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I hope this doesn't sound like a weird question (even though I'm older I'm not preoccupied with bathroom things, really).  I'm looking into a SMALL class C, a Toyota, with a 9 (that's right, 9) gallon black water tank.  Is there any way to estimate how many actual flushes I can put into a 9 gallon tank? Thanks-

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Two of us in a Class B with a tank that size could not go even one week without dumping. We never counted the flushes but it wouldn't matter because different people use different amounts of water for each flush. Some people say fill the bowl each time. Some say do that twice. We figured as long as we added enough water that everything floated we were fine. But you do have to put some water in the tank after you dump the tank as well. After our experience we would never buy another RV with that small a black tank. We managed to live in that one 4 months before the frustration caused us to trade it in.

Linda Sand

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You could drain the fresh water out of any camper then put seven or eight gallons back in and see how many times you can flush.  But it will depends on how much water you use per flush, you can flush with the water off several times between wet flushings just use windex as a rinse. People with a composting toylet get a week or two out of a small container google them. When we have used a port o potty you can get several days out of a small one. Good luck

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The easiest way to estimate how many flushes you can get in that small tank is to measure the bowl's capacity at various levels.  Fill a pint container with water and see what bowl level that represents.  Empty the bowl and then add one pint of water, two pints, etc.  This will give you an idea of how much "stuff" is in the bowl when you use the toilet, and all of this has to go into the tank.  Simple division will tell you how many times you can expect to flush before the tank fills up.

The actual flush itself doesn't use much water, maybe a cup or two unless you let it run to wash down the sides of the bowl.  A piece  of toilet paper will wipe it clean just as well.

Edited by Lou Schneider

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Based on other RV's we have owned and their tank sizes, I would have to guess you could get anywhere from 48 hours to maybe 72 max if you conserved. 

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Oops.  Misread the tank...🙄

In our present small travel trailer, we have a 20 gallon black tank and it will usually last us about a week, sometimes a little bit more. 

Edited by Kirk Wood

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For the toilets in most RVs, I would guess 9 gallons is not going to last long...a few days at most.  For a small RV I recommend looking for a unit with a Thetford cassette toilet.  I believe my cassette hold about 6 gallons.  Very little water is used for flushing but even so it only lasts 2 people for maybe 3-4 days.  The big difference is dumping.  If you have a fixed black tank you are going to need to find a dump station every few days.  In many areas were I travel those are few and far between.  Dump stations can be absent even in major national parks or they can be few and far between.  For example, I will soon be staying in Arches.. no dump.  I am also visiting some of the areas of Canyonlands...no dump.  I visited the Mammoth area of Yellowstone.  The nearest dump is Madison campground and it would take hours going back and forth.  Yesterday I was in Hovenweep...no dump.  With a cassette toilet I have no issues in any of these areas.  I just use any vault or flush toilet.  Dumping is no fun no matter how you do it, but I don't want to try to plan my travels around finding a dump station every few days.

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46 minutes ago, JimK said:

For the toilets in most RVs, I would guess 9 gallons is not going to last long...a few days at most.  For a small RV I recommend looking for a unit with a Thetford cassette toilet.  I believe my cassette hold about 6 gallons.  Very little water is used for flushing but even so it only lasts 2 people for maybe 3-4 days.  The big difference is dumping.  If you have a fixed black tank you are going to need to find a dump station every few days.  In many areas were I travel those are few and far between.  Dump stations can be absent even in major national parks or they can be few and far between.  For example, I will soon be staying in Arches.. no dump.  I am also visiting some of the areas of Canyonlands...no dump.  I visited the Mammoth area of Yellowstone.  The nearest dump is Madison campground and it would take hours going back and forth.  Yesterday I was in Hovenweep...no dump.  With a cassette toilet I have no issues in any of these areas.  I just use any vault or flush toilet.  Dumping is no fun no matter how you do it, but I don't want to try to plan my travels around finding a dump station every few days.

Yep, to each his own.  No way I'd want to carry 50 lbs of raw sewage in my hands into a public restroom and dump it down the toilet.  I doubt that's an approved method either.  I guess that's why they make different systems.

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I rarely need to wait until the cassette is anywhere near full.  The average is typically more like 20 pounds or less.  I dont dump in a public toilet if anyone is around. 

It is a simple process ...  pour and flush.  It is a lot simpler than dealing with gloves and hoses, tank flushes and the cleanup.  You will find the vast majority of us with cassettes would never want to have a black water tank.  On top of that I don't need to arrange my travels to find a dump.  Tonight I am at the Goosenecks of the San Juan.  No dump, but there is a vault toilet.  Tomorrow, Muley Point.  No dump, no vault toilet.  The next night or two will be Natural Bridges.  Plenty of vault toilets, no dump.  Then Wind Whistle near Canyonlands.   A vault toilet but no dump.  Then I plan a week or so in Arches.  Vault and flush toilets, but no dump.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4 hours ago, chirakawa said:

Yep, to each his own.  No way I'd want to carry 50 lbs of raw sewage in my hands into a public restroom and dump it down the toilet.  I doubt that's an approved method either.  I guess that's why they make different systems.

