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Thread: Nature's Head vs. Air Head Toilet

  1. #246
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    Rockford, IL
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    9,630

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

    We've been using our Nature's Head for 6 years or so and our only regret is not having bought it sooner for use in our former boat. The cost compared to a conventional blue-water potty was what held us back. We have a PAIR of urine tanks.

  2. #247
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    Bainbridge Island WA
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    Default Re: Nature's Head vs. Air Head Toilet


    Separett also sell an incinerator to get rid of the solids!
    Steve

    Boats, like whiskey, are all good.
    R.D Culler

  3. #248
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    Seattle
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    6,113

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

    Quote Originally Posted by stromborg View Post

    Separett also sell an incinerator to get rid of the solids!
    I've been around one. Let's say it's not odor free---you will recognize the smell if you have ever been around when someone pisses on a campfire.
    Elect a clown expect a circus

  4. #249
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    Sep 2010
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    Default Re: Nature's Head vs. Air Head Toilet

    They do say it is for outdoor use.
    Steve

    Boats, like whiskey, are all good.
    R.D Culler

  5. #250
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Victoria BC Canada
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    261

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

    I used to sell the Air Head.
    Not one disappointed customer.

  6. #251
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Ottawa, Canada
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    174

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

    Hey,

    So timely for this post to come back up, I'm currently making up some holding tanks for our boat. Yup, two.... They are going to fit in our bow section, and I wouldn't mind having a large capacity, yet they need to fit through the hatch !

    I'm wondering if it would be worth having a a urine tank and solids tank vs plumbing them together and then make up a flushing urine diverting flush head. So, I'd end up with a tank of crap, and the other would be urine. Would this be less stinky ?

    It's a biggish boat, and I'm thinking this might be easier for offshore sailing and guests.

    thought ? comments? suggestions ?

    Mark

  7. #252
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Seattle, WA
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    2,827

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark0 View Post
    Hey,

    So timely for this post to come back up, I'm currently making up some holding tanks for our boat. Yup, two.... They are going to fit in our bow section, and I wouldn't mind having a large capacity, yet they need to fit through the hatch !

    I'm wondering if it would be worth having a a urine tank and solids tank vs plumbing them together and then make up a flushing urine diverting flush head. So, I'd end up with a tank of crap, and the other would be urine. Would this be less stinky ?

    It's a biggish boat, and I'm thinking this might be easier for offshore sailing and guests.

    thought ? comments? suggestions ?

    Mark
    Comments, for what they are worth and keeping in mind that my experience with composting heads is still limited:

    1. The C-Head, and I assume other similar devices as well, has a provision for an external urine tank which would meet your requirements. My personal opinion is that the extra plumbing, tank space and requirement for pump out with a permanent tank is way more effort than it's worth, but it's an option.

    2. I think you should look at the actual duration for solids storage in a composting head. They typically allow for weeks or months of use just with the internal container in the head itself, with no need for an external tank at all. The water flush requirement for a typical holding tank system requires a lot more room and the tank needs to be emptied far more frequently than the solids-only container for the composting toilet.

    3. I think for guests the most complicated part of using the composting head is going to be the diverter. If you are thinking about using a diverter system anyway, you might as well just go with full the composting head and eliminate the complexity and hassles of a holding tank entirely.

    My recommendation - save your forepeak space for storage or some other use, ditch your holding tanks entirely, and stride with confidence into the brave new world of composting. You won't regret it.

  8. #253
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    South Australia and Tasmania
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    Default Re: Nature's Head vs. Air Head Toilet

    I've just been doing a bit of reading about making a land based composting toilet using a 240 litre wheelie bin. Pretty simple, basically put in a filter grate a couple of inches above the base, and a drain as low as possible. Urine and other liquid will drain out, leaving poo and saw dust to do its thing. The liquids go by hose to a small soakage trench. Add a vent with a fan to draw smell away. I'm thinking the same could be done on a boat, with a 20 litre bucket, and the liquid draining to a plastic container, which could be regularly emptied, while the bucked would last for a decent cruise. Then put the lid on, take it home, leave it in the yard for a few months to completely compost, then empty. Seems like there's no need to catch urine up top, it just finds its way through the pile. Thoughts?

  9. #254
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Utah and PNW
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    1,547

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Y View Post
    Seems like there's no need to catch urine up top, it just finds its way through the pile. Thoughts?
    We have a Nature's Head that we have been very happy with. The key to success with composting toilets is keeping the urine out from the composting part. If the composting container gets too wet (even with plain water) the process doesn't work. Having the urine run through and drain out the bottom would result in terrible odor. The composting material (we use peat moss, others use coconut coir) needs to be just barely moist.

  10. #255
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    Apr 2010
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    South Australia and Tasmania
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    Default Re: Nature's Head vs. Air Head Toilet

    That's kind of what I thought. And yet these wheelie bin compost toilets seem to work. But of course they tend to be in an outhouse, not in the confines of a boat.

