After testing 7 products, I concluded that the Camco 40043 TastePure model was the best water filter option for RV use.
The water that you can procure from RV parks and campgrounds isn’t always ideal for drinking. Owning an RV water filtration system is the easiest way to ensure that you’ll always have access to fresh, clean drinking water.
A filtration system does more than just make the water taste better. It may also destroy potential contaminants that can lead to severe illness. Unless you’re willing to pack bottled water for your entire trip—which will take up a lot of valuable space—consider purchasing one of the water filter options listed here.
2. Waterdrop TSU 0.01μm –Best Under-Sink Option
3. Essential RV Water Filtration System with Cyst Removal -Best Sediment Filtration
4. Camco Hydro Life 52700 with Flexible Hose Protector -Best Budget Option
5. Frizzlife Under Sink SP99 -Best 3-Canister Option
6. Acuva ArrowMax 2.0 UV Water Purifier with Smart Faucet -Best For UV Treatment
7. Clearsource Premium RV Water Filter System -Best Customer Service
Since we consider water filters to be an essential part of the RVing experience, we want to find a system that’s both affordable and efficient. The Camco 40043 TastePure model hits both of those notes—and several others besides.
Let’s find out more about our top pick and the features that set it apart from the competition.
Best 7 RV Water Filter Options: Product Review Guide
1. Camco 40043 TastePure RV/Marine Water Filter with Flexible Hose Protector—Best Overall
If you’re intimidated about the prospect of installing an RV water filter, the Camco 40043 TastePure should quell your fears. The system is easy to install and compatible with standard garden hoses, so it’s not restricted to RV use.
Best of all, the filter does an excellent job at removing sediment, minerals and bacteria. It even reduces the chlorine levels, so your drinking water will taste great.
Before you buy, be aware that Camco recommends replacing the filter every three months or so. Fortunately, it’s set at a low enough price to offset this minor inconvenience.
2. Waterdrop TSU 0.01μm—Best Under-Sink Option
If you’ve narrowed your search to include only filtration systems that can be installed under the sink in your rig, consider this offering from Waterdrop.
The unit is equipped with a 0.01-micron filter element, which is capable of removing 99.99 percent of bacteria, sediment, and any other contaminants from your drinking water. You can easily remove the filter element without having to remove the whole unit, making this a carefree choice. When used correctly, the system should last for up to two years.
3. Essential RV Water Filtration System with Cyst Removal—Best Sediment Filtration
In addition to being a great choice for sediment removal, the Essential RV Water Filtration System comes equipped with durable hose fittings that should last for many years. If you want a unit that can be installed permanently, this is a fine choice.
The filters are effective at removing giardia cysts and other hazardous chemicals before the water even enters your RV. A spare 1-micron filter—which should be changed every six months—is included with the purchase.
Be aware that the heavy-duty fittings can make the installation process more difficult. First-timers might want to enlist the aid of a knowledgeable friend or family member to help with that part.
4. Camco Hydro Life 52700 with Flexible Hose Protector—Best Budget Option
Like our top-ranking Camco option, the Hydro Life 52700 comes with a flexible hose protector that will reduce the strain on your connection spigot. With a flow rate of 2.5 gallons per minute, it’s also remarkably efficient.
The catalytic carbon filter removes sediment, heavy metals, and bacteria while improving the flavor of your drinking water. But the best reason to consider the Hydro Life 52700 is the price, which is low enough to attract even the most budget-conscious RVer.
5. Frizzlife Under Sink SP99—Best 3-Canister Option
Do you frequently travel to places where you have to worry about high contamination levels in the drinking water? If so, then a three-canister option may be your best bet.
This is another under-sink RV water filtration system, meaning it won’t take up precious space in your kitchen or bathroom. The permanent installation also makes it more convenient than systems that need to be screwed onto the water hose at every new campsite. The drawback? The initial installation may take longer than you’d expect.
6. Acuva ArrowMax 2.0 UV Water Purifier with Smart Faucet—Best For UV Treatment
The only UV treatment option on our list, the Acuva ArrowMax is safe for home and boat use in addition to RVs. It’s capable of dispensing over 31,000 gallons of water in its lifetime, so it should provide 7 to 10 years of use. That’s a good thing, because this is also one of the priciest systems we encountered.
The Smart Faucet will emit a blue glow when the unit is on, which is sure to appeal to the tech heads out there. Most importantly, the two-stage process ensures that your drinking water will be as clean as possible when it reaches your glass.
7. Clearsource Premium RV Water Filter System—Best Customer Service
This system uses a 0.2-micron filter to rid your water of giardia cysts, bacteria, chlorine, and various other contaminants. Its durable construction includes oversized canisters for a superb flow rate.
