FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Why is Cuddy™ so cute?
Our theory is that composting toilets don’t need to look like a mix between R2D2 and a vacuum cleaner. Cuddy is not only designed to fit your space; it is a pleasure to look at.
What size is Cuddy™?
Cuddy™ is 16.3 high by 15.1 inches wide by 16.8 inches deep—and if you believe in the power of the metric system (which we do 😎), it’s 414 x 384 x 427 mm.
It’s about the same size as standard portable chemical toilets so you can easily change it out if you have one.
It’s also at a comfortable height for most people. Your toilet at home is probably between 15-17 inches tall.
Why would I buy a Cuddy when I can just go in a bucket or in a hole in the ground?
You’ve heard the phrase “Leave no trace,” right? That’s part of the reason. Listen… seriously, if you prefer a hole or a bucket, we want you to use a hole or a bucket. We encourage DIY for those who have the gumption and skills. Cuddy is for those who want an alternative to holes, buckets, standard RV toilets, and more cumbersome composting toilets.
What size are Cuddy's liquids and solids containers?
The liquids bottle is 1.7 gallons / 6.5 liters.
The removable solids bin is 3.9 gal / 14.7 liters.
Do I need to vent Cuddy™ outside?
External venting is unnecessary for the Cuddy since there’s an integrated carbon filter to reduce odors. If you still prefer to vent externally, you can—check out our video on how to vent Cuddy externally for more help with that.
What are the power requirements for Cuddy™?
Pee light indicator – 9v battery (not included)
Internal fan – 12v hard-wired
The fan connector is a standard 5.5 x 2.1mm male DC power cord. This will be attached to a 4ft length of cable that can be wired into your van’s power supply with a 1A fuse.
Or you can plug the into the mains with an adapter.
It would be possible to get a cigarette lighter connector as well.
Where is Cuddy™ made?
Cuddy is assembled in the USA using both U.S. and imported parts.
I just placed my order. When will I get my Cuddy™?
We typically process orders in 1-3 business days. Cuddy ships from our manufacturer in Baldwin Park, California.
Shipping to the West coast usually takes 1-3 days, and 1-5 days to the East coast.
Canada delivery depends on province location and how long it takes for your Cuddy to make it through customs.
What is Cuddy made of?
Cuddy is made from polypropylene, ABS plastic, stainless steel, and anodized aluminum. The liquids bottle is made from ABS plastic. All other plastic parts are polypropylene.
What's so great about a removable solids bin?
The removable solids bin allows for quick and easy emptying, rather than having to remove the entire toilet to dump its contents like some composting toilets require. This is much more convenient and takes a lot less time to empty and replace. And it’s a lot less messy.
Why does Cuddy™ have an agitator?
Turning the contents of the solids bin with the agitator boosts the composting process. Mixing the solids bin helps waste break down quicker, exposing it to oxygen and mixing around the aerobic bacteria and carbon-rich material.
How far does the agitator handle extend?
The extending agitator handle was designed so that Cuddy™ can fit in tight places. It extends 66.5 mm forward (about 2.6 inches) and then tucks back into place after you’re done using it.
Can I line the Cuddy™ solids bin with a bag?
Because of the Cuddy’s agitator, adding a liner bag isn’t possible. If you prefer, you can remove your agitator yourself, or order a replacement spare bin without an agitator.
Can I buy a Cuddy™ composting toilet without an agitator?
No, we currently don’t offer a Cuddy™ version without an agitator. But you can order a replacement solids bin without an agitator in our store.
Can you tell me more about the internal fan?
Power: 12v hardwired
What can you tell me about the internal carbon filter? I've never heard of a composting toilet having one.
One of Cuddy’s unique features is its internal carbon filter for additional odor control. The filter is a reusable polypropylene design for less plastic waste and more money saved, filled with the same carbon pellets found at any pet store or online store like Amazon. The pellets should be changed every 6 months to a year, depending on how often you use your Cuddy.
My hinges are rusty! What's the deal?
Hinges in Cuddys made prior to August 2023 were made of nickel-plated steel and need to be cared for properly, as the manual suggests. Once we were able to source a stainless steel version of our hinges, we started manufacturing with them. We also have replacement stainless steel hinges for sale if you’d like to upgrade to a more trouble-free hinge.
There is something wrong with my Cuddy™! What do I do?
Contact us at email@example.com! It’s our goal to make your experience with CompoCloset and Cuddy a good one, and we do our best to solve every issue. When you email us, include photos and/or a video that illustrates the issue (if applicable) so that we can assess more clearly what’s going on.
Why does my Cuddy™ stink when everyone says it’s not supposed to?
Normally a Cuddy will not stink—but we’ll admit that it’s possible for it to under certain conditions if it’s not being taken care of properly.
In the front:
- Someone—we’re not going to mention any names—forgot to empty the liquids container when they got home from their roadtrip. The urine has been doing what it does and has been evaporating and turning ammonia-y. Solution: clean out the urine container after every trip!
