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Travel Trailer Composting Toilet - considerations?

Posted: Mon Mar 03, 2014 10:36 pm
by deebster
I have acquired a travel trailer in excellent shape, to use for my own off grid project. Without needing to do a ton of remodeling, I want to install a composting toilet in the place where the old toilet now sits.

I assume I am going to need to plug the hole that goes to the black tank, but will having this plugged permantly be an issue at all? And any suggestions as to what would work best?

I was thinking about cutting a round piece of plywood, gluing a rubber vacuum belt to the edges and wedging it in - followed by silicone.

Just curious to see what comes up. I can document the process as well.


Re: Travel Trailer Composting Toilet - considerations?

Posted: Mon Mar 17, 2014 2:40 pm
by techman
Hi, sorry for the delay. I am back in business again full time. Was in Australia for the winter and paid per MB for my internet.

You can use some marine grade plywood and plug the hole. Do the rest exactly as you are saying in your comment. I used plain old plywood to plug my hole but I left the drain valves open under the RV to allow fresh air circulation and prevent moisture buildup. Seems to be working so far.

I hope I am not too late in getting back to you. I am very interested to see your project as it goes on.

Re: Travel Trailer Composting Toilet - considerations?

Posted: Fri Mar 21, 2014 1:01 am
by deebster
Thanks - No not too late, I have the trailer on some family land a few hours from my house - so I can only work in one day spurts. This week was painting the interior... Stairs and the toilet will be next week I hope. My wife and I are using the trailer for a transitional home while we build our earthbag home which will be off grid as well.

Looking at something like this..." onclick=";return false; -- I think this was built for under 4 or 5k.

Here is a video tour." onclick=";return false;

I will upload pictures of the before/after on the work I do next week.

Keep it up, we love the videos!


By the way - are the flanges on rv toilets flush with the floor (no pun intended) or are they generally raised up a bit? Just trying to plan ahead.


Re: Travel Trailer Composting Toilet - considerations?

Posted: Tue Apr 01, 2014 10:34 am
by techman
Wow, that is an impressive plan. I looked at the whole site you linked in here. An amazing idea with very low cost and good insulation values.

I cant wait to see your progress. I sure hope you keep posting as you go.

Every RV and camper is different. The flanges in both my RV and camper were a tiny bit raised above the floor level. I removed them both in my rebuilds when making a composting toilet.

But I also put down a separate piece of plywood on the floor under the toilet area after plugging the hole to the drain pipe. This makes a flat and smooth surface for my new composting toilet.

Re: Travel Trailer Composting Toilet - considerations?

Posted: Wed Apr 02, 2014 3:24 pm
by deebster
Yeah I really like the earthbag idea - especially since we get some pretty severe weather here. However, I should clarify that earthbag houses are not inherently well insulated, but have an insane amount of thermal mass. Both concepts can be used to the same end (battling extreme temps) just in different ways. Some people have used things like crushed volcanic rock or rice hulls to fill the bags, which would be amazing in terms of insulation.
For a better explanation by someone who has done significant research: ... nsulation/" onclick=";return false;

For the sake of organization, I will start a new topic for the progress of my project.

As for the rv toilet removal - this flange reaches about 1" out of the floor. I could not pull it out, as it seems to be glued in place -which doesn;t seem like a good idea, but I guess RV's aren't meant for long term use. I am thinking about taking the hacksaw route to cut it flush with the floor, or maybe using a dremel to cut it. I have the box frame built for the toilet, and will put the plywood on once I have the frame secured in place.

Sorry to hear about your recent 'zoning' issues. I find it sad and typical that a state like NY, who produces such unsustainable waste and pollution in the large cities, takes issue with someone improving the soil and dealing with waste responsibly by using a composting toilet.

It's happening all over. In CO for example, rainwater catchment is not allowed. Absurd.

Re: Travel Trailer Composting Toilet - considerations?

Posted: Sat Apr 05, 2014 9:46 am
by techman
I look forward to seeing your posts as you go.

You could cut out a plywood floor with a hole in the middle to fit around the flange. But then you still have to cover that with another board. I got my flanges out of both the old camper and the RV with some prying and work if I remember right. They are bolted in quite well though all around the edges. Maybe yours is also bolted in?

Hope you get it fixed up nicely.