Despite Australia’s many pristine-looking rivers and lakes, it’s a sad fact that the quality of the drinking water in some parts still leaves a lot to be desired. We are all more aware of our health and wellbeing than ever before and when we are out on perhaps the greatest adventure of our lives, the very last thing we want to do is to get sick – or even worry about getting sick – because of the water supply.
Stomach upsets can be very unpleasant and can make a big dent in your travel plans, particularly if you are on a schedule.
While the ‘chemical taste’ or cloudy nature of some tap water – thanks to the addition of chlorine, ammonia and fluoride – is enough to make some grey nomads uneasy to start with, the need to occasionally refill from rainwater tanks or even just the need to store water in our own rig’s water tanks is the final straw for others.
For those who really like to get off the beaten track for extended periods, using creek or river water sometimes becomes a necessity … and that obviously presents added challenges.
It should be stressed that while the majority of people are able to travel even into remote areas with no issue from local water supplies, there are a substantial – and growing – number who prefer the peace of mind offered by taking preventative measures.
Buying bottled water is a simple – but ludicrously expensive – option for short trips but long-term caravanners and motorhomers are now increasingly turning to specialist water filtration systems. These filters are designed to reduce the chlorine taste, odour and sediment in water.
Many long-termers choose to install a separate drinking water outlet. This means they can have filtered water for drinking and cooking, and then use unfiltered water for jobs such as washing dishes or clothes. This will obviously extend the life of caravan filter cartridge and therefore save dollars.
Because of the specific demands of the grey nomad lifestyle, it is recommended that purpose-designed water filters are used in caravans, motorhomes and camper trailers. These are generally fairly compact and should have Australian standards approval, as well as being designed to work with 12v pumps such as you will use on the road. If the wrong filtration system is used, it can ultimately result in pump failure.
With caravan manufacturers now using 12mm hosing as standard, it is also important that the caravan water filter system chosen is manufactured for a 12mm water inlet and outlet.
While on-the-road lifestyle costs such as fuel and van park fees may have risen sharply in recent times, a growing number of grey nomads are still deciding that an effective water filtration system is a necessary and justifiable expense.