Cassette Toilet – What Is it? Where Do You Dump It? How Do You Use it?


Looking for Cassette Toilet or camping toilet?

Camping is a wonderful, family-friendly holiday option. It gives you a chance to unplug from e-mails and work and re-connect with nature.

Fresh air, plants, and nature are nourishing for the mind and the body. Many people enjoy the idea of unplugging from the stresses of life, but they may be hesitant to put aside all of the luxuries of home.

So, what is a Cassette toilet or a camping toilet?  toilets are portable toilet options that can transform your camping experience. They are relatively easy to use, and they can make camping more safe, sanitary, and fun.

Here below are the best Cassette toilets you can find out there:

The Cassette Toilet System

Cassette toilets are also known as cartridge toilets. This name is because of their “cassette” or “cartridge-like” compartments for water. These compartments easily insert into the toilet and can be removed for cleaning or other necessary actions.

Cassette toilets are different from portable toilets. The toilet itself is connected to an RV. The clean water system is usually also connected to the RV.

The wastewater system, though, is a separate cartridge. This cartridge is portable so you can easily remove the wastewater without needing to drain a tank connected to your RV.

What is a Cassette Toilet or Cartridge Toilet?

What is a Cassette Toilet or Cartridge Toilet? A cassette toilet is a hybrid between a portable toilet and a permanently installed toilet. These toilets are permanent, but the black water tank is not. The toilet is installed into a camper.

The flush system works through the camper, often the button for flushing is located on the wall of the bathroom. The black water tank, though, is removable.

These are particularly common in class B motorhomes. Class B motorhomes are the smallest size of motorhomes you can buy. They are shaped like panel vans, but they have the amenities of many RVs. Because they are smaller, camping toilets have become an easy option for class B motorhome owners.

The portable black water tank can be emptied in a variety of locations, rather than just at a designated dump space. The portable black water tank is also smaller than the black water tank built into other RVs.

Best Overall

Bellows flush pump. Rotating waste water pour spout. Sealed drain valve.

2. 6-gallon Waste Water Holding Tank and 2. 6-gallon fresh water holding tank

+ This portable toilet kit by Serene Life lets you go wherever and whenever nature calls!

+ It can tag along without taking up too much room or weighing your down.

Large reservoir – approximately 50 flushes. Bellow flush pump. Waste reservoir carry handle.

  • Sealing slide valve locks in odors and protects against leakage

Bellows flush pump. Rotating waste water pour spout. Sealed drain valve.

2. 6-gallon Waste Water Holding Tank and 2. 6-gallon fresh water holding tank

Best Overall

+ This portable toilet kit by Serene Life lets you go wherever and whenever nature calls!

+ It can tag along without taking up too much room or weighing your down.

Large reservoir – approximately 50 flushes. Bellow flush pump. Waste reservoir carry handle.

  • Sealing slide valve locks in odors and protects against leakage

Why Use a Cassette Toilet Instead of a Traditional RV Toilet?

👉The main reason cartridge toilets are popular is because they are easier to empty than traditional RV toilets. With a traditional RV toilet, you have to take the RV to a designated dumping space and use a sewage hose to empty the black water tank. This is a stressful process for many.

👉Plus, finding a convenient dump site is not always easy. With a camping toilet, you do not need to go to an RV waste dump site. Because the waste tank is portable, you can dump it into a toilet at a campground if you want to. This extra flexibility can save you from hassle on the road.

👉Cassette toilets are great if you do not plan on using the toilet in your camper very often. The waste tank is going to be smaller than the waste tank with a traditional RV’s toilet.

👉This means if you only plan to use the toilet in case of emergencies, you will not have to go through the hassle of dumping the large tank. Similarly, if you drive a small RV or camper, a cassette toilet will require less space for the black water tank.

Read also: Best Portable Camping Toilets for Vans, Cars, and RVs (11 Facts)

Best Cassette Toilet Manufacturers

Thetford Cassette Toilet

✔️ Thetford is one of the most popular brands of cassette toilets available. Thetford is well-known for its compact designs and clean lines. These toilets can cost about 1400 dollars, but they are renowned for designing high-quality products.

✔️ Many Thetford toilets have an electric flush, so they are easy to use and up-to-date with new technology.

✔️ Another benefit of the Thetford cassette toilets is their no-splash pour design. This is a major pro if you want to use a camping toilet, but you are nervous about the process of dumping the wastewater storage.

