The following information is a guide to fixed cassette toilets and is based on Vanlifer’s understanding on how the requirements of the new Self-Contained Motor Vehicle Act can be met.
What is the Self-Contained Motor Vehicle Legislation Act?
The Self-Contained Motor Vehicle Legislation Act passed in May 2023 because the Government wanted to better manage the impacts of freedom camping on communities and the environment. The law adds to the existing requirements for self-containment, but one of the biggest differences is the new rules state that vehicles must have a “fixed cassette toilet” to be certified as self-contained.
Campers with non-fixed portable toilets will no longer be able to freedom camp unless they’re at a site that specifically allows it. Enforcement Officers will check campervans to make sure they’re compliant. Owners of existing campers with portable toilets have up to two years to comply with the new standards.
What is a Fixed Cassette Toilet?
A “fixed cassette toilet” is the type of toilet commonly installed in campervans or caravans. It will have to be secured campervan and have a removable waste holding tank to enable it to be emptied at dump stations.
These toilets have been a popular choice in European campervans for many years and more recently have gained popularity in North America. They will now be a requirement in New Zealand.
Fixed Cassette Toilet Choices
There are several different types of Fixed Cassette Toilet available in New Zealand. But we think we have the best option.
The Vanlifer Fixed Cassette Toilet
The Vanlifer Fixed Cassette Toilet is built to last with high strength rigidity, ease of use, and at an affordable price.
The waste tank is easily removed and replaced using a guide rail and once installed is securely fixed in place. Installation is hassle-free - just screw the base into your campervan and build an access hatch to slide out the cassette. With a 17L fresh water tank and 24L waste tank, this toilet is perfect for up to 4 people. The toilet's dimensions are a Depth 530mm x Width 395mm x H480mm. This makes it one of the most compact toilets currently available in the market.
A button flush is available, which can be supplied from an external water source. It doesn't require any electricity or an external water pump.
The Thetford C400 Fixed Cassette Toilet
PRICE: $799.00 - $890.00
The Thetford C400 Cassette toilet has been around for a number of years. It’s specifically designed to be built into cabinetry or a shower room so it can be hidden away tidily. It has a depth of 400 mm, a height of 522 mm, and a width of 670 mm, with a 20L waste water tank.
Dometic Fixed Cassette Toilets
PRICE: $725.00 - $799.00
Dometic have several Fixed Cassette Toilets - the largest is the Dometic Saneo CS with dimensions of 602 mm depth, 680 mm height, and 377 mm width. It has an adjustable bowl and an ergonomically shaped seat for maximum comfort with a wastewater tank capacity of 16L..
The smaller option is Dometic CTS4110 is shorter, less deep but wider, with dimensions of 530 mm depth, 672 mm height, and 382 mm width. It has a 19L waste water tank capacity.
Freucamp Swivel Cassette Toilet
The Freucamp is another fixed toilet with a swivel bowl that is very similar to domestic options. It is also relatively compact and can be purchased in throughout NZ
Which is the right choice for you?
Size and Dimensions
When choosing a fixed cassette toilet for your campervan or caravan, always take into account the available space and the dimensions of the toilet. Fixed toilets are bigger than portable ones so check you have enough space. They need to be permanently mounted into your vehicle, so factor in the space the cassette to be pulled out from the back of the unit so it can be emptied. This is easier done with campervans with dual sliding doors. You may need to redo part of your interior to ensure that the toilet is usable from inside your van.
Holding Tank Capacity
It is also important to consider the toilet’s capacity. A larger tank means less frequent emptying, but it can also be heavier and take up more space which can be inconvenient in a small campervan or caravan. It's crucial to choose a capacity that aligns with your needs and travel style. Additionally, keep in mind that the holding tank capacity dictates the number of people that can be self-contained in the vehicle. For example, a toilet with a 3L holding tank capacity per person, will require a cassette with a holding capacity of 9 or more litres for a group of 3 people.
Ease of Use and Installation
A fixed cassette toilet must be user-friendly and easy to clean. Prioritise features such as an uncomplicated flushing system, a gauge to indicate waste tank level, and an easily accessible waste tank for disposal and cleaning.
Note that some Dometic and Thetford toilets require a pressurised water connection which requires a water pump and 12v power.
Meeting New Zealand's Self-Containment Regulations with a Fixed Cassette Toilet
Installing a fixed cassette toilet in your camper will help you meet New Zealand's new self-containment regulations and enable you to continue to freedom camp into the future.
Where do I buy a fixed campervan cassette toilet?
You can buy the Vanlifer Fixed Cassette Toilet through Vanlifer’s website (Vanlifer.co.nz) or Vanlifer’s Trade Me store (Go to Trade Me Motors and search for Vanlifer.)
Prices and more details are given on the website and in the store.
If you would like more information on either of these toilets contact Vanlifer on firstname.lastname@example.org