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Best RV Water Filter: Remove Sediment, Odors & Bad Tastes

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Editors Choice

CLEARSOURCE Premium

Clearsource Premium RV Water Filter System | Pristine Water. Unparalleled Water Flow. Built-in Stand.

With its top specs across the board, the CLEARSOURCE Premium is the ultimate in water purification for any RV owner and wins it our title of best RV water filter.

This is one of the few RV water filters we reviewed that provides a true two-step 5.0 and 0.2-micron filtration process. Filtering out multiple types and sizes of contaminants, the CLEARSOURCE Premium gives you clean drinking water and removes bad taste and odors.

On top of that, the CLEARSOURCE provides the largest flow rate on our list at a staggering 6 ½ gal which is miles ahead of the nearest competitor. Even better, the CLEARSOURCE also has the longest filter lifespan in our list being able to filter up to 2000 gallons of water before needing to change out the filters.

Bottom Line: Unless you plan on restricting your use of multiple water sources and appliances, the chances are that the CLEARSOURCE’s massive water flow and extensive filter lifespan makes it one of the best options.

RV Water Filters: Fresh Water on The Road

With all the additional appliances and gadgets in your RV sometimes the basics fall by the wayside. A prime example of this is having water in your recreational vehicle for washing and drinking.

While getting water for your recreational vehicle may not be a problem, making sure the water quality is up to the standard can be an issue. With RV parks and other camping locations not always maintaining the best plumbing system, you may want to improve the quality of your water with an RV water purification system of your own.

That is why we have put together a list of the eight best RV water filters, detailing each filter’s particular strengths and uses. We also provide a helpful buyer’s guide, so you can figure out what you particularly should look for in an RV water filter.

Looking for the Best Water Filters for Your RV?

  • Why you want to have filtered water in your recreational vehicle
  • Reverse Osmosis? Carbon Filter? An explanation of the types of filters
  • RV water filter reviews of eight of the top products on the market
  • Our unbiased pick for the best RV water filter

Why You Should Use a Water Filter in Your RV

Clean water is essential for every living thing, and while most municipalities do a decent job ensuring the city water is safe to drink, things can get a bit less reliable when traveling on the road.

Best RV Water Pressure Regulator Banner

Even in an RV campsite, there is no guarantee that the city water is clean because most RV parks do not change out their pipe systems regularly enough.

Even outside of drinking water, it is vital to make sure you have clean water for a wide variety of purposes, including cooking and cleaning– both yourself and your possessions.

Different Types of RV Water Filters

The type of RV water filter you should choose depends more on the particular issues your source water faces. A more basic water filter for RV use will filter out contaminants like large particle sediment, heavy metals, harmful chemicals, and common bio-organisms.

Inline Filter

Inline water filters connect directly to an appliance and only filter water used by that appliance. This kind of filter is less expensive than more robust RV water filtration systems and is handy if you have few appliances in your recreational vehicle.

However, inline RV water filters are not as good if your RV has multiple sinks, showers, and other water appliances.

Canister

Canister water filters generally connect to your RV’s main water supply and filter the water for multiple appliances– if not all of them. That said, smaller canister models can also serve as inline filters for a single appliance, though this can be pricey depending on the type of filter material used.

Reverse Osmosis

A reverse osmosis system is the best filtration method to decontaminate water from organic compounds and incredibly fine particles. That said, reverse osmosis systems are also usually more expensive, take up more space, and are more challenging to install.

Carbon Filters

Granular activated carbon (GAC) filters serve a couple of purposes but primarily act as medium-sized particle filters. This can include anything from sediment to volatile organic compounds (VOCs) but does not usually include organisms. That said, carbon filters also do a decent job of removing contaminants that may add any bad taste and odor to the water.

Sediment Filters

While carbon filters can remove larger particles, they tend to lose their filtration ability rather quickly if they do. Because of this, some of the better water filters out there include a special trap designed to catch only large particles like sediment.

UV Purification System

This system uses UV light and is excellent to use if you primarily need to remove organic contaminants from the water. That said, a UV system is not the best for eliminating sediment or inorganic compounds, though it is more environmentally friendly than most other filters.

What to Consider When Buying a Water Filter for RV Use

Water Sources

The source refers to where you get your RV’s water from, with sources in a town or other municipality generally having a better water quality than those pulled from wells. Keep in mind, the distance city water has to travel from the source can also play a huge role as well.

