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OGO Composting Toilet: Easy Installation in Your Van

The OGO composting toilet is a game changer when you're trying to find the perfect compost toilet for your van, RV, or home. It can feel like a never-ending quest with a sea of options.

OGO Composting Toilet Installed in Van
OGO Composting Toilet Installed in Van *This post may contain affiliate links whereas recommended products/services have met my “I love it” criteria; refer to our affiliate policy.

You want an eco-friendly alternative, easy to use, fits into your designated space easily, and doesn't leave you dealing with unpleasant smells. But so far, nothing has quite lived up to your expectations.

Maybe you've tried traditional RV toilets only to be disappointed by the constant maintenance and overwhelming odors. Or perhaps you've considered composting toilets, but you're unsure of how to install it and how to use it.

I've been there and know this story very well.

That's where the OGO composting toilet shines. With its step-by-step installation instructions and user-friendly design, it makes switching out your old RV toilet a breeze. Not only does it provide all the benefits of composting, like reducing your environmental impact and saving water, but it also eliminates those dreaded foul odors and allows you to boondock longer without having to dump solid waste.

To help you decide if the OGO compost toilet is for you, I'm sharing my own experience and tips on why I decided on this compost toilet compared to other composting toilets. I'll also share the process I used to remove my cassette toilet and install the composting toilet in my van, which is so easy.

Top Features: Why I Chose OGO Composting Toilets Over Other Composting Toilets

First, let's examine the standout features that made the OGO composting toilet my preferred choice over other options, capturing my attention and ultimately persuading me to make the switch.

This compositing toilet was an absolute game changer compared to the cassette toilet that came in my van.

Let's dive in.

No Foul Smells

One of the main reasons I chose the OGO composting toilet was its odor-free design. As someone who enjoys living a minimalist lifestyle in a small space, my van, and spending time in nature, the last thing I wanted was to deal with unpleasant foul smells from my toilet.

My cassette toilet wreaked and I didn't want a repeat of that hot mess.

The OGO composting toilet uses the process of urine diversion with seals to prevent odor and a venting hose to create a composition process of coco coir materials in the composting waste bin and also vent air out through a hose and fan system.

Add Coco Coir to Composting bin
Coco Coir in the Composting Bin with Urine Diverter Bottle

I never once smelled anything from my compost toilet.

At one point I left the van sealed up in the heat for a couple of months and left the urine and composting material in the waste bin to see if it would smell when I came back. I was pleasantly surprised. There was no odor at all.

Waterless Composting Toilet

Another feature that caught my attention was the water aspect of the OGO composting toilet. Traditional RV toilets use a significant amount of water with each flush, which can quickly add up when boondocking or not connected to a water source. The OGO composting toilet eliminates this issue by using no water for flushing. Instead, it relies on the composting process to break down and compost solid waste material without any added water.

Not only is this better for the environment, but it also saves time and hassle when dealing with an RV toilet system. You no longer have to worry about filling up or dumping a black tank, which can be a tedious and messy task.

Plus, I don't know about you, but I always worry about running out of water when boondocking. With the OGO composting toilet, this is no longer a concern of running out of water too soon.

So having a waterless composting toilet was high up on my list when researching composting toilets.

Small Footprint for Small Spaces

One of the biggest challenges when living in a van or small space is finding room for everything. When I first saw the OGO composting toilet, I was surprised by how compact it was compared to a traditional RV toilet and other composting toilets which require a much larger surface in the bathroom.

I was looking for something smaller that would fit into my van and take up the least amount of space as possible.

The OGO is a square compost toilet with sleek lines.

OGO Composting Toilet Design
OGO Composting Toilet Design

Dimensions: 16″ side to side, 15″ front to back, and 18.375″ tall.  This compact size makes it perfect for smaller spaces, such as in vans, tiny homes, or even small campers.

Easy Installation and Maintenance

The OGO composting toilet is incredibly easy to set up. It comes with step-by-step instructions and hardware plus I'm giving you further tips for installation below from when I installed it in my van.

And when it comes to maintenance, the OGO composting toilet is a breeze. With traditional RV toilets, you have to constantly clean and sanitize them to prevent odors and bacteria buildup. However, with the OGO composting toilet, all you have to do is empty the solid waste container and dump the liquid waste without ever touching anything nasty.

