LAST UPDATED: January 31, 2019

The Best RV Water Filters (Review) in 2021

Best Choice best choice filter for rv Camco TastePURE Water Filter
Premium Pick premium pick rv water filter Clearsource Premium RV Water Filter System
Best Value affordable rv water filter Hydro Life Disposable Inline Hose Filter

Whether you are a committed recreational vehicle user or just like to take off in your RV for the occasional weekend trip, the quality of the water you use can really make a difference when you are on the road. From camper park to off-the-beaten-track and everything in between, you can’t always be sure the water tap hook-up is, well, of the sweetest variety. What you need is a quick way to clean up the fluid, which is where our handy best RV water filter guide comes in.

We’ve checked out all the ways you can filter your water so you can not only scoop out those water-borne nasty elements that can wreak havoc on your stomach but also get the best tasting water for your RV vacation road trip. So, let’s raise a glass to the purer stuff and filter on…

The Best RV Water Filter

If you are looking to filter all the water going into your RV, then an inline filter is the way to go and the TastePure is one of the best.

Camco claims its filter can last an entire camping season, and we like the sound of that. Attached to your water hose, its wide body is a boost when it comes to water volume and flow rate, making it a really functional and practical way to clean the water going into your RV.

Using a 20-micron granular activated carbon filter, the TastePure removes bacteria, sediment, chlorine and general contaminants as well as sweetening up the water odor to produce tasty and clean water to drink and use for washing. It also uses KDF (Kenetic Degradation Fluxion, if you really need to know) technology to stop nasty fungi, bacteria and mold in their tracks. No assembly required; with this Camco water filter it is a case of set up and go.

Key Features
  • In-line RV water filter – one cartridge per season
  • Higher capacity with an increased flow rate
  • 20-micron sediment filter
  • High-flow carbon filter with KDF
  • Can be attached to any standard gardening or water hose
Specification
  • Brand Camco
  • Model 40043
  • Weight 1 pound

The slimline Culligan RV-800 is a popular RV inline water filter system that easily fits on all standard camper water hoses. It also has a long cartridge life – cleaning up to 2,000 gallons – giving you plenty of scope to plan some awesome long road trips. So, how well does it clean? Pretty well, we’d say. Along with its carbon filter to deal with the particles, sediment and other contaminants, it also has a built-in bacteriostatic filter to get to grips with the real water-borne nasty sediment. What we really noticed about the RV-800 is how effective it is in reducing bad taste in the water, including chlorine.

Key Features
  • Easy to connect to RVs, boats and campers
  •  Cleans up particles, sediment and bacteria
  • Includes a built-in bacteriostatic filter
  • Noticeable improvement in taste and odor
  • Long filter cartridge life
Specification
  • Brand Culligan
  • Model RV-800
  • Weight 1.3 pounds

Ths Camco water filter works really well as a self-contained filtration system that is easily installed and can make clean work of virtually all campsite and wild source water supplies.

Attached to your RV water hose, it will readily filter all the water going into your camper, with the granulated carbon filter sufficient to do a full camping season before it needs to be replaced. It has an impressively low five-micron level, meaning it can catch those really small particles and contaminant nasties, including bacteria, metals and sediment. It also has a KDF (Kinetic Degradation Fluxion) filter to zap away the chlorine and stubborn bacteria. The result is fresh, clean tasting water, ready for drinking, showering and whatever else you need filtered water for. It’s great for the price and can also be used for your hot tub, for home brewing, and for boating – now that is what we call an RV vacation!

Key Features
  • Granulated carbon filter rids unwanted particles and chemicals
  • Ideal for RV/camper use as well as boats
  • Ready to use with extension hose and cartridge
  • Quick and easy to install
  • Gives a streamlined water flow
Specification
  • Brand Camco
  • Model 40631
  • Weight 3.8 pounds

What immediately strikes you about the Culligan RVF-10 RV water filter is how robust and sturdy it is. This is a nicely substantial external canister system that gives you clean tasting water with minimal effort. It is also good value too, with one single cartridge lasting 250 gallons of water, which is a decent three-month camping season.

The water flow might be a little slower than some other canister models, but the rate is perfectly acceptable, and it does a mighty fine job of filtering out all the nasties, including odor, bad taste, chlorine, sediment and other contaminants. This is a durable and easy to fit water filtration system that performs well in both RVs and marine use. It also comes with a five-year limited manufacturer warranty.

