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Old 04-07-2022, 12:31 AM   #1
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Default Water Filter - Yay or Nay?

When I bought my 1/2 year old camper about 4 months ago, I asked about the built in water filter. It's one of those canister things, well hidden behind the closet.

The person doing the walk-through was pretty adamant about them being crap, and better replaced by one of those things that you stick on your hose when filling up the freshwater.

From reading it seems like the recommendation is to replace it every 6 or so months. I feel I am not using it that much and may just bypass it. For regular dish-washing and mouth-flushing, unfiltered water should be fine, and for straight drinking I think filling a gallon or two separately works just fine.

Plus, over time I guess it starts to block the flow which can't be good for the water pump.

So... what are your thoughts? Maybe, or gotta have it, or really not? If you do, how often do you change it? What does that cost? Any other drawbacks or advantages I am missing here?
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Old 04-07-2022, 01:00 AM   #2
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We have not had water filters in either of our rigs. We do not hesitate to drink water from our fresh tank. Two provisos, though:
1) We are very careful about our annual bleach sanitization regimen.
2) We only ever put water from a certified potable source into the system.

You hear lots of horror stories about bad water, but the US is one of a very few countries in the world where safe drinking water is nearly universal. If you are filling from an actual potable source, I believe the risk is very small. And, in any event, the kind of filtration you need to actually make dodgy water safe is probably well beyond what you are describing.

I might possibly decide to put a filter in our new rig, but if so it will be a purely aesthetic decision.
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Old 04-07-2022, 01:34 AM   #3
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We have similarities to Avanti but different. We do sanitize yearly or after a summer of non use, and we drink from the tank, but we use a single cartridge filter that goes to .2-.5 micron and uses charcoal to make the water safer and less foul tasting in some cases. We just think it is prudent and have had no issues this way in 14 years. Single stage "dirt" filters are not worth the effort IMO.
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Old 04-07-2022, 06:19 AM   #4
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Need to figure 🤔 out what's in here.
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Old 04-07-2022, 02:39 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by avanti View Post
We have not had water filters in either of our rigs. We do not hesitate to drink water from our fresh tank. Two provisos, though:
1) We are very careful about our annual bleach sanitization regimen.
2) We only ever put water from a certified potable source into the system.

You hear lots of horror stories about bad water, but the US is one of a very few countries in the world where safe drinking water is nearly universal. If you are filling from an actual potable source, I believe the risk is very small. And, in any event, the kind of filtration you need to actually make dodgy water safe is probably well beyond what you are describing.

I might possibly decide to put a filter in our new rig, but if so it will be a purely aesthetic decision.
Thank you very much! Agreed, the tap water over here is not an issue, very much potable/drinkable. However, I have noticed it getting a distinct "aroma" after the ~9mo or so in the tank.

Reading up on the sanitizing process, it says to "bypass your water heater". Do you do that? Are there valves involved, or does it simply mean "don't use your water heater during the chlorine treatment"?

I was thinking that regularly draining the water and letting the tank sit dry for a week or two and then filling it with fresh water before a trip may help to keep things tasty. It's probably the "puddle" that starts to taste funny, and regular draining/refilling may help this?
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Old 04-07-2022, 02:50 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by booster View Post
We have similarities to Avanti but different. We do sanitize yearly or after a summer of non use, and we drink from the tank, but we use a single cartridge filter that goes to .2-.5 micron and uses charcoal to make the water safer and less foul tasting in some cases. We just think it is prudent and have had no issues this way in 14 years. Single stage "dirt" filters are not worth the effort IMO.
Would you say something like this should work? It's not as fine-grained as yours but 1 micron sounds like a good compromise between too coarse and clogging up too fast?

