Why Get The Best Portable Water Softener for RVs?
Unfortunately for homeowners, the majority of the water that comes out of the tap is hard water. In reality, 85 percent of the US has hard water that is rich in minerals like calcium and magnesium.
During the summer, when you’re driving around in your RV, you’re bound to run into some hard water issues. For example, you may see hard water stains on plates, faucets, and water fixtures. The use of hard water with too many minerals can result in hard water spots, unpleasant tasting water, and dry skin and hair.
Fortunately, water softeners have become small enough to fit inside your vehicle and supply you with plenty of soft water. These tiny portable water softeners are available in a variety of sizes and capabilities.
Naturally, the costs vary, which may leave you wondering which is the best. We wanted to find an answer for ourselves, and along the road, we learnt a lot about each of these systems.
The reviews that follow will compare what we learned while using each of them to help you make a decision.
Types of Water Softeners For RVs
Customers prefer this type of water softener because it removes minerals using a filter rather than chemicals. This signifies that no chemicals are affecting the minerals in the softened water and that there is no need to add chemicals. Experts do not recommend this type of water softener for places with excessively hard water.
This type of water softener works by exchanging salt or potassium ions with the ions in the water. Ions are responsible for the hardness of water. This procedure eliminates those ions, causing the water to become “soft.”
Ion exchange water softeners are extremely effective in extending the life of dishwashers and washing machines. Because of the high levels of sodium, softened water is not suitable for drinking.
Magnetic water softeners soften water by placing magnets around or within water pipelines. The magnets transform the minerals in the water from hard to softn. A potential disadvantage is that the water softened by magnetic water softeners turns hard again 48 hours after the magnetic field has processed it.
Pressure is used to remove contaminants from water by passing it through a semipermeable membrane. This approach is quite effective, removing roughly 98 percent of water contaminants.
Key Features of RV Water Softeners
A RV water softener performs the same function as a whole-house water softener, except they are portable. This means you can take a water softener on your next trip and still have soft water to protect your RV’s plumbing and appliances, as well as for healthy skin and hair.
Most RV water softeners have simple water supply hookups, so water can start flowing immediately after you stop. Another advantage is simple recharging. Many softeners rely on common table salt, which is simply poured into the top of the machine to recharge it. Most of them may be hooked up and recharged without the use of any tools.
Popular brand water softeners are lightweight, typically weighing less than 35 pounds, making it easy to load and unload the unit into your mobile vehicle. Because the softener is lightweight, you may easily move it into storage and around the water source without worrying about back strain.
Best Portable RV Water Softener Reviews in 2021
On The Go OTG4-DBLSOFT
The first item on our list is the On The Go OTG4-DBLSOFT-Portable 16,000 Grain RV Water Softener, which lets you carry soft water with you wherever you go (thus the name).
But it’s the 16,000-grain capacity, which is twice as much as most systems on the market, that makes this one of the best On the Go softeners for RVs. As a result, it can provide 40% more soft water than other portable units we may come across.
However, the advantages do not end there because this particular unit only has a 30-minute regeneration time. When you consider that this process might take up to 40-45 minutes with regular models, you can see why this particular machine is ahead of the competition. Aside from that, the regeneration process only consumes a few boxes of table salt.
Another feature that sets this portable water softener apart from the competition is that it also functions as a water conditioner. The combined function of lowering and eliminating water minerals assures mobile homeowners that they will utilize softened water wherever they go.
It also helps that this machine is lightweight and tiny, making it quite portable. Given the number of items required for an RV trip, I’m betting you don’t have a lot of storage room as an RV owner.
Because of its compact and easily moved design, this particular concern will be a non-issue if you purchase this water softener. I haven’t even mentioned how powerful this water softener is, since it guarantees up to 1,600 gallons of clean water or 40 days before it needs to be regenerated.
Furthermore, this heavy-duty water softener connects to water sources fast and efficiently without the use of any tools. Because adapters to marine or vehicle park water connectors are already provided, this purchase is unquestionably worthwhile.
