Cassette Toilet Life – Does it Stink? 
Camping in a travel trailer with this feature and tips for avoiding issues.

By: Austin & Kirsten Lawrence (@Adv4Two)

We’ll be sharing our top tips for traveling with a cassette toilet later in this article, but we want to start out by sharing a story about our first time dumping ours:

Austin and Kirsten embarked on an adventurous road trip in their Winnebago HIKE 100 FLX, eager to explore the great outdoors. Their cozy camper was equipped with a cassette toilet, a handy feature for their remote travels. One chilly morning, while parked amidst a serene forest, Austin realized the cassette toilet was full. With a determined grin, he called out to Kirsten, "Time for a little lesson in camper maintenance!"

Together, they donned gloves and gathered the necessary supplies: a portable tank, disinfectant, and gloves for safety. With the cassette toilet accessible from the exterior of the Winnebago HIKE 100, Austin carefully removed the cassette, ensuring the cap was secure. 

"Alright, let's find the designated dumping station," Kirsten chimed in, consulting the GPS map to locate the nearest disposal point.  After a short drive, they arrived at the dumping station. With Austin leading the way, they followed the guidelines provided. 

He secured the tank in place and released the cap, allowing the contents to flow smoothly into the designated receptacle. Kirsten expertly poured the disinfectant, ensuring cleanliness and a fresh start for the cassette toilet. With a sense of accomplishment, they securely closed the tank and cleaned their hands thoroughly.

"Teamwork makes the dream work!" Austin exclaimed, rewarding Kirsten with a high-five. They returned to their camper, ready to continue their adventure, now equipped with the knowledge of how to handle the cassette toilet. Throughout their journey, Austin and Kirsten encountered many beautiful landscapes, each experience enriched by the memories they shared, including their unique lesson in managing the cassette toilet in their Winnebago HIKE 100 FLX camper.

How We Transitioned to a Cassette Toilet for our RV Life

Having explored the outdoors with many different types of “toilets” we have found the cassette to be very efficient in the Winnebago HIKE 100 FLX. When we first started our camping adventures, we had a luggable loo. Oh yes, the five-gallon bucket. We tried all the ideas from earth-friendly bags to cat litter. 

This got old quickly, and we moved on to a portable cassette toilet that we had to fill with water and lift into the back of our truck. We really enjoyed the fact that we could actually “flush” the toilet, but the plunger to build pressure was very noisy, especially at night with others around to hear. I remember one campsite where we had some young boys camping with their parents nearby and they asked if that was a monkey they just heard! It’s those kinds of stories that make us laugh now, however, I don’t want to ever do that again.

The cassette toilet in our Winnebago HIKE 100 FLX is the first-ever interior bathroom we’ve had in a camper. It has been an amazing experience. No more going outside in the freezing temperatures or fighting with zippers to a bathroom enclosure in the dark. With water onboard already, it makes this little bathroom ready to be used at any time. This has saved us many times while traveling on adventures with no rest areas for miles! 

(Read another couple’s insights into cassette toilet life with a motorhome in this article.)

How to Avoid Stinky Problems

Most RVers are always concerned about “the smell” when using a cassette toilet. You definitely don’t want to be nose blind and have fellow campers come over to complain. However, we didn’t want to have a harsh chemical smell or a fruity smell as we both are very sensitive to those. 

We first tried the small dissolvable packs that look like a dishwasher tablet. They seemed to work for the first few adventures; however, we found ourselves using more than one in such a small tank. We wanted to use something that was more environmentally friendly and would get the job done. 

After doing a lot of research online, we found Happy Campers black tank treatment powder. It claims to have no odor of any kind and will give you long-lasting results even in over 100-degree temperatures. One scoop treats 40 gallons. Now, we know that the cassette toilet holding tank in the Winnebago HIKE 100 FLX is only 4.75 gallons, but the reviews were excellent and we had to try it. 

Living on the OBX of North Carolina gives us the chance to try out all products in very hot weather and very cold weather. Using the Happy Campers treatment has been a great experience thus far. Even with our temperatures getting up past 100 degrees during the summer, it has not failed us yet!

Between treatments, we also use Poo-Pourri spray which has helped tremendously to eliminate bathroom smells and does not stain or harm the toilet casing at all. Another way to eliminate odors quickly is by lighting a match - works every time. Just be sure to carefully put it out as well!

Final Tips for Traveling with a Cassette Toilet

Cleaning of the cassette itself is a breeze. Access is gained to the cassette by opening the exterior forward hatch on the non-camp side of the Winnebago HIKE 100 FLX. The quick release clip keeps the cassette secure during travel and use, but makes for an easy removal when you’re ready to dump. The cassette itself is very user-friendly with a suitcase-type handle and wheels for easy rolling to the dump station. 

You will also want to keep gloves handy to utilize while dumping. Bring extra toilet treatment on your adventures so if you need to dump, you can treat your cassette again.

With a cassette, you have the capability of dumping in or at a regular rest stop. With no messy hoses or worrying if you have everything hooked up correctly before dumping, we believe that cassette toilets will be used more in the future of RVing due to the sheer convenience.


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