We all want to do our bit to help the environment, but is a composting toilet really that great?
We have now fitted 5 composting loos into our builds, and they’ve actually all been different brands!
We’ll talk a bit about the brands later, but first…why should you go for a composting loo, rather than a cassette style toilet?
No harsh chemicals needed – they stink, they’re expensive and they’re terrible for the environment.
As you are not using chemicals…it means you do not need to find a chemical waste disposal site to empty your loo! Very helpful.
No water needed for flushing, which saves your valuable onboard/underslung water.
The shavings used can eliminate odours that arise.
Recycles your waste into compost which can be used as fertiliser.
Some of the brands can be quite pricey.
Ones with a fan require a power source.
Some manual handling required to remove the waste – however this is akin to a porta-potti where the waste will have to be manually removed and the loo rinsed afterwards.
If it is poorly maintained it can get a little smelly. However, we find the cassette style ones can also smell!
Overall…we’ve really come round to composting toilets and think they’re a great addition to your van. You minimize your environmental footprint and help conserve your water supply. Win win.
Now in terms of brands…here are our verdicts on the composting loos we have fitted so far...
One of the earlier ‘DIY’ compost toilets, it is quite rudimentary…being merely a wooden box with containers for liquid/solids. It can be time consuming to build, and the basic one uses untreated plywood which means you have to treat it yourself to make it durable and wipeable. They do now sell versions that come treated, and with the option to add a fan…but that just makes it that bit more expensive. And with no UK distributers it means we have to pay import duty/VAT on arrival….so overall, we found there are better options for UK van builders.
Air Head is an American composting loo. We bought ours from Woo Woo waterless toilets in the UK, who we would definitely recommend for their customer service. This loo has everything…it is a standard size so feels just like a normal toilet and contains a large solids container so it doesn’t need to be emptied frequently. It comes with a 12v fan to dry out the solid waste and further eliminate odours. However, we find it slightly too large to fit in a standard campervan – it is bulky to hide in a bench seat! However if you have a toilet cubicle then it might be a good option. The main con here is the price…it is on the expensive side at just under £1,000, and at the moment there is an 8-10 week waiting list, so you’ll need to order early to reserve one!
This one is a simple sleek design, mimicking the look of a ‘normal’ toilet, and also has a nice blue/grey colour which sets it apart from the rest. However the plastic seems quite flimsy, and it is not the most comfortable toilet seat ever. The lid also does not stay up by itself, which can be a nuisance for men, and for adding shavings! There is also no fan included so there is no extraction of smells or quickening of the composting process. However at £280 they are a good option as price wise they cannot be beaten.
Not your ‘bog-standard’ (excuse the pun) toilet…we love these unique toilets! There are custom designs, glittery designs, colourful designs, or their standard design. Similar to Kildwick they have a DIY kit coming in at £350 (for their ‘small’ version) where you build it yourself. Or there are options to buy ones pre-built and painted, which start at £495. We also love the other products they sell, such as the toilet roll, compostable bags and the shavings – perfect little extras. However one drawback from these fun toilets is that they don’t come with a fan.
Now we come to the most recent composting loo that we have fitted…and it has to be our favourite; The Simploo. This is a robust, hygienic design which is very good value for money at £339. The design is simple and clean, and it is all gloss plastic wipeable. They are made to order and so you can select the separator you require (pipe, or containers), the voltage and fan position. This means it can fit in your log cabin, campervan, motorhome or caravan, and by selecting which side you want the vent means it can fit into any van design.
And now you can get an extra £10 off your Simploo by using this promo code at checkout: bobilvans1221