Does the Nature’s Head Toilet Really Work?

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If you haven’t heard of it, the Nature’s Head composting toilet is the go-to toilet for full time travelers. But before dropping nearly $1,000 on one of these toilets, you really want to make sure your getting a quality product. And since I already bought one, here’s what I’ve learned about living full time with one of these on the road.

Nature's Head toilet in a Skoolie

Does the Nature’s Head Toilet Smell?

The first question I get about having one of these composting toilet is “Doesn’t it smell bad?” And really, the smell is not noticeable as long as you take proper measures to keep it functioning right. If you ever had to empty a black water tank in an RV, then you know how bad the smell could be. A composting toilet doesn’t smell anywhere near as bad as a black water tank. A lot of people even get rid of their black water tank systems and replace them with composting toilets.

There are different substrates you can use to use as a base for your compost. After trying a few, I found that using coconut coir is the most effective base. But it can be a little high in price. Coconut coir really helps dry everything out. And you can get it in compressed blocks that help save space when storing it. It may cost more than other substrates but it is totally worth it.

It’s important churn your waste regularly to make sure it really dries out and breaks down. The Natures Head toilet comes with different options for handle mechanisms for churning your waste. I chose the three-armed handle because I have my toilet in a very small space and it seemed simpler to use for my set-up, but I’ve heard that the other options work well too.

The most important factor to keeping any composting toilet from smelling is making sure to completely keep the urine separate from the solid waste. The Nature’s Head toilet does a great job of doing this. The inside of the toilet bowl has little “walls” to help direct the urine to a separate chamber. And it takes a little bit of practice to make sure your urine doesn’t flow over the little walls and into the solid waste container.

If this happens, then your solid waste could start to smell pretty quick. This has happened to me a few times. The best thing to do is just empty the toilet and start fresh as soon as you can. Making sure to let the waste container really dry out. I have noticed that the urine container can start to smell a lot faster than the main waste bucket though. Therefore it should be emptied more regularly.

“Dumping” the Nature’s Head Toilet

When it comes to emptying the Nature’s Head toilet it really couldn’t be easier! Especially if you compare the “dumping” experience of a black water tank. One of the best parts of having this toilet is not having to deal with RV dump stations ever again!

All you have to do to empty the Nature’s Head toilet is turn two knobs at the base to remove the toilet from it’s mount (if you mounted your toilet). Then, unlatch the two clips on the side to open the waste chamber. Next, you open the top half of the toilet and slide it off of it’s hinge and set it aside. After that, you can also remove the urine container and pour it out. Then you can empty the solids section.

To empty the solids, put a regular kitchen trash bag around the rim of the waste chamber. Make sure it fits tightly around the square rim. Finally, carefully flip the toilet base over while keeping a tight hold on the trash bag. The first time I emptied my Nature’s Head I didn’t put the trash bag on tight enough and I had a spill.. This mistake is easily avoidable if you just make sure to keep that bag on tight! But again, it’s no where near as bad as having a spill while emptying a black water tank.

The Installation Process

The Nature’s Head toilet is really simple to install. It comes with mounting brackets that are optional. But I found them to work really well for my skoolie conversion. I wanted the toilet to stay in its place, especially when I am driving. Although, you may not want it mounted if you are really limited on space. I’ve seen quite a few Van builds that store their composting toilet in a cabinet. Then they can pull it out only when they need to use it.

The toilet comes with a hose that attached to a hole on the side of the toilet. That hole has a little exhaust fan in it, like a small computer fan. The hose can be mounted to ceiling to help exhaust the composting chamber and keep things dry in there. But the Nature’s Head doesn’t come with a vent cap for the roof. I bought a mushroom cap that’s for RVs and mounted it on the roof top of my skoolie and has worked great at keeping the rain out of the hose and helping the air vent out. Other than that, the toilet pretty much comes ready to go. It really was one of the simplest installations of anything I did in my whole skoolie build.

My Final Verdict

I have lived full time on the road with the Nature’s Head composting toilet for a long time now with no problems. It’s one of the most expensive parts of my skoolie build but it was definitely worth it! It feels like a regular toilet when you are using it which really helps me feel at home on the road. And the peace of mind of not having to deal with a black water tank is worth the $1,000 alone.

I really hated having to empty my old RV’s black water tank… It functions the way it is supposed to and it’s made of quality materials, that’s all I could really ask for. I just wish it wasn’t so expensive, but when you have a good product you can charge more for it. And the Nature’s Head toilet is a high quality product that I would recommend to any full time traveler.

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