Our Guide to Caravan Toilets

A caravan toilet might not be the most glamorous item on your shopping list, but they are essential for a comfortable road trip.

But buying a caravan toilet isn't as simple as you think. With so many technologies, designs and features to choose from, how do you work out the best caravan toilet for your rig?

Here's our guide to caravan toilets:


Types of Toilets:

There are three main types of caravan toilet: gravity flush, cassette and portable toilets.


Gravity Flush:


A gravity flush toilet is a traditional caravan toilet and has been around for decades. It gets its name from the simple style of flushing: the bowl contents drop directly into a holding tank which is installed directly under the toilet. The gravity flush is permanently installed in your caravan.


  • Uses less water than a household toilet

  • Foot-pedal-operated toilets have no need for an electrical connection - consumes no energy

  • You don't have to see your waste - it drops underneath the toilet bowl


  • It uses your caravan water supply, so it's not ideal if you're camping off-grid

  • You still have to dump your waste holding tank

  • Odours can be a problem (depending on the chemicals you use)

  • The waste tank can clog

  • If your tank is full you have to move your whole camp/ caravan to empty the tank




Cassette toilets have been around since the '70s and are ideal for caravans, RVs and campervans.

How do they work? A compact toilet bowl is permanently installed over a removable waste tank. When flushed, the waste drops directly into the tank. Then, when the waste tank is full, you can manually remove it through a service door and empty it into the dump point.

How to use the Thetford Cassette Toilet


  • Uses very little water

  • Toilet is fixed to your RV but the storage tank can be removed

  • Doesn't require a dump point to empty, so you can empty at any point whilst on the road. This helps avoid excessive cost, queues and mess.

  • A cassette tank means you do not have to pack up camp to empty the tank.

  • Cassette tanks are quick to dump

  • Cassette tanks are easy to clean

  • Have the option to purchase left-hand or right-hand entry models to suit your RV


  • Small size tank - they are typically 1/3 to 1/5 of the size of a black water tank.

  • Requires the cassette tank to be lifted in and out of the holding bay, which can be heavy and awkward when full.

  • The tank can be pretty gross and unappealing to empty.

  • You should use a cassette tank cleaner at least once a year to remove stubborn calcium deposits.

  • The waste tank is technically inside the vehicle, so any odour will be noticeable if the waste tank is not properly ventilated or treated.


Our Top Picks: The Thetford C402-C is one of the most popular cassette toilets on the market and for good reason! The waste-holding tank has a huge capacity of 19.3L which means you don't need to empty it as often. Plus it is offer in both left hand entry and right hand entry models!

Another great option is the Dometic Saneo CS, which features a bowl adjustable by 90° in both directions making it ideal for tighter spaces.




Portable toilets are not only popular in small caravans but also for tent camping and 4WDs. You can literally take them anywhere! They are made of a lightweight plastic toilet bowl with a small water tank, on top of a small waste tank. When full, remove the waste tank from the upper seat and bowl, and empty into a dump point.


  • Portable toilets are very cheap!

  • You can transport portable toilets anywhere.

  • You can put your toilet at a safe distance from your caravan to prevent odours.

  • No installation required - just bolt down if you want.

  • Uses very little water.

  • No need for a dump station - empty at any point whilst on the road and avoid excessive cost, queues and mess associated with using a dump station.

  • No need to pack up camp to empty the tank.

  • Compact size - the toilet can be conveniently stored away when not in use

  • Only requires two types of additives - one in the flush tank for lubrication and the other in the waste tank to liquefy waste and prevent foul odours. This makes it easier to dump the waste.


  • You have to see and smell the contents when you dump the waste

  • Portable toilets typically have a small holding tank capacity

  • More frequent waste dumping needed

  • Portable toilets tend to have a very low seat which can be uncomfortable for some


Our Top Picks:

The Thetford 565E Porta Potti is electric flush and a comfortable seating height of 45cm. Also included is a toilet paper holder and optional floor plate to permantely fix to the floor. 

The Dometic SaniPottie is a portable lightweight toilet that is perfect for smaller vehicles and tents. One thing we love about this toilet is the push-button flush technology, rather than a pump. Choose from the 9.8 litre tank or 18.9 litre tank.

Dometic portable toilet
Dometic Portable Toilets are compact and can be stored away when not in use

Not sure which caravan toilet is best for your vehicle? Contact our friendly team for help.


DISCLAIMER* Please note, this advice is general in nature and we strongly recommend consulting the product manual and where relevant, a professional installer.

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