Van Life Off Grid Filtration

Are you tired of the daily grind and yearning for a life of freedom on the open road? Van life may be just what you need. But before you hit the road, it's important to consider how you will access clean drinking water while off the grid. In this article, we'll explore different van life off grid filtration options so that you can stay hydrated and healthy no matter where your travels take you.

Living off-grid means relying on yourself for basic necessities such as food, shelter, and water. While there are various methods to purify water in emergency situations, having a reliable source of drinking water is critical for van life on a long-term basis.

White truck parked on grass.

Regardless of the age of the van, the necessities remain the same.

Whether you plan to travel through remote areas or simply want to be self-sufficient, investing in an off-grid water purification system is essential. In this article, we'll cover everything from types of filtration systems to water filters, filter elements and DIY solutions so that you can best fit your van life.

Scene of a road full of snow.

Are there seasonal as well as regional differences in your filtration needs?

The Importance of Off Grid Filtration

You might think that relying on bottled water or commercial facilities is a more convenient option, but it's important to remember that off grid filtration is crucial for ensuring your healthy and safety and that of your loved ones. When living off the grid, you can't always rely on an endless, purified supply of municipal water.

Outside Van Ford Transit build.

Outside Van Ford Transit build.

Instead, you may need to filter water from natural sources like lakes, streams, and springs and develop your own water supply. Without water filters and an off grid filtration system, drinking unfiltered water can lead to harmful contaminants in your body.

Off grid living requires resourcefulness and self-reliance. A water filtration off grid system ensures that you will have access to clean, pure water without depending on any external source. Freedom from dependence will also save money when compared with buying bottled water or paying for access at campgrounds or other facilities. Additionally, it will reduce your environmental footprint by sourcing naturally and avoiding plastic bottles.

A water filter gives you the freedom to explore new places without worrying about purified drinking water sources.

Next, we'll discuss types of available water filtration system so you can choose one now that best suits your needs and budget.

Types of Water Filtration Systems

When it comes to purifying water in remote locations, there are various options available for you to choose from. Some systems are gravity fed to push water through a filter, removing contaminants without the need for electricity or pumping.

Pump systems use a manual or battery-powered pump to force water through a filter element. uses a microfilter water filter pump for camping and van life. It has a replaceable carbon and ceramic filter that removes bacteria, protozoa, organic compounds, and particulate matter. Aquatabs included with the pump protect against viruses.

The MSR MiniWorks EX Backcountry Water Purifier System pumps at a rate of one liter per minute, and is compatible with a variety of wide mouth water bottles and hydration bladders.

99.99% effective against viruses, bacteria and protozoa, the filter treats up to 2,000 liters of water and each tab treats 2 quarts. The MSR MiniWorks EX Backcountry Water Purifier System pump measures 7.5 x 2.75 inches and weighs 1 pound.

MSR MiniWorks EX Backcountry Water Purifier System.

MSR MiniWorks EX Backcountry Water Purifier System.

Ultraviolet (UV) systems use UV light to kill bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens to disinfect water.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), UV light can be used to kill some pathogens. Portable units that deliver a dose of UV light are effective to disinfect small quantities of clear water. However, this technique is less effective in cloudy water because small particles may block germs from the light.

SteriPen Aqua UV Water Purifier.

SteriPen Aqua UV Water Purifier.

Ceramic filters are filtration systems that use porous ceramic materials to disinfect water. They are long-lasting, can be cleaned and reused but may not remove chemical contaminants. Activated carbon filters use carbon as filter elements to remove chemical, heavy metal and some pathogenic impurities. An activated carbon filter is often combined with other filtration methods for increased effectiveness.

When choosing a system, consider factors such as your location's temperature range and available power sources. You should also think about how much maintenance you want to do on the system regularly. Additionally, take into account what type of filtration method is best suited for your needs based upon what type of contaminant may be present in the target area's natural bodies of water.

The view inside the back of a van

What type of purification system is right for you?

Factors to Consider When Choosing a System

Choosing the right water filtration system for remote locations requires careful consideration of several factors. First, the type of water source you plan to use will influence your choice of filtration system. If you plan to use relatively clean sources such as springs or well-maintained public taps, a simple filter may suffice. However, if you plan on using water from lakes, rivers, or other sources with unknown quality, a more comprehensive filtration system like ceramic filters or an activated carbon filter may be necessary.

Where will your adventures take you? This may determine what system you need.

Where will your adventures take you? This may determine what system you need.

Another essential factor to consider when selecting a system is flow rate. The speed at which water passes through the filter affects its effectiveness in removing contaminants. A higher flow rate may be more convenient but can result in less effective filtration. Consider your specific water usage needs when selecting a system with an appropriate flow rate.

