This is Kahla’s DIY tiny house on wheels. She built it with the help of her parents on nights and weekends over the course of 10 months!
The tiny house was built on a 20ft Tumbleweed Trailer and was recently moved from Lancaster, Pennsylvania to Fairplay, Colorado. Kahla runs a website called To Live Tiny where you can follow along and learn more about her tiny house life. Please enjoy and learn more below!
In this article you’ll find what I believe are the top 5 composting toilet options for tiny houses, cabins, or even if you just want to put a toilet somewhere without plumbing and/or electric. It could be your garage, shed, or travel trailer.
If you’re here, you should already have a general idea about composting toilets as an alternative to water-hungry flush toilets. If you’re new to the idea, and interested in learning more, I highly recommend The Humanure Handbook by Joseph Jenkins so you can learn exactly how it all works.
If you’re interested, but not that interested… You can learn about composting for free in this post I put together a while back on how general composting toilets work and what you have to do in regards to owning and operating one.
Otherwise please continue by enjoying the top 5 composting toilet options for your current or future tiny house project. Whether it’s a cabin in the woods, or a tiny house on wheels in your backyard.
Top 5 Composting Toilets for Tiny Houses
1. Nature’s Head Dry Composting Toilet with Standard Crank Handle
I’m excited about building up a list of up and coming as well as current tiny house communities and in this post I’m introducing you to the 333 acre Sacred Mountain Sanctuary Eco Village which is in Candler, North Carolina.
It’s near Asheville (about 25 minute drive away) and it is a new permaculture eco village that is still being developed. Right now it’s possible to arrange a visit, stay in a cabin, and learn about permaculture.
I was never thrilled about composting toilets when considering tiny houses. I didn’t like the idea of human waste sitting around and having to empty the bucket. It seemed like a hassle with opportunities for ickiness.
When people ask about the tiny house, this is always one of the first things they want to know: What about the bathroom? Somehow saying that we were going to have a bucket for a toilet, de-legitimized the entire house and our lifestyle.
Out of Sight, Out of Mind Composting Toilet System
And it’s not like I was a stranger to composting toilets. I attended an environmentally-focused college, which hosted composting toilets in a couple of its dorm apartments. My partner, Henry, was even in charge of managing the composting system. But that was different. That was a central system–one where all the waste dropped into the basement, where it stayed until it was nuetralized, and was the consistency and smell of earth. It was a system that was easy to manage and had the air of being “out of sight, out of mind.”
But it is not a system fit for a tiny house–for obvious reasons. Space is not one of our strong points.
Low-Flush RV Toilets for Tiny Homes
So, as we researched our options, we looked into low-flush toilets first. This is what I was banking on. Some tiny houses have these, choosing to operate as RVs do. But like RVs, we’d also have to have a holding tank and find some place to dump it when it was full. Seeking out dump stations would be inconvenient and I’ve been camping enough times in the vicinity of RVs to know this is quite the smelly, unpleasant process.
In this video they set the urine up to flow into a separate container (so it’s not mixed with poo) because you can use it almost right away (after diluting with water) as a nitrogen fertilizer.
If that doesn’t interest you, you can just mix urine and poo and no worries really.
There’s another container inside where you poop in and you treat the smell by sprinkling little pieces of wood (sawdust works great) on it. This will get rid of the odors for you.
As you’ll see in the video later (or picture below), the toilet can be built yourself but there are also ones you can buy (for way more $).
What happens to the poo, and “the maintenance”
For a little while it’s stored in the toilet. In this particular house, they’ve made it very easy by making everything work outside.
This box right here opens up to the INSIDE of the toilet (where the poo/urine is). This way you can easily move it outside… Keeping the dirty work outdoors (no walking around the house with a bucket of poop). Very nice setup for this.
The fun part: You can’t just leave the POO in there!
It needs to be moved to a spot where it can sit and “transform” in a matter of one year.
That’s why that simple to use opening is there. So you can move into one of these…
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