Access to clean, fresh water is essential part to any RV adventure, whether your destination is a local campground or a remote, off-the-grid exploration. Your travels shouldn’t be accompanied by dirty tasting tap water and cloudy showers. From nasty grit and debris to potentially dangerous bacteria, there are plenty of contaminants that can ruin your campground experience. Luckily, there are a wide array of RV water filters on the market that will help prolong your RV’s equipment and plumbing while keeping your water clear and safe. Installing a water filter in your RV eliminates the need for expensive, wasteful bottled water cases and provides both peace of mind and refreshing clean water.
What is an RV water filter?
RV water filters are filtration systems that eliminate sediment and unwanted contaminants from the water being pumped into your RV. RV water filters improve the overall taste of your vehicle’s water supply by reducing chlorine and remove sediment to protect your plumbing and appliances from clogging and premature failure and damage. If you have more specific water problems with water along the road, there is a wide variety of water filtration options to improve your travels. Ultraviolet (UV) systems can assist in making untreated water sources potable. Filters rated to remove lead can keep you safe from ingesting the heavy metal present in old and corroded pipelines. An RV water filter is furthermore a money-saving and eco-friendly alternative to buying bottled water. Your RV water filtration system can be easily customized to fit your RV lifestyle, budget, and coach size. Whether you’re a full-timer or planning to take an RV out for a summer vacation, a water filter will enhance your experience.
Our top 6 RV water filters
Neo-Pure RV1-MB: Best replacement RV water filter for all vehicle types
Neo-Pure KW1-MB: Best replacement RV water filter for Forest River campers
Everpure ADC RV: Best under-sink RV water filter
Viqua S2Q-P /12VDC: Best RV UV purification system
Neo-Pure Residential 4 Stage RO System: Best 4-stage reverse osmosis systems for RVs
Pentair FreshPoint GRO-350B: Best 3-stage reverse osmosis systems for RVs
How to choose your RV water filter
There are a host of water filtration options available to make your campsite water clean and clear. You can attach an inline sediment filter and pressure regulator directly to the campground’s water hydrant and connect the water supply to your RV via a drinking water hose. If you want to eliminate bacteria and viruses from potentially microbiologically unsafe water, a UV system can be installed inside your RV. To select the RV water filter most appropriate for your RV experience and lifestyle, there are some factors to take into consideration.
1. Understand what’s in the water
Understanding what contaminants are present in your water supply is key to knowing how to effectively filter them. In order to find a filtration method best tailored to your water source, you should always perform a water test to identify any present contaminants. This can be more difficult when traveling from campsite to campsite in your RV. Many RV campgrounds water hydrants carry city water to the parks. City water suppliers use chlorine to disinfect municipal water and eliminate waterborne-disease carrying bacteria. However, chlorine can leave water with a chemical taste and smell.
However, not all RV parks are connected to city water. Some use independent wells to disseminate water to the campground. Well water can possess high levels of sediment, heavy metals, and potentially bacteria and microorganisms. Regardless of the water’s source, if you are in a region of the country with hard water, your RV will be exposed to high levels of calcium and magnesium, which can lead to scale build-up and damaged plumbing. The more comprehensive your water filtration set-up is, the more prepared you will be to enjoy clean water, wherever you’re traveling.
2. Decide how much water you want to filter
The type of water filter you install in your RV is reliant on how much water you plan on filtering. If you intend on filtering the entirety of the water entering the RV, you’ll need to invest in an inline filter or a multi-canister system. These systems are between the hydrant dispensing the water and the hose delivering water throughout the RV. These whole-RV water filters ensure all of the water entering into your rig has been filtered.
If you only want to filter the water coming out of the sink faucet for drinking and cooking, you’ll need to turn your attention to an under-sink filtration system or countertop filter. These will provide you with clean water for drinking and cooking, but will not remove contaminants and sediment from entering your appliances or shower. You may choose to have both a whole-RV system to remove dirt from entering your plumbing and an under-sink system to improve the taste of your RV’s tap water. If you desire a portable water filter in addition to your RV’s water filter, a gravity-fed countertop unit or a handheld purifier make great additions.