https://www.amazon.com/GOLDEN-ICEPUR.../dp/B01N1IJ5V1
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Old 04-07-2022, 02:56 PM   #7
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In my 2017 Trend, it came with a canister water filter under the sink. It has a bypass plug, which I use instead of purchasing a new filter. Filter cost about $45-$65 each and I think not worth the cost. I use the portable water filter that is connected to your water hose, and they cost about $25 and last a long time. Life of filter is based on number of gallons thru it (2,000 gals.). You should sanitize your freshwater tank each year to remove any bacteria growth. Most water heaters have a bypass system for sanitizing or a drain plug that you remove to drain the tank. This is used to not fill the tank with excess antifreeze (6 gallons) if you winterize. Check your owner's manual for instructions on how to do it.
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Old 04-07-2022, 02:59 PM   #8
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Thank you very much! Agreed, the tap water over here is not an issue, very much potable/drinkable. However, I have noticed it getting a distinct "aroma" after the ~9mo or so in the tank.
We always drain the tank between trips, so we never have "old" water. If it has been sitting for a long time, I flush before filling.
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Reading up on the sanitizing process, it says to "bypass your water heater". Do you do that? Are there valves involved, or does it simply mean "don't use your water heater during the chlorine treatment"?
We don't have a water heater--we have an Espar-based hydronic system with a flash-plate on-demand heater.
I'm not sure why you would want to bypass a water heater during sanitization. People bypass during winterization when using that disgusting pink stuff (which we never do, preferring air). I would think that sanitizing the hot tank would be important.
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I was thinking that regularly draining the water and letting the tank sit dry for a week or two and then filling it with fresh water before a trip may help to keep things tasty. It's probably the "puddle" that starts to taste funny, and regular draining/refilling may help this?
You can't really get it fully-dry, but yes, we drain it as best we can when in storage. We have NEVER had any issues with potable water. Always nice and fresh. We are careful, though. Once the tank gets funky, it is hard to fix, I think.
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Old 04-07-2022, 06:37 PM   #9
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In my 2017 Trend, it came with a canister water filter under the sink. It has a bypass plug, which I use instead of purchasing a new filter. Filter cost about $45-$65 each and I think not worth the cost. I use the portable water filter that is connected to your water hose, and they cost about $25 and last a long time. Life of filter is based on number of gallons thru it (2,000 gals.). You should sanitize your freshwater tank each year to remove any bacteria growth. Most water heaters have a bypass system for sanitizing or a drain plug that you remove to drain the tank. This is used to not fill the tank with excess antifreeze (6 gallons) if you winterize. Check your owner's manual for instructions on how to do it.
Thank you for replying! The filters I have been oogling are about $7 when bought in a 4-pack, so that is pretty affordable (see link I posted earlier).

The heater is a Truma Combi thing, I don't winterize, I'll just hope for the best that the Chlorine will not mess too much with any seals and surfaces.
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Old 04-07-2022, 06:41 PM   #10
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We always drain the tank between trips, so we never have "old" water. If it has been sitting for a long time, I flush before filling.

We don't have a water heater--we have an Espar-based hydronic system with a flash-plate on-demand system.
I'm not sure why you would want to bypass a water heater during sanitization. People bypass during winterization when using that disgusting pink stuff (which we never do, preferring air). I would think that sanitizing the hot tank would be important.

You can't really get it fully-dry, but yes, we drain it as best we can when in storage. We have NEVER had any issues with potable water. Always nice and fresh. We are careful, though. Once the tank gets funky, it is hard to fix, I think.
I see... I had never thought of draining the tank between trips until now. Thank you for confirming that this is a sound approach. I don't need that much water anyway, so usually I just put in about 4 or 5 gallons for a weekend trip. No point topping it off and carrying all that weight.

The WH bypass recommendation was something that popped up on first Google, but yeah, maybe that doesn't make much sense. Not sure if there are seals/gaskets that get corroded by the bleach. Probably not, since it is very diluted anyway. Won't worry about it!
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Old 04-07-2022, 10:20 PM   #11
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After sanitizing with bleach I make sure it doesn't remain in the tanks/systems for more than four or five hours. I learned the hard way a long time ago that my then habit of leaving the bleach solution in for a day or so was not necessary and it costs me some O rings.

