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View Poll Results: What head is best -& can handle 4 persons for 4-5 days with out change or smell
C Head - 10 41.67%
Natures Head 11 45.83%
Air Head 4 16.67%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 24. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 04-02-2013, 10:14   #1
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C-Head, Natures Head or Air Head- which is best overall

C-Head, Natures Head or Air Head- which is best overallónot concerned about price
Iím looking at installing 1 or 2 of these, and I need one that will handle 4 people for 4-5 days without empting the solid compartment- Smell & ease of use is a big issueó
I m ok with emptying the liquid daily if need be - Please those who have used them or seen them in person would be helpful if you would vote/comment
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Old 04-02-2013, 11:15   #2
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Re: C-Head, Natures Head or Air Head- which is best overall

I spent many, many, interesting hours researching composting toilets before I bought our Airhead. I also spent considerable time comparing natures head to Airhead, but can't remember now, why I chose AH over natures head.

I've only used the AH for a week at a time, so can't comment on long term issues, or compare to the NH, but compared to the flushable porta-potty that leaked poo onto my sole, into my bilge, and sometimes onto my clothing, I'd say that the AH was pretty much heaven sent.

After a very short, and not too steep learning curve, it's a piece of cake to use.

Things I find inconvenient about the AH:

The cranking handle is bare stainless steel and needs an easy grip handle on the end of it. It hurts my hand when solids container gets really full.

I find it difficult to remove the liquids container. It wedges in pretty tight. Maybe its just me. I plan to find some hose and relocate the urine reservoir to the bilge, in order to increase space in the head anyway, so won't be a problem for long.


Last time I was on the boat I had a small gnat problem, but I think I can solve that by adjusting the moisture content of the compost.

The plastic holding straps and screws that secure the urine container are a pain in the ass.

The toilet bowl is a little shallow around the urine drain. If you are not careful, you may run aground.

Things I like:
Even without an exhaust vent, no smell!

Removing the solids container and dumping the compost into a heavy duty plastic bag is easy, and not as disgusting as I had imagined it would be.

My favorite thing about the Airhead is that there is nothing to go wrong. No poop in the bilge. Nothing to fix!

Eric
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Old 05-02-2013, 09:17   #3
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Re: C-Head, Natures Head or Air Head- which is best overall

We have had the NH for 6 months liveaboard. The colder it is the slower it composts. In the summer we could use it for a longer duration. Solids build up in 1-1.5 months in the summer and less than 1 month in the winter. We are a couple using it daily.

I think any of these will suit your needs for 5 days easily.

Overall, we don't miss the smell of a marine toilet but there is more work to do with the composter. Once a month I suit up and flip the unit into a bag. We are using coconut shreds. I find the material the NH is made of is easy to stain. When near full the unit bulges while you crank it, I feel one day it will break from this. If you ever leave it too long is starts to seep from the poorly sealed crank ends. This has happened to us once while we were still learning to use it.

All in all we love and hate ours. Love it all month and hate it when we fight about who dumps the pee tank. The solids she refuses to deal with so no argument there.
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Old 05-02-2013, 09:51   #4
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Re: C-Head, Natures Head or Air Head- which is best overall

We've just purchased our Nature's Head, so I can't give you any usage experience yet. I can tell you I chose NH over AH mainly b/c NH fit better in our space. But I also prefer NH's spider handle option, and the one-part seat seems to be a better idea (according to some reviewers). I also chose NH over AH because of the way the pee bottle is accessed and supported. For our install, it is easier.

All that said, I think the two are almost identical in function and design. I'm sure either would work well.

I like the look of C-head, and it would probably work fine as well, but I did not consider it seriously b/c of the smaller capacity.
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Old 05-02-2013, 09:57   #5
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Re: C-Head, Natures Head or Air Head- which is best overall

"The toilet bowl is a little shallow around the urine drain. If you are not careful, you may run aground. "

Hilarious!


"I like the look of C-head, and it would probably work fine as well, but I did not consider it seriously b/c of the smaller capacity."
No doubt a compromise, but emptying is so darn easy that it makes up for it. Simply open hinged top, pull out urine container, dump urine, pull out 5gal bucket, dump, put back. I use peat moss. it almost powder coats the inside of the bucket. When I dump, it seems to get every single thing out of there. Very clean. Yes smaller. True, it more stores and manages as opposed to composting, but none the less, very easy.

tp goes inside toilet and gets emptied with the rest. Sure, it fills up faster, but it makes one less piece of crap to store and empty.
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Old 25-02-2013, 12:55   #6
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Re: C-Head, Natures Head or Air Head- which is best overall

I looked at all 3. The Nature's Head or Airhead are far better designed, in my view. The C head has a much smaller capacity. This is pretty important. The only time toilets are a pain is when you empty them, and the C head needs to be emptied a lot more often.

