Best RV Water Softeners: Remove Minerals and Other Deposits
These top RV water softeners are beneficial for both you and your vehicle
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PUBLISHED ON December 20, 2019
To avoid streaks on your shower doors, spots on the finish after washing your RV, and buildup on faucets and nozzles, install an RV water softener. A water softener eliminates the minerals from the water that cause these problems. The result is water that not only improves the operation of your vehicle but also provides softer hair and skin.
- Best OverallOn The Go OTG4-DBLSoft Portable RV Water SoftenerSummarySummary
This high-capacity water softener produces up to 1,600 gallons of soft water, or about a 40-day supply. The unit regenerates with just two boxes of regular table salt and is compact, so it’s a great fit for your RV.ProsPros
Produces 40 percent more softened water than competitor units. It installs in very tight places and produces high flow rates with a low-pressure drop. There’s a large opening to add salt, and it includes a carrying handle for easy transportation.ConsCons
It may take one or two days to begin operating at full capacity. It is also a bit heavy to move around.
- Best ValueMobile-Soft Portable Water SoftenerSummarySummary
This water softener has 16,000 grains of hardness removal capability. This appliance removes minerals and soluble iron super efficiently.ProsPros
The kit includes lead-free NSF 61 male GHC tank connections, a distributor, and resin along with instructions for installation, setup, use, and maintenance.ConsCons
You need to purchase a male-to-male fitting to make it work. The nylon NPT fittings may become cross-threaded.
- Honorable MentionWatts Water Quality/Conditioner M7002 Flow-Pur RV Water SoftenerSummarySummary
This product has a built-in, drain-line water flow restrictor that provides more efficient regeneration, increasing capacity by as much as 55 percent. The full-cradle base holds the tank securely.ProsPros
Specially designed flow valves permit regeneration without the user needing to disconnect and then reconnect the system. Features a flow rate of up to four gallons per minute.ConsCons
Some of the instructions may be unclear. In addition, the Y fitting may not last.
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- These units use regular table salt to soften water, not water softener salt. Be sure to use the correct type when adding salt to the device.
- It is possible to use potassium as a recharging agent. But since potassium comes in large pellets, you will have to grind the pellets into a table salt-type grind before you use it.
- If you plan to leave the water softener in the vehicle when it gets cold, you must find a way to keep it from freezing. Put it inside an insulated box or heat the storage area with a light bulb or heater.
Q: What are the benefits of installing a water softener in my RV?
A: With fewer minerals in the water, you’ll notice less spotting on dishes, glassware, shower doors, and on the surface of your vehicle after you wash it. You will also notice less mineral buildup on the kitchen, shower, and bathroom faucets and on the inside pipes.
Q: How does a water softener work?
A: When water flows through a water softener, a process known as “ion exchange” takes place. The hard minerals (primarily magnesium and calcium) in the water entering the water softener have a negative charge. The water then flows through a layer of resin beads, which have a positive charge. When the hard water circulates through the layer of beads, the positively-charged beads attract the negatively-charged minerals and take them out of the water. This de-mineralized water then flows out of the softener and into your RV.
Q: Are there other benefits to installing a water softener?
A: Yes. You will find that your skin and hair are softer after showering in soft water, and soap and shampoo easily lather up. Dish soaps and automatic dishwasher soaps will work better, too.
The large capacity and compact fit of the On The Go OTG4-DBLSoft Portable RV Water Softener make it our pick for the best water softener overall. The super-efficient Mobile-Soft Portable Water Softener is our pick for the best value.