✔️ Thetford toilets usually have an LED light indicator to let you know when you need to empty the wastewater storage unit.

The waste holding tank also includes wheels, so you can easily slide the cassette out when it is time to empty and clean it.

✔️ Reviewers like that Thetford toilets are high-quality and that the design is thoughtful. There are options for it to be left or right-handed, depending on what will work best for you and your RV.

Dometic Cassette Toilet

✔️ Dometic is another fantastic option for anyone looking to use cassette toilets. Dometic prides its company on creating comfortable cassette toilets.

✔️ Their cassette toilets are also incredibly functional because they are designed with RV campers in mind.

✔️ Many Dometic toilets include ceramic inlay. It is easier to clean. The ceramic inlay is also more durable. It also just gives your RV a higher sense of quality.

Dometic toilets have a powerful flush. This will make your job easier because it will help keep things cleaner.

✔️ Dometic cassette toilets are lightweight. This will help if you are using a camper trailer and you are concerned about adding too much weight to your towing vehicle. The lightweight designs can also help save you gas money.

Reviewers love the high-quality, easy-to-use designs. They also love the comfortable seat designs that are available on Dometic’s toilets.

How Does a Cassette Toilet Work?

How Does a Cassette Toilet Work? Cassette toilets separate the main parts of a toilet. They have the bowl/toilet itself, the wastewater tank, and the clean water source. The wastewater tank is removable. Some models have wheels to help with the removal of the wastewater. Others simply slide out.

The toilet and bowl of the cassette toilet are attached to the recreational vehicle. In this way, they differ from portable toilets. Portable toilets can be easily removed from the RV and moved around.

Cassette toilets are attached and the freshwater source is usually just connected to the freshwater tank on your RV. The only removable portion is the wastewater tank.

There is an indicator light or marker to let you know when the wastewater tank needs to be emptied.

On the side of the RV, there is a small door that can give you access to the portable wastewater tank. When your indicator tells you that you need to empty, you can simply remove the wastewater tank. It pulls out like the cartridge in a phone or portable video game.

Then you can simply dump the wastewater in a toilet or sewage dump. Put the portable wastewater tank back in, lock it in place, and get back on the road.

How Does a Cassette Toilet Work? >> Check out the video below:

How to Dump a Cassette Toilet

How to Dump a Cassette Toilet? Cassette toilets are popular because they are easier to empty than a regular RV toilet. Regular RV toilets need to be emptied in a proper sewage waste area. Camping toilets can be emptied into those sewage areas. They also can be emptied into toilets or other easy waste areas.

Cassette toilets are fairly easy to empty. You need to go to the side of the RV where the access door to the wastewater tank is located. This door is usually locked so no one can steal or sabotage your wastewater tank.

Then slide out the wastewater tank. It should easily detach. There may be a latch holding it in place. The wastewater tank should then simply slide out of place. Once you have slid it out, take it to where you want to dump the waste.

Most cassette toilet waste tanks have a nozzle that can fold out to help you pour the waste. If it does not, there may just be a lid that needs to be removed before pouring. Empty the contents into a toilet, flush, and replace the cassette toilet in the camper. Make sure any latches have been re-latched, and you are done.

Van Life Cassette Toilet – Dumping, Cleaning, Maintaining! >> Check out the video below:

Cassette Toilet Prices

How much does cassette toilet cost? On average, cassette toilets cost around 600 dollars. More luxurious options can cost up to 1400 dollars. Do not forget that the cost of the cassette toilet does not include the cost to have it added to your RV.

That installation could cost up to a couple of hundred extra dollars.

If your RV does not include a toilet and you are looking to use one there are several options. Cassette toilets are not the only options available. You may also enjoy using a more portable toilet.

If you do not use your toilet often, a portable toilet can save you money and space.

Best Tips for Using the Cassette Toilet

👉 One thing that can make your cassette toilet experience better is helping treat any scents that might come. While cassette toilets do not have as strong of scents as some portable toilets, sometimes the wastewater tank can still develop a smell.

👉 There are treatments available that you can sprinkle with the waste to help manage the smell.

👉 Some people recommend that you do not use the cassette toilet for any solid waste. Use a garbage can and bags to collect toilet paper.

👉 Try to only use public toilets when you need to create solid waste. This will make cleaning your cassette toilet exceptionally easier. It will also help save space in your wastewater tank.

👉 Regularly empty your wastewater tank. If you empty every few days, even when it is not full, you will have more control over the smell that develops in your toilet.

