What My RV Mods Are REALLY Like – Installing the Guzzle H2O Water Filter


Most of the time, by the time you see a mod video, it’s been pretty well sanitized.  You don’t see all the false starts, reversals, things I forgot, and plan changes that happen between initial concept and completed project.  In this one, you do.  So if you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to hang out with me in my shop while I work on an RV mod, this video ought to give you a pretty good idea.  (That’s also why it’s so long!)

 

Now, about the project itself.  We’ve always been able to drink the water from our RV’s plumbing system.  I know many people don’t, but since we drink so much water, the expense and storage of bottled water just kills it for us.

Our new EKKO came with a single cartridge filter installed.  That filter was fine but I never stop at fine.  I go straight to plaid (let me know if anyone gets that reference).  And that’s where we wind up with the Guzzle H2O Stealth 2×10.  This is going to be our go-to solution for drinking water on the road.

The Guzzle H2O

In my mind, a water filter should do three things: make the water clean, good tasting, and safe to drink.  The Guzzle H2O accomplishes each of these with elements that you can see and understand.

First, there’s a sediment pre-filter.  This gets the water clean.  Meaning, there’s no gunk in it.

Next, there’s a 0.5 micron carbon block filter.  This improves the taste of the water by removing impurities, and filters out anything bigger than a half a micron.

Finally – and most uniquely – there’s an LED UV light to sanitize any biological elements that might be still in the water.  UV sanitizers for water have been around a while.  This one uses an LED element, and it’s only running when the water is.

We drink reverse osmosis (RO) water at home, so in the future, I’ll be doing some kind of blind water taste test with regular tap water, RO water, and what I’ve started calling “Guzzle Water”.  Look for that in the coming months.

About the Install

If you saw something in the install that intrigues you, let me know.  I usually throw a whole bunch of tools and materials at a project, and I don’t even remember which ones I used once I’m done.  Here are the ones I remember from this project:

  • My Milwaukee M12 Driver – this thing is in probably every mod video I’ve ever done.  The quick change of the driver tips is the best and simplest I’ve ever seen on a tool.
  • Sharkbite Deburring Tool – if you ever have a problem with a push-to-connect plumbing fitting… it’s not the fitting, it’s you.  (I know, because it’s happened to me, too.)  This thing helps you clean up the ends of any PEX pipe before you use a fitting to increase your chances of getting it right.
  • Klein Wire Strippers and Cutter – Probably a close runner up to my driver for the sheer number of videos it shows up in.  I actually have more than one of these, each covering different ranges of wire sizes.
  • Wirefy Crimping Tool – I’ve mentioned before that I have more than one crimping tool.  This is the one I use for the heat-shrink insulated terminals.
  • The iSpring Drinking Water Faucet – This is the separate faucet I installed for us to get our drinking water from.

Like I said, if you see a tool or something I used that you’d like more info on, let me know!  You’re probably not the only one with the question.

As of now, I can say we’ve been on the road for about two weeks now and the Guzzlemeister has been keeping us hydrated and pumping out bottle after bottle of absolutely flawless-tasting water.  Look for a blind taste-test video in the coming months!

AND FINALLY!

 

And great news, if you’re interested in one yourself, we’ve been given a discount code for $100 off by the folks at Guzzle H20, here’s the code: EKKO$100 It will work on any order over $500 from their online site, which includes the Stealth 2×10 that you see me installing in this video.

 



James is a former rocket scientist, a USA Cycling coach, and lifelong fitness buff. When he's not driving the RV, or modifying the RV (or - that one time - doing both at once), you can find him racing bicycles, or building furniture, or making music. In his spare time, he works for a large IT company.


    32 thoughts on “What My RV Mods Are REALLY Like – Installing the Guzzle H2O Water Filter

      1. James - Post author

        Glad you liked it. They told me they wanted a *complete* guide to drinking water in the RV, so they got thousands and thousands of words!
        LOL.
        You’ll totally dig the Guzzle… we love ours!

        Reply
    1. Karl

      Super helpful video. Love your efforts and help. And others’ also helpful comments! One question: how do you winterize the Guzzler +++. Maybe a drain line near the shutoff? Other steps? TIA

      Reply
    2. Jeff S.

