Many Sun-Mar users have cabins without built-in bathrooms, and so these owners have chosen to retrofit an old outhouse or build a special outbuilding to house their Sun-Mar units, rather than building an addition to their main cabin or cottage. We thought you might like to read about their experiences and see some of the photos of their installations.
|Models: Excel NE Installed 1999|
Location: Installed at vacation property in WI
Reviewed By: Elizabeth Vis
We purchased the ExcelNE in March of 1999. We have installed it in an
outdoor style outhouse. We do a lot of camping at our property and got
sick of carrying a port-a-potty back with us to be disposed of, which
is a smelly chore. We could have put in a real outdoor style toilet but
did not want the constant smell that is associated with outdoor
toilets. With the SunMar we can enjoy a smell free process and the
compost is recycled to the surrounding woods without worry of smell or
contamination of the environment.
There is little maintenance involved. In the spring, we add moisture,
compost and microbe mix to begin the season. We have been very happy
with our composting toilet.
|Models: Excel NE Installed 2000
Location: Installed at cabin in Cecilville, CA
Reviewed By: Joe Dougherty
breeze to install/set-up. Absolutely odor free! Everyone loves it.
Occasional use, sometimes heavy (6+ people). Only had to empty it once
so far - second year of use.
|Models: Excel NE Installed 2000
Location: Installed at cottage in St. Louis County, MN
Reviewed By: Philip Rodberg
Very much appreciate unit after many years of the typical "Out House".
The unit is very simple to use and we have only unloaded the compost
one time in 3 summers of use.
|Model: WCM Installed 1994, Excel 2002
Location: Island Camp in ME
Reviewed By: Deborah Bigelow
In 1994 we purchased a Sun-Mar WCM for our island camp in eastern Maine
which has been happily established and composting since then. That
model we installed in a small outbuilding, and is pictured in the two
Since we were so pleased with that one, and feeling we needed to
provide additional toilet facilities for larger groups visiting, we
have installed this summer a new Sun-Mar Excel. This self-contained
unit has gone into another small cabin adjoining a kitchen and bedroom.
With your new advice and the new peat mix and "Compost Quick", we are
getting the unit going.
We have been glad for the new information on the mix, and are now
adding pine shavings (not cedar). We had tried buckwheat shells last
year also, which were quite expensive. We would be glad to be on your
"referral list" as we are definitely pleased with your products.
Previously we had a "two holer" of the old-fashioned variety. Our
friends and family are glad we've moved up.
|Models: Excel NE Installed 1995
Location: Installed in cabin in OR
Reviewed By: Norman Poole
I will share my experience with one of your composting toilets (Excel-NE).
We love it. I have a remote cabin on the Owyhee Lake in the Eastern Oregon desert country where there is no electricity or running water except what I pump out of the lake. My wife and I built it in 1972, and also built an outhouse. In 1995 I added a 8' by 8' bathroom on the back of the cabin and installed the composting toilet and a shower stall.
With the outhouse my two daughters-in-law and my wife seldom went to the cabin, as they didn't really like the toilet facility. Now they all love to go to the cabin, as the composting toilet is just as nice as their own home plumbing. The bathroom is odorless, clean, and shiny looking, and they actually enjoy the novelty of such a neat facility. When adding the new bathroom, I also installed a Solar collector, 12 volt lights, a water pressure demand pump, a hot water heater(propane), and the new shower. I have to say the new little room on the back of my cabin with the Sun-Mar composting toilet made a big hit and we can't believe we got by without it for so long. Pictures follow. That is me standing on the deck at the entrance to the bathroom.
|Models: Excel NE Installed 2000|
Location: Installed at cabin in ON
Reviewed By: Geoff Johnson
We would like you to consider the attached picture of what has been
dubbed the Superloo for use on your Web site. The compost toilet
replaced Ye Olde Outhouse at our weekend cottage at the beginning of
the summer, and has attracted so much interest we considered setting up
turnstiles and charging for a guided tour! Once we had learned how to
achieve the correct moisture level (a matter of trial and error) the
system has performed very well. For the most part there are only two or
three of us at the cottage but we have had groups of as many as eight
on long weekends. I was relieved (nice choice of word!) to find that
the system coped very well. In fact, we have been surprised at the bulk
-- or lack of it -- so far. Any one considering a composting toilet
needs to understand that that it requires a little nurturing. In
return, it pays great dividends. And it sure beats Ye Olde Outhouse. We
look forward to a place in the Toilet Hall of Fame...
(picture shows my wife Maureen showing off the
composting toilet in its palatial home at our cottage, located in
whitewater rafting country near Beachburg, Ontario, 100 miles west of
Ottawa. We live just outside Ottawa, in the village of Manotick.)
|Model: Compact, Installed 1998
Location: Installed in cottage in Minden, ON
Reviewed By: Jean Pinch
Letter from Jean Pinch, July 7 1999:
We purchased the Sun-Mar Compact composting toilet in July 1998.
Followed your instructions for leaving it for the winter, leaving here
in September, 1998. Upon our return to Little Hawk Lake, we followed
the instructions to re-activate the Compact.
I am the sole occupant of our cottage - with several guests during the summer - and it is doing a good job.
I am enclosing pictures of our "Sun-Mar Room", a separate room from our
cottage, that is used only in the summer season.
|Model: Compact, Installed 2000
Location: Installed in cabin in Blairmore, Alberta, Canada
Reviewed By: Marie & Bob Frantz
We bought a Sun-Mar Compact in May of 2000 when we began to build a new
home in a small town located over 100 miles away from where we are
currently living. This house is by and large a weekend project for us.
