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Cassette Toilet Vs Black Tank: Which Is Better for You?

Any RV will need a toilet which will be helpful for long journeys to various destinations. When it comes to this, one of the most common questions asked is “Cassette toilet vs black tank toilet: What is better?”

Both of these types of toilets are designed to work well for recreational vehicles, and they come with their own set of advantages and disadvantages.

So, to make your choice easier, we will help you understand each and the difference between the two.

Table of Contents

Black Tank Toilet

It is a standard RV toilet that is permanently installed on recreational vehicles. All the waste from the RV toilet empties into the black tank secured to your vehicle’s underbody.

When your black tank is full, you must empty the waste, which requires a dump station and a dumping hose. This type of toilet can last for a week before dumping is needed.

Black tanks come in various sizes, ranging from 15 to 90 gallons. The size of your RV’s black tank determines how long your RV toilet can be used without emptying the tank into a sewer at a designated dump station or campsite.

RV owners planning boondocking or dry camping should go with a larger black tank or be prepared to minimize the use of their RV toilet. This waste tank can roll on wheels like a suitcase, and you can dump it at a dump station or public restroom.

The cassette toilet is often considered ideal for small RVs but also works well for large ones. You will most likely need to dump it every three days or less.

Cassette Toilet

A cassette toilet can become an excellent alternative to a traditional RV toilet. Instead of going into your RV’s black tank, waste will enter a small, portable waste tank that can be removable for dumping.

So how does a cassette toilet work? By definition, the cassette toilet is quite similar to a portable one. However, it is permanently affixed to recreational vehicles.

From the outside, you will see it works like a regular toilet. The most obvious difference lies in the holding tank size and how to dump it.

Unfortunately, emptying the cassette toilet can be a bit more uncomfortable than its black tank counterpart. Thus, it is not for every RVers. But it can be the proper pick for RV owners who often go off the grid.

The holding tanks of Cassette toilets are small, making them ideal for Class B RVs, and similar models feature little storage space. Of course, the holding tank size will also vary depending on your vehicle, but it is typically roughly five gallons.

When comparing these tanks with black tanks, you will clearly see how different this lavatory is. That’s why you must empty a cassette toilet every three to five days.

While the smaller size of the holding tank may sound like a drawback of the cassette toilet, many small RVs will benefit from this.

In addition, many RVers also highly appreciate its portability. If you go with this option, it is unnecessary to be near a dump station to dump a cassette toilet. It is okay to drive your RV to the nearest restroom and empty it within a few minutes.

This type also comes with fewer parts, and you will not have the hassle of cleaning, storing, and handling a sewer hose. So you can clean it every time emptying the camper cassette toilet, making it less likely to have a smell in your recreational vehicle.

Cassette Toilet Vs. Black Tank: What’s the Difference?


Black tank and cassette toilet system: Which will be right for you? Answering this question will become easy if you understand the difference between the two.

1. Capacity

The cassette portable toilet and the black tank one both come with permanent toilet bowls attached to your camper.

The waste tank of a cassette toilet features a capacity of 5 gallons, less or more, depending on your model. Meanwhile, an RV black tank can hold 15 to 90 gallons of waste.

So you should use a cassette toilet if your vehicle is small or you don’t have a black tank in your RV.

2. Convenience

When talking about function, both the black tank toilet and cassette toilet are fairly similar. These toilet systems offer timely usability when you want to poop and are pretty straightforward to utilize.

But the difference in convenience between the two lies in their tank system. The cassette toilet features a portable tank, while its black tank counterpart does not.

3. Maintenance

In terms of maintenance, the cassette toilet RV is the winner as it is easier to maintain.

Once its holding tank is full, you just dump the waste and clean the tank and your toilet bowl seamlessly. Pouring water inside this tank with your favored cleaning solution is all you need to do to clean it.

Beyond that, when a technical issue occurs with your cassette toilet, it’s easy to deal with as all its components are visible.

For the black tank, it could be more complex to maintain. In fact, the cleaning process can be more time-consuming. Besides protecting the tank sensor, you will need to prepare a wastewater hose that is for sale on reputable e-commerce sites like Amazon or eBay.

Moreover, repairing the black tank is also more complicated and costly, and you usually have to make a call to a professional in this case.

4. Number of People


A camper cassette toilet will work well when it’s just you or two people on your RV journey. Meanwhile, a black tank toilet system is ideal for groups of three, four, or more.

So it means if many people use your cassette toilet system, you will have to do your daily dumping as it features a small waste tank capacity.

5. Gross Level

A Cassette toilet system, like the Thetford cassette toilet or Dometic cassette toilet, is definitely an excellent invention for RVers around the globe. But this toilet system is not suitable for people who are easily grossed out.

Most cassette toilets have a handle and rollers that allow you to unload the tank by hand when you need to dump waste. For a black tank toilet, it is not necessary to carry your dump storage physically.

6. Dump and Odor

There is no denying that all types of RV toilet systems have the potential to cause odors. But when comparing a black water toilet and a cassette toilet, the former has more probability of causing odor inside the camper.

Black tanks have a larger storage capacity and only require you to dump about once per week. It sounds convenient, but the accumulated waste will smell inside your RV after a few days.

For a cassette toilet system, it is essential to dump every one to three days, allowing you to clean it regularly. So it is okay to dump the waste daily to prevent odors from developing in your camper.

7. Availability of Dump Site

Both the black tank and cassette toilets require a specific area for dumping. However, the latter will be the winner because it has more proper dump places.

You can bring your cassette toilet to any public toilet, dump site, or even your traditional home to get the job done. Meanwhile, if your RV goes with a black tank toilet, you will have to find a dump station that may be far from your campsite.

Bonus Tips to Use and Maintenance Cassette Toilet

  • Avoid putting toilet paper in your camper cassette toilet: It will take up space because it cannot dissolve as quickly as in the portable tank. So throwing the toilet paper in the trash is wise.
  • Dump the tank frequently: In that way, your toilet system will be kept in tip-top condition: If you’re traveling alone, ideally empty your tank at least every four to five days, or every two to three days if you’re traveling with a group.
  • Cleaning the tank with distilled white vinegar and water: After emptying your tank, you should use some water with about half a cup of distilled white vinegar to clean it. Reducing chemical use is always a good option!
  • Clean your cassette toilet regularly to avoid odors.


1. What Is the Key Difference Between a Cassette Toilet and Recirculating Toilet?

The main difference between a cassette toilet vs recirculating toilet lies in the design.

The recirculating toilet comes with a tank of chemicals and water used for all liquid-related purposes, combining and neutralizing waste with these chemicals.

2. Do Cassette Toilets Stink?

All toilets may stink. But the cassette toilet can mitigate this because it requires you to dump frequently.

3. What Is the Difference Between a Porta Potty and a Cassette Toilet?

The difference is the cassette toilet is permanently attached to the recreational vehicle.

Wrapping It Up

So you’ve reached the bottom of our article. Hopefully, by now, you’ve got the answers to many questions like, “What is a cassette toilet?” or “Cassette toilet vs black tank: Which suits you better?” Consider the factors above to decide which type of toilet system works best for you.

Thank you for stopping by! Please share this article to help other RVers wondering about this as you were.

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