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cooney 12-20-2007 11:06 PM

Hard Water Blues
We are fortunate to be parked in beautiful San Diego County, as hosts in a non-camping park. Full hookups, no charges, and the silence of starry nights overlaid with coyote song. The only beast in this particular garden is the water: This is some HEAVY hard water, complete with metallic smell, visible sediment, and poor performance with bathing. When I think of the water heater as it corrodes, and other potential damages, I cringe. So, a little research shows some H2O softeners made for the RV world. Has anyone had any experience with any of these? Any other ideas?
Also, we have a 2008 Safari with the Moen undersink filter. It has a little watch type battery in a shrink wrap attached, but I haven't a clue how to use it to set up the filter meter.
All comments appreciated. And a Happy Winter to All!

Fyrzowt 12-20-2007 11:14 PM

I have no experience with RV type H2O softeners.
But if you have visible sediment in the water, at least get a particulate filter to install prior to the water entering your trailer.
Yes, California has some hard water. Of course, it also has areas of naturally soft water - you could go be a host in the Sierras....:blush:
Welcome to the forums!

Bambi_Bandit 12-21-2007 01:18 AM

Filter and Softener Combo
Hi Cooney,

The filter in the Moen is to make drinking water, but I doubt it was ever intended to filter the sedements that are in the water where you are at.

I personally am quite picky on the water I run thru our system, so I use a 1 micron sedement filter, followed by a water softener, followed by a KDF/GAC carbon filter (since we are part-timers).

Filters from: rv water filters, rv water regulators, rv water pumps, rv water softeners, rv water hose
Softener from : Portable Water Softener - Camping World

I have everything set up in a water cooler with an inlet and outlet, which sits next to the water faucet at my site. This way all the filters and softener are nearly freeze safe and keep everything together and neat looking at camp. Also good since I dont want to advertise a $400 worth of filters, softener, hoses, and brass fittings......

Your skin is the largest organ on your body, When you shower, you subject any toxins or chemicals to be easly absorbed in the skin... this is why I filter EVERYTHING coming into the trailer...

As a precaution, we never even drink the water, though I am sure with my setup it would be safe. We (and our dogs) always drink bottled water from a case we always have in the trailer. Too many years traveling stateside and overseas has taught me to drink only bottled water when away from home....

I'll try to post some pics of my setup later. Its already dark here in San Jose CA.


jkcru 12-21-2007 07:45 AM

Rent a full size house unit, and drink bottled water. Call the Culligan Man.

2airishuman 12-21-2007 12:39 PM

hi cooney and welcome to the forums....

the moen carbon filter in the galley tap is easy to set up....

the instructions for the battery and priming and what the blinking light indicates, are IN your owners manual/packet...

and on line at moen too.

i would not suggest using ANY of the 'salt' based water softeners...

lots of reasons NOT to, but i don't care 4 the silly debates on this topic.

the easiest, most effective approach to reducing sediments or other 'undesirables' in regional water supplies...

is to use an inline filter BEFORE the water enters your tank or lines....

i use this one and have been VERY happy with the results, longevity and cost factor.


there are many threads here on water filtration, tank cleaning, drinking water issues, and so on....

here's one with a nice '2 state filtration' set up that is easy to set up and use.

so search a bit or read in the subforum for these topics...


Tom Nugler 12-21-2007 01:10 PM

Last season I mounted one of these sediment/odor filters between the fresh water tank and the pump. Culligan US-316 RV water filter system and and Culligan US316 marine filter system 158508 Close out at the Ace Hardware for 12 bucks.
With using the standard, garden variety, big blue inline filter from the water source and the new filter I feel the quality has gone up at least 100%. (At least the better half doesn't complain anymore:lol: ).
While it won't change the hardness, at the end of the season there was maybe a 1/16 inch of sand in the bottom of the trap after 3 trips using campground water. It's doing a good job in that respect.
Lots of options to consider but for me a softener seems a bit of overkill.

Good luck,

Bambi_Bandit 12-21-2007 01:30 PM

My Setup
3 Attachment(s)
Here Are Pics of my setup...

Tim A. 12-21-2007 03:54 PM

2air has made good recommendations. Even though he does not want to get into the discussion about salt-based softening, I would mention that the sodium it often substitutes for the calcium in hard water is not something most of us need to increase in our food and drinking water.

We do not filter the water entering the trailer, but do use a very effective small filter system ( Nature Pure® Water Purification System - Camping World ) at the sink for our drinking and coffee water.