3. Consider how frequently you’ll use the filter
If you are a full-time RVer planning on traveling to a diverse range of locations with varying levels of water quality, it’s smart to invest in a more thorough filtration system. You’ll be more prepared to tackle water issues wherever you may encounter them. If you are only a part-time RVer or your travel destinations are more predictable, you probably don’t need a complex water filter set-up. If you intend on going off the grid and relying on surface water supplies like lakes and streams, you will want to be sure you’re equipped with a system capable of neutralizing bacteria that can carry disease. Regardless of the scope of your travels, there are standard filters that are important for maintaining your RV and improving the taste of the water, like sediment filters and carbon filters.
4. Evaluate the cost over time
Every filtration option is going to have a different price tag and degree of maintenance. If you’re installing a multiple canister system, you’re going to want to watch the sediment filter to ensure it isn’t becoming too burdened with dirt and debris. Carbon filters will lose their adsorption capacity after they process a predetermined amount of water. UV systems need replacement lamps installed once every year, and reverse osmosis pre-filters need to be changed every six months. To keep clean water coursing through RV, you need to be diligent about RV water filter replacements and system maintenance. Make sure you’re purchasing a water filtration system within your budget and that you are willing to upkeep.
Types of RV water filtration
The method of filtration you choose for your RV will depend on how frequently you use your rig, the contaminants present in the water you have available, and the level of water quality you desire. Understanding what each filtration option offers will help you choose which system to invest in.
A carbon filter is best if you are looking to improve the taste and odor of your water by removing chlorine and chloramines.
A carbon filter is one of the most popular methods of water filtration. Carbon filters are widely renowned for their ability to restore water’s fresh taste by eliminating chlorine and chloramines. Chlorine is added to municipal water supplies as a disinfectant. Chlorine penetrates the cell walls of harmful bacteria and destroys them through a process called oxidation. Unfortunately, chlorinated water is left with a sharp chemical taste and an acrid smell. Carbon deftly removes chlorine through a process called adsorption. As water is processed by the filter, contaminants adhere to the surface of the carbon block like Velcro. Carbon is also effective at eliminating pesticides, herbicides, and other VOCs (volatile organic compounds) from water. If you are looking to enhance the taste and smell of water, and your water source is free of pathogenic bacteria and heavy sediment, a carbon filter is perfect for your RV.
Learn more about how carbon filtration works.
A sediment filter removes dirt, debris, and grit from your water, as well as protects your RV’s plumbing and extends the lifespans of your other filters.
If you’re dealing with water full of dirt and debris, a sediment filter is a necessary defense for both your water and your RV. Sediment can turn your water a murky brown or yellow color and leaves the water with a dirty, unappetizing flavor. Furthermore, sediment can ruin your RV’s plumbing and appliances. Dirt and debris can clog your RV’s pipes and damage your toilet, shower, and faucets. Sediment build-ups can reduce water pressure and incur expensive and avertable maintenance costs. Sediment also dramatically reduces the efficacy of other water filtration systems. Carbon will exhaust quickly if exposed to heavy sediment, and dirt and debris prevent UV light from safely disinfecting your water. It’s highly recommended all RV users employ some form of sediment filter for their water. If you’re hooking your RV up to anything other than standard municipal water, a sediment filter is imperative. Investing in a form of sediment filtration secures the health and lifespan of your RV and your other filters.
Learn more about how sediment filters work.
UV systems are best for microbiologically unsafe water that contains bacteria, cysts, and viruses.
Ultraviolet purification (UV) neutralizes living organisms like bacteria by exposing them to germicidal ultraviolet wavelengths. These microorganisms can be pathogenic and spread waterborne diseases to you and anyone else riding in your RV. UV lamps use radiation to scramble the genetic code of bacteria, rendering them unable to reproduce in the water. This prevents them from infecting your drinking water and spreading disease. If you plan to travel to locations with dubious water quality, a UV system will protect you from getting sick during your explorations. While UV sterilizes the water, it does not improve taste, so pair it with another RV water filter system to maximize your RV’s water quality. With a UV purification system, you can purify water that’s been sitting dormant in your storage tank or ensure that no harmful microbes enter your water from a well or untreated water source.
