Can You Poop in a Caravan Toilet?

💩 Can You Poop in a Caravan Cassette Toilet?

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Having an onboard caravan toilet sounds like a fantastic idea… until you get to the topic of doing number 2s in them.

Every caravanner has the same question when they’re starting out, “Can you poop in a caravan cassette toilet?”

Yes, you can poop in a cassette toilet, as it all gets mixed up and empties out the same way and in the same location. However, it’s important to make sure that the cassette is well-agitated before emptying if it has been used for number 2s. This will make your emptying job loads easier.

Here are my expert tips for pooping in a cassette toilet and how to make the experience as seamless as possible.

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3 Types of Caravan Toilets

Although most modern ensuite caravans have a cassette toilet in-built, there are a variety of caravan toilets available these days. If you want to delve deeper into the options, check out the article below.

Different Types of Caravan Toilets →

Cassette Toilet

A caravan cassette toilet is an in-built toilet most commonly used in caravans, motorhomes and RVs in Australia.

The reason they’re called a “cassette” toilet is because the receptacle that holds the waste is a small, removable cartridge. However, the toilet itself is a permanent fixture inside the caravan ensuite, which is connected to the caravan’s water system.

The portability of the cassette allows the user to easily take it out for emptying, then you can simply slot it back into its cabinet and you’re good to go.

Thetford Toilet Cassette
Thetford Toilet Cassette

Some travellers who do a lot of off-grid camping carry a spare toilet cassette, which increases the amount of waste storage space available.

The spare can be stored in the back of the car or in the caravan storage boot, then swapped out with the full one as needed. Once you get to a dump point, it’s easy to empty both cassettes before heading out to the next camp.

You can find spare toilet cassettes on eBay for whichever model has been installed in your van.

Cassette toilets are the most convenient style to empty as they are light enough for most adults to pull out of the cabinet and lift to empty into the dump point.

🚽 Cassette Toilet CapacityAbout 20 litres
How to Use a Cassette-style Toilet →

Gravity Flush Toilet with Black Tank

The second type of caravan toilet is much like the first one, except instead of the waste being stored in a cassette, it gets stored in what’s called a Black Water Tank.

A black water tank can look just like one of the caravan’s freshwater tanks, however, the black tank is dedicated to holding only the toilet waste.

Caravan Black Tank (waste)
Example of a Black Water Tank

Emptying a black tank is a different process, which requires hooking up a sewer hose, opening the valve and releasing the contents into a dump point.

The benefit of having a black tank over a cassette is the amount of waste capacity. For a cassette, you’ll only get around 20L capacity, whereas with a black tank, you can have from 60L to well over 100L.

🚽 Black Tank Capacity60+ litres

While it’s all well and good to have that much toilet waste storage onboard, you will need to consider your caravan weights.

The weight of the waste contents will come out of your payload allowance, so it’s important to make sure that even when they’re full, you don’t go over your GCM (Gross Combined Mass) and GTM (Gross Trailer Mass).

Here’s the full guide to caravan weights if you need to read up on what they are and how to work them out. Plus, you can also use the payload calculator below to find out if you’ll have enough allowance for a black tank when it’s full.

Payload Allowance Calculator →

Compost Toilet

A style of toilet that is growing in popularity among caravanners and RVers is the compost toilet. This isn’t a new invention, but the adaptation for caravans is fairly recent.

With the compost toilet, no water is needed, plus the emptying is easier and less frequent. It’s easy to see why this concept is highly appealing for campers!

Nature's Head Compost Toilet
Nature’s Head Compost Toilet

Basically, the unit separates the solid waste from the liquid waste. The liquid waste canister will need to be emptied every few days (or whenever it’s full), which can be tipped into a regular flush toilet or at a dump point.

The solid waste (and toilet paper) goes into a chamber with a natural product such as coconut fibre, which will turn into compost. All you need to do is wind the crank on the side of the toilet a few times, which will agitate the mixture.

The solids tank only needs to be emptied once every fortnight or so, which is much less frequent than a cassette! As it’s now compost, you can empty it around the garden at home or into a dump point if necessary.

🚽 Compost Toilet CapacityLiquid Canister: 5 – 8 litres
Solids Canister: Various
How to Install, Use, Empty & Clean Compost Toilets →
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Can You Poop in a Caravan Cassette Toilet?

Thetford Caravan Cassette Toilet
Caravan Cassette Toilet

Now that we’ve gone through the three types of caravan toilets, you may still be wondering, can you poop in a caravan cassette toilet?

I get it. I remember the first time I found myself in the situation where I desperately needed to go and there were no other toilet options around.

Up until that point, I’d used the caravan cassette toilet for number 1s plenty of times. I’d also emptied the cassette enough times by that point to be thinking very practically about if and how the poop was going to make it out at the other end!

Alas, nature doesn’t give a toss about physical disposal, it just demands what it needs!

So, I went ahead and used the toilet for all that it was intended. And guess what… it was totally fine.

By the time we’d driven the caravan to another camp and the cassette filled up some more, the contents were nicely agitated (I do hope you’re not eating as you’re reading this).

HOT TIP!

If you’re going to poop in your caravan cassette toilet, be sure to keep agitating if before emptying. This will help to break down the contents and make the emptying job much easier.

The cassette will naturally get agitated while driving, plus you can also pull the cassette out of the cabinet and give it a shake to help the process along.

The answer to the burning question of every newby caravanner, “Can you poop in a cassette toilet?” is yes, you absolutely can. It all gets emptied out the same whether you use it for number 1s, number 2s or both.

