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Airhead Composting Toilet

SunMar composting toilets are well known, but this one is new to me. Seems to be primarily for boats, but some people apparently use them in tiny homes.
   "A workable system for small to medium sized boats, giving even pocket cruisers the independence of a large vessel" http://www.airheadtoilet.com/

10 comment s:

The Flying Tortoise said...

A friend of mine has recently installed an Airhead in her housebus... it works well and the little fan which is active 24/7 ensures there's no unpleasant odours. Another friend has one in his liveaboard cruising yacht, they're a family of three who use it with no problems. They even describe using it as a pleasant experience...
As with all things, follow the instructions for installation and use and all will be well...

Carol said...

The Air Head is good as is the Nature's Head (which I sell www.ecovita.net). Both are U.S. made.
I've asked the manufacturers to change the design to allow for easier emptying but they're not changing anything any time soon. (Here's my friend and first customer discussing life with composting toilet on his sailboat: http://ecovita.net/news/wp-content/uploads/2009/.../NaturesheadOnBoat2.pdf‎)
That's too bad because I could sell a lot more if they'd change the design.
These units are a little small on capacity for a year-round tiny home used by more than one person. The Separett Villa and DIY urine-diverting toilets are often chosen by owners of small houses with more than one inhabitant. I'll soon post a photo of my tiny house dwelling friends discussing their toilets (Villa and DIY) and their maintenance.

Gabriella said...

Nice alternative to the others. That's a pretty sleek looking crapper! :) Thanks Carol for giving your feedback. Very helpful!

Licorice Allsort said...

I recently installed an 'Airhead' in my small housebus. I gave it a lot of thought and researched it and read everything I could find about it before I bought one. The theory of it is great... In practice I think there is lots of room for improvement. The device the crank handle is attached to, that stirs the 'solids' so they mix with the peat to enable composting, doesn't reach the bottom or sides of the solids holding tank. Therefore the capacity is diminished as only the centre part of the tank is being mixed. Also the instruction book says to empty the holding tank when it is filled to 2 inches of the top. When it is this full I find the fittings above this level - the crank handle, and the lifting handles, leak... Not at all nice. I thought all fittings would be liquid tight.
I read that people use them 'for a season' before emptying. Mine lasts me - one person - for 3-6 weeks. And I do not fill it up with toilet paper!
So would I buy another one? Well I'm 60% happy with it.
Anybody else had 1st hand experience with one?

Hawthorn said...

I think the Airhead came first and Nature's Head adapted the design. My understanding is that the Airhead urine tank can be emptied without having to lift the whole top of the toilet (unlike the Nature's Head), but both essentially do the same job. They are compact which is great where space is limited. I prefer the Separett Villa which is technically a collection unit as composting doesn't happen in the toilet - very neat with the 'concealing screen' great for those phobic of compost loos. In my experience, the 'bucket' will collect 4-6 weeks worth of 'solids' from one person before needing emptying. When the manufacturers quote a 'seasons' use, I don't think they are referring to it being used constantly - maybe weekends only???

Geoff Trott said...

As the manufacturer of the "Air Head" composting toilet we take all owner concerns seriously and have a lot of success in dealing with our customers directly. I contacted "Licorice Allsort" though her email to address her experiences stated above with the "Air Head" composting toilet and after several email exchanges I was able to come up with five changes in regard to use and installation that she could to to address the problems she is having. Currently she is not on the road and therefore not using her toilet but has agreed to try the recommendations I made when she starts up again. As the posts higher up seem to suggest, this unit was operating significantly below its typical performance level. The most efficient means of getting problems addressed is directly through our website www.airheadtoilet.com. The lag between her post and my response is simply because I was not aware she was having any problems. We cannot and regularly sweep the internet for customer complaints. So for fastest results, please contact us directly, we are happy to help.

Brent Moore said...

