The 10 Best RV Water Filters of 2019: Reviews & Buying Guide

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Looking for a water filter for your RV? Don’t know how to make sure that your choice is the best for you? Then you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’re going to talk about the factors that you will need to look out for in order to find the best water filter capable of fulfilling your needs. After that, we’re also going to show you our top 10 choices of which water filters to get this 2019, and surely one of them is the best for you.

Table of Contents

COMPARISON TABLE

IMAGE

PRODUCT

DETAILS

SHOP

Large Capacity

Camco 40043 TastePURE RV/Marine Water Filter...
Camco 40043 TastePURE RV/Marine Water Filter...
  • Capable of reducing the growth of bacteria, molds, and fungi
  • The streamlined flow of water due to the inline design

Fast and Easy Installation

Camco EVO Premium RV & Marine Water Filter,...
Camco EVO Premium RV & Marine Water Filter,...
  • Made to be used either in the RV or during camping
  • The guaranteed streamlined flow of water

Durable, Premium Design

Camco 40013 TastePURE KDF/Carbon Water Filter
Camco 40013 TastePURE KDF/Carbon Water Filter
  • Delivers safe and fresh-tasting drinking water
  • Inline design for better water flow

Durable Design

Camco Mfg 52700 Inline Water Filter (with...
Camco Mfg 52700 Inline Water Filter (with...
  • Lowers bacteria growth in the water
  • Great water flow due to the wide body and inline design

Flexible 12-inch Hose

Culligan RV-800 Exterior Pre-Tank...
Culligan RV-800 Exterior Pre-Tank...
  • Long lasting filter cartridges
  • Effective in minimizing bad taste and smell

Sturdy Design

Culligan 1019084 RV Water Filter
Culligan 1019084 RV Water Filter
  • Effective at removing contaminants
  • Produces great tasting water

Guaranteed to Last Long

Watts POE12DSA1KDF Dual Exterior Water Filter...
Watts POE12DSA1KDF Dual Exterior Water Filter...
  • Produces clean drinking water that’s safe to drink
  • Easy installation process

Premium and Durable

Clearsource Ultra | Premium Three Canister RV...
Clearsource Ultra | Premium Three Canister RV...
  • Easy installation or set-up process
  • Durable fittings made from stainless steel

Replacable Cartridges

Hydro Life 52141 HL-200 External Filter Kit
Hydro Life 52141 HL-200 External Filter Kit
  • Adaptable design means you can install it permanently
  • High volume design which also helps in getting rid of chlorine and lead

Flexible Hose Protector

Fette Filter - RV & Marine Inline Water...
Fette Filter - RV & Marine Inline Water...
  • Provides a high rate of water flow
  • Guaranteed large capacity of water

WHAT TO LOOK FOR?

Every person has different needs. This is true for almost any product, including water filters for your RV. When choosing which water filter to buy, you must evaluate your own needs and make your decision based on that. Here are the factors that we believe are the most important when looking for the water filter for your RV.

  • Type

There are different types of water filters for RV use, each one ideal for a different set of needs and consequently, different kinds of RVers.

One of the options you can go for is an inline filter. If basic sediment filtration and the ability to remove bad taste and smell from the water is all you need from a water filter, this is the perfect choice for you.

Another type of water filter you can get for your RV is the compact canister. As the name suggests, it is just the more compact version of the water filters normally used in houses. Because of this trait, the compact canister filter type is just big enough that it can fit inside your RV. It can also be customized to specifically suit for particular needs.

Other options include the reverse osmosis which is great for purifying water, and the sediment and carbon filters.

  • Amount of water you’re going to be filtering

Exactly how much water do you think you’re going to be filtering is also a factor that you need to consider. Do you want to filter all of the water in a storage tank or only the water from select sources? By knowing your future usage of the filter, you will also know which filter will be most suited for your needs.

If your water source is dirty and filled with sediments, an investment for a water filter capable of handling the task of filtering all of the water in your motorhome is highly advised. You should also probably try to get one that can filter sediments.

  • The difficulty of the installation process

It is important that the installation process of the filter you choose is something you can easily accomplish. This is important since you’re going to be replacing your filter every 3 to 12 months. You want to make sure that when the time to change the filter comes, you can easily handle it on your own.