Key Features
  • Sturdy design; suitable for exterior filtration
  • Provides you with clean, great-tasting water
  • Slim design plus convenient hose fitting kit for easy installation
  • Replaceable cartridge with three months lifespan
  • Five-year limited warranty
Specification
  • Brand Culligan
  • Model Culligan RVF-10
  • Weight 2.65 pounds

The Clearsource is the heavy weight in our best RV water filter review, and for many RV owners it’s the reliable go-to for consistently clean and tasty water for their whole camper season. Yes, it is at the top end of the budget, but you get a lot of quality filtering for your money.

The Clearsource is an oversized, rugged beast, but don’t be put off by its size; it easily attaches to any standard RV hose and can stay the distance, whatever travelling abuse it encounters on the way, thanks to its robust, engineered design. The water flow is consistent, which we really like, and the filtering quality is rather good. The dual water filter design effectively scoops out the sediment, bacteria, chlorine and other harmful contaminants to give you lovely, clean water you won’t hesitate to drink. 

Key Features
  • Rugged, powder coated metal chassis
  • Extremely easy to set up and go
  • 5 microns 1st stage filter with 0.5 second stage
  • Superior water flow rate
  • Removes chlorine, organic compounds and other contaminants
Specification
  • Brand Clearsource
  • Weight 17 pounds

The HL-200 is a sturdy external canister RV water filter from Hydro Life that proves itself to an effective and efficient cleanser of below par water, taking the strain out of a good RV vacation away.

First up, it has a strong water flow rate, coming in at a maximum of 2.5gpm, which makes it an excellent all-round caravan water filter that also works well on boats or trailers. Rather than a simple carbon filter, Hydro Life have opted for finer mesh granular-activated carbon, with integrated KDF to catch everything that causes you concern when it comes to drinking water. That’s a tick for sediment, particles, contaminants and bacteria pests then. And, with straightforward garden hose connectors, it won’t take you long to get it up and running…so you can get on with your road trip adventure.

Key Features
  • Exterior water hookup for RVs, boats and trailers
  • Fine mesh granular-activated carbon
  • Integrated KDF filter for stubborn bacteria
  • 2.5 GPM max water flow rate
  • Ease of replacing the cartridge
Specification
  • Brand Hydro Life
  • Model 52141
  • Weight 4.15 pounds

For a great value, does what it says on the tin RV water filtration system, then it is worth giving the Inline RV water filter from PurePlus a go.

This straightforward-looking dual cartridge inline system has a lot of the spec you would find on more expensive models and although it does have a 120-day capacity, there’s enough to see you through the camping season. The natural coconut shell activated carbon filter grabs particles, chlorine, pesticides and heavy metals from your RV’s water supply and the integrated KDF makes light work of bacteria and bugs. They can lose a little pressure at times, but you do get nicely filtered, clean tasting water for drinking and cleaning. They also come with a 90-day warranty for extra peace of mind.

Key Features
  • Natural coconut shell activated carbon removes chlorine, odor and color
  • Includes a KDF filter for bacteria
  • Lasts up to 120 days
  • ‘No tools’ easy set up
  • 90-day product warranty
Specification
  • Brand PUREPLUS
  • Model YW003-NF-2pack
  • Weight 1.81 pounds

For sheer convenience in your RV or boat, the compact Hydro Life disposable water filter is your go-to tool when you need to spruce up your water supply.

Super quick to install without tools, it connects your RV water hose with your chosen external water supply and then gets on with the serious business of cleaning up. It’s mesh granular carbon filter scoops out the contaminants, while the KDF filter helps to prevent bacteria growth. It also filters out bad odors caused by water contaminants, ensuring your RV’s water is sweet and good to drink. Plus, the compact design of the Hydro Life means it is light and easy to store.  Perhaps it’s a little pricy, but it will last well throughout a long camping season and keep its performance constant and on par.