- It’s been 94F degrees and humid in the van/camper/bus since it’s been parked. Combine this with the previous situation and it will be an assault to most senses. See previous solution.
In the back:
- Somehow a larger amount of urine or other liquid than recommended got into the solids bin. Solution: Add more composting agent to help manage the moisture or change out the old for new composting agent.
Can I put Cuddy in a wetbath?
Cuddy is water resistant and can be used in a wetbath. However, it should not be in the direct line of spray.
Cover your Cuddy with something waterproof when you shower, and remove it when you’re not showering. This will help keep any unwanted water out when it’s being hit directly from the shower and allow proper circulation when not covered. Keep an eye on your composting agent moisture level—you should do this anyway with any composting toilet, and especially if the toilet is living in a steamy shower enclosure. Lastly, while not necessary, you can vent the Cuddy externally to improve airflow.
When you install the Cuddy, seal any holes you make for screws and/or rivets using silicone or vulkem caulking.
My urine isn’t all going into the liquids bin, what gives?
Check to make sure that the top part of the Cuddy is sitting correctly on top of the hole in the liquids bin and that the liquids bin is in all the way. If it’s not meeting it in the right place, or the bin seems like it is loose or wobbly, take the bin completely out to check if there is anything underneath it. Occasionally a piece of coir or other bit of something or other will find its way into the bin and cause it not to sit straight.
The blue valve in the urine bin is a check valve, which only allows fluids to move one way. We have one in the Cuddy to keep potential odors from leaving the urine container. In rare instances, there is a manufacturer’s defect in the check valve and it will not have any holes in it. To check it, use a flat screwdriver to remove the white ring on the liquids bin and remove the valve to inspect it. If there are no holes in your blue valve, send us a note and we’ll get a replacement out to you. In the meantime, removing it will allow urine to flow freely into the container.
Make sure that your RV/van/camper is level. If it is tilted, gravity could be taking some of the urine for a ride outside the pee chute.
Contact us ASAP if you need more assistance.
I keep getting pee in my solids bin and/or on the solids bin plates. How do I fix this?
First of all, be sure to completely close the solid bin plates before urinating. If you look closely (not while you’re peeing because that might be awkward), you can see that the closed solids bin plates divert any urine hitting them into a pee chute toward the front of the Cuddy and into the pee bin.
Still, sometimes pee makes it into the solids bin. For example, some of us have been known to pee and poo at the same time, which means the solids bin plates will be open. A little bit is fine, but it’s better to have it go where it’s supposed to.
Even if you’re used to standing while urinating in a regular toilet, you should sit down while peeing in the Cuddy. It can help with getting liquid waste going in the correct direction. Some people find that scooting forward on the seat helps in aiming urine into the front diverter.
I'm a full-timer. How often do I empty my Cuddy?
It depends on how often the Cuddy is used and how many people use it. The simple answer is when either bin is full, it should be emptied. For two people, this can be 2-3 days for the liquids bin and 2-3 weeks for the solids bin. The solids bin is usually 20-25 uses.
How often do I have to empty the bins if I use my Cuddy once in a while—say, every other weekend? Do I have to empty it after every trip?
We recommend emptying and rinsing out the liquids bin after every trip even if it’s not full. The solids bin should be fine to leave until it is full.
There’s condensation in my toilet outside of the liquid and solid bins. Why is this happening and what can I do about it?
The composting process produces heat which can create condensation in the unit. The internal fan can help, but it is not meant to get rid of moisture; its job is to push air through the carbon filter. While we currently don’t have a built in solution for moisture, we are working on an upgrade to solve this issue. At the moment we recommend adding some absorbent material inside to soak it up. Some users have had success by adding wood pellets. In our Compo Crew Facebook group there are several discussions on ways to deal with moisture.
How big is CUDDY™?
Actually, this question should be, how small is the Cuddy™.
Cuddy™ is HxWxD (Height x Width x Depth)
16.3 x 15.1 x 16.8 in
or if you believe in the power of the metric system
414 x 384 x 427 mm (which we do 😎).
How small is that??
Well, it’s the same size as standard portable chemical toilets.
So you can easily change it out if you have one.
It’s at a comfortable height. Your toilet at home is probably between 15-17 in.
So there you go now you know.
Do composting toilets smell?
No, composting toilets do not smell when used properly. They will not stink out your van, boat, tiny home, camper, or cabin. The composted material looks and smells earthy—like a forest floor. When emptying the loo, there is no unpleasant odour, unless you’re one of those rare folks that don’t like forest floors.
Can you pee in a composting toilet?
Yes, you can pee in a composting toilet. Our composting toilets are designed to separate the pee from the poop to eliminate any nasty odours.
Is it OK to go in a composting toilet if I have diarrhea?
Dealing with diarrhea is straightforward: When the solids bin is too moist for any reason, the first step is to add more of your composting agent (coir or peat moss, etc.). This will help to get the contents back to the right moisture level.
Depending on your situation, you may have to empty the solids bin a little sooner or more often.
Collateral messes can be an issue with whatever toilet you use. You’ll want to clean your Cuddy following the directions in the manual—basically with a sponge or soft cloth and soapy water.
