For this discussion, we are assuming that you have, or will be getting, a standard canister system. These systems are the most versatile, in that there is the widest choice of cartridges available. Here we discuss the range of products available, and when and where each would be best used. These comments also apply to other types of filtration systems, although the range of choices available for them is more limited. Let's start by explaining some of the terminology used with filters:
- Sediment filters are rated by the size of particles they remove, in microns. One micron is one one-thousandth of a millimeter. Most micron ratings are "nominal", meaning approximate. If the micron rating is "absolute" it is exact.
- NSF Class - The National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) rates filters on their ability to remove chlorine from water. Class I filters are the best, Class II not quite as good, and so on.
- Life - Most cartridges will eventually become plugged up. This heading indicates the number of months of service you should get under typical conditions.
- Flow Rate - Filters, by their nature, impede water flow. This heading indicates flow rate, in gallons per minute, under typical conditions. Your actual flow may vary.
- Material - This heading indicates the type of material that the filter medium is made of. See our section Information About Water Filtration to learn more about these materials.
Recommendations for Choosing Filter Cartridges
Selecting the best cartridge(s) for your filter system depends on your needs, desires, lifestyle, and budget. We will try to help you make the best choice based on our years of on-the-road experience and in numerous discussions with our customers.
A dual canister system allows a high level of taste & odor that can also reduce chemicals, pesticides, lead and heavy metals, and even cysts, giardia and cryptosporidium.
The well known system for full-timers we have always offered, uses the RV-SED1 in the first canister followed by a CBC-10 However, in recent years, the RV-SED1 in the first canister followed by a F1 or a F1pb has surpassed the CBC-10 due to better flow and their resistance to stagnation.
For part-timers, the RV-SED1 in the first canister followed by a CBC-KDF is good as the KDF will prevent bacteria growth during period of no use. Once used, this specific combo is best stored with the water left in the canisters because of the KDF carbon block staying in good shape and preventing possible premature plugging. The RV-SED1 or SED5 and any of the F-series modified carbon fiber blocks are naturally resistant to stagnation during storage, without any special storage requirements, and a higher flow rate will be enjoyed.
For those who want the longest lasting carbon filter, whether full or part-time, the RV-SED5 in the first canister followed by a RV-KDF-GAC carbon cartridge is best.
Our most popular systems use our F-series cartridges for the carbon cartridge. These will offer the fastest flow and the longest life. They are made from fiber and are naturally resistant to the stagnation issue. The Essential System is our most popular system, and will provide the RV-SED1 followed by an F1PB cartridge. which is our cyst rated system + lead and heavy metals.
For UV and RO pre filtering the first canister should be the RV-SED5 , the second canister should contain the RV-SED1 cartridge, while the third contains a taste & odor cartridge such as the CBC-10.
If minerals and scale buildup are your concern, you could get the Essential System + Anti Scale, which incorporates an RV-PH cartridge in the third canister after selecting the cartridges for the first and second canisters from the above recommendations for Two-Canister Systems.
If iron is the problem, we have the Essential System + Iron, which can be used to help remove totally dissolved iron.
If you have a unique situation, please contact us and we will be happy to give you our recommendation.