8 Best Portable Cassette Toilets for Camping and RV

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If you’ve ever gone camping in a remote area or rustic campground, you know how bathroom time can be challenging if you don’t have the right item with you. If you haven’t, we’ll introduce you right away to the best portable cassette toilets available on the web.

Portable cassette toilets are simply essential when you’re roughing it out in the woods. What’s more, they’re easy to use, environmentally friendly, and normally pretty compact. There’s nothing quite like them when it comes to answering the call of nature while in nature!

Portable cassette toilet

And in case you’re new to this whole portable toilet world, stay with us through the end of the post and we’ll give you some precious dos and don’ts in our FAQ!

Top picks

What are portable cassette toilets?

By definition, conventional cassette toilets are actually fixed in place; the only part that’s really portable is the waste tank. We’ve noticed, however, that permanent cassette toilets aren’t that popular in the U.S. as they are in Europe.

That’s why we won’t be focusing on them here. Although we’ve made sure to include two conventional cassette toilets (no. 7 and 8, both by Thetford) on our list, all other models we’ll be covering are 100% portable.

Conventional cassette toilets are installed against an RV’s outer wall. So is the flush, which is also hooked up to the vehicle’s main water tank.

That’s completely different from portable cassette toilets, which work as standalone units that you need to connect to some sort of water source (unless they’re equipped with a water tank as well).

Cassette toilet for camping

How do portable cassette toilets work?

Unlike the waste tank of conventional cassette toilets, which can be hooked up to a dump station, that of portable cassette toilets has to be removed and emptied manually.

Although that might sound like more work to do, it’ll give you more choice as to where you can dump your waste, including a regular toilet. A few fancier models like no. 6 will even turn your solids into compost, meaning you’ll only have to get rid of your liquids on a regular basis.

In most cases, then, you have two different tanks on top of the other: one for fresh water, and one for your waste. The mechanism is as simple as it seems: one has to be filled up periodically (typically through a hose), whereas the other is removable so you can dump your waste and clean the tank.

Portable cassette toilets

1. Thetford Porta Potti 365 Portable Toilet

The fact that Thetford appears three times across our list should attest to the company’s trustworthiness. Their camping cassette toilet is indeed one of the best-reviewed models on the market.

Thetford Porta Potti 365 boasts a 20.8-liter (5.5-gallon) waste tank and a 15.1-liter (4-gallon) fresh water one, which should be enough for over 50 flushes when full.

The Porta Potti is equipped with an air-tight valve to prevent leaks and a rotating spout for draining the waste from inside without making a mess, while also being easy to remove from the unit and carry around. 

Check the price of this portable cassette toilet.

Key features:
  • Large fresh water tank (15.1 L or 4 gal.) allows for up to 56 flushes
  • Bowl is larger than that of similar models
  • Manufactured by Thetford, the OG of camping cassette toilets

2. DOMETIC 301097606 Portable Toilet

Overall best cassette toilet for camping

Dometic’s toilet is hands down one of the best portable cassette toilets available on the web, in that it’s efficient, compact, and comfortable at the same time.

Its 18.9-liter (5-gallon) waste tank comes with a level indicator that’ll let you know exactly when to empty it. Its flush is powerful but water-saving: each cycle uses less than 470 mL (1 pint).

Weighing a mere 6.4 kg (14 lbs), this toilet’s extremely lightweight too for what it is. When pouring it out, you’ll notice how the extra-long pivoting spout is just perfect for clean dumping.

Check the price of this portable cassette toilet.

Key features:
  • Waste tank has a capacity of 5 L (19 gal.)
  • Efficient flush requires less pumping to run
  • Sleek design

3. Camco 41541 Portable Travel Toilet

The best thing about this model is that it’ll accommodate folks weighing as much as 149.7 kg (330 lbs), all that while weighing only 4.9 kg (10.8 lbs) when empty and 14.5 kg (32 lbs) at full capacity. 

Though maybe less attractive than similar models, it’s made of polyethylene, which is as sturdy as it gets. The 24-liter (5.3-gallon) waste tank should last you through several uses. Alternatively, a version with about half its volume is available as well.

Check the price of this portable cassette toilet.

Key features:
  • Tank has latches and valves that keep it secure and smell-free
  • Made of sturdy and odorless material (polyethylene)
  • Weighs a mere 4.9 kg (10.8 lbs) when empty

4. Coleman Portable Flush Toilet

Best compact cassette toilet

If you’re searching for a compact camping cassette toilet, then look no further. That’ll obviously mean will have to empty this guy more often, but its 10.6-liter (2.6-gallon) is a good compromise for people short of storage space.

A few other advantages of this model are the hose connector included in the waste tank (for the easiest cleanup ever) and a built-in drawer for chemical bottles.

Check the price of this portable cassette toilet.

Key features:
  • A comfortable yet small cassette toilet 
  • Fresh water tank holds up to 21.8 L (4.8 gal.) of water
  • Equipped with a chemical bottle compartment

5. VIVOHOME Portable Toilet

This portable cassette toilet is extremely versatile: it can go in a camper, a privacy tent, a boat, and any other place with no plumbing. Its waste tank is secured in place and locked by valves and latches that won’t let you down.

VIVOHOME’s model is some of the sturdiest toilets on the market: it can support up to 129.7 kg (286 lbs) thanks to polyethylene, the resistant (and smell-free!) material it’s made of. 