Learn more about how ultraviolet purification works.
Reverse Osmosis Systems
A reverse osmosis system is ideal for someone who wants high purity water with almost all dissolved solids removed.
Reverse osmosis (RO) is one of the most comprehensive and powerful forms of water filtration on the market. Reverse osmosis forces water through a semipermeable membrane made of infinitesimal pores that strip dissolved salts and solids out of the water. A sediment prefilter extracts debris from the water before it passes through the membrane and carbon postfilter polishes the water’s taste after the process. While incredibly effective, reverse osmosis is not viable for most RVers. Though RO units are on the rise in popularity among some RV owners, the amount of space a system takes up is not conducive to most coaches. Reverse osmosis units require a dedicated storage tank, as well as a booster pump great deal of wastewater. The water with the rejected contaminants is called brine and is flushed out the system and to the drain. Without a permeate pump to mitigate waste, around 80% of water processed by RO units will become brine. Since most campsites do not have drain connections, this can be a complicated process. However, it is possible and with dedication and appropriate space, a reverse osmosis system can provide you with superior water quality in your RV.
Learn more about how reverse osmosis works.
6 of the best RV water filters
Neo-Pure RV1-MB Replacement RV Filter – Best RV replacement filter for all RV types
- Compatible with all standard and slimline style housings
- Rated to filter 10,000 gallons of water
- Compact design
- Removes fine sediment and rust
- Does not remove as many contaminants as reverse osmosis
- Foul tastes and odors
- Fine sediment
- Rust particles
- Some VOCs
Why the Neo-Pure RV1-MB is the best replacement RV filter for all camper types
The Neo-Pure RV1-MB ensures great-tasting water wherever your adventures take you. With its compact design and universal compatibility, this filter can be used in a vast array of campers, motor homes, and fifth wheelers.
The Neo-Pure RV1-MB is engineered to fit seamlessly into all standard and slimline filter housings. This allows the RV1-MB to be used in all types of recreational vehicles. Its universal compatibility also allows the RV1-MB to install quickly, easily, and seamlessly. As a result, the RV1-MB is an excellent replacement water filter for your camping trailer, travel trailer, fifth wheeler, or motor home.
Excellent filtration at a great price
The affordability of the Neo-Pure RV1-MB is one of its strongest features. This filter offers excellent filter quality at a low price. With its KDF 55 and coconut shell carbon fiber filter media, the RV1-MB effectively removes chlorine, foul tastes and odors, rust, sediment, and some VOCs. This filter also boasts a 10,000-gallon capacity, ensuring clean water for many excursions.
Neo-Pure KW1-MB Replacement RV Filter - Best RV replacement water filter for Forest River campers
- Economically priced alternative to factory original filters
- Rated to filter 10,000 gallons of water
- Compatible with RCS housings
- Double O-rings ensure leak-free sealing and eliminate bypass
- Thick walls prolong filter life and provide greater chlorine reduction
- 5 micron mesh removes very fine sediments and rust
- Excellent value
- Does not remove as many contaminants as reverse osmosis
- Foul tastes and Odors
- Fine Sediment
- Rust Particles
- Some VOCs
Why the Neo-Pure KW1-MB is the best replacement RV water filter for Forest River campers
Affordably priced and made from eco-friendly coconut shell carbon block, the Neo-Pure KW1-MB provides remarkable taste and odor improvements. Compatible with Forest River FR1 and RCS housings, the Neo-Pure KW1 provides clean water throughout your RV.
Great filtration at an unbeatable price
The Neo-Pure KW1-MB is a replacement cartridge for the popular Forest River RV FR1 and RC-S housings and the WaterPur FR1 and RCS housings. At a fraction of the original manufacturer’s price, the Neo-Pure KW1 offers all the same outstanding filtration abilities. A 5-micron mesh eliminates the vast majority of sediment from the water, keeping your tank clean and your water free from turbidity. The carbon block is made from eco-friendly coconut shell media with exceptional kinetic dynamics. Coconut shell activated carbon’s surface area is between 85-90% micropores. These micropores are adept at catching tiny contaminants coursing through the water. Coconut shell carbon’s striking adsorption properties make it the preferred method of carbon filtration. The KW1 is also rated to remove VOCs (volatile organic compounds), a feat few other RV water filters can boast.