      Great video as always James! Quick question. What is the model of the wire stripper you used in the video? Your writeup “About the Install” says it was a Klein 11055 but I have that same tool and it looks like you used it to cut the wire but not strip it. The tool was held horizontally and then you laid the wire on top of the head of the tool and pulled the handle and it stripped it almost automatically. I have not seen this kind of stripper before. Thanks!

      Reply
      1. Paul Wickham

        James! I nearly had kittens observing that tangle of pipes in the cupboard, I appreciate they were winnies doing but do they not sell a female x female adapter at lowes (the blue shop) love it . My whole life as a plumbing, heating and air conditioning engineer I’ve never installed pipe supports in the smaller sizes of tube as they don’t require it, we’ll certainly in the uk anyway. Could you not have hooked up the hw supply to make an en-suite for mel, for the after business paw washing facilities?!

        Reply
        1. James - Post author

          OK. The idea of giving Mel running water in his restroom is cracking me up!
          He wouldn’t want hot though. He prefers cold. 🙂

    3. Chris

      Charming chap! Love the self-deprecating humor! And really appreciate the efforts in videoing/posting! Good job, James.

      Reply
    4. Thomas J Clark

      James–the “green” light appears to be on all the time, drawing electrical power as well. It, too, probably is LED, however it all adds up. So,…just say’in. I really do wonder what the total draw is? A factor when boondocking, for sure. Thanks! TC

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        Well, yes, the “I have power” indicator LED is on. But as I’m not able to detect the draw with anything I have installed, I’m calling it insignificant.
        Over a week of boondocking, it would probably decrease your stay by about 0.4 seconds.

        I’d much rather figure out a way to turn off the display on the Winnebago-installed touch screen! That thing is BRIGHT!

        Reply
        1. Thomas J Clark

          If the display is made by Firefly, there is a dimming g procedure in the settings panel. TC

    5. BobB

      By coincidence, that movie has been playing recently on a cable channel. LOL – “plaid” – right after “ludicrous speed”. Secret hyper jet the next mod?

      Reply
    6. MJ Remy

      That was amazing, James! You are such a handyman. Great mod. Although I think a Berkey portable filter jug would probably do as good a job as this one with less bother. One thing… most filters don’t remove arsenic and fluoride. Berkey has a filter that removes both. RO systems will remove arsenic, but you waste a lot of water to get one gallon, which is an eco negative, and you also lose the good minerals. I use a Berkey which I take from house to RV for trips. Sometimes the best solution is the simplest one.

      Reply
    7. Robert Crouse

      I added a whole house filter to my Rialta when I did the major bathroom mod that you can see here. https://www.cccgis.com/Rialta/Bathroom%20Remodel%201995%20Rialta.pdf
      I did it so all the water coming into the coach is filtered. By adding the filter to the “city water hook up side” then adding a valve that allows me to fill the fresh water tank via the filtered water. That way ALL the water is filtered all the time! Drinking water, shower, bathroom sink (nice when you brush your teeth) even the toilet flushes with filtered water. You can see just some of my mods here https://www.cccgis.com/Rialta/projects.html Love your content and can’t wait to the next one!

      Reply
    8. Chris Mack

      You may not believe this, but I once picked the correct wrench size first try. It didn’t speed up the project, because I stood in shock for a couple minutes before I carried on.

      Reply
    9. George Zeniou

      Will the Guzzle fit under the sink? Have you considered filtering all water that leaves the fresh water tank to the EKKO, meaning you filter sink water that you are brushing your teeth with or kitchen faucet washing your fruits and vegs etc. Perhaps there is no way for such a mod? Also, for viruses, bacteria etc. you can add a small amount of bleach (pure) to your 50 gallon fresh water tank. I think its only about a teaspoon or so, you can find the exact amount for 50 gallons on the web. This would eliminate the use of the blue light, even if it uses little power.

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        The Guzzle would fit under the sink, but I didn’t want to put it there. Under the sink would actually have been an easier install.
        A whole-house approach would also be an option, but you would have to do some significant detective work to find the best pace to install it.

