Everything You Need To Know About RV Toilet Cassettes

Author: Your RV Good Guide   Date Posted: 22 May 2023


Taking a road trip in a self-contained campervan means you can enjoy the comforts of home as you travel. One of those comforts is having your own toilet onboard. In this handy guide, we take a look at cassette toilets. This type of toilet is a popular option with many campervanners. If you’ve been considering buying a motorhome with a cassette toilet or having one installed, we’ll talk through some of the key considerations including:



What is a cassette toilet?

Motorhome and campervan toilets work in a similar fashion to your home toilet. The main difference is that the waste is contained in either a blackwater tank or a toilet cassette. A blackwater tank is emptied using a waste hose that connects from the tank to the connecting point at the dump station. A toilet cassette, however, is smaller and portable. You remove the entire cassette, transport it (on wheels) to the dump site, and tip out the contents into the dump station.


Difference Between a Cassette Toilet and Portable Camping Toilets 

The main difference between a portable camping toilet and a cassette toilet is that the cassette toilet itself is fixed to your motorhome. A portable toilet can be carried from one place to another, but a cassette toilet isn’t moveable. However, it has a portable waste tank – known as a cassette.


Benefits of a cassette toilet

The biggest advantage of a cassette toilet is its compact size. They’re also easier to clean and tend to have less odours because they must be emptied more often. Because your cassette is portable, you can take the tank over to the dump station to empty it, rather than drive the entire motorhome over. That’s a big benefit if you want to set up camp for an extended stay.

It's also worth noting that under new rules outlined in the Self-Contained Vehicles Bill (expected to be passed in mid-2023), vehicles must have a fixed toilet to be certified self-contained. Campers with portable toilets will only be allowed to freedom camp at sites designated by the local council or on conservation land open to vehicles with portable toilets.


Benefits of a portable camping toilet

A portable camping toilet is also a fantastic option, especially if you prefer to stay at campgrounds rather than freedom camping (see note above about changes to the Self-Contained Vehicles Bill).

A portable campervan toilet usually has an attached waste tank and freshwater tank, with a toilet seat and bowl. Because they’re nice and compact, portable toilets can easily be stored within your motorhome or vehicle. They can also be transported easily from one place to another. If you are camping in remote locations without access to a toilet, a portable camping toilet might be a good choice for you.


Considerations when choosing an RV cassette toilet 

When deciding on which is the best cassette toilet for your campervan, you’ll need to take a few factors into consideration:


Self-containment regulations 

To meet New Zealands self-containment regulations, your toilet needs to have a tank holding capacity of 3L per person. The wastewater tank needs a minimum capacity of 12L per person and it must be monitored if the capacity is less than the freshwater tank.


The size of your RV 

Cassette toilets come in different shapes and sizes – as do campervan bathrooms! It’s important to measure the space you’re planning to install your new loo to ensure it will fit. Be sure to also measure up the service door area if you have one already.


Whether you need a multi-purpose toilet 

If you want to use your toilet for general camping as well, you may be better off with a portable toilet. However, if you’re driving to a campsite and have tents set up as well, there's no harm in hopping on board to use the cassette toilet in privacy.


How able-bodied travellers are 

Portable toilets are generally a bit smaller and more awkward to use than cassette toilets. If the toilet will often be used by the elderly, children, or people that aren’t able-bodied, a cassette toilet will be the way to go. If possible, consider one that is larger-sized. This will make it easier to use for those who are less able.


Where you plan to travel 

Cassette toilets come with tanks in a range of sizes (litres). If you’re planning to get off the beaten track often, or you plan to travel for long periods of time, a larger cassette toilet is going to be a better option. You have a legal obligation to dispose of your waste at a designated dump station. You don’t want to be caught out somewhere remote and not able to use your loo because it’s too full.

Note, to help you locate dump stations nearby, download the thl Roadtrip app for Android or iPhone. This handy, easy-to-use app is the perfect travel companion for motorhome and campervan travellers. It’s packed full of great information for your New Zealand road trip.


Types of RV toilet cassettes

At RV Super Centre, we stock a wide range of toilet cassettes. Let’s take a look at a few of our popular models:


Dometic toilet cassettes 

The Dometic CTS4110 Toilet Cassette 19L partners with the Dometic CTS4110 swivel cassette toilet. It is very convenient and easy to use thanks to its sturdy telescopic handle and large wheels to conveniently transport waste for disposal.


The Dometic Saneo Toilet Cassette 16L is designed as a replacement or spare cassette for the Dometic Saneo cassette toilet. This cassette is compact in size and easy to store until it is needed.


Thetford toilet cassettes

The range of Thetford toilet cassettes available at RV Super Centre varies in sizes from 17 litres to 20 litres. Each includes a practical pull-out handle and wheels for easy moving and emptying. Choose from a left-hand or right-hand access door.

If you’re looking for an entire toilet rather than a replacement cassette, check out RV Super Centre’s range of Thetford toilets and toilets from other trusted brands such as Challenger and Camec.


Tips for using a cassette toilet

Walex Bio Pak

Because a campervan toilet works a bit differently from your home toilet, you’ll need to treat it a bit differently too. Here are a few tips to help flush out any issues before they arise:

  • Toilet paper can quickly fill up your cassette. Having a blocked toilet on your holiday is the last thing you want. It’s worth using RV toilet paper specially designed for use in a camper toilet. This tissue breaks down faster and makes it easy to empty your cassette. Alternatively, you may like to have a separate bin for disposing of toilet paper.
  • Use a toilet treatment such as Walex Bio-Paks. These soluble packages can be simply dropped into your cassette tank where they start working immediately to control odours and break down solids. They’re also completely safe for the environment.
  • Keep some deodorising spray near the loo. As with any toilet, it can smell bad sometimes, especially when full.
  • Be sure to keep an eye on your cassette tank levels. Always empty it before it becomes full to prevent any leaks.


Tips for emptying an RV toilet cassette 

If it’s your first time emptying an RV toilet cassette, you may be feeling a little anxious! But don’t worry, it will soon become second nature. It’s also much simpler than you may realise. Here are a few tips to help make it as easy as possible:

  • Most cassette toilets have a red indicator light that will tell you when the tank is full.
  • Because you’ll be getting up close to the waste in your toilet cassette, it’s important to put safety first. Always wear gloves and a face mask. Thoroughly wash your hands after handling the cassette and before touching anything else.
  • Rinse out the cassette with clean water after emptying.
  • To keep your cassette hygienically clean and fresh, read our helpful guide to cleaning your cassette toilet.


How to install a new RV cassette toilet

Need a new loo? If you’re replacing an existing cassette toilet, this should be relatively easy to do, as the servicing needs for the cassette should be set up already. However, if you plan to install a cassette toilet in your motorhome for the first time, or are replacing a different type of toilet, it’s best to leave it to the professionals.

The friendly experts at your local RV Super Centre are happy to talk you through the best options, and then get your installation done quickly and professionally.


Travel comfortably with RV Super Centre 

We hope this guide has helped answer your questions about cassette toilets. You’ll find a great range of quality, trusted brands at your local RV Super Centre. We also have a wide selection of toilet and cassette parts, hygiene products, and other RV supplies and motorhome accessories.

Still not sure which is the best cassette toilet for your campervan? Our friendly, experienced staff are always on hand to help. Check out our great range online or at your nearest RV Super Centre one-stop-shop.

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