Cassette toilets are portable toilets that are used by campers and adventurers all over the world. They are an ingenious time and money saver for RV campers and, throughout the years, their overall design and usability have come a long way.
For the camper who loves to go off the grid and not have to plan their trip around dump station locations, a cassette toilet might be just what you need because, let’s face it, nature calls for all of us.
With a cassette toilet, you can say goodbye to those long wait times at the dumping site. During prime camping season, these lines at the dump station can take forever and leave you with less time doing what you love – camping and enjoying the beauty of nature.
The portable waste tank design incorporated into a cassette toilet allows you to easily remove and transport the waste tank to the dumping site. Most models come with small wheels attached to the waste tank to make transportation easy so disposal is done quickly and discreetly.
If a cassette toilet sounds like the perfect addition to your RV, let’s take a look at several of the latest and greatest models so that you can find exactly what you are looking for. In this article, we will carefully break down exactly what you need to look for in a cassette toilet and give you several recommendations so that you can find what works best for you.
Carry on reading to discover what’s included in our buyer’s guide or jump straight to our number #1 pick on Amazon here.
- What Should I Look For When Buying a Cassette Toilet?
- Here’s How We’ve Determined the Best Cassette Toilets
- Budget Options
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Verdict: Your Best Cassette Toilet
What Should I Look For When Buying a Cassette Toilet?
Before you go out and purchase a cassette toilet, there are several important things to consider throughout the buying process.
Here we have taken buying criteria from experts and avid campers to develop a unique buyer’s guide which will help you narrow down your search and know exactly what you are looking for and need in a cassette toilet before setting out to shop.
Knowing what you need in a product before you buy it will save you both time and money by keeping you from unnecessary expenses and streamlining the buying process for you.
The best cassette toilets will make portability and disposal a breeze. As you can imagine, the wastewater tank of cassette toilets can become very heavy, very quickly. So, you want to find a portable toilet that comes with exactly what you need to make this process as painless as possible.
Look for a portable cassette toilet that comes with easy-to-access handles and wheels to make transportation and disposal easy. Many models come with a holding tank that looks very similar to a piece of rolling luggage. You simply remove the tank and use the handle to roll the tank to the nearest public restroom or dump site for easy and quick disposal.
Because of the portable nature of cassette toilets, they are usually quite small and compact. While you will not have nearly the same tank capacity as that of a regular RV toilet, a cassette toilet can do just as well if you use it and maintain it properly.
The tank size needed for your cassette toilet will be largely dependent on how many people you plan to have to use the toilet. If you have a large family camping with you, you will want to look for a toilet with the largest holding tank possible. This will eliminate the number of times you need to stop to empty the tank.
Cassette toilets work best for a small number of people. If the general 5-gallon tank can hold up to 50 flushes, with a small number of people, this could last for a good amount of time. However, for a large group of people using the toilet, you may have to empty the tank every day or two.
Portable camping toilets such as these also work best for liquid waste only, so if you are looking for a toilet that can accommodate both “number one” and “number two”, finding one with a larger holding tank would be best.
Waste Level Indicator
For convenience and ease, we recommend finding a portable cassette toilet that comes with a waste level indicator. This is usually a small light or a chart displayed on the side of your toilet which indicates the fill level of your tank.
This allows you to easily plan for disposal times and locations and, most importantly, it eliminates the need to manually check the waste level of your tank, which is a very unpleasant process.
Most portable cassette toilets on the market today come standard with a waste level indicator. Just make sure that the model you are looking to buy comes with an indicator that is easy for you to read and is highly accurate.
The lid on your cassette toilet is your number one defense against odor and spills, so you must find a toilet with a locking lid. This creates a strong barrier between the waste holding tank and the toilet itself which helps to contain odors to the waste tank and eliminate spills.
Because much of your time will be spent on the road, having a locking toilet lid will keep waste contents in their place even on the bumpiest of roads. The last thing you want to deal with is a holding tank spill or overflow.
Here’s How We’ve Determined the Best Cassette Toilets
Now that you know exactly what to look for in a portable cassette toilet, we are providing you with a list of some of the top models for the year 2021. All of these models have been highly recommended by experts and camping enthusiasts for a variety of reasons.
Here, we will review the specs of each model and learn about exactly how they work. Near the end of the article, we will also provide a comprehensive list of budget-friendly options to choose from. There is an option out there for everyone, so let us help you find it.
#1: Serenelife Outdoor Portable Toilet (Best Value – All-Purpose)
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The Serenelife Outdoor Portable Toilet has everything that any camper or outdoor living enthusiast would need in a cassette toilet. At an unbeatable price, the Serenelife has earned its spot as our overall best value, all-purpose pick.
