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Old 11-30-2016, 04:09 PM   #1
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Water filters - ideas?

We're looking to do a water filter for our build and wanted to see what others are running. This will be for a Sprinter 4x4 used all 4 seasons and stored indoors, but not climate controlled. It'll be plugged in so we do have a few options available for keeping it warm enough on the inside.

There seems to be 2 different filter levels I've found: sediment/taste, and full-filter (virus, bacteria). The various filter setups range from in-line on the hose filing the tanks, or in-line after the water tank.

At a minimum, we'd like to filter for taste. That could mean using a pure filter in the fridge. We can use our sawyer gravity filter with a larger water bag for filtering river/lake water as that's about the nastiest water we'll need to filter. So, it seems like doing a dual filter setup in-line in the hose will work when we have city water connections, and using our gravity fill when off the grid.

What are you guys running for filters, if anything?
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Old 11-30-2016, 04:58 PM   #2
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I don't have a dedicated water tank in my build but rather two 5 gallon cans and a 3 gallon dispenser. I haven't run into problems locating potable water in the US and Canada although there are rural areas that recommend boiling before using. I use a 10" carbon with a simple 4 foot hose attached to each end of the housing to keep a pleasant "taste"when filling from various city water sources. If you're looking at a more elaborate system for purification, you could adapt a system used for river running. These use sediment, carbon filters and UV light to clean the water. They aren't cheap and if you source your own components you'll save money. Look at what Partner Steel sells to get an idea of the setup.
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Old 11-30-2016, 05:43 PM   #3
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Not running anything and never have. I usually fill up all my water at home and seldom need any except on longer trips. Then I'll take anything marked 'potable'. I've never had an issue. I like the idea of the nicer filters but I'm too cheap to buy one. We have on occasion bought drinking water by the gallon on the road.

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Old 11-30-2016, 05:56 PM   #4
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Good thing about in-line filters is that they can be removed during storage or subfreezing weather. Even if you drain the system, most (if not all) filters still have some water remaining in them. They usually need to be primed by soaking them before use and then drying for storage.

Using a quick connect system for the filter, like in-line under the sink, can make it so you bring the filtered hose inside the house where it won't freeze and then dry it between uses. Or if it's just a week or two until the next overnighter, you can leave water in the hose to keep the filter wet. Use end caps for the hose and then flush before replacing it.
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Old 11-30-2016, 09:00 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by lonepeak View Post
I don't have a dedicated water tank in my build but rather two 5 gallon cans and a 3 gallon dispenser. I haven't run into problems locating potable water in the US and Canada although there are rural areas that recommend boiling before using. I use a 10" carbon with a simple 4 foot hose attached to each end of the housing to keep a pleasant "taste"when filling from various city water sources. If you're looking at a more elaborate system for purification, you could adapt a system used for river running. These use sediment, carbon filters and UV light to clean the water. They aren't cheap and if you source your own components you'll save money. Look at what Partner Steel sells to get an idea of the setup.
Most of our time will be spent away from campgrounds in NF lands where the only water source is from lakes or rivers. We'll have a 30 gallon tank, but we're pretty heavy users of water. Not uncommon for us to drink 2 gallons a day between the two of us during hot summer activities, let alone cooking, bathing, etc.

That partner steel setup is about what I've seen elsewhere for filters that aren't in-house. That would probably be a good setup for longer trips, and with that pelican case, would be fine strapping to the roof rack. Pretty neat that it has it's own solar panel. Can definitely tell it's from the rafting community.

Thanks for that link. Putting that on the gear list.
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Old 11-30-2016, 09:06 PM   #6
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Good thing about in-line filters is that they can be removed during storage or subfreezing weather. Even if you drain the system, most (if not all) filters still have some water remaining in them. They usually need to be primed by soaking them before use and then drying for storage.

Using a quick connect system for the filter, like in-line under the sink, can make it so you bring the filtered hose inside the house where it won't freeze and then dry it between uses. Or if it's just a week or two until the next overnighter, you can leave water in the hose to keep the filter wet. Use end caps for the hose and then flush before replacing it.
That's kind of what I've been thinking. The use a finer filter inline in the hose for sediment from hookups and have an in-line quick disconnect carbon filter inside for taste. We could use our Sawyer filter for gravity fills when pulling water from the river, and likely get one of those beefier setups for extended trips that was linked above. At least that way it's somewhat modular.
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Old 12-01-2016, 12:40 AM   #7
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How often do you expect to be in a situation where you need more than 30 gallons between visits to a town with potable water? And how much more would you need in those cases?

I only end up making one or two trips that go beyond my 15 gallon tank a year, and
I just supplement with a couple of 7 gallon containers on those trips.

I've pumped water through filters from streams when backpacking. It's tedious, and I can't see myself doing that when I have a vehicle with.

If I lived somewhere where taste or sediment was a concern, I'd filter into the tank. Might as well keep the sediment out of the pump as well.
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Old 12-01-2016, 05:31 AM   #8
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How often do you expect to be in a situation where you need more than 30 gallons between visits to a town with potable water? And how much more would you need in those cases?

I only end up making one or two trips that go beyond my 15 gallon tank a year, and
I just supplement with a couple of 7 gallon containers on those trips.

I've pumped water through filters from streams when backpacking. It's tedious, and I can't see myself doing that when I have a vehicle with.

If I lived somewhere where taste or sediment was a concern, I'd filter into the tank. Might as well keep the sediment out of the pump as well.
I would guess twice we'll be in the desert for 9-10 days. For those trips, we'll probably use 4-5 gallons a day. Strenuous climbs or rides, we'll consume more than a gallon a day just in drinking. We won't always be near a water source, though. So, we'd likely need to bring water in those cases. This summer we camped in the Medicine Bow NF in souther WY and that federal campground didn't have water. We were there with 5 other people and went through quite a bit of water. Instead of driving 20 minutes into town everyday, we just filtered river water. We'll be camping often with others, who I'm sure will be using the shower and our water.

Our gravity filter is pretty quick and can do a lot of water. Our rivers here in CO are already pretty clean, so it's not much of a problem to filter 5 gallons in a short amount of time.

It's the driving back into town that we want to avoid. It's sounding like an in-line filter below the sink for taste, and a sediment filter in the fill hose will accomplish most of what we need. Our backpacking filter will take care of the back country needs. And, if we ant to go on a big trip to Canada, we'd probably take something like that packaged pump/filter setup for pulling water out of the rivers.
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Old 12-01-2016, 11:23 AM   #9
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For natural sources of water (streams, lakes etc) I uses my 10L Katadyn filter then pour into my 21 gallon tank that has a Camco inline filter. For city water I just fill the tank... but no matter what, it all gets filtered. I wish I could afford a better system but this is doing well for for now.
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Old 12-01-2016, 11:31 AM   #10
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And...
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