Water Purification System | OVERLAND BOUND COMMUNITY

Water Purification System

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Kcrkolby

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Hey Everyone,

I have been looking for almost a year now for a system that I could mount to my rig that could pump and purify water from a water source like a lake, river or stream. I just recently came across the brand "Guzzle H20." (www.guzzleh2o.com) That have portable filtration systems. Has any one used them or have a similar system/set up that they like?

I do long trips where I am off the grid for up to two weeks and usually carry 3-4, 7gal water jugs. I would love to only need to carry one. I could use the less weight and added space.

Thanks
 
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Schuie11

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I am more inclined to go to Lowes and purchase the necessary cartridge filters and build my own. A small pump some hose and bingo filter system. But then I make whisky and it"s always safe. :yum:
 

Road

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.

I haven't used the guzzleH20 but have the LifeSaver 20,000.

It's a jerry can that "filters out bacteria, viruses, cysts, parasites and fungi instantly from water" and can process 20,000 litres (5,300 gallons) of water from just about any source, including dirty puddles.

Here's a good guide that may help you choose a portable water filter or purifier .

It pays to research what's available and how effective they are, and to what degree of micron, in filtering various things like Giardia.

LifeSaver makes a much wider range of filter products, too, from water bottles on up. You can find them on their website at: ICONLifeSaver.com

I know a lot of folks who use the LifeSaver jugs for trips down through Mexico and Central America.

Restricting yourself to just one 5gal jug may end up being more of a problem than a convenience in the long run, as well as more costly in filters.

I have an on-board 22 gal tank in my trailer that I refill with a 5gal jerry can that goes with me every time I go anywhere, so I can add it to the trailer when I get back to basecamp. I see a spot in the desert that provides potable water, I fill it up. I also have a couple other 5gal jerrys that I fill when I know I might need more, so have up to around 37gal capacity.

I travel solo usually, so that certainly allows for less usage than many might have. I also really enjoy the challenge of seeing how thrifty I can be in water usage while staying fit, clean, and healthy. The more I do it, the better I get at washing myself, dishes, and laundry off-grid and using less.


On a recent eight month adventure, most of which was backcountry desert along the Mexican border and miles from pavement for weeks on end, I was able to keep from running out without having to filter or use my LifeSaver jug. I have it, and water purification tablets, and LifeStraw products more for emergency.

Hope you find a solution that fits your needs just right! Let us know what you end up doing.

.
 
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Pathfinder I

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Great post Road.

Just food for thought on the typical filter you'd find at camping shops: We bought a Katadyn base camp for our Alaska trip and had to spend hundreds of dollars on filters int he first 10 days. It's supposed to have a very high flow rate to filter water for larger groups (or in an overlanding application, filter lots of water when you are near it so you can be away from it for a few days). If you are filtering tap water for some reason, the Katadyn might work, but for any streams or wild sources the filters just fail or clog up way too fast. We tried pre-filtering and it helped, but we eventually got so frustrated that we gave up on using it and instead resorted to boiling everything after running it through a clean sock. Not ideal.

We are strongly in favour of "Source Filtering" for our permanent set up -- by that we mean the the water is filtered last, at the source of use for the water (just before the tap). This lesson was learned the hard way -- the Katadyn filter's poor performance meant that we compromised our entire water storage system in Alaska twice. We had to stop for bleach (Which we didn't have with us) and de-contaminate our water containers. On one occasion, the Katadyn let algae through which bloomed overnight into a foul, disgusting sewer-like smell. On another, there was clear silt in the container we use to store the water. If silt got through, we are fairly certain microscopic bugs could too! These were two different filters, at $45 USD a pop, and both only lasted about 6 gallons before failing to flow any water at all. With a "Source Filter" system, it doesn't matter too much if your system gets a bit of contamination, as the water from the tap will be freshly filtered. We plan to pre-filter with a Jerry Can , either a rigged up system or a commercial one similar to what Road posted.

I will never buy another Katadyn product based on our experience in Alaska.

For our rig, we plan to spend a bit on our system as we want it built in and easy to use. We are leaning towards a system like this one; it's self contained and it proven for Grecy's trip:

DIY 4x4 Drinking Water Tank, Pump, Filter and Treat | The Road Chose Me

Currently, we are using the katadyn bag from our failed Alaska filter, and have a 5 feet of food-safe tubing into a Sawyer Mini, and then into the Jerry Can or Dromedary. This is the same concept as the Katadyn Basecamp, but the Sawyer Mini filters are far more reliable Fill the bag with water, clip it to the roof rack, and gravity forces water through the filter at a reasonable speed. Most of the time in the last year or so we have been travelling through places where potable water is the norm, so when we stop for gas we often ask "Can we refill our water can?" and folks have always been very accommodating.

