While we all want clean water in our RV's, it can get confusing how to use them. Should they be permanently installed or used externally? Are they used for all the water or just drinking water? For you to make this choice, it will depend on several factors - How big or small is your RV? Are you full time or vacation campers? Where are you camping? Is it freezing outside?
Point of Entry
I prefer to filter all of the water the best I can before the water touches the RV. This means that the water will travel through a sediment filter, a carbon filter and a water softener before touching my RV. This will insure that the water is cleaned before I use it, whether I fill the on board tank or use the water directly from the spigot. For me, this means that the filters sit on the ground between the spigot and the RV and connect with hoses. You can put the filters in a tub (18 gallon tote works well), build a PVC stand, get a Blue Cage or simply set the filters on the ground. If you have hard water, and need a water softener, you should put the softener after the filters. This will make sure no debris or taste/odor and chemicals foul the resin in the softener.
Another option for point of entry would be to install the filters in your RV. This can be in the wet bay, behind the wet bay or somewhere in the "basement". To accomplish this may require modifications to the wet bay or reinforcement of the partitions in the wet bay. Just make sure you have easy access to the filters if installed so you can change the filters as needed.
Another thing to consider when you install inside the RV is where to locate the filters in the water flow. You could replace a built in canister with a dual canister and connect it at the same point as the built in canister. This is easy for plumbing as you can get the ESSENTIAL SYSTEM INSIDE MOUNT system, which comes with 1/2" ports and fittings. PEX fittings that are used in RV manufacturing are almost always 1/2", so you can either use the same fittings as originally installed, or get new ones. This also applies if you are installing behind the wall of the wet bay as well whenever you are tapping into the existing plumbing. The drawback to installing at the same point as the installed canister is that, usually, this canister does not filter water going INTO the freshwater tank, but filters it coming OUT. External filters will filter going into the tank as well as into the RV plumbing.
Some people want the security and temperature control of an inside installation, but want it to act as though the filters are external. To do this, they get HOSE FITTINGS and figure out a way for the hose coming from the pedestal to connect to the filters. This usually involves drilling a hole either in the bottom or the wall of the wet bay/basement. Then you can use 90 degree hose fittings and small hoses to connect to the city water connection in the wet bay using the hose connections. In this way, you can protect your water filters from temperature extremes and theft while being able to filter the water before it touches your RV.
Our RO systems take hose fitting inputs and 1/4" tubing outputs. These systems can be used externally with the RO water going into the city water connection. This requires a couple of fittings to convert the 1/4" tubing to a hose fitting. You need a Male/Male adapter to go into the City Water connection then a Female Hose to 1/4" tubing. See below for pictures
Alternatively, if you have a gravity feed, you can put the RO water right into the spout where the tank fill is. The third way is a little more tricky. If you want the system inside, you can tap into the PEX line that goes to the tank and feed the RO water into the tank that way. Finally, if your system is inside the basement, you can run the 1/4" tubing all the way to the tank and either drill a 1/4" hole into the top of the tank and silicone it in, or you can get a 1/4" push in x 1/8" NPT and install a fitting to push the tube into.
Directions for Installing the floats and the wiring for automatic turn on/off can be found HERE
I hope this helps give you some ideas where and how to install or use these systems. I welcome any feedback, so feel free to send me a contact request or call at 602 625 1875, option 1.