High flow rate with minimal pressure drop
While many RV cartridge water filters have an initial pressure drop of 10 or more psi, the Neo-Pure KW1 only experiences an initial pressure drop of 2.6 psi. With a notable capacity of 10,000 gallons, the KW1 delivers water at an impressive 2.5 GPM flow rate. While many cartridge-style RV filters are prone to leaking, the Neo-Pure KW1 seals tightly thanks to its unique dual O-ring design. The KW1 cartridge, while comparable in price to many inline filters, both lasts longer and can claim greater contaminant reductions. If you are serious about access to filtered water for your RV lifestyle, upgrading from an inline filter to a canister system is a smart and money-saving investment.
How often does the filter need to be changed? Every 10,000 gallons (annually).
Everpure ADC RV System - Best Under-Sink RV Water Filter
- Convenient quick-change cartridges
- Bacteriostatic KDF media prevents algae and bacteria build-up within filter
- Easy to install & tailored to fit under RV sinks
- Comprehensive bundle includes fittings, teflon tape, filter head, and tubing
- 5 micron filtration power enhances water’s taste, odor, and appearance
- Low flow rate
- Taste and Odors
- Mold & algae
Why the Everpure ADC is the best under-sink RV water filter
If you want clean water straight from your RV’s kitchen sink, the Everpure ADC system is the all-encompassing RV under-sink package for you. With more powerful reduction claims than inline and most canister RV filters, the Everpure ADC dispenses crisp water when you desire it.
Customized under-sink filtration for your RV
The Everpure ADC system was created by water specialists to bring Everpure’s renowned commercial-grade water filtration to the comfort of your RV. Complete with a selection of fittings, teflon tape, 1/4" OD tubing, a QL3 filter head, and an ADC filter, the ADC system provides you with all the tools you need to set up your point-of-use RV water filter. Unlike inline RV water filters, the Everpure ADC can be plumbed directly under your sink. Simplified quick-change cartridges make replacing your filter a breeze. Everpure, a brand with a dominant presence in the food and beverage industry, is known for producing water fine enough to enhance coffees, teas, ice, juices, and meal preparation. With the proprietary Everpure design beneath your sink, you can enjoy not only clean water but exquisite beverages of all kinds within your very own RV.
Impressive contaminant reduction
The Everpure ADC utilizes a unique pleated surface membrane that bestows the filter with impressive surface area. This provides the filter with amplified filtration ability and extended filter life. While most RV water filters improve taste and odor by reducing chlorine, few RV filters include cyst and asbestos reduction. The ADC can also reduce the lead content present in the water. The ADC also has a KDF element in the filter, lending bacteriostatic capabilities to the filter. This prevents bacterial growth from blooming on the filter, as well as reduces the potential of mold and algae growing within the filter. Furthermore, the KDF media hinders lime and scale build-up within the filter, which sustains the filter’s long service life. Though it is rated to filter significantly fewer gallons than other RV filters, as an under-sink system it will be processing significantly less water (since you won’t be running baths or refilling toilets with this water). To help you keep track of your water usage, consider pairing the system with a filter timer. If you want to enjoy the high-quality Everpure water in your kitchen but provide sediment and chlorine-free water to the entirety of your RV, you can pair the ADC with an inline filter.
How often do I need to replace the filter? Every 750 gallons.
Explore our 5 best under-sink water filters.