Maintenance and replacement requirements are also important factors to keep in mind when choosing an off grid water purification system. Different systems require varying levels of maintenance and replacement parts availability. Consider the ease of maintenance and availability of replacement filters or parts when selecting a reliable gravity fed water filter or any other off grid water purification system that suits your needs best.

It's important to note that after choosing the right off grid filtration system for your van life, it's critical to learn how to use and maintain it for optimal performance and longevity.

Here are some helpful tips for using and maintaining your filtration system.

Tips for Using and Maintaining an Off-Grid Filtration System

Water filtration system maintenance is crucial for purified water production. According to a recent study, regular maintenance can increase the lifespan of your water filter by up to 50%. To ensure your system works effectively and lasts as long as possible, follow these tips.

First, regularly clean and maintain your filtration system according to the manufacturer's instructions. This may involve backflushing filters, cleaning or replacing components, or inspecting and servicing the system.

Second, store your filtration system in a cool, dry place when not in use to prevent the growth of mold or bacteria. Always follow the manufacturer's guidelines for replacing filters and other components, as worn-out activated carbon filters may reduce the effectiveness of the system and pose health risks.

Finally, test your water source for contaminants before using it, especially if you're unsure about its quality. Some portable water testing kits are available on the market to help you evaluate water safety quickly.

By maintaining your water filtration system properly, you'll have continual access to clean drinking water. In addition, activated carbon filter replacements play a critical role in ensuring that all unwanted compounds are removed from drinking water. Activated carbon filters should also be replaced at appropriate intervals recommended by the manufacturer. With proper care of an off-grid purification system like the Blu Tech MRX+ from, you can guarantee safe drinking regardless of where you are camping or living off-grid without having to worry about contaminated sources.

The Blu Tech MRX+ is a self-contained in-line water filtration system designed to connect between public, private, or even natural water supplies and your van providing exceptional high-flow benefits while filtering contaminants, viruses, and pathogens that other filters can't. Blu developed a 5-inch water filtration system that filters more effectively than traditional 10-inch filtration systems, providing higher flow rates while utilizing new 0.2-micron filtration technology resulting in the most compact, efficient, and travel-friendly filtration system on the market today.

Blu Tech MRX+ Pump and two stage filtration.

Blu Tech MRX+ Pump and two stage filtration.

Sometimes DIY solutions may be necessary, so let's take a look at some homemade options for filtering out impurities from natural sources of water in the next section, 'DIY Water Filtration Solutions.

DIY Water Filtration Solutions

Looking for a cost-effective and customizable solution to purify natural sources of water? Look no further than these DIY water filtration solutions. With an off grid system, you can have access to clean drinking water without relying on municipal or well sources. One popular option is using ceramic filters, which are effective at removing biological contaminants from the water.

Another option is using activated carbon filters, which removes chemicals and improves taste, but may not be effective against some biological contaminants. Building your own DIY filtration system allows you to customize it based on your specific needs and budget. Plus, it's a great way to learn more about the principles of water purification and self-reliance.

So which filtration system is best for vanlife? In the next section, we'll explore some of the most popular options and help you decide which one is right for you. But remember, whether you choose a commercial system or build your own DIY setup, having access to clean drinking water is essential for any off-grid lifestyle.

Which Water Filtration System is Best For Vanlife?

If you want to quench your thirst with clean, refreshing water while exploring the great outdoors, then you need to know about the best way to purify water while mobile. For vanlife and off-grid living, a portable water filtration system is essential. Among all the options available in the market, one of the best choices is the self-contained in-line water filtration system from

Blu Technology RX ELITE Off-Grid H20 Filtration System for

Blu Technology RX ELITE Off-Grid H20 Filtration System for

This 2-stage open water 0.2 micron filtration system can connect to public, private, or natural water supplies and provides exceptional high-flow benefits. The 5-inch water filtration system filters more effectively than traditional 10-inch systems using new 0.2-micron filtration technology that removes submicron pathogens and inorganic contaminants. The electro-adsorptive media allows for filtration of lead, bacteria, VOCs, microorganisms, and more. Additionally, it has an onboard pump rated at 3 gallons per minute that pulls over 1,000 gallons per day of clean and clear water from lakes or streams.