It's not as robust, in my view. It uses some kind of standard, flat plastic panels that are attached together somehow. It's not a roto-molded unit like th AH or NH. Roto-molding is extremely strong! But setting up to make the NH or Airhead would have cost probably close to $300,000 (I checked it out!).

If saving $300 is the main, critical factor, the C-head would do the job, albiet less convenientlty. But you are not comparing apples to apples, when you put the C head beside a Nature's Head or Airhead.

As I said, I have the NH, and my neighbor has the AH. We are both happy. Pretty much the same thing, with slight differences that amount to personal preference (in spite of what both manufacturers say about each other, there is not a heck of a lot of difference).

I got good service from this guy, but there are plenty of others...Nature's Head composting toilets
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Old 26-02-2013, 19:03   #7
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Re: C-Head, Natures Head or Air Head- which is best overall

We read all the propaganda from all three, read exhaustive customer reviews, and wound up with a C-head. Its footprint is about the same size as the porcelain throne at home, its height is also familiar and comfortable, so no platform-building necessary, and if overhead space were a problem, this option would be by far the best of the three major players. The urine collection container is a simple screw-capped gallon jug, the same one water and milk come in, essentially free and readily available. Emptying it, therefore, is easy and lightweight, and a spare jug is surely readily to hand if you forgot to empty it before you turned in for the night. No possibility of overflow into the poop bucket, either, as has been reported with another brand. As another satisfied user has noted, emptying both waste containers is simplicity itself, as easy as lifting the toilet seat, lifting the container out and dumping it. In the case of the solids, into another container, either a plastic kitchen trash bag for dumpster disposal or into a dedicated five-gallon paint bucket with an included lid, for further decomposition. The lumps roll right into the receptacle, with no goopy mess.
As for liquid disposal, let your conscience be your guide or put the full jug in an inconspicuous grocery bag, and take it into the next marina restroom for proper disposal. Other brands seem to need more disassembly, and the spare pee jugs are expensive. Makes one inclined to tolerate the eventual discoloration. Me? When mine becomes unsightly, it goes in the rubbish bin.
The exterior of the thing is very simple, but I find that a plus. . We opted for plain, but wood grained material is also available for the exterior of the cabinet.
I don't mind the more frequent emptying, as it is so quick and easy. a matter of minutes. No worse than taking out the galley trash.
We have only subjected our C-head to fairly light and sporadic use over the past nine months, but so far, there has been absolutely no odor, we've had no bugs, it is dead-simple to maintain and clean, and grandkids and guests have had no problems. We make a point of calling attention to the instructions posted that begin with, " SIT DOWN!!! This means YOU!!!"
A live-aboard friend who has had a NH for several years came by a month or two ago to try our head on for size... Not sure what she will decide, as her pot was rather a large investment to just discard, but it was interesting to see her approval, given that she has given the luxury model a more-than-fair trial.
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Old 27-02-2013, 10:21   #8
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Re: C-Head, Natures Head or Air Head- which is best overall

There is not much chance someone would go from a Nature's Head to a C Head. The Nature's Head is emptied every 4-6 weeks. The C Head every week. The C Head I have seen has no fan, and the website mentions no fan. The fan is pretty important, as it sucks air from the boat, through the toilet and out the exhaust. There is no way it can stink with a fan, but without the fan, you are basically pooping in a bucket. If you close the boat up and go away for a week, there might be odors without a fan.

The C head is held down by rubber straps(!) or lashed down with rope (!). The Nature's Head has heavy duty stainless L brackets - a proper marine installation. The C Head is made from some kind of standard, flat plastic panel. That is the cheap way to make a toilet. The Nature's Head is rotomolded plastic, injection molded. It's strong, and looks better, with a rounded bowl and seat. That is the expensive way to make a toilet. I'm in plastics, and I can tell you that setting up the molds for the Nature's Head would have been about $250,000, wheras the C Head is just panels glued together.

There is nothing wrong really with the C Head, but comparing it to a Nature's Head or Airhead is not reasonable. For about $300 more, you get a significantly better design.
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Old 27-02-2013, 11:13   #9
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Re: C-Head, Natures Head or Air Head- which is best overall

If you are pleased with your NH, that is just great! More power to you. I am not sure what minor disaster or inconvenience moved my NH liveaboard friends to investigate our alternative decision.