 

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3 hours ago, JimK said:

You will find the vast majority of us with cassettes would never want to have a black water tank.

I have had both and the tank is by far my preference for many reasons, but none of this has anything to do with the question that was asked. 

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Thanks everyone, and please send any more thoughts on this, I thought it would be a complex issue, and I'm sure the down side of a problem here can be pretty bad.  Showing my great ignorance, what is a vault toilet?  Tx-

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A "vault toilet" is the modern high capacity equivalent to the old "outhouse" or "pit toilet" that was located over a hole dug directly in the ground.  The "vault" is a large holding tank, usually concrete, that can range from several hundred to several thousand gallons capacity. They're emptied periodically using standard septic system pump out equipment instead of being moved over a fresh hole periodically as was done in the outhouse days. 

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9 hours ago, Rvnotyet said:

I would really like to hear your reasons that you prefer a tank to a cassette,

I just do not consider emptying the black tank to be at all difficult and I have nothing to clean up when finished. It was quite a few years ago that we lived with a cassette toilet, but unless things have changed many parks with vault toilets do not appreciate you dumping one in the toilet and if you do that you also must manage to hold that cassette over the toilet seat while you empty it, and I  happen to prefer gloves for that job! There will be times that not everything will be liquid when you empty so use gloves or not... I strongly believe that emptying my black tank is far less difficult than the cassette was and less often. I have never seen a 9-gallon cassette and the smaller the tank the more frequently you need to empty it. I would bet that Jim also extends the time his cassette will last by using a bush when he pees. If you really travel like Jim and spend long periods out where there are no dump stations, then you may want the cassette as it can be emptied into a vault toilet where a black tank can't but most of us do not have that issue very often. If you really want to know, visit a campground and ask those you see emptying a black tank what they would rather do.

Consider this. If the cassette toilet was more popular than the black tank, why do most RVs have a black tank and no cassette, even if that tank is small? It may be something to do with which one will sell best for some reason.......  You may want to count how many posts have come from those who prefer a cassette toilet and compare to the number with a black tank.

Edited by Kirk Wood

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19 hours ago, JimK said:

You will find the vast majority of us with cassettes would never want to have a black water tank. 

I've had both and I think the answer is what kind of RVing you like to you.  Obviously, you stay at lots of places without hookups; we almost always have them.  Our 50 gal black tank will last us at least a week, but we have hookups connected for the washer, taking showers and doing the dinner dishes.  Friends of ours recently bought a Hymer MH with a cassette and we thought they were crazy. To each his own.

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Exactly and the OP is traveling in a small class c so advice that would pertain to a mobile home or equivalent makes little sense. 

Edited by JimK

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2 hours ago, JimK said:

Exactly and the OP is traveling in a small class c so advice that would pertain to a mobile home or equivalent makes little sense. 

We traveled in both a Class C and a Class B and I would not own a cassette toilet. Black tank all the way. Although I wish I'd had a macerator on the last one. I would even choose a port-a-pot with a bag in it over a cassette. Yes, I have experience with the port-a-pot, too. In fact, we still own one of those.

Linda Sand

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On 10/16/2018 at 5:32 PM, JimK said:

 

I rarely need to wait until the cassette is anywhere near full.  The average is typically more like 20 pounds or less.  I dont dump in a public toilet if anyone is around. 

It is a simple process ...  pour and flush.  It is a lot simpler than dealing with gloves and hoses, tank flushes and the cleanup.  You will find the vast majority of us with cassettes would never want to have a black water tank.  On top of that I don't need to arrange my travels to find a dump.  Tonight I am at the Goosenecks of the San Juan.  No dump, but there is a vault toilet.  Tomorrow, Muley Point.  No dump, no vault toilet.  The next night or two will be Natural Bridges.  Plenty of vault toilets, no dump.  Then Wind Whistle near Canyonlands.   A vault toilet but no dump.  Then I plan a week or so in Arches.  Vault and flush toilets, but no dump.

How many times would you have to dump your cassette over the course of those ~2 weeks? We would dump our black tank just once between Canyonlands and Arches, most likely at the free dump site at the Maverick station in Moab, and once again after Arches at a location based on our next stop.

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I never thought I could get this much information on this, and honestly never thought it would be so interesting (I may need to get out more), but seriously, this is very helpful, I', realizing that there are lots of ways to handle this, so it won't automatically limit the Class C I get.  Please continue with this thread if you have any additional thoughts, tx..

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While generally speaking a bigger black tank is better, do not overlook the size of the gray water tank as it is usually the more limiting waste tank because much more of your used water goes into it and the vast majority of us find the gray always fills up first. You didn't mention the size of the gray water tank in the subject RV.

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RVnotyet, If you have other choices to look at give them a second glance, those are small size tanks. However I do not know what kind of camping you’ll be doing. For me I would want the biggest capacity available, just a thought have you looked at truck campers.i have had one since 1999 and capacity is good on holding tanks and fresh water too. I know I can last a week on the soft sand beach taking it easy on showers.

you can take the camper off and have a truck or have a camper on and pull a trailer. Lots of versatility and pretty good mileage if you get the right set up too.

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