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How Long Do RV Water Filters Last?

RV faucet with RV water filters

How Often Should You Replace RV Water Filters?

“Water, water everywhere, nor any a drop to drink”

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Samuel Taylor Coleridge wrote those words when he was stuck on a ship without drinking water. RV living can have similar challenges when it comes to finding clean drinking water. 

Even idyllic, full hookup campgrounds on lakes or rivers can have water supplies that are unsafe for drinking or for your RV water system. Sometimes the water just tastes gross and sulfury due to its high iron content. 

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Incorporating an RV water filter into your RV water system can help with the taste and purity of your water supply. But it’s important to replace them when necessary. In this article, we’ll answer the question “how long do RV water filters last?”

Why use RV water filters?

RV water filters capture most of the contaminants that make campsite water yucky. RV water filters can even make dangerous water safer to drink. However, RV water filters don’t last forever. The normal lifespan of most RV water filters is about 3-4 months. 

The Camco water filters that go between the water supply and RV on the RV water hose last for about 6 months. Of course, dirtier water shortens the lifespan of RV water filters as they become plugged up with sediment.  

The 3 Types Of RV Water Filters

When it comes to RV water filters, it’s good to have choices. There are 3 basic types you can use either alone or in combination with another type of water filter. 

Before you choose a water filter for your RV, it’s good to understand what each type of water filter does and how it works. We’ve broken it down so you can make the right choice for your own situation

Ultraviolet (UV) RV water sterilizers

The first type is an inline UV water filter. While UV sterilizers don’t remove any sediment or particles from RV water, they do improve the quality of water. 

A UV sterilizer blasts living organisms in your water (like bacteria) with ultraviolet light, scrambling their genetic codes and rendering them unable to reproduce. If you use a UV water filter, it’s a good idea to also use a carbon or fiber water filter. This is because UV water filters don’t take out sediment and don’t affect the taste of water. 

Ultraviolet sterilizers are a good idea if you travel in your RV to places with dubious water quality. By the way, ultraviolet sterilizers last for many years, but the bulbs are designed to last about 1 year.

Canister-style water filters

Canister-style filters can be aligned in sequences of up to three filters, but you can use as few as a single filter. They consist of a canister housing that holds a fiber or carbon fiber filter, which filters out particulates, sediment, chlorine, and may have some effect on bacteria levels.   

This filtration helps make RV water taste better while maintaining decent water pressure in the RV. The fiber filters themselves require replacement about every 3-4 months. 

Inline water filters

Inline external filters, like the popular Clear2, are simple to use and go directly on the freshwater hose between the faucet and the RV. These tube-shaped filters filter out sediment and chlorine, leaving water that tastes and looks pure in the RV’s water system or storage tank.   

The drawback of these filters is they negatively affect water pressure in the RV. If you have no other water filter, it’s a good idea to use an inline external filter to prevent damage to your hot water tank from sediment build-up. 

These water filters last approximately 3-4 months, but it really depends on how much water is flowing through them and how contaminated it is.

One of the best parts about RVing is engaging with the community of traveling enthusiasts. iRV2 forums allow folks to chat with other RVers online, and get other perspectives on everything RVing, including products, destinations, RV mods, and much more.

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