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Author Topic: ->Opinion on Solar panels and Composting toilet <-  (Read 1544 times)

OffTheGridTravel

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->Opinion on Solar panels and Composting toilet <-
« on: February 20, 2015, 01:11:58 AM »

     What is your opinion on equipping your RV with solar panels and/or a composting toilet ? Why or why not ?
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Kevin Means

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Re: ->Opinion on Solar panels and Composting toilet <-
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2015, 01:35:15 AM »
We've got a fairly large solar setup that's capable of meeting our power needs without having to run the generator (as long as there's adequate sunlight). We chose to go solar, because we do a fair amount of boondocking in Southern California and Arizona where there's usually lots of sun and I'm not a fan of listening to my generator. However, if we didn't boondock very often or didn't usually camp where there was lots of sun, it probably wouldn't have been a very wise investment.

Our motorhome has good grey, black and fresh-water capacities so I've never really explored the composte toilet idea. Seems a bit cumbersome to me but I'm no expert on them.

Kev 
2011 Winnebago Tour 42QD
Towing a Jeep Rubicon Unlimited LJ or an Acura MDX
RVI Brake 2, Minder TM-66 TPMS, 970 watts of solar
(Can't wait to spend more time RVing)
Lakeside, California

OffTheGridTravel

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Re: ->Opinion on Solar panels and Composting toilet <-
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2015, 04:33:39 AM »
We've got a fairly large solar setup that's capable of meeting our power needs without having to run the generator (as long as there's adequate sunlight). We chose to go solar, because we do a fair amount of boondocking in Southern California and Arizona where there's usually lots of sun and I'm not a fan of listening to my generator. However, if we didn't boondock very often or didn't usually camp where there was lots of sun, it probably wouldn't have been a very wise investment.

Our motorhome has good grey, black and fresh-water capacities so I've never really explored the composte toilet idea. Seems a bit cumbersome to me but I'm no expert on them.

Kev

   That's what I was thinking, it would make a lot of sense for a person doing a lot of boondocking and such. What is you setup like ? How many batteries do you have?

   Would there be anyway to take out the waste tank if you had a composting toilet and use the space to connect more deep cycle batteries for a solar set up ?

  I did some research a few months ago on the toilets and I'm all for it. The way I see it is the more self sufficient the RV is the better.
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frankazoid

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Re: ->Opinion on Solar panels and Composting toilet <-
« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2015, 04:47:38 AM »
both hands up for solar and composting toilet, learned from Wynns about it. have neither yet, so still on my list

i woudn't take tanks out though, better to add aux fresh water tank and combine grey+black for more capacity. although if you have enough without it - no probs.
how many batteries are you planning to get? have you got all-electric coach?
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1998 Fleetwood Southwind 32V

joelmyer

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Re: ->Opinion on Solar panels and Composting toilet <-
« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2015, 06:59:10 AM »
I'm coming down to the end of my first winter in Key West with solar.

It's great!  Usually I run the generator only to use the microwave, occasionally because of several cloudy days or because it's been a week & I feel like it needs the exercise.

I have a single 245 watt panel & 4 six volt batteries.

Know nothing about composting toilets.

Joel
Joel (W4JNM) and Camille, GA

kjansen

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Re: ->Opinion on Solar panels and Composting toilet <-
« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2015, 07:40:13 AM »
We have a Sun-Mar composting toilet at our cabin and I don't think it would work well in a RV.  First, they are quite large and second if you don't use it exactly right there is an odor.  I think in a RV that would be quite objectionable.  Ours uses electricity to heat the chamber for better composting and evaporation of urine and to power a fan to suck smell outside.  Using this one you would need more batteries and solar panels to keep it working.
Keven Jansen
'06 Chevy 2500 Duramax
'02 Montana Big Sky
Alexandria, Mn

Lou Schneider

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Re: ->Opinion on Solar panels and Composting toilet <-
« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2015, 11:55:22 AM »
Most black tanks aren't tall enough to let their vacated space be used for additional batteries.

