RV Filtration System: Ultimate Water Filter Guide

RV water filters

Table of Contents

This post may contain affiliate links. Check out our disclosure for more information.

Choosing the best water filters is crucial for ensuring the water in your RV is safe, clean, and tastes great. This comprehensive guide will explain why you need RV water filters, the different types of systems, what to look for, and which systems are the best on the market.

Which RV Water Filter is Best?

Clearsource Ultra RV Water Filter

The best overall water filtration system on the market is the Clearsource Ultra RV Water Filtration System with VirusGuard. This system is well respected in the RV world.

The Clearsource Ultra with VirusGuard costs $499. If the Clearsource’s cost is too high, the Beech Lane External Dual Water Filter System is a budget-friendly option. The Beech Lane unit is a reliable product that costs $69.

There are fantastic products that can meet every unique RVers needs. The following list is the best of each class of RV Water Filtration Systems:

  1. Best Overall – Clearsource Ultra RV
  2. Best affordable – Beech Lane External RV Dual Water Filter System
  3. Best Tabletop – Travel Berkey Gravity-Fed
  4. Best Under Sink Reverse Osmosis – SimPure Tankless UV RO
  5. Best Countertop Reverse Osmosis – APEC ROCT-Plus
  6. Best Single Canister – Camco Evo
  7. Best Inline – Camco TastePure
  8. Best Pitcher Filter – Water Drop

What Is an RV Water Filter?

An RV water filter is a system that reduces or removes impurities, contaminants, and unpleasant odors or tastes from the water before it enters the RV. Water filters can be installed at the water supply or inside the RV. There are water filters for every budget and every unique RV setup.

Why You Need an RV Water Filter

An RV water filter is essential for eliminating sediment, odors, and unwanted tastes. Some filtration systems can provide extensive filtration to remove harmful bacteria and viruses from the water source.

Not all city water is the best tasting, and campground water can sometimes come from a well. Water filters remove bad taste, heavy metals, and large particles from water. RV water filtration can also protect your RV’s water system from getting clogged or damaged by sediment.

Do I Need to Filter All of My RV Water?

The answer depends on the quality of the water you encounter. If your water source is generally clean but slightly tastes chlorine, a simple inline RV water filter for your kitchen tap might be sufficient. However, for those dealing with sediment or, more significantly, water quality issues, filtering all the water in your RV becomes necessary.

Many RVers prefer to filter all the water in the RV using a canister filtration system at the water supply. This approach is straightforward to set up. However, some RVers believe adding a complete RV water filtration system will lower their water pressure. Many who use full water filtration notice minimal (if any) effects on their water pressure.

Some RVers prefer to filter only their drinking/cooking water. This choice is based on personal preference. This approach involves installing a filtration system that is only tied to the kitchen sink water lines. With this approach, it is still recommended to filter water at the water supply source to protect it from sediment.

How to Choose an RV Water Filter System

Choosing the right RV water filter system involves considering factors like the type of filtration, your usage patterns, and the water sources you encounter. Understanding the different kinds of water filtration systems will help you make an informed decision.

Different Types of RV Water Filter Systems

In-Line Water Filtration System

Ideal for casual or part-time RVers, in-line filters are usually a single filter system attached to your water supply. These disposable filters can filter out basic pollutants, sediment, and unpleasant odors. These filters are the bare minimum for RV water filtration.

Canisters (1, 2, and 3 Canister Water Filter Systems)

Water filtration systems with one or more canisters are versatile and customizable solutions to water quality. Canister filtration systems usually start with a sediment filter and then have activated carbon and smaller micron filters. These systems provide more complete filtration than an in-line filter.

Gravity Fed RV Water Filter Systems

Gravity-fed filtration systems can filter water directly from a faucet or poured in from a natural freshwater source. They are incredibly easy to use, require no electricity or water pressure, and produce some of the best-tasting drinking water.

