What is a Cassette Toilet?

You might hesitate to ask your friends about a convenient toilet system, but finding a practical and suitable one can make your camper van life more enjoyable. As an RVer, you might be used to the typical grey and black tanks for wastewater.

But here’s good news for you! A popular toilet system has been pretty available and widely used in European RVs for decades- cassette toilet.

If you are wondering what is a cassette toilet or how to use it, then keep reading to find answers along with detailed information.

What Is a Cassette Toilet Or Cartridge Toilet

The word ‘Cassette’ means a container that holds content (such as audiotape, videotape, films, etc.), and the content can be easily transferred somewhere else (camera, a new cassette, etc.).

Similar to the meaning, a cassette toilet is a permanent toilet with a portable black tank that contains the waste, and the waste can be dumped whenever you want. A toilet bowl is installed over the waste tank.

The tank is pretty compact (about the size of a suitcase), removable, and often comes with rollers. You can empty it anywhere- be it public washrooms, dump stations, or any place that allows it. Therefore, you can easily transport and unload it without any hassle.

How Does a Cassette Toilet Work

This lavatory system consists of a toilet, a black removable waste tank, and a water source. The toilet bowl turns on its base (180 degrees) to maximize the limited space inside the RV.

Usually, there is a handle along the outside of the toilet bowl that opens and closes the valve with a waste holding tank below.

There will be a flush button that you must get installed on the wall above the toilet bowl. You are also required to connect the water to RV’s central water tank. You can get a model that has its own water tank as well.

Once the valve is open, you need to push the flush button and close the valve after the water has drained.

How to Dump Or Empty a Cassette Toilet

A cassette toilet is better than other available toilet systems because it offers you a few options for disposing of the waste. You are required to dump the cassette toilet once it reaches its limit.

How would you know? Next to the flush button, there is a red light which is the waste tank level indicator. It indicates when the waste tank is full. Now, follow these simple steps to empty your cassette toilet most conveniently:

Step 1

First, make sure you have closed the valve, and the toilet bowl is fully empty before removing the waste tank.

Step 2

Open the door on the side of the RV and pull the cassette out. Use the extendable handle and rollers to drag the tank to the dumping spot.

Step 3

Remove the nozzle from the waste tank, lift it over the dumping spot. Keeping the nozzle on the downward side, now press the vent button.

Step 4

Hold the tank in that position until all the waste has drained. Then, pour water into the waste tank, swirl the water, and empty the tank. Keep repeating it until the tank is thoroughly cleaned.

Here’s a tip for you!

Never wait to empty the waste tank until it’s full.

In that case, it would be a little heavier for you to pull it out. So, empty it before it reaches its limit.

Benefits of Cassette Toilet

Let’s get to know the benefits here.

  • Portable Holding Tank

The portable waste holding tank is the prime advantage of using the cassette toilet facility. Instead of the traditional holding tank, you can easily remove it and dump it into a dumping spot.

  • Easy to Clean and Maintain

A cassette toilet is pretty easy to clean. You can pour water into it, give it a good shake and empty it after dumping the cassette each time. You can clean it occasionally using hot soapy water, bicarb soda, and a silicon brush to make it last longer.

  • Sufficient Service

A 5-gallon cassette toilet will last about 50 flushes. If you can find a dumping station frequently, you can go for smaller models and save space in your RV.

  • Space-Saving

A cassette toilet takes up limited space, and you can easily place it inside your RV. There are a variety of models available in the market. Therefore, it gives you more options considering your space.

  • Affordable

A cassette toilet is budget-friendly and durable. The price ranges from $100- $150. There are expensive models too which will cost you around $300- $350. However, you can buy it according to your budget and use it for an extended period.

Apart from cassette toilet, if you are interested in regular toilet types, please read these article.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q1. Can You Poop in a Cassette Toilet?

Yes, you can. But it is recommended not to unless it’s an emergency. As you have already known, these are like small self-contained plastic toilets with no automated sewage system.

If you use it to both pee and poop, it might get a lot smelly, and it would be difficult for you to empty and clean it afterward.

Q2. Do Cassette Toilets Smell?

A cassette toilet usually doesn’t smell if you know the right way of using it. However, the odor of the cassette toilet tends to get intense when you choose to use it both for solid and liquid dumps.

You can definitely use your cassette toilet for emergencies but make sure to clean it properly after use.

Q3. How Do I Stop My Cassette Toilet from Smelling?

If you do not want your RV van to smell like a portable bathroom, we recommend not using any chemicals while cleaning the cassette.

You can add half a cup of distilled white vinegar to the cassette after every dump. In this way, you can stop your cassette toilet from smelling and keep it odor-free easily.

You may also read our article on smelling reason of a regular toilets.

Q4. How Often Do You Need to Empty a Cassette Toilet?

The capacity of a cassette toilet varies from model to model as it depends on the waste tank size. However, the capacity is usually around five gallons or 19 liters. The popular cassette toilet model- Thetford Cassette C402 has a 19.3-liter waste tank and 15-liter flush water tank capacity.


If you have come this far, you have gathered everything you need to know about a cassette toilet. We hope you have found all the answers you were looking for such as, what is a cassette toilet, how does it work, how to dump a cassette, etc.

Hello, I'm Jon C. Brown, an expert in the field of toilets. With over 15 years of experience in this industry, a significant portion of my life has been devoted to crafting high-quality toilets and bathrooms. Consequently, I've received countless inquiries about the toilet and bathroom industries. That's why, I've launched this website to provide top-notch solutions for all your toilet and bathroom related needs.

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