I have used MSR filters and they are handy for backpacking and the filters were really good, but their backpacker style one that I had (it screwed directly onto a Nalgene; it was stolen so I don't recall the model) took 5 minutes per liter in real world use. A normal jerry can is about 22 litres so they just don't have the output to be efficient.
 
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Lanlubber

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Hey Everyone,

I have been looking for almost a year now for a system that I could mount to my rig that could pump and purify water from a water source like a lake, river or stream. I just recently came across the brand "Guzzle H20." (www.guzzleh2o.com) That have portable filtration systems. Has any one used them or have a similar system/set up that they like?

I do long trips where I am off the grid for up to two weeks and usually carry 3-4, 7gal water jugs. I would love to only need to carry one. I could use the less weight and added space.

Thanks
You opened a big can of worms. I didn't realize water was such a problem for campers. I can see the need for filtered water from a ground water source but the remarks below make it a major issue. If it's clear, and free of debris I think boiling is the best way to handle lake or river water. Don't think I would use anything else other than a simple emergency water filter devise for small needs. In most cases a few drops of chlorine in a 5 gallon tank will kill all the germs and E.coli. I'm going to pay attention to everything said here.
 

smritte

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On my trailer water tank I have a solid block carbon filter and a ceramic I run at the out let. When I fill, It's either with a garden hose (city water) or from a 5 gal can. Either of those goes through an inline charcoal filter before the tank. If the water has debris, I normally pre filter it as best I can. My inline filters are cheap. My main filters are cartridge "home" type filters. The solid block carbon pulls most everything and that feeds to my shower to my drinking water filter. On the drinking water is where the ceramic filter goes. That one is rated for most chemicals and pesticides.
 

Road

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Great post Road.

Just food for thought on the typical filter you'd find at camping shops: We bought a Katadyn base camp for our Alaska trip and had to spend hundreds of dollars on filters int he first 10 days. It's supposed to have a very high flow rate to filter water for larger groups (or in an overlanding application, filter lots of water when you are near it so you can be away from it for a few days). If you are filtering tap water for some reason, the Katadyn might work, but for any streams or wild sources the filters just fail or clog up way too fast. We tried pre-filtering and it helped, but we eventually got so frustrated that we gave up on using it and instead resorted to boiling everything after running it through a clean sock. Not ideal.

We are strongly in favour of "Source Filtering" for our permanent set up -- by that we mean the the water is filtered last, at the source of use for the water (just before the tap). This lesson was learned the hard way -- the Katadyn filter's poor performance meant that we compromised our entire water storage system in Alaska twice. We had to stop for bleach (Which we didn't have with us) and de-contaminate our water containers. On one occasion, the Katadyn let algae through which bloomed overnight into a foul, disgusting sewer-like smell. On another, there was clear silt in the container we use to store the water. If silt got through, we are fairly certain microscopic bugs could too! These were two different filters, at $45 USD a pop, and both only lasted about 6 gallons before failing to flow any water at all. With a "Source Filter" system, it doesn't matter too much if your system gets a bit of contamination, as the water from the tap will be freshly filtered. We plan to pre-filter with a Jerry Can , either a rigged up system or a commercial one similar to what Road posted.

I will never buy another Katadyn product based on our experience in Alaska.

For our rig, we plan to spend a bit on our system as we want it built in and easy to use. We are leaning towards a system like this one; it's self contained and it proven for Grecy's trip:

DIY 4x4 Drinking Water Tank, Pump, Filter and Treat | The Road Chose Me

Currently, we are using the katadyn bag from our failed Alaska filter, and have a 5 feet of food-safe tubing into a Sawyer Mini, and then into the Jerry Can or Dromedary. This is the same concept as the Katadyn Basecamp, but the Sawyer Mini filters are far more reliable Fill the bag with water, clip it to the roof rack, and gravity forces water through the filter at a reasonable speed. Most of the time in the last year or so we have been travelling through places where potable water is the norm, so when we stop for gas we often ask "Can we refill our water can?" and folks have always been very accommodating.

I have used MSR filters and they are handy for backpacking and the filters were really good, but their backpacker style one that I had (it screwed directly onto a Nalgene; it was stolen so I don't recall the model) took 5 minutes per liter in real world use. A normal jerry can is about 22 litres so they just don't have the output to be efficient.
.

Thanks. Very interesting post of your own here. Solid info and some great tips for us all to consider. Much appreciated . . .always something good to learn from those out here doing it.

.
 

