Do you really need a UV water purification system for your RV? In short, the answer is YES if you want to ensure your drinking water is free from bacteria and viruses.
When you first open the water spigot at your campsite, you can see why you need a water filter on your RV’s water line. After the first 30 seconds, that brown tint disappears, and the water comes out clean. Yet we all know using an RV water filter replacement cartridge or a fresh inline water filter gives us the most pristine drinking water possible, or does it?
After all the chemicals and sediment clear out, using an ultra-violet water purifier eliminates bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms. What remains is the purest water possible.
Acuva Technologies (Acuva) created an ultra-violet LED water purifying system that’s RV-friendly. We’ll show you how it works, which version might be the best for you, and why it’s a great upgrade worth adding to your motorhome or travel trailer.
Who is Acuva?
Acuva started in 2014 with the goal is to protect health and enable a higher quality of life. Today, this Canadian company has satellites in The US, Germany, India, and a Chinese branch in development. Acuva Technologies Inc. is a global leader in UVC-LED disinfection for water, air, and surface technologies.
President and CEO Manoj Singh leads the company with his almost 20 years in the clean technology leadership industry in North America and South Asia background. Singh works together with the company’s Chief Technology Officer Fariborz Taghipour, an established professor at the University of British Columbia in the Chemical and Biological Engineering Department.
Acuva Technologies creates technologies for:
- Commercial drinking fountains
- Hotel and restaurant icemakers
- Water coolers
- Built-in residential refrigerator water and icemakers
- Commercial and residential tap water purifiers
- RV/Marine water purifiers
- Portable surface disinfection devices
Is a UV Water Purification System for RVs Worth It?
UV water purifiers are worth it because the UVC LED water sterilizer does what RV water filters can’t filter out. Carbon water filters will remove some of the chemicals, sediment, heavy metals, and other contaminants. Unfortunately, microorganisms like bacteria and viruses can go through even 1 micron RV water filters with multistage canisters because the smallest bacteria are about 0.4 microns in diameter while viruses range in size from 0.02 to 0.25 microns. Usually, our immune system takes care of these intruders.
If these microorganisms have a high count in the water you drink, there is a potential concern. Using Ultra-Violet Radiation kills the bacteria and viruses instantly. Acuva’s ArrowMax UV-LED water purifiers that plumb into your RV’s water system can last over half a million gallons, use minimal wattage, and activate instantly, giving you up to a 99.9999% germ-free glass of water.
According to Forbes, people purchase a million bottles of water every minute around the world. As RVers, we do our best to contribute to the preservation of the natural world, so our children and grandchildren can have the opportunity to enjoy their RV adventures.
Also, one of the major rules of the RV Community is to leave your campsite cleaner than how you found it. Using an advanced water filter and the Acuva UV-LED water purifier together gives you the peace of mind to trust the campground water supply or your freshwater tank, so you don’t have to contribute to the plastic bottle contamination problem.
Do UV Water Purification Systems for RVs Really Work?
UV water purifiers really work by destroying microorganisms at the genetic level. The powerful short-wavelength radiation (UVC 250-280 nanometers) kills bacteria and viruses by inactivating the microbe’s vital functions. This exposure breaks down these microorganisms’ internal functions and DNA before the water gets to the waterline that feeds your faucet. As a comparison, major cities like Vancouver, New York, and Paris use this method at an industrial level to disinfect their public water systems.
To put this in perspective, the average sun exposure we receive is 280-400 nanometers mostly from UVA and UVB waves. The Acuva water purifiers use UVC 250-280 nanometer light inside a stainless steel chamber, so you don’t have to worry about exposure.
Acuva Technology holds NSF/ANSI 55 Class “B” certification from IAPMO R&T for their products. This marking guarantees product’s performance, quality, safety, and sustainability.
Can UV Light Purify Water?
Scientists prove time and again that UV light purifies water through log reduction studies. This method measures how many living microorganisms are in the water sample before UV light exposure and how many still exist after a certain amount of time. A single log equals a reduction of the microbes by a factor of 10.