Comfortable and Convenient for Individuals of All Sizes and Heights

Despite its small size, the OGO composting toilet is designed for comfort and convenience. The seat height of a little over 18 inches and 16 inches side-to-side is standard, making it comfortable for individuals of all sizes.

Thanks to its compact sleek design, you can easily access the toilet in smaller spaces without feeling cramped.

I'm short at 5'2 and my feet were not dangling off the sides. I can comfortably reach the floor. Even my tall friends didn't have any issues using the toilet.

No Chemicals to Add to the Compost Toilet

Traditional RV toilets require chemicals to break down solid waste and control odors. These chemicals can be expensive, harmful to the environment, and even damaging to your RV's septic system.

With the OGO composting toilet, you don't have to worry about any of that. It uses a natural process of decomposition where you can conveniently dump it into a trash bag, preferably biodegradable, and into a trash bin.

Dumping human waste incased in composting material is no different than disposing of dog or cat waste in a trash bin, in case you were concerned. We're doing it responsibly and in an eco friendly manner.

USA Made and Eco-Friendly

The OGO composting toilet is proudly made in the USA, Ohio to be specific, where all parts are manufactured and assembled.

Quick Facts about the OGO Composting Toilet

OGO Composting Toilet
  • Holds 2.4 gallons of liquid waste in the urine bottle
  • Electric agitator in the composting waste bin by pressing a small button
  • Trap door and urine diverter
  • Level sensing indicator for urine level
  • Dimensions: 16x15x18.375″
  • Made in Ohio, USA
  • Easy to remove urine diverter and composting waste bin.
  • Bolts to the floor easily
  • Easy installation and maintenance
  • Requires no chemicals, making it environmentally friendly
  • Compact design for smaller spaces
  • Use coco coir or peat moss for solids bin
  • Uses 12V power source

Why I Replaced My RV Cassette Toilet with a Composting Toilet in My Van

One of my biggest reasons for seeking out an alternative toilet solution stemmed from the persistent leakage and unpleasant odors emanating from my cassette toilet. Even after transitioning to a second cassette box, the issue persisted, with leaks occurring mere months after the initial purchase.

Dealing with the leak, the odor, and having to dump a cassette toilet often was the catalyst for seeking out composting toilets.

I chose the OGO composting toilet over the traditional RV toilet for its convenience, eco-friendliness, and space-saving design.

No More Worrying About Dump Stations

With a small cassette toilet I was dumping it every 3 days (I drink a lot of water) so not conducive to boondocking for long periods of time.

Boondocking is my preferred method of camping so having to dump every 3 days was a bit of a headache when all I wanted was to hang out in the wilderness longer.

Installing the OGO Composting Toilet in My Van

Installing the OGO composting toilet with its compact size was surprisingly easy which makes it a perfect fit for the tight spaces in a van bathroom. I'm showing you how I installed it in my van; however, the installation process would be similar for any RV or home.

Places Where You Can Install OGO Composting Toilet

The OGO composting toilet can be installed in a variety of spaces, including:

  • RVs and vans
  • Tiny homes
  • Cabins
  • Boats and yachts
  • Off-grid homes
  • Truck campers

Determine Placement of the OGO Composting Toilet

Before installing the toilet, consider where you want to place it and how it will fit into your space. Be sure to leave enough room for sitting and using the toilet comfortably.

For me, this was in my bathroom on one side of the van leaving plenty of room for the hose to run out the back wall.

Also, sit down on the toilet to make sure you have enough space on the left and right of the composting toilet to be comfortable.

OGO Composting Toilet Installed in Van
OGO Composting Toilet Installed in Van

Once you have chosen a spot, assemble all necessary materials near you.

