhead). A second lady working at the Chandlery also spoke glowingly of her composting toilet. If women like them, it's a good sign.
    Last edited by John P Lebens; 03-28-2012 at 10:22 PM.

  23. #93
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Puget Sound, WA, USA
    Posts
    879

    Default Re: Nature's Head vs. Air Head Toilet

    C-Head: My first impressions, after viewing the company website, watching the videos, and reading the pdf documents.......

    The main difference, functionally, between Air/Natures-Head and C-Head, is that for the C-Head solid waste does not stay as long in the compost chamber.....or in this case 'bucket'. The waste is prepared, by the mixing device, to be more easily transferred to another sealed bucket. This separate bucket can be stored aboard until full then taken ashore for disposal, home to complete the composting process, or emptied offshore. So, the C-Head is emptied more often than Air/Natures and the waste continues to compost outside of the head device itself. Instead of a relatively large composting tank as part of the head itself (Air/Natures), you carry a separate bucket.....and you have to 'manage' the waste more often. [edit: I like the 'lower-tech' of the C-Head, and not sure that emptying it more often is a big issue. Still on the fence.]
    Last edited by KAIROS; 03-27-2012 at 01:02 PM.

  24. #94
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Puget Sound, WA, USA
    Posts
    879

    Default Re: Nature's Head vs. Air Head Toilet

    I asked Sandy Graves at C-Head to discuss his system and how it compares to the Air Head and Nature's Head. The Air Head and Nature's Head folks had their chance in posts 14 & 27 on Page 1 of this thread. Mr. Graves is a sailor (on the phone, I had to call back because he was about to anchor). Here's what he wrote in an email today (quote):

    ".....First let me say that it is a mistake to think of the C-Head as a smaller, cheaper version of the Airhead or the Nature’s Head simply because it is a compact composting toilet. While there are significant similarities between the three, the C-Head is a true hybrid that lies somewhere between an Airhead/Nature’s Head compact composting toilets and a Dometic or Thetford type porta-potty.

    First, the C-Head is shorter and narrower than the other compact composting toilets and about the same height as a tall porta-potty; 18 inches tall to be exact.

    The separate removable collection containers for solid waste and for urine are located inside the housing which you access by lifting the top lid. It does not require that you disassemble, detach and invert the toilet from the pedestal to empty either the urine or solid waste collection containers. Removing the containers is very easy and requires little effort. It also has a watertight pan inside the housing that acts as a secondary catchment for any spills from the collection containers.

    You also have the option of using a round or elongated toilet seat depending on the amount of space available.
    The churn handle is large and comfortable and cranks from the top instead of the side giving you plenty of elbow room to work and keeping your face away from the toilet.

    The solid waste collection container will hold about 15 uses before it needs to be emptied. One week for two people using it daily. This is more often than the other toilets but emptying the C-Head is simplicity itself. This more frequent emptying has the added advantage of preventing the development of sewer flies and often no ventilation system is required depending on the environment you are in and how you use the system.

    The urine is collected in a common one gallon water jug. It must be emptied daily for two people using it, but it offers a versatility the other toilets don’t. You can change out and store the gallon jugs until the urine can be disposed of in a restroom or poured overboard. They are easy and very cheap to replace when they become discolored. Plus being in the habit of emptying or exchanging the jugs on a daily schedule prevents over filling and accidental spills.

    The real advantage of the C-Head system comes with the amount of waste you can store. Transferring the solid waste from the collection container to a disposable 5-gal bucket using the supplied ventilation hood adaptor takes about 5-6 weeks before the bucket is full with two people using it daily. Four buckets will store a half a year’s waste if you are so inclined. Airhead and Nature’s Head offer a secondary composting base as an option, but that is expensive and inadequate.

    In my opinion, the greatest advantage is that with the C-Head system, you are discarding waste in a rigid sealed protective container rather than a plastic bag. Compact composting toilets (the C-Head included) do not come close to fully composting solid waste and what is being discarded is full of human pathogens. As composting toilets become more popular, discarding waste in a plastic bag will probably not be an option.

    Finally, the C-Head is about a third of the cost if you compare it to a comparable set up using the Airhead or Nature’s Head systems. Replacement parts are very inexpensive and repairs are simple and intuitive.

    There are several other advantages with the C-Head but in the spirit of keeping a long story short, I will stop here."

  25. #95
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Toronto
    Posts
    562

    Default Re: Nature's Head vs. Air Head Toilet

    Good information being posted here. Good work.

  26. #96
    Join Date
    Mar 2000
    Location
    Eldersburg, MD, USA
    Posts
    44

    Default Re: Nature's Head vs. Air Head Toilet

    Quote Originally Posted by GregW View Post
    Good information being posted here. Good work.
    I just found out that Bacons of Annapolis is the distributor of Natures Head and was just getting ready to buy.
    I checked out the C-head web site and am surprized by the mention of "insects" being a problem. No one has yet mentioned "insects"? Is it really a problem or?
    Roger Olson

  27. #97
    Join Date
    Apr 1999
    Location
    Hyannis, MA, USA
    Posts
    45,517

    Default Re: Nature's Head vs. Air Head Toilet

    Not a problem if you have a screen on the exhaust.

