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Old 07-30-2014, 02:07 PM   #1
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Default Would you consider a cassette toilet system?

If you were having a custom B-van built, would you consider a euro-style cassette toilet system? Why, or why not?

I'm not very familiar with them. Doesn't the cassette itself, or the compartment get "gross" and need cleaning out?

I saw a video where the access door was actually inside the van (open the rear door and it was in the side of the cabinet. So depending on layout, you could actually not have an external door messing up the exterior of your van.

I can see how it could be handy, but need servicing every 3 or 4 days.
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Old 07-30-2014, 02:14 PM   #2
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Default Re: Would you consider a cassette toilet system?

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Old 07-30-2014, 03:07 PM   #3
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Default Re: Would you consider a cassette toilet system?

Simple answer. No. At best it is a cheap solution in line with under $15,000 RV types, physically constrained RV types or a simpler DIY solution. But if you are buying a new Class B of $80,000 plus why would you? To be like Europeans? The answer seems to be a dump anywhere solution but doesn't a macerator somewhat answer that question? It seems messy, a constant maintenance issue and comparatively a frequent more physical chore to empty. Then you still have the issue of dumping your grey water. Seems like you are more than doubling up your waste management chores. Practically tripling your chores considering the cassette is 5 gallons capacity and most built in black tanks of Class Bs are a minimum of 10 gallons.
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Old 07-30-2014, 03:33 PM   #4
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Default Re: Would you consider a cassette toilet system?

Quote:
Originally Posted by gerrym51

Thanks for the info Gerry. That's a good article.

I would think there are lots of benefits if you are designing a smaller van with an eye to going off the beaten path.

First, your entire black system is contained in a relatively small package, complete with it's own water supply with no additional piping needed if you went that way. So you have "freed up" another 5 gallons of fresh to use for other purposes. The question is, is 5 gallons enough capacity for an outing? For me only, I think it would last a week. For a couple? Maybe not.

You free up the space of a black tank under the van so that you can use for other purposes - perhaps a larger gray tank, or for batteries.

You open up your dump options, but that has other issues in itself. I find dumping a porta potty more than I want to deal with as it is. Not sure this is any better on the grossness scale, I'd have a hard time dealing with dumping it in a residential toilet. But at least you have that option. But dumping in a vault toilet, or rv dump station, maybe not so bad.

I'd never consider a macerator system. That day that pump breaks is a bad day. Not sure you'd snake a hose into a bathroom to dump that black tank anyways, but maybe to a sewer cleanout. I do have a "sewer solution" system sitting in a box in my garage that I have on hand for just such an occurrence. Seems like a pain, but it may come in handy some day.
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Old 07-30-2014, 04:23 PM   #5
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Default Re: Would you consider a cassette toilet system?

To answer two of your concerns, first, I am getting an new B where freeing up space is not an issue with an 18 gallon black tank, 26 gallon gray tank and 40 gallon water tank along with 4 under floor auxiliary batteries. The limitations come more from three things. One is allowed weight. The other is the size of the B. Short Sprinters are an example of that compared to the longer Sprinters as is the Promaster. The third is floor height. The Promaster is always going to come up short. I'm guessing the Ford Transit will probably be similar to the T1N older model Sprinters.

Secondly, I'll have a dual system choice of macerator or grey/black tank valve gravity dump with the standard slinky hose. Otherwise I wouldn't have a macerator either. I'm protected from macerator failure in that regard. I know there are a few B converters that didn't design for that possibility.

What does it matter that you free up 5 gallons of water? You double the number of tanks you must fill anyway. Water is available from a faucet just about anywhere including most all state and National Forest CGs I've been in. Why would one need lake water or non-potable as the article Gerry referenced suggested?

Another question I have is how far off the beaten path? Is there an implication there you can just dump anywhere? Both grey and black? You still have grey water to deal with.
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Old 07-30-2014, 05:49 PM   #6
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Default Re: Would you consider a cassette toilet system?

No, I am just saying with bigger gray and fresh tanks, you can stay out a bit longer. You can always pee on a tree.

I am flirting with a re-jiggering a layout where 100% of the tankage and piping would be inside the van, so cold weather would not be an issue. Using a cassette system would make that work very well on a Promaster chassis. With the low floor, you have about 3" to play with to run pipes under a raised floor deck.

Looking under the Transit I posted yesterday, I'm not really convinced there is that much more space available underneath for more items than on a Promaster. Maybe a tiny bit more, but not alot. Sprinter is still king of space underneath as far as I can tell. The Transit does have better ground clearance than PM, so maybe you could hang some items below and cover with side skirting like you see on some vans.
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Old 07-30-2014, 06:25 PM   #7
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Default Re: Would you consider a cassette toilet system?

Quote:
Originally Posted by wincrasher
Quote:
Originally Posted by gerrym51

Thanks for the info Gerry. That's a good article.

I would think there are lots of benefits if you are designing a smaller van with an eye to going off the beaten path.

First, your entire black system is contained in a relatively small package, complete with it's own water supply with no additional piping needed if you went that way. So you have "freed up" another 5 gallons of fresh to use for other purposes. The question is, is 5 gallons enough capacity for an outing? For me only, I think it would last a week. For a couple? Maybe not.

You free up the space of a black tank under the van so that you can use for other purposes - perhaps a larger gray tank, or for batteries.

You open up your dump options, but that has other issues in itself. I find dumping a porta potty more than I want to deal with as it is. Not sure this is any better on the grossness scale, I'd have a hard time dealing with dumping it in a residential toilet. But at least you have that option. But dumping in a vault toilet, or rv dump station, maybe not so bad.

