Friday, March 25, 2011


"You're gonna do what with your poo?" 
We are going to compost it! That's right. No septic system or gray water tank with this bus, and instead of buying an expensive RV-sized composting toilet, we built our own. It's simply a wooden box with a toilet seat on the top and a 5 gallon bucket inside, and the lid of the box lifts to remove the bucket when it is full. The buckets will be dumped into a compost pile that we will set up on the farm, and along with straw and leaves, it will sit untouched for one year after the pile is full, generating heat and breaking down until it becomes disease-free, nutrient-rich fertilizer. When composted correctly, human waste, or "Humanure" can be used on flower and vegetable gardens to add nutrients to the plants and is actually really good for the soil and safe to use. When the composting toilet and compost pile are properly maintained, by covering with sawdust and straw, there is no smell. This is something that can easily be set up in any backyard, and is an excellent source of (free!) fertilizer if you are a gardener.
     There are a bunch of videos over at explaining in detail how to get started with the toilet, making the compost pile and maintaining it, and using the compost on your garden.  There you can also see how they build their toilet boxes, or order one for yourself. 
This is ours:

More on plumbing:
The water tank arrived, and it fits under the bed nicely. We also got a pump and an accumulator, and Phil has been working on getting all the pipes in place and glued with a horribly toxic smeling glue that chemically bonds CPVC to CPVC and nothing else. Weird stuff. 
Here is the 40 gallon fresh water tank under the bed.

Accumulator and water pump.

"Plumbing for Bus Nuts" has been a pretty helpful book, full of diagrams to get you started with any RV plumbing project.

Food: We have been cooking many meals on this awesome little stove now that its all hooked up! This is sauteed tempeh with red peppers and onions and purple rice, with home made hot sauce from home grown peppers using this recipe. . Now, I can't wait to bake something in here.
I wish I made more hot sauce!

Question for the Readers (is anyone really reading this?): What should we do with all these beautiful little tree slices? They are about 4 inches in diameter and the darker one has been sanded and oiled to bring out the color of the rings. We have a whole bunch of them and I want to use them around the bus. What do you think? Tiny corner shelves? Coasters? Wall art? We want to hear your ideas!


  1. windchimes? connect them and make placemats? connect them and make a centerpiece for your table? stack them with little poles between them for a spicerack?

    I sure enjoy your blog and am envious of your plan involving portability!

    christy from Yomesweetyome

  2. Thanks for the great ideas, Christy. I have been enjoying your blog too! I love your Air Stream.