WHAT ARE THEY AND HOW DO THEY WORK?

best rv water filters

WHAT IS A WATER FILTER?

The main purpose of a water filter will be to get rid of the impurities in the water. This is accomplished by removing as much of the unwanted substances in the water as possible, either by passing the water through a barrier with fine holes in it, or via a chemical or biological process. In short, the reason why you need a water filter for your RV is so that you can cleanse your water to a certain extent, giving you a reliable source of clean, and sometimes even drinkable, water.

Note that not only water filters that are also purifiers are capable of fulfilling this particular function. Anything that can get rid of bacteria, sediment, and particles can already be of help, regardless of the amount. The best models of water purifiers are also capable of producing clean water that does not taste like chlorine.

The filtration system of most of the products you’re going to encounter while shopping will have a filter made from activated carbon charcoal, usually placed inside a pitcher or used as an important component of tap-installed or faucet-mounted filters. Methods such as sieving, adsorption, and ion exchange (among others) are used to achieve its purpose.

All of the methods and processes are all used in order to effectively remove contaminants from the water. Water filters will be much more effective in getting rid of particles from the water, especially the smaller ones, compared to the natural holes that the water passes through.

HOW DOES A WATER FILTER WORK?

The number one reason why you would want to install a water filter in your motorhome is to provide a reliable and secure source of clean water, which can even be good for drinking. Because of this, having one is invaluable during camping or hiking trips; knowing that you will always be able to get drinking water will put your mind at ease. In general, water filters clean water using two different techniques.

The first technique is by using physical filtration. As the name suggests, this is literally just passing the water through a barrier that serves as a strainer, which will remove any impurities large enough. This barrier acts as a very fine sieve and is normally a fine textile membrane (cloth-like material), or a thin gauze.

The second technique is called chemical filtration. This filtration method works by passing the water through a special material, specifically designed to adhere to the impurities commonly found in water, preventing these impurities from flowing along with the water.

If you’re planning on filtering all of the water in the holding tank of your motorhome, your best choice would be to get a water filter which can be connected to a hose. If that’s the case, then what you want to get are inline units that are capable of doing sediment removal and carbon filtration. Because of their ability to do both physical and chemical types of filtration, you can expect the water from this unit to taste and smell well. It has to be noted, however, that such units are limited in their capability to remove sediments.

What’s good about these units is that they are relatively small, which makes them perfectly suited for the needs of people who do not use their motorhomes often.

If your needs require a filter with better flow and last for longer, then what you need is a standard sized canister. These units are bigger but come with the advantage of being customizable, meaning you can easily configure this type of units to specifically suit any of your needs.

DIFFERENT TYPES OF RV WATER FILTERS

If you often go on trips in your motorhome and you want to make sure that there is always a steady source of clean and odorless water, then what you need to invest on is a reliable water filter, one that specifically fulfills your needs. Water filters do a great job of minimizing the contaminants normally found in water, and also diminishing (or even outright removing) traces of chlorine along with foul taste and smell.

When you’re looking for a new water filter for your RV, you need to make sure that the unit you get is the best for you. You can do this by being completely aware of the full capabilities and limitations of each different type. The different types that you’ll encounter while shopping for a water filter for your RV include the following:

  • SEDIMENT FILTER

If your water filter uses sediment filters, it means that your filters work by removing particles from the water. These sediments can result in a major maintenance issue in the long run by clogging up the water system of your recreational vehicle.

Having sediment filters is advisable not only for the water pump of the drinking water but also for other purposes such as toilet valves, other faucets, and the water heater. Because of this, having a sediment water filter in their recreational vehicle should be a bare minimum for all RVers.

  • CARBON FILTER

One of the major benefits of having a carbon filter is that carbon filters can improve the taste of the water and also expel any sort of foul odor. This is something that sediment filters are incapable of doing. Nowadays, most of the carbon water filters that you’ll see while you’re shopping are probably capable of reducing (or completely removing) the foul odors and bad taste from your water.

There are also types of carbon filters that are capable of removing contaminants such as mercury, asbestos, lead, and various volatile organic compounds. In general, carbon filters are divided into three types.

The first one, which is also the cheapest and most common type of carbon filter, is the granular type of activated carbon filter. This type of carbon filter works by simply passing the water through grains of charcoal or other activated carbon types. While beneficial, granular-type activated carbon filtration units are not as effective compared to the other two types of carbon filters. This is because of the minimal surface area of the activated carbon.

