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Old 11-03-2018, 11:23 PM   #1
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Reverse Osmosis Water Filter

Has anyone besides me installed a reverse osmosis water filter?

I got tired of lugging bottled water so a couple of weeks ago I installed a filtration system as part of my kitchen refit.

Has anyone else installed one? If so, how is it working for you? I get to try mine out next week....
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Old 11-04-2018, 05:33 AM   #2
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You will enjoy not having to take bottled water with you. We too wanted to avoid the hassle, but opted for a Seagull IV water purifier mounted under the lavatory counter. We use it for drinking and cooking with our tank water.

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Old 11-04-2018, 06:29 AM   #3
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Hi

RO systems work pretty well. I have used them at various times over the years. Capacity ( = waiting for water to fill the storage tank) is always an issue. A more subtle problem is the need for a pretty good filter upstream of the RO unit. The membrane cartridges are relatively easy to damage .... The pre-filters need to be changed out fairly regularly (depending on how hard they are working). Given what I've seen of campground water, if anything is going to nuke a membrane, it's in a campground water supply

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Old 11-04-2018, 06:32 AM   #4
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My previous career was in water treatment, so I've installed tons of RO systems in houses, including one for my parents. They're fantastic for home use, but didn't meet my needs for the Airstream. I use the Zerowater pitcher instead, which gets me similar (somewhat better) water quality.

The main down side of a household RO is that it produces around 2-4x as much waste water as drinking water, depending on the model. You can get a a pump that will push the waste back into your hot water supply, or you could feasibly just route it back to your fresh tank. So, there are ways around the waste, but it's an issue that needs to be dealt with when you have a limited water supply.

The RO will continually run water while it's producing water, so your water pump will be cycling a lot. An accumulator tank might help, but there's really no way around that.

The other issue would be winterization. It's really not practical to winterize an RO to leave it in your rig over the winter. You will basically want to remove the entire system and bring it inside over the winter to prevent it from freezing.
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Old 11-04-2018, 06:38 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J. Morgan View Post
Has anyone besides me installed a reverse osmosis water filter?

I got tired of lugging bottled water so a couple of weeks ago I installed a filtration system as part of my kitchen refit.

Has anyone else installed one? If so, how is it working for you? I get to try mine out next week....
Not in my trailer, but I have had one in the house for nearly 30 years. We love it.

Potential cons:
1. They require relatively high pressure to work, 40-80 PSI. The Airstream water pump may or may not provide enough pressure.
2. They waste a lot of water, and that water has to go somewhere. I think they are only about 5% to 25% efficient.

From an RO website:
Depending on the model, most RO filter systems* will discharge 4 to 20 gallons (15.1 L to 75.7 L) of backwash water for every gallon of filtered water it produces.

Efficiency and water pressure required would seem to be key specifications for a unit to install in a trailer.

Al
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Old 11-04-2018, 07:12 AM   #6
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I was watching the efficiency, the one I purchased claims a one to one efficiency...

I probably wont use it much when running on the tank, I spend a lot of time connected to city and park water so the waste and pressure considerations arenít a huge concern to me.
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Old 11-04-2018, 10:11 AM   #7
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A true RO unit requires a high pressure pump to force water through a semipermeable membrane with brine as the waste, and the amount of waste will need a hookup. A storage tank will not suffice. However it makes no sense to use an RO unit in an RV. They are used to generate drinkable water from sea water by removing the high salt content. That is not necessary if your source of water is not the ocean. All you need is a purifier, not RO. Do not waste your money and the high maintenance time. I know this as I’ve had them on my boat for forty years, but never on my RV
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Old 11-04-2018, 10:51 AM   #8
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A true RO unit requires a high pressure pump to force water through a semipermeable membrane with brine as the waste, and the amount of waste will need a hookup. A storage tank will not suffice. However it makes no sense to use an RO unit in an RV. They are used to generate drinkable water from sea water by removing the high salt content. That is not necessary if your source of water is not the ocean. All you need is a purifier, not RO. Do not waste your money and the high maintenance time. I know this as Iíve had them on my boat for forty years, but never on my RV
^
X2

Cruising boats...yes. Landlocked AS's not so much.
We use the water from tank for everything 'cept the most important use...Coffee. 👍 Filtered water from home, stored in re-used bottled water 1gal containers.
Our tank water filter.

Bob
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Old 11-04-2018, 11:16 AM   #9
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Reverse Osmosis Water Filter

Elizabeth and I donít like fluoride in our water. For us, thatís enough reason for trying this mobile experiment. ďNeedĒ is most always a relative term in our modern culture.

The last stretch in the Airstream was four months. We use about a gallon and a half a day for cooking and consumption, taking filtered water from home really isnít an option. [emoji4]
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Old 11-04-2018, 02:08 PM   #10
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Water Distiller

I found a one gallon water distiller works 4.0 for me. Use the water in my Ice maker too. Just set it up outside and keeps the heat out in summer. Winter time I recover the energy for a warm interior.
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Old 11-04-2018, 02:20 PM   #11
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Elizabeth and I donít like fluoride in our water. For us, thatís enough reason for trying this mobile experiment. ďNeedĒ is most always a relative term in our modern culture.