If you park your recreational vehicle somewhere in or directly adjacent to a town, you may not need as thorough a water filter to obtain clean, drinking water. For cleaner water, a basic carbon filter will often suffice by removing the chlorinated tap water taste and odor. For water gotten “off the beaten path,” look for an RV water filter that filters out sediment and organisms, especially cryptosporidium and giardia labia.

It should also be noted that depending on what type of material your recreational vehicle plumbing is made from, as well as how old it is, perfectly clean water can become contaminated while traveling through the plumbing itself. 

Water Pressure/Flow & Filter Size

These two measurements are important as they largely determine how many faucets you can use at one time, as well as how much water you can use from a source before you will run out. Keep in mind, RV water appliances generally use fewer gallons per minute (GPM) than the average ones found in your home.

For an RV sink, the average flow rate is about 1 GPM but can get as high as 3 ½ GPM for more robust models. Likewise, the average RV showerhead will have flow rates of 1 ½ GPM but can get up to 2 ½ to 3 GPM.

For water pressure rates, you generally want to stick somewhere between 50 to 60 pounds per square inch (PSI). Any lower and you will not have enough pressure to take a good shower while anything higher might cause damage to your RV’s plumbing — depending on the quality.

That said, since RVs usually only carry anywhere from 50 to 300 gallons of drinking water, it is often a better idea to use appliances with lower flow rates and higher pressure rates. This arrangement can allow water filters with lower flow rates to still provide enough GPM for your appliances.

In terms of “size”, the filters usually follow a standard size, though how much water they can filter before the cartridge needs to be replaced differs. Generally, filter replacement will be more often required for filters meant to clean larger particles than those which filter finer contaminants.

Filter Material

Most manufacturers don’t tell you what materials are used outside of carbon filters. This isn’t a significant concern, most water filter cartridges are made into a mesh weave to better trap contaminants.

Another common material used is kinetic fluxion degradation material (KDF), also known as copper-zinc filtration. This material removes heavy metals as well as chlorine and other chemical contaminants that can affect the water’s smell or flavor.

A few RV water filters also contain activated alumina media, which filters out fluoride, though you generally need a large amount for this for it to be completely effective.

Ease of Use and Storage

All of the water filters we reviewed use universal connections, which make them reasonably easy to install and use. For dual-canister filters, look for models that include a special “canister wrench” to make changing the filter cartridge easier.

Likewise, storage is rarely an issue as single canisters are often 11” x 3” and dual canister systems include mounting brackets. Some single canister water filters do not come with a mounting bracket and will need to either be fastened separately or positioned so that they do not move.

Best RV Water Filter: The Results

Camco 40043 TastePURE

Best Hose

Camco 40043 TastePure RV/Marine Water Filter with Flexible Hose Protector | Protects Against Bacteria | Reduces Bad Taste, Odors, Chlorine and Sediment in Drinking Water

The Camco 40043 TastePURE covers a lot of bases, but one of the best things about it is how portable it is. It is one of the more compact and lightweight models on our list and so doesn’t need to be permanently fastened down. On top of that, it also uses universal connections, which allow you to connect to a standard RV or garden hose, and has a durable flexible hose protector. 

This RV water filter comes with a high-carbon filter capable of removing particles of 20 microns. It also uses a KDF cartridge, so you don’t have to worry about bacterial build-up when the filter is not in use.

That said, the Camco 40043 TastePURE doesn’t come with a cartridge capable of filtering out smaller particles and so is best-suited for filtering out sediment. Of course, you can always purchase a separate cartridge filter, but that might limit its versatility.

  • PROs

    • Cheaper option
    • 20-micron fiber barrier
    • Has carbon filtration
    • Has a universal connector
  • CONs

    • Functions mostly as a sediment catcher
    • Connections may leak

Bottom-Line: If you want a good value product adaptable to ever-changing needs then the Camco 40043 TastePURE may be just the ticket.

CLEARSOURCE Premium

Highest Flow Rate

Clearsource Premium RV Water Filter System | Pristine Water. Unparalleled Water Flow. Built-in Stand.

