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Water Filters


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I'm curious what everyone's thoughts are on water filtration.  Generally speaking, I'm O.K. with campsite water, but there are occasionally some iffy sources even at established campsites, and I want the possibility to pull water from a stream or other source if the need, however unlikely, were to arise.


I asked Oliver for recommendations, and Jason tells me that they don't have any particular system they recommend and that people have used various system, one even building his own, which I don't really understand (speak up if it's you - explain yourself!).


One thing I don't understand going into this is how exactly the three water intakes on the Oliver are plumbed.  One would hope that there would be a single point in the system where a filtration system could tie in so that everything going into the plumbing lines or tank would be filtered.  However, I'm not sure that's the case - correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that the fresh water intake goes directly to the tank, the city water directly to the plumbing lines post-water pump, and the winterization/external line goes directly to the pump and from there into to the tank.  My brain can't quite wrap around where you'd tie a single filter into all of that.


Because of that, I'm assuming that an external, in-line style filter is the right option, and that I would just carry the filter and attach it wherever it's needed.  The other option being to just filter the water as it leaves the tank or even just the cold water at the tap, but that leaves your tank vulnerable and so I think you'd end up wanting an in-line filter anyway.


I could see doing both an in-line filter and a filter at the tap because I would have such little faith in the in-line filter.


So, two ways of doing an in-line filter:


1) Use an in-line filter, duh.  Plus one at the tap.


2) Create a Better in-line filter using a multiple canister system and standard 10" cartridges.  The canisters would be located permanently inside the basement door and I would hook any water source directly to that, and then run a hose from the outlet to any of the three inputs on the trailer.  Make sense?  Perhaps it's overkill.


But if I were to do this, I'm thinking it would be a triple canister setup, where the 2nd and 3rd cartridges are a 1-micron sediment filter and a 0.5 micron carbon filter respectively, and the first canister I'd leave empty normally, but have a 5-micron pre-filter to use if the water were visibly dirty or coming from a stream or something.

Canisters - Triple Canisters at the bottom of the page

Sediment Cartridges - SED5 pre-filter and SED1 main filter

Carbon Cartridges - F1

In-Line Filter - K5667

And then maybe still have that filter at the tap because I'm sure that the tank water will have that funky been-stored-in-plastic taste.



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I used to be a sales rep at Culligan Water for 8 years. I tested water and sold equipment to solve well water issues for residential customers. If you are concerned about having the most filtered water possible then I would suggest a Reverse Osmosis System that will also include a sediment filter to protect the RO membrane, and will also include a carbon filter to remove VOC's (volatile organic chemicals) and improve taste. You can purchase one with an ultra violet light to kill bacteria, however, the light bulb needs to be kept very clean and replaced often.


We use an activated carbon filter between the faucet and the fill line. If you know you will be in a place with dirty or sediment filled water, then having a sediment filter would really come in handy to have on before the activated carbon filter to protect it from coating the carbon and shortening the lifespan of the carbon filter. If you are concerned about fluoride and the best filtered water then the RO system would be best. FYI, With all carbon filters pay attention to the estimated gallon usage because the carbon once gunked up can actually start introducing contaminants back into your water and will reduce your water flow significantly. It's better to replace more often than recommended instead of letting it go too long.


They do make portable RV water softener systems to address high hardness problems and alo to treat not to high iron levels. I have never sold or used one for an RV, so I can not address their usage in an RV. Don't fall for any gimmicks to treat hardness such as magnets etc...


We carry with us a LIFESAVER Expedition Jerrycan Water Filter (20,000UF) in case of emergencies or disasters. The Lifesaver will allow you to drink from really bad pond water in an emergency if there is some sort of disaster and you need safe drinking and cooking water. We also bought the carbon filter for it too. The LIFESAVER 20000UF jerrycan is a microbiological water filter that uses ultra filtration technology to filter out viruses, bacteria, cysts and parasites from contaminated water sources. Lifesaver technology filters out bacteria to a minimum of Log 6 (99.9999%), viruses to a minimum of Log 4 (99.99%) and cysts to a minimum of Log 3 (99.9%) as specified by NSF Protocol 231, based on recommendations of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

NSF/ANSI standard microbial removal claims are 99.9999% or greater for bacteria, 99.99% or greater for virus, and 99.9% or greater for parasite cysts.


