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5 Reasons to Avoid an RV Cassette Toilet

What do you know about a cassette toilet? Having the proper facilities when exploring is essential. You won’t always have the freedom of relieving yourself outdoors, and the body works on its own clock. 

Though there are about eight types of RV toilets, let’s look at what a cassette toilet entails. Start your travel potty knowledge now, and learn a few reasons why you might want to pass on the cassette toilet. 

What Is a Cassette Toilet? 

A cassette toilet is a built-in, permanent toilet in your RV. It is not removable. These toilets connect to the RVs water pipes, but they do not connect to a black water tank like a traditional toilet. 

When you flush this toilet, the waste transfers to a portable tank below the bowl. Using this toilet is almost the same as using a traditional bathroom. The changes come when it’s time to clear out the waste. 

There is a portable collection tank that you remove through an access panel on the side of your vehicle. The process of emptying the tank is a significant turn-off for most RVers. 

Woman emptying cassette toilet collection tank
A cassette toilet doesn’t connect to your black water tank, but instead goes into a removable portable collection tank.

How Long Can You Use a Cassette Toilet? 

How long a cassette toilet can go between cleanings depends on your tank size, how often you flush, and what you’re putting into the tank. On average, this toilet lasts about four to five days between cleanings. 

Pro Tip: Considering switching to a composting toilet instead of a cassette toilet? We uncovered The Nasty Truth About RV Composting Toilets.

5 Reasons to Avoid an RV Cassette Toilet

Don’t be wooed by an option without looking into what it truly entails. Here are a few reasons you might not want to choose a cassette toilet for your RV. 

1. Cassette Toilets Smell

If you’re storing your waste aboard your RV, you may smell that waste. Many RVers know these toilets for smelling up the bathroom. A little flap opens and closes to keep the smell of the waste inside the holding tank, but it’s not entirely adequate. You will have some seepage of gasses and unsavory odors coming from a full cassette toilet. 

Girl pinching her nose from a bad odor
Your cassette toilet might get a bit stinky as it’s storing your waste on board.

2. Cleaning the Cassette Toilet

Keeping your cassette toilet clean is a massive part of keeping the stink minimum. Therefore, you will need to clean your toilet every time you empty it. It’s an extra hassle that you may not be stoked to explore. 

However, you don’t want waste building inside of your tank. After you empty it, put a little cleaner in the tank. You’ll need to shake it up well to ensure the cleaner can do its job. Then rinse the tank thoroughly, and you’re on your way. 

3. Dumping the Contents

Depending on the size of your cassette toilet, there are a few places you can dump it. Some people use public restrooms or porta-potties, but you can also dispose of waste in an RV dumping spot. 

To dump the toilet, remove it from its storage spot. Roll it to wherever you plan to dump it. Open the spout and dump. It sounds simple, but there’s ample room for error. There’s also room for accidents and spillage. No one wants a mess on their hands. 

Pro Tip: We took at closer look at whether or not you need to use special RV toilet paper while on the road.

Man emptying RV at dump station
Similar to dumping your RV black tank, you will have to dispose of your cassette toilet waste at a dump station.

4. Seals and Parts Wear Out

There are a few working parts to a cassette toilet. These parts tend to have particular issues. When seals that keep smells and waste contained wear out, you might have a disgusting problem on your hands. If your holding tank isn’t correctly latching to the toilet, waste could spill into the compartment of your RV. It’s an unpleasant possibility. 

5. They’re Not Comfortable

Another con of the cassette toilet is that it isn’t a cozy spot to sit. These toilets are often cold and unwelcoming. The seat doesn’t usually mold to your rear well, and you can feel like you’re going porta-potty style every time. Of course, there are ways to work around the fundamental design flaws, but who wants to put in all that work to use the restroom?

Should You Avoid Cassette Toilets?

Overall, cassette toilets don’t do the trick like traditional toilets. Some say you should only use them for number two, and some say that you should avoid using them for anything other than urinating. Either way, having this toilet will bring many issues. 

Ultimately, you are the one who needs to decide whether you should or should not avoid using a cassette toilet. The traveler’s needs should always determine the facilities and equipment you’ll use during your explorations. Consider all your options before settling for an upfront offer. Now get out there and keep exploring! 

Is a cassette toilet right for you? Tell us in the comments!

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