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Water filtration when boondocking

WarrenS65
Explorer II
Explorer II
Most of my boondocking trips will be short enough for the tank to last, but at least 1 or 2 a year will be longer.
For those, I won't have access to hookups, but there will be water available. I know I can fill the tank using the gravity fill, but I'd like to run the water through a filtration system before putting it in the tank.

The two systems I'm looking at are the ClearSource (3 filter) and the Platypus GravityWorks systems (I already have this for backpacking or household emergencies). I like the Platypus because it's innexpensive, very lightweight, and takes very little space. I like the ClearSource because it's a better filtration system and likely faster.
My questions are:
  1. If I have several 5 gallon containers, can I put them on a platform higher than the my fresh water gravity fill and use a syphon to push the water through the ClearSource?
  2. Can I use a spare RV water pump (always good to carry around) to transfer the water from the containers to the RV through the ClearSource?
  3. Any other suggestions?
2022 F450
2023 Host Everest
2021 Yamaha YXZ1000R
1987 Honda TRX250R
2002 Honda 400EX
2023 Yamaha Raptor 700SE
2018 Look 24' enclosed trailer
16 REPLIES 16

WarrenS65
Explorer II
Explorer II
My problem isn't having water available. Like Spectra, if I'm taking my ATVs, I can carry extra water in my trailer. If not, there's always a spigot somewhere. I'm trying to keep sediment out of my fresh water tank.

If I'm in a congested area, for grey I use a 5 gallon container (appropriately marked) to dump a bit each day and empty the container into a toilet.
2022 F450
2023 Host Everest
2021 Yamaha YXZ1000R
1987 Honda TRX250R
2002 Honda 400EX
2023 Yamaha Raptor 700SE
2018 Look 24' enclosed trailer

specta
Explorer
Explorer


I am fortunate because when I go camping I take my ATV along so I always have a small trailer in tow.

I can take two of these 15 gallon barrels with me so that gives me about 70 gallons of fresh water total.




I bought this submersible 12v pump. It will pump just about any liquid, water, gasoline, diesel fuel and other thin liquids.
I think it was about $10, eBay or Amazon. I can't remember.




I attached the pump to a piece of PVC and a 25ft hose to the other end.




I bought this 12v battery for $10 about 4-5 years ago and it will still pump both FW barrels into my camper.

This has always worked well for me and I've never run out of FW.

I don't know why you couldn't do something similar.

Draining the gray tank is another topic, one that starts wars. :B
Kenny
1996 Jayco 376FB Eagle Series TT
1997 Jayco 246FB Eagle Series TT
1976 Ford F-250 4wd Mercury Marauder 410 - 4V
Regular cabs. The best looking trucks.

WarrenS65
Explorer II
Explorer II
I hadn't thought about the potential problems with purified water in the tank.

I think with that in mind, I'll just use tap water through a sediment filter to fill the tank and carry the Platypus filter in case I do need to fill from a stream.
For drinking, I'll carry a Britta filter.
2022 F450
2023 Host Everest
2021 Yamaha YXZ1000R
1987 Honda TRX250R
2002 Honda 400EX
2023 Yamaha Raptor 700SE
2018 Look 24' enclosed trailer

mellow
Explorer
Explorer
I have 2x4's under it to help distribute the weight on the roof.
2002 F-350 7.3 Lariat 4x4 DRW ZF6
2008 Lance 1191 - 220w of solar - Bring on the sun!

jaycocreek
Explorer
Explorer
mellow wrote:
Off grid camping is pretty much all the camping I do.

I put a 35 gallon water tank on my roof for when I need more water than my tanks can hold.

Picture.


That's a cool idea..Have you noticed any problems from the weight on top?
Lance 9.6
400 watts solar mounted/200 watts portable
500ah Lifep04

mellow
Explorer
Explorer
Off grid camping is pretty much all the camping I do.

I put a 35 gallon water tank on my roof for when I need more water than my tanks can hold.

Picture.
2002 F-350 7.3 Lariat 4x4 DRW ZF6
2008 Lance 1191 - 220w of solar - Bring on the sun!

