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Emptying a Campervan Toilet: What's All the Fuss?

by Wilderness HQ | Sep 12, 2010

If you’ve seen the Robin Williams movie “Runaway Vacation”, the thought of having to empty the campervan toilet maybe enough to put you off the campervan experience entirely. But that need not be so. In order to allay any fears you may have, I attempted to find a You Tube video on “how to empty a cassette toilet” but sadly I had more luck finding “how not to” videos. Take poor Helen who did not listen to the instructions when she picked up her rental camper. She is paralysed by the fear that she will end up covered in toilet contents so doesn’t think straight (either that or she’s not very bright). Her ever so helpful partner’s best contribution to the task is “shall we ring Julia?” Frenchman Renard has a few more ideas but still makes it look much more difficult than it really is.

So in the absence of a good video to show you how do it, here’s my quick and simple explanation. The toilets in New Zealand rental campervans are usually the basic cassette type unlike the full septic tank system in Robin Williams 50ft RV so you don’t need to fuss with miles of hoses. The toilet has a small box (cassette) attached to the base that can be removed through a small door on the outside of the motorhome. Once removed just carry the cassette to the dump station drain. The cassette even has wheels and an extractable handle so you can wheel it just like your airline luggage. Unscrew the yellow cap and hold the cassette over the drain while you pour out the contents. There’s a little yellow button on the top of the cassette that lets air in to make the pour easier and prevent splash back. When it’s empty, just give it a quick rinse (the dump station will have a fresh hose nearby), add some toilet chemical (which most rental companies supply) and slot it back in. Then put the jug on, make yourself a cup of tea, and congratulate yourself on being a seasoned camper.

If you’ve wondered why motorhome rental companies insist you empty the toilet in your camper before you return it, just watch this video of the long suffering Jane. Other people’s waste is definitely less pleasant than your own!

  • Camping in New Zealand
  • Motorhome Rental Tips


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