Saturday, June 3, 2023


Campground water has a sulfur smell. What can I do?

Dear Dave,
What is the best thing to use for the sulfur in the water at campgrounds? I am at the KOA at Sam’s Town, and the sulfur smell is bad. Thanks. —George, 2018 Jayco Jay Flight 24RBS

Dear George,
Typically the rotten egg or sulfur smell is caused by hydrogen sulfide gas and is usually safe to shower and even cook with. This is caused by a chemical reaction with the soil, especially rocks, and is fairly common in desert locations such as Sam’s Town. However, it could also be caused by a sewage leak nearby.

The first thing I would do is test the water using a digital water purity tester that you can find on Amazon here.

This will tell you the acceptable parts per million in the water. You can go one step further and purchase a well water test kit here.

Either way, share your concerns with the main office as the issue could be with their well system or the ground water going to the well. It may need to be disinfected or “shocked” with a chlorine bleach procedure.

If the water tests OK, then I would get a whole house filter that has a cartridge filter that can be customized for smell and taste.

Here is a setup that not only has the filter, but a water softener as well. I like the residential style filter as I can replace the cartridge for less money than an inline filter.

If you want to go even further with filtering, I suggest looking at a Clearsource filtration system which has hospital grade micron filtering that captures more contaminates than any other filter on the market. The coconut shell carbon block filter also improves taste and smell, and comes in various sizes depending on the volume you need. You can find them on Amazon here.


 You might also enjoy this from Dave 

Why does the RV’s fresh water smell even with a filter?

Dear Dave,
Why does my RV’s fresh water smell even if I use a filter? —Tom, 2019 Coachmen Chaparral 2019

Read Dave’s answer.

Dave Solberg is a leading expert in the RV industry and the author of the “RV Handbook.”

Read more from Dave here


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Dave Solberg
Dave Solberg
Dave Solberg is a leading expert in the RV industry and author of the “RV Handbook” as well as the Managing Editor of the RV Repair Club. He has been in the RV Industry since 1983 and conducts over 15 seminars at RV shows throughout the country.


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9 days ago

What is the brand (and model number if you have it) of the filter/water softener system you mentioned and pictured in your first photo. Thank you!

Baron VonFùrstinbed
9 days ago

Yah, I usually eat a lot of pickled eggs und drink a lot of beer and I can’t even smell the water over my own H2S creations. Yah, I highly recommend this solution to the problem.

Tommy Molnar
9 days ago

We have a ‘portable’ water softener like the one pictured and also use a filter that we can see through so we know when to replace the element. We now also use one of those small blue filters (like Wally sells) as a pre-filter. Depending on where we are, the see through filter gets all brown amazingly fast. I don’t think I can string enough filters up to stop all this crud from getting into our RV.

Thomas D
9 days ago

While camping in Ocala Fl we got stinky water which I attributed to the anode in the water heater. I bought a plug and removed the anode. No more stinky water. I never replaced the anode and to this day the water heater doesn’t leak

9 days ago

We always use a PUR PLUS Water Pitcher with a Filter with Lead Reduction. We are not full-timers but will use our motorhome for 3-6 months/year. We have been in MANY campgrounds where the PUR filter lasts only a week and in other campgrounds it last 4+ weeks. What does that tell you about the quality of the water? If big cities can have poor water, what about the podunk campgrounds?

Calvin Wing
9 days ago

Whatever you do don’t put that water in your system. I bought a 1989 Holiday Rambler and never could remove the sulfur smell. We tried everything on the market and 2 repair shops said the only way to fix the problem was to replace the entire water system.

Tom H.
9 days ago

When we were staying in a RV Park in Central Florida the water had a strong sulfur smell. Our 2-stage Clear Source filter was a huge help.

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