With a 5.3 gallon capacity, this cassette toilet is larger than even our most expensive options. It is made to last for long road trips or camping trips and can withstand over 50 flushes before needing to be emptied. Speaking of emptying, this chore is made easy because the Serenelife comes equipped with a splash-free, rotating, pour-out spout that is easy to use, and the waste holding tank has an easy-to-grip handle at the top for transportation.
This toilet also comes with a piston pump flush which quickly and easily flushes waste into the holding tank. The wastewater tank itself is also made up of specialized material that is both corrosion resistant and odor resistant which means that when you empty and rinse out the holding tank, no lingering odors will remain.
As you flush the Serenelife portable toilet, the double-sealed drain valve works quickly to protect against leaks, splashes, and odors. You can be assured with this toilet that what goes down will stay down it.
The only drawbacks with this toilet have to do with its tank level indicator and flushing system. Because of the affordability of this model, the indicator and flushing system are quite basic, however, they will get the job done. The flush nozzle is located on the side of the toilet and is just a simple push button. Compared to our other higher-end models, however, the Serenelife just cannot compare to the technology present in some of the more expensive models.
Overall, the Serenelife is an excellent all-purpose choice because of its durability and portability. This toilet comes with a specially designed carrying case which means it can easily travel with you from the RV to the car, and even to your boat. It is made of ultralight materials that are built to last.
#2: Thetford Porta Potti (Best Cassette Toilet)
Thetford is one of the biggest brand names in RV supplies including portable toilets used in RVs and for campers all around the world. Users are impressed with the quality and longevity that Thetford offers. It really seems that Thetford has thought of everything users need in a toilet to make mobile living enjoyable and as easy as possible.
The Thetford has two separate holding tanks, one is a freshwater tank that holds the water that is used for flushing and the other is the wastewater tank which holds the waste flushed into the toilet. The wastewater tank can hold up to 5.5 gallons which is the largest tank size we have reviewed thusfar. The sealed valve near the bottom of the toilet bowl prevents leaks and controls odors.
The tank level indicator, mounted on the top of the toilet, closely monitors the levels of both the freshwater and wastewater tanks. The addition of a battery-operated flush system also makes this process fast and discreet.
Read on to discover some more of the main reasons why the Thetford Porta Potti White has received our overall vote as the best cassette toilet of 2021.
This portable travel toilet is made to be comfortable and to resemble your home toilet as much as possible. That is why it has been designed to be a comfortable height as well as have a larger bowl size so that you feel balanced and secure when you sit down on it.
This toilet also comes with an integrated toilet paper holder that folds in, to save on space. This is a great feature that can sometimes be rare to find on cassette toilets. The Thetford is a far cry from the old bucket toilet or a composting toilet that many campers are accustomed to.
Easy Dumping Process
The Thetford Porta Potti has found a way to make the dumping process easier and less of a hassle with its convenient carrying handle and rotating pour spout. All you have to do is simply bring the waste holding tank to the nearest public restroom or dumping site, rotate the pouring spout into the toilet or drain and dispense in a discreet and sanitary fashion, which is made easy by this toilet’s dumping process.
Because of the lightweight portability of this Porta Potti, the manufacturer has included an easy-to-install hold-down kit that attaches to the bottom of the toilet which secures it safely to the floor of your RV or any other vehicle.
This protects your vehicle from unforeseen spills during travel. This can save a lot of time, money, and energy in the long run.
#3: Thetford C402C Cassette Toilet (Best Bench-Style)
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If you are looking for a more permanently mounted toilet to place in your RV or camper, the Thetford C402C would be perfect for you. Made of very durable construction, this toilet is much larger in size than other cassette toilets.
It is important to keep in mind, however, because of the durable construction and larger size of this toilet, the price of this particular model will be much higher than that of our other choices. However, if you are looking for a semi-permanent toilet and have the budget to accommodate it, the Thetford C402C receives our recommendation.
Reason #1 – Holding Tank
This Thetford cassette toilet comes with a very impressive holding tank. Much time and thought have been put into making this holding tank with exactly what the user needs to make the disposal process as easy and clean as possible.
This 5.1-gallon holding tank comes equipped with wheels and a retractable handle to make transport to and from the dumpsite easy. It also comes with a no-splash pour spout for easy waste disposal into either a public toilet or a dumping site.
The 5.1 gallon capacity of this holding tank also means that it can accommodate up to 50 flushes, which means fewer disposal trips and more time spent in the great outdoors.
Reason #2 – Electric Flushing System
The Thetford C402C is designed with an electric flush system that allows you to flush and refill the freshwater tank all with the push of a single button. Waste is quickly flushed down into the holding tank and new water is drained into the toilet.
This model also comes with an automatic pressure release valve which can automatically sense the pressure level in the holding tank and will open and close the valve when needed.
