What is the best RV water softener? Choosing the right one matters to reap benefits including removal of soluble iron and calcium and heavy metals in your RV water system.
We know the answer to the question above isn’t coming easy. Reason? We have to consider several factors when comparing choices. Also, we should recognize that buying this water-softening unit for your RV is something you should carefully think about, and help is coming!
Our team has decided to put up this buying guide, top picks and FAQs to help our fellow RVers and beginners in the RV camping world. If you’re in the middle of deciding which to choose, use our list below for top reviewed products to use for comparison and decision-making later.
Table of Contents
Best RV Water Softeners
1. On the Go OTG4-DBLSOFT RV Water Softener
- Solid and compact design
- Can soften up to 16,000 gallons of water
- Large mouth opening for salt addition
- Handle is a bit small
Take the On the Go OTG4-DBLSOFT anywhere. It is a portable water softener that helps you achieve soft water all the time. This easy to carry device is also our recommended product because it can produce two times the amount versus the rest in the competition can.
We can say that it is one of the most compact and largest water softeners on the market. Using such device, we can receive plenty of benefits, including cleaner kitchenware in our RVs. We can also keep our plumbing system cleaner.
With the On the Go OTG4-DBLSOFT, we can also achieve smoother and softer hair. It can also help us reduce soap curd, making cleaning easier in our RV and saving us time. Soap and shampoo can also produce rich lather with soft water.
The 16,000-grain unit can fit your water softening needs because this one has a large capacity. It can also supply your RV with 40% more soft water. We find this valuable because it can help us finish most of our RV cleaning tasks.
Even in the smallest spaces, we can use the On the Go water softener because it is compact and solid. So aside from making us up to 16,000 gallons of soft water, it can also fit even tight spaces.
There are also unique features of this water softener. A few of these include a large mouth opening, allowing easy salt addition. The device also has an easy to carry handle and a 360-degree swivel, allowing for easy inlet hose connection.
We also think that the cap and plug option that comes with this water softener is valuable to prevent leaks. It also functions well for simple and quick regeneration, adding to the ease of use featured by this water softener.
The 16,000 Grain RV Water Softener also makes use of a garden hose connection between your marine or RV and the park. It does not need any electricity or tools, too. You can also easily store it in your dockside locker or storage bay for its small size of 22-inch height x 9.50-inch diameter.
2. Watts RV PRO 1000 M7002 RV Water Softener
- No need to connect/disconnect when regenerating for its efficient flow valves
- Four GPM, with low pressure drop
- Has a full cradle base to secure the tank
- Built-in drain line flow restrictor
- A bit pricier than the rest
The Watts RV water softener is one of the best water softeners we found for its outstanding and useful features that can make our RVing lives easier and more convenient. As you may know, having a water softener in one our RV is a great way to condition water and make it more useful for tasks, including cleaning kitchenware and taking a shower.
It improves city water quality and conditions it to make it better for use. For one, the Pro 1000 M7002 can help us have healthy skin, nails and hair because it can soften hard water for the bathroom.
Another benefit of the Pro 1000 M7002 is its compact and solid size, letting us use and keep it even in the tightest spaces in our marine or recreational vehicle.
By using a water softener, you can also prevent damage to your plumbing fixtures and water system. For one, this type of device can stop hard water trace minerals and minerals, like calcium and magnesium from building up in our plumbing system.
That said we could also save money due to frequent repairs or parts replacement of our plumbing system. A hard water softener like the M7002 can soften the water and make it ideal for use.
The product also comes with a drain-line flow restrictor, providing us with better regeneration of salt that eventually increases capacity by 55%.
To soften water, you don’t have to spend much by choosing this model because it only uses common table salt. It also offers high flow rate, delivering up to four gallons per minute but with just a low-pressure drop.
This product also has a cool design. We find the full cradle base better than open base tanks because the prior keeps the softener tank secure.
3. ABCwaters Portable Water Softener
- Compact and solid design fits most spaces
- Portable and easy to use
- Softens water to save your appliances from damage
- Large capacity up to 2000 gallons per regeneration
- Protect plumbing system from mineral buildup
- The manual is a bit hard to understand
Are you looking for a reliable water softener? This model might be the perfect choice for you. One of its benefits is its proven capacity to get rid of hard water while we’re RV camping. It is also useful even for washing our cars, doing the laundry, taking a shower and washing the dishes, among other uses.
When looking for a water softener, you should also find one that lets you regenerate in minutes. It requires only table salt to do it, and even beginners can easily use this unit. In fact, it also comes with an instruction manual.
