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Old 05-31-2016, 03:08 PM   #1
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Considering whole system water filteration

I'm considering adding a 3 canister + UV filter system and am wondering what people think...

Wife got a Berkey gravity filter, it takes a lot of space to use and store. I'd rather have a builtin system that is out of the way.

The carbon filter is rated at 4gpm (same as the pump), UV is rated at 5gpm. I'm not sure what the gpm is in the Airstream without filtration, so I'm not certain if this will be too low or not and whether I should add a 2 gallon tank.

I'm considering the closet for placement. This is above the pump and next to the city water inlet. Pump and inlet would both lead into the filters (and there would be a bypass of course). Because of the curvature of the wall in the closet, there is dead space at the back which I think would be enough for the system.

Example of what I'm looking at:
http://www.rvwaterfilterstore.com/WCUVSystems.htm
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Old 05-31-2016, 03:42 PM   #2
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Why go to all the trouble ? We use a camcorder rv water filter , it goes on your intake hose about $15, replace every year.......
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Old 05-31-2016, 03:46 PM   #3
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That should say camco rv filter ....
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Old 05-31-2016, 04:06 PM   #4
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I have the camco filter, I think most of us that filter water start with that. It's cheap and better than nothing. It's rated to filter to 100 microns. I'll continue to use that filter to intially filter the shore supply, tank or city.

In addition I've decided to re-plumb both the water pump and shore supply through a 3M RV house filter (Model WV-B2) It will filter down to 0.2 microns and 99.99% of bacteria, cycsts, and other nasty stuff. I like that its compact and barely fits within the tiny utility area on my trailer. With a 7,500 gallon rating it should easily last a season.

Checking flow rates with a bucket and timer, I found the kitchen sink flows at 1.5 gallons per minute and the shower at 0.9 gallons per minute. I did install a low flow shower head. Both measured pre plumbing mods.

Frankly, I've never had problems with water quality, and we've camped all over the western US and British Columbia. However it only takes one instance. The system you are looking at is a pretty serious system.
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Old 06-01-2016, 07:04 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by kscherzi View Post
I have the camco filter, I think most of us that filter water start with that. It's cheap and better than nothing. It's rated to filter to 100 microns. I'll continue to use that filter to intially filter the shore supply, tank or city.

In addition I've decided to re-plumb both the water pump and shore supply through a 3M RV house filter (Model WV-B2) It will filter down to 0.2 microns and 99.99% of bacteria, cycsts, and other nasty stuff. I like that its compact and barely fits within the tiny utility area on my trailer. With a 7,500 gallon rating it should easily last a season.

Checking flow rates with a bucket and timer, I found the kitchen sink flows at 1.5 gallons per minute and the shower at 0.9 gallons per minute. I did install a low flow shower head. Both measured pre plumbing mods.

Frankly, I've never had problems with water quality, and we've camped all over the western US and British Columbia. However it only takes one instance. The system you are looking at is a pretty serious system.
Your '3-M' filter sounds a lot like the portable "First Need" water purifier that Backpackers use in the wilderness. They advertise that it is the ONLY filter certified by your EPA as a 'water purifier'.
I had one when I was backpacking a number of trails in Canada and Vermont. It also filtered down to a nominal 0.2 microns or smaller, and one year made my trip up the Rideau Trail possible. It was a Hot July, and my water came from mostly swamps, turgid streams and ditches.
This filter made the day. I used it for over ten years, changing the filter occasionally.
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Old 06-01-2016, 07:34 PM   #6
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Only my opinion of course and with all due respect, but frankly if you and your spouse are so concerned about water quality that you would consider this type of setup, then perhaps you should rethink going camping in the first place.
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Old 06-01-2016, 09:48 PM   #7
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Only my opinion of course and with all due respect, but frankly if you and your spouse are so concerned about water quality that you would consider this type of setup, then perhaps you should rethink going camping in the first place.
I would add, do you really need to filter water to the sinks, shower and toilet? If the water at a particular campground is so bad (this really is rare) just don't go back.
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Old 06-02-2016, 12:43 AM   #8
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Only my opinion of course and with all due respect, but frankly if you and your spouse are so concerned about water quality that you would consider this type of setup, then perhaps you should rethink going camping in the first place.
If you have to say with respect it is likely without respect. Considering it is followed by "but frankly", I see no respect in your comment.
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Old 06-02-2016, 12:46 AM   #9
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I would add, do you really need to filter water to the sinks, shower and toilet? If the water at a particular campground is so bad (this really is rare) just don't go back.
Because it makes it connect and forget regardless whether the water is via city hookup or fresh tank. I don't have to drag out equipment, I don't have to constantly fill a contertop filter.

