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Old 09-10-2019, 15:46   #1
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Nature's head clearance question

My existing marine toilet (Groco HF) needs another rebuild, and the hoses are due too. Thinking about replacing the whole thing with a composting head.

For various reasons, the Nature's head design appeals to me. However, space is tight, and the hinge action of Nature's Head (as opposed to the Airhead and others) requires a couple inches clearance between it and the back wall, which might be a deal breaker.

So here's my question: For those of you with a Nature's Head, how much of a hassle would it be to install it up against the back wall, and then detach from the mounting brackets and slide forward to enable the tilt action each time the jug needs emptying?
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Old 09-10-2019, 16:33   #2
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Re: Nature's head clearance question

Itís certainly an option. Something to keep in mind is that the entire base doesnít need to be supported. On our boat the area the toilet sits on is raised above the head floor. We were able to achieve the necessary clearance by installing the Natureís Head so that the front of the unit overhangs the platform that itís installed on by a few inches.

If that doesnít make sense I can post a picture.
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Old 09-10-2019, 16:46   #3
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Re: Nature's head clearance question

I would consider just building one since the cost of the parts is much less than buying one.
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Old 09-10-2019, 16:49   #4
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Re: Nature's head clearance question

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I would consider just building one since the cost of the parts is much less than buying one.
That's not out of the question. Do you have a specific design or parts that you recommend?
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Old 09-10-2019, 17:12   #5
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Re: Nature's head clearance question

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If that doesnít make sense I can post a picture.
That does make sense - many of the installation photos on line are this way. My installation would overhang somewhat also, but the more critical dimension in my case is knee clearance in front.
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Old 09-10-2019, 17:49   #6
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Re: Nature's head clearance question

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That does make sense - many of the installation photos on line are this way. My installation would overhang somewhat also, but the more critical dimension in my case is knee clearance in front.
Mine also overhangs(the urine bottle is what over hangs). As for clearance, your stating in the front - I assume this is clearance on the BACK where the lid hinges?

Let me know and when i get home tonight I'll take measurements as I live aboard.

The right side of mine(looking towards the unit) just rests against the wall at full open. This was because I wanted to have as much of the square base on the platform as possible for stability reasons.
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Old 09-10-2019, 18:10   #7
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Re: Nature's head clearance question

We removed the hinge off the back- now when you disconnect the two latches it just lifts off no trouble. You have to disconnect it from the floor to empty it anyway- so thats not a problem either.

I would not suggest building one personally. Being decidedly frugal I build most anything I can, but this is a pretty well done system. Everything is anti-microbial plastic, its very compact for what it is and wont rot ever.
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Old 09-10-2019, 18:15   #8
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Re: Nature's head clearance question

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As for clearance, your stating in the front - I assume this is clearance on the BACK where the lid hinges?
I have plenty of room on the sides, but the front to back room in my head is more limiting. In order to conserve as much of that dimension as possible for knees, Iíd like to put the toilet right up against the back wall. But in the case of the Natureís head, doing so would prevent removal of the pee jug unless the entire toilet is detached and slid forward a few inches. Just wondering if this would be a major hassle.
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Old 09-10-2019, 18:17   #9
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Re: Nature's head clearance question

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We removed the hinge off the back- now when you disconnect the two latches it just lifts off no trouble. You have to disconnect it from the floor to empty it anyway- so thats not a problem either.
Now thatís an idea I hadnít considered!
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Old 09-10-2019, 18:32   #10
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Re: Nature's head clearance question

What you suggest is doable, but it would be a pita. The design to tilt it up to retrieve the pee bucket is very easy. Your solution would be less so, but it certainly would work.

But I like BenBowSiroccoís suggestion. I canít see why that wouldnít work. The side clamps should be sufficient to keep a good seal. Just pay extra attention to the gasket. Iíve found it is something that needs attention after a number of years.
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Old 09-10-2019, 19:58   #11
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Re: Nature's head clearance question

Mines only a year old, what sort of gasket material did you use to replace the old one?

I also feel it would be a PITA to do. Mine is far enough so I can lift the head open enough to just pull out the urine bottle.

I do like the idea of removing the hinge.
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What you suggest is doable, but it would be a pita. The design to tilt it up to retrieve the pee bucket is very easy. Your solution would be less so, but it certainly would work.

But I like BenBowSiroccoís suggestion. I canít see why that wouldnít work. The side clamps should be sufficient to keep a good seal. Just pay extra attention to the gasket. Iíve found it is something that needs attention after a number of years.
I am a frugal bastard most times, but this area I wouldnt DIY one. Much easier and well designed.
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Old 10-10-2019, 04:27   #12
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Re: Nature's head clearance question

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Mines only a year old, what sort of gasket material did you use to replace the old one?
I was sent a free replacement gasket from Natureís Head a couple of years ago, but Iíve yet to install it. My now eight-year-old gasket is stillsupple, but it has come unstuck from some edges a couple of times. Iíve just re-glued it with basic glue (Gorilla maybe?). No big deal.

I think just about any kind of thin rubber gasket would work if you had to replace it, but Iíve never gone looking ó yet.

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I also feel it would be a PITA to do. Mine is far enough so I can lift the head open enough to just pull out the urine bottle.
Agreed. I still think this is going to be a PITA approach. Taking off the back hinge would allow the head to be used in a tighter space Rusty123, but youíre going to have to pick up the top, and place it somewhere while you remove the pee bottle. Should work, but less convenient for sure.

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I do like the idea of removing the hinge.I am a frugal bastard most times, but this area I wouldnt DIY one. Much easier and well designed.
I do think my NH is well designed, but itís certainly possible to build one yourself. After all, they really are pretty simple devices. I know there are folks here who have built their own at a fraction of the cost of the commercial options. But I do think the commercial ones are good value.
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Old 10-10-2019, 05:51   #13
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Re: Nature's head clearance question

Just get C-head and be done with it. Much simpler design Works better imho
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Old 10-10-2019, 06:40   #14
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Re: Nature's head clearance question

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Just get C-head and be done with it. Much simpler design Works better imho
Can you lift the collection bins out of the C-head without angling or tilting the seat? This seems to be the OPís issue.

I like the C-headís use of non-proprietary bins. The main downside is that it uses bins that are 1/2 the size of Natureís and Air Head. This means dumping frequency happens twice or more. As a full-timer, this is undesirable to me, but if I only used my boat periodically, and for short periods, this might be a better option.
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Old 10-10-2019, 07:34   #15
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Re: Nature's head clearance question

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Can you lift the collection bins out of the C-head without angling or tilting the seat? This seems to be the OPís issue.

I like the C-headís use of non-proprietary bins. The main downside is that it uses bins that are 1/2 the size of Natureís and Air Head. This means dumping frequency happens twice or more. As a full-timer, this is undesirable to me, but if I only used my boat periodically, and for short periods, this might be a better option.
If you have space to lift a regular toilet seat to the vertical position, you have room to remove the collection bins ( my C-head is bolted to the floor of the head). The C-head uses a regular 3 gallon bucket for the solids and a 1 gallon water jug for the liquids. We manage to dump the bins every other week with 2 aboard. Not too bad.

What drew me to it was the simplicity and non-proprietary nature of its parts. Its basically just a box around 2 off the shelf containers.
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