Reason #3 – LED Waste Level Indicator
An LED level indicator comes standard with this toilet and allows for the option of being placed on either the left- or right-hand side of the toilet. This level indicator is highly advanced and will provide users exact measurements so that they can plan their disposal times accordingly.
Reason #4 – Bench Style Seating
The bench-style seating of the Thetford is larger and more spacious than many portable toilets. So, if you have a large RV, this model may be the model you’ve been looking for.
#4: Dometic 970 Portable Toilet (Best Low Cost)
The Dometic 970 is a powerful little toilet that is compact, yet durable, and will provide you with exactly what you need in your camping experience for a fraction of the cost of many other models. With a 5-gallon waste tank, it can provide use for up to 50 flushes before needing to be emptied.
Because it is less expensive than other portable toilets, the features that it comes with are basic. However, they will do exactly what you need them to do. With a push-button flush, waste will be quickly flushed down into the waste tank, and the latching toilet seat lid will ensure protection from splashes and spills during travel.
For a small additional payment, you can also receive floor brackets for this model which will give you peace of mind that your portable toilet will stay in place while traveling.
The prismatic tank level indicator will allow you to easily determine the levels of your waste tank so that you can be sure to empty it when needed. A rotating pour spout attached to the holding tank also makes emptying easy and discreet.
Overall, the Dometic is a great option for anyone looking for a sturdy construction toilet for all of their tent camping or van life needs.
#5: EarthTec Non-Stick Sanitary Portable Toilet Bowl (Best Self-Cleaning)
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If you hate the thought of having to clean your portable cassette toilet and having to deal with the messes that come along with it, we highly recommend that you look into the EarthTec portable toilet.
EarthTec has set out to solve the problem of messy cleaning with their nonstick NanoTech technology which is a self-cleaning coating that is applied to both the bowl and the seat of the toilet. This microscopic coating sends waste on its way without so much as a streak or smudge, meaning that you are saved from messy clean-ups and bad odors.
In addition to this specialized coating, this toilet includes a 5-gallon holding tank that can accommodate up to about 50 flushes, and the swing-out discharge tube makes emptying clean and spill-proof.
Overall, the price of the EarthTec is quite reasonable. If you are willing to pay a little extra for ease in cleaning, this little price tag increase would be totally worth it.
The best cassette toilet doesn’t have to be expensive, it just has to work for you. Here we will explore budget-friendly options that will provide you with exactly what you need in a portable toilet.
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Even though the TPS PowerSports Portable Cassette Toilet is the least expensive choice for our best budget picks, we believe that this one is the best budget-friendly pick overall because of the quality and size of this unit. All of it is quite impressive for its price.
With a 5.2-gallon freshwater tank and a 6.3-gallon waste tank, this inexpensive toilet has the largest tank size compared to all of the other models we have mentioned in this article. A rotating pour spout and attachable hose make cleaning out easy and fast without the risk of spills or splashes.
The high-quality material it is made of is extremely durable and 100% leakproof which can give you peace of mind throughout your travels. This unit is also compatible with a wide range of cassette toilet chemicals which work to keep it very clean and odor-free.
The only downside to this model is that it does not include a waste level indicator. This is our only model that doesn’t, which means, if you were to use this toilet, you would have to be very conscious of how much you are using and may want to keep track of flushes.
However, for either a short camping trip or a long road trip, this affordable toilet would work great. It is very easy to manage and clean while providing you with exactly what you need in a portable toilet.
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This YitaHome camping toilet is a great choice for any camping or RV trip. With a 2.6-gallon freshwater tank used for flushing and a 5.5-gallon waste tank, this model provides a surprisingly high holding capacity for its low price.
The level indicator displayed on the front of the toilet lets you easily monitor the waste level of the holding tank so you can decide when it is the right time to empty. When you do empty the waste tank, a rotating pour-out spout makes it easy to quickly dispense waste and safely wash it away.
A sealing slide valve keeps air pressure neutralized within the holding tank and helps to eliminate odors. The manual pump for flushing is also very easy to use.
Overall, this unit is a great find. If you are willing to go without some of the more deluxe features shown on the more expensive models, this unit will work just as well and save you a lot of money in the long run.
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The Camco is the perfect companion to any camping or RV trip in which you need a small, dependable toilet that you can rely on both for emergencies and daily use. Its 5.3-gallon holding tank will provide up to about 50 flushes.
While this model may not have all of the fancy features that some of our higher-end models possess, it will get the job done just as well. It may just take a little bit more maintenance on your part, but for the great price of this model, it is well worth it.
The toilet bowl and the waste holding tank are held together by two side latches that can be undone when it is time to empty. Simply remove the holding tank from the bottom of the toilet and easily carry it to a restroom or dumping site with the convenient handles that are provided. This toilet’s waste tank does not include a swing-out discharge tub, so it will require you empty manually.
