Hands-On: Spotless Rinsing

CleaRinse CR2 Portable Washdown System

February 1, 2010
Filed under Gear Reviews

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Getting motivated to wash our motorhomes is only part of the battle. Fending off water spots caused by hard water can be maddening, especially if you have to wash your rig in the sun. Consequently, you’d find me frantically wiping down the side walls, that is, until I discovered the CleaRinse CR2 Portable Washdown System.

The CR2 is a fairly expensive (MSRP $795) and less-than-beautiful spotless rinsing system that’s machined and assembled to meet strict marine standards. While the CleaRinse unit was originally designed for the marine industry and capable of handling boats up to 65 feet, it’s a very useful piece of equipment for washing motorhomes.

Essentially, the CR2 provides softened and filtered water anywhere you have a water spigot and hose. Hookup for use is simple: Just connect one end of the supplied 5-foot water hose to the water spigot and the other end to the fitting on the pre-filter housing. Then you simply attach your wash-down hose to the fitting on the large blue softening tank. I added brass quick connectors to make the hookup even easier.

The first time out, you’ll need to turn on the water and allow the system to fill. The instructions state that the system has been checked for leaks before shipment, but the test unit immediately sprayed water out of the pre-filter. A call to the supplier netted a replacement part (with a correctly formed top) quickly.

2407735_clea_rinse_2.jpg You’ll need to allow the water to run out of the hose for a couple of minutes, until the water runs clear of any brownish or yellow coloring. Once that’s done, the system is ready to treat up to 2,000 gallons of water before recharging, depending on the hardness of the water. The harder the water, the fewer the gallons of treated water. The manufacturer claims that, on average, it takes about 150 gallons to wash a 50-foot boat, which is probably pretty close to a 40-foot motorhome.

The system comes with a clear canister that’s filled with water-softening salt and connected to the large blue tank for recharging. It takes two canisters of salt to recharge the CR2. Other than that, the only other maintenance requirement is to change the element in the pre-filter housing and lubricate the 0-ring in the filter and hose connections.

Once we got the system dialed in, the result was very satisfying: Unsightly water spots (created by allowing the sun to dry the surface) were tiny compared with the residual left by the untreated hard water – and much easier to wipe off with a drying towel.

Measuring 28 inches high by 16 inches wide by 9 inches deep and weighing 45 pounds, the CleaRinse is a bit bulky to move around, but the relief from frustration afforded while washing motorhomes using this system offsets any minor inconvenience.

For more information, call 561-596-2085, or go to www.clearinse.com. 

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