OGO Supplied Components

  • OGO Origin Composting Toilet
  • User Manual
  • 5′ of Vent Hose with hose ends
  • Spray Bottle
  • Urine Diverter Bottle
  • Composting solids bin with agitator
  • Urine Diverter Bottle Cap
  • Mounting Screws
  • Power Cable (for install to 12V systems only)

Additional Items You May Need

  • Drill for creating pilot holes
  • Drill for mounting the composting toilet to the floor
  • Hole cutter attachment for your drill
  • Blue painters tape
  • PVC Pipe
  • Saw to cut PVC pipe
  • Measuring tape
  • Tools to wire composting toilet to 12V system

Check out the full install process in my van

Determine Vent and Exhaust Hose Placement

The OGO composting toilet requires an intake vent and exhaust hose. These hoses are crucial for proper ventilation and odor control. You will need to determine the best placement for this hose before beginning the installation process.

The vent hose is used to release moisture and odors from the composting toilet outside of your space. It should be routed through a hole in the exterior wall of your RV, van, or home. This can be done through an existing vent or by drilling a new hole.

The vent and exhaust hose can be interchanged upon set up on the back left or right of the composting toilet depending on your how you want to route the hose.

Ogo Composting toilet vents on backside of toilet
Ogo composting toilet interchangeable vents on back of the toilet
OGO Toilet Change Vent Position
OGO Toilet Change Vent Position

I did have to change mine to the left side because my furnace vent was on the right side of the bathroom space and I didn't want it to heat it up the hose.

Drill Hole for Exhaust Hose

If you need to drill a new hole for the exhaust hose and outside vent, first determine the best location for it.

Measure and mark the location with blue painter's tape. Use a drill with a hole cutter attachment to create the necessary opening. Be sure to drill from the inside of your space outward, and use caution when drilling through exterior walls.

Drilling Hole for OGO Composting Toilet Hose
Drilling Hole for OGO Composting Toilet Hose
Outside Hole for Composting Toilet Hose
Outside Hole for Composting Toilet Hose

Cut PVC Pipe to Length for Vent Hose

Next, you will need to cut a piece of PVC pipe to the appropriate length for your exhaust hose to fit into your outside vent. Measure and mark the desired length on the PVC using a measuring tape.

Then, use a saw or pipe cutter to make a clean and straight cut.

Mounting the Outside Vent Cover

Once the hole is drilled and the PVC pipe is cut to size, you can mount the outside vent cover. Place the cover over the hole and secure it in place using included screws.

OGO Composting Toilet Outside Vent Installation
OGO Composting Toilet Outside Vent Installation
OGO Composting Toilet Outside Vent Installed
OGO Composting Toilet Outside Vent Installed

Be sure to seal any gaps with caulk or weatherproof tape for optimal ventilation and protection from outdoor elements.

Installing Vent Hose on Composting Toilet

With the outside vent cover in place, you can now install the exhaust hose onto your composting toilet.

Then, simply slide one end of the hose onto this opening until it fits snugly and the other end into the outside wall vent hole you just made.

Attaching Hose to Hole in Side of the Van
Attaching Hose to Hole in Side of the Van

Connect to Power Source and Test BEFORE Mounting the Composting Toilet

Important! Before mounting the composting toilet to the floor you need to test that the power is working properly.

The OGO toilet uses 12V power so you'll want to splice into existing 12V power source using your preferred method of wire nuts or heat shrinks.

Once power is connected, plug the power cable into the back of the OGO toilet. Temporarily insert the composting solids container into the composting toilet and make sure it's properly seated before testing.

OGO Composting Toilet bin looking over the top
OGO Composting Toilet Bin with Agitator

Once the bin is in place with the agitator inside, push the button on the left of the toilet that starts the agitator to make sure the power is working properly.

OGO Composting Toilet Agitator Button
OGO Composting Toilet Agitator Button

Secure and Mount the Composting Toilet to the Floor

To ensure stability and prevent tipping while in use, you will need to mount your composting toilet to the floor using the mounting screws provided.

Place the toilet in the position on the floor where you want it to be making sure the hose isn't crimped and in the right spot between the wall and the toilet.

After that, place blue painter's tape on the floor marking an outline of the composting toilet to make sure it's straight and exactly where you want it before drilling the holes to screw it into the floor. This way, if the composting toilet shifts during mounting, you can adjust it easily.

OGO Composting Toilet Installation with blue tape around edge of toilet for placement on the floor
OGO Composting Toilet Installation with blue tape around edge of toilet for placement on the floor

Take the urine diverter and composting bin out of the composting toilet and you'll see the designated holes to mount into the floor.

