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Old 04-14-2014, 01:01 PM   #1
evy
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toilet cassette vs portable waste tank vs space

Hi guys,

So I'm planning on building a campervan out of a Ford E-250 extend cab

I'm working on the shower/toilet area and I want to know what my options are.

I like the cassette option because it frees space underneath the van's floor for other things.

My question is, do I have to buy one of those expensive Thetford toilet/cassette kits or can I simply buy some sort of toilet bench and fit one of those bigger portable waste tank with wheels/handle??

I'm not sure what Roadtrek's design is, I red something about a Macerator/pump? is there a way to copy that system but above the van's floor? would that be easier or cheaper?

Thanks!



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Old 04-14-2014, 08:13 PM   #2
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Re: toilet cassette vs portable waste tank vs space

One option to a cassette toilet to keep cost down is a large Porta Potti. I believe Thetford makes new ones with holding tanks as large as 5.5 gallons, which equals their cassette size. A major disadvantage to a PP is that you have to secure it inside the bath area. And in both cases 5 gallons of waste can be heavy to lift.

Regarding use of a macerator pump, my understanding is that they are usually connected to a stationary tank system. With portable tanks like Porta Potti, cassettes, or those blue tanks with wheels, there is little benefit to pump the waste when you can carry the tank to the dump site. If weight is an issue, I'm sure you could adapt a macerator pump to a portable tank but that would be more unusual.

As far as I know newer Roadtreks have macerator pumps permanently connected to both the grey and black tanks. This is probably done in part because the holding tanks are low which could make draining by gravity more difficult. With a pump the waste can be forced uphill.

If you do try to adapt a tank and macerator pump to your layout, don't forget that most camp sites have dump connections on driver's side. With your layout you may need a longer hose. Also, if you locate the tank inside the van, would you place the pump off the tank or would you locate it under the van?
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Old 04-14-2014, 11:19 PM   #3
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Re: toilet cassette vs portable waste tank vs space

My 23 ft SeaRay Weekender had a Porta Pottie (it securing brackets) with separate macerator for pump overboard when far enough offshore AND a thru deck for black water suck out at a dockside facility. So it can be done.

Are most RV waste dump gravity into a drain type?
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Old 04-15-2014, 07:41 AM   #4
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Re: toilet cassette vs portable waste tank vs space

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Originally Posted by 1der
My 23 ft SeaRay Weekender had a Porta Pottie (it securing brackets) with separate macerator for pump overboard when far enough offshore AND a thru deck for black water suck out at a dockside facility. So it can be done.

Are most RV waste dump gravity into a drain type?
As far as I've seen, yes, most drain by gravity using large hoses. Mine was gravity and it worked great -- never had a single problem with it. One advantage is that the grey valve can be left open at full-hookup sites so you can use all the water you want for washing dishes or showering without worrying about filling the grey tank. With a pump it has to be turned on, unless they now automate them off tank level. Not sure if they do that because it could damage the pump in case of controls failure.

I would have liked a macerator pump for my RV so I could have dumped it at home after trips. I have a 4-inch clean out in back yard behind driveway but the elevation is just a little too high for the RV I owned years ago. They now make pumps you can attach in place of standard drain hose which would have worked great.

By the way, how did you pump out of Porta Potti? Did you stick suction hose in lower tank through opened flush valve, or did you use some other procedure? And how did you keep the suction hose from dripping inside boat? Sorry to ask such questions but being able to dump a large PP without having to remove it or carry the heavy tank may have some applications for small vans. But as they say, the Devil is in the details and handling waste inside a van needs to be planned carefully.
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Old 04-15-2014, 01:06 PM   #5
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Re: toilet cassette vs portable waste tank vs space

I have a Thetford Curve and it is great. (See my YouTube review). The tanks are the same size but the Curve has a much smaller footprint thereby leaving more space in your shower area. Another advantage is the ability to use in winter using the winterizing liquid RV places sell for keeping pipes from freezing. You can empty the tank in any toilet just as you can a. Cassette tank. The cassette will have wheels built in but a little foldable luggage cart could be used for the Curves tank if you find the tank too heavy. (40lbs + depending. ). There is a member on the rv.net class b forum who has a Majestic camper van that has the cassette setup like you are planning. He likes it but Thetford Curves can be had for $150.00 and as stated before require no plumbing.
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Old 04-21-2014, 02:50 PM   #6
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Re: toilet cassette vs portable waste tank vs space

I have to add my 2 cents. We just rented a Sprinter Sportsmobile for a 5 day trip. I was decked out with a shower with a cassette toilet. I Think it was the CS201 model with the 3 gallon tank. I emptied it a couple times, once at the RV dump and at a truck stop and it was super easy and not too heavy. The thing I really liked was the outside door for the waste tank and emptying at the truck stop where I filled just prior to returning the van I won't say what we did with our grey water. We are sold on the cassette toilet and will definitely have one in our future class b.
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Old 04-21-2014, 09:58 PM   #7
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Re: toilet cassette vs portable waste tank vs space

Greetings,
My wife and I used the thetford cassette (5.5 gal capacity) for three seasons. Just some observation on our use; the tank was full and needed dumping about every three days (max). Dumping, as others have commented is relatively painless and without fuss. Extra cassettes are available if you need extra time between dumps (I believe this is a common practice for owners of rigs in Europe and maybe even Earthroamer owners?).

Bottom line for my wife and I is we were glad to get away from the shackles of the thetford design. . . And will go the route taken by some of the more cutting edge conversions such as Outisidevan as seen on this page showing the nature's head in their conversion inside a sprinter:


http://www.outsidevan.com/enclosed-bathroom.php

Best wishes on your conversion.
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Old 04-22-2014, 09:18 AM   #8
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Re: toilet cassette vs portable waste tank vs space

You must be an adventurous soul. Stirling my poop with peat moss sounds like what I did when I was younger when the bathroom consisted of a hand shovel and if I were lucky a roll of TP.
Seriously, I would consider a composting toilet but have read too many complaints from Trailmanor owners who replaced the composting toilet in their trailers. People say they stink. Maybe I have try one. I wish someone would do a side by side comparison of the two.
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Old 04-22-2014, 12:33 PM   #9
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Re: toilet cassette vs portable waste tank vs space

Quote:
Originally Posted by accrete
Greetings,
My wife and I used the thetford cassette (5.5 gal capacity) for three seasons. Just some observation on our use; the tank was full and needed dumping about every three days (max). Dumping, as others have commented is relatively painless and without fuss. Extra cassettes are available if you need extra time between dumps (I believe this is a common practice for owners of rigs in Europe and maybe even Earthroamer owners?).

Bottom line for my wife and I is we were glad to get away from the shackles of the thetford design. . . And will go the route taken by some of the more cutting edge conversions such as Outisidevan as seen on this page showing the nature's head in their conversion inside a sprinter:


http://www.outsidevan.com/enclosed-bathroom.php

Best wishes on your conversion.
What exactly are the "shackles" of the Thetford cassette? You described it as being quite adequate in first paragraph. Do you mean having to dump the cassette every 3 days or so?
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Old 06-21-2014, 06:16 PM   #10
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Re: toilet cassette vs portable waste tank vs space

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chance
What exactly are the "shackles" of the Thetford cassette? You described it as being quite adequate in first paragraph. Do you mean having to dump the cassette every 3 days or so?
Greetings Chance. I apologize for not responding as i did not see this until today.
The "Shackles" are just as you thought...i do not like being bound by having to move somewhere else to take care of something as simple as poop (like breaking camp and driving to a toilet facility to dump a tank/cassette).

Thom
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