  28. #98
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Portland, OR
    Posts
    830

    Default Re: Nature's Head vs. Air Head Toilet

    Last week we finally installed our Airhead. The most satisfying thing so far was selling the old head to a guy down the dock, and tossing the filthy holding tank and hoses into the nearest dumpster. What a stinky mess. Now we have several extra square feet of storage space and NO smells. Three pumps are gone, including most of the wiring. Probably 20 ft of hoses are gone. Two thru-hulls are closed and capped.

    The Airhead was fairly easily installed. We found a nice bronze mushroom vent for the Airhead. It replaces the pump-out access. We used one of the former head circuits to power the tiny Airhead fan. The Airhead itself fits just fine, though it took some tinkering to get it positioned properly. It is the second "throne" we have installed for my dear wife. The first was the more public settee from which she can survey the boating environment. This is a more private setting, pleasant enough, but we need to add a couple of pieces of art and maybe a magazine rack.

    Not to be a tease ... but this head has not yet been inagurated. It's a virgin Airhead - full of promise, and quite alluring. It awaits a season of use and enjoyment.

    Stand by - we will provide ongoing reports.

  29. #99
    Join Date
    Apr 1999
    Location
    Hyannis, MA, USA
    Posts
    45,517

    Default Re: Nature's Head vs. Air Head Toilet

    If it's a sailboat, I hope you put it facing fore and aft. Otherwise the urine catch won't work on one tack.

    Other advice - the clearance between your butt and the pile you leave is not all that much. You might get in the habit of reaching down with your right hand and tripping that trap door lever before you wipe. Either that or lean well forward and get some elevation. Just a word to the wise . . .

    The one real annoyance to the unit is that the urine catch is not all that capacious. If you have a crew that includes a couple of beer drinking women you might have to empty at least daily. And remind the guys headed for the leeward shrouds, only one hand for the little guy. One hand on the boat.

    On the urine - close research of the law leaves questions unanswered. The actual pollution laws regarding boat sewage are written for fecal materials and there's absolutely nothing against taking a whizz straight into the water unless you're boating in a small resevoir or in an area where even "grey water" must be tanked. Given that and given the urine has about nothing in the way of pathogens, I feel no guilt about emptying the urine tank right over the side, but you really don't want to do that in front of a humorless harbormaster and, given the threat of nitrogen loading in wetlands, don't do it in harbor either.

    G'luck

  30. #100
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    East of the Sun and West of the Moon
    Posts
    2,818

    Default Re: Nature's Head vs. Air Head Toilet

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian McColgin View Post
    If it's a sailboat, I hope you put it facing fore and aft. Otherwise the urine catch won't work on one tack.

    Other advice - the clearance between your butt and the pile you leave is not all that much. You might get in the habit of reaching down with your right hand and tripping that trap door lever before you wipe. Either that or lean well forward and get some elevation. Just a word to the wise . . .

    The one real annoyance to the unit is that the urine catch is not all that capacious. If you have a crew that includes a couple of beer drinking women you might have to empty at least daily. And remind the guys headed for the leeward shrouds, only one hand for the little guy. One hand on the boat.

    On the urine - close research of the law leaves questions unanswered. The actual pollution laws regarding boat sewage are written for fecal materials and there's absolutely nothing against taking a whizz straight into the water unless you're boating in a small resevoir or in an area where even "grey water" must be tanked. Given that and given the urine has about nothing in the way of pathogens, I feel no guilt about emptying the urine tank right over the side, but you really don't want to do that in front of a humorless harbormaster and, given the threat of nitrogen loading in wetlands, don't do it in harbor either.

    G'luck
    That all sounds like good advice. You are obviously an experienced airhead!
    * _______________________________________ )

  31. #101
    Join Date
    Mar 2000
    Location
    The land of reefs
    Posts
    32,057

    Default Re: Nature's Head vs. Air Head Toilet

    Thank god this thread has never rated a "Sticky"!

  32. #102
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Bradford, VT
    Posts
    6,288

    Default Re: Nature's Head vs. Air Head Toilet

    I've got a Suncor, (AirHead hadn't been invented when the boat was commissioned)
    The Air Head is made in Mount Vernon, OH, birthplace of Dan Emmet, composer of "Dixie".

  33. #103
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Nature's Head vs. Air Head Toilet

    Before you spend nearly a grand on a airhead or nature's head...take a look at this alternative. http://ourtugboat.blogspot.com/ Scroll down to the section on their composting toilet. I'm planning to give it a whirl on my wooden trawler. At least I won't be out much if I don't like it!

  34. #104
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Shubenacadie NS
    Posts
    4,272

    Default Re: Nature's Head vs. Air Head Toilet

    After reading that tugboat blog, I'm reminded of a book, the humanure handbook. Talks about composting toilets. I'm going to install one in my shop since I can't put water out there easily.
    If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.
    -Henry David Thoreau-

  35. #105
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    St. Augustine, FL
    Posts
    803

    Default Re: Nature's Head vs. Air Head Toilet

    Alright, I'm a bit hesitant to reveal this opinion, but...The Humanure Handbook is a great resource. While I don't really take it quite as far as the author advocates, I think it's a very real, matter-of-fact way to look at and deal with human waste. I utilized it in my off the grid cabin in upstate New York where bedrock just below ground level necessitates raised drainage fields for septic systems which are quite expensive for little seldom used vacation spots or outbuildings like a shop.
    "A man builds the best of himself into a boat- builds many of the memories of his ancestors." -Steinbeck

Posting Permissions

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