The Acuva science team proved that after 6-log reductions, up to 99.9999% of the bacteria and viruses were eliminated from each sample they tested. When you look at each of the ArrowMax UV water purifiers, you’ll notice they’re rectangular. Their patented IntenseBeam technology exposes fluid to high intensity of UV radiation to ensure the safety of drinking water.
Can LEDs Produce UV Light?
LEDs can produce UV light instantly in an environmentally friendly way that uses fewer watts and lasts longer than conventional UV lamps. In The Modern Era (2008- Present), off-grid camping using solar panel technology must be considered anytime a company brings an RV essential accessory to market. When it comes to something as vital as water, allocating wattage for clean, healthy water isn’t a choice, but you shouldn’t have to sacrifice another critical feature to take a drink of water.
Conventional bulky UV lamps use a higher power level, take some time to warm up, have an annual replacement requirement, and contain mercury. Even if you’re using shore power, the list of concerns with this technology raises many red flags.
The UVC LED bulbs in the Acuva water purifiers are safe to use when sealed correctly, long-lasting and recommended as RV/Marine UV water purifiers. Now that you know how they work and their benefits, we’ll show you the different models they offer and which one may be the best for you.
How Does UV Light Disinfect Your RV Drinking Water?
Which Acuva UV-LED Water Purifier Should I Choose for My RV?
Acuva offers three different ArrowMax UV-LED water purifiers. The main differences between them have to do with how long do the RV water filters last and their flow rate. To answer this question, look at the specifications in the chart below:
|ArrowMax 1.0L||ArrowMax 2.0L||ArrowMax 5.0L|
|Flow Rate (Liter per Minute)||1 LPM||2 LPM||5 LPM|
|Liters in its Lifecycle||60,000 liters||120,000 liters||900,000 liters|
|Casing||High-Quality Polymer||High-Quality Polymer||Metal|
|MSRP (as of Aug 2021)||$449||$599||$1,099|
As you can see, the ArrowMax 1.0L will give you plenty of reliable service. However, viewing it from an RV perspective, you have to think about what’s realistic for your camping lifestyle. For example, Part-timers generally don’t buy RVs made for full-timers, and couples don’t buy travel trailers that sleep, 10 people. Instead, they choose motorhomes and travel trailers that suit their needs.
The ArrowMax 1.0L is ideal for weekenders and part-timers that use the device for their kitchen and bathroom sinks. The water purifier is fully capable of sterilizing some of the most contaminated water you’ll come across. Realistically, you’re hooked up to the campground’s water supply and occasionally use your fresh water tank.
Class A gas motorhome RVers with 2 bathrooms might prefer the ArrowMax 2.0L. The extra flow rate will help when someone in the rear master bathroom is getting ready, while another uses the sink in the kitchen. Also, The washing machine needs a good flow to work correctly.
Full-timers that have multiple water source needs may prefer the ArrowMax 5.0L. If you have a luxury fifth wheel RV with 2 bathrooms, an RV outdoor kitchen, and your coach has a residential refrigerator with an icemaker, with the kitchen sink, you have 7 water sources (including the 2 showers) that need to be hooked up. You may want to seek assistance plumbing this one up.
Accessories and Advanced Features
Any of the ArrowMax UV-C LED sterilizers will work with your RV’s built-in faucets, even the secondary kitchen faucet made for filtered water devices. If you prefer, you can change out the secondary faucet for Acuva’s Smart-faucet.
When you turn the water on from the Acuva Smart-faucet, the blue light around the base tells you that the system is working correctly. The Acuva device is equipped with a self-cleaning function, turning on UV every 12 hours to maintain the cleanliness of the device.
Once you turn off your Smart-faucet, it will have your ArrowMax device stay on for an additional 5 seconds to treat any water that’s still in the water lines. This added protection ensures your waterlines stay free from microorganisms.