Speaking of ratings, this model receives consistently high marks from consumers. The folks at ClearSource are very responsive and happy to help should you encounter any issues with your RV water filtration system.
What factors do you need to consider when shopping for a water filtration system for your RV? In this section, we’ll go over the most critical ones.
As the name suggests, these filters are designed to strain the sediment out of your water. They’re equipped with a series of tiny holes that allow the water to pass through while trapping the sediment within the water filter.
Sediment filters work well, but they do have one significant drawback: The trapped sediment can build up over time, which will diminish the water’s flow rate. That means you’ll need to clean out the filters regularly if you want to keep the system in prime condition.
Be aware that most RV water filtration systems use more than one method. At the bare minimum, they should be equipped with a sediment filter to keep the drinking water clean.
In addition to removing sediment, carbon filters can improve the taste of the water by reducing chlorine levels. They can also remove dangerous minerals such as mercury and lead.
The filters themselves might be made of granulated activated carbon, a solid carbon block, or a modified block. The ones that use granulated activated carbon are easiest on the wallet, but they’re generally less efficient than the other two. That’s because the water might create fissures in the carbon, which means that some of it could pass through without reaping the benefits of the filtration.
With a solid block, the carbon is pulverized and reformed using a high-pressure treatment, so all the water is guaranteed to pass through the filter. Modified blocks function in the same way, but they’re more durable and efficient than the other options. As a result, they’re often more expensive.
These are similar to sediment filters in terms of design. The ceramic filter element is peppered with tiny holes for removing bacteria and sediment, including giardia cysts. When used on their own, they aren’t designed to screen out hazardous chemicals. However, many models come equipped with a carbon element instead, which makes them more effective.
Reverse Osmosis Filters
A reverse osmosis filter contains a semi-permeable membrane that’s capable of blocking anything larger than a water molecule. That means the water you drink will be nearly 100 percent pure, as the filter can screen out everything from sediment to arsenic and fluoride.
Be forewarned, though, that reverse osmosis filters can’t rid the water of chlorine. If you want to reduce the taste of chlorine in the water, make sure the system has a carbon filter in addition to the reverse osmosis element.
The type of water you’re using can have a strong effect on which contaminants you’ll need to filter out. Here’s a guide to help you understand what you might be removing from your water.
|Water Source||Usual Contaminants||Best Filter Type|
|Well||Chlorine, bacteria, heavy metals||Carbon/Sediment or ceramic combo|
|Rainwater||Bacteria, heavy metals, organics||Carbon/Sediment or ceramic combo|
Budget is always a concern when making a major investment like this one. In this case, however, you’re also looking at additional costs down the road.
When you’re checking to see how often the filter needs to be replaced, take the annual cost into account. For example, the filter might cost as little as $30, but if you need to replace it every 3 months, that will cost you $120 per year. Therefore, it might be worth it to seek out a $100 model that only needs to be replaced annually.
How much water is the system capable of filtering? That’s the next question you need to ask yourself before making a purchase.
Those of you who want to filter all the water that comes into the rig should consider a canister-style or inline system. These are designed for high volume and can protect your RV’s plumbing system, so they’re a good long-term investment.
On the other hand, if you only want to filter the water you’ll be drinking and cooking with, an under-sink option might be a better choice.
Full-timers and campers who boondock on a regular basis should look into more sophisticated RV water filter systems. That often means spending more money, but this is an investment that will prolong the life of your RV’s pipe system and benefit your long-term health.
Infrequent campers can probably deal with a more basic setup, especially if they usually hook up to city water connections. In any case, be aware of how long the filter will work before you need to replace it. You don’t want to get stuck without a backup filter when camping in a rural area.
What does the micron rating tell you about the effectiveness of the filter? In essence, it lets you know how small the particles would need to be in order to pass through. Therefore, if the filter has a .02 micron rating, it will trap more sediment and bacteria than a similar model with a 2-micron rating.
Ease of Setup
A complex installation process is the biggest deterrent to purchasing a water filtration system. Most of us don’t have a great deal of experience with plumbing, so it’s essential to find a model that’s easy to install—and to use.
Look for an inline-style filter if you don’t want to mess with your RV’s pipes. You’ll need to hook them up to every water source you encounter, but you won’t have to mess with your RV’s pipe system.
While the canister-style models are effective and simple to use, it’s easy to create small leaks during installation. This can cause mold and mildew to form within your walls.
We chose the Camco 40043 TastePure for its ease of installation and affordability. The fact that it’s an inline model is another plus—you won’t need to tinker with your RV’s plumbing system in order to have access to fresh, clean drinking water.
Although the 40043 comes at a low price, it’s one of the most effective models we tested. It does an impressive job at filtering out chemicals and virtually eliminates the taste of chlorine. In short, it works just as we would expect an RV water filtration system to work.
Good luck, and happy camping!
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