As for our not filtering bathing water, I guess I have been in too many places in the world where I was happy to have ANY water at all for bathing.

ROBERT CROSS 12-22-2007 09:26 AM

After A Bout With Montazuma
:) Filter all water going into the trailer...

:blush: Bottled water going into the occupants...4 LEGGERS included!

Tim A. 12-22-2007 02:34 PM

Having had the joy of "Montezuma's Revenge" in places Montezuma never came close to (such as West Africa, Asia, and Azerbaijan), I know why people are careful. Who can find fault with that?

If you check on the Nature Pure system, you will find out that it is supposed to take care of all of those little trouble-causing critters. As I mentioned, we use it for drinking and coffee water. The dog gets the filtered water, too, as does anything being cooked that does not get boiled.

That said, just as with most other things in life, there is no certainty that bottled water is safe. In the US it probably is, but not necessarily in some other places. Of course, those are places we do not visit with our Airstream, so there has been and will be no opportunity to make a personal comparison between the Nature Pure filter and bottled water under "suspect" conditions.

Colonial Airstream 12-22-2007 02:57 PM


Also, we have a 2008 Safari with the Moen undersink filter. It has a little watch type battery in a shrink wrap attached, but I haven't a clue how to use it to set up the filter meter.
The Filter housing has a spot for installing the watch type battery (A little tray that slides out for the battery). This procedure is typically done by the Airstream dealership in their dealer preparation process. The battery will light the small LED under the filtered water lever on the faucet to tell you the status of the filter (Green Good, Red Replace). The water filter only will filter the water coming of the kitchen sink when the filtered water lever is pulled. I would highly recommend purchasing an inline type water filtration system for the outside of the trailer for additional sediment filtration.

2airishuman 12-22-2007 04:21 PM

sediment removal, chemical removal and basic water filtration isn't difficult...

select (or assemble) any of the 1 or 2 or 3 stage products, just don't over spend on this.

and keep the fresh water tank clean and regularly cycled with fresh water supplies.

also, try not to buying any new, just discovered, 'our filter is different' bravado...

drinking water and disease transmission is an entirely different topic that often gets rolled into the 'buy my water filter' infomercial...

in the usa most municipal processed drinking water is EXTREMELY safe and clean...

yes taste and odor vary depending on source, or what one is accustomed to...

but we can obtain copies of the regular treatment outcomes for all public water suppliers....

most independent testing confirms that bottled water is NO CLEANER or SAFER than tap water...

and most bottled water is exactly that... tap water.

and municipal tap waters in the usa are completely free of viruses, bacteria, protozoa and cysts...

unless an event/disaster happens (plant failures, line breaks, floods, act of terror, and so on)

in those situations the ONLY ways to guarantee microbiologically 'safe' water are the proven approaches...

1. boil
2. chlorination or related compounds
3. iodine

of course food handling, food preparation, and hand washing are the primary contamination routes for most of us....

so how does this relate to rv living?

NONE of the inline fitlers can provide water that is absolutely free of germs...

the "nature pure" filter looks like a fine product, tim A. and i'm not knocking your user testimonial...

but it is JUST ANOTHER CARTRIDGE FILTER, with microfine pores and a bacteriostatic element ....

there is A LOT of pretend science and mumbo jumbo in their info like "space age and magnets"

and lots of pseudo testing listed, most of which no one will bother to explore.

their literature suggests it has government and epa certification....

sorry folks but the epa DOES NOT certify water filters.

they DO register products but this in NO WAY implies certification or endorsement.

for savy travelers who wanna reduce the chance of infection from food or water...

1. get the proper shots (hep a for example)
2. understand how to prepare foods or how to eat out...
3. use a basic filtration for tank water...
4. and use a DISINFECTANT for the tank/plumbing system and carried water, when the source is 'suspect'...

ultra violet destruction/disinfection, is the next effective approach we rv'ers may benefit from, but the devices are still expensive and do require electricity.


Excella CM 12-22-2007 04:32 PM

We used to bottle Santa Monica's notoriously hard water and sell it for $10 a gallon to make orthopedic waterbeds, but we would never consider drinking it.

cooney 12-26-2007 07:31 PM

Greetings All...
Thanks for a lively discussion, and the points. I should have mentioned that we do indeed have an inline filter at the source, and what i called sediment should more properly be called mineral deposit. In this case, biological contaminants are not a problem (i Hope!) and the Moen does a creditable job of filtering the drinking water.
Meanwhile, a Happy New Year to all.....

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