Expert Advice on Toilets
As you're getting all your camping accessories together you may also want to think about taking along your own portable camping toilet. If you're going to be staying on a campsite, they will, of course have toilet facilities normally but for your convenience (pardon the pun) it's handy to have one on your actual pitch especially for the night time and if you have children.
Even if you're not camping, these toilets can be useful at home for those extra guests or whilst you're house is undergoing bathroom repairs perhaps. You can even buy camping toilets that can be fitted into your motorhome or caravan yourself if you're doing your own conversion.
There's a wide variety of portable toilets made by different suppliers with varying sizes, capacities and designs to suit your personal needs and preferences and even toilet and utility tents designed to use them in.
There's the basic 'bucket' type design ( which normally comes with a framework including your seat and lid and there's the cassette design which has a waste tank at the bottom and fresh water tank incorporated into the top part of the toilet.
Before using one of the cassette toilets you have to prepare it for use by detaching the top part of the toilet from the bottom (the way to do this varies with each make so follow the manufacturer's instructions). There will then be a way of adding your required amount of waste toilet chemical into the bottom waste tank (dosages will be on the chemical bottles). You will then need to fill your top tank with fresh water and add the rinse chemical to the fresh water. Never use the toilet waste chemical in the top freshwater tank as this can damage the seals.
As far as chemicals go, basically, pink chemicals are for the top freshwater tank and either blue or green are for the base waste tank. Green chemicals are biodegradable and therefore environmentally friendly which is preferred by some camp sites and if you are emptying into a cess pit, etc. Chemical bottles comes in various sizes for whether you're just going away for a few days or if you're planning a few months away in Europe to escape the British winter and need to stock up. If you are travelling in chillier places there is even an anti-freeze solution available especially for cassette toilets (don't use car antifreeze though as it's too harsh!!).
You then re-connect the two parts back together and it's ready to use. There's a valve (blade) in between the top and bottom tanks with a seal around it. You pull a lever usually located at the front of the toilet to open and close the valve releasing the waste into the bottom tank although you can use with the valve open if preferred. To flush there will be either a button or bellow system on the top tank to release fresh water into the bowl. Manufacturers will recommend specifically made toilet paper to use with the cassette toilets as this is designed to break down quicker and to not clog the blade system up.
When it comes to emptying the cassette toilets you will need to detach the top from the bottom again and take the waste part along to the camp site designated emptying area or empty directly into your toilet at home or drain. Some of the toilets will have a level indicator to show when this needs to be done. At the bottom of the waste tank there will be either a cap or swing arm which allow you to empty the contents out. Then wash the tank out and prepare for use again (as above).
Please take a quick look at the video below for a quick demonstration of the Fiamma Bi-Pot 30 Cassette Toilet
When you're storing your cassette toilet, empty both the top and bottom tanks, press the flush button/bellows a few times to empty out the flush mechanism. Clean the waste tank out, leave the valve blade open and do not fully replace caps.
When cleaning the toilet it's best not to use strong household detergents like bleach or anything abrasive, etc. It's also recommended to lubricate the blade when in storage with a seal lubricant. When the valve seal gets worn or doesn't work properly this can normally be replaced and there's a wide variety of toilet spare accessories which can be bought as well.