However, it is pricier than some of the other models we reviewed. For us, the extra capacity and longer duration between maintenance are worth the extra cost.
Finally, this is the first of several On The Go products on this list, and all of their products deliver high-quality performance. This one appears to be no different, based on the multiple user evaluations and high-end features.
- High output volume
- Also serves as a water conditioner
- Low maintenance
- Easy installation
- Compatible with regular table salt
- Rather expensive
On The Go OTG3NTP3M
Another excellent product from this fantastic company is the On The Go OTG3NTP3M Portable Water Softener, which will do wonders to ensure you always have access to soft water. And in doing so, it offers a few qualities that make considering this unit worthwhile.
As an example, the design of this product is specifically created with one aim in mind: to provide the consumer with the easiest-to-use water softener on the market. This purpose is fully demonstrated when you understand how easily you can operate and transport this product.
The unit includes a large reservoir opening that allows for easy salt addition. This allows consumers easy access for regeneration, which normally takes 15 minutes or less. A single package of common table salt is all that is required to restore its efficiency.
I mean, this device is so light and compact that it even outperforms the other portable models on our list. Despite this, it’s an 8,000-grain unit that’s ideal for ordinary trailers and RVs. It has a capacity of storing clean water for up to 20 days. However, it is dependent on how it is used and the hardness of the water in your area.
This amount of time between regeneration may appear undesirable in comparison to the other models on this list, but it makes up for it in other ways. This model, as you can see, may be regenerated in as little as 15 minutes using a box of common salt.
And, given the typical time this process takes, 40 to 45 minutes, it’s easy to see how this strategy would be quite advantageous. Furthermore, its shut-off valve allows you to manage the water flow in the inlet pipe, giving you a sense of control that some of the other models here do not provide.
The On The Go OTG3NTP3M Portable Water Softener, on the other hand, employs plastic fittings that are prone to breaking. The good news is that it can be replaced before usage. The affectivity in softening water is unaffected. The plumbing in your RV will be preserved, and you will never have to settle for hard water again.
- Wide opening for salt addition
- Lightweight and compact, which increases its portability
- Encourages rapid recharging/regeneration time
- Uses plastic fittings
Mobile Soft Water Portable 16,000 Grain
The Mobile Soft Water Portable 16,000 Grain Unit is another portable water softener with a 16,000 grain capacity. This portable water softener can give you excellent performance at a reasonable price.
But let’s set aside the fact that it’s inexpensive for a moment and focus on some of its other wonderful features, such as its ability to regenerate without the use of electricity. As a result, regardless of the conditions, you will be able to access soft water wherever you bring it.
On a similar note, this mobile soft water portable is also exceptionally easy to transport, which is always a plus for RVers who are constantly on the go; after all, you don’t want to damage your back when transporting a heavy water softener, do you?
Its ability to treat 5 gallons of water every minute is also impressive, since it cleans the water of hazardous chemicals such as iron, magnesium, and lead. A 10-grain hardness is a strong unit that can be converted into a 0 soft condition.In fact, it is towards the top of the market in this category.
Are you concerned regarding the resin used to treat the water? Well, the highly charged grade resin can soften water from any source. The hardness of the water will not be an issue because the resin does an outstanding job. The results of softened water are also not harmful to your wallet. When compared to other portable water softeners that achieve the same results, the unit is less expensive.
Another advantage of the unit is that it contains a tank that can hold up to one-half cubic feet of high-capacity, high-charged water softening resin. It also makes use of high-quality and long-lasting materials, such as lead-free nylon for its inlet connection and fiberglass reinforced plastic for its pressure vessel.
However, it does not include an input water hose connector, which is required for installation.
Overall, there’s a lot to appreciate about this specific model. However, in the case of this unit, it is a high-quality product offered at a fair price that would satisfy any RV owner.
- Regenerates without electricity
- Sturdy nylon fittings
- Input water hose connector not included
Watts Water RV Pro-1000 Grain
The Watts Water RV-Pro 10,000 Grain Water Softener has a somewhat lower capacity than the models mentioned above. However, this does not imply that it is incapable of resolving all of your hard water difficulties. It has its own set of features that distinguishes it as a top-tier water softener in its own right.