In choosing the best portable water softener for RV, you should also look for one with high capacity. This model can let you enjoy up to 2000 gallons of softened water per regeneration. That is something useful especially if you’re always using your RV, or you’re a fulltime RVer for that matter.
We recommend this unit because it is one of the most efficient around as well when you compare it with others available on the market now.
The product is also by a known brand in the category, ABC Waters. By choosing this unit, you can have peace of mind that the manufacturer is a reliable brand for high quality and durable softener.
We also think it is a good purchase because it has a 16,000-grain capacity, ideal for many uses, including on boats and recreational vehicles.
We also recommend this product because it is easy to store and handle, measuring only 10 x 18 inches. The tank has a handle for easy securing and carrying.
4. Mobile Soft Water Softener
- Easy to set up and use
- Prevents plumbing system damage
- Comes with a user manual
- Can treat up to five gallons of water per minute
- Helps you save energy cost
- Can have wear and tear issues
If you’re looking for a water softener for your marine or RV, you may consider this quality and durable unit from Mobile Soft Water, a reputable brand known for its commitment to excellence.
By choosing this model, you will have a portable and high capacity 16,000-grain unit. The lead-free unit comes complete with all you need to install and use it for water softening. We find it valuable to have such feature because it can make our lives easier and more convenient to having a water softener.
Having a water softener like it, you can also extend the life of your water appliances, including coffee machines and washing machines. It can also protect your plumbing system and its parts from mineral and substance buildup.
As you may know, such build up of materials will also affect the performance of your RV water system, consuming more energy. Using this Mobile Soft Water unit, you can save on energy cost because it can help reduce the strain of your appliances due to buildup of minerals and other particles.
This is also a good choice because it can treat up to five gallons of hard water per minute. It’s something you will love if you want to condition this large amount of water quickly.
The product contains low lead and has certified safe water connections. It is also ideal for recreational vehicles and boats. It can also get rid of soluble iron and total hardness effectively.
5. On the Go OTG4-StdSoft-Portable RV Water Softener
- Convenient and lightweight
- Perfect for marine and RV
- Can provide soft water for up to 20 days
- Softens hard water effectively
- A bit small handle
The portable 8,000 Grain water softener is one of our highly recommended products for those looking to install and use a good water softener for their recreational vehicles.
The On the Go Standard Softener is also perfect for use in boats and recreational vehicles that usually get hard water supply from sources in the camping grounds.
This product also has a handle for easy carrying around. You don’t also have to worry about salt addition because it has a large mouth opening. It is also a lightweight model, which is compact and solid in size. You can easily store it even in tight spaces.
It can prevent rust stains and hard water supply to your RV’s plumbing connections and lines. That said you could be sure that you can protect them from damage. And with that, you can also save money in the end because you don’t spend on frequent repairs of your lines and systems due to mineral and substance buildup.
This unit also offers an easy RV water softener regeneration. You don’t have to worry on this aspect because the model is designed and made to deliver users with desired results without giving them a hard time to start.
The product does not also require electricity or tools. It also has a solid design for easy portability, measuring only 22 inches in height by 6.75 inches in diameter.
We also recommend it because you can easily store it in your dockside locker or storage bay for its compact size.
6. On The Go OTG3NTP3M Water Softener
- Can help remove bad taste and odor in water
- Compact and solid
- Prevents hard water effects
- Increases the lifespan of appliances
- Durable and lightweight
- Can be hard to set up the first time
If you’re looking for an efficient unit to soften water going into your RV or marine, then you might want to check out this On the Go model. It can help supply your RV with soft water, which can prevent rust stains and hard water. It can also improve the taste and odor of the water just like an RV water filter can do.
The water softener is also effective in extending your RV appliances, such as coffee makers, lifespan. It can also help in improving your skin, nail and hair health. With the unit, you can improve dry skin because it can also improve the lathering of bath soaps.
You can also install and use it even in the smallest spaces. That is why you also don’t have to worry about storing this unit in your RV or marine. And when it comes to water flow, you can also rely on it because of high flow rate.
It is also lightweight and compact that makes it the top choice for those who want to experience the convenience of carrying it around. And when not in use in the RV, it can also be used in treating hard water for washing cars and washing clothes. It can also be used to supply us with soft water to last between 7 and 14 days.
It also makes regeneration easy because you can just use a box of common table salt to do it less than 15 minutes.
