Top 5 Ways to Filter Water on Your Summer Road Trip

Top 5 Ways to Filter Water on Your Summer Road Trip

One summer, I knew that we would find ourselves driving to Michigan to visit family. The grand plan would be to visit all the national parks and tourist destinations along the way, making a great summer road trip. I never imagined it would be this summer and without most of the tourist stops. If you’re a follower of Water Blogged, you may remember that we (Guzzle H2O co-founder, Doogie’s family) last found ourselves trying to get home from South Africa as the world was shutting down. We made it back to Washington State and sheltered in place until the end of May. After that, with summer weather upon us, we ventured out a little, camping pretty close to home with our Jayco Hummingbird camper trailer. After the first camping trip or two, we decided that the best and safest way for us to see my family in Michigan would be to drive, towing our camper trailer so we could camp along the way.

We headed out in mid-July and drove across northern Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan before heading south towards my parent's house. We decided to push hard on the way out there and take our time on the way home. After a nice week of visiting and playing on the water in Michigan, we packed up to head back.

Filtering River Water from a Pressurized Tank 

Before heading back on the road, a priority was to top off our camper trailer’s water tank. My parents live on an island where all of their water is pumped straight from the river they live on. In the house, it goes through extensive treatment, but outside, at the boathouse and in the yard, it gets pumped from the river into a pressurized holding tank. Our trailer was in the driveway next to the boathouse, so with only river water available, we hooked up the Guzzle H2O Stream. In this case, we connected their dock hose to the Stream and used the pressurized (but unfiltered and unpurified) water to fill our camper trailer. By using our Stream, we were able to filter and purify the water as it went into the trailer so our tank was full with clean water.

For the return trip, we took a slightly more southern route, picking up I90 in Chicago. We drove into South Dakota and made a stop at Mt. Rushmore early on our second day. We would have picked Badlands National Park or Devil’s Tower, but the kids asked for Mt. Rushmore, so we bypassed those and made that our only major tourist stop. Then we headed a bit more off the beaten path, finding dispersed camping along the Yellowstone River east of Bozeman, Montana.

Filtering Dock Water

Filtering River Water Directly from the River 

After finding a spot in a big field next to the river, we immediately pulled out our Guzzle H2O Stream so we could refill our drinking water jug. The days had been hot and long so we wanted to be sure we were topped off with a fresh supply. We dropped the pre-filter into the fast-moving Yellowstone River and turned on the Stream to quickly refill the 5-gallon jug that we brought along for drinking water.

The next morning, we had our eyes on a mountain bike ride near Butte, Montana. It was a hot one and our ride was longer than we had planned so we went through a lot of drinking water again. The best part about having a Stream is that there is no worry about running out of water. That afternoon, we found a fantastic dispersed camping spot along the Big Hole River and again were able to use our Stream to refill our water bottles.

Now, you’re probably wondering about our trailer’s water tank. That was still pretty full. We try to reserve that for dishes and trailer use (ahem, toilet flushing) and not as the main source of drinking water unless we run out. 

Filtering Water from a River

Purifying Campground Water

We were reluctant to leave our spot along the Big Hole River. It was so peaceful and secluded, but we decided to keep going and made our way towards Idaho. That night, we found a campground on the Salmon River. The kids spent most of the afternoon fishing and playing in the water. The campground had potable water so we connected the Stream to the campground’s faucet and filtered water into our bottles just to be sure the water was pure.

We spent one more night on the road in a campground on the Payette River outside of Boise. With only a half day’s drive home from there, we didn’t need to refill our water again, but it was a campground with an older hand pump water faucet. We would have been happy to have our Stream for filtering water there, as I’m sure it was a little questionable on taste and smell.

Filtering Campground Water

Purifying Gas Station or Rest Area Water 

While we didn't have to do this on this particular trip because we ended up camping on some beautiful rivers, we typically stop at a gas station or rest area with free water and use our Guzzle H2O Stream to filter water going into our camper trailer's tank. Although it's similar to the first way we used our Stream, in the case of a gas station or rest area, we're filtering potable water to improve taste and smell while also ensuring quality.

Using the Stream to Pump and Refill Our Trailer's Tanks

Near the end of our trip, we were running low on our trailer's clean water tank. We had been carrying a spare jerry can of 5 gallons of water. Without a funnel, the easiest way to transfer the water to the trailer is to drop the intake hose on the Stream into the jerry can. And then put the outlet hose into the trailer's clean water tank receptacle. Turn on the Stream and water is quickly filtered, purified, and pumped into the trailer's tank. No need for awkward lifting and precarious funnels!

Altogether, we spent 2-½ weeks on the road. We had a week in Michigan, in a house, but otherwise, we were camping our way between Michigan and Washington State. We never bought a bottle of water, nor did we ever have any panic or worries about getting more water. The Guzzle H2O Stream completely relieved the stress and worries about getting clean and pure drinking water on the road. I couldn’t have asked for a better tool for our pandemic travels.