For example, despite its lower capacity, it is far lighter than these other models. As a result, the installation process is more simple and less tiring than you might expect with other units.
This device lives up to its name by removing up to 10,000 particles that harden water. These undesirable compounds may be readily avoided long before using your water, assuring you that this is a worthwhile purchase for your RV. Less chlorine in your water is always preferable.
And, because of this product’s great versatility, this simple installation can take place practically everywhere a water softener is required: RVs, campers, boats, houses, and so on. All of these factors are at work with our Watts RV water softener.
Another feature that distinguishes this water softener from the competition is its distinctively shaped valve. Its valve lets you regenerate without having to detach, which will increase its capacity to 55%.
It also features a full cradle base, which makes it far more secure than open base tanks found elsewhere. Furthermore, it is quite convenient because it can produce high-quality performance using regular table salt.
Another reason why this unit is an excellent investment is that it has a high flow rate. It has a maximum flow rate of 4 GPM. This is accompanied with a low-pressure drop. This high output allows you to have a consistent water pressure till the very last drop.
Not sure if the output water is still hard? These softeners also include a set of exact hardness test strips, which I believe is a must for monitoring your softened water.
However, one drawback with this unit is that its hose fittings do not rotate, which might cause problems when using long hoses..
With all of this in mind, it’s easy to see why this specific model made the list. I mean, its capacity is lower than that of some units, but it makes up for it with a slew of features. It also helps that the price is rather affordable.
- Allows regeneration process without detaching
- High flow rate and low pressure drop
- Compatible with ordinary table salt
- Built in hose fittings do not rotate
SoftPro Portable RV Water Softener
The SoftPro RV softener, being one of the top salt-based RV water softener systems, assures no more hard water, dry skin, unclean dishes, or any other nuisance associated with hard water. It employs an 8% premium resin that is designed to be both durable and efficient, and it costs less than $200.
This softener was built in the United States, so you can be confident that it is made of high-quality materials and that no corners were cut throughout the manufacturing process. There are two grain counts to select from: the 8,000 grain capacity is ideal for part-time usage by one person, and the portable 16, 000 grain capacity is ideal for part-time use by two people.
The SoftPro, which is priced comparably to other RV water softeners, brings a lot to the table without being too expensive. It is lightweight and durable, as well as small and compact enough to store when not in use.
Installation and regeneration are simple with this system, and you shouldn’t require a plumber to install it.
This RV water softener has the added benefit of being able to use table salt in the system, so keeping up with salt top-ups won’t cost you an arm and a leg. To add more salt to the softener, just turn off the water supply, detach the outlet pipe, drain the water, remove the top plug, and pour a mixture of salt and warm water directly into the softening. If you don’t want to use salt, potassium chloride can be used in your softener instead.
SoftPro is on hand to ensure you get the most out of this travel-friendly system – and there for you if you don’t. It comes with a lifetime warranty and lifetime support. Aside from salt top-ups, the only maintenance you’ll need to do is clean the sediment filter screens if you buy them, making this system’s upkeep as simple as it gets.
This excellent tool provides softened water everywhere you go. However, there are no recommendations on how much salt it may require for regeneration or other operations. This can be rather stressful, but once you get the hang of it, the unit works like new.
- Regeneration is straightforward and quick
- Portable 16,000 grain capacity prevents low pressure drop in larger vehicles
- Good for extremely hard water
- Regeneration instructions not included
Pro+Aqua Portable Water Softener ProA
The Pro + Aqua Portable Water Softener Pro is a terrific alternative for softening your water on the move, enhancing your water quality without interfering with your water flow. It was designed with portability and durability in mind.
It has a wide base, which makes it more stable when put on an uneven surface, and with a grain capacity of 16,000, you may obtain up to 40 days of softened water or up to 2,000 gallons. Of course, the hardness of the water as well as your usage play a role. However, this alone ensures that it outperforms other water softeners of the same size.
