Drink Up! Water is the “lifeblood” of any motorhome; a sturdy dual-canister filtration system from Clear2O helps eliminate bad taste and obnoxious odors.
People who live in stationary homes tend to take tap water for granted. Open a faucet and clean, drinkable water flows freely with few exceptions. In most cases, the tap water is drinkable, but residents might have to resort to using a clothespin to prevent foul odors from compromising their senses of smell and taste. Traveling in a motorhome presents unique issues, not the least of which is dreadful tasting or even unhealthy tap water at an RV park in an unfamiliar community. To compensate for bad-tasting water that might not meet minimum safety standards, motorhome enthusiasts — especially those who full-time or spend long periods of time on the road — resort to the use of some type of filtration system. Dual canisters are frequently used by those who demand clean, good tasting water, and the Clear2O RV Dual Canister Water Filtration System (model CDC200) is a good choice. And this product even sports a few extra bells and whistles.
The company, which has specialized in whole-house and portable water filtration-systems for homes since 2008 also offers products specifically designed for RVs. For those who spend less time in RV parks during the year, Clear2O markets a single, inline filter that is simply placed between the water source and city connection on the motorhome. This 1-micron solid-carbon block filter is designed to reduce chlorine, organic compounds and other common contaminates, but under more demanding service intervals the single filter can plug up rather quickly. That’s where the RV Dual Canister System comes in.
Integrated into a rugged, powder-coated frame (stand) are two equally solid filter canisters that are designed to accept standard-size, 10-inch long by 2½-inch-diameter filters. Two very high-quality brass fittings are used to connect the input and output hoses to the canisters. The frame is freestanding or can be mounted inside a utility bay, as long as there is adequate room to route the necessary hoses. For this test, the stand was simply placed on the ground near the water source and out of the sun. While it may be impossible to shelter from the sun all day, the experts suggest that the filter media will last longer when sun exposure is limited. The stand is 16½ inches high (19¼ to the top of the gauges) and 10¼ inches long, which makes it sizable but not too bulky to maneuver while hooking up or when storing in an outside compartment. It weighs 10¼ pounds without water, so it does take a little effort to position under the motorhome, but that weight also helps keep it stable when on the ground.
Pressure gauges, mounted on the top of each filter housing, add an element of convenience, especially for those who use the system for longer periods of time. These easy-to-read, glycerin-filled dial gauges allow the user to monitor cartridge service life, without a visual inspection that requires removal from the canisters. Pressure is notated after installing new cartridges and as it decreases over time, the user will know when to replace the filters. It also allows the user to know if the pressure regulator, installed between the hose and water hookup faucet, is working properly. Most regulators will reduce water pressure to 45–55 psi, which is the proper operating pressure to prevent damage to the motorhome’s water system.
Once it’s determined that the filters need replacing, the water is turned off and the two red buttons in the top of the stand are pressed to release pressure, making it easy to remove the canisters with the provided wrench. This added feature makes it unnecessary to disconnect the hoses before removing the canisters from the bases.
The RV Dual Canister system is not delivered with filters, and the only installation procedure is to wrap the brass fittings with the provided Teflon tape and tighten them into their respective hardware in the stand. Both fittings are designed to connect to standard water hose ends. For optimum performance, a whole-house sediment pre-filter should be installed in the first canister in the direction of water flow. Clear2O’s offering is a CPP1002 pre-filter that is designed to reduce sediment, sand, silt, scale and rust particles down to 5 microns. This filter has a reinforced polypropylene medium, which prevents the second filter from plugging up prematurely, while reducing the chances of the faucet clogging inside the motorhome.
There are two choices for a secondary filter: A Universal Advanced Solid Carbon Water Filter (CTO1102) or an Advanced Carbon Universal Standard Whole House & RV Water Filter (CUF1252) that the company claims offers superior performance. The former filter is made of 100% natural coconut carbon and will prevent particles larger than 5 microns from passing into the system. This filter was used for the test, and while it continues to capture the sediment-type particles it is also designed to reduce iron, chlorine, manganese, herbicides, pesticides and other industrial chemicals.
The company’s more advanced filter (CUF1252) is said to trap particles down to 1 micron and complies with NSF/ANSI Standards 42 and 53 for water quality. Basically, these standards cover taste/odor and health-related issues, respectively. This filter is also made of 100% coconut carbon. Undoubtedly, the more advanced filter will do a more complete job, but under most conditions experienced by motorhome residents, the 5-micron version will perform well, as discovered during testing.
After employing the system for five months under full-time conditions, the gauges showed a slight reduction in pressure and flow remained constant through all the faucets and showerhead. A visual inspection of the filters after removal from the canisters revealed that, indeed, the media was still relatively clean. And the filter system did a good job of improving taste and removing the awful chlorine smell from the tap water in the park where the RV was parked. Filter life ultimately is dependent on water quality and higher levels of contaminates will reduce longevity.
Once new filters are installed, they must be flushed before using. This can be done by disconnecting the output hose and allowing the water to flow on the ground for a few minutes.
The Clear2O RV Dual Canister Water Filtration System retails for $249.99. Filters are sold in two packs: Retail prices for the CPP1002, CTO1102 and CUF1252 are $16.99, $19.95 and $29.95, respectively. All Clear2O products can be purchased via the company’s website.
Water is the lifeblood of any RV and the peace of mind afforded by knowing the water tastes good and is safe to drink goes a long way toward improving the travel experience.