Check the price of this portable cassette toilet.

Key features:
  • Made of polyethylene, which is resistant to corrosion and odorless
  • Waste tank holds up to 24 L (5.3 gal.)
  • Supports up to 129.7 kg (286 lbs)

6. Nature’s Head Self Contained Composting Toilet

Most environmentally friendly portable cassette toilet

Since this composting toilet is way costlier than the previous listings, it’s meant mostly for camping addicts rather than mere aficionados. The price tag has a raison d’être, though. Here, all that is solid doesn’t melt into air but is turned into compost instead. 

That means two people using it can go for up to six weeks without emptying it. It’s also equipped with a built-in fan to keep your RV’s bathroom smell-free.

Yet in case electricity is a scarce asset, the manufacturer does argue that users who kept it off all the time reported a smell of damp earth rather than a bad one.

Check the price of this portable cassette toilet.

Key features:
  • The compost you make is environmentally friendly
  • Built-in fan for improved air circulation
  • Waste tank can hold up to six weeks before having to be emptied

Conventional cassette toilets

7. Thetford 32812 Cassette Toilet

Best cassette toilet for RV

Tent campers, step aside; we’re talking to RV owners here. In case you guys are looking for a permanent, i.e. conventional cassette toilet, this should be your go-to model. 

It has everything you might want from a toilet (actually, even more than that), from an electrical flush to a LED waste tank level indicator.

The waste tank, by the way, has both wheels and a retractable handle for convenient transport and disposal. It’s accessible from outside your trailer too.

Check the price of this cassette toilet.

Key features:
  • Flush has an electricity-powered button
  • Wheeled waste tank for easier dumping
  • LED display shows you how full the tank is

8. C200CW Manual Flush Thetford Cassette Toilet

Our last listing is also manufactured by Thetford. This model, however, is aimed at smaller RVs, because it’s quite compact and has a bowl that swivels 90° each way so that you can better fit it into your bathroom.

Unlike no. 7, this toilet’s flush is manually operated. Its waste tank holds up to 17 L (4.5 gal.) of stuff, while the fresh water tank has a capacity of 7 L (1.8 gal.). The waste tank level indicator doesn’t depend on electricity either.

Check the price of this cassette toilet.

Key features:
  • Bowl revolves 180° for a more convenient installation
  • Level indicator for waste tank
  • 17-liter (4.5-gallon) waste tank and seven-liter (1.8-gallon) fresh water tank

FAQ

How do you choose the right camping cassette toilet?

Try to answer the following questions as you look for the model that’s best suited to your needs:

  • How much do I want to spend?
  • How large do I need the waste tank to be?
  • Do I need a permanent cassette toilet installed into my motorhome or should I go with a portable model?
  • Do I want my solids to be turned into compost?

Depending on your preferences, one or more of the toilets we’ve listed will make the perfect addition to your caravan — or makeshift porta potty in case you own a privacy tent.

How do you install a portable cassette toilet in an RV?

Portable cassette toilets don’t really have to be installed, as they don’t rely on any external plumbing. You should place them in a secluded room, since, even if they don’t smell bad, they’ll probably smell like cleaning chemicals.

As for conventional cassette toilets like no. 7 and 8, chances are you’ll have to hire an RV technician to do the plumbing work, as both the toilet and the flush need to be secured in place.

Cassette toilet in an RV

How do you dump a camping cassette toilet?

The fact that we all have face masks at hand now turns manually dumping the waste tank of a cassette toilet into a way less exasperating task.

There’s no way to put it, though, other than you’ll have to pour the content into a dump station or regular toilet, then rinse the tank with fresh water until everything comes out crystal clear.

Each toilet model has a different mechanism for removing the waste tank, yet in all of them you should make sure all valves are locked and the bowl is empty before proceeding. Some tanks, apart from a handle, also boast wheels so you can roll them around.

How do you prevent portable cassette toilets from smelling?

Experienced users have already shared amazing tips for that. The most important thing is dumping it as frequently as you can. That way, you won’t have to use a huge amount of chemicals, which make campers smell like a bathroom anyway.

After each dump, you can add white vinegar to the tank (about half a cup) to keep it squeaky clean.

Some folks will go as far as avoiding using their toilet for a no. 2, but you don’t have to be that strict. Keeping the lid down and throwing toilet paper into a trash can (to save space in the waste tank) are great steps too.

How often should you empty a camping cassette toilet?

That of course depends on the size of your tank, how many people share the toilet, and how often you guys go to the bathroom.

Still, even if only two people use it, it’s advisable to empty the tank every 2 to 3 days. That has nothing to do with its capacity, but rather with keeping unpleasant smells to a minimum.

Also, just because conventional cassette toilets are bulkier and fixed in place doesn’t mean they can remain unattended for longer. In fact, their waste tank usually holds less than 19 L (or 5 gal.), much like a portable one.

Conclusion

Portable cassette toilets aren’t the only type of camping toilet, yet they’re definitely among the most efficient and functional out there.

Now that you know the best listings on the market and the specifics of each model, take your time to settle on a model before you hit the road for your next camping adventure!

Oh, and let us know in the comments what you think of the toilets we’ve covered or if you feel we’ve failed to add a particularly great model to our list!

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