With a water flow rate of 5 GPM (gallons per minute), this system will soften your water without causing a drop in water pressure. It includes an extra female adaptor for backwashing and can be used to treat both well and city water. This technique not only eliminates calcium and magnesium, but it also reduces lead, iron, radium, and other heavy metals.
It only takes 5 minutes to get this unit ready to use. This system can be utilized in more than just your RV; it can also be used in boats and other outdoor recreational applications that require water softening.
With 2 boxes of table salt, the system regenerates in 30 minutes, and the manufacturer sells a regeneration kit at an additional cost for an even simpler regeneration.
This softener was made to last, with NSF high-grade components, so you can be confident that it will continue to provide you with softened water for years to come. It is delivered completely completed and includes polyethylene, a strong fiberglass wrap, quality resin, and high flow in/out garden hose ports for easy installation and use.
The sole disadvantage of this high-capacity water softener is that it can be cumbersome. The materials are indeed long-lasting, however it is preferable to see whether you can install it on your own.
Overall, I enjoy how this unit can be tough on the outside while also softening your water on the inside. As a result, it is a fantastic investment that will last for a long time.
- Easy installation
- Sturdy base
- Quality resin
- Reduces contaminants and hard water issues
- Additional regeneration kit costs extra
ABC Waters 16,000 Grain
The next best portable water softener is a 16,000-grain capacity water softener from the reputed ABC Waters brand that is an ideal choice for use on boats, RVs, and car washes. It is ideal for use on RVs because it is capable of completely resolving the problem of hard water every time you go on a road trip.
It is an excellent water softener for not just recreational vehicles but also tiny apartments, boats, and mobile homes. Another remarkable feature I expected to find in this unit is its rapid and simple regeneration process. In fact, I am glad to report that it can be easily regenerated in a matter of minutes using either rock salt or table salt.
Each regeneration cycle also allows you access to a maximum of 2,000 gallons of water, making it a very efficient unit in my opinion. This water softener’s mobility is also unquestionable. After seeing its compact design, I immediately realized how portable it is. The tank is very simple to store and transport.
It even has a handle designed to make transporting and securing it easier. It is also a convenient unit because it does not require any electricity.
However, this portable unit is not suitable for use in small, medium, or big families. It is only applicable to mobile homes and recreational vehicles.
Overall, there isn’t much that this portable RV water softener doesn’t have, and everyone who buys it will be pleased. And, as long as it satisfies your needs, I don’t see why you wouldn’t buy this unit.
- Portable and compact
- Easy to handle
- Not suitable for household uses
FAQs on Camper RV Water Softeners
What is a portable water softener?
Portable water softeners are small-scale softening systems that are intended to be used on the go. While a traditional whole-house water softener must be placed at your home’s water line, a portable recreational water softener system can be transported much more readily, making it ideal for carrying with you on RV trips.
The water in campsites isn’t recognized for being the best, and if it has a high mineral concentration, you may experience hard water problems in your RV. But, thanks to RV water softeners, there’s no need to wash yourself, your clothes, or your dishes in hard water. Simply connect the system to your water pipe and enjoy softened water in minutes.
How does a water softener work?
When water passes through a water softener, a process known as “ion exchange” occurs. The negative charge of the hard minerals (mainly calcium and magnesium) in the water entering the water softener. The water then passes through a layer of positively charged resin beads.
When hard water cycles through the layer of beads, the positively charged beads attract and remove the negatively charged minerals from the water. This de-mineralized water then leaves the softener and enters your RV.
Conclusion: Which is The Best Compact Water Softener?
With all of this information, you should be well on your way to purchasing the best RV portable water softener for your needs. Once you’ve found the ideal product, you’ll never have to worry about hard water causing you any problems again. Instead, you can relax and enjoy your consistent supply of soft water that does not create corrosion or scaling.
It is not difficult to find the best portable water softener , but it does necessitate a few considerations. Consider size and weight to avoid overloading your RV, and you’ll be on your way to a stress-free vacation.