Once everything is lined up and in position, drill the mounting holes for the screws. You may want to use a pilot bit before drilling with the size of the bit that will fit your screws.

After drilling, make sure your composting toilet is within the lines of the blue painter's tape still then insert the screws into the holes and tighten until secure. Once mounted, you can remove the blue painter's tape and admire your newly installed composting toilet!

OGO Composting Toilet Installation to Floor mounting with screws and drill
OGO Composting Toilet Installation to Floor with mounting screws

Install Composting Bin and Urine Bottle

Now that your composting toilet is securely mounted to the floor, it's time to install the composting bin and urine bottle. It's more like placing it in rather than install.

Assembling OGO Composting Toilet After Installation
Assembling OGO Composting Toilet After Installation

Super easy.

First, open the top compartment and unlatch the latches on the left and right front door of the composting toilet.

Next, insert the composting bin into its designated spot and make sure it's secure.

Then place the urine bottle on that front door area and push the door back into place and relatch.

Add Composting Material to Composting Bin

Your composting toilet is almost ready for use! All you need now is to add the necessary composting material to the bin.

I opted to use the coco coir composting material from OGO at first, since it was already measured out in individual bags and broken apart instead of in brick form. The bricks of coco coir require prepping before use, so I thought the bags would be more convenient. Though later on I purchased the coco coir bricks and prepped them myself.

OGO Composting Material Coco Coir
OGO Composting Material Coco Coir

Simply open one of the bags and pour it into the composting bin. Add 24 ounces of water (or 2 fillups of the spray bottle that comes with the OGO toilet) and keep agitating the mix until it's moist to the touch.

Add Coco Coir to Composting bin
Add Coco Coir to Composting bin
Add Water to Coco Coir In Composting Bin
Add Water to Coco Coir In Composting Bin
Check Coco coir for moisture after agitating
Check coco coir for moisture after adding water and agitating

There's nothing you need to do to prep the urine diverter except remove the cap and keep it in a safe space. You'll want to use that cap when emptying the liquid waste.

How to Use the OGO Composting RV Toilet

Congratulations, you're now ready to use your OGO compost toilet! Here are a few tips on how to make the most out of it.

How to Use the Composting Toilet for Urinating and Pooping

This is one of the biggest questions I had as a person who had never used a composting toilet before. I don't know why it seemed like a big mystery, but I was concerned about what happens if you urinate and poop at the same time.

Will the composting toilet actually divert properly?

Well, I discovered, and I hope you will too, that there's nothing to be concerned about.

It's easy.

Simply lift the lid so you can sit down. If you only have to urinate, than you don't need to open the composting bin trap door.

OGO Composting Toilet Trap Door View
OGO Composting Toilet Trap Door View

Urine will spill down into the front urine diverter section and into the urine bottle below.

As much as we may not want to talk about it, there are those of us who are sloppy urinators, meaning when you urinate, it tends to not flow in one stream down but sometimes will go side to side. I can't explain the mechanics of that, but know, that the OGO composting toilet urine diverter is large enough to handle the sloppiest of urinators.

If you have to both urinate and poop, open up the trap door for solids as well.

When you want to poop, you open up the trap door valve on the right front side (right side when you're sitting on it) of the composting toilet to open up the trap door to the composting bin. After you've pooped, you push the button on the right side of the composting toilet and it will start the agitator cycle. Remember to shut the trap door.

OGO Composting Toilet Trap Door Lever
OGO Composting Toilet Trap Door Lever
OGO Composting Toilet Trap Door
OGO Composting Toilet Trap Door

That same urine level light indicator will light up red when the urine bottle is getting close to being full. I've been able to urinate in it at least 4-5 more times after seeing it go red. There's nothing worse than it happening in the middle of the night so I tested it to see how many more times I could urinate before it was full. You'll want to test this for yourself too.

Dealing with Diaherra: Steps to Take

If you are experiencing diarrhea, it is still okay to use the composting toilet. However, it may require a bit more maintenance and care to ensure proper moisture and disposal.