The last stretch in the Airstream was four months. We use about a gallon and a half a day for cooking and consumption, taking filtered water from home really isnít an option. [emoji4]

Try a large Zero Water pitcher. It removes Flouride...and alot more at a fraction the cost of a RO system.
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Old 11-04-2018, 02:57 PM   #12
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Hi

If the objective is stuff like chlorine and fluorides, anything with a decent carbon cartridge in it will do a fine job. It will happen more quickly and a lot more cheaply than with an RO. The RO's big claim to fame is knocking down water hardness ( = getting rid of calcium and other minerals).

Bob
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Old 11-04-2018, 03:01 PM   #13
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Reverse Osmosis Water Filter

Quote:
Originally Posted by powerwiz View Post
Try a large Zero Water pitcher. It removes Flouride...and alot more at a fraction the cost of a RO system.


Itís already installed up under my cooktop.

At about $130 with a spare set of filters it wasnít all that expensive. Click image for larger version

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I didnít take any pictures of the instal.... I canít say why I didnít take pictures but I didnít. [emoji4]

Most of the time by the time I post up my ideas on Airforums Iíve already brought the idea to completion.Sometimes it works out, sometimes not. Time will tell the tale on this one. Updates are forthcoming over the next weeks and months.
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Old 11-04-2018, 04:31 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J. Morgan View Post
I was watching the efficiency, the one I purchased claims a one to one efficiency...

I probably wont use it much when running on the tank, I spend a lot of time connected to city and park water so the waste and pressure considerations arenít a huge concern to me.
The efficiency depends on the incoming water quality and system pressure, among other things.
For dry camping it makes no sense but in your scenario I say Why Not?
Keep those prefilters clean.
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Old 11-04-2018, 07:07 PM   #15
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We enjoy our RO system in our Airstream. It has a 1 gallon pressure tank, and when it is full, the RO unit quits making water. We have had it for 2 years and had no problems. It has three filters before the RO unit and a carbon filter after. I purchased it off of eBay and installed it relatively easily, since we replumbed our 1971 trailer with pex several years ago. As others have said, the key to longevity of the RO membrane is making sure you have good filters upstream of the RO membrane.
Good Luck!
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Old 11-04-2018, 08:41 PM   #16
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Reverse Osmosis Water Filter

Quote:
Originally Posted by fordgt40 View Post
We enjoy our RO system in our Airstream. It has a 1 gallon pressure tank, and when it is full, the RO unit quits making water. We have had it for 2 years and had no problems. It has three filters before the RO unit and a carbon filter after. I purchased it off of eBay and installed it relatively easily, since we replumbed our 1971 trailer with pex several years ago. As others have said, the key to longevity of the RO membrane is making sure you have good filters upstream of the RO membrane.
Good Luck!
Charlie


Ours Click image for larger version

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The system I bought has a one gallon pressure tank too.

Great minds think alike.....
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Old 11-05-2018, 08:59 AM   #17
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Hi

With the sort of hard water that some campgrounds have, you would be doing really well to get 10% efficiency out of any RO system.

The whole "improved efficiency" thing can be a bit of smoke and mirrors related to what's in the water. You either start with nearly perfect water or you accept much worse water coming out of the system ....

Bob
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Old 11-05-2018, 09:31 AM   #18
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Hi



With the sort of hard water that some campgrounds have, you would be doing really well to get 10% efficiency out of any RO system.



The whole "improved efficiency" thing can be a bit of smoke and mirrors related to what's in the water. You either start with nearly perfect water or you accept much worse water coming out of the system ....



Bob


It could be, but the 10% of the water that we do get will be a lot cleaner than the the un scrubbed raw water was.

I havenít done it yet, but depending on the amount of waste, I might direct the flush water to the fresh water tank.....

Other than that, I will use it to water my plants.....
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Old 11-06-2018, 07:22 AM   #19
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It could be, but the 10% of the water that we do get will be a lot cleaner than the the un scrubbed raw water was.

I haven’t done it yet, but depending on the amount of waste, I might direct the flush water to the fresh water tank.....

Other than that, I will use it to water my plants.....
Hi

It's a lot cleaner for *some* things, but not a lot cleaner in terms of all things. Mostly it is softer water than what went in.( = you removed the minerals that make hard water hard). There are a significant number of chemicals and biological things that a straight RO system does not help with.

Equally, the "waste" water is harder than what it was when you started out. Running it through your pipes is maybe not the best thing. Hard water deposits are what ultimately kill most plumbing fixtures.

Bob
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Old 11-06-2018, 08:28 AM   #20
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Hi

It's a lot cleaner for *some* things, but not a lot cleaner in terms of all things. Mostly it is softer water than what went in.( = you removed the minerals that make hard water hard). There are a significant number of chemicals and biological things that a straight RO system does not help with.

Equally, the "waste" water is harder than what it was when you started out. Running it through your pipes is maybe not the best thing. Hard water deposits are what ultimately kill most plumbing fixtures.

Bob


I had been considering that in my decision not to run the wast back to the fresh water tank yet.

If my waste water is close to 1 to 1, I wonít run it into the fresh tank, if itís closer to the 10 to 1 you mentioned above I probably will.

At 10 to 1 the minerals flushed out wonít be all that concentrated.
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