Grit_dog
Traveler III
Traveler III
Sounds like a total pain in the ….. to filter however many gallons a Host Everest holds every time you fill up.
If one is intent on being protected from the evils of “non city” water, lol and not willing or able to buy bottled water for drinking ( the cooking one always cracks me up, as boiling water sterilizes it, which generally happens with any cooking scenario with water), then the economical and easy solution is filter/purify what comes out of the tap for drinking.
And if the water you’re pumping in smells/looks/tastes “bad” move on to another source or only add as much as you absolutely need for the terlet and bathing until you find a better source.
Haven’t camped in remote areas of the eastern and SE portions of the country, but never gave much thought to “water” in the western half of the country.
And if you do have a valid concern with the location and water, go somewhere else to get some water.
Also, same boat ballast bags and ballast pump make the ideal water storage/transport/transfer setup, IMo. Especially for large qtys. I’ve easily packed an extra 100gal on the back seat floor of the truck, with the kids in the back seat, to remote camping areas where we wanted to live the luxury life of having lots of water and the ease of not pulling water out of a river.
2016 Ram 2500, MotorOps.ca EFIlive tuned, 5” turbo back, 6" lift on 37s
2017 Heartland Torque T29 - Sold.
Couple of Arctic Fox TCs - Sold

jaycocreek
Explorer
Explorer
I would never put untreated water in my rv tank..Having said that,I have multiple backpacking type water filters and bottles...Sawyer water filters and a SteriPen but not for the rv tank..I use them for gravity fed water into a jug to be used for coffee etc or drinking water..

I have four 50 gallon water barrels I take if needed for a long stay...
Lance 9.6
400 watts solar mounted/200 watts portable
500ah Lifep04

JimK-NY
Explorer II
Explorer II
Two years of full time and many many months of part time and I have never wished I had filtered water for my fresh water tank. I do use a Brita or other final filter for drinking water.

If you do decide to use a filter, make sure it is a sediment filter that does not remove chlorine. Chlorine helps to avoid bacterial growth for pseudomonas and even more importantly serious pathogens such as Legionella. If you are not using the RV for a few weeks, sanitize the system.

WarrenS65
Explorer II
Explorer II
My water will always come from some kind of piped source. The reason I want to filter is to keep the fresh tank as free of contamination as possible. I know this is overkill, but better safe than sorry.
2022 F450
2023 Host Everest
2021 Yamaha YXZ1000R
1987 Honda TRX250R
2002 Honda 400EX
2023 Yamaha Raptor 700SE
2018 Look 24' enclosed trailer

SteveAE
Explorer
Explorer
No need to give up your backpacking techniques.
A different approach would be to use one of the many water purification products such as Aquamira
No filter to clean/replace and no chemical taste (that we have ever detected anyway). Lightweight and doesn't take hardly any space.
Disadvantage of course is that it doesn't remove solids.....or change the color (muddy water is still muddy water.....)
However, Alum does a "pretty good job" of settling out most solids if you are willing to give it time (overnight) to work.
With the combination of the two (Alum and Aquamira), I wouldn't hesitate to fill my tank from almost any water source (unless there was heavy metals or chemicals involved). The water may not look pretty, but it will be safe to drink.

theoldwizard1
Explorer
Explorer
Siphon/gravity will NOT provide enough pressure for any good water filter. Use a pitcher water filter.

JRscooby
Explorer II
Explorer II
You already have a way to filter/purify water as fast as you need to for cooking and drinking?
On trips where you expect to need more than what your tank holds use that and other water source from start. Fill glass or coffee pot from the water you have filtered, instead of faucet.
And for water that is "used"; How dirty is it? Your dish water is clean enough to carry the cornbacked snake out of camper, so is what you can catch in a bucket between your feet while you shower. If you catch the water as you rinse dishes, add soap and boiling water next time you do dishes, can save a lot of water.

thedavidzoo
Explorer
Explorer
We have had a Berkey for several years with 4 of the black filters. It isn't just a water filter but also a purifier, big difference! You won't need replacement filters for many years as you just occasionally scrub the filters clean, unlike most other short-lived systems. It is gravity filtered, but the water runs through fairly quickly.

We use it constantly for drinking and cooking at home and always take it camping with us. It sits on the counter and gets strapped in some cleats when traveling (water must be low otherwise it will slosh out on rough roads). It gets filled at the camper sink out of our FW tank. We have yet to use "pond" water, rain water, etc., but feel confident we could if we had to.

100% recommend this simple and effective system if you have a place to put it in the camper. Plus, if there is a zombie apocalypse, you know you can always have clean water. I think pricewise, it pays for itself quickly.
2014 Ram 3500 CrewCab Diesel DRW 4x4 4.10 Aisin, Torklift Fastguns, Upper Stableloads, Timbrens
2017 Northstar 12' STC
640W solar, 400Ah lithium LiFeMnPO4 batteries

JimK-NY
Explorer II
Explorer II
Are you planning on filling your water tank from streams, lakes, or other untreated sources?

I would avoid that if at all possible. In fact after years and years of RV travel and lots of boondocking, I have never had to do that.