At our last visit of the Abenteuer & Allrad Overland Expo in Germany we found some interesting ways of how other travellers did their fresh water system. I adapted a few of these ideas and came up with the following:
Most of the more advanced systems had custom made tanks which I didn’t like much. First, they are harder to clean, way more expensive and sometimes tricky to fill. In our previous camper we were quite happy with a couple of military water cans. They are light-weight, easy to store and clean as well as they can be filled up almost everywhere without moving your car to the nearest tap.
This time though I wanted to hock them up to a proper pressurized water system with a pump, filters and a faucet. To do so I modified the lid of the water cans and attached a pickup-hose with a quick-connect to it. Under our sleeping platform is enough space for two 20l water canister which slide in very easy from the back. When one can is empty, I just swap it with the full can from behind.
As a pump I got a ShurFlo Aqua King Junior 2.0, which draws not much power, has enough flow-rate and can dry run without getting damaged.
One main goal of our fresh water system was to produce pure drinking water. We wanted to be able to fill up our canisters at any questionable tab or fountain and not getting sick from it.
For this reason, I use a four stage treatment. First, the pump picks up the water from the canister and sucks it through a strainer with a stainless mesh to keep debris and other bigger particles out. After that it goes through the pump into an accumulator tank, which extends pressure switch-controlled pump life by reducing pump on-off pulsation. From there it goes into standard marine water filter housing with a 5 Micron filter cartridge. Constructed of a carbon impregnated cellulose media, these dual-purpose cartridge filters out fine sediment particles and reduce unwanted taste, odor and chlorine taste from the water. Also this pretty cheap filter element extents the lifespan of the main filter.
From here it goes into the main water filter which is a Seagull IV X-2KB. This filter is the best of the best and it is used extensively in the high-end expedition- and marine-industry. It is not cheap, but our health is us worth every penny.
All Seagull IV purification systems are independently certified to meet EPA guide standard protocol for microbiological purifiers against bacteria, cysts and viruses. Plus, Seagull IV systems excel at removing chemical and aesthetic contaminants including herbicides, pesticides, chlorine and foul tastes, odors and colors, for great tasting water on demand.
The smaller Seagull IV X-1F would have been enough for our task as well, but I got a good deal on the larger system so I went with that instead.
If we are really in doubt about the water quality we also add a little bit of Microdyn (or bleach) to be really on the safe side.
Finding the right faucet with an hot/cold outlet took ages as most of them are just the standard low pressure faucet you see in RV next to a sink or are simply way to big. I wanted something small with a quick connect, so I can also plugin a shower hose. After more research I found a company in the US with an interesting product called “Hot & Cold Spray-Port™”. Exactly what I was looking for beside the white plastic box, which was easy to remove. I hocked it up to the hot-water tank as well as the cold water line and it was ready to go.
For the actual outlet I also chose a great product from the creators of the faucet. A flexible, durable food-grade plastic spout. It plugs in right to the quick connector of the faucet and can be bent in any direction. As for our shower, I used the same quick connector on a long hose as well as the smallest RV shower head I could find.
For a better understanding how everything is connected together, here is a diagram of DinoEvo’s fresh water system:
All in all it turned out to work great. It is just such a luxury thing to have instant warm water for a quick shower or even to wash greasy dishes. In the future I probably going to add a thermostat-valve before the hot-water-outlet, because the water coming from the Elgena is boiling and I don’t want to burn myself if I’m not careful. A small downside of this system is obviously you do everything with pure drinking water, but with such a long lasting filter and limited space it is a compromise I can live with.
In terms of location, the entire system fits nicely in the opening over the driver side rear wheel well and can be accessed through a removable hatch.