Tag Archives: composting toilet

The COMET: Interior SketchUp Models

So today I spent all day inside The COMET (which was surprisingly warm despite the 30 degree weather outside and considering it has no heat, broken windows and 1950’s insulation). I was measuring all of the interior space (cabinets, beds, appliances, etc) and simultaneously making a SketchUp 3D model so that I could begin to figure out how much I need of each material (flooring, countertop, paint). Here are some stills of the model I’m working on…and keep in mind, it’s a rough draft! The green color is just to differentiate between walls and cabinets. Soon I’ll use these stills to diagram the interior space in a more conceptual way. Also, this is just the interior measurements (no windows, no door) and the exterior still needs to be measured.

Google SketchUp is a free 3D modeling tool, it’s very easy to use and an awesome resource. If you don’t already use it, download it and start fooling around!

You can see the front benches (missing the kitchen table)

I’m glad to have this working model, now I can (finally!) not only figure out how much I need of each material/building supply, but also begin to figure out what modifications I will be making: for example, where the refrigerator will go, which parts I’ll move around and rearrange, and how I want to personalize and maximize the design of the space. Also, I’ll be able to put on potential solar panels in different configurations, test out some different ideas for the bumper greenhouse, and some other things. I’m really excited! I also came up with the idea of using textured colored glass as the bathroom window, for privacy and color (one of my closest friends is a stained-glass smith, and I think I can get some scraps from him). I also thought, since the window in the door is broken, he and I should make a stained glass window for it out of scraps or recycled glass he has around the shop!

Also, as a side note about something I thought about all day today: I’m going to design and fabricate my own urine diverter (and build a vacuum form to do it) because I had an awful experience trying to find a good composting toilet situation for a small space like The COMET. I’m going to build the composting toilet, and there will be instructions on how to do everything (the vacuum forming , fabricating the diverter, building the toilet) right here on cometcamper.wordpress.com! Power to the DIY people!

So the post about my awesome day yesterday in Mashpee with “G” Green Design Center and Cotuit Solar is going to have to wait until tomorrow, but it will be very worth it and I encourage you all to check back tomorrow!!

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On The Green Road

On The Green Road is Cece Reinhardt and Brenda Daugherty. I came across their website when I was researching The COMET project, and since I’ve found them they have been infinitely helpful and supportive of me. They were my first official sponsor! They really are wonderful people and what they have done and are doing to educate people about sustainable, mobile living is amazing.

Cece and Brenda travel the country in their gorgeous Airstream, which has been completely retrofitted with sustainable, green building materials and technologies in alternative energy. They tow their classic Airstream with a truck that runs on Biofuel (waste veggie oil). These visionary ladies give open houses and informational sessions in their off-grid Airstream, spreading the word about sustainable, healthy living. The two of them live in their Airstream full time, they even have a cat!

 

I think their mobile home is absolutely gorgeous and just so well done, it would make any square want to leave their job and hit the road in green style.

 

Their Airstream now features cork flooring, natural linoleum, a Kirei board desk, Paperstone counters, organic textiles, eco-friendly cabinets, a composting toilet, solar panels, and LED lighting. They are in the process of putting on a rainwater harvesting system too!

 

 

“Driving towards sustainability one mile at a time.” Please visit their website and follow their incredible blog: www.greenrvlife.com.

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Compost!

I don’t know much about composting (I’ve always composted – having lived in collectives/communes most of my life so far – but don’t know the science behind it per-se), but I’m about to learn. Because I know I will have a composting toilet in The COMET, I have been looking into more information about composting food waste and humanure.

I’ve been reading The Humanure Handbook (third edition) which you can find here for free download: http://humanurehandbook.com/

Now that I’ve decided to build my own composting toilet for The Comet camper and opted not to purchase a very expensive one, I really look forward to reading this book. I’m hoping to make the most out of a composting toilet/other compost situation on the road by having a “bumper” garden…I’m working on a design for a little greenhouse that mounts onto the back of The COMET.

I’ve also been reading about worm farms and worm bin composting…there are some great DIY guides out there for making your own cheap worm bin. This may not be ideal for the mobile lifestyle, but I plan on living in The COMET in some places for extended amounts of time at some point, and it’s pretty interesting anyway. Maybe I can get my parents to get a worm bin!

Another composting situation that REALLY appeals to me (and is not perfect for mobile living either, but hey!) is a bunny rabbit compost set-up. Apparently rabbit poop is really good for compost, and can even be used raw (without going through a composting process at all!). I was reading about a set-up where there is a compost bin directly underneath the rabbit’s coop/dwelling, and the poop just goes right into the compost! I’m not exactly sure how well this works in practice, but it seems like a great idea. I’d be really excited about a bunny or two…of course they are adorable and I love little animals!

Coming up later today: PART 2 of “Advice for Buying Your First Vintage Camper”, where I go into detail about what to look for and what to avoid when looking at a potential camper project. Lots of pictures! Stay tuned!

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The COMET update

Yesterday I received a check in support of The COMET project from a grant that I had applied to months ago. They never emailed me or contacted me to let me know that I was the recipient, so I was super surprised and SO HAPPY when I opened the mail! Things are really starting to happen! Thank you Hampshire College for supporting my work!

Also, another update: I was planning on purchasing a composting toilet for The COMET, as there are a few companies that make waterless composting toilets specifically for boats and RVs. After talking to a friend of mine and fellow camper enthusiast Hayden Cummings (he’s the guy I buy ALL of my campers from because he’s awesome…more on him later!) we decided to design and build our own composting toilets for our campers that use the existing bathroom infrastructure. That means saving money (the composting toilets for RVs are REALLY expensive) AND a great DIY project to show all of you!! I’m looking forward to that. I’ll be visiting him in his camper wonderland (you’ll see) in NYC soon, so keep an eye out for pictures and more on that “down the road” hehe.

I also also want to direct you all to my Sponsors page, where you will see that I have a new sponsor! On The Green Road – sustainable and off-grid camper buddies Cece Reinhardt and Brenda Daugherty, became my first official Sponsor the other day! Thank you, On The Green Road! Check out my Sponsors page for more on them, and stay tuned for an in-depth post about them coming up soon! They are really lovely ladies doing amazing things with their camper: http://www.greenrvlife.com. More on them later!

Okay that’s all the updates for right now…later on today I’ll be posting “Tips for buying your first vintage camper, PART 1 and PART 2″, where I discuss how to find a vintage camper and what to look for (and watch out for and avoid!) when inspecting a potential camper project.

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