Road

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You opened a big can of worms. I didn't realize water was such a problem for campers. I can see the need for filtered water from a ground water source but the remarks below make it a major issue. If it's clear, and free of debris I think boiling is the best way to handle lake or river water. Don't think I would use anything else other than a simple emergency water filter devise for small needs. In most cases a few drops of chlorine in a 5 gallon tank will kill all the germs and E.coli. I'm going to pay attention to everything said here.
.
Naw, not really a can of worms, Jim - like everything else, just pays to pay attention when rigging up and heading out. There are answers for every question. The trick is learning which answers are worth paying more attention to than others. :smiley:
 

Lanlubber

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On my trailer water tank I have a solid block carbon filter and a ceramic I run at the out let. When I fill, It's either with a garden hose (city water) or from a 5 gal can. Either of those goes through an inline charcoal filter before the tank. If the water has debris, I normally pre filter it as best I can. My inline filters are cheap. My main filters are cartridge "home" type filters. The solid block carbon pulls most everything and that feeds to my shower to my drinking water filter. On the drinking water is where the ceramic filter goes. That one is rated for most chemicals and pesticides.
Your the man I need to talk too. I have an old Scamp (1076 13') that has not been used in years. I am getting it ready for my use currently. My question is, I know it has one 16 gallon water tank (maybe more somewhere), every couple of years I fill the tank up and add bleach to it, about a cup full. I let it sit for 24 hours or more to give the bleach long enough to sanitize the tank, then I pump it out, close all the in's and out's and forget it. I can see the tank under the dining table bench. It appears clear and not discolored to any degree. The water I put in it would be okay as far as I know to bath and wash dishes. Would you drink water from a tank as I have described ? I don't have toilet facility but I do have an exterior shower that I have replaced all the plumbing on, and I have a kitchen sink with both hot and cold water faucets.. I'm not positive but I think there is another smaller water tank just for the hot water tank fill, I need to check. My hot water heater still works good as far as the gas lines and igniters are concerned. That has another water storage tank I believe. I am trailer dumb so if anyone can add some input I would be forever grateful.
 

smritte

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I had the same issue with my camper. I would run my inline filter to get rid of debris and chlorine. Because I removed the chlorine, if the water sat in the tank for a few months it would form bacteria. It was so bad if you ran the sink water it smelled like a sewer overflowed. When this would happen, I would add about 2 cups of bleach, fill the tank all the way and run the different faucets until I smelled bleach. After a week I would flush until I could barely smell bleach then change out my filter under the sink (had a separate filter just for kitchen sink). All was fine after that. I had to do this several times over the years before I figured out what was happening. I always kept the water tank full in case of emergency. After I would add some bleach before I stored it.
As for the hot water, I had a 10 gallon (I think) hot water storage tank. Cleared that one out too.
If you go to Lows/Home depo, Look at the stand alone single house filters (large ones) then Google solid block carbon filter. That will rid you of most everything that comes out of a hose and then some. That's what I installed in my trailer and had in my camper. The trailer gets better filtering because of the places I go.
The ones that go inline to your garden hose make good debris and chlorine filters. You can Amazon those for around $15.
 
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smritte

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I didn't answer one of your questions. Would I drink it with a slight bit of chorine? If I had to, yes but I wouldn't be happy. The water in my area is horrid. I run water filters on everything because I cant stand the taste. My water bottle for work is a Sawyer filter bottle. I fill it with tap water. I've been doing that for so long I can taste the little bit of chlorine in tap water. The guys at work say they cant tell the difference.
 
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Kcrkolby

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You opened a big can of worms. I didn't realize water was such a problem for campers. I can see the need for filtered water from a ground water source but the remarks below make it a major issue. If it's clear, and free of debris I think boiling is the best way to handle lake or river water. Don't think I would use anything else other than a simple emergency water filter devise for small needs. In most cases a few drops of chlorine in a 5 gallon tank will kill all the germs and E.coli. I'm going to pay attention to everything said here.
lol apparently. Its perfect to see what everyone is doing. I am sure someone in this thread or someone reading it is already coming up with some system that will not break the bank and do everything we need (hopefully lol). I appreciate it all and keep the discussion going!!
 

Tupenny

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Lanlubber: be aware of the amout of bleach you use. 1-2 tablespoon(s) per gallon is standard to sanitize as per food service HACCP programs. As far as application time goes: soaked for 30 minutes, rinsed well with fresh water then allowed to air dry.

Don't drink the bleachy water friend!
 