The flushing system is a bellow-type pump that will quickly funnel waste down into the holding tank where a sealed gate valve creates a barrier between the toilet bowl and the waste tank.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Does a Cassette Toilet Work?
A cassette toilet is used in RVs or campers in the place of traditional, built-in toilets which empty into large waste tanks that must be pumped out at a large dump station. Cassette toilets are usually built into your RV and come with a small, portable waste tank that can be manually removed. Contents are then discarded, without the use of a pump, at either a public bathroom or a dump station.
While cassette toilets do not have nearly the holding capacity as that of the traditional RV toilet, they make RV living more accessible as it eliminates the need to plan trips around dump site locations. You can simply remove the portable waste tank, which is usually equipped with wheels to make transportation easy, and empty it in an appropriate place along your travels.
Cassette toilets work much like your home toilet. Freshwater from your RV’s central water system to flush waste into the holding tanks with the simple push of a button. Some toilets even come with their own water tank which eliminates the need to access water that is used throughout the rest of the RV.
Most toilets come with a waste level indicator so that you always know when your waste tank needs to be emptied. This makes travel planning much easier all around.
Can You Poop in a Cassette Toilet?
Cassette toilets are designed to accommodate solid waste, however, the emptying and cleaning process becomes much more unpleasant when it is included. While a cassette toilet can be used for both liquid and solid waste, many avid campers recommend using cassette toilets primarily for liquid waste and for “number twos” only when a public restroom is not available.
The reason for this relates mainly to the waste tank size. Incorporating “number two” waste will quickly raise the level of your holding tank resulting in the need to more frequently dump contents and clean them. Speaking of cleaning, this task becomes far less enjoyable when solid deposits are added into the mix, as you can imagine.
So, to answer in short, yes, you can poop in a cassette toilet, however, we (and several seasoned campers) recommend using it only for “number two” emergencies.
Do Cassette Toilets Stink?
Because of what they are used for, cassette toilets are destined to smell at least a little bit, however, there are many ways in which you can eliminate odor and keep your toilet clean. The first thing we recommend is to empty the waste tank frequently. The more often the tank is emptied and cleaned, the less it will smell.
Also, as mentioned before, limiting solid deposits in the toilet will go a long way in keeping odor at a minimum.
Another major factor in a toilet’s smell is how often it is cleaned. While every flush will produce a stream of water to rinse the bowl and send waste on its way, it is still important to thoroughly clean your cassette toilet regularly with cleaning products.
Beyond basic cleaning products, heavier chemical products can be added to the waste tank to aid in the disruption of odor growth as well as begin the process of decomposing the waste. These chemicals are very similar to what you might see in a standard port-a-potty. However, the choice to use these types of chemicals is completely up to you. There are several different types to choose from, including eco-friendly options.
How Long Will a 5-Gallon Cassette Toilet Last?
The standard 5-gallon cassette toilet can hold about 50 flushes. However, the overall amount of time that you can use a 5-gallon cassette toilet before having to stop to empty the waste tank really depends on several factors.
First, how many people are using your cassette toilet? If it is just you and a friend using the toilet, it can last as long as 5 days to a week before needing to be emptied. However, if you have an entire family on board, a 5-gallon tank could be full in as little as 24 to 48 hours.
Second, the amount of time a 5-gallon cassette toilet will last also depends on the amount of waste being deposited into it. Remember also, that your waste tank will not only just be holding waste but will also be holding flushed water and toilet paper.
As explained earlier, refraining from using your cassette toilets for “number two” will drastically increase the amount of time your toilet can be used, because the waste tank will not fill up as quickly and the odor will be very manageable. Investing in dissolvable toilet paper will also dramatically cut down on the number of times you have to empty your toilet, as well as make the disposal process easier.
Verdict: Your Best Cassette Toilet
As you begin your shopping, we hope that this article was helpful to you in picking out the perfect cassette toilet for your travel and personal needs. Below we will summarize our findings so that you can get the comprehensive information you need as you begin your search.
If you want the best value for your money, pick the SereneLife Outdoor Portable Toilet. This affordable model provides a very large holding tank which reduces the number of trips you need to take to empty the tank.
If you need a large, bench-size model, pick the Thetford C402C Cassette Toilet. With a large holding tank and electric flush system, this toilet will make you feel just like you’re at home. The LED level indicator is also a plus and takes the guesswork out of deciding when to empty the holding tank.
If you want to keep the spend under $100, pick any of our best budget choices shown above. Each of these choices is high quality and inexpensive model that will provide you with everything you need to enjoy a great camping trip or long road trip.
Knowledge is power when it comes to purchasing important items such as cassette toilets. When you know exactly what you need to be looking for in a new cassette toilet and have determined exactly what you will be using it for, the search will clearly lead you to the right choice. We hope this article has helped you in your search!