I can't address the best way to install filters in you trailer, that is up to you and how you want to proceed. I would definitely run the RO in the basement if you chose that route but realize that it takes a lot of water to create RO filtered water and wouldn't be real efficient if you are boondocking without a water source. Pay attention to the advertised water exchange rates so you are aware. Some, such as Culligan have a 3 to 1 ratio, cheaper versions may have up to 5 to 1. Meaning, for each gallon cleaned and usable, 3 to 5 gallons are wasted and go down the drain or into your gray tank depending on the application.


Good luck,


Karen Lukens


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Happy Camping,


Reed & Karen Lukens with Riffles our Miniature Poodle

2017 Oliver Legacy Elite II  Standard, Hull #200 / 2017 Silverado High Country 1500 Short Bed 4x4

Past TV - 2012 Mercedes-Benz ML350 4Matic BlueTEC Diesel

Click on our avatar pic above to find the videos on our Oliver Legacy Elite II


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I’m assuming that an external, in-line style filter is the right option, and that I would just carry the filter and attach it wherever it’s needed. The other option being to just filter the water as it leaves the tank or even just the cold water at the tap, but that leaves your tank vulnerable and so I think you’d end up wanting an in-line filter anyway. I could see doing both an in-line filter and a filter at the tap because I would have such little faith in the in-line filter. Thoughts?


So... Karen knows water and me? Yea, I live on our old family homestead and grew up on spring water. People pay a lot of money to drink the water that I flush down our toilet.  Working on water systems is what I have done in many different ways for most of my life. I simply use this canister filter -




and I prefer this filter over the in-lines by far. Yes, it's bigger but it works great as is. Plus I can pull it apart and wash it if needed or simply put in a new filter. If I know that water is going to taste bad in certain locations then I take water with me because I don't put bad tasting water into my tank. I have a 3' short line that connects to the camp faucet and it is plumbed directly into the filter. When I take it back off of the faucet, I screw the end of the 3' hose onto the male output of the filter to keep everything sanitary. I do the same with my hoses, roll them up and then use bungee balls on each side to hold them rolled up for storage. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00DPLM5YU/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=DVETVI1ZF5E8&coliid=I2ANTUI1CI9D97


The first thing that I do before hooking up is to get a glass and give the faucet a taste test. If the water tastes bad and my tank is low, then I will hook it up to the city water connection for water use only but I don't fill my tank with it. When we find a place with really good water, then I fill the tank, plus my spare 8 gallon tank or even 30 gallons more if in the desert where I carry the extra needed water in 15 gallon food grade barrels -  https://www.amazon.com/Gallon-Emergency-Water-Storage-Barrel/dp/B01CATSTT2/ref=sr_1_1?s=outdoor-recreation&ie=UTF8&qid=1484885753&sr=1-1&keywords=15+gallon+food+grade+barrel


if I'm not sure how the water will be when we get to our next destination.


The city water connection does bypass the pump but the pump will run if it's not turned off.


Then the fresh water inlet is where you directly fill the water tank and there is an overflow under the trailer that will start pouring water out when the tank is full. This connection is simply for filling the tank.


In order to use the rear port to fill the tank, some valves need to be changed because this is for adding antifreeze into the lines also. But by turning the valves, fresh water can also be pumped directly into the tank. I've used different systems for filling the tanks with gravity flow for years but now just by turning a valve, I can fill the tank by using the pump to siphon it at first and then pump it into the tank on the Oliver. I asked Jason if they could put in a standard 1" gravity feed Rv water port for me, and that was another request, like the single step that was denied, so being able to get to the valves when boondocking is something that will need to be planned ahead for.