Cities have outbreaks, I've been in places with boil orders. Well water is not always great. Yes, most of the time in most places in NA the water is fine. On occasion it is not.
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Old 06-02-2016, 01:28 AM   #10
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Considering whole system water filteration

My only question is about how often you might have to replace filters on a system like this?

In my opinion, if you are concerned about water quality, it's certainly worth considering. Folks sensitive to water pollution should seriously consider this.

We tend to drink bottled water, and our dogs only get bottled water on the road. Trust me, a dog with an upset tummy is a real problem in the TV or AS. They seem to hold gallons....and since we travel with six, you can see the issue!

Note that if the system removes chlorine, using the water from the filter in your fresh tank may grow bacteria unless you chlorinate the tank a bit. If the filter only removes microbes and stuff, it won't be necessary.

Campground water with a lot of sediment might need a pre-filter to get the big chunks out.


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Old 06-02-2016, 01:30 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by kscherzi View Post
Frankly, I've never had problems with water quality, and we've camped all over the western US and British Columbia. However it only takes one instance. The system you are looking at is a pretty serious system.
I agree. Unless you're boondocking and getting your drinking water from surface water (lake, river, etc.) you won't need that level of treatment. Or unless you're traveling to Mexico where water quality standards are much lower than they are in the US and Canada.

Any campground water supply will either come from municipal sources (water treatment plants) or from a water well approved by whatever State agency licenses wells (in Louisiana it's the Department of Health and Hospitals). Water quality can vary based on the number of people who use the water, and whether those people are permanent residents or transients, because testing requirements vary based on those criteria. And potable water (safe to drink) may not always be palatable (pleasant to drink).

The granular activated carbon (GAC) filters made by Camco and others will turn potable water into palatable water. They will not turn non-potable water into potable water without additional treatment. But as I noted already, you're unlikely to be getting your drinking water from a non-potable source anywhere in the US or Canada unless you're getting it direct from Mother Nature or at a dump station hose.

The system cited by the OP is suitable for treating "raw" well water, or rainwater collected in a cistern, that has not been treated at all prior to entering this filter. It's overkill for follow-on treatment of water that has already been treated once at the source.

Side note, potable water meets the requirements of the EPA's Primary Safe Drinking Water standards with regard to contaminants that may cause short-term or long-term health hazards. Palatable water also meets this requirement, but goes one step farther, to meet the EPA's Secondary Drinking Water standards by addressing issues such as taste, color and odor.
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Old 06-02-2016, 01:39 AM   #12
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Hi, we use our fresh water tank for washing dishes, washing hands, taking showers, and flushing the toilet. For drinking and cooking we use bottled water. You can buy a ton of bottled water for the price of those filter systems. I have and use an inline water filter to protect my plumbing.
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Old 06-02-2016, 01:41 AM   #13
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Note that if the system removes chlorine, using the water from the filter in your fresh tank
The filter would be after the city inlet and pump outlet. Water pumped from the fresh tank would end up going through the filter system before anything else.
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Old 06-02-2016, 02:13 AM   #14
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Considering whole system water filteration

Ok, then it should filter water from tank and city water. You might consider a connection to allow occasionally flushing the system from the output of the filter side, just so you can sanitize it. Perhaps a spare pump or something. Same issue about leaving some residual chlorine in the system for cleanliness.

