Nature’s Head Frequently Asked Questions


Nature’s Head composting toilet with spider handle

Nature’s Head with spider handle

Does it smell bad?
No. Because you never mix the liquid wastes with the solid wastes it does not have the odors associated with sewage or holding tank systems. When working properly it will have a slight earthy smell.

Where do I empty the Nature’s Head?
The proper place to empty the solids tank is in a composting bin where it can be used to fertilize ornamental plants. Boaters may empty theirs overboard if they are the proper distance offshore. Many campgrounds now have composting bins as composting is becoming more popular. The liquid tank can be emptied into a toilet or overboard if offshore.

How does the Nature’s Head separate the liquids and the solids?

The toilet has a gate or door that when closed directs the liquid waste into the front tank. When the door is open the solids pass through to the lower main tank. When seated on the toilet (male or female) the liquids naturally are aimed towards the front collection area and the solids are directed straight down into the main tank.

Why is the toilet seat molded into the unit?
Because we designed this toilet for the “mobile” market, this became a safety issue. I have spoken with boaters who have had a toilet seat break off in rough conditions. I have heard of other boaters lifting the seat and sitting on the base of the toilet to avoid this problem. (That can’t be comfortable). While this isn’t as likely with an RV, it would not be out of the question.

Can I use the Nature’s Head standing up?
Yes, although the recommended use is sitting down. Especially when underway in a moving vehicle or vessel.

Do I need to run the fan all of the time?
While the unit can be operated without the fan it is best if it runs all of the time. This will prevent any musty odors and the fan helps with the composting process. If battery drain is a concern then you might consider attaching the unit to a solar vent instead of using the built in fan, or using a small solar panel to offset the battery drain. Note the fan only uses 0.07 amps, which at 12 volts is less than 1 watt.

What are the dimensions of the Nature’s Head?
The dimensions are: 20 inches tall, 17 3/4 inches front to rear, and 13 inches wide at the base. The toilet is 16 1/4 inches wide at the seat.

Will freezing temperatures damage the Nature’s Head toilet?
Other than emptying the urine bottle nothing needs to be done and it will not affect the toilet.

Does composting work in cold conditions?

Composting works from 55 degrees and warmer. The warmer it is the faster it compost. When there is freezing temps the compost will be dormant until heat is introduced into the area.

Can the Nature’s Head be used in a basement?
Yes it will work fine in a basement and any room or closet where a toilet is required.

How do I prevent fruit flies and gnats.
Add 4-5 cups of Diatomaceous Earth to the compost section. This can be purchased from a swimming pool supply store, or from big box hardware such as Home Depot or Lowes. See my detailed post on preventing flies here.

The agitator handle turns with difficulty. What to do?
If the compost gets dry, the handle may not turn easily. Adding used coffee grounds results in added moisture and keeps the compost loose so that it mixes better.

What kind of toilet paper must be used?
Any kind of toilet paper will work, however single ply paper breaks down quicker. Many single ply papers are approved for septic tanks.

How do we remove buildup in the liquids bottle.
Rinse the bottle, add vinegar and some pea gravel. Shake well and the buildup will break loose.


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10 thoughts on “Nature’s Head Frequently Asked Questions

  • Kathy L

    How much does the Nature’s Head toilet weigh? I’m a slightly built 60 year old woman and want to make sure I can empty the base.

    • richardbrunt Post author

      The Nature’s Head is 0.07 amps, or less than 1 watt. It will require 1.7 amp hours of battery capacity daily. The Separett 9210 is 0.2 amps, or 2.5 watts. You will need 4.8 amp hours of battery capacity daily.

  • Alicia Deller

    Hello, I’m thinking of buying one for my camper which already has a toilet I’ll be removing. I really don’t want another fan going to listen to. What is the solar xx? you mentioned to ventilate? What are my choices here if I don’t want any noise? Also, is the crank handle easier to turn?

    • richardbrunt Post author

      The vent is 100% essential, and if you definitely want a 100% odor free installation you need the fan hooked up to blow the stinky moist air outside. You have options. The solar vent would place the fan on the roof, where you probably would not hear it. Or you could use the fan that comes with the Nature’s Head, and put a switch in the wire. This is easy and cheap. Turn it off at night. The good news is the fan is very quiet. It’s a small computer fan. If you close the door to the toilet area you would not hear it.
      Whatever you do, don’t believe those who say you don’t need at least a vent on a composting toilet. That is 100% incorrect. There is stinky air in a toilet. You can bury it the material, as with a very primitive composting toilet, but that means you’d drastically lose capacity, and still, that moist air is being released into your living space. Do it right, and in the end you will be happier. That means at least a vent, and hopefully also a fan.