Viqua S2Q-P/12VDC Silver Series - Best RV Ultraviolet (UV) Purification System
- Neutralizes 99.99% of harmful microorganisms in the water
- Slim and compact design fits neatly beneath the sink
- 12 volt DC electrical system for RV compatibility
- High-performance lamp will deliver trustworthy results throughout its lifespan
- Designed with off-grid applications in mind
- LED light visually indicates the unit is operational
- Alarm built in to notify you in the event of lamp failure
- Requires little contact time and produces high flow rates
- If water sits in the chamber too long it can become quite hot
- Needs a sediment prefilter for optimal performance
- Some viruses
- Sediment (with prefilter)
Why the Viqua S2Q-P is the best RV UV purification system
Crafted with RV electrical systems specifications in mind, the Viqua S2Q-P is a unit perfectly designed for RV applications. This RV water filter prevents you and your passengers from exposure to bacteria present in untreated water.
RV-friendly ultraviolet purification
While many UV purification systems operate at 120 volts or higher, the Viqua S2Q-P operates at 12 volts. Most RVs electrical systems are built with three electrical systems: a 12-volt automotive system, a 120 volt AC coach system, and 12 volt DC coach system. The 120-volt AC coach only works when the RV is connected to 120 volt electrical source at a campground, but the coach’s 12 volt DC system can operate off batteries at any time. If you are going to be treating potentially microbiologically unsafe water, odds are you are not going to be near a campground. The slim, lightweight, and compact design of the unit fits neatly beneath your sink, or unobtrusively in your coach after your storage tank. It comes with a green LED light to assure the system is functioning as it should, as well as an alarm to notify you something has gone awry before you drink the potentially unsafe water.
Chemical-free water sterilization
Ultraviolet systems neutralize bacteria and cysts from untreated water sources without the use of any chemical component and without the production of any wastewater. If your RV travels frequently take you to off-the-grid places where clean water is hard to come by, a UV purification system ensures that any bacteria lurking in the water is deactivated. An RV UV system keeps you and your fellow travelers safe and healthy. The Viqua S2Q-P can even filter water from untreated sources like rainwater or surface water like lakes and streams (though if you are drawing water from a lake or stream, it is always judicious to have a water analysis performed first.) UV systems work best when paired with a sediment filter, as sediment particles like rust and sand can cloak bacteria and hide them from the ultraviolet radiation. The Viqua S2Q-P comes with a sediment filter kit to install in front of the UV lamp to enhance the overall performance of the system. UV light alone won’t improve the flavor of water, so it’s also beneficial to have a carbon filter in front of the UV system.
How often do I need to replace the UV lamp? Every year.
How often do I need to replace the quartz sleeve? Every 2-3 years.
Neo-Pure Residential 4 Stage RO System – Best 4-stage reverse osmosis filtration system for RVs
- Many configuration options
- Comes preassembled
- Excellent value
- Simple installation and maintenance
- Permeate pump included
- Remineralization postfilter
- Faucet not included
- Bad tastes and odors
- Dissolved inorganic contaminants
Why the Neo-Pure Residential 4 Stage RO System is the best 4-stage reverse osmosis filter for RVs
All reverse osmosis systems use the same technology - carbon prefilters, sediment filters, and membranes. The Neo-Pure Residential 4 Stage RO System easily fits under your sink and provides you with clean, crisp water.
Easy installation and maintenance
This system delivers to your door preassembled. As a result, the installation process is simple. Alongside its easy installation, the Neo-Pure’s quarter-turn cartridge replacement system makes routine maintenance simple and quick. The replacement cartridges for this system are industry standard, keeping maintenance costs at a minimum. Only the cartridges, not the plastic housings, reach the landfill, minimizing plastic waste.
The Neo-Pure remineralization cartridge reintroduces beneficial calcium back into the filtered water while also raising alkalinity and pH. This filter gives the final product a pleasant, refreshing flavor that is ideal for drinking and cooking.
How often to replace cartridges
Neo-Pure systems offer the convenience of purchasing 6-month and 12-month cartridge replacement kits. These kits provide all the components you need to keep your system up and running. The 6-month kit includes two 5-micron carbon block filters and one inline remineralization filter. The 12-month kit includes two 5-micron carbon block filters, one inline mineralization filter, one RO membrane filter, and an RO sanitizing maintenance kit. When purchasing a 12-month kit, ensure you select the product with the correct RO membrane output.
