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Old 09-07-2013, 10:02 PM   #1
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Default Cassette Toilets - Why Not?

Hello,

To me, it would make sense to use cassette toilets and tankless water heaters on Class B coaches. The grey and fresh tanks could be bigger and the bathroom location could be more flexible. Winter travel could be facilitated by placing a five gallon fresh tank inside the heated area of the coach and the cassette toilet would flush just fine using RV anti-freeze.

My $0.02 and worth every penny,

Bill
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Old 09-08-2013, 08:04 AM   #2
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Default Re: Cassette Toilets - Why Not?

I've been wondering about this, but cassette toilets have some disadvantages:

1: Trying to dump them in a normal US pipe may lead to a nasty spill. Europe has stainless steel pits that flush just for the purpose of dumping and rinsing cassettes. Trying to dump in a toilet at a bathhouse may get one asked some very pointed questions by camp rangers worried about it overflowing, especially a pit or vault toilet system. Of course, we will get slobs which will drag them near a shower drain in a bathhouse and empty them there.

2: They can be heavy. Factoring 10 pounds per gallon, they can weigh 50+ pounds, so can be unwieldy, especially for older RV-ers.

3: They require chemicals, unlike a black water tank which just needs water and perhaps some dish soap or water softener to keep stuff from going solid.

4: A flush uses the same amount of water regardless if it is a #1 or #2. With my current RV toilet, I can use extremely little water for liquids.

Of course, they have a number of advantages:

1: If it freezes, replacing a cartridge is a lot easier than replacing plumbing and a black tank. To boot, the cartridge is in the vehicle's interior which means that one can function adequately using antifreeze for flushing in below freezing temperatures.

2: Multiple cartridges can be used or brought along. If boondocking, I could see bringing a few cartridges along, since they are a lot more manageable than a large tote tank.

3: They make it easy to do good RV floorplans since a large black tank doesn't have to be underneath the toilet. All is needed is a hatch to pull the cartridge out, and this can be in the back at the van doors, on the side, or even inside.
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Old 09-08-2013, 08:05 PM   #3
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Default Re: Cassette Toilets - Why Not?

Thanks for the great list of the advantages and disadvantages.

It looks easy enough to handle. The guy in the video below said a red light comes on when the waste tank is 85% full so emptying then will keep the weight manageable.

[youtube:2gi87qp5]-bAXYAQQOqY[/youtube:2gi87qp5]
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Old 09-10-2013, 05:42 PM   #4
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Default Re: Cassette Toilets - Why Not?

I am new to the class B scene but not to RVing and still have my Bounder for family trips so dealing with a porta potti was something I got into a little half heartedly. I am a convert and see grest advantages to the PP in light of the fact that class B black water tanks are quite small. It turns out that I would rather have a 5 gallon PP tank than a 10 gallon fixed tank but we boondock and use forest service type CGs most the time and always have and sometimes have to search for dump stations. I dump into pit and regular toilets all the time and have had no issue yet. If a ranger were to say something I would explain that I always use formaldahide free digester and gladly show him the bottle. I believe killing the septic or pit enzymes would be the issue. My porta potti tank is a little ungainly but the cassette version with tow handle and wheels looks very smart. I think people who use full service CGs would probably be better served to get standard tanks.
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Old 09-11-2013, 12:54 AM   #5
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Default Re: Cassette Toilets - Why Not?

Finding (inexpensive) standalone or otherwise dumping stations seems to be getting harder these days. I've found that some commercial and public campgrounds near us do have a standalone dumping fee of around $10. We used to be able to dump at the local waste water treatment facility when we lived in Niagara for free (paid for by our municipal taxes?), but this doesn't seem to be a standard procedure in Ontario and Canada.
The porta potty or equivalent with it's cassette or equivalent to dump would be a great option to have, if you don't spend a lot of time at full service campsites. As Stan says, it opens up a much wider range of dumping options.
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Old 09-11-2013, 02:13 AM   #6
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Default Re: Cassette Toilets - Why Not?

I do agree that there are a lot more toilets than dump stations. Dumping grey water is frowned upon, but in a pinch, people don't mind since it waters the ground. Worst case, getting caught dumping a cassette into a toilet (assuming none of it spilled) might get a finger waggle, but that's it.

With dump stations becoming more rare (usually due to people emptying their toxic chemicals down them), I can see cassette toilets eventually becoming more of a useful item for boondockers and people who don't go from hookups to hookups.

Of course, there is the advantage that when you fill up one cassette, you can slam in a spare.
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Old 09-14-2013, 11:37 AM   #7
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Default Re: Cassette Toilets - Why Not?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike
Finding (inexpensive) standalone or otherwise dumping stations seems to be getting harder these days. I've found that some commercial and public campgrounds near us do have a standalone dumping fee of around $10. We used to be able to dump at the local waste water treatment facility when we lived in Niagara for free (paid for by our municipal taxes?), but this doesn't seem to be a standard procedure in Ontario and Canada.
The porta potty or equivalent with it's cassette or equivalent to dump would be a great option to have, if you don't spend a lot of time at full service campsites. As Stan says, it opens up a much wider range of dumping options.
Good point. I'd like a cassette toilet for those additional dumping options.

There is one Visitor Center in town here that charges $5 but they close in early September. The campgrounds nearby all charge $10 or more.

One free dump station source out this way is (some) gas stations. There's one 1hr to the north and one 25 mins to the south of me that let you empty your waste tanks with no fee if you purchase fuel so I always fill up with fuel and empty the waste tanks when returning from a trip at those gas stations.
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Old 09-14-2013, 02:02 PM   #8
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Default Re: Cassette Toilets - Why Not?

Truck stops with separate RV islands, will usually have dump stations located at them. The Pilot/Flying J in London, Ontario has them, and the fee is usually $5, unless you have one of their free RV loyalty cards, which reduces it. Some reduce the dumping fee if you fill up, too. As you say.

PFJ also have an RV Plus loyalty/credit card that gets discounts for Good Sam Club members on gas, diesel, propane, and dumping. If you apply for one at a PilotFlyingJ location or online, you're automatically enrolled in the Good Sam Club for one year for a $25 charge. If you're already a GSC member, you can apply for the fuel/dumping discount online for free with your GSC member info. There may be annual or monthly fees, but I don't know for sure.
http://www.rvpluscard.com/FAQ/

There are still a few Rest Areas on the interstates and freeways in the US that have no fee dumping for travelers.
POI Factory has some fairly useful files that are located here, one is Rest Areas Combined, and the other is RV dumping places.
http://www.poi-factory.com/node/6643
http://www.poi-factory.com/node/6837
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Old 09-14-2013, 09:54 PM   #9
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Default Re: Cassette Toilets - Why Not?

For those with a macerator, I wonder how much trouble you would get in to for pumping it into a pit toilet. At least for us (very little water, formaldehyde free), it really is about the same as what is in a cassette and only about 10 gallons at most.
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Old 09-14-2013, 11:04 PM   #10
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Default Re: Cassette Toilets - Why Not?

The thing about a cassette toilet is that it is not as obvious. Someone snaking a hose into a pit toilet will get someone taking pictures and calling the law immediately.

Worst case, if for some reason all dump stations close or start charging $250/dump for some reason (this is pure theory, mind you), a cassette toilet can be hauled into a gas station's bathroom and emptied privately. One would be SOL with a standard black tank unless they had a clean out that is always accessible.
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