How Often to Change RV Water Filter

man doing the maintenance of the mobile home with a hose filling the water

Published Date: July 5, 2022

Last Updated on June 22, 2023 by Camper Front

If you spend a lot of time in your RV, enjoying clean, fresh water is a necessity when it comes time to drink, bathe, and cook. This is why most modern RVs come with water filters, but it’s important to remember that these filters will not last forever.

So how often should you be changing the filter, exactly? The answer varies depending on how often you use your water filter. Let’s take a closer look at how often you should be changing your water filter and some more information about RV filters.

Read on for more information about how often to change RV water filters as well as the process of doing so safely and properly. Let’s get right to it!

Changing Frequency

On average, you should expect to change your RV water filter every six months or so – this goes for all types of water filters, whether it’s a ceramic filter or whether you prefer to use sediment filters and inline water filters. During periods of heavy use, you might have to change the filter more frequently, as often as every three to four months.

Understanding RV Water Filtration

Just as with a household system, water filtration in an RV removes chemicals, smells, and unwanted sediment from water to convert it into fresh-tasting water that comes from your taps and showers. They are essential for any RV because unfiltered water is unsafe and dangerous to your health.

Water filtration in an RV occurs through various water filter types. Below, we are going to look at them in more detail.

Water Filter Types

As you may already know, a range of different water filter types can provide your RV with clean drinking water or clean water for washing up. Let’s take a closer look at each different RV water filtration system.

Canister filter

You’ll find that most residential homes use canister filters. They are generally made up of one or more filters, including carbon filtration systems. Canister filters work well at cleansing water of contaminants and also remove the chemical taste from your RV water.

The more canisters you have with this filter type, the cleaner your water will be, making it one of the most favorable types of filter for camping trips. They work with a cartridge system that contains several filter types, removing sediments, phosphates, harmful organic compounds, and more.

One of the great things about these water filter options is that they provide you with clean drinking water and do not require filters as often. This means you can expect them to provide your RV with clean water for up to 12 months before requiring a change.

Hose filter

Hose filters are arguably the simplest form of water filtration regarding RV water. They are installed into your RV water line and help clean out contaminants such as sediments, providing you with clean water. However, they’re not as effective when cleaning out chemicals from water.

This RV water filtration system also has to be changed fairly frequently, sometimes as often as three months. They are one of the more budget-friendly water filter options but may not be the best choice if you want clean drinking water completely free of chemicals.

Canister water filters are the typical ones found in RVs and provide a nice clean water supply at a fairly low cost. Replacement water filters for the canister style are also fairly inexpensive, with the average water filter only setting you back around $50.

Incline filter

These are the simplest filter types. They are attached to the RV hose that leads to your RVs water tank, filtering the water flow that comes into your mobile home. They are one of the cheapest and most effective water purification methods to create safe water for drinking.

However, since they are not the most effective filter types, they are generally recommended for part-time RVers only. They make for a good campground water experience, especially if you know that that campground has pretty bad water.

Reverse osmosis filter

This kind of filter provides a high level of filtration to all of the water used in your RV, rather than just your drinking water. They provide results that are purer than other types, offering the best level of chemical, odor, and sediment removal.

However, this high level of filtration generally comes at quite a steep cost, so be prepared to fork out a lot of money to get your hands on one. The water taste is definitely worth the expensive filter, though, at least in our opinion.

Camper fills the fresh water tank

Are Pressure Regulators Important?

No matter what filter type you decide to install, we can’t stress enough how important it is to get your hands on a water pressure regulator. They are one of the more essential filter elements and are designed to keep the pressure of your RV water at a specific PSI level.

They are there as a safety measure for the RV’s water lines and to prevent any damage from occurring. Most RV water systems are not designed to deal with a pressure higher than around 100 PSI, though this is quite a fairly common level for city water connections.

This is where pressure regulators come in handy. They intercept that tasty incoming water and ensure it remains at a functional, safe pressure. This prevents your pipes from bursting and ensures that your RV water filtration system is always safe.

Getting Good at Maintenance

If you want to keep that fresh water coming, you will need to service and check your RV drinking water filters regularly. The frequency of this maintenance will depend on your specific situation and can be influenced by water usage, filter type, travel habits, and purity.

When in doubt, the safest thing to do is to replace them earlier rather than later, even if you think it might be too early. Drinking water filters can be flimsy, so it helps to keep some cheap filters or cartridges handy to ensure you always have fresh water.

Having a consistent flow of water is the goal here. If you want to make your maintenance a little easier, hooking your main water intake valve up with a shut-off valve before it reaches the filter can really help. This will let you cut the water flow off whenever it’s time to change a component of your system.

Knowing When it’s Time For a Replacement

If you aren’t exactly sure when it’s time to replace your water filtration system, then there are a few signs to help you out.

  • Water that has a foul odor
  • Water that tastes strongly of chemicals
  • Murky water
  • The filter looks dirty

Cleaning Your Filter – Is it Possible?

Perhaps you don’t want to purchase another water filter for your RV. If that’s the case, then you’re probably wondering if it’s at all possible to clean the filter instead.

While it certainly is possible, we don’t recommend that you clean your water tank. The risk of damaging the filter is high and could risk introducing more contaminants into your RV’s drinking water. The goal is to have water that is safe to drink.

Even the most minor damage can have a massive impact on your filtered water. In the worst scenario, incorrectly cleaning your RV’s portable water filter could cause mold and bacterial growth. Drinking this dirty water could seriously impact your health, which is the last thing you want.

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