Reverse Osmosis RV Water Filtration Systems

Reverse Osmosis water purification systems provide the highest level of water purification and are best for people with specific water quality concerns. These systems are effective but require high water pressure, create a lot of wastewater, and are less eco-friendly than other systems for their filtration process. While providing the highest level of water purification, reverse osmosis is more suitable for those with specific water quality concerns and is less eco-friendly.

What Are The Best Water Filters for RV Use?

The different types of water filtration systems are mechanical filters, ion exchange filters, reverse osmosis filters, activated charcoal filters, and Ultraviolet Filters.

Mechanical RV Water Filters

Mechanical filters are the most basic type of water filter. They act as strainers for water and can filter out sediment and particulates of specific sizes. These filters are made from many materials, such as mesh, foam, or ceramic. Mechanical filters have a micron rating, indicating how small particulates each can filter.

  • 5-micron sediment filter- Removes most particles and sediment visible to the naked eye.
  • 1 micron- Removes particles that would only be visible with a microscope.
  • 0.5 micron- Will remove cysts (giardia and cryptosporidium)

Ion Exchange

Ion exchange is a healthy water treatment that separates alkaline water from acidic water. This process results in softer water and improved drinking quality. Water ionizers are often used with other filters and are never stand-alone.

Reverse Osmosis Filter (RO)

Reverse Osmosis is a process in which water is forced through a membrane and filters out contaminants, chemicals, metals, or parasites. RO systems are incredibly effective at removing harmful pollutants from water. However, they require high water pressure and create a lot of waste water in the process.

Activate Carbon (Carbon Block Filters)

An activated carbon filter, or adsorption filter, attracts and causes pollutants to adhere to the carbon. Activated carbon blocks create a porous material to which some toxins and impurities will bind. Most filters contain granular activated carbon (GAC), which effectively reduces unwanted tastes and odors. Activated Carbon filters are a great addition to water filtration systems.

Ultraviolet Filters

Ultraviolet filters are a unique filtration system that exposes water to light that can kill microorganisms, pollutants, viruses, bacteria, parasites, etc. These UV light filters are not great at filtering sediment, so they are typically part of a more advanced filtration system.

Is One RV Water Filter Enough?

The effectiveness of a single filter depends on your water quality requirements. For comprehensive filtration, especially for full-time RVers, multi-cartridge systems offer customized solutions addressing various water issues.

What Are the Different Types of RV Water Filter Cartridges?

  • Class I, II, III: Filters are rated based on their ability to remove chlorine, with Class I being the most effective.
  • Modified Carbon Block, Granular Carbon Block: Solid block filters with a high NSF rating offer better flow rates and longer life than traditional granular filters.
  • Kinetic Degradation Fluxion (KDF): This product can be added to carbon filters to remove bacteria, and it is suitable for occasional RV users.

Water Pressure and Flow Considerations

Understanding water pressure, flow rates, and the sizes of filters, fixtures, and fittings is crucial for optimizing your RV water filtration system’s performance. Larger filters generally offer better flow but may require periodic cleaning or replacement.

Best RV Water Filter System Reviews

Best Overall – Clearsource Ultra RV Water Filtration System with VirusGuard

Clearsource Ultra RV water filter

The Clearsource Ultra is the top choice for RV water filtration systems. This three-stage system has exclusive VirusGuard technology, which can guard against smaller viruses than a regular 0.2 micron filter. The flow rate for this filtration system is 4.5 gallons per minute.

The Clearsource Ultra is a rugged system with a powder-coated metal chassis and stainless steel fittings. The 3-stage system has easily replaceable filters that can be bought in a package on Amazon.

Best Exterior – Beech Lane External RV Dual Water Filter System

Beech Lane Dual RV Water filter

The Beech Lane External RV Dual Water Filter System is a reliable filtration system that can withstand the demands of the outdoors. It has lead-free brass fixtures that are easy to connect to. The system boasts a 5-micron filter and 0.5-micron filtration system that can protect against large sediment and smaller particles like chlorine.

The Beech Lane has a No-Hassle Lifetime Manufacturer Warranty, which shows that this company stands behind its products. This is a great option for exterior water filtration.