The second type of carbon filters is the solid block carbon, which uses pulverized activated carbon shaped into blocks by high pressure. The activated carbon in solid block carbon filters have a higher surface area compared to the granular type filter model. Solid block carbon filters can prevent channels from forming, ensuring that the water will always come in contact with the activated carbon.

The third type of carbon filters is the modified carbon block. This is functionally just a better version of the solid block carbon filter, meaning they work the same way. However, modified carbon block filters have a higher rate of water flow. They are also more durable, so they’ll last longer compared to the other two types.

  • CERAMIC FILTER

Another type of water filter you can buy for your motorhome is the ceramic water filter. This type of water filter has tiny holes that are capable of straining out the various contaminants in the water, such as bacteria, sediments, and even microscopic organisms.

What makes ceramic filters special is that some models are also capable of removing chemical contaminants. This is because they feature a carbon part within the system, which can remove chemicals, although not to the same level as dedicated carbon filters.

If microscopic organisms, and other biological pests, are likely to invade your water source, then having a ceramic filter is the most ideal choice for you.

  • REVERSE OSMOSIS

Reverse osmosis water filters clean water by using a semi-permeable membrane. This membrane will prevent anything larger than water molecules from entering. This type of water filter will probably the most effective and the water it produces is almost pure.

Reverse osmosis will definitely remove almost all sorts of contaminants from your water, including arsenic, hexavalent chromium, perchlorate, fluoride, and different nitrates.

One major drawback of reverse osmosis, however, is its inability to remove chlorine from your water. The good news is that most reverse osmosis systems nowadays also have a carbon filter.

BENEFITS OF HAVING A WATER FILTER FOR YOUR RV

Having a properly functioning water filtration system is extremely advisable for RV owners, especially the ones who often go camping outdoors. Having a reliable water filter inside your RV will bring you various benefits and advantages, such as:

  • PEACE OF MIND

Having a water filter means always having a reliable source of tasty and odorless drinking water all the time, something that you will most definitely need when you’re out travelling or while camping. With a water filter, having clean and drinkable water will be the least of your worries.

  • CONVENIENCE

With a water filter, drinking water will always be accessible. This means you don’t have to go through the effort of ensuring that you’re not going to run out of water to drink.

Having a water filter also means that you don’t have to deal with the issues related to having to bring your own water, such as weight and storage. Without a water filter, you’ll have to bring large bottles of water along with you during your trips. Not only are these bottles heavy, they will also consume a significant amount of space.

Having a decent water filtration system is equivalent to having an endless supply of drinking water. Compared to having numerous bottles of water, water filters will also weigh less and consume less space.

  • CAN REMOVE ALL SORTS OF CONTAMINANTS FROM YOUR WATER

Water filters will also give you the assurance that the water that you’re drinking is clean and free from sediments and other types of contaminants, which could be harmful to you and your family’s health.

  • IMPROVED TASTE AND SMELL

Having a water filter for your RV can also improve the taste of the drinking water and remove any foul odors.

Long story short, what you really get from having a water filter in your motorhome is the assurance of always having a constant and reliable supply of safe and high-quality drinking water, regardless of where you go.

THE 10 Top Rated RV WATER FILTERS

And there go our top 10 choices in water filters in 2019, along with a short review of why you should buy them. Combined with all the information you have received throughout this article, you should already be fully equipped with everything you need in order to choose the right water filter best suited for your needs. However, if lingering doubts still exist or there are questions left unanswered, the following are the frequently asked questions which can possibly help you find the answers you need.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ)

WHAT ARE THE GOOD BRANDS OF WATER FILTERS FOR MY RV?

Water filters can be incredibly beneficial and important for RVers, especially for the types who are always traveling or often go camping. Because of this, it’s not surprising to find out that there are numerous brands that try to establish themselves as the best brand of water filter. However, finding the best brand of water filter shouldn’t ever be a struggle.

One of the most established and distinguished brands when it comes to water filters for RVs is Camco. Their product line continues to impress due to the high quality and durability of their water filters.

Aside from Camco, another brand famous for its great and reliable products is Culligan. This company’s products are well-known because of how easy they are to use, not to mention their versatility.

