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Why we choose a Compost Toilet (Cuddy by Compo Closet) for our new Van?

Compost toilet (s) have become increasingly popular among eco-conscious individuals. Composting toilet (s) are also safe and effective solutions for off-grid & sustainable living. So, it is no surprise that they are especially popular among Vanlifers, like us. But with so many different composting toilet types & functions, you might feel overwhelmed looking for your next off-grid toilet solution in your van. So, in this article, we will tell you why we decided to fit our new van build with a composting toilet called: Cuddy Toilet by Compo Closet

Our Previous Vanlife Toilet Experience

Firstly, let me tell you that back when we were travelling Australia in our 1983 School Bus (Pumbaa), we made the terrible error of having a chemical toilet such as a Portta Potti. This is a choice we regretted every day!

Seriously, the smell & the inconvenience of emptying it were really grossing me out. Plus, I hate to think about how much money we spent on chemicals over the years travelling in remote & expensive places! Opting for a chemical toilet in Pumbaa was a double F-up as we also built the cabinetry around a specific chemical toilet model!! So even though we often thought, “enough is enough,” we never came around to re-building our cabinetry to fit a composting toilet! 

I’m pretty sure you understand why we now truly dislike chemical toilets (Porta Potty), but if you want a fuller picture then go check out our Previous Post “ Why we would never go back to a chemical toilet” .

Anyways, when we decided to move to Europe for the next chapter of our Vanlife Journey & second van build (Stella), there was absolutely no doubt we were gonna go for a composting toilet this time! 

Key Compost Toilet Features we Searched For

We quickly realised that there are several different types of composting toilets out there. Each with its own unique features, which also means their price tag can easily double! After having gained basic knowledge of the composting toilet world, we identified specific features that we wanted our future composting toilet to have, such as:

  • A split system to separate liquid from solid waste (extra bonus point for a sensor level of the liquid bin).
  • A telescopic agitator handle to help break down waste & keep the composting process going.
  • A butterfly trap rather than a bucket-style lid.
  • A quiet ventilation system.
  • An overall well-thought product in its emptying process & good quality build.
  • Of course, the toilet also had to be as compact as possible, as real estate is extremely valuable in a van! 

Attractive Compost Toilet (s) that Stood Out to Us

A few products fitting most of our criteria stood out to us.

However, some felt over-engineered, too big, ascetically not pleasing or were simply missing a feature or two.

Until we found The Cuddy by Compo Closet, which quickly became our top choice due to its compact size, easy-to-maintain design & outstanding features! 

Why we Choose The Cuddy by Compo Closet

What are The Cuddy by Compo Closet’s best features ?

  • Urine separator to avoid unpleasant smells.
  • User-friendly removable container for easy cleaning. 
  • Smart LED sensor to prevent overflowing.
  • Butterfly Trap lid for the N2.
  • Telescopic agitator handle to optimise space and the composting process.
  • Vented internally not externally – No holes in your van!
  • Made from High-Quality Material -Built to last & with two years warranty on manufacturing defects.

The Cuddy By Compo Closet

So Let’s unpack Cuddy’s best features.

1# Urine separator to avoid unpleasant smells:

First & foremost, The Cuddy compost Toilet has a urine separator, which allows for a more efficient composting process & reduces harmful bacterias. Plus, did you know when solid & liquid wastes are mixed up, it creates an ammonia smell, which is where sewer smell comes from. So by separating both wastes, your composting toilet won’t smell like poo but more like an earthy dirt fragrance. 

Note: Everyone must sit to do their business for the urine separator to work!

2# User-friendly removable container for easy cleaning:

Secondly, both waste bins are black, making them discreet to empty & the process easier on the eyes, which I love!

They are both well-designed with handles, which makes them super easy to empty & clean. In other words, they are perfect for vanlife!

3# Smart LED sensor to prevent overfilling the pee jug:

Additionally, there is a level sensor on the pee jug!

The sensor lets you know it’s almost full by illuminating a red LED on the seat to avoid flooding, which is something you definitely do not want to happen! The liquid bin is also spillage-proof when being carried around or driving down bumpy roads, which obviously is hugely appreciated when in a van!

4# Butterfly trap lid for the N2:

One of the things that grossed me out the most when thinking about a composting toilet was that the majority of them seemed to come with some sort of a bucket-style lid system for the solids bin! 

I can’t even tell you all the ways I think this can go wrong! 

So I was adamant about finding a composting toilet with a butterfly trap lid & Compo Closet definitely delivered on that one!

The button for the butterfly trap lid is strategically placed on the corner, so it’s easy to access & the trap works as you expect it to. Plus, the Cuddy’s butterfly trap even makes a very satisfying sound to close that shit away !!

5# Telescopic agitator handle to optimise the composting process:

While the need to agitate the solid bin in a composting toilet seems controversial, we decided to opt for a composting toilet with an agitator, and here is why:

Firstly, we believe that mixing the bin’s content helps reduce unpleasant smells.

Secondly, it usually hides your latest creation away, which is not a bad thing while sharing a toilet with your loved one(s)! Plus, it helps the composting process kick in and sucks up moisture, making emptying easier!

However, we noticed that most composting toilets’ agitators are placed at the back or on the side of the toilet, making them more challenging to reach and manoeuvre without losing too much valuable real estate!

The Cuddy’s telescopic agitator handle is discreetly placed at the front of the toilet, which is such a better use of space!

6# The ventilation system:

What also sets the Cuddy Composting Toilet apart is its ventilation system, which does not require you to cut a hole in the side of your van, if you are not doing vanlife full-time, it’s not necessary. 

Instead, it eliminates odours and maintains a clean and hygienic environment via a carbon filter & a fan that works on 12v. 

The possible result of not venting externally is that you may get a build-up of moisture inside the Cuddy. While moisture itself is not a problem as it means the composting process is working, it may, over time, discolor the hinges. So, we recommend you grease the hinges as part of regular cleaning. In saying that, the Cuddy can also easily be vented externally with the addition of 1 inch flex pipe and a vent to cover the external hole. This option makes the Cuddy extremely flexible to everyone’s needs! 

Cuddy Compost Toilet ‘s Summary

Overall, the Compo Closet Cuddy Composting Toilet is a reliable and practical choice for those who want a portable, eco-friendly, off grid toilet solution. It is designed to last and comes with a range of impressive features such as: urine separator, butterfly trap lid for the N2, a smart LED sensor on the pee jug, a telescopic agitator handle, discreet and well designed waste bins, a well though out ventilaation system, and more.

All these amazing features make the Cuddy Toilet a top choice for vanlife.

I’m so glad we chose The Cuddy by Compo Closet & I urge you to consider it for your next vanl build or off-grid toilet solution !!

View our in-depth unboxing and set-up video of our Cuddy Toilet HERE!

Where Can I Buy The Cuddy Toilet?

The best place is the Compo Closet website HERE, you will find it easy to navigate & available in a variety of languages and different store locations ( America – Canada / Australia / Europe and the UK )

Alternative Compost Toilet Options for Vanlife

We understand that there is no one option that suits all so we have added a few other options that you may wish to consider


We may receive a kickback from the use of the external links in this article, from both Amazon and Compo Closet respectively.

See our other articles about Vanlife, Van Build & More HERE

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