        Reply
    10. Andy & Kim

      Always great to see James with his Mod On!
      Best quote of the video ….
      “HA, famous last words!!!”
      – Stef The Wise –

      Andy & Kim

      Reply
    11. Bruce Dillahunty

      So just curious, why install the separate faucet instead of just plumbing into the existing cold side like it had been?

      Maybe I missed it, if you said, sorry.

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        I was never totally comfortable with the same faucet approach. How long do you have to run it before the unsanitized hot water is out of it? Did Stef or I unknowingly bump a dirty sponge against the faucet?
        By using a separate faucet, we can just take care of that one and not worry about what happens with the “regular” faucet.

        Reply
    12. Dale

      Best place for different size fuses is auto parts stores rather than Lowe’s or Home Depot. They have a variety of sizes and you should find a 2 am fuse easy. Nice install.

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        Ultimately, I just threw one in my Amazon cart when I was buying something else.
        But yeah, auto parts store was my next stop. They just don’t seem to have the inventory control down well enough to check to see if they actually have it before I go. The home centers are pretty good about being able to check stock levels on line before I go.

        Reply
    13. Don Kane

      Fun video! I liked the “what will happen next” element!!

      My two cents:

      I would have just gone with an RO system, putting a one or two gallon storage tank in the same compartment (next to the cat litter? Hmmm. WTH, in the cat litter). The RO waste water could drain to the ground on a loose string (a problem in winter?). Seems about same about of work and no electricity. In that case I would have kept the stock particle filter to protect that $20 up-stream filter on the RO (room for all of it?).

      In terms of water use, RO water systems waste about a equal amount to the water you drink. That could be a consideration.

      Also, push to fit fittings are okay for home but not really for vibrating bumping machines with 100 degree F temp variations. I would use flare brass and copper.

      I also am very skeptical about the long term effectiveness of UV systems, but I won’t go there…I mean, how do you know it’s even working, even now when it’s new? The blinking light?

      (BTW, I installed our seven month backordered airhead toilet this last week. It went about like your water install, but no blood. Maybe I will have something to post on your ancient airhead video next week!!)

      Cheers!!

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        At first I thought I was going to install RO, but then it kept getting more complicated. Pressure pumps, storage tanks, waste water.
        Nothing wrong with it, I just felt this was simpler.

        And congrats on the Airhead install!

        Reply
    14. Dan

      OK, so lots of comments: first off, they make 90 degree elbows for that small PEX. Those loopy pipes going to and from the filter system are going to get snagged on something else you put in that cabinet. Yes, that stuff can flex without trouble, but come on… you can do a neater install.

      Next: sanitizing: remove the filter elements before sanitizing. I’m sure you will, but it’d be a good thing to remind folks of when doing the sanitizing video.

      Another concern: I know that cabinet gets some heat from the Truma heating system, but with Mel’s wall there, does the heat get to both Mel’s executive washroom and to the Guzzler?

      Now the big one: you didn’t follow the Travato Group mods about removing the Culligan filter! The sink-type flex stainless is exactly what the Travato folks who don’t want the water filter use (OK, in the Travato, folks use a longer one to make the connection, but it’s the same type).

      Finally, about the temperature of the drinking water: with that 20K project, a water chiller will be feasible. You might have to take up the rest of the cabinet, given the size of such units.

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        The pipes looping seem worse in the video than they actually are IRL. The supply line sits fairly flat along the wall. I could put a cable clamp or something on it if I was worried. We’ve been out two weeks on it now and we haven’t touched a pipe on the way in or out of that cabinet yet. (And I have still more plans for that cabinet.)
        Yes, I did remove the filter elements before sanitizing. Never hurts to remind people though.
        I haven’t looked at a Travato Group mod in ages, but it’s comforting to know that I wound up in the same place and there’s not some super-better-way that I missed.
        A water chiller isn’t a terrible idea… I’ve just been rotating bottles in and out of the fridge.

        Reply
    15. Iggy

      Interesting mods but the word is the EKKO will not be available for sale to the public until early 2022 if then.

      Reply

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