Key Features
  • Fine mesh granular activated carbon filters
  • KDF media prevents bacteria growth
  • Filters out contaminants that cause bad odor and taste
  • Garden hose connectors for easy fitting without tools
  • Compact design makes it easy to store
Specification
  • Brand Hydro Life
  • Model 52133
  • Weight 1.53 pounds

This is a substantial double canister water filter kit that can really help to improve the taste of your RV’s aqua pura. With a dual five and seven-micron cartridge, Watts’ Flow Pur system digs deep to remove the smallest particles, contaminants and sediment, leaving you with impressively clean water for drinking, washing and showering. It is relatively quick and easy to install on your RVs external water supply and comes complete with hose fittings, bracket and wrench to make your life easier. Plus, the filter pack includes a GAC/KDF filter to really tackle all the bacteria and inorganic mini-beasts that may be in the water.

Solid, well-constructed and hard-working, this is a camper water filter to keep you safely clean and hydrated through your road trip.

Key Features
  • Easy to install with complete installation pack
  • Dual canisters to deep clean water supply
  • Great holding capacity
  • Includes GAC/KDF filter for bacteria
  • Durable and will last a camping season
Specification
  • Brand Watts Water Technologies
  • Model POE12DSA1KDF
  • Weight 8.25 pounds

Best RV Water Filter Buying Guide & FAQ

Things to Look for When Buying an RV Water Filter

Before choosing your RV water filter, you need to be sure you’re picking the right unit for your RV’s specific water filtering needs. To help, here’s the main things you need to consider:

What Water you Want to Filter

It’s important to be clear on what you want to filter before you start. Are you wanting to target filter water in your RV, eg. water coming through the kitchen taps or are you wanting to filter all the water before it enters your vehicle’s system? Also, how clean and pure do you want the finished product – are you looking to only remove particles or are you also wanting to fish out biological/chemical contaminants and improve the taste and odor of your RV water supply?

Filter Material

We’ve more on the actual types of camper water filter units in a moment, but in the meantime, you also need to know about the different filter materials used. Here’s our quick round up:

  • Sediment

A sediment filter works in a similar way to a strainer, by catching particles in the water. The main plus point to a sediment filter is that it protects your RV water filter system from clogging, but the downside is that it requires more maintenance than other filter types. Also important to note is that filters are rated by the size of particles they remove in microns – one micron equals one-thousandth of a millimeter, so check the micron number on the box to see how low your sediment filter will go!

  • Carbon

Carbon filters not only filter out particles but also remove contaminants and help to improve the water’s taste and smell. There are three types – granular activated, solid block and modified carbon block. Granular activated is the least expensive but still an effective carbon filter.

  • Ceramic

This type of filter has small holes to screen out sediment, bacteria and other contaminants in the water. On their own, however they don’t remove chemicals contaminants you can now buy units that have a ceramic filter with a carbon component to do the job.

Installation

You want to be able to fit your new RV water filter with minimal fuss as you have a road trip to go on! Once in, you need to be able to easily operate the filter system and its overall maintenance should not be too complicated.

Weight and Storage

The size of the filter also depends on the size of your RV and its storage options for spares. Large bottles can be heavy and awkward to store, particularly if you’re on an extended journey or are frequent road trippers so bear this in mind.

drinking water filter

Why You Should Use an RV Water Filter

Whether you’re a regular weekend RV user or only take it out for a week-long blast once or twice a year, you want to be sure you can drink and wash with clean, tasty and safe water. With different locations and pitches, you also need to be confident in the quality of water supply where you hook the RV up to each night. Whether it’s campsite-supplied water, chlorinated city water or from a well, it’s a given that there will be some level of impurities and sediment. Not only does impure water run the risk of making you sick, the impurities can also clog up your RV’s systems and cause some expensive damage.

RV water filters do what their name says they do – they filter out the nasties in the water tank before you use it. They can be as simple as a fix-it-yourself inline water filter unit you add to the pipe under the sink to sieve out particles or they can be full-sized water filters you fix externally to clean out all the impurities and contaminants in the water coming from the campsite’s water supply and into your RV’s own water tank.

Camper water filters are designed to filter out sediments and impurities in the water that may affect the overall water quality and taste. They are NOT water purification systems – so if your water source is snot safe to drink, your RV water filter will simply not cut it, you need something a little more hardcore.

Different Types of RV Water Filters

There are different types of RV water filtration systems that have various capabilities and features. The type you choose for your RV should be based on your specific filtered needs and whether you want all the water coming into your RV filtered or just targeted water points inside your RV.