As a matter of fact, their water filters shouldn’t be considered exclusive to RV use. They can also be used in trailers, boats, and camping.

Other brands that are worth looking when shopping for a good water filter for your RV are CLEARSOURCE, Watts Water Technologies, and Hydro Life.

CAMCO 40043 VERSUS CAMCO 40045: WHICH ONE SHOULD YOU GO FOR?

Both the Camco 40043 and the Camco 40045 are two of Camco’s best offerings in terms of functionality and quality. Since they are both products from Camco, it’s not surprising that they share several qualities. For one thing, both products come in two packs. Both of them also feature inline designs that result in high water flow rate.

Additionally, the Camco 40043 and the Camco 40045 are both famous for their capabilities. Both products are effective when it comes to reducing bad taste and foul odors, and also at removing significant amounts of sediments along with chlorine normally present in the drinking water. The two products also exhibit high levels of versatility which allows them to have numerous applications outside of being a water filter for an RV.

Both products can easily be connected to your typical gardening or water hose. Aside from being used in an RV, these products can also be used in a boat, or by campers, and even for washing your pets or for gardening purposes. No matter what you use it for, expect these water filters to provide clean water.

However, these two products are not completely alike in all aspects. One of the more important differences is the Camco 40043’s package which already comes with a hose protector that is even flexible, unlike the Camco 40045 which requires you to purchase the hose protector separately.

In short, if you don’t wish to have to shell out more money in order to buy a separate hose protector, then the Camco 40043 is the better product to get.

CAMCO 40043 VERSUS CAMCO 40013: WHICH ONE SHOULD YOU GO FOR?

Another two great products made by Camco that are often compared to each other are the 40013 and the 40043. Both water filters do a great job of getting rid of sediment and chlorine, and also at removing bad taste and smell, from the water. Both of them are also capable of lasting the entire camping season.

The deciding factor between these two products depends on what activated carbon type do you want. The 40013 comes with carbon that has a high flow rate along with KDF. The 40043, meanwhile, is equipped with granular activated carbon.

SHOULD I ONLY USE THE WATER FILTER FOR MY DRINKING WATER SUPPLY, OR CAN ALL OF THE WATER IN MY RV BE FILTERED?

The best thing about water filters nowadays is that they can be used to filter your entire water supply, not just your supply of drinking water. What this means is that you can make sure that all of the water in your motorhome is clean and safe, including the water used for washing or cooking.

This is important because using water that came from different sources can result in problems in your source of water supply. Chances are, your water is contaminated by microorganisms and chemicals that may be harmful. For this reason, filtering all of your water is highly suggested.

If you do want to filter all of your water, then you should look for an inline water filter which runs under the sink. Luckily, the installation of in-line water filters is generally easy and straightforward.

This type of water filter also has a bypass line that you can use if your RV is winterized.

IS REVERSE OSMOSIS GOOD FOR RV USE?

Reverse osmosis, just like chemical and sediment filtration, is just another method of purifying water and is definitely also suitable for RV use. Water produced through reverse osmosis will definitely be highly purified, with low amounts of salt and minerals.

Aside from being a filter, reverse osmosis can also act as an effective water softener and purifier. Considering all of these, no wonder most RVers highly prefer reverse osmosis.

HOW TO REPLACE MY RV’S WATER FILTER?

Just follow these steps in order to replace your water filter

  1. Loosen the canister using the canister wrench until you can remove it with just your hands.
  2. Remove the filtering element and throw it away.
  3. Wash the canister
  4. Replace the filtering elements within the canisters. Make sure that filter elements are placed inside the correct canister (the right canister carbon blocks of 0.5-micron thickness; on the other hand, the left canister accepts 5-micron filters for sediments).
  5. Place the canister back on the head of the mount.
  6. With the canister screw, tighten the canister back in place
  7. While screwing the canister back in, observe the canister’s O-ring. If any cracks can be seen, then it needs to be replaced. If it’s just dry, use silicone lubricant on it.

Additionally, when you replace the filter, you should also check your hose washer to see if it’s cracked or dry, in which case it needs to be replaced.

HOW TO CLEAN A WATER FILTER?

Cleaning your water filter will help tremendously in increasing its longevity. This means that you don’t need to replace them so often since doing so is expensive and bad for the environment.