7. Mobile-Soft-Water Portable Softener
- Easy to use and install
- Compact and easy to store
- Regenerates without electricity
- Treats hard water efficiently
- Can treat up to five gallons per minute
- Plastic components might break over time
The high capacity water softener is from one of the top brands when it comes to water softeners. It is a decent choice for those looking to improve the taste and odor of RV water. The unit may also be for those who want to protect their recreational vehicle’s plumbing system from mineral build up that will otherwise corrode and damage its components.
The unit is also ideal for tight spaces because it is compact and lightweight. You can save space with it because it has a small size, which also lets you store it without any hassle. It is definitely a space saver as well as an effective unit in conditioning hard water that can also improve the health of your nails, skin and hair.
This product is also useful when it comes to preventing mineral buildup in your water appliances, such as washing machines and coffee makers. Some of the minerals that affect the performance of such appliances are calcium and soluble iron.
That is not all because this unit is also able to remove radium lead and other heavy metals in wells. So whether your RV is hooked up in a camping ground using hard city water or not, you can always be certain that soft water is what you will receive.
This product does not require electricity and is easy to use, portable and mobile.
When it comes to the construction material, this product is made from high quality and standard ones, including a lead-free nylon (inlet connection) and NSF 61 male hose connection, to name some.
8. ABCwaters Water Softener 5600sxt Water Softener System
- Removes bad odor and taste in water
- Automatically works once programmed
- Softens hard water effectively
- Complete water softening kit
- Only five-year warranty
If you’re looking for a high quality water softener, you might want to check out the 5600sxt that can make your RVing life more fun and enjoyable. Just set it up and let it do its job.
One of its best features is that it is programmable. All you need is to set it up and let it run automatically. It also has a compact and solid design, which makes it the top choice for those looking for a portable but then durable and easy to transport model.
It is a complete kit coming with two pieces of tanks, a black and a grey one. One is a brine tank and one is a mineral tank, making it a cool choice for those who want to get the most out of their spending. This unit also comes with 10 years of warranty for the mineral tank and one year for its brine tank.
This model also comes with an easy to follow installation kit, including items needed to set it up. A few of these include a brine line, a sanitizer packet, a hardness test strip, a silicone lube and an installation guide from the technicians of the brand themselves.
The unit is a smart choice because it comes with the Fleck 5600sxt digital time clock valve. What it does is controlling the unit automatically once it is programmed based on user preference.
This product is ideal for mobile homes, recreational vehicles, condominiums and apartments. It is also a reliable choice because it is backed by a five-year warranty.
9. On The Go OTG3NTP1DS Double Water Softener
- Can prevent rust stains and hard water
- High quality and compact
- High 8000-16000 grain capacity
- Super lightweight and portable
- Reputable brand
- A bit more expensive
We recommend this as one of the best On the Go water softeners for RV on the market because it is highly functional and durable.
Our team loves that it can also fit even tight spaces, making it also ideal for apartments and condominiums.
It can also be used for recreational vehicles and mobile homes. The unit is also very easy to set up and use. The double water softener unit is also a decent choice because it has between 8000 and 16000 grain capacity.
The model is also perfect for its high flow rate, making it easy and quick to soften hard water. While it has a high flow rate, it has an inlet flow control and little pressure drop.
The product also has a large mouth opening, which makes it easy to regenerate without disassembling the system. For storage, it also comes with a cap and plug.
There are many benefits of using a unit like this one in your RV. For one, it can prevent hard water and rust stain buildup in your plumbing system and appliances. Using soft water, you can also reduce the time you spend in washing clothes because it can increase soap lather.
In terms of taking a shower, using soft water can help improve your skin because water won’t contain those drying elements. Soft water can also help in increasing shampoo lather.
Other benefits include reducing water spots and preventing scale buildup. This unit can also increase appliance life and improve water odor and taste.
You don’t also have to worry about installation because it is easy to set up even by first time users of this type of device.
10. Poly Salt Free Triple Action Water Softener
- Compact and fits even tight spaces
- Can effectively soften water
- Can prevent rust stains and mineral buildup in your RV freshwater system
- Eco-friendly technology
- High capacity and long lasting
- A bit more expensive
The Poly Salt is one of our highly recommended products in the category because it is eco-friendly and designed with high technology. The unit is also built even for tight spaces, including apartments, condominiums, boats and recreational vehicles.
Choosing it, you also don’t have to worry about storage because you can easily keep it in the dockside locker. Setting it up is also a breeze because of its easy to follow manual that even first time users will understand without any hassles.
What are the benefits of using this unit for your recreational vehicle? By softening