For us, it's a Camco in line filter outside the AS and bottled water otherwise. Filter is replaced at least once a year, and fresh tank sanitized regularly. If the water system at a commercial campsite looks sketchy we don't use the water at all. Must admit to not having an issue yet...

Would also be cool to have a tank filler valve on the output of the filter so tank could be filled with filtered water. I'd use a check valve and vacuum breaker after the fill valve.

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Old 06-02-2016, 02:18 AM   #15
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While it may never pay for it self, it never hurts to have clean water. But on a side note doing all that and having corroded or questionable pluming after the filter setup well make it all for nothing.
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Old 06-02-2016, 08:31 AM   #16
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While it may never pay for it self, it never hurts to have clean water. But on a side note doing all that and having corroded or questionable pluming after the filter setup well make it all for nothing.
I don't follow how filtering water leads to corroded plumbing. Please clarify.

As mentioned earlier I'm also installing a whole RV filter. It will be plumbed such that the water from the street, and water from the tank, is run through the filter. The filter is 4" round by about 14" long. Its advertised specs are like the regular Camco filter, but much better.

My reason is due to two things: (1) Forgetfulness, I sometimes forget to used the Camco filter when filling the tank, and sometimes when hooking to the city supply, and: (2) I just have a personal aversion to buying and carrying bottled water. Studies have shown that bottled water is often less clean than regular tap water and the plastic waste created by the empties is not environmentally friendly.

The filter I'm installing is about $200, replacement cartridges somewhat less. It has a rating of 7,500 gallons to replacement (obviously variable). I estimate we use about 10 gallons/day camping including showering for two adults. So in theory the filter could last up to 750 days of camping. That's a lot of plastic bottles.
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Old 06-02-2016, 12:23 PM   #17
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Having filtered water doesnt lead to corroded plumbing but it wont fix plumbing either. Im just saying I would check out all the plunbing post filter setup really good before installing the filter setup.
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Old 06-02-2016, 12:55 PM   #18
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I agree. Unless you're boondocking and getting your drinking water from surface water (lake, river, etc.) you won't need that level of treatment. Or unless you're traveling to Mexico where water quality standards are much lower than they are in the US and Canada.
We are fulltimers and plan to be for the next couple years at least. Though we're currently locked into our current area to year end, the future is likely to include plenty of boondocking and hopefully an occasional foray into Mexico. I'm designing all our systems for off grid living. Aside from road issues and range to cell towers, our boondocking limitations will be water and food storage.

Whether that particular system is overkill for our needs is a good question [edit: that I don't have the expertise to answer]. While most of the time I expect we'll have perfectly fine water from reasonable sources, having some peace of mind in our water supply is important, and we dont want to rely on bottled water. My goal is regardless how the water gets into the trailer, what comes out the tap is reliably safe.
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Old 06-04-2016, 07:16 AM   #19
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Rather than a full system filter system, I use a Seagull IV filter for drinking water. It has a small stainless filter pressure vessel and a dedicated spout. The literature indicate it "...meets EPA guide standard protocol for microbiological purifiers against bacteria, cysts and viruses. Plus, Seagull IV systems excel at removing chemical and aesthetic contaminants including herbicides, pesticides, chlorine and foul tastes, odors and colors, for great tasting water on demand,"

I can drink the water from the tank or from the city water system as it installed in the galley near the sink.

After reading about the problems with lead in the city water in Flint MI, I wouldn't want to trust any water supply to be 100% safe. Why not add some peace of mind.

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Old 06-19-2016, 09:46 PM   #20
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I completed the installation. Here's a photo. I placed it in the small utility area below the closet next to the water pump. My trailer is a 27FB. The utility area is pretty cramped. I cut the pex pipe from the street and re-plumbed that and the output from the 12 volt pump to the inlet of the filter. The job took about 2 hours once I had the right parts. The filter is a 3M WV-B2 Water Filtration System. I got mine here, operating specs also linked at the vendor site. There is no noticeable decrease in water pressure or throughput volume. I just came back from a five day camp out so the filter was well tested.

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