Product Specs:

  • Dimensions: 8.25x9.5x14 inches
  • Weight: 15 pounds
  • Battery: 12 Volt Lithium-Ion Battery
  • Temperatures: range from 40F-125F
  • Filter Life: lasts two to four months depending on turbidity of water
  • NSF/ANSI certified and party tested by IAPMO


  • Portable for off-grid use
  • High flow benefit with a pump rated at three gallons per minute
  • Filters a variety of contaminants including viruses and pathogens
  • Lightweight countertop water filter design saves space in van or RV
  • Quick connect hose’s make for a effortless setup


  • Only comes with one set of filters already installed
  • May be inconvenient as it will require electricity

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the risks of drinking unfiltered water in off-grid situations?

Unsafe water is a leading risk factor for death. Unsafe water sources are responsible for 1.2 million deaths each year, and it is one of the world’s largest health and environmental problems, according to

To put this into context this was three times the number of homicides in 2017, and equal to the number that died in road accidents globally. There is no reason whatsoever that van lifers should succumb to unsafe water when our share of the population with access to safely managed drinking water is 100%. The definition of safely managed drinking water is water from an improved water source which is located on premises, available when needed and free from contamination.

Never drink unfiltered water in off-grid situations due to the risks and dangers it poses. Contaminated water can cause illnesses such as diarrhea, vomiting and even more serious conditions like hepatitis A or E. Water sources like lakes, rivers, and streams can contain harmful microorganisms, heavy metals, organic chemicals and other contaminants that can be hazardous to your health.

To ensure safe drinking water while living off the grid or camping in the wild, it's essential to rely on a portable water filtration system like the Blu Tech MRX+ Off-Grid Battery Powered 2-Stage Open Water 0.2 Micron Portable Water Filtration System.

Can any system remove all types of contaminants?

You're living off the grid in the wilderness, and you want to ensure that your water supply is safe to consume. Can any system filter water and remove chemical contaminants? The answer is yes and no. While most systems can remove biological contaminants like bacteria and viruses, some may not be effective against heavy metals or other pollutants. It's important to choose a filtration system that fits your specific needs and to do your research on what contaminants it can effectively eliminate. Remember, in the wild, it's better to err on the side of caution when it comes to potable water.

How do you determine the right size and capacity for a water filtration system?

When determining the right size and capacity for a filtration system, you need to consider your daily water consumption, the number of people using it, and the quality of the water source. A good rule of thumb is to choose a system that can filter at least 1 gallon of water per person per day. You also want to ensure that the filter element can remove all contaminants present in your water source, such as bacteria, viruses, heavy metals, and chemicals. It's important to do your research and choose a reliable brand with certified filtration performance. With the right system in place, you can enjoy clean water no matter where you are with attributes that mimics what house water filters do.

Can an off-grid water system be used in all environments and climates?

Are you looking to filter water in various environments and climates? The Blu Tech MRX+ Off-Grid Battery Powered, 2-Stage Open Water 0.2 Micron Portable Water Filtration System is designed to pull over 1,000 gallons of clean, clear water per day right from lakes or streams. This portable and compact system weighs just 15 pounds and has a stainless steel garden hose quick connect for easy connection/disconnection to city or well water. With its durable frame and award-winning water filters capable of removing submicron pathogens and inorganic contaminants through electroadhesion and ion exchange, this off-grid water filtration system is perfect for those who desire freedom from traditional water sources while living off the grid.

Any alternative methods for water purification besides filters and chemicals?

Looking for alternative methods for off-grid water purification besides filters and chemicals? Look no further than nature itself. You can purify water through evaporation, such as by building an evaporation trap in the ground, or by using sunlight to boil and distill water. Other natural purification methods include using pine sapwood or activated carbon filters, or even clay pots as water filters. With a bit of resourcefulness and ingenuity, you can ensure that you have access to safe drinking water even when living off the grid.


You have now learned about the importance of off-grid water filters and purification, as well as different methods and products available to make van life off grid water filtration possible. With the Blu Tech MRX+ Off-Grid Battery Powered, 2-Stage Open Water 0.2 Micron Portable Water Filtration System, you can have 1,000+ gallons per day of clean and clear water right from a lake or stream.

Imagine waking up in your cozy van with the sound of birds chirping outside. You step out into nature and gaze upon a stunning body of water. With your off-grid water filtration system, you are able to collect fresh water that is safe for drinking and cooking. No longer do you have to worry about carrying heavy jugs or searching for public restrooms just for access to clean water. You are self-reliant and free to explore without constraints.

Take charge of your journey with confidence knowing that you have a reliable source of clean water wherever your travels may take you. The world is yours to discover with the peace of mind provided by an efficient off-grid water filtration system like the Blu Tech MRX+. Embrace adventure without hesitation, and live life to the fullest!

The Overland Expo series is a great place to discover new innovations for your van life.

The Overland Expo series is a great place to discover new innovations for your van life.