Buying and carting around bottled water is a pain in the ass. Paying $50 for a filter pitcher is a pain-in-the-ass, too!
If you ever want "free stuff" stop by your local campground. In the pioneer days of yore, when "settlers" crossed the great divide, they discarded many things they thought they would need in their new homes - heavy furniture, cookware, clothing, and just about anything that was weighing their wagon down, as they literally had to lift it over the Rocky Mountains.
Similarly, campers and RV'ers often discover that things they thought they desperately needed, were just taking up too much space in their small campers.
What sort of things? A Keurig coffee-maker. A brand-new bread machines. 100 feet of Christmas lights shaped like green apples. Books, CDs, DVDs - galore! All sorts of interesting stuff! Campgrounds usually have a place for "exchange" of these things, such as by the laundry room or the community room. Free for the taking!
The other day, we saw a nearly new Brita filter pitcher - a fancy one with some sort of electronic filter change reminder built-in. I took it home, cleaned it up and changed the battery on the electronic gizmo. I went online and ordered a six-pack of filters (maybe off-brand) for not a lot of money. And wa-la, we have a Brita pitcher.
Do we need one? Well, maybe. Water quality in many campgrounds varies - and minerals and sediment and funny tastes is one common complaint. We have an ice machine in our camper (another appliance you may find in the "free" pile as well as a Farberware coffee maker (a $5 score, brand-new, from Goodwill) and bad water makes for bad coffee.
We used to buy bottled water, but it is heavy (8 lbs per gallon!) and the cost, even at $3.95 a case, adds up. So the Brita does seem to help.
Of course, Brita filters do not take out bacteria or viruses, and if left to molder, can actually become a home for mold and mildew and whatnot. You have to keep them clean. Of course, sites that tell you how horrible Brita filters are, often have links for the super-duper filter they say you should get, or are chock full of water paranoia and all sorts of new-age homeopathic nonsense - so consider them with a grain of salt.
But if you don't want the water to taste funny.... then find one for free!