frankazoid

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Re: ->Opinion on Solar panels and Composting toilet <-
« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2015, 04:06:49 PM »
We have a Sun-Mar composting toilet at our cabin and I don't think it would work well in a RV.  First, they are quite large and second if you don't use it exactly right there is an odor.  I think in a RV that would be quite objectionable.  Ours uses electricity to heat the chamber for better composting and evaporation of urine and to power a fan to suck smell outside.  Using this one you would need more batteries and solar panels to keep it working.

check this out http://www.gonewiththewynns.com/all-composting-toilet
yes you do need a small fan but it takes nothing to run from the batteries. and the one they are talking about has separate places for urine and solid stuff
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1998 Fleetwood Southwind 32V

frankazoid

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Re: ->Opinion on Solar panels and Composting toilet <-
« Reply #8 on: February 20, 2015, 04:07:30 PM »
I have a single 245 watt panel & 4 six volt batteries.

HI Joel.

What brand is that? is it 12v?
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1998 Fleetwood Southwind 32V

OffTheGridTravel

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Re: ->Opinion on Solar panels and Composting toilet <-
« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2015, 04:00:08 AM »

Very interesting, so what do you guys recommend happens with that black tank space ? How can you use that space or tank to give you advantage or better another function ?

   Would it be possible to collect rain water using some type of rain harvesting system attached to the RV and can possible use the black water tank to store it since it wont be in use?

  i would imagine with a set up like that you'll stops to get hooked up will be cut down to nada, you wont have to worry about much except gas.

 
Not all who wander are lost.

OffTheGridTravel

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Re: ->Opinion on Solar panels and Composting toilet <-
« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2015, 04:14:09 AM »
I'm coming down to the end of my first winter in Key West with solar.

It's great!  Usually I run the generator only to use the microwave, occasionally because of several cloudy days or because it's been a week & I feel like it needs the exercise.

I have a single 245 watt panel & 4 six volt batteries.

Know nothing about composting toilets.

Joel


  Sweet, if you guys get a chance can you take a few photos of your setup i'd love to see! 8) ;D


    A composting toilet is basically a toilet that doesn't require a waste tank. You have two separate compartments one for pee and one for poo ( from what I know) and basically the poo compartment needs you to add Saw dust or peet-moss one of those to start the break down of organic material ( poo) into pretty much fertilizer. The pee compartment is just thrown out when full. The toilets and what they can do and cant do vary by maker. this is just my knowledge of them. If I'm out of line please correct me.
Not all who wander are lost.

Kevin Means

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Re: ->Opinion on Solar panels and Composting toilet <-
« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2015, 11:44:30 AM »
In answer to your question, we've got eight group 31 AGM house-batteries (12 volt) for a total of 840 amp hours, however you have to remember that you can only use half of your total amp hours. We've got six 160 watt panels on the roof (960 watts), which is just enough solar to get us through a 24 hour period without having to run our generator (on a sunny day). Our motorhome is a pretty power-hungry coach. Most RVs wouldn't need that much solar.

Our panels are (for the time being), flat-mounted on the roof but we'd be able to get about 30% more power out of them (in the winter) if we tilted them. I just don't want to climb up and down every time to do it. I can't remember where I read it but I read an article some time ago about a guy who installed a composting toilet in his RV and he was able to use the black water tank as additional grey water storage. Depending on how your tanks were installed, that might be a difficult plumbing job but I thought it was a great idea.

Kev
2011 Winnebago Tour 42QD
Towing a Jeep Rubicon Unlimited LJ or an Acura MDX
RVI Brake 2, Minder TM-66 TPMS, 970 watts of solar
(Can't wait to spend more time RVing)
Lakeside, California

Rene T

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Re: ->Opinion on Solar panels and Composting toilet <-
« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2015, 01:03:53 PM »
I can't remember where I read it but I read an article some time ago about a guy who installed a composting toilet in his RV and he was able to use the black water tank as additional grey water storage. Depending on how your tanks were installed, that might be a difficult plumbing job but I thought it was a great idea.

By putting a gate valve on the common sewer outlet, with it shut and the gray and black water drain valves open, the water will equalize in both tanks.
Rene & Lucille & co-pilot Buddy
AKA  Pep N Mem
2011 Chevy Duramax 2500 HD 4X4
2011 Montana High Country 343RL
From the Granite State of NH
& Florida Snowbird in Lakeland FL

 

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