Cassette Toilet Chemicals: What You Need to Know

Chemicals can help keep your cassette toilet clean and free from offensive odors. The three main types of chemicals commonly used with cassette toilets are holding tank chemicals, flush chemicals, and toilet bowl chemicals.

Holding tank chemicals are liquids that you can add to the cassette of your toilet. They will help break down the solid waste, manage smells, and help prevent gas buildup. Be careful when using these for extended periods, because they may damage the seal on your cassette toilet.

Of all of the options of chemicals available for cassette toilets, these are some of the most important that you can use.

Flush chemicals are gaining popularity. They can help keep the bowl clean and they add a nice, refreshing scent. While you probably will need holding tank chemicals, flush chemicals are more for comfort and added scent benefits.

Toilet bowl chemicals can be used to keep the toilet bowl clean. Some of these chemicals can be quite harsh, so make sure that the chemicals you are using are safe to use with plastic. Otherwise, you run the risk of damaging your toilet bowl.

Cassette Toilet for Pop-up Camper: What You Need to Know

Cassette toilets are perfect for pop-up campers. Many pop-up campers do not come with toilets, and the addition of a cassette toilet can take your pop-up camper to the next level.

If you have a Thetford toilet, Thetford makes plenty of easy-to-use chemicals for cassette toilets. Because your pop-up camper may not be used as frequently or for as long as other RVs, making sure your toilet is cleaned is even more essential to prevent bacteria and smells.

Some of these chemicals come in liquid battles that need to be added directly to your wastewater tank. Measure carefully before inserting your chemicals, and be careful to not spill. If you do spill, clean the area fully.

If you do not want to deal with the hassle of measuring chemicals, Thetford also has small packets available. You just toss in a pod and it will last for a while before needing to replace it. No measuring tools are necessary!

Pop Up Camper Cassette Toilet Basics >> Check out the video below:

Cassette Toilet vs Composting Toilet: What You Need to Know

Cassette toilets and camping toilets both have separate containers for waste. These containers are removable so you can dump the waste without needing to drain the large black water tank in a camper.

What is the difference between a cassette toilet and a composting toilet? Composting toilets are different in design than cassette toilets. Composting toilets do not have freshwater sources like cassette toilets do. Composting toilets mix the waste with a peat mixture that helps to control scents and break down the waste.

Composting toilets are much easier for scent management than cassette toilets. The breakdown process in the toilet stops many of the smells that you have to deal with when using a cassette toilet.

It is also easier to dump a composting toilet than a cassette toilet. When dumping a cassette toilet, you have to be careful not to let the waste spill.

You also need to dump into a toilet or other special dump location. When emptying a composting toilet, because the waste will break down more easily, it can be dumped in more locations.

Cassette Toilet vs Black Tank: What You Need to Know

What is the difference between a cassette toilet and a black tank? Cassette toilets do not use the black tank that is built into your RV. Many RVs that come with toilets include black tanks. Blackwater tanks are waste tanks designed for collecting water that has human waste. RVs often also have gray water tanks.

Gray water tanks collect used water that is not contaminated with human waste. This would be the waste from showers or sinks.

The black water tank in an RV cannot be emptied into just any site. Blackwater is dangerous because it can spread disease. For this reason, you have to dump black water in designated dumpsites. This process is one of the least glamorous parts of camping with an RV.

Cassette toilets are much easier to dump. They can be dumped into a toilet. The wastewater tanks are portable, so you do not need to drive your RV to a special dumpsite.

The wastewater tanks do not hold as much as a black tank in an RV, so they will need to be emptied more frequently.

Compost Toilet vs Regular Toilet

Compost toilets are more eco-friendly than regular toilets like those you would find in your house. Composting toilets do not use water. This means using a composting toilet can save hundreds of gallons of clean water per year.

Composting toilets may need to be cleaned more regularly than a regular toilet. The waste is easily dealt with in a composting toilet.

You cannot simply flush it away like with a regular toilet. However, the waste will easily break down and can be added to a composting dump.

Composting toilets also come in portable options, whereas regular toilets do not. This makes composting toilets popular for people who enjoy camping.

Pop-Up Truck Camper with Cassette Toilet

Truck campers are campers that rest above the bed of a truck. They are small and portable. They also do not require you to tow a trailer, so in many ways, they are easier to use than other campers.

