I received a Clearsource Ultra from Clearsource RV for review. I am working on a video review and taste test comparison, but because I came down with something (no, nothing severe), I’m waiting until I feel better and can finish the video when my voice is back to full strength. Sign up for our email list (link on the right) to be notified when new posts are made and when that video is up.
First, the unboxing. The Ultra comes well packaged within a box inside a box. There is little packaging wasted, but it is still secure and durable. Our package did not arrive with any damage either outside or to the filter system itself.
Inside the box is a bag with instructions and information and a wrench to remove the canisters. I have not used the wrench yet because the Clearsource Ultra comes completely assembled with the canisters already having filters installed. Since the filters are supposed to last about 2,000 gallons, I won’t have to change them for several months. I don’t have a way to accurately count how many gallons we are using, but it should last about four months roughly and then the filters are about $40 to replace all three.
Physically, the Clearsource Ultra is a beast. The body is constructed of a three pieces of sheet metal. One piece forms the top, back and bottom, and two arms are welded at the top and bottom of the front to provide strength and still allow access to the canisters to change the filters. That metal is painted or powder coated black and seems scratch resistant.
Most of the hardware on the filter system is metal as well. The incoming and outgoing connections for the hoses are metal threads. The tops of the canisters are bolted through the metal body to the top and do not wiggle even the slightest. The only plastic part I can find is the head of the canisters and the canisters themselves. Everything else appears to be durable metal.
The unit is also heavy. The shipping weight was around thirty pounds, and with very little packaging, almost all of that is the filter system itself. Rest assured, it is not going to simply tip over in high winds, it will stay standing as long as it is on level ground.
Since the Clearsource Ultra costs $350, I do recommend locking it to the RV or having a way to place inside your wet bay, if that is possible. It would be far too easy for someone to take it if its not, and it is a good investment to not want to lose.
Most RVers that I’ve met have used the standard blue filter made by Camco. It is a small, inline filter where the water comes in one end and goes out the other. A weekender can use one for a whole summer season without replacing it, though someone full-timing should probably replace it every month.
That is what we used, and honestly thought it was enough until we did more research. Those blue filters only have a stunning 100 micron filter in them. One-hundred. That’s it. That is so large it’s almost to the point of being useless. It can clean out sand, but really, not much else.
Now with the Clearsource Ultra, we have three filters. The first is a 5 micron, then a .5 micron, then a .2 micron filter. The first filter alone is 1/20th the size of those blue filters and even that would be a huge improvement. Step that down to .5 (now 1/200th) and then even further to .2 microns? We are talking about Five Hundred times improvement in filtering ability. That’s a huge difference.
The .2 micron also filters out things that can make you sick like e.coli and cryptosporidium. The 100 micron filters don’t even come close to doing that. Since so many campgrounds are on well water, I can only imagine what is in that ground water making other campers sick. Having those things cleaned out of the water adds a giant bonus to this unit.
But how well does it work, really?
We have terrible water at our campground. We are residents here, long term, and have been here for over a year. We would filter the water through the Camco filter, then through a Brita filter on our faucet just to make it palatable. It still didn’t taste good, but it was good enough. The water isn’t dangerous and is tested five times a week by an EPA contractor, but it did not taste good. It had a sulfer smell to it most of the time and while I know it was safe to drink, it just did not taste good.
Enter the Clearsource Ultra
We hooked up the Clearsource Ultra and let water run through it for a few minutes to clear out the filters of any manufacturing debris. Any time a carbon filter is used, there is going to be some black dust in the water, so we let it run until it was clear, then a little while longer. Then I hooked it up to our fresh water and let it run through the faucets for a minute as well.
The difference is incredible. While there are more details in the upcoming video (we did a blind taste test to see if it really did taste better), it is just night and day between the quality even with a Brita filter and with just the Clearsource Ultra alone. The water is crystal clear and has no odor at all. Nothing, nada, zip. It is simply clean tasting water. While we used to run the water through a Brita filter, we don’t even have to do that anymore.
Another thing I noticed was that our clothes used to have a slight smell from the water as well. Even though we used detergent when washing our clothes, the water just seemed to seep into them and stain them with its bad scent. Now that smell is gone completely as well and our clothes just smell like detergent and clean laundry.
Is it worth it?
The Clearsource Ultra is expensive, I’ll give you that. On Amazon, its $350 plus tax, though shipping is free. It arrived quickly, even though it isn’t Prime eligible. It also does come with the first set of filters, which will set you back $40 each time you need to change them.
But honestly, we tested it in the worst of conditions with bad water and it made it incredibly better. To go from having to buy bottled water to being able to drink from wherever we happen to be, the savings should be enormous. There is no reason to purchase water anymore and it still tastes great. It doesn’t even have the slight yellowish tint it used to have.
So yes, if you want safe, great tasting water that doesn’t cost anything past the initial investment, the Clearsource Ultra is well worth the cost.
If you purchase the Clearsource Ultra through our links, we do get a small percentage of the price but it doesn’t affect your cost at all. We just benefit from sending you to them. You will probably also need a short 4-foot hose to connect the Clearsource Ultra to your RV, and may need a better water hose from the spigot to the Ultra. We appreciate your support.