Clearsource Nomad RV Water Filter Review

clearsource nomad RV water filter

Of all the resources we need in the context of our full-time RVing lifestyle, clean and safe drinking water is one of the most important ones. That is particularly true when we’re boondocking, i.e. when we’ve towed our trailer way off-grid and into the backcountry, and thus there are no faucets from which we can simply fill our freshwater tank.


While we do have an 80-gallon freshwater tank in our Outdoors RV 23 DBS Timber Ridge, with two toddlers that are veritable dirt magnets, as well as the normal needs we have as a family of four, our 80-gallons can go quite quickly.

Of course, we can always hitch up our trailer, tow it to a potable water source, fill our tank, and then head back into the backcountry, but…

Doing so takes quite a bit of effort, and frankly, once we’ve landed our trailer at our particular boondocking spot, we ideally don’t like to go to town for a few weeks at a time.

Clearsource Nomad For The Save!

@forsomethingmore Whether you’re in an RV, Jeep with a rooftop tent, or van, the Clearsource Nomad water filtration system is the perfect item to bring when you want to go off grid and not worry about the quality of your drinking water. 💦 fill up your tank from lakes and streams without worrying about getting sick 💦 have the freedom to stay out in nature as long as you would like 💦 use it at RV parks or public campgrounds for added water filtration needs 💦let the pump do the work Go off grid for longer without a worry! Use code FORSOMETHINGMORE to get $25 off when you purchase a Clearsource product valued at $250 or more. How do you filter your water when you are off grid? #clea#clearsourcewatera#clearsourcerve#waterfiltere#waterfiltrationtiktoke#waterfiltrationn#boondockingn#boondockingtipsn#boondockingadventures ♬ love galore x see u again – Tasha

Enter the Clearsource Nomad RV water filter, which makes water from lakes and streams safe to drink, and now, our need to go to town for clean and safe drinking water is virtually non-existent. In other words, our Nomad allows us to stay in the backcountry for just about as long as we’d like, or at least until our black tank gets full or we run out of food!

Below we’ll go into full detail about what we like about our Nomad as well as how we think it can be improved. For sake of transparency, we were given a Clearsource Nomad RV Water Filter System so that we could field test. However, we only review products that we think are worth sharing with all of you, and in many ways, we certainly think this one is.

Quick Pros And Cons

What We Liked

  • Makes water from lakes and streams safe to drink
  • Has a strong built-in pump
  • Simple to use (can be used on-grid and off-grid)
  • Durable
  • Compact

Places For Improvement

  • The price
  • Does not include extra filter cartridges or hoses
  • At the time of writing, no protective case is available for the Nomad

Exclusive Savings For You

If by the end of this review, you’d like to buy a Nomad of your own (or any other Clearsource products), buy using this exclusive ForSomethingMore affiliate link or by entering the discount code FORSOMETHINGMORE at checkout, you will get $25 off any system (for purchases of $250 or more), and we will earn a commission so that we can continue to bring you all of our content.

If you have any questions or comments about the Clearsource Nomad RV water filter, our full-time RVing lifestyle, or just about anything related to outdoor adventure family travel, please leave us a comment below, and we’ll get back to you in a flash!

What Exactly Is The Clearsource Nomad?

In a sentence, the Clearsource Nomad is a device that makes water from streams and lakes safe to drink. More technically speaking, the nomad removes protozoa, bacteria, and viruses down to 0.02 microns.

Specifically, it removes

  • 99.99% bacteria
  • 99.99% viruses
  • 99.95% cysts
  • 95% Lead
  • 80% Ferrous Iron
  • 95% Arsenic V
  • 95% Cadmium
  • 85% Chromium
  • 75% Selenium
  • 60% Mercury

So, when we use our Nomad, we’re confident that we’re safe from common waterborne viruses such as adenovirus, astrovirus, hepatitis A and E viruses, rotavirus, norovirus, and the list goes on.

How Does The Clearsource Nomad Work?

To oversimplify a bit, if you’re off-grid, you connect the Nomad to your car battery, you connect two hoses to the nomad – one goes into the river/stream, and one goes into your freshwater tank (or water container) – you turn on the pump, and you wait for your freshwater tank to fill. That’s all!