If you compare models by specs and capabilities alone, there was no competition between the CLEARSOURCE Premium and any other product that we came across. For starters, this is a two-step canister RV water filtration system.

The CLEARSOURCE Premium first uses a coconut shell carbon block sediment trap to screen contaminants of 5.0 microns or larger, then runs the water through an activated carbon filter to catch anything 0.2 microns or larger. Furthermore, this RV water filter uses stainless steel fittings, which have superior structural integrity as well as resisting rust better than most other types of materials.

Still, the most impressive quality of the CLEARSOURCE Premium is its flow rate of 6 ½ gallons, which is almost twice as much as the next closest model on our list. It also ties for the longest filter lifespan, filtering up to 2000 gallons before you need to change out the cartridge.

This water filter is reasonably easy to install for a two-step water system and uses universal connections. The only real concern we had with the CLEARSOURCE is its price, which is by far the highest on this list.

  • PROs

    • Filters 5.0-micron sediment 
    • Has 0.2-micron activated carbon filtration
    • Has a 6 ½ gal flow rate
    • Filters up to 2000 gal
  • CONs

    • Very expensive
    • Connections may leak

Bottom-Line: CLEARSOURCE Premium with its two-step filtration process tops our list in all specs, including flow rate and total gallons filtered, providing some of the cleanest water.

Culligan White Single Unit RVF-10 Level 1

Best for Hot Water

Culligan RVF-10 Recreational Vehicle (RV) External Water Filter, White, 250 Gallon

The Culligan RVF-10 Level 1 is a great product for any task requiring the use of hot water thanks to a list-leading maximum temperature capability of 125oF. Not only is this great for taking hot showers, but it also works well for cooking and cleaning purposes too.

The RVF-10 Level 1 has universal connections, making it an excellent choice for hose and nozzle hookups – though it is not as well-designed for handheld use as some of the other products we saw. However, it may be easier to control since it comes with a button that controls the inlet valve.

It is worth noting that this Culligan water filter may not be the best for filtering drinking water as it is primarily a filter for sediments. Still, the activated carbon filters have a lifespan of 250 gallons, and the unit can accept any standard canister filter cartridge.

  • PROs

    • Has a maximum temperature of 125oF
    • Has a universal connection
    • Has carbon filtration
    • Filters up to 250 gal
  • CONs

    • Only a sediment filtration system

Bottom-Line: The Culligan RVF-10 Level 1 is a great choice when you need filtration primarily for cleaning or cooking purposes.

Beech Lane External Dual System

Best Budget Dual Model

Beech Lane External RV Dual Water Filter System, Leak-Free Brass Fittings, Mounting Bracket and Two Filters Included, Sturdy Construction is Built to Last

For those who want the benefits of a two-step system but at a more affordable price, the Beech Lane BL-113 is ideal. Adding more value for money, the BL-113 water filtration system also comes with a lifetime warranty, by far the longest warranty we found.

Like many other two-step systems, the Beech Lane has a sediment mesh to remove particles 5.0 microns and larger. Then, the water is filtered through a carbon block filter to remove particles 0.5 microns and larger.

Even better, the Beech Lane also has a decent lifespan, able to clean up to 1900 gallons before needing its filter cartridge replaced. Though it may take a bit more installation than other models, the mounting bracket that comes with this model is made from durable materials.

  • PROs

    • Contains a 5.0-micron sediment mesh
    • Includes a 0.5-micron carbon filtration block
    • Has a lifetime warranty
    • Filters up to 1900 gal
  • CONs

    • Connections may leak

Bottom-Line: The Beech Lane offers two-step filtration at such a low price which is pleasantly surprising.

AQUA CREST Inline

Best Multi-Source

AQUA CREST RV Inline Water Filter with Hose Protector, NSF Certified, Reduces Chlorine, Bad Taste&Odor for RVs and Marines, Drinking & Washing Filter with 1 Flexible Hose Protector

The AQUA CREST Inline water filter is one of the few products we found which uses a multi-stage filtration system inside a single canister system. It also comes at a competitive price and could arguably be considered one of the best all-around values on our list.

Despite what it may seem, the AQUA CREST is not meant to be used as a two-stage filtration system. Instead, the individual canisters are intended to be used as water filters for two different water sources, for example, one for drinking use and one for utility purposes.