2. Advanced Pre-filter (for ArroMax 1.0 & 2.0)
As the first line of defense, you can use the Acuva advanced water filter. It removes heavy metals, chlorine, chemicals, odors, sediment, and other contaminants. With a 4,000-gallon water flow rating, you’ll find this first-level filter worth the higher than average cost.
Using a first-stage carbon or mixed media water filter at the campsite water connection is the best way to maximize the sterilization of the UV-C LEDs. By clearing out these contaminants, the microorganisms can’t hide behind sediment or other pollutants.
It also saves your RV’s water system from damage. Learn more about the best way to hook up your water system and other essential systems with RV Blogger’s How to Setup Yor RV Campsite For Beginners Checklist.
3. AC 120/240V to DC12V Power Adaptor (ArrowMax 1.0/2.0 or 5.0)
The ArrowMax UV-LED Water Purifiers use AC power. Based on where you end up installing your 1.0, 2.0, or 5.0 device, you might find yourself in a situation where it would be easier to plug the Acuva device into a DC power source. Before you pull out your RV’s wiring schematic, there’s a more straightforward solution.
Maybe one of the designers or someone on the team dealt with this situation because Acuva offers a 12-volt power adapter. At worst, installing an outlet is a simpler procedure than running a new electrical line from the fuse box.
Do UV Water Purification Systems Reduce Water Pressure?
RV UV water purification systems don’t reduce water pressure. One of the design requirements engineers are always mindful of is keeping the pressure as unrestricted as possible.
Carbon water filters use charcoal and other materials to absorb chemicals. They also use filtering barriers that have openings down to the tiniest micron that lets the water pass through unencumbered, gating most everything else. But as they age these types of water filters can reduce water pressure.
Acuva’s UVC-LED water purifier channels the water through a clear tube. As it passes through the device, UVC light exposes the water through a collimated IntenseBeam. The company does offer a 1-year replacement warranty if the device doesn’t work correctly.
If you do notice a decrease in water pressure, it could be a decrease of pressure from your pre-filter, or the water source, or something in the water line that created a blockage. Locating that blockage requires checking all of your internal and external plumbing. Seek professional assistance or learn how to check PEX piping to prevent damaging your RV’s plumbing.
Do We Recommend the Acuva UV Water Purifcation System for Your RV?
We absolutely recommend the Acuva UV Water Purification System for your RV, motorhome, or camper. Why? Because UV light is the best way to kill unwanted bacteria and viruses in your RV drinking water.
In fact, I had a UV water purification system in my home because we were on well water and I wanted my family to be safe. Now this same technology that was only available for residential use is now available to RVers and we highly recommend you install one in your RV, motorhome, or camper to keep your family safe too.
For more information on PEX piping and other components inside your RV, you can learn all about it on the RVBlogger website. We have hundreds of articles that walk you through preventive maintenance, repairs, and all things related to the RV World. If you’re not finding what you’re looking for, hop on to our Facebook page, RV Camping for Newbies, and ask some of the other veteran RVers out there that are friends of the RVBlogger Community. You can also check us out on Instagram.
Check out our weekly YouTube videos, where Mike and Susan walk through the latest RVs with a tape measure giving you the measurements you really want to know, and other key points of interest. They also have videos on discount RV clubs, gear, tips, and other topics that are worth watching.
At the beginning of each month, you’ll see a video introducing the new issue of their FREE monthly digital magazine, RV Camping Magazine. Mike, Susan, and guest authors feature many different topics from around the RV Industry and Community.
The National RV Training Academy, a top school that trains RV Service Technicians, presents readers with a new maintenance or repair technique every month. After you read it, you can watch the embedded video that shows the process.
Other features include following the adventures of fellow RVers at a great destination, walking through an amazing RV remodel and doing a deep dive into today’s latest trends. You’ll learn about fascinating new components or gear on the market, and learning more about the RV influencers on YouTube and around the RV Community.