Replacing RV Water Filters

TheRVgeeks Annual Maintenance, Maintenance, Plumbing, Replacement, Water & Sewer 9 Comments

One downside to moving your house to so many different locations can be the varied and unknown quality of the water available. Many RVs have a rust, scale and sediment filter for all incoming water, plus a charcoal (carbon) filter at the sink and/or ice maker. These all require periodic replacement.

Filtering the main incoming water line for rust and sediment is a good idea, but only a charcoal filter will provide any improvement in the taste. If you have a water dispenser at your sink, or an ice maker, it’s quite likely there’s a charcoal filter in the supply line.

As charcoal filters also remove chlorine, we avoid using one on the main water inlet, since we want some base level of chlorine (the same level as in a typical city water system is fine) in our fresh water tank to help protect the water in the tank

Watch our video about periodically sanitizing the fresh water system.

The whole-house filter uses a typical residential element, available at home improvement stores, which is designed for a 4-6 month life of typical use. Since we use a fraction of the water that a traditional “stick” house does, we generally change that filter only once a year.

The amount of water we use from the dispenser at our sink is so minimal that we change the charcoal filter there only once every other year. The same goes for our 2nd charcoal filter under the fridge that takes care of the ice maker.

Filter replacement is an easy task, requiring no tools, except possibly a crescent wrench to ensure the tightness of the fittings on Flow-Pur filters prior to installation (they tend to be a bit loose when you buy them).

After flushing out the initial shot of black charcoal-filled water from the drinking water filters, they’re good to go, and will help improve the taste of your water, regardless of where you’re located. Of course they aren’t magic, and we’ve been to some places where bottled water is the rule of the day. wink

Products Shown In This Video (available on Amazon):

(Be SURE to buy the correct one for your RV… threaded, clip-on, etc).

We're handy RVers, not professional technicians. We're happy with the techniques and products we use, but be sure to confirm that all methods and materials you use are compatible with your equipment and abilities. Regardless of what we recommend, consult a professional if you're unsure about working on your RV. Any task you perform or product you purchase based on any information we provide is strictly at your own risk.

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Comments 9

  1. Can you remove the filter to fill the water tank? With the filter in it takes around 45 minutes to fill my DSDP with the filter installed. (No gravity feed). Just trying to find a way to fill the tanks a little bit faster. I know it must be restricted somewhere at the fill (most likely the filter element)

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      Hi Eric! Yes, you could take the filter out to see if the tank fills faster. If it does, that would mean that the filter element is the pinch point. But we’d suggest not doing that as a standard practice, as the water gets filtered for a reason – to make sure sediment doesn’t get into your plumbing system. There are a lot of potential pinch points in an RV water system, but 45 minutes is a long time (our 105-gallon tank takes about 20-25 minutes to fill from empty). It sounds like you might be using a filter with too small a micron rating and/or flow rate. The 5-micron filters we use (like these: ) are rated for 8 gallons per minute, and work just fine. We’ve always used a 5-micron, and have no problem with the 20-25 minutes fill time, since we think (without having tested) that there are smaller / lower-flow elements to our plumbing system than the filter, and suspect that removing it wouldn’t make much, if any, difference. But we’re not willing to pump totally unfiltered water into our tank to find out. One thing we can say categorically…. our tank does not take anywhere near 45 minutes to fill with the water coming through a 5-micron / 8-gpm filter. Hopefully that info will help you sleuth out the problem. Let us know how you make out!

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  2. It looks like you only have a 5 micron sediment filter to filter all water into fresh water tank and a carbon filter between you fresh water tank and drinking water? Do you find that’s always been sufficient?

    Also, do you have a water softener? For showering and we will also have a washer & Dryer on board.


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      Hi Mark! We do indeed use a 5 micron sediment filter, as anything smaller than that is likely to impede water flow. We don’t use a water softener, but have considered it. There are places where the water could certainly use some improving and a water softener would help with that.

  3. Excellent, but a bit fast to get it all.

    Would appreciate a video on replacing refrigerator ice maker filters. Where are they located? Our ice maker made pink ice from antifreeze, as well as pathogen ridden ice from not having the fresh water tank sanitized by the dealer. We are novices, and after 3-6 days of severe intestinal problems, diagnosed the problem. I will never drink water from the tap or use ice from the ice maker ever again. Or anyway not for a long time. BTW. Loved your video on sanitizing our fresh water tank.

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      The filter that leads into the ice maker is probably in a different spot depending on make, floor plan, etc. But the procedure should be the same as a filter under the sink for a water dispenser. Keeping water safe to drink requires regular sanitizing (every six months or so), as well as a familiarity with your specific setup and operation of the water valves to be sure you don’t end up with things like pink ice.

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