Installing our Nature’s Head Composting Toilet in our Airstream

Installing our Nature’s Head Composting Toilet in our Airstream

We finally installed our Nature’s Head Composting Toilet into Charlie, our 2005 Airstream Classic. We took video of the entire process so we could it share it with all of you. Hopefully this will help others someday when they go to install a composting toilet.

We walk you through every step of the install process from removing the old toilet, finding constant 12 volt, venting out the wheel well and finally installing the new toilet into our Airstream. We couldn’t be happier with how it turned out. No more black tank smell. In fact we haven’t found anything we don’t like about our composting toilet so far.

Stay tuned for an update on how we like it as time goes on and any tips and tricks we come up with along the way! Have any questions? Let us know below!

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  • John Leezer on August 6, 2016

    Great video! If we decide to install a Nature’s Head composting toilet in our Airstream, your video will be my step-by-step guide. What makes its even better, we have the same floor plan. I have a couple of questions: Can you explain how you exactly spliced into to the 12v electrical wire running to the fridge (I know, dumb question)? And, at the end of the video you mention you had doubled your grey water capacity. As I understand it, the two systems (grey and black) are seperate systems. Did you somehow connect your grey water tank to your black water tank? Thanks in advance!

    • Courtney on August 8, 2016

      Hi John
      I’m glad our video might help! Now to answer your questions.

      I don’t know how well you can see it in the video but we ended up finding a plate on the floor of the area behind the fridge where it actually said 12v on it. It had two little screws to hold the two wires that were coming in and they were clearly marked + and -. So all we did was unscrew them, slip our wires in along with the ones that were already there and re-tighten the screws. I hope that description made sense. If not, less us know and we can take some pictures for you!

      To double our capacity we got a product we first saw on a Wynns video that allows you to close off your outward flowing sewer connection. What this means is in our case where we fill up gray but have nothing in black, we can close off our outgoing connection and open the gray tank and then open the black tank. This allows the water to flow into our black tank from our gray. Once the two equalize we close everything back up. We can do this 2 times (that we’ve tested so far) before we have to finally empty both the gray and the black. You can also use this to clean out your black tank. You can check it out in our Vlog#2 or the link is here:

      Let us know if you have any other questions. We’re loving the nature’s head so far.

      • John Leezer on August 8, 2016

        Thanks for answering my two questions. I just happened to stumbled upon the Wynn’s video about using the “knife valve” to balance or equalize the two tanks yesterday. I’ll look for the plate on the floor behind the fridge to hook up the 12v. We’re planning a boondocking trip to Big Bend this fall, so hopefully, we’ll get the composting toilet installed before we go.

        • Courtney on August 9, 2016

          You are welcome John! Glad we could help. Love that you’ll be installing a composting toilet too. Let us know how the install goes and how you like it 🙂

  • Claudia @ Two Cup House on August 8, 2016

    Garrett is looking at an Airstream today. 🙂 I know that we want the composting toilet on the road, so this is super helpful for the future. Looking forward to your feedback about the experience. Thank you!

    • Courtney on August 8, 2016

      Woohoo! I hope Garrett has fun 🙂

      We’ll definitely let you know what we think. We’re loving it so far!

  • Elaine on August 11, 2016

    What is the basic advantage of a composting toilet? Aren’t you still carrying your waste with you? I know I can google it, but maybe you can explain better. 🙂

    • Courtney on August 11, 2016

      Hi Elaine!

      A few notes/advantages.
      1) When boondocking the thing that limits the amount of time you can spend off grid is normally your gray water tank (the tank where sink & shower water goes). You can always go and get more water but once that tank fills up you can’t use sinks or the shower until you go back into town and dump. You also have a black tank (normally for the toilet) which is actually just as big if not bigger than the gray. By not having a toilet connected to the black tank anymore we can use both the gray and black tanks for our shower/sink water and therefore spend almost 2x the time out before having to go back and dump. This also means we’re using less water in general. People are starting to install these in their homes and businesses in order to conserve water.
      2) Black tanks stink. Ours, even with using the geo method, still smelled on occasion. Now we no longer have that opening to that smelly tank and therefore don’t have to smell it anymore. In fact the composting toilet really doesn’t smell. I was skeptical of the reviews but normal toilets at work smell SO MUCH MORE than the composting one does. Very cool. If anything it smells like dirt (and not manure either ;))
      3) We empty the liquids from the composting toilet into our sewer drain if we have hooks ups. If we don’t we can dump it into our gray tank or if allowed (ie legal) outside, diluted with water, since it’s a great nitrogen fertilizer. By separating liquids and solids you don’t create sewage so it’s a lot easier to dispose of. If the campground we are at has bathrooms we can dump our liquids there too…or pit toilets.
      4) How to dispose of the solid “compost” is the major issue when it comes to composting toilets. In order for it the actually be compost that you can spread on plants it needs to continue composting for another year. We’re obviously not going to keep ours that long for that purpose (though I am looking into worm bin composting for us in the future). In places where you can legally bury waste (the whole dig a hole in the forest for your toilet idea) you can bury the compost (which meanwhile doesn’t smell and looks like dirt). Many RVers dump the “compost” into a composting bag and throw the bag away. There is a lot of controversy with that though most states have no laws against it. It falls in the same category as throwing away diapers without washing them (which apparently is the law some places…who knew) or dog poop in bags. At least this is partially composted waste and will continue composting in the landfill while the other two if surrounded by plastic will not.

      Anyway the major advantages for us are the ease, lack of smell, water conservation and most importantly the increased time we can be off grid. Let me know if you have any other questions!

      • Elaine on August 12, 2016

        Thanks for the info. I guess it’s kind of like the ‘2 bucket toilet’ system I have read about in relation to earthquake preparedness.

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