If there’s one home comfort you can’t travel without, it’s a caravan toilet. Toilets are essential to a great road trip. You don’t want to have to rely on drop toilets in the middle of the bush!
With so many features to choose from, choosing the perfect caravan toilet isn’t as easy as you think.
Use our caravan toilet buyer’s guide to make the right choice:
Types of Caravan Toilets:
There are three main types of caravan toilet to choose from. Each of them has pros and cons depending on your caravan and preferences:
1. Gravity Flush Toilet:
A gravity flush toilet is the traditional caravan toilet. Caravanners have been using them for decades! Permanently installed in your caravan, the toilet works using a simple style of flushing: the bowl contents drop straight down into a holding tank installed directly under the toilet.
You also have the option of plumbing in your toilet, so the waste goes into your black tank. This will need to be pumped out with a 12-volt pump at a dedicated dump point.
Buy a gravity flush toilet if:
You want to recreate your at home toileting experience
You don’t want to worry about water – it uses less water than your toilet at home.
You don’t want to use electricity – they are operated using a foot pedal which means no need for an electrical connection.
You don’t want to see your waste – it drops below the toilet bowl.
You’re on a tight budget – prices come in at around $600
Don’t buy a gravity flush toilet if:
You’re camping off-grid and don’t have access to much water. A gravity flush toilet uses your caravan water.
You want to keep odours away from caravan. Odours can be a problem, depending on the chemicals you choose.
2. Cassette Caravan Toilet:
Cassette toilets are another toilet that have been around for a while. They are a great option for caravans, RVs and campervans because they are easy to install and use.
The toilet bowl is permanently installed over a removable waste tank. When you flush, the waste drops into the tank. When the waste tank is full, you can remove it through the caravan service door and empty it into the dump point. Easy!
You can even dump the waste in regular public toilet if you can’t find a dump point.
Buy a cassette caravan toilet if:
You want a quick and easy installation
You want to save water
You are happy to fix the toilet to your caravan – you also have the option to purchase left-hand or right-hand entry models to suit your mobile home.
You want the speed, ease and convenience of a cassette tank. No need to pack up camp to empty the tank, they are quick to dump and easy to clean!
Don’t buy a cassette caravan toilet if:
You aren’t confident lifting the cassette tank – they can be heavy when full.
You don’t want to deal with emptying the tank. It’s not a fun job!
You don’t want to install a toilet permanently.
You don’t want a toilet inside your van, full stop. Any odour will be noticeable if the waste tank is not properly treated or ventilated.
3. Portable Toilet:
Portable toilets are designed so you can literally take them anywhere. They are popular for small caravans and camper trailers as well 4WDs and even tent camping.
The toilet comprises a lightweight plastic toilet bowl and a small water tank on top of a small waste tank. When the waste tank is full, remove it from the upper seat and bowl, and empty it into a dump point.
A portable toilet only requires two additives – one in the flush tank for lubrication and the other in the waste tank to help break down the waste and prevent bad odours.
Buy a portable toilet if:
You want a cheap option.
You need a compact and lightweight toilet that you can take on any adventure – even in a tent!
You want to keep your toilet far away from your caravan to stop odours hanging around.
You don’t want to worry about permanent installation in your caravan.
You won’t have easy access to water – a portable toilet uses very little water.
Don’t buy a portable if:
You don’t want to see and smell the waste contents when you empty the tank.
You need a bigger tank capacity – portable toilets usually have a small holding tank capacity which means more frequent tank emptying.
You need a higher seat – portable toilets tend to have a very low seat.
Which Model Is Right For Me?
Now you know the types of caravan toilet, and their pros and cons, answer these questions to work out which toilet is for you:
Inside or Outside?
If you want to permanently install a toilet in your van, consider the space and set-up you have. Caravans and medium-sized motorhomes tend to best suited to a cassette toilet.
For larger RVs and motorhomes, look to a plumbed in gravity toilet. This requires an existing black tank for the waste.
For camper trailers or smaller caravans, a portable toilet is a better, inexpensive choice. You can house them in a toilet/shower tent for privacy.
What Kind of Installation?
There are lots of ways to install your caravan toilet depending on the space.
Do you want the flush water (grey water) and waste (black water) to be plumbed in? This is a common approach for motorhomes or larger vans. The advantage is you don’t need to refill the water tank of the cassette, so it’s the most convenient option.
Most cassette toilets allow the flush water to be plumbed in so the tank fills automatically from the grey water onboard your vehicle. This is easier in the long run, but a more complicated and expensive installation. Also, you cannot add a rinse aid to the water refill.
The alternative is a cassette toilet with a self-contained flush tank and you will need to fill the water manually. Dometic cassette toilets do not have on board flush tanks for their Australian models and need to be plumbed in from Grey water tank.
Remember, you still need to empty the waste manually on all cassette toilets – and they can fill up fast!
You will need to pump out the waste on all gravity toilets.
How Tight Is The Space?
Consider the space available in your van. If you want to save space and have the toilet as part of the shower cubicle, a Thetford side entry or toilet with a swivel seat is a great option. This helps maximise space and allows you to squeeze the toilet into a tight space. Thetford and Dometic have a great range of cassette toilets that swivel to fit most spaces, like this Dometic CTS 4110 cassette toilet.
It’s worth noting that the service door is not included but essential if you want to access the cassette through the wall of the van.
You can also buy a left-hand or right-hand toilet to suit your caravan bathroom design, like the cassette toilets by Thetford. This right-entry cassette is removed from your right side as you are seated on the toilet and vice versa for the left entry.
What Extra Accessories Should Do You Need To Buy:
Here are some essentials to keep your caravan toilet working well and smelling good:
Water tanks – Explore our range to work out the right water tank for your caravan.
Happy Bowl Toilet Bowl Liners – Keep the toilet bowl clean with no brush, no fuss.
Service door – Depending on the toilet, you may need to buy a service door to access the cassette from the outside of the van.
Plumbing – You’ll need a spigot, flange and other plumbing accessories to install your caravan toilet.
Need Replacement Parts?
If you’re looking for replacement parts or a new cassette, we can help! We sell a range of parts for popular caravan toilet models.
What’s On The Market?
Check out these caravan toilets depending on what you need:
Best Toilet For Camping:
For a comfortable, practical and durable portable toilet that doesn’t require a connection to a drainage or water system, Thetford’s Porta Potti is the ideal solution. Compare a range of sizes and flushing systems, including electric flush.
Best RV And Caravan Toilets:
Dometic has a fantastic range of cassette toilets to meet all needs. It starts with the Dometic Saneo CS – a cassette toilet featuring a bowl adjustable by 90 degrees in both directions making it ideal for tighter spaces. It also comes with an ergonomically shaped seat for comfort and a high-quality, scratch-resistant ceramic inlay for easy cleaning and a premium finish.
For more features, choose the Dometic Saneo BLP, which has a low console and an easy to remove 16-litre cassette.
The Dometic CTS 4110 is the newest in the range, with an innovative high grade scratch resistant ceramic inlay and hygienic waste disposal of 19 litres.
Best Toilet For A Large Caravan And Motorhome And Boat
The Dometic 500 Series gravity flush toilets provide ultra low-flush water conservation and trouble-free performance, with all the comforts of a household toilet. Check out the Dometic Traveller 510 and Traveller 511.
Have more questions? Send us a message on our live chat in the bottom right hand corner of your screen!
DISCLAIMER* Please note, this advice is general in nature and we strongly recommend consulting the product manual and where relevant, a professional installer.