Best Tabletop – Travel Berkey Gravity-Fed

Travel Berkey

Berkey water filters have a loyal following, and it’s for good reason. These gravity-fed water filters are game-changers for outdoor enthusiasts. These filters don’t require electricity, tools, or plumbing and rely on Black Berkey Elements to remove or reduce over 200+ contaminants in freshwater sources.

These devices are fan favorites for people living off the grid and those thinking about disaster preparedness. Each pair of Black Berkey Elements can filter up to 6,000 gallons before they need to be replaced. The Travel Berkey has a 1.5-gallon capacity and costs pennies per gallon.

Best Under Sink Reverse Osmosis – SimPure Tankless

Simpure tankless RO

The SimPure Tankless is an excellent option for RVs because it does not rely on a bulky tank to operate. This unit can tuck easily into access panels underneath your RV sink. The system relies on electrical power to operate.

Like most RO systems, the SimPure can effectively remove 99.99% of 1000+ contaminants. Some of the contaminants the SimPure removes are viruses, bacteria, microplastics, PFOA/PFOS chemicals, heavy metals, chloride, and fluoride. The SimPure also has UV sterilization technology that removes algae and other microorganisms from your water.

The SimPure can produce up to 400 gallons of water per day. As with all Reverse Osmosis Systems, water waste is a hefty amount. For every 1.5 gallons of purified water, 1 gallon of waste water will be produced. This product has a 1.5:1 pure water to waste water ratio.

This unit must be installed and may require professional installation.

Best Countertop Reverse Osmosis – APEC ROCT-Plus


The APEC ROCT-Plus is a tankless RO that is also great for RVs. This particular unit is perfect for RVs that don’t have electrical hookups underneath their sinks. This unit is designed to sit on the countertop and has a sleek design.

This APEC is an RO that adjusts the water to provide the benefits of drinking slightly alkaline water. Its front digital display is easy to read. This system also has a hot water setting, making drink preparation a breeze. The APEC has an impressive 3:1 pure water to wastewater ratio.

This unit does not require under-sink installation and can be completely set up in a few minutes.

Best Budget – Camco Evo

Camco Evo

The Camco Evo is a great product that provides basic water filtration. This unit is a simple, portable, and easy-to-use one-filter treatment that utilizes Granular Activated Carbon (GAC) to provide safe drinking water.

This filter easily attaches to any standard water hose connection. It prevents sediment from entering your RV tanks and water system.

Best Inline Filter – Camco TastePure

Camco TastePURE

The Camco TastePure is one of the most widely used simple inline water filters for RVs. This single filter unit easily attaches to a water supply and reduces bad taste, odor, chlorine, and sediment. This filter is the bare minimum that should be used on city water connections and replaced every 3 months.

Best Pitcher Filter – Waterdrop

Waterdrop water pitcher filter

The Waterdrop water filter pitcher is an excellent addition to RVs. This is a perfect option if your budget does not have room for one of the more expensive systems. You fill the reservoir, allow the water to be filtered, and store the pitcher in the refrigerator.

A third-party laboratory tested this pitcher and successfully reduced PFOA/PFOS, chlorine, odor, iron, and metal ions. The water filter in this pitcher can last up to 200 gallons or three months before needing replacement.

RV Water Pressure Regulators

High water pressure can damage RV plumbing. To prevent potential damage, it is very important to install a water pressure regulator. Some RVers complain that their water pressure regulator reduces the flow to their fixtures. 

RV Drinking Water Hoses

Investing in high-quality RV drinking water hoses is essential to maintain water purity from the source to your RV. Choose hoses specifically designed for drinking water to avoid contaminants. 

RV Heated Hoses

For winter RVing, heated hoses prevent freezing and ensure a continuous water supply. These hoses are particularly useful when camping in colder climates. But did you know you can save money and protect your hoses using heat tape?

This post may contain affiliate links. Check out our disclosure for more information.

Don't Miss Any Content! Sign Up Today!