1. Choose the Best Filter for Your Filtration Needs
Your options can seem endless when it comes to water filtration. You can choose to target specific areas of your RV with KDF shower filters, undersink drinking water filters, water filter pitchers, and more. But if you are looking for all-around filtration there are two main types of filters made specifically with RVs in mind.
The first option is an inline filter cartridge
Inline filters allow you to connect the cartridge to the water supply hose either at the water source or inside the RV, providing quick and easy access to cleaner, clearer water for the entire camper.
Some inline filters have single stage media that focus on carbon filtration for improved taste and odor or sediment reduction for particle removal, while others offer multi-stage media that can provide carbon, sediment, and other specialized filtration like hard water reduction or enhanced reduction of heavy metals and other contaminants.
While inline filters are very effective, especially for occasional RV use, for the full-time RVer, a larger system tends to be the better choice. RV water filter systems employ multiple filters of varying media types, usually in a one, two, or three stage system. Sediment filters reduce larger particles from rust and other sediment, activated carbon cartridges help with improving water taste and odor, and a third cartridge may provide Ultrafiltration, descaling, or other specialized water filtration.
The system may be freestanding and used outside of the camper, connected directly to the water source, or it can be a wall-mounted system installed within an RV storage bay.
2. Install a Water Pressure Regulator
A pressure regulator is a must-have for RVs whether you choose to use an RV water filter or not. Water pressure can fluctuate greatly across campsites, and can even fluctuate within a given site as you use the water. Some campsites can have a flow of up to 120 psi, but most RVs recommend a flow of 40 to 85 psi to protect your rig’s plumbing and hoses.
Pressure regulators should be installed before the water filter system in order to provide protection to your system as well as the RV itself. Try to choose a regulator that allows for pressure adjustment, which can also assist in keeping the flow high enough for proper filter cartridge performance.
3. Maintain Proper System Parameters
Whether you choose an inline cartridge or multi-stage system, your filter will have suggestions for proper cartridge performance, including the aforementioned water pressure levels. Other parameters to check for can include water temperature and filter cartridge life. Most cartridges and systems fall into the category of cold water-only filtration.
Cartridge life may vary by type and brand, but in most cases they last for about one season of use. Be sure to check for this information on your cartridge label or within the system manual.
4. Practice Proper Filter Storage
Part of getting the best out of your filter includes proper storage between trips. If you are a part-time RVer, you will not be constantly using your filter throughout the season. To avoid mildew buildup within your filters, they should be removed, drained, and allowed to dry completely when not in use. Once dry, you can store the filter in the fridge to keep it fresh for the next time you are on the road.
5. Perform Regular Maintenance
In addition to storing filters properly between trips, it is important to perform regular maintenance. For both inline and water filter systems, the rule of thumb is to replace used filters at the end of each RV season with new cartridges. Make sure to review your installation manual that comes with your system for proper cartridge replacement and practices.
While an inline cartridge will usually only require an end-of-season replacement, a system will require a little more TLC. Refer to your manual for full maintenance recommendations, but in general you should be washing filter housings, checking hose connections for loosening, maintaining and replacing O-rings as needed, and making sure there is no other damage present.
In conclusion, RV filters can be a fantastic addition to your traveling experience. Once you choose the right filter to meet your needs, you can look forward to safer and tastier water on your adventures. Making sure to install a pressure regulator and properly store and maintain your cartridges will ensure that you get the most out of your RV filter this travel season.