If you’re on grid, no need to connect it to a battery, just hook the nomad up to your water spigot, and you’ll be good to go!

All said and done, the off-grid setup takes about 3 minutes, and since the pump can move ~4 gallons per minute (15 L per minute), it doesn’t take us very long to get as much clean and safe drinking water as we need. (The on-grid setup takes about 1 minute – super fast!)

When We Use Our Clearsource Nomad


We often use our Clearsource Nomad when boondocking – RVing off-grid. Again, our RV holds 80 gallons, but it’s nice to be able to take advantage of wild water sources instead of having to tow the trailer somewhere to fill up our tank.

Also, practically speaking, we usually use our Nomad to fill up our drinking water containers and not our RV freshwater tank itself. We find this the most practical way to use our Nomad when we’re in the backcountry, as it’s often not possible to tow our trailer close enough to the water source to fill our RV’s freshwater tank directly.


When we are on the grid, we seldom worry about the quality of the water we are drinking, as the US has some of the cleanest and safest municipal water systems in the world. However, we’ve found that safe to drink and decent tasting is two different things.


The most common situation in which we use our Nomad when we are on-grid is when the water source at hand has an undesirable taste.

So far, we’ve not found an on-grid water source that still tastes funny after passing through our Nomad, which filters down to 0.02 microns, but we try our best to never say never.

What We Like About The Clearsource Nomad

Makes Water From Lakes And Streams Safe To Drink

If it’s not yet clear, the main reason we like our Nomad is that it allows us to safely drink water from wild lakes and streams.

The two-stage filtration process is what yields such clean water. In sum, the water first passes through a 5-micron carbon element filter, and then through a filter that is effective to 0.02 microns. This second filter, Clearsource’s Virusguard™ Filter removes “not just bacteria and cysts, but viruses and heavy metals using electro-adhesive media.”

Assuming you’re filtering relatively clean water, i.e. not muddy and mucky stuff, the filters last for approximately 2000 gallons (7,500 L). For weekend warriors, that means these could last a VERY long time, and for us that gives us about 25 fill-ups of our 80-gallon freshwater tank. Either way, they last quite long.

The Clearsource Nomad Has A Strong Built-In Pump

The Nomad comes with a built-in Aquatec 5513-1E12-B666 pump. Without getting too much into the technical details of the pump, when you connect your Nomad to any 12V battery (your typical car battery), you can expect it to pump about 4 gallons per minute and operate at 14 Amps.

Practically speaking that means you’ll be able to draw water up approximately 20′ (6 m) in elevation and over approximately 100′ feet (30 m) of distance. So far, that’s been plenty of pumping power for our off-grid boondocking needs.

How To Use The Nomad Is SUPER Simple

First and foremost, we like that our Nomad is a single self-contained unit. There are no little parts you need to set up and take down each time.

Basically, you put the Nomad near your water source, hook up your hoses, and you’re good to go. It is SUPER simple to use, and that’s one of the main reasons we really like it.

When you’re on the grid, it takes about 1 minute to set up the Nomad.

  1. You connect one hose to the water spigot, and then you connect that same hose to the Nomad’s inlet valve.
  2. Next, you connect a second hose to the Nomad’s outlet valve, and then you run that hose into your freshwater tank or water container.
  3. Turn the spigot on, and voila, you’ll have great-tasting and clean water.

When you’re off-grid, it takes about 3 minutes to set up the Nomad.
The setup off-grid is virtually the same except there is one additional step of connecting the Nomad to a 12-Volt battery, which in our case means our truck battery. So more explicitly…

  1. You connect your Nomad to your 12 Volt battery, in our case, our truck’s battery.
  2. Next, you connect one hose to the Nomad’s inlet valve, and then you run that hose into the lake/stream/etc.*
  3. Then, you connect a second hose to the Nomad’s outlet valve, and then you run that hose into your freshwater tank or water container. (Practically speaking, we find it easier to fill water containers and then dump those into our freshwater tank as opposed to towing our trailer close enough to the water source to directly fill our freshwater tank.)
  4. Turn the pump switch on, and voila, you’ll have great-tasting and clean water.

*In spit of the pre-filter for the water source end, we often fill a bucket from the river/stream/lake, and then we use the Nomad to pump the stream/river water out of the bucket.