The lovely thing about the C-head, besides its practical simplicity and small footprint, is its flexibility. Yes, for those who find an exhaust fan necessary, instructions are included for how to connect a simple inexpensive computer fan drawing a little DC current, or a solar Nicro fan, to the exhaust hose. We have not found such a device to be at all necessary, as a slight Venturi effect draws the air into the head, and out through what is, for us, an aft-ward exiting hose near the top deck, and it draws just fine, with my ultra-sensitive nose detecting not the slightest odor, ever.

Also, our use has been sporadic enough that we haven't had to empty the peat bucket but once in a good many months. If we had to go to as much trouble as the fancier composting-head-owners do to empty that container, we, too, would be grateful for larger capacity. It really is as simple and quick as taking out the kitchen trash, though. Lift toilet seat and hinged base in one-handed motion, to rest against bulkhead. With other hand, lift bucket by its bale. Dump dry contents of bucket. Replace bucket and lower toilet seat. Done. Total time, two minutes, maybe, not including the hike up the dock to the dumpster with that bag and the galley garbage. No need to disassemble anything, or find a place to put the 'superstructure'. Same with the full milk jug. Lift seats. Grab jug handle and lift, cap it, and replace with another jug. Lower the seat. Done! And the jug was free, as was its replacement.

This thing feels entirely sturdy and stable. We can, if we like, of course, attach it permanently with stainless angle bracing but don't yet feel the need. The beauty of the tiedowns for me is how easy it would be to remove it and clean it completely if that were to become necessary. It is not as heavy as its competitors, for me an advantage, but it was obviously designed by a fellow who didn't start with a bunch of preconceptions, other than the idea of separating liquid from solid. No round bowl? Horrors! Mere (cheap) flat panels. Appallingly unlike everybody else's derivative design. But SO easy to simply wipe with a damp cloth, no creases to catch dust or mildew, and best of all, it happens to be the right size for my height. I had my doubts at first, but am entirely content with its effectiveness and ease of use and maintenance.

I don't see the fun in the peeing contests that delight so many guys. You win, OK? So far, though, our C-head does the job we needed done just fine. And I have already thought of good ways to have fun with the extra $400.
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Old 27-02-2013, 12:06   #10
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Re: C-Head, Natures Head or Air Head- which is best overall

peeing contest. That's funny, given the thread. A strange thing to say after your participation in said contest. I didn't say the C head was bad, but I do object to comparing these very disimilar products unfairly. A $10,000 economy car is not comparable to a $20,000 vehicle, simply because they both carry passengers.
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Old 27-02-2013, 12:16   #11
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Re: C-Head, Natures Head or Air Head- which is best overall

Not surprisingly, some people will pay $10,000 for a hood ornament proclaiming their finicky ride to be a luxury car, even though it spends more time at the shop than on the road. Guess I have a more practical bent. I value reliability and cost-effectiveness, which is what I think I have in the C-Head. I have much to learn, though, after some real intensive use, we hope, this summer.nDuring which time my old beat-up cheap car will be in the garage... Or the hangar... Awaiting my return.
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Old 28-02-2013, 13:11   #12
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Re: C-Head, Natures Head or Air Head- which is best overall

"When near full the unit bulges while you crank it, I feel one day it will break from this. If you ever leave it too long is starts to seep from the poorly sealed crank ends. This has happened to us once while we were still learning to use it."

I have good news. I've seen this problem with a friend's NH, and this is solvable. The symptoms you mention suggest that the contents are too wet. The solids should be only slighlty moist, and there should not be any liquid whatsoever in there, to leak out. The contents (dried poop and peat moss) should be light, almost fluffy. If the handle is hard to turn, or the unit bulges, there is way, way too much moisture in there.

It's roto molded plastic. You'd have to run over it with a truck to break it, so no worries there.
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Old 28-03-2013, 07:50   #13
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Re: C-Head, Natures Head or Air Head- which is best overall

Iím ready to pull the trigger, but not sure Natures Head or Air head- I did see the Air head at the boat show, seemed very good- WHat about standing up Peeing, does this work?
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Old 28-03-2013, 07:55   #14
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Re: C-Head, Natures Head or Air Head- which is best overall

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ram View Post
Iím ready to pull the trigger, but not sure Natures Head or Air head- I did see the Air head at the boat show, seemed very good- WHat about standing up Peeing, does this work?
I have a NH sitting ready to be installed this season. Info say we males gotta sit. Looking at the head, I would say that is the case ... unless you can be very accurate .
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Old 28-03-2013, 07:55   #15
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Re: C-Head, Natures Head or Air Head- which is best overall

problem i see with natures head and air head is that if you dont put a cofee filter there you get crap on the toilet....design flaw imho.....chead lets you direct deposit, no filter needed.....no cleaning wahat you crapped on after you crap, no filter needed...that would be a pita if i had to do that, i would plrobably think about a holding tank!
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