  11. #256
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Ottawa, Canada
    Posts
    174

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

    Quote Originally Posted by cstevens View Post
    Comments, for what they are worth and keeping in mind that my experience with composting heads is still limited:

    1. The C-Head, and I assume other similar devices as well, has a provision for an external urine tank which would meet your requirements. My personal opinion is that the extra plumbing, tank space and requirement for pump out with a permanent tank is way more effort than it's worth, but it's an option.

    2. I think you should look at the actual duration for solids storage in a composting head. They typically allow for weeks or months of use just with the internal container in the head itself, with no need for an external tank at all. The water flush requirement for a typical holding tank system requires a lot more room and the tank needs to be emptied far more frequently than the solids-only container for the composting toilet.

    3. I think for guests the most complicated part of using the composting head is going to be the diverter. If you are thinking about using a diverter system anyway, you might as well just go with full the composting head and eliminate the complexity and hassles of a holding tank entirely.

    My recommendation - save your forepeak space for storage or some other use, ditch your holding tanks entirely, and stride with confidence into the brave new world of composting. You won't regret it.
    Hi Chris,

    These are all valid points and well written. The space that I'm planning to use is just forward of the spot for a collision bulkhead, so if we put one in down the road this would be a good use of this lost space. The only issue is that you are only suppose to have one penetration through a collision bulkhead below the weather deck.... not sure if you can get away with more.

    Right now it's not really a hassle to build and put in (shop space / boat in back yard), however down the road would be a massive undertaking. So, I figure if I put in a couple black tanks now, they could always be used for urine or grey water down the road.

    I suspect we will end up using a dry solids / urine separating head at some point if we are frozen in the ice.

    Cheers,
    Mark

  12. #257
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Victoria BC Canada
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    261

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Christie View Post
    I used to sell the Air Head.
    Not one disappointed customer.
    I should have mentioned, these were all boat installation sales.

    I agree, keeping the wet #1 function from the dryer #2 function is key to it's successful operation.

    Cheers

  13. #258
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Seattle, WA
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    2,827

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark0 View Post
    Hi Chris,

    These are all valid points and well written. The space that I'm planning to use is just forward of the spot for a collision bulkhead, so if we put one in down the road this would be a good use of this lost space. The only issue is that you are only suppose to have one penetration through a collision bulkhead below the weather deck.... not sure if you can get away with more.

    Right now it's not really a hassle to build and put in (shop space / boat in back yard), however down the road would be a massive undertaking. So, I figure if I put in a couple black tanks now, they could always be used for urine or grey water down the road.

    I suspect we will end up using a dry solids / urine separating head at some point if we are frozen in the ice.

    Cheers,
    Mark
    It sounds like you have a plan that you are happy with Mark, and I understand the reason for putting the tank in now. But one comment I'd offer though: I would never, under any circumstances, put a black water tank behind a sealed bulkhead. Honestly I'd rather not put any tank anywhere that would make it difficult to access later but it's not always possible to avoid doing so. But in the case of holding tanks... yeah, no. It *will* leak, or the hoses to it will, or the hoses will need to be replaced (they don't last forever), and then you will have a larger problem. I would put it absolutely anywhere else but there. If you really need to use that space for something and it doesn't work as a chain locker for some reason then maybe the fresh water tank could go there?

  14. #259
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Port Stephens
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    17,392

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

    Out of interest, I looked up Airheads to see what the price is here now - nearly $1700!

    Rick

  15. #260
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    8,130

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

    Check out the C-heads. Way more reasonable. But still quite a bit more than the ol' cedar bucket.
    -Dave

  16. #261
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Port Stephens
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    17,392

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

    They seem to be about $800 there? There doesn't seem to be a distributor here so by the time freight etc. is paid, I reckon the cost would be similar. Anyway, the system Kairos has put together looks good to me.

    Rick

  17. #262
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Rockford, IL
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    Default Re: Nature's Head vs. Air Head Toilet

    $1,700 for Air Head !!! The price for my Natures Head was a bit over $800 seven years ago. That's a lot of inflation!

  18. #263
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Bainbridge Island WA
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    2,550

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

    I think you guys are confusing Australian and US dollars. Airhead website says $1029USD which is $1417AUS today.

    ETA: Natures Heads is $925USD on their website today.
    Steve

    Boats, like whiskey, are all good.
    R.D Culler

  19. #264
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Victoria BC Canada
    Posts
    261

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

    I sold them 7 years ago, where the designer lives('ed?), for $1000 Canadian, suggested retail, which was almost at par to the USD at the time I recall... kind-of hazley...

  20. #265
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    1,119

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

    I geuss what I want to know is: will women empty and clean the head????

  21. #266
    Join Date
    Apr 1999
    Location
    Hyannis, MA, USA
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    45,505

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

    It's a man's job.

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