Because pop-up truck campers are so compact, fitting into the bed of a truck and collapsing down, they do not often have water systems with large tanks like other campers have. For this reason, cassette toilets are often the toilet of choice for truck campers.

The removable black water tank gives you more flexibility with your pop-up camper travels. The black water tank is accessible through a hatch on the outside of the camper.

Camping with a truck camper and a cassette toilet also means you can camp in campgrounds that have bathrooms but no dumpsites.

How to Add a Cassette Toilet to a Pop-Up Camper

Adding a cassette toilet to a pop-up camper can give you added luxury and comfort while you are traveling. Pop-up campers are inexpensive, flexible options.

They are less expensive, often, because they do not have the amenities of other campers. However, you may want more comfort than that offered by public toilets or the woods.

How to Add a Cassette Toilet to a Pop-Up Camper? Make sure that you have enough floor space in your pop-up camper for the cassette toilet you want. You will need to make sure there is still enough room for everything to be folded out with the toilet.

Remember that it will likely take several hundred dollars to assemble a cassette toilet in a pop-up camper. You will need to have an access panel to remove the cassette, and that installation is not easy nor cheap.

Updating a Sunlite Pop-up Camper: Cassette Toilet Install >> Check out the video below:

Cassette Toilet FAQs

Let’s close out this page about cassette toilets with answers to some of your most frequently-asked questions about them!

What is a Cassette Toilet Shower?

A cassette toilet shower is a toilet/shower combination. The shower and toilet both share a portable waste tank.

Do Cassette Toilets Stink?

Do Cassette Toilets Stink? No, cassette toilets will not stink if you only use them for liquid waste. Using the proper chemicals will also easily help manage any stink that may appear.

How Often Should You Empty a Cassette Toilet?

You should empty a cassette toilet every couple of days. This will stop you from needing to stop for an emergency need to empty. This will also help prevent a smell from developing.

How Often Should You Empty a Cassette Toilet? Watch the indicator on your toilet. Your cassette toilet may have a meter or a light that indicates when the toilet needs replaced. It does not do you any harm to empty the cassette before it is full.

If your toilet only has a light that indicates when it is full, you will also save yourself the trouble of suddenly discovering that your toilet is full when the light goes on.

Where Can I Empty My Portable Toilet?

Where Can I Empty My Portable Toilet? Portable toilets are easy to empty. You can empty them at dump stations or in any public toilet. To empty in a public toilet, simply pour the waste from the holding tank, flush, and get back on the road.

Read also: Where to Properly Dump Portable Toilet Waste?

How Long Does a Cassette Toilet Last?

How Long Does a Cassette Toilet Last? Cassette toilets can generally hold about 5 gallons of waste. That should mean you can use it about 50 times before you need to empty it. With several adults, that will likely last for about 4-5 days.

Can You Empty a Chemical Toilet into a Septic Tank?

Can You Empty a Chemical Toilet into a Septic Tank? Yes, you can empty a chemical toilet into a septic tank provided all of the chemicals used are eco-friendly and will not disturb the proper bacteria balance of the septic tank.

Do You Rinse the Cassette Toilet After Dumping It?

Do You Rinse the Cassette Toilet After Dumping It? Yes, rinsing the cassette toilet after dumping it will keep everything cleaner and fresher as you go. It is not necessary to maintain the function of the cassette toilet, but it will help with ease.

Do You Add Any Chemicals or Deodorizers to a Cassette Toilet?

Do You Add Any Chemicals or Deodorizers to a Cassette Toilet? Yes, chemicals will help protect your cassette toilet and prevent odor. Do be sure to use chemicals that are safe for plastic.

Is it Possible to Have 2 or 3 Cassettes?

Is it Possible to Have 2 or 3 Cassettes? Yes, you can have multiple cassettes, provided they all fit the same toilet. This may be unnecessary, though, considering how easy it is to empty the cassettes.

Extra cassettes will cost more and take up more storage speed.


Cassette toilets are great for anyone looking for an easy-to-use toilet in their RV. They have a portable waste tank that can easily be dumped into a toilet.

They are easier to clean and keep clean than many other toilets.


Mike Gilmour

Hi, I'm Mike, co-founder, and editor of RV and Playa. My passion is traveling (with my RV) and enjoying the day at the beach (Playa)! Well, I originally created this blog as a way to share what I've learned by experimenting with the RV lifestyle, and I want to help others develop in life through new skills and opportunities.

Recent Posts

error: Content is protected !!