Mr. Trott, To recap, we started our AirHead experience with Ron Ibsen, who was extremely responsive and friendly to work with. He passed us off to you and things went downhill from there. It took several calls just to get you to respond and almost two months to complete our order, on which we had to call/email several times since you were unresponsive and talk to your manufacturer. Once we received the AirHead it was not functioning properly. These things happen and as I stated on our call, I understand you can get a bad lemon in the bunch. From the first call where I expressed my frustration in not having a working toilet after waiting for it for two month, you acted like we were using it improperly and that we were bothering you. Yes, we did not have the fan hooked up yet, but not having the fan hooked up should not allow several cups of urine to flow into the solid waste compartment. You also asked where I was peeing and said that that may cause the issue. If that is the case why is it not an issue on my parents AirHead? Throughout our dealing you have inconvenienced us, the paying customer. From the first call that I let you know that the unit was not working properly, rather than handling it professionally and taking care of the bad unit (which again happens and we understand this, but just wanted a working AirHead that we had heard good things about), you asked us to inconvenience our parents and hook our malfunctioning toilet top onto their toilet to test to see if it still leaks. I expressed my unhappiness to do so but complied. We tested our toilet top on their AirHead and it continued to leak urine into their solid waste toilet (which they now have had to replace their peat moss due to the urine leaking in). We also hooked their toilet top to our base and saw no such leakage. After informing you of this and asking if you could send a new unit upon receiving shipping confirmation, you informed me that you couldn't do that because you couldn't resell the "used" toilet legally and weren't willing to send a new unit. Again I expressed my unhappiness about this, since we paid over $1000 for a NEW unit and didn't want to start with one that was already needing repaired. You were unwilling to send a new unit, so I agreed to send the unit 2 day priority back to you. After our call I emailed a general question asking about the warranty to the generic email address on your company website. To my surprise rather than getting an answer back on a simple question you personally respond with this email saying that I need to return the entire product for a refund and am not allowed to do business with you anymore. Not only me but my entire family. My parents have an AirHead toilet and have had nothing but praise about it's performance. Are they not longer allowed to buy parts for their toilet now? Is there warranty no longer going to be honored? This is an extremely personal response on your side and I find it extremely unprofessional. We are very disappointed as we have heard nothing but good things about AirHead toilets from several other boaters that have one. We still think it is a great product and wish the customer service matched. While we would still like to have an AirHead toilet you have made it clear from your email that you are unwilling to work with a customer that is simply trying to get a working unit. I will package the unit and send it tomorrow along with the tracking information. Once the package is received we will expect to see a refund in our account shortly after. Again, I truly wish we could have done business with you as we heard/seen nothing but good reviews about the product, but your professional customer care is EXTREMELY lacking.

Brent Moore said...

I don't need to read your letter. I had an assistant answer specific questions about it. Really, I'm pretty secure in the belief that after inventing an innovative and rather handy device that thousands have enjoyed and having single handedly performed all of the customer service for the product myself since the product's inception along with running the whole company, I've managed to maintain an excellent reputation for taking care of customers, I really have no need to be subjected to and don't respect a 20 something's judgement that "I don't take responsibility". You really have no idea! It is only for the practical matters at this point that I respond at all. I do need to clarify my comment about disallowing anyone in your family from purchasing from Eos Design. It was only intended to prevent the unlikely attempt of you from purchasing another unit. The reason of course is because this buy back (the first one in 13 years) is costing my company about $150 in shipping and credit card charges along with probably lost business of your friends, family and acquaintances. I am paying dearly for the right to tell you to go away and like you I want to get what I pay for. In any case I will continue to support any "Air Head Toilets" as needed by their owners. Geoffrey Trott General Manager Eos Design LLC

Brent Moore said...

FedEx Tracking Number: ************** Once again you have shown your true lack of professionalism by referring to me as a “20 something”. Just for your information, this “20 something” has been a civilian United Nations translator in Kosovo, fought for this country in the Air Force (Kuwait, Iraq, and Afghanistan), and has worked his entire life. You know nothing about me sir and the fact that you STILL refuse to help a customer that just wants a working product is still mind boggling to me! As for “lost business of your friends, family and acquaintances” you are correct! ANYONE that will listen, will hear about your terrible customer service. Once the confirmation of the package deliver is received we expect to see our refund in our account within 48 hours of delivery. You have a great day Mr. Trott!

Brent Moore said...

So needless to say we will not be doing business with Airhead ever again. I truly have never experienced such a lack of customer service and had someone take a faulty unit so personally. We still think the unit is a great product, but if anything ever goes wrong... No way!

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