I'd never consider a macerator system. That day that pump breaks is a bad day. Not sure you'd snake a hose into a bathroom to dump that black tank anyways, but maybe to a sewer cleanout. I do have a "sewer solution" system sitting in a box in my garage that I have on hand for just such an occurrence. Seems like a pain, but it may come in handy some day.

portable macerator-best of both worlds

http://www.campingworld.com/shopping/it ... uddy/38247
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Old 07-30-2014, 08:58 PM   #8
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Default Re: Would you consider a cassette toilet system?

Cold weather is not much of an issue with me. I have camped several times in western and Rocky Mountain weather that has gotten down into the high teens and low 20s overnight (Canyon de Chelly, Grand Canyon, Leadville, Black Canyon of the Gunnison, San Juan Mountains, etc.) I seriously would never consider camping in temperatures any colder and hopefully above freezing during the day. When we camp in those conditions we turn off the heater while sleeping. In those conditions we had not had a problem with either our 2005 Pleasure-way Plateau or 2011 Great West Van Legend. Our new Advanced RV will be even better equipped with a diesel powered heat exchanger that will keep the fresh water tank from freezing and will have insulated pipes. Waste sitting in a tank is not going to freeze so solid to be a problem. When we have used our B in really cold weather that might stay below freezing during the day we leave it winterized, use the toilet as little as possible and keep flushing water in the B to pour in the bowl rather than in the tank and water lines. Adding some pink anti-freeze with your flush water helps. We drove from Minnesota to Massachusetts and back one February under those conditions and usually the first day or two heading south in the winter will be under those conditions. This past winter we did not de-winterize in March until we got all the way to South Padre Island. It was cold the whole way. I certainly would not sacrifice space in a Class B for those rare conditions which has been maybe 1-2% of our nights.
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Old 07-31-2014, 04:14 PM   #9
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Default Re: Would you consider a cassette toilet system?

Quote:
Originally Posted by wincrasher
If you were having a custom B-van built, would you consider a euro-style cassette toilet system? Why, or why not?

I'm not very familiar with them. Doesn't the cassette itself, or the compartment get "gross" and need cleaning out?

I saw a video where the access door was actually inside the van (open the rear door and it was in the side of the cabinet. So depending on layout, you could actually not have an external door messing up the exterior of your van.

I can see how it could be handy, but need servicing every 3 or 4 days.
I would have a composting toilet installed. I will only have to empty it every other month or so and if I use compostable bags, I leave it in normal trash or at community garden center compost piles. I find composting toilet a better option and just eliminate the black tank all together.
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Old 07-31-2014, 05:38 PM   #10
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Default Re: Would you consider a cassette toilet system?

Not sure those are a good option for a weekender. Think they need constant attention to keep the composting going. You also have to empty the pee tank. And you do that from within the vehicle. Sounds like the potential of a big mess to me.
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Old 08-01-2014, 06:00 PM   #11
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Default Re: Would you consider a cassette toilet system?

Greetings wincrasher.
My wife and i have pondered your same question when designing floorplans.
In a previous life we had a rig that had a Thetford 403C Cassette just as you have questioned. While we found the freedom-from-dump lines nice, the cassette needed dumping about every 3 days if used for liquids and solids. Some of the $250K to 700K expidition style rigs (Unicat, Global Expedition Vehicles, Earthroamer) all offer them as options...BUT...they also have built in storage for optional cassettes so you have more time out in the sticks before having to deal with dumping.

That said? I will be utilizing the modern separating toilet system (either AirHead, Natures Head, or Ecovita line). These are high quality marine toilets that are perfect for weekenders OR fulltimers. <<These are not your typical "Composting Toilets" and will do fine in all climates in a typical van/RV. The solids will need to be dealt with about once a month for two adults. Top end van converters such as Outside Vans offer both the cassette and separating toilets. You might look into them.

Example link to Outside vans options page. Like i said above, these are marine grade and expedition proven units in use on every continent in extreme conditions most of us can only dream about. And they sure beat waiting in line at a dump station! < something my wife and i have never had to do so in our rigs.

Best wishes on your ponderings,
Thom
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Old 08-01-2014, 06:50 PM   #12
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Default Re: Would you consider a cassette toilet system?

i went to the outside van page. the 'flare" option was most intriguing
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Old 08-02-2014, 03:44 AM   #13
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Default Re: Would you consider a cassette toilet system?

Quote:
Originally Posted by gerrym51
i went to the outside van page. the 'flare" option was most intriguing
I agree. And to see their work first hand is a real treat. Like another poster stated they will do just about anything you can dream up...and they think waaaay outside the van (like putting in flares so you can sleep side to side).
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Old 08-02-2014, 02:41 PM   #14
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Default Re: Would you consider a cassette toilet system?

Quote:
Originally Posted by accrete
Quote:
Originally Posted by gerrym51
i went to the outside van page. the 'flare" option was most intriguing
I agree. And to see their work first hand is a real treat. Like another poster stated they will do just about anything you can dream up...and they think waaaay outside the van (like putting in flares so you can sleep side to side).

forest river used flares in their old MB cruiser models-i never new they were called flares
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Old 08-03-2014, 01:17 AM   #15
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Default Re: Would you consider a cassette toilet system?

You're thinking of Gulfstream using the big plastic pockets on the sides to sleep side to side.MB Cruisers only had one floorplan that had the rear bath currently being discussed in a different thread.
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