Can I use a composting toilet if I have my period?
Yes, you can. Period blood and tissue is totally fine to go into a composting toilet, either in the liquids or solids bin. We do not recommend that you put pads or tampons in the bin. They will no break down like #2, will make the bin fill up faster and the agitator may be more difficult to turn.
Keep in mind that many composting toilet manufacturers have white, opaque liquids tanks to make it easier to see how much liquid is inside. However. when you have to walk through a campground carrying a full liquids bottle, everyone else can see what’s in the bottle, too. Cuddy™ has a non-see-through black liquids container that hides what’s inside. We incorporate a sensor that lights up an LED light to let you know when the bottle is ready to be emptied.
Do you have to empty a composting toilet?
Yes, composting toilets need emptying but much less frequently than chemical toilets.
From our experience, composting toilets are much less unpleasant to empty than chemical toilets because they don’t have an unpleasant smell and the solids simply resemble dirt.
When do I empty my composting toilet?
The solids section of the Cuddy™ composting toilet typically needs emptying every 2-4 weeks depending on how much it’s been used.
You can look into the chamber to check the level. We would advise emptying when the chamber is around two thirds to three quarters full.
The LED light will let you know when the liquids bin is ready to be emptied.
Where do I empty my composting toilet?
Always check the rules that apply to your specific location. Usually, solids from composting toilets may be put in a biodegradable bag and disposed of in a regular rubbish bin. In general, the law permits disposal of human waste in this manner to due to the need to dispose of baby and adult diapers, as well as pet waste.
If you have a space to do so, you might consider continuing the composting process that Cuddy started. There are several resources for how to compost and use human manure. We like The Humanure Handbook as a starting point. Urine can also be used as a fertilizer—the Rich Earth Institute is a good resource about peecycling.
Our toilets are specially designed to make emptying as quick and easy as possible. The solids bin is simple to remove and empty, and liquids from composting toilets can be poured down a regular toilet or onto the nearest thirsty looking mature tree.
Can I empty my portable composting toilet into a larger stationary composting toilet?
Technically, emptying your composting toilet into a bigger composting toilet—at a national park, say—will not do harm to the receiving toilet since there are no chemicals used in the Cuddy. However, if everyone were to do this, the park’s composting toilets could quickly pass anticipated usage capacity so it’s not the first place we’d suggest.
If you have your own permanent stationary composting toilet like the Casa de Caca, it’s perfectly fine to dump into it.
If anyone from a national park or forest is interested—we’d love to set up a ‘pay-per-dump’ honesty app to avoid ‘stealth dumping’ and let you keep track of unanticipated usage!
Can I put food scraps in my composting toilet?
We don’t recommend this because food scraps will attract flies and other insects.
Can I put the compost in my garden?
Not until it has fully finished composting which will take several months. While composting toilets begin the composting process and reduce the volume of waste, the material needs additional time to kill off bacteria and parasites. Joseph Jenkins wrote the ‘humanure handbook’ and we would encourage any readers to refer to this as a reference.
How do I remove scale buildup in the liquids bin?
There are a few things that will work to remove and help prevent scaling. Many people use white vinegar. You can both clean the container and spray it as you use it to help keep it clean. We recommend around a 5 to 1 ratio, water to vinegar. Pouring some of the vinegar mixture into the urine bin after you empty it and swirling it around and then emptying that will help, too.
There are enzymatic products specifically designed to prevent scaling and odors. Like vinegar, each has a water-to-product ratio, can be used in the container for cleaning and odor control, and as a spray after going each time.
Emptying and rinsing the container regularly helps to keep the scaling down, also.
Can I use bleach to sanitize my composting toilet?
No! There is no need to use bleach in a composting toilet. In fact, it’s significantly better not to. Bleach will kill the bacteria necessary for the solids to compost. If you feel the need to deep-clean your containers, we suggest using a 5-1 solution of water to vinegar.
You’ll want to clean the rest of your Cuddy following the directions in the manual—basically with a sponge or soft cloth and soapy water.
There's mold in my solids bin. What do I do?
In general, there is no need to worry about mold in your solids bin–it’s part of the natural composting process. Make sure to regularly turn the agitator to mix everything up, including the mold, in the solids bin.
There are bugs in my toilet! What do I do?
If you have bugs in a composting toilet, they are likely what are commonly known as fruit flies. Try sprinkling a half a cup of diatomaceous earth on top of your composting agent to kill the flies. Let it sit for awhile to kill the bugs, Then agitate the diatomaceous earth with your composting agent to help kill eggs and larvae.
We’ve found that coconut coir is a lot less likely to be attractive to bugs than peat moss, so a change in composting agent may help.
How can Cuddy be considered a composting toilet if the end result isn't compost?
The entire composting process generally doesn’t finish inside the toilet itself since the material in a portable composting solids bin usually has to be emptied prior to the months needed to complete the process. Cuddy and other portable composting toilets on the market start the aerobic decomposition composting process that classify them as composting toilets.