One thing to consider is that although the AQUA CREST comes with a hose connector you will likely want to replace it as soon as you can. That said, this is the only product that we reviewed, which can filter fluoride out of your water on top of the more common contaminants.

  • PROs

    • Relatively inexpensive
    • Has 20-micron rating
    • Comes in a 2-pack
    • Has a fluoride filtration layer
  • CONs

    • Connections may leak
    • Has a poor hose protector

Bottom-Line: The AQUA CREST is not only one of the less expensive models that we came across, but it further increases its value by providing two canisters instead of one.

Culligan RV-800

Clearest Output

Culligan RV-800 Exterior Pre-Tank Recreational Vehicle Water Filter with Hose

Culligan makes another appearance on our list, this time focusing on possibly the most pressing issue an RVer will have: turbid, cloudy water. To address this, the Culligan RV-800 is the only model on our list boasting a turbidity level of 5 NTU, which is the rating for clear water.

On top of that, this option also has a list-tieing lifespan of 2000 gallons filtered water before you need to worry about changing out the filter cartridge. Like the other Culligan option on this list, this model uses universal connections and is even more portable too.

However, the Culligan RV-800 is meant primarily for cold water purposes and does not boast the high maximum temperature rating that the previously reviewed Culligan RVF-10 does. It is also worth noting that the RV-800 serves primarily as a sediment filter making it best-suited for utility purposes.

  • PROs

    • Less expensive
    • Has a 5 NTU turbidity rating
    • Filters up to 2000 gal
    • Has a universal connection
  • CONs

    • Only meant for cold water use
    • Primarily for filtering sediment 

Bottom-Line: The Culligan RV-800 focuses on filtering larger particles commonly found in questionable water supplies and clears them right up.

Watts POE12DSA1KDF Dual Exterior

Best Mid-Level Dual

Watts POE12DSA1KDF Dual Exterior Water Filter Kit

Though the Watts POE12DSA1KDF may not boast the same list-leading specs as the CLEARSCORE Premium, it does come as runner-up and also at a fraction of the price. For example, the Watts has the second-largest flow rate we reviewed at 2.5 gallons, which is generally enough for multiple simultaneous RV water sources.

This model has two-step water filtration to remove a wider range of particles than most single-step products. It includes both a sediment filter for larger particles as well as a KDF/GAC granular activated carbon filter for finer contaminants.

As well as its high throughput rate and solid filtration system, the Watts also impressed with a 12-month lifespan before you need to replace the filter cartridge. 

One issue we had is this is one of the few models on the market that use plastic fittings rather than metal ones. This leads to the unit leaking more than some other models we reviewed, which is a problem for most canister RV water filter systems in general.

  • PROs

    • Has a 12-month lifecycle
    • Has a universal connection
    • Comes with KDF/GAC and sediment filters
  • CONs

    • Is a more expensive product
    • Connections may leak

Bottom-Line: The Watts Dual filtration system is a solid mid-level option for a two-step product, especially if you run multiple appliances simultaneously.

Hydro Life 52141 HL-200 External

Best Mid-Level Single

Hydro Life 52141 HL-200 External Filter Kit , White , Standard

When it comes to single-step models, you are often limited by the flow rate which rarely exceeds 1 gallon. Thankfully, the Hydro Life HL-200 suffers no such issues with the largest single-step filtration system throughput on our list of 2 ½ gallons.

On top of that, this model ties our list for the longest lifespan of 12 months before needing to change filter cartridges. The HL-200 also uses a finer mesh granular activated carbon than most other carbon filter cartridges, removing even more contaminants than some of its competitors.

The KDF/GAC filter is also easily replaceable with any standard cartridge fitting this canister system. Likewise, the Hydro Life HL-200 filtration system uses universal connections, though it is a bit bulky to be used as a handheld model for utility purposes.

This is one of the few products on our list to use stainless steel fittings as opposed to brass or plastic ones.

  • PROs

    • Has a 2 ½ gal flow rate
    • Has a universal connection
    • Has KDF/GAC filtration
    • Has a 12 mo lifespan
  • CONs

    • Is a more expensive product
    • Connections may leak

Bottom-Line: The Hydro Life HL-200 may not be the least expensive water filtration system that we reviewed, but it might provide the best all-around value for the high spec it offers.

Last update on 2021-09-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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