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Old 07-08-2016, 09:30 AM   #1
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Has anyone added whole-house reverse osmosis to class-c Sprinter?

Wife and I are about to begin new ventures as we ready to purchase a class-c Sprinter, lease our home, and drive into a year of travel as we search for a new homestead. While we feel confident about our class-c MB Sprinter decision, we have not yet decided which make. We are persuaded toward a 2016/17 single slide unit with the diner, closet, and queen bed on the port side. However, I wish to add a few things to the motorhome which I believe will greatly enhance our boondocking comfort. While most of the things I wish to add are quiet simple, three items concern me because of available space or necessary coach modification, these are: 1) 300 watts roof-mount photo-voltaic, 2) whole-house reverse osmosis for freshwater, and 3) shore AC power surge protection.

Here I would like ask if anyone has added whole-house reverse osmosis to their class-c Sprinter? If so, how did you accomplish this and where did you install the filters? Any suggestions about how to best proceed?
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Old 07-08-2016, 09:43 AM   #2
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The relatively cheap type of RO system that might fit somewhere in your RV will waste a minimum of 4 gallons of water for every gallon of clean water produced. This will tax both your fresh water supply and your gray tank -- a problem for you if you are not with full hookups. Also, almost ALL RO systems require a minimum of 40 psi to operate. I don't think an RO system will work well with the pump for your fresh water.

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Old 07-08-2016, 09:58 AM   #3
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The relatively cheap type of RO system that might fit somewhere in your RV will waste a minimum of 4 gallons of water for every gallon of clean water produced. This will tax both your fresh water supply and your gray tank -- a problem for you if you are not with full hookups. Also, almost ALL RO systems require a minimum of 40 psi to operate. I don't think an RO system will work well with the pump for your fresh water.

Bruce
X2. I have one of those (5-stage ro/di unit) for my house and homebrewing operations. Imo it's overkill and/or inappropriate for rv application.

For the rv, my solution was to purchase two of the standard filter canisters and in the first, put a spun sediment filter, and in the second, a carbon block filter. Sediment filter keeps most of the dirt out of your system, and the carbon filter removes most of the objectionable tastes and chlorine. I hook this up between the city water supply and rv input.

Since you said you'd be boondocking however, you'd simply fill your water tank with this filter and obviate the need for an under-the-counter solution.

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Old 07-08-2016, 12:20 PM   #4
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Thank you for the comments. I suppose I should have clarified my question. I understand how RO systems work and the various economy ratios associated with booster pumps, filter configuration, tank fill time, and brine waste. I use an RO system with a battery operated pump on my mountain camping property, with both sediment and carbon filtering because of turbidity, mineral content and high pH. I also have read many discussions debating the pro and con of doing whole house installs Ö it is an active debate with many points on both sides. I apologize for starting that debate here Ö that was not my intent. Rather, I was hoping to focus on the ability to accomplish a neat and tidy physical install into a Sprinter class-c.
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Old 07-08-2016, 08:26 PM   #5
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RO is an over rated filtering system. There are simpler systems that are far less costly that do just as good a job giving you clean water.
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Old 07-08-2016, 08:39 PM   #6
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Filters and power protection, definitely

I think that by filtering your freshwater inline from the hose to the fresh water tank + your onboard water filter can adequately offer a quality water supply.

A surge protector and polarity protection is a must, in my view. Especially for MBS and all the electronics, and to protect house systems.

I wish I had 300 watts of solar supplement on my roof, but evaluated cost to benefit ratio - and decided I really didn't need it based on how I use the RV. I have to manually hook up my 100W solar suitcase to keep batteries topped off - but thats OK with me, so far. Power conservation habits are key.

Sounds like a great adventure and we are going to do something similar, soon.

Happy Trails.
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Old 07-08-2016, 08:44 PM   #7
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We are persuaded toward a 2016/17 single slide unit with the diner, closet, and queen bed on the port side. However, I wish to add a few things to the motorhome which I believe will greatly enhance our boondocking comfort.
When you are considering any enhancements keep in mind you only have approximately 1,000 pounds of payload in a "W' MBS floor plan. That 1,000 pounds includes you, your partner, any water, and any supplies... We had a Sunseeker MBS "W" floor plan and it was always border line on being overweight while just being used part time....

There are two routes to consider on power protection, permanently installed in your MH or a removable unit that plugs in to the power pedestal. We currently have a removable 30Amp Surge Guard that plugs in to the power pedestal. If I was full timing I'd go the permanent install route just to take an item off my set up and tear down checklists. Do a Search on Surge Guard and Progressive EMS for more info on which is best for you...
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Old 07-09-2016, 01:54 AM   #8
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When you are considering any enhancements keep in mind you only have approximately 1,000 pounds of payload in a "W' MBS floor plan.

My first question was going to be what the weight of a RO system is...
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Old 07-09-2016, 11:40 AM   #9
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The system design I am considering includes two stage pre-filtering, a booster pump, and two 150 gpd RO membranes. Total operational system weight is about 30 pounds, 5 pounds of which is already in the coach. This system, when in use, will produces about 13 gallons of fresh water / 22 gallons brine water per hour. The RO system weighs about 15 pounds more than alternative ideas, such as using only a two stage pre-filter. However the RO system weighs about five pounds less than a two-stage system with a portable water softer. Another alternative is to carry bottled water for drinking and cooking, but is idea truly adds a lot of extra weight and seriously impairs otherwise needed storage space.
The plumbing design I hope to install will allow me to bypass the RO membrane when filling with good shore water, and use the membranes when filling with not-so-good water. In my case, I don't see the RO weight as a deciding issue for installing or not. In fact, I think overall, adding RO will reduce my travel/camp weight by eliminating the need for other water, such as bottled.
The deciding issue of me, is determining if there is a safe place to install the components without degrading other useful storage space, while understanding that periodic filter access is necessary. Portable systems are not conducive to this scheme because they must be stored in otherwise valuable storage space.
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Old 11-20-2016, 09:07 PM   #10
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Well, we got our 2016 Prism at the end of August. I haven't posted in a while because we've been having too much fun. I finally decided against the RO system because the finished water pH is too low. While RO will always produce safe clean water, and no mineral deposits, the acidic water will likely corrode metal parts over time. I have decided against RO because of the corrosion issue.
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