If I know where I'm staying then I plan ahead. If it's going to be in a campground or at a place where I can fill up with good water, then I will travel with just a little water in the tank. Enough to use the restroom a few times in a pinch if needed.


So basically I start out with great water from here at the house and even after sitting for a couple of months in the tank, it still tastes great. Then if I hit a bad spot, I will add some bleach to the tank, clean it and then rinse it thoroughly before filling it back up. Then in the winter, we keep the tank full to prevent it from freezing while out traveling. Water transfer is easy to a gravity feed port with the Simple Siphon and I carry one with me because they're small. I used it all of the time for the Casita and I will find out for sure if it will work with the Olli. If nothing else, it can still be used to start the siphon to the pump when pumping water into the tank.






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Happy Camping,


Reed & Karen Lukens with Riffles our Miniature Poodle

2017 Oliver Legacy Elite II  Standard, Hull #200 / 2017 Silverado High Country 1500 Short Bed 4x4

Past TV - 2012 Mercedes-Benz ML350 4Matic BlueTEC Diesel

Click on our avatar pic above to find the videos on our Oliver Legacy Elite II


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Thanks guys - good advice from both of you.


Karen, I feel like reverse osmosis is just too impractical for trailer use - the time it takes and the wasted water are both deal killers for me.  The UV systems are interesting and seem worth me investing a bit of research into.  I wonder if anyone makes an in-tank system that would be accessible enough to change the bulb when needed.  That would raise the question of whether long term UV exposure would harm the plastic tank, though.  As usual, I'm probably over thinking it.


Reed, I don't see the flow rate on the Camco filter but I assume it's fairly high since it's a 5 micron filter.  I'm more likely to go with the 0.5 micron filter, but only because I only know enough to know that 0.5 is smaller than 5.0.  The flow rate of the F1 filter is ~3.5 gallons per minute which would allow us to fill up the tank in less than 10 minutes, and that seems reasonable enough to us though perhaps not to the people waiting behind.  I like also that it's fiber block carbon rather than granular.  Of course, you could use whatever filter you want in the Camco canister, and I kind of like the stand that you can stake in the ground for it.


Regardless, I agree with you that it's a better solution than the in-line filter I linked to.


That's a nice emergency water supply, but probably too large of a container for me to want to deal with.  Like fuel, it's always a trade off against weight.  We've always taken an extra 5 gallons for emergency use, which seems enough to get us out of wherever we happen to be.  I think it's good practice for everyone, regardless of how far from civilization you plan to go, just in case your water tank decides to leak.

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I decided to go with a two canister system and it has worked very well. I ordered it from: https://www.rvwaterfilterstore.com/index.htm


This is a great website and business. You can learn a lot there, at least I did. They also sell the best hoses I've come across. Our first filter is for sediment, the second is a carbon filter that is rated to .5 microns. Plugged into the spigots at all our camp spots, the water flow has been more than adequate. Although not in the picture below, I have since added a wye to the outflow side of the system so that I can fill water jugs more easily. Currently, we don't drink from the onboard tanks but have separate water jugs for that. The tanks are probably fine and no doubt we'll do that some day, but old habits are hard to break I guess. Plugging the filters into the "City Water" and "Fresh Water" inlets has been very easy and works well. I have not yet tried siphoning through the filters using the on board water pump. I hope this will be doable.  The stand is just a piece of plywood I drilled two holes in that the filter housings drop in to. Keeps connections off the ground and stores flat!  A pretty simple setup and replacement filters are available everywhere.





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2015 Oliver Elite, Hull 107

1998 Ford E-250, 5.4 liter

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Thanks, Dave. Simple but effective.


2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12

Florida and Western North Carolina, or wherever the truck goes....

400 watts solar. DC compressor fridge. No inverter. 2 x 105 ah agm batteries .  Life is good.




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