If the composting bin has an excess of moisture, either from water or from fecal matter, it can be like mud emptying the solid waste bin. Trust me it's not easy. I've done this and it's not fun.

If you have diarrhea, add more composting material and agitate until it looks a little drier and back to normal. This will help absorb the excess moisture and make it easier for emptying later.

How to Dispose of Urine in a Composting Toilet?

Once the urine bottle is full, it's time to dispose of it. Here are some steps to follow:

  1. Screw the cap onto the urine tank before taking it out of the composting toilet to avoid any splashes.
  2. Remove the urine bottle from its compartment in the composting toilet.
  3. Take the bottle outside and find a safe spot to empty it into an appropriate area such as a garden or designated dumping site.

Remember to remove the cap on the urine bottle before placing it back into the composting toilet or the composting toilet lid won't close properly.

How to Dispose of Composting Toilet Solid Waste

When it comes to disposing of solid waste in a composting toilet, there are a few steps you need to follow:

  1. Wear gloves
  2. Open the hatch on the side of the composting toilet and take out the composting bin.
  3. Find an appropriate area to dispose of the solid waste, such as a designated dumping site or a biodegradable trash bag to place in a dumpster.
  4. Place the composting bin back into the toilet and secure it in place.

Can You Flush Toilet Paper in an OGO Composting Toilet?

Yes, you can flush toilet paper in an OGO composting toilet; however, your composting bin will fill up much quicker.

I chose not to place toilet paper into the composting bin and instead keep a small trash can with a tight lid on it for placing my toilet paper. I use wet wipes, but those definitely cannot go into the composting bin.

How Often Do You Dispose of the Composting Material?

The frequency of dumping composting material will depend on several factors such as the number of people using the toilet and how often you poop into it.

As a single person who is, well, regular in the bowel movements area, I would dispose about every 3-4 weeks.

Benefits of Using the OGO Composting Toilet

The OGO composting toilet offers numerous benefits for both the environment, convenience, and your wallet. Here are some of the things I like about this composting toilet:

  • Waterless composting toilet that saves your onboard water for drinking, dishes, showers.
  • Ideal for extended boondocking periods as it allows for longer intervals between necessary dumps.
  • Quality is top-notch – the company is committed to providing a high-end product that will last for years
  • Easy to use
  • No more unpleasant smells or leaks
  • Easy to install and maintain
  • Ease of disposing of liquid waste and solid waste
  • Small footprint compared to other composting toilets
  • Clean lines and aesthetically appealing
  • Cleans up easily, spritz with water for liquid waste and solid waste and use a paper towel to wipe out if needed
  • Love that you hit one button and everything agitates in the compositing bin instead of other composting toilets where you have to crank by hand like the Nature's Head composting toilet. This also means you'll need more space on the side of the composting toilet to allow the hand crank.
  • Great for off-grid living or in areas with limited water supply
  • Urine diverter is see-through from the top and sides so you know exactly how full or empty it is.

What I'd Improve on the OGO Toilet

While the OGO composting toilet is a great product overall, there are a few things that I would improve upon:

  • I wish they had supplied the PVC pipe for the exhaust hose and vent so I didn't have to purchase and waste so much material for one small section that I needed.
  • The top compartment that pulls up and down to empty the bin closes too easily so be careful that it doesn't fall on your hand.
  • I wish the urine level light indicator that indicates if the urine bottle is becoming full was in the front instead of the composting toilet instead of on the side. Since my composting toilet is against the wall on the right side it's harder to see it light up when the urine bottle is full. It's not a big deal, but it would be more handy this way.

OGO Composting Toilet Final Thoughts

After using a standard RV toilet for one year and another five years with a cassette toilet, grappling with leaks, mess, and the inconvenience of frequent dumping, I was eager to transition to composting toilets and save water.

After so much research on all the composting toilets and talking to OGO, I decided The OGO composting toilet was perfect for me and fit all the things I wanted in my next toilet. From the small footprint, odorless, waterless composting toilet, ease of use, and allowing me to boondock longer.

I'm very happy with this decision and after over a year of using it, I'm still happy I made the switch. It has been a game-changer in my van life and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for an alternative toilet solution.

If you have any questions about the OGO composting toilet or general composting toilets, please leave me a comment below.