Since we mostly boondock and get water from some sources that might not be the purest in the world, I always flush the tanks and sanitize with bleach after a multiweek trip. We probably over kill but I am not keen on being a long way from anywhere and having problems with water quality. So, we also drink bottled water which we buy by the gallon at groceries. A gallon of water for drinking lasts the two of us a day or a little more. At less than a buck a gallon, I figure it gives us peace of mind. We all have to do it however we feel personally comfortable.
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Old 04-07-2022, 11:43 PM   #12
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After sanitizing with bleach I make sure it doesn't remain in the tanks/systems for more than four or five hours. I learned the hard way a long time ago that my then habit of leaving the bleach solution in for a day or so was not necessary and it costs me some O rings.

Since we mostly boondock and get water from some sources that might not be the purest in the world, I always flush the tanks and sanitize with bleach after a multiweek trip. We probably over kill but I am not keen on being a long way from anywhere and having problems with water quality. So, we also drink bottled water which we buy by the gallon at groceries. A gallon of water for drinking lasts the two of us a day or a little more. At less than a buck a gallon, I figure it gives us peace of mind. We all have to do it however we feel personally comfortable.
Thanks for your reply! Yeah, I'd rather try to stick to potable water sources and keep the bleaching down to once or twice a year. Good point about not letting the Chlorine sit for extended times.

For short trips, a repurposed gallon container with filtered drinking water works great, but still, good to have clean water for brushing teeth, cooking, coffee & tea and perhaps the quick shower.

Haven't done longer trips with the need to replenish water from say rivers or lakes, so I might end up doing what you do (more frequent sanitizing).
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Old 04-08-2022, 12:12 AM   #13
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We are probably outliers but we bring bottled water for the small amount of water we drink. The main benefit of this is that we can drink cold water from our refrigerator instead of warm water from the tank. I would have no need for a water filter. We do sanitize the tank though regularly.
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Old 04-10-2022, 03:37 AM   #14
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I drink the water from my fresh water tank. Not had any problems. Sanitize a couple of times a year usually when camping somewhere like a water district campground. Just added this filter/Uv combo on the cold water line to kitchen sink just in case. https://www.guzzleh2o.com/products/stealth
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Old 04-10-2022, 01:58 PM   #15
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A $680 water filter system just to get a drink of warm water from the freshwater tank instead of a 10 cent bottle of cold spring water from the refrigerator???
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Old 04-10-2022, 02:19 PM   #16
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Jrobe, BINGO! I don't get it either, unless you are living as a full timer in your B.
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Old 04-10-2022, 10:28 PM   #17
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I hate all that trash we're leaving for our offspring, so no plastic bottles for me.

I changed the water filter (which was probably still the original one, going on a year or so), plus the sanitation, now the tap water is hmmm, somewhat tasteless.

Thanks for everyone's input! There are many ways to happiness.
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Old 04-13-2022, 08:43 PM   #18
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Prior to a trip down Baja a few hears ago I installed an Ultraviolet Sterilizer in my water line as I knew that I would be taking on water in Mexico. It is on the high pressure side of the pump and is on whenever the pump switch is turned on. It provides 99,999% sterile water and gives me confidence that I will have clean water all of the time. Of course, it does not remove chemical contaminants so I use a carbon block filter when filling the tank. It was a bit pricey at $400, but I feel that it was well worth the cost.
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Old 04-13-2022, 09:48 PM   #19
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... It was a bit pricey at $400, but I feel that it was well worth the cost.
Two questions:
1. Have you had to replace the UV bulb?
2. How easy or difficult would it be to remove the unit as part of annual winterizing?
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Old 04-14-2022, 12:07 AM   #20
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We sanitize yearly, but don't drink water from the tanks. Most Walmarts in the U.S. have filtered water to fill your gallon jugs for about 40 cents, so we usually have 2 or 3 jugs in the van. We're not OCD about it, for example, we rinse our toothbrushes in the tank water, but for filling water bottles, etc., we use the Walmart water. In a pinch we might fill our jugs with city water if we trust it, which we usually do in the U.S.
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