Pentair FreshPoint GRO 350-B – Best 3-stage reverse osmosis systems for RVs
- Removes over 96% of total dissolved solids in the water
- Compact unit that can fit under an RV sink
- Click-to-lock cartridges make for simple filter changes
- GRO membrane technology less wasteful than standard RO units
- Able to reduce tricky contaminants like lead and fluoride
- Comes fully prepared for installation with an air gap, faucet, storage tank, and manual
- Requires a drain connection for wastewater
- More involved installation process than other RV water filters
- Higher cost filter replacements
- Heavy metals
- Total dissolved solids (TDS)
Why the Pentair FreshPoint is the best 3-stage RV reverse osmosis system
A compact unit that allows you to produce high purity water in your own RV, the Pentair FreshPoint proves that innovative design can produce reverse osmosis units even for limited spaces.
Incomparable water purity in your RV
The Pentair FreshPoint brings reverse osmosis and all its acclaimed contaminant reduction power to your RV. While commercial systems are large and can go through as many as five stages of filtration, this Pentair system condenses the powerful membrane technology into a 3-stage system that fits snugly under the sink. Complete with a storage tank, faucet, and air gap, the Pentair FreshPoint lends itself to a user-friendly installation experience. Many RVers are cautious of installing RO systems because of the perception RO is impractical for RVs or that maintenance will be overly labor-intensive. The Pentair FreshPoint abolishes these worries. The quick-change cartridges make filter replacement simple. Most reverse osmosis systems need additional under-sink clearance to change out filters, but the Pentair cartridges pop out and toward you as you change them. The GRO technology reduces the system’s waste, making the system more efficient than most RO units. This another boon to RVers, who understand the importance of water conservation.
Comprehensive contaminant reduction
Reverse osmosis removes dissolved salts and solids, softens water, and improves the water's taste by removing chlorine with the carbon pre-filter. This unit has a special lead cartridge to protect you from dangerous heavy metals. The Pentair FreshPoint also removes fluoride. The sediment prefiltration ensures the flow restrictor valve will not become clogged and the membrane can purify water effectively. To monitor your system’s performance, be sure to regularly check the TDS levels of your RO water with a TDS meter. Reverse osmosis operates best at 60 psi, and in order to obtain ideal water pressure, you may need to install a booster pump. However, to achieve water purity, RO is certainly the preferred method. Water distillation uses enormous amounts of energy and produces purified water in very small batches. If you desire mineral-free, high purity water, it is a worthy investment.
How often does the prefilter need to be replaced? Twice a year.
How often does the RO membrane need to be replaced? Every 3-5 years.
How often does the postfilter need to be replaced? Every year.
What are the advantages of having an RV water filter?
- Clean water: Don’t let foul tastes and dirty water ruin your travels. You can’t predict the quality of water you’re going to encounter along the road, so optimize your experience by equipping your RV with a water filter. You’ll never need to worry about showering in discolored water or pouring yourself a glass of tainted water again. A simple RV water filter can bring you peace of mind and elevate your experience.
- Protects your RV from clogged pipes: Sediment build-up is terrible for your RV’s plumbing. Sediment build-up can clog pipes and ruin the plumbing. It also contaminates your water storage tank, leading to more frequent cleanings and poorer water quality. Installing a simple inline or canister filter saves you the headache of costly repairs by preventing sediment from ever entering your RV system to begin with.
- Versatile options: No matter what level of water filtration you desire, the water filtration industry has provided innovative solutions for RVers. From fitting reverse osmosis membrane technology beneath the sink to simple hydrant hook-ups to eliminate that chlorine taste, there’s a solution to your water quality needs. No one system is right for everyone, so analyzing your RV habits and researching available options will help you find a perfect match.
- Environmentally friendly alternative: If you’ve been relying on bottled water on the road, you no longer need to worry about all that plastic going to waste. Water filters are far more convenient than lugging packs of bottled water and ultimately far cheaper. Bottled water expenses add up. Furthermore, with a filter you don’t have to remember to buy water ahead of time.
If you have any additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact our water experts.Similar guides: Top 5 under-sink water filters | Top 5 whole-house water filtration systems