|Determine Your Needs
To get the system that meets your needs, you must first determine what your needs are. How much of the water used in your RV is going to be filtered? How clean and pure do you want the finished product? How often do you use your RV? These are some of the questions you must answer before you can choose the system that is best for you. Let's explore these questions in more detail.
How Much Water Should I Filter?
Basically, the choices here are all of it or part of it , although it's not as easy as it first appears. If the water that you typically have available is dirty and/or tastes and smells bad, you will probably want to use sediment and taste and odor filters for all of the water that you use. Many people go this route. There have been ideas mentioned in forums or campfire chats that may cause some RVers to avoid using carbon filtration for the whole RV. They hear that this may result in potential stagnation in their freshwater tank due to the removal of the chlorine present in city water. We do not agree with this concept, especially when it leads to customers thinking they can avoid the need for tank sanitation chores. Periodic sanitizing of the freshwater tank is always the best way to prevent stagnation issues. This will involve various intervals, depending on the RVers use of the tank. The more it is used and fresh water allowed to be filled into that tank, the less stagnation issues will come up. Some full-timers that use their tank all the time may get away with once a year, or so, whereas the part-timer that leaves the RV in storage during hot weather may need to sanitize several times during the year. Remember that not all RV parks have chlorinated city water. Some RVers may go to parks that are all on untreated wells. The tank is open to the air through the vent and will eventually evaporate the chlorine gas out, anyway. So, to rely on the chlorine residual in water sources to keep stagnation from occurring, may actually increase the chances of developing the very problem trying to be avoided. Nothing beats the periodic need to sanitize the tank. If this is done the way that best suits the RVers use of the tank, then it will not matter if chlorinated water is used and left in, or if that smelly and distasteful chemical is removed through the use of a carbon filter. One thing for sure, if the chlorine from treated water is not removed, then the customer will have to endure the smell and taste from chlorine, sulfur, and other contaminants carbon can remove. Some may choose to install the carbon filter after the tank, as many RV manufacturers do when installing whole RV filtration. Then the chlorine encountered in city water can serve whatever minimal benefit it has, and it will be removed after it comes out of the tank. If a carbon filter is used for drinking water only, then the customer will have to deal with taste and odor issues for brushing teeth and showering. So this is why we have no concern about using carbon filtration for the whole RV or drinking water. It is certainly easiest to use a portable sediment and carbon filtration system for the whole RV due to installation involved when using it for drinking water only. We offer systems that can be installed or not, and for the whole RV or drinking water only.
If the water is usually not too bad, or you are concerned with space or cost, you can filter only the water you use to cook with and drink. If you are concerned about health-threatening contaminants, which are only a problem if ingested, then applying a higher level of filtration to the drinking water supply might be in order. Ceramic filters or ultra violet light would be most helpful.
If you want to achieve a very high level of purification, then reverse osmosis (RO) units are what you will want. There are a myriad of ways in which the various components can be combined to create the system that best fits your needs. Let's look at some systems in depth to show you typical uses. These are merely examples and by no means represent the total range of choice.
Filter All the Water Used in the RV
If you want better flow, longer life, and the most versatility in customizing your system, we recommend installing a standard-size canister system. Systems can be configured with a single canister, two canisters in series, or even three canisters for specialty purposes. Since the canisters are a standard size, there is a wide variety of filter cartridges available for them. Let's consider the choices and see what works best for each system.
In a one-canister system, the filter cartridge you select needs to perform all the functions you require, such as sediment removal and taste-and-odor improvement. You will want to use a combination cartridge for this purpose.
If you go with a dual-canister system, each canister can contain a cartridge dedicated to a specific task. This is what we recommend and is our most popular filtration system. The first canister should contain a sediment cartridge and the second canister a carbon cartridge. There are many filter cartridges available, and they are discussed in more detail on our Choosing a filter page. Our Essential System with lead and heavy metal combo has in recent years surpassed the standard carbon block due to faster flow, longer life, and natural resistance to stagnation during storage, and has become our most popular dual canister system. There are several combination dual canister systems to choose from, depending on the features of the cartridges you may wish to try.
If you want to add an additional function to your system, this is best accomplished by adding a third canister. The first two would contain the same cartridges as a dual-canister system, and the third canister would house the specialty cartridge, such as a Birm or phosphate cartridge. If sediment problems are extreme, triple-canister systems could utilize two sediment cartridges, for example a 5 micron first, followed by a 1 micron and finally a carbon cartridge.
Filter Only the Drinking Water Supply
The other style of filter installed by some coach manufacturers is a one-cartridge, under-sink system in which the cartridge screws into a metal filter head. The manufacturer of this product is Everpure and the cartridge does sediment removal, including cysts, and granular-carbon taste-and-odor improvement. It is also bacteriostatic, which makes it good for intermittent use. We have the replacement cartridges for this unit, plus two upgraded cartridges that will fit right in the Everpure head that provide solid-block carbon, increased longevity, and easier changing. We also offer a similar system called the Q-series . This is a better system in that the filter cartridges are either solid-block carbon or ceramic with granulated carbon, and they will filter smaller particles from your water. The system also has an automatic shut-off valve that makes it very easy to replace cartridges without a mess. We also offer the 3M filtration line that offer high end cartridge replacement options.
Filter All of the Water + Filter Drinking Water
Higher levels of Purification
Reverse Osmosis - The Best Alternative for Near-Pure Water