Lanlubber

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Lanlubber: be aware of the amout of bleach you use. 1-2 tablespoon(s) per gallon is standard to sanitize as per food service HACCP programs. As far as application time goes: soaked for 30 minutes, rinsed well with fresh water then allowed to air dry.
Don't drink the bleachy water friend!
Thanks Tupenny, what you are suggesting is how to sanitize a water container. We are discussing how to sanitize the water we will drink from a container if it is contaminated. No one is suggesting we drink chlorinated water. A few drops (2) of bleach in a five gallon container will not hurt you but any more than that can be deadly. There is also pills you can buy you just drop into the water from most sporting goods stores. The water all of us drink from any municipality is chlorinated. My best recommendation for drinking water is to bring it from home. Use river or lake water for bathing (unchlorinated) only unless it is boiled. Hikers can buy small filtration devises for found water sources while hiking which should be good temporarily.
 

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I've been told -- to be clear, I have not verified this myself -- that some of the Hardware store/Domestic-application filters are good, but because they are allegedly designed largely for 'static' applications where they do not move, using them in mobile applications can be a risk. That could be marketing nonsense, but it may be worth keeping in mind when comparing the domestic-use filters with the other mobile options that are designed (or maybe just advertised :P) as sailboat/vehicle specific options.

If it's going in an RV with good suspension that goes down service roads this factor -- if it's a factor at all -- probably less of a concern than if it's being used in a lifted JK designed and used to make Monument Valley feel like a speed bump, of course!

I'll keep researching this and post back what I find as I look into it for my build, if anyone else stumbles upon info to confirm or refute the above that'd be great; even various examples of domestic-use filters installed in Rigs would be handy as it would give readers a chance to see the kinds of terrain and layout of those systems.
 

smritte

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I had been told the same thing. Some time ago, I contacted a few vendors and one manufacture (cant remember names) when I was researching different filters and how they worked. I don't like taking one persons word for anything. what was said by the vendor's matched what the manufacture said.

Manufacture pretty much said "If your going to have an issue, it will be with the loose charcoal (loose carbon?) filters". Your offroading shouldn't be an issue with the solid block carbon or ceramic just make sure you isolate your cartridge with something to absorb shock.
My take from that was, as long as I dont run a very stiff suspension and rubber mount for shock, just keep an eye on things.

Ive run the solid filter's for several years on my trailer and in my camper. The solid block carbon is mounted rigidly to the inside wall of my trailer and "shock" mounted in camper with some soft rubber. My ceramic is with a separate piece that's popped in when I want drinking water.

I haven't seen any cracks on the filters or debris in the bottom of the housing. I change them out a few times a year, not because of clogging but because of sitting. My bigger concern is bacteria forming from sitting. When I buy filters, I try to get ones that resist bacteria forming. I aslo drain and dry my filter when I'm back home in the case of the trailer or camper sitting for a couple of months.

The camper has been my tow rig and has logged hundreds of miles on dirt road. My trailer is about the same but isn't driven as easy as the camper. I do lower tire pressure on the trailer.

EDIT: To be clear on what I run, I run domestic housings not filters. I do this for ease of mounting and the fact their a standard size.

One of the sites I used for research. Filters . Again, I dont take one site's or persons word for anything. I'm a firm believer in learning as much about a subject as possible.
 
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Pathfinder I

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Thanks a ton for sharing that! It's very helpful to hear it from other sources. That makes sense that the loose charcoal filters could be problematic, and it also makes sense that if you are taking special mounting precautions to dampen vibrations and shock, the off-road side is less of an issue.

I'm a firm believer in learning as much about a subject as possible.
This jumped out at me, I'm the same way. It's fun learning new stuff, and who knows when it'll come in handy down the road for you or someone else! Kudos to you and thanks again for that info!
 

Lanlubber

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Thanks a ton for sharing that! It's very helpful to hear it from other sources. That makes sense that the loose charcoal filters could be problematic, and it also makes sense that if you are taking special mounting precautions to dampen vibrations and shock, the off-road side is less of an issue.



This jumped out at me, I'm the same way. It's fun learning new stuff, and who knows when it'll come in handy down the road for you or someone else! Kudos to you and thanks again for that info!
All this is good info for trailers or camp trailers. If I'm not wrong the issue the thread owner had was camping out over a period of time with his rig and maybe a tent. (no trailers) He wanted to know a way he could get drinking water from a lake or River and safely filter it for daily use so that he doesn't have to carry multiple tanks of water into the boonies. His issue is with the weight of the water and the space it takes to carry it along. Second issue is cost. Neither of us want to spent $200+ on one of those 3 gallon filter bottles that was previously viewed in this forum. Thanks for the info you people are providing, I am sure it will be useful to those having trailers with water tanks...