  • Inline filter

This system fits directly to your RV’s water entry point so filters all the water supply coming into your vehicle. This is a good all-round filter for sediment and contaminants, as well as improving taste and odor, depending on the type of filter material it uses. You can also get an inline water filter that fits to the pipe leading to your kitchen tap.

  • Compact canister

Similar to the whole unit used in homes, this canister is designed to fit on to the water hose or inside your RV, and depending on the model, can also be customized to your specific needs. The compact size is a bonus too. Canisters are also a good option if you want a better water flow and can also come in dual or even triple canister systems for specific filter tasks.

  • Reverse osmosis

RO is a good option if you want to purify your water (although a word of caution, it also removes minerals).

How to Clean RV Water Filter?

Most RV water filters can run happily until their central filter – whether it is a sediment, carbon or ceramic – needs changing. There should be alerts on your filter to tell you when these filters need to be changed. To keep the whole RV water filter clean, it’s more a case of ensuring the connections are clear and clog free, which you should check on a regular basis. You will also need to clean and sanitize your RV’s fresh water tanks periodically to prevent stagnation, including before and after storing your vehicle for the winter. For further guidance on cleaning your RV water filter, check out its user manual.

water filter for rv

Best RV Water Filter FAQ:

Q: How often should I change my RV water filter?

A: On a simple level, if you notice the taste or odor of your filtered water is not as clean as it has been or if the flow rate suddenly drops, then that’s a sure sign the filter is losing its effectiveness and could do with a change.

Some models also have an indicator to show you when filtering abilities are running low so you can prep to change it. Do read the instructions of your particular RV water filter for their recommendations. Around three months seems average for the simpler, less expensive water filters whereas canister filters can go for six months or so without the need to change.

Q: How do I install an RV water filter?

A: Installation of your new caravan water filter should be relatively easy and uncomplicated as they either fit on the external water hose leading into your RV or to the pipe under your sink. The best advice is to follow your new product’s instructions or get a plumber to help if you really need it!

Top tip – when fitting your filter and hooking it up to a campsite’s water supply, make sure you check the water pressure. Most RV water lines can handle around 100psi and the water pressure in most RV parks and campsites are low enough that you don’t need a pressure regulator so there shouldn’t be a problem. But if the water pressure in the campsite is too high, it could burst your RV’s water line.

Q: How much water should I filter?

A: For all-round convenience, many RV’ers recommend going for a full water system filter that cleans up all the water coming directly into your camper, which means your drinking water, as well as washing up, showering and bathroom water are all filtered for sediment and contaminants (depending on the type of filter used). This is also the best route if you have concerns about overall water quality of the campsites on your trip route. But if you just want to filter drinking water, then camper water filtration system in your RV’s kitchen will suffice. You could choose this option if the water is not too bad or if you are wanting to keep an eye on cost or space. The downside is that you may still have to put up with taste and odor issues when showering or cleaning your teeth.

Q: Can I use it for hot water?

A: No. Most manufacturers do not recommend running hot water through their RV filter units as they’re only designed for cold water. Hot water can actually reverse the process of chemical absorption, releasing contaminants back into the water.

Q: Should I filter all the water used in RV or only the drinking water supply?

A: For all-round convenience, many RV’ers recommend going for a full water system filter that cleans up all the water coming directly into your camper, which means your drinking water, as well as washing up, showering and bathroom water are all filtered for sediment and contaminants (depending on the type of filter used). This is also the best route if you have concerns about overall water quality of the campsites on your trip route. But if you just want to filter drinking water, then camper water filtration system in your RV’s kitchen will suffice. You could choose this option if the water is not too bad or if you are wanting to keep an eye on cost or space. The downside is that you may still have to put up with taste and odor issues with the water.

installing water filter

Our Top Pick

The Camco TastePure makes the grade as our best RV water filter Top Pick thanks to its consistent performance, price and ease of use. For when you are in total happy, vacation mode, you don’t want to worry about dodgy water and this is where the TastePure has your back. Slurping up particles, contaminants, bacteria and mold, you get clean smelling and tasting water on the go. Dependable when you need it, the TastePure gets our top slot.

Sources:

  1. How to Clean an RV Fresh Water Tank – wikiHow
  2. How to Clean a Water Filter – wikiHow