Luckily, the cleaning process is not very difficult, just follow these steps:

  1. Backflush the water filter by reversing the water flow. This is normally done by using a syringe or a hose, which should come with the filter. If the water filter became dry due to not being used for a long time, then you should first allow the water to flow through in the normal direction before reversing the flow.
  2. Find out if your water filter can be brushed. If it is, then brush the water filter to remove accumulated gunk. In some water filters, you can skip the first step and go straight to brushing. Make sure that you use soft-bristled brushes only.
  3. Another method is to use chlorinated water to clean your water filters. To do this, just run about a single gallon of chlorinated water through your filter. This also removes any bacteria from your unit.
  4. If there is no chlorinated water available, you can pour 8 drops of liquid bleach (clear and unscented) to about a gallon of tap water. Stir the mixture and let it sit for at least 30 minutes. Afterward, use it like you would use the chlorinated water. If you want to clean your unit with something stronger, then you can increase the concentration of the bleach solution (one cup bleach per liter of tap water).
  5. Let your filter dry thoroughly. However, don’t place the unit under direct sunlight. It’s preferable to just place your filter in a warm area with proper ventilation.

HOW LONG WILL THE WATER FILTER IN MY RV REMAIN EFFECTIVE?

In general, your RV’s water filters can last from 3 up to 12 months. However, the exact duration varies due to the difference of the manufacturer and the models. A good rule of thumb is to replace your water filter every 3-6 months. If your filter was designed to last for 12 months, then you should replace it every 9 to 12 months.

A good indicator of when you should have the water filter of your RV changed is when the color or flow of the water is already affected. If you noticed that the flow of the water has become slower, or the water’s color became darker, then this probably means that your water filter needs to be replaced.

CAN I FILTER HOT WATER?

Sadly, you cannot. Hot water cannot be filtered properly by water filters made for RV use. Worst case scenario is that it reverses the filtration process, releasing the contaminants back into the water. This means that you should use the water filter of your RV strictly on cold water only.

In the event that you ran hot water through your water filter by accident, you will need to run cold water for about two minutes in order to remove all hot water before you can use the water filter again.

DO WATER FILTERS LEAK?

Yes, water filters could leak. This is especially true if it’s been used for a long time. However, if there is indeed leakage, then you should check your water filter for damages. If you find any, then you need to replace your water filter.

Leakage could also be caused by an error in installing the O-rings. Once again, in the event of leakage, you need to check your O-rings if they’re still complete and undamaged. If any of them are damaged or even completely missing, then you need to replace the filter.

HOW DO I INSTALL THE WATER FILTER INTO MY RV?

The first step of installing a water filter into your RV is the installation of the hose seals made of rubber on the two sides of the canister, along with the off valve of the garden hose.  Wrap all the fittings with plumber’s tape and line the canisters up in the right flow pattern.

Afterward, set-up the fittings of the PVC pipe along with the adapters of the hose on the canister’s two sides. Then you need to install canister’s O-ring and have the filter cartridge set up next to the canister.

Tighten the head of the filter cartridge and then repeat the same process but this time with a carbon filter. After that, you need to shut the water supply of your RV off.

Once your water supply has been turned off, you need to connect your water line to the canister.

Get a 3-foot water hose (must be compatible with the RV hose) and connect it to the canister, and then the inlet.

After that, turn your RV’s water supply back on. Once it’s back up, you should take this opportunity to check for any leakage. If you find any, then you need to screw the fittings tighter.

Once everything’s done, you need to find a place where you can place the filter. After you found your preferred location, you can use the brackets provided in order to mount the filter.

WHAT ARE WATER FILTERS MADE UP OF?

Most of the water filters found in the market are made from a filter media that functions by trapping contaminants. Normally, the filter media is an ultrafine web or a sieve, which acts like a strainer that prevents unwanted particles from flowing with the water.

Filters can also be made to utilize the process of absorption. These filters will come with a medium that will attract the molecules of the unwanted particles and trap them.

CONCLUSIONS

Having a reliable water filter for your recreational vehicle is highly recommended, especially if you’re the type to travel often, going from places to places. Having a good water filter guarantees there will always be a reliable source of drinking that is not only clean and safe but also lacks any sort of bad taste or odor.

With this in mind, it is highly suggested that you choose what’s the best water filter for your RV. You can do this by making sure that the water filter will be able to meet your needs.

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