By Michael Fuehrer

February 6, 2021

Living on the road can be a glorious experience. The freedom, self sustainability, adventure, and the is exhilarating. One of the most important factors that will make road dwelling sustainable and comfortable is having the proper systems in your rig. Without the proper systems, your experience living on the road will become limited and more difficult.

When travelling one of the biggest priorities for me is having access to clean water. Without having clean water or access to clean water, you lose your sustainability, part of your comfort, a lot of your freedom, and water containing heavy metals and debris can damage your RV’s water system. This can really affect your lifestyle and you may find that you are not able to go off grid for extended periods of time, you will have to constantly purchase or seek out clean water, and overtime clean pipes, filters and water tanks from the minerals and debris found in non filtered water.

From my experience on the road, I have learned that I either have to trust that the water from a campground or a friend’s house is safe or put any water coming into my rig through a personal filter system. The solution to obtaining ease of mind and keeping your water system intact: install a water filter system. 

The most important rule I have learned while researching and beginning my own journey to full-time travel is: before anything, you need to determine your desired lifestyle for when you are on the road. This is true when determining what water filtration system is right for you. Not only do water filter systems keep you safe from bad water it also keeps your rig safe too. There are a lot of different types of water systems on the market, but today, we are going to focus on the Essential RV Water System.

The Essential RV Water System

The Essential RV Water system is a full water filtration unit! It uses a dual-canister, or two stage filtration process, to filter sediment, some chemicals, and heavy metal as well as neutralizing bad taste and odors. This means you can have confidence in the water you use on your rig!

I, along with many others in the buslife or RV community, tend to use garden hoses or fill stations to fill up our water tanks. The issue with using these options while traveling is you most likely are not familiar with the area and which locations or water sources you can trust. One of the nice attributes of the essential RV water system is that it is already fitted with hose fittings to handle the average PSI coming out of the hose and filter 3.4 gallons of water a minute. This makes it really easy to fill up and filter the water before it gets to your tank as well as making filling worry free from overflowing or overwhelming the system! Plus, you get fresh water as quickly as a garden hose can fill your tank. 

Before getting into the nitty gritty of the use, installation, and maintenance of the system, let’s first look at how this system filters your water.

Filtration Stages

This filter is composed of a dual canister or 2 stage filtration system. This means that the unit comes with 2 different types of filters; sediment and carbon. Each of these filters are designed to filter out specific chemicals, debris, and metals.

This is how I think about it; as the water enters the system, it first goes through the 2 sediment filters; these are like the first line of defense. They remove particles like dirt, rust, and silt from the water. Then the sediment free water is filtered through a carbon block filter. This filter uses activated carbon to filter out chlorine and similar compounds so you have fresh tasting water every time! 

Together, these heavy duty filters that can remove organisms as small as .5 microns and cysts [organisms that can make you sick!]. They also help remove a lot of the bacteria that can reside in your tanks and water system. These filters not only give you clean water, but also help keep your water system cleaner and sediment free longer than other filters. 

The Essential RV Water System is commonly used as a pre-filter in many water systems.  In many residential applications you might use a water filter installed in your fridge, a faucet filter or a standalone counter filter. The useful part of the Essentials system is that it filters your water before it enters your tank so all the water in your tanks is ready for use. Having pre filtered water in your tanks helps keep your tanks and plumbing system cleaner for longer! While I was living off grid, I had peace of mind because I knew that I did not have to worry about my water affecting my water system or my health.  

Now that we know how this system works, let’s take a look at where to install it in your rig.

Where to install the Essential RV Water Filter

The Essential RV Water System is installed before your tank. This way, the water entering your tanks is rid of dirt and heavy metals that can clog and contaminate your water system. Before determining where you should install your system, there are a few important factors to consider. The first is the filter exposure to the elements. If you plan to spend time in cold temperature climates, you may not want to put them on the outside of your rig because the system could freeze and become damaged. Consider creating a cabinet to hide it in instead!

Another factor to consider is the level of difficulty it takes to access the system. Your filters need to be changed regularly to ensure the cleanest quality of water. I personally install most of my water filtration systems in underbody storage boxes or hidden in a closet in the rig. I find that these locations provide full, easy access to the system so if there are any issues or I want to change the filter I can do it with ease. Like every other element on your rig, it is most important to install the system where it makes the most sense for you and your desired lifestyle.

How to install the Essential RV Water System 

The RV water filter system is quite easy to install because it is an in-line system. This means that it can be directly hooked into your garden hose or RV hook up before the water tank to give you filtered water into your RV system. 

One of the nice things that this system has particularly is a mounting bracket which gives you the ability to easily mount inside of a storage box, inside of the cabinet or underneath of your rig.

Once you find your mounting location all that you will need to do is mount the bracket then install the canisters with the appropriate filters and hook up your 3/8 fitting inlet and outlet from your fill to your water tank or water system.

Maintenance for the Essential RV Water System

I have discovered it is VITAL to constantly and properly maintain your system and tanks. If not, it could cause you to need to replace your full system or leave you with dirty water. Now, the amount and consistency of maintaining your system varies from lifestyle to lifestyle and system to system. If you are a full-time traveller using the Essential RV Water System, your filters need to be changed about every 6 months, or more, to ensure that all the sediment and residue in the water does not end up in your drinking cup. On the other hand, if you travel a few months or weeks of the year and are not constantly filtering your water, you may not need to change them as often. However, before any trip give your filters a test to make sure they are functioning properly.

To ensure clean water every time, you need to also be periodically cleaning and sanitizing your tanks and plumbing system. If you are a full-time road dweller, fresh water is constantly moving throughout your systems, so the amount you will clean your tanks will be less than a part-time road dweller whose water can become stagnant and grow bacteria from sitting.  Ultimately, proper care and maintenance of your water filter and tanks varies depending on your lifestyle, BUT, is of extreme importance to ensure you and your travel companions are getting the clean water you all need.


All in all, to live sustainably and comfortably on the road, having constant access to clean water is a must. If you are planning on spending a significant amount of time travelling, having a full water filtration system will make your experience even more enjoyable! After researching and playing around with the Essential Whole RV Water Filter System, this is an easy installation product that WILL provide you with clean water every time you need it. Go check it out!

I only recommend products that I would personally use myself. This review contains affiliate links, but there is no additional cost to you. We may earn a commission from the retailer.

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