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Old 08-05-2013, 03:52 PM   #1
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Hybrid Portable Toilet?

I am rebuilding my trailer, and have been considering a portable style cassette toilet vs. a permanent installation of a conventional RV toilet with black tank. I can see the benefits of either arrangement, and being a "have your cake and eat it too" kind of guy, I ask the following question:

Is anyone out there aware of a "hybrid" setup, so that ideally, one could get the benefits of the removable cassette tank, as well as having it (the cassette tank) connected to a larger black tank that one could drain conventionally?

I've looked around, and the only model that makes any mention of having vaguely simlilar capability is the Thetford Electra-magic Recirculating toilet, that is not only really expensive, but sort of disgusting sounding as well.

Thetford Electra Magic Recirculating Toilet - PPL Motor Homes

thanks!
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Old 08-05-2013, 04:04 PM   #2
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Have you considered a composting toilet? Nature's Head makes a model that works well.
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Old 08-05-2013, 04:13 PM   #3
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I am rebuilding my trailer, and have been considering a portable style cassette toilet vs. a permanent installation of a conventional RV toilet with black tank. I can see the benefits of either arrangement, and being a "have your cake and eat it too" kind of guy, I ask the following question:

Is anyone out there aware of a "hybrid" setup, so that ideally, one could get the benefits of the removable cassette tank, as well as having it (the cassette tank) connected to a larger black tank that one could drain conventionally?
I'm not thrilled with cassette toilets to begin with. So let me ask this, what exactly are the benefits of a removable cassette that make it worth having along with a black tank? Don't you get much the same benefits by using one of those Thetford SmartTote portable waste tanks to allow dumping without moving your Airstream to the dump station?
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Old 08-05-2013, 04:29 PM   #4
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The benefits...

This is my first travel trailer, so perhaps my camping is experience is too colored by my days of tent camping in parks and national forest. Anyway, when I go camp, I try to get far from the concrete and crowds, and thus I am expecting to be boondocking at least half the time. Of the time that I am connected to any hook-ups, I am guessing that full hookups with sewer, water and electric will probably only count for about one half of that. Therefore, I'm thinking a cassette toilet will give me the capability to go away for the weekend and then just dump the cassette at my house, or in some bathroom facility along the way--no stress about hunting for a dump station. Since we will generally only have two people in the trailer, I would imagine we could go a few days without filling a 5 gallon cassette.

Also, I store my trailer on my back driveway behind the house, and I expect that it won't be long before we use the trailer as a guest house. Since I don't have a sewer hookup in the backyard, a cassette tank would make for a very simple means of providing bathroom facilities, that are still readily empty-able without dragging the trailer to a dump station.

I would agree that in my past experiences with portable toilets, they don't work really well, and emptying them is generally messy and repulsive. Was hoping to find that some advances have been made in porta-potti technology.
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Old 08-05-2013, 05:00 PM   #5
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Therefore, I'm thinking a cassette toilet will give me the capability to go away for the weekend and then just dump the cassette at my house, or in some bathroom facility along the way--no stress about hunting for a dump station. Since we will generally only have two people in the trailer, I would imagine we could go a few days without filling a 5 gallon cassette.

Also, I store my trailer on my back driveway behind the house, and I expect that it won't be long before we use the trailer as a guest house. Since I don't have a sewer hookup in the backyard, a cassette tank would make for a very simple means of providing bathroom facilities, that are still readily empty-able without dragging the trailer to a dump station.
Even if you don't have a sewer hookup in the back yard, do you have a sewer clean-out plug somewhere between your house and the sewer main? If so, dig it up (if it's buried) and put an extension on it to get it above ground level, and voila! Instant dump station. That's all a dump station really is, a sewer clean-out plug with an easy-to-remove cap.

