What is a cassette toilet? How does a cassette toilet work? How do you dump a cassette toilet? These are questions we get asked all the time about our cassette toilet system in our class B camper van. We’ve been using the Thetford cassette toilet system for over a year and in this video we’re gonna answer all of those questions and share our experiences with the cassette toilet.
Let’s tackle the first question what is a cassette toilet essentially it is a permanent toilet with a portable black tank our toilet is installed in our camper van and this is the portable holding tank this one is made by suffered and it is four point six gallons they do have other models but this is the one that we have in our van cassette toilets have been used in Europe for a very long time and they’re quite popular there they are becoming more widely used in North America you might be wondering why use a cassette toilet system over a traditional black tank that’s popular in RVs in North America well for us it’s because it’s simple and easy to use but more importantly we have more options in terms of dumping this cassette over a traditional black tank in the RV when we took delivery of our van over a year ago we weren’t so confident the idea of using a cassette toilet was a big unknown the big question mark for me once we get moved into our camper van is the cassette toilet situation how easy is it for them to dispose of their cassette toilet and does it really give them the freedom of it they think it’s going to I’m curious to see how long because that toilet is gonna last us and how we’re gonna go about dumping I think that’s going to be interesting it’s time to dump the cassette Kate was hesitant for her first dump but quickly learned that it was nothing to be afraid of so how does a cassette toilet work well the system is actually fairly simple and we’re gonna focus on the FETfir’d system that we have installed in our Class B camper van there are three main components the toilet the black water tank and a water source let’s go inside take a look at the toilet the toilet bowl turns on its base to maximize the small space there is a handle along the outside of the toilet bowl that will open and close the valve with a waist holding tank below once the valve is open push the flush button and close the valve after the water has drained the water is connected to our freshwater tank next to the flush button a red light will indicate when the waste tank is full to access the cassette there is a door on the side of the van that you open up pull the cassette out now the door does have a lock on it but we’ve never used a lock we’re really not worried about someone stealing our used to cassette it would be kind of gross it’s really easy to pull open two tabs open the door drop it down lift up the handle and then pull the cassette straight out the cassette holds 4. 6 gallons we never let the cassette get completely full one of the reasons is because water is over 8 pounds per gallon and if this were full it would be close to 40 pounds for this little guy the nice thing is they do provide wheels and an extendable handle so you can put it along the ground and drag it like a suitcase that’s why a lot of people nickname these suitcases for the past year kate has been the person dumping the cassette yes for the second year I’ve taken over but I’m gonna let the expert explain how to take care of everything that’s in this cassette all right here’s how you dump a cassette toilet to dump the waste tank make sure the valve blade handle is in the closed position open the cassette door outside and pull on the safety catch to pull out the tank carry a roll the cassette to a dump station or a bathroom once you’re there remove the spout on the tank and lift it over the dump hole once the spout is pointing downwards press the event button hold the tank over the dump hole until all the waste is emptied pour water into the waste tank gently swish it around and empty the tank again until the liquid is clear and that’s how you dump a cassette toilet now we are staying at a full hookup campsite at narrows to a campground in Maine we don’t always stay at campgrounds a lot of times we like to boondock so other options to dump this cassette is let’s say a public park I’d take the cassette walk into the restroom and dump the content directly into the toilet another option is porta-potties we preferred this over the traditional black holding tank that was in our class a RV because we were limited to going and finding specific RV dump stations to dump our black holding tank here are some tips that we’ve learned after using a cassette toilet for a year to save tank space and for easier rinse of the cassette only use it for number one which is how we’ve been using it for over a year now we have used it for number one and number two the cassette works fine for number two we just choose not to use it for that plus it also avoids the use of chemicals to keep any smell down now we’ve met fellow cassette toilet users and they tend to follow the same rule it just makes life easier another way to save tank space is we put the toilet paper in the trash can and we followed this rule when we had the class A as well and another perk of doing that you don’t have to worry about what kind of toilet paper to buy dump frequently we like to dump every few days regardless of whether we’re full or not the reason for this is it helps keep down odors and it gets us into a good habit of dumping so that we don’t get full in the middle of the night and have to run outside to take care of the toilet well you don’t want is for that red light indicator to come on in the middle of the night and you don’t have a place to dump your coz that keep the lid down at certain times pressure can build up inside of the cassette so by keeping the lid down you avoid any sort of splash when you go to flush the toilet and trust me you don’t want to be in the splash zone cleanliness really is next to godliness keep your cassette clean to avoid any bad odors which leads us into an ounce of prevention is definitely worth a pound of cure make sure to read all the directions on how to use the cassette properly with regards to cleaning and maintenance the valve blade in particular does require maintenance so that’s something you want to stay on top of one question we’ve been asked a lot as well is what are we doing we’re boondocking we’re out in the middle of nowhere and there isn’t a place to go dump the cassette well the answer for us is pretty simple we go outside so we make sure to follow any rules about wastes outside by either digging a hole or picking up after ourselves but we find that to be a really good solution and we don’t have to worry about filling up the cassette a lot of times what we’ll do especially if it’s really cold outside is we’ll save the cassette for those moments during the middle of the night or early in the morning when you don’t want to go run outside and then the rest of the day we’ll spend going outside whenever we make that trip into town then we’ll take the time to go dump the cassette clean it out and it will go right back out boondocking so we haven’t had any problems in that regard what do you think about the cassette toilet I like it and I think I’ve said in multiple q and A’s that I would never go back to a black tank because I find it so easy to use and so easy to dump yeah day to day life I find the cassette a lot easier there was a little bit of adjustment getting used to saying hey you know got to go in the morning let’s go find a place to go to the bathroom if we’re not at a campground but once I got into that routine I don’t miss having that old-school black tank I think as with anything van life RV cassette toilet black tank it’s not for everybody no and you sort of have to adapt to a new way of life just as we adapted to living in a tiny space from a 1200 square foot home to a class-a our being now down to a van and we adjust it to the cassette toilet it really works out well for us now and I don’t think we would give it up so that is everything we’ve learned over the past year about the cassette toilet how we use it how we dump it and it’s certainly not the end-all be-all it’s just how we do it and it’s not for everyone but we enjoyed the cassette toilet and you might find that a black tank is better suited for you whatever you end up choosing at the end of the day hopefully you are getting out on the road and exploring thanks for watching guys and we’ll see you on the road. In the meantime here is a link to cassette toilets – RV Cassette Toilets