In the world of RV toilets, two have been bumping heads for years: Cassette Toilet vs Composting Toilet.
One toilet is popularized in Europe and the second is a fav in the Eco-friendly world. The two have shared pros and cons but their differences will align you with which RV toilet is best for you.
Here we lay out those pros, cons, and differences with a few frequently asked questions, informative answers, and tips.
Cassette Toilet vs Composting Toilet
Cassette Toilets (or Cartridge Toilet)
What Is a Cassette Toilet?
A cassette toilet is a permanent toilet with a portable black tank installed in your RV, camper, trailer, or van. They are famously used in European RVs, but have become more popular in Class B RV manufacturers in North America are using them in their camper vans.
With a cassette toilet, you have the same permanent toilet you’d see in a gravity flush setup. The difference is, that instead of collecting your waste in a fixed black tank, it’s contained in a removable black tank (hence the name “cassette” or cartridge).
Also, a Cassette Toilet is NOT a portable Camping Toilet (they often get mixed up)
Can You Poop in a Cassette Toilet?
Yes, you can poop in a cassette toilet.
After you poop in a cassette toilet, you can turn a valve on the toilet to allow waste to flow into your black tank where it will be stored until you remove the tank and dump out the poop.
Many Cassette or Cartridge systems have a light that indicates when the black tank is full.
Do Cassette Toilets Stink?
Yes, cassette toilets do stink if not treated correctly.
So, you can pee and poop in the cassette toilet but it becomes smelly and hard to empty when the two elements are mixed.
To avoid a smelly vechile consistently dump your toilet to prevent build-up. Many vet travelers suggest only using the cassette toilet for number one (a.k.a peeing).
Still, you can use chemical treatments to reduce odors of number one, number two, and whatever else you’d like to add to the mix.
How To Empty a Cassette Toilet?
Cassette Toilet for RV Pros and Cons:
- Easy To Use
- The Dumping Process is Flexible: Doesn’t Involve Moving Your RV to a Dumping Station, Hose, Supports, etc.
- Most similar to a regular toilet
- You’ll Probably Get In Contact With Your Waste.
- Smaller Capacity, Not Ideal For Families than Two People.
- Odor Issues
Tip: Avoid using chemical treatments with formaldehyde. Some products have formaldehyde which is connected to a bunch of severe diseases and health issues.
Related: Best RV Sewer Hose For Splash Reduce Dumping
What Is A Composting Toilet?
A composting toilet is like a mini-ecosystem that uses no water and works by separating liquids from solids, so the solids can convert into humus, into two different tanks.
The two tanks reduce odor, especially because the solids tank uses peat moss or coconut COIR to break it down. When the tanks are full, the solid tank can go into a composting bin without chemicals, and the liquids can be diluted and poured down a sewer.
Empty it too soon after using it, and what you are disposing of is NOT safely composted human waste.
Do You Have to Empty a Composting Toilet?
Yes, you do have to empty a composting toilet. One of the similarities in the Cassette Toilet vs Composting Toilet battle.
Do Composting Toilets Stink?
The smell from these toilets is virtually non-existent. Unless you’ve reached the limit of the peat moss volume you will not experience that bad smell most of us dread.
The two tanks (lower and front tank) keep the two from mixing so you don’t get the chemical reaction that creates the sewage smell we experience in a regular bathroom.
How To Empty a Composting Toilet
Composting Toilet for RV Pros and Cons:
- No chemicals, No water used, no plumbing needed
- Environmentally friendly
- Minimal odor
- Easy Disposal: No black tank (no pump-outs, saves weight & space)
- Completely self-contained and portable
- You must keep the solids and liquids separate (some do it for you).
- You get close to what you released (You get close to the waste just like the portable black tank in the Cassette Toilet)
- Urine Odor
Tip: Keep your composting toilet from getting too cold. When temperatures drop below 50° Fahrenheit the bacterias die and will leave you with the stink you are trying to avoid.
Related: RV Toilet Plumbing
So, Who Wins?….
Is Cassette Toilet Better? No, the Cassette toilet is not better than the Compost Toilet. It’s just different.
The Cassette Toilet vs Composting Toilet battle is ongoing for the novice and manufacturers. Still, I hope the information we shared here led you a step closer to making a decision.