We use the bucket to reduce the amount of sediment that gets sucked up into the filter as compared with simply putting the intake hose directly into the river/stream/lake, etc.

Particularly Useful In Group Camping/Boondocking Situations

While we’ve not yet used our Nomad in a group camping/RVing situation, based on our past group camping/RVing situations, we’re certain this is yet another situation where our Nomad would come in handy.

In short, hauling in enough water for a large group of people can be challenging on a number of fronts, but with the Nomad the need to do so can be entirely, if not almost entirely, eliminated.

The Clearsournce Nomad Is Durable

This one is simple, but the Nomad is built very well. Frankly, it feels like we could throw off a cliff, and it wouldn’t suffer any damage, although, of course, we’d never do this.

The Nomad has a steel frame, and heavy-duty electrical components, and to put it most simply feels like it’s built to last. Ours “lives” in the back of our truck, and even after quite a bit of bumping down the road, it still looks great and functions perfectly too.

our clearsource nomad RV water filter lives in the back of our truck

The Clearsournce Nomad Is Compact

The Nomad is 23 inches (58 cm) wide, 17.5 inches (44 cm) tall, and 9 inches (22 in) deep. Very roughly speaking, it’s about the size of 2 basketballs – not very large at all – and it weighs 30 lbs. (13 kg).

the clearsource nomad RV water filter is compact

In the context of our full-time RV lifestyle, space efficiency is always something we’re thinking about, and the Nomad certainly doesn’t take up much.

Ways We Think The Clearsource Nomad Could Be Improved

The Price

The Clearsournce Nomad, at the time of writing, is priced at US$899.99. And, while we truly do love the convenience and ease of use that the Nomad provides, we realize that for most folks US$899.99 is a sizable sum of money.

So, if you’re planning to regularly use your Nomad off-grid, i.e. you will need to use the built-in pump since there is no water pressure from a city-water connection, we would say this purchase will be well worth it.

If you’re not planning to regularly use your Nomad off-grid, and therefore you don’t need the built-in pump in order to suck water out of a lake or stream, but you still like the same level of filtering power as the Nomad, we’d recommend you consider buying the Clearsource Premier and simply installing the Nomad filters.

And last but certainly not least…

If the price of the Nomad is prohibitive, but you do want an off-grid method of making water safe to drink, there are other filter housings on the market in which the Nomad filters will fit, there are a plethora of 12-volt water pumps out there too, and with a bit of DIY know-how, you could certainly make your own version of the Nomad – but we’d bet our bottom dollar that you’ll not be able to match the convenience and ease of use of the Nomad – so ultimately, the choice is yours.

No Spare Filters Included And No Hoses

At such a premium price, we were a bit disappointed that a set of spare filters wasn’t included in the box, although the Nomad does come pre-installed with one set of filters.

Additionally, we thought that including at least one if not two drinking water quality hoses would have been a nice way to add value to the Nomad and would also ensure that folks could use it right out of the box, but you’ll have to buy your own hoses.

No Protective Case Is Available (Yet)

At the time of writing, Clearsource does not offer a protective case, what they term a “WeatherGuard,” for the Nomad. And, while the Nomad is built to last, we’d still like something that would help protect it from scratches, breakage, and wear and tear.

Conclusion – The Clearsource Nomad Is Highly Useful But Not For Budget Conscious

The Clearsource Nomad RV water filter is simple to use, built to last, space-efficient, essential for people who regularly boondock off-grid, and has quickly become something we use on a regular basis in the context of our full-time RVing lifestyle. While the price puts the Nomad far outside the realm of an “impulse buy,” our ability to safely drink water from rivers and streams, is indeed priceless.

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  1. Great write up on the Clearsource Nomad! Are you still using it? Why wouldn’t they offer the sediment pre-filters for the water source end?

    • Hi Robert,

      Thank you for your kind words 🙂 There is a small sediment pre-filter for the water source end, and because of your great comment, we have updated our post a bit. However, the pre-filter only removes the most coarse of particulate matter, i.e. large pieces of leaves, twigs, pebbles, etc. It likely would not prevent sand and certainly not fine sand or mud from entering the filter. Thus why we like to put water into a bucket first and then draw from the bucket. Let us know if you have any more comments or questions as we’re glad to field them!

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