We quickly realized it would be a problem to have to use our limited
time at the building site driving to a public restroom or disturbing
the neighbors to use their bathrooms. So we built a very small camping
shed (8 ft. by 8 ft.) and installed the Sun-Mar in one corner of it.
bed in our camping shed is only 2 feet away from the Sun-Mar which is
situated behind a partial wooden partition. We were a bit concerned at
first that there might be an odor problem but there has never been so
much as a whiff out of our Sun-Mar. Also it operates so quietly that we
are barely aware of it -- very much appreciated after a hard day of
sawing and nailing. We can honestly say that the only time we were
disturbed by an odor was the night a skunk decided to rummage around
underneath the camping shed. Ugh!
Sorry we can't send you a photo
of our Sun-Mar but as you can see from the photo taken outside our
camping shed, there just isn't enough room in there to get a good shot
You'll have to take our word for it that it's sitting there quiet and odor-free, just inside the door to the left.
We're still trying to decide whether to move the Sun-Mar into the house
when it's completed or leave it where it is so we can offer overnight
guests a rather unique accommodation. (The camping shed is warm and
cozy and will look pretty good when we finally put the siding on it.)
Marie and Bob Frantz
|Models: Excel NE Installed 1999|
Location: Installed on Orchard Island, near Pointe at Baril, ON
Reviewed By: Ken Kennedy
As we are on a rocky island, 7 miles from the marina, we were
looking at about a $20,000 bill to install an approved septic system. I
met Sun-Mar at the Cottage Life show and signed up for the Show
Special. As hydro has not invaded our island yet, we chose the NE
model. We installed it in a purpose-built building.
That year, the cottage was very well used and we
found that Sun-Mar's recommended capacity was accurate. So, the next
year we bought a second NE and installed it in an edifice liberated
from the construction site of a cottage being converted to year round.
Our installations cost a fraction of a conventional system and produces
excellent compost for our small flower garden.
The Sun-Mar staff have always answered queries in a prompt and useful
|Models: Excel NE Installed 2000|
Location: Installed at cottage in Tobermory, ON
Reviewed By: Phil McNamee
Our Sun-Mar toilet works great. We have a log cabin that is the
woods with no water or hydro. Therefore with no power we needed the
Excel-NE and for 4 summers now it has worked great with no problems. We
have even had 16 people up on a weekend with no problems.
|Models: Excel, Installed 2003 - Centrex 2000, Installed 2000|
Location: Cottage, East of Parry Sound, Ontario
Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Morgan
Indeed, we do think of you as friends for your creative marketing
style, your superb product and personable sales staff.
cottage is water access only and we only obtained electricity during
the past decade. We had propane, an outhouse and water carried by
bucket or hand-pumped from the lake. With electrical power extended to
our remote location, we were above, in June 2000, to add an indoor
bathroom. We installed a Sun-Mar Centrex 2000, with which we are
delighted. (Caution - teach small children that this toilet is not like
the ones in the city ---- our grandson flooded the unit by keeping his
foot on the pedal waiting for it to fill up!)
Centrex is wonderful from Victoria Day weekend to perhaps Thanksgiving.
But, since we are northeast of Parry Sound, plumbing cannot be used
before ice-out or after freeze-up. So-o-o-o in May 2003, we built a
beautiful little building to house the Sun-Mar Excel, a waterfree
electric model, for use in April, May, October, and November.
When greeting cottage visitors, most owners say something like, "Come
see my new boat" or "Come see my new deck". We say, "Come see the new
outhouse!". And it is truly lovely, all insulated and paneled in pine.
It boasts a "Dutch" door to view the lake, a handy shelf for the coffee
mug and a magazine rack for "Cottage Life" and "Canadian Geographic".
It truly does not smell. It is easy to keep clean and fresh. In summer,
it is used daily to ease the pressure on the Centrex when there are
lots of folks about.
We are very concerned about the environment and endeavor to make
minimum impact on our pristine lake and forest. Our choice of Sun-Mar
installations is consistent with this goal.
We can hardly wait to be featured in the next Sun-Mar brochure! We are
enclosing photos of our toilet(s) complete with a "scratch 'n sniff"
option (to duplicate the effect of the scratch and sniff area of the
Morgan's photograph, smell your computer monitor screen - don't scratch
it though - that will be what a Sun-Mar smells like - Ed.).
You can be assured that we invite all visitors to view our toilets. If
they are interested, we eagerly give them the honest poop on Sun-Mar
Location: Installed at Cabin on Powell Lake, ON
Reviewed By: Colin & Jody Eldridge
Just thought I would like to show you what a great product you have.
Our cottage on Crowe Lake in Marmora Ontario sits on a rock cliff that
makes it impossible to have anything other than a holding tank.
We chose Sun-Mar because we loved the concept and it beats having an above ground tank by a mile.
We selected another Canadian product from Royal Outdoor Products (Hampton garden shed) as our outhouse.
We wanted to keep the cottage tradition of years ago by having an
outdoor toilet. This is our third year and I find it to be a fantastic
combination. The window and skylights also give it a bright and airy
|Model: Excel, Installed 1997|
Location: Installed in Cottage in Apsey Lake, Espanola, ON
Reviewed By: John Petko
People are always surprised when they enter what they expect to be an
ordinary outhouse and find a clean toilet with "no odor!". And also to
learn how easy it is to manage. We have found the new Compost Sure to
work much better.
(ed. - Compost Sure is Sun-Mar's special peat mix with Hemp!)