Side note, if you use the trailer as a guest house at home, I'd strongly advise installing a sewer connection first, unless you plan to sleep in the Airstream while your guests sleep in the main house. Non-RVers are notorious for putting things into the black tank that never should be in the black tank, and filling the entire gray tank in a single shower.
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Old 08-05-2013, 05:39 PM   #6
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I use a five gallon Porto potty in my Avion. No black tank. True cassette toilets as used in Europe are dif to impossible to find here even though they are used in some Truck Campers. Producers do not appear to want to sell to the American public. The pp works well. Just slide the top section off and carry the bottom to a sewer outlet or public toilet to dump. Jim
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Old 08-06-2013, 07:43 AM   #7
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Maybe I am misusing the term "cassette"...What is the difference between a European style cassette toilet and the available-to-Americans portable toilets where the top portion (bowl and water reservoir) separates from the lower portion (small black tank)?
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Old 08-06-2013, 07:47 AM   #8
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Maybe you should consider one of these. Kinda expensive, but definately no-fuss, no muss.

DryFlush | The Waterless Toilet
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Old 08-06-2013, 09:01 AM   #9
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I can speak with good authority about the toilet that you linked. We have that exact toilet in the back of our C-130. I hate that POS with every cell in my body. It does have a built in holding tank but it is not sealed, it is open aired with just a swirl plate separating the waste from open air. It stinks too. We have to empty that heavy,stinking, sloshing POS after every flight by removing it and taking it to the nearest real toilet and pulling the dump valve, and then jumping out of the splash zone.

We had one research idiot that actually pulled the dump valve in flight. We had the dump valve handle pinned and a BIG warning placard to not pull this handle. After we landed we had to remove the lavatory enclosure and floorboards to clean up the mess. It took use 2 days to clean it up, and we were in the tropics in the summer.

Did I say I hate this POS yet. I'll try not to hold anything back on this POS
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Old 08-06-2013, 09:33 AM   #10
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Aerowood--are you referring to the "Dryflush" immediately above, or the "Electra magic" toilet in the original post?
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Old 08-06-2013, 11:08 AM   #11
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I can speak with good authority about the toilet that you linked. We have that exact toilet in the back of our C-130. I hate that POS with every cell in my body. It does have a built in holding tank but it is not sealed, it is open aired with just a swirl plate separating the waste from open air. It stinks too. We have to empty that heavy,stinking, sloshing POS after every flight by removing it and taking it to the nearest real toilet and pulling the dump valve, and then jumping out of the splash zone.

We had one research idiot that actually pulled the dump valve in flight. We had the dump valve handle pinned and a BIG warning placard to not pull this handle. After we landed we had to remove the lavatory enclosure and floorboards to clean up the mess. It took use 2 days to clean it up, and we were in the tropics in the summer.

Did I say I hate this POS yet. I'll try not to hold anything back on this POS
Why don't you tell us how you really feel.

I'll have to admit, I literally laughed out loud at this. Sorry.

We do appreciate your service, now more than ever!
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Old 08-06-2013, 01:48 PM   #12
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Aerowood--are you referring to the "Dryflush" immediately above, or the "Electra magic" toilet in the original post?
The Electra Magic, nothing magic with it though
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Old 08-06-2013, 02:35 PM   #13
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A European style cassette toilet is mounted inside with one side, usually the rear, against the wall. Access to the rear of the cassette s through a compartment door to the exterior of the trailer. The bottom of the cassette can then be pulled out from the outside to be dumped. Used to be able to get info if you google thetford cassette toilets which gets you to a European website. I actually found one of these at an RV supply house in Ocala, fl. First I had seen. Do not remember the name of the house but it was a Thetford cassette toilet and was around five hundred dollars uninstalled. Jim
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Old 08-07-2013, 05:17 AM   #14
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Maybe you should consider one of these. Kinda expensive, but definately no-fuss, no muss.

DryFlush | The Waterless Toilet
Material isn't biodegradable, meaning it'll stay in landfill for the next couple of thousand years. They are working on fixing that situation, but until then I would not recommend that solution.

I know I recommended it before, but Nature's Head makes an excellent composting toilet. They started out selling to the boating community, but their solutions work well for RVs and remote buildings too. Affordable, small enough to fit into restricted spaces and kind to the environment.

We'll be installing one of these into our trailer next year, using the old blackwater tank for additional greywater.
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