If you’re worried about the toilet becoming more smelly, check out the tips below.

11 Tips to Stop the Caravan Toilet from Smelling! →
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How to Empty a Caravan Cassette Toilet

Emptying a toilet cassette is easy and yes, I know all about it because somehow it became my job on the road. Don’t ask!

I will say that a completely full cassette is definitely much heavier for a small woman to lift up and tip out than a cassette that’s not bursting at the seams.

Here’s how to empty a caravan toilet cassette…

Caravan Toilet Cassette Hatch
Open the cassette hatch

Step 1 – Open the cassette access hatch

Open up the door on the exterior of your caravan, which gives you access to the toilet cassette.

Emptying the caravan toilet cassette
Release and slide the cassette out

Step 2 – Lift the lock & remove

Lift the orange lock and slide the cassette out of the hatch.

Step 3 – Agitate the cassette

If you haven’t been driving, agitate the cassette to help break down the contents. Pull up the handle and wheel the cassette over to the Dump Point.

Emptying caravan toilet cassette
Twist the spout open

Step 4 – Open the spout

Twist around the outlet spout and remove the cap.

Step 5 – Release the pressure

Hold the cassette horizontally with one hand using the handle. With your other hand, push the orange button, which allows air into the cassette to release the pressure. This will help the contents to flow out easily.

How to empty thetford caravan toilet cassette
Release the pressure while emptying

Step 6 – Empty the cassette

Tip the cassette up to empty out the contents. You might need to give it a good shake if there are still some solids and toilet paper that haven’t broken down.

Step 7 – Rinse cassette

Use the hose at the dump point to add a litre or two of water into the cassette (through the spout). Agitate the water around in the cassette to give it a good rinse. Repeat a few times until you feel it’s clean enough. Adding a squirt of detergent into one of the rinses helps to give it a more thorough clean.

Step 8 – Add chemicals

Once you’ve rinsed the cassette, you can then add your toilet chemicals through the spout.

Put the cap back on the spout and fold it away. Slot the cassette back into its hatch and make sure the orange lock has clipped back in. Close the hatch door and lock it with your key.

For more on emptying and maintaining cassette toilets, check out the article below.

Emptying & Maintaining a Cassette Toilet →
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Where Can You Empty Cassette Toilets while Travelling?

Hinkler Lions Park Bundaberg QLD
Dump Point, Hinkler Lions Park, Bundaberg QLD

Dump Points

Caravan toilet cassettes must be emptied into designated Dump Points while travelling.

Dump Points are easy to use and are a free resource, generally provided by local councils. They can be found in pretty well every town (large or small) around Australia.

They are often recognisable by their blue lids and after often found near Visitor Information Centres. Most caravan parks will also have a Dump Point available for guests.

The easiest way to find your nearest Dump Points is by using our free Dump Points Map (link below). Or, you can use your preferred camping app such as WikiCamps or Camps Australia Wide.

Dump Points Map →

All of the apps will run off a map system so that you can zoom in to your current location and look for the nearest Dump Point symbol.

Dump Point Wikicamps
Dump Point symbol – WikiCamps

Can You Empty a Cassette into a Regular Toilet?

If you’re at home and need to empty your caravan cassette, you can empty it into the regular toilet. Just take it slow so that you don’t have to deal with messy splashback.

However, you should never empty a caravan cassette into a toilet at a caravan park or in a public toilet block. That’s not what they are intended for and it’s simply unhygienic for other people who want to use the toilets. Not to mention the pungent smell.

Always stick to Dump Points unless it’s your personal toilet at home.

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Cassette Toilet Tips

Toilet Paper

What Toilet Paper is Best for a Cassette Toilet?

One option is to spend $15 on a 6-pack of specially designed RV Toilet Tissue (available at Caravan RV Camping if you want to take a look). They claim to be super soft and highly dissolvable.

Or, the other option is the buy the home brand 2-ply toilet paper from the supermarket, which let’s face it, is a third of the price and also high-dissolvable due to its thin qualities.

For those who are only using the cassette toilet occasionally, then buying the dedicated RV toilet paper might make sense.

However, for those who use their cassette toilet long-term or full-time, being able to get toilet paper from the supermarket is a much more convenient option.

Technically, you can use any toilet paper you like in the cassette. The main consideration is how easily it will break down through agitation so that your job of emptying it is an easy one.

How to Clean the Caravan Loo →

How to Save Space in the Cassette

My biggest tip for saving space in the cassette is to either not put toilet paper into the cassette at all, or at least only put TP from number 2s in.

Toilet paper takes up a huge amount of space in the cartridge, which can just as easily be stored in a plastic bag, which sits in a lidded bucket beside the toilet.

Another way to save space is to use public toilets as much as possible and to get the guys to pee outside on a tree if you’re camping in the bush.

Believe me, when you’re Free Camping and need that 19L cassette to last for as many days as possible, you will be glad to save space in any way you can.

For more off-grid camping tips, check out the article below.

How to Free Camp Like a Pro →

Keep on top of your caravan maintenance schedule with the log below.

Caravan Maintenance & Service Log

Caravan Maintenance & Service Log

Log and track all of your caravan maintenance and servicing requirements.

  • 7-page Planner (digital & printable)
  • Caravan Service History Log
  • TICK OFF checklists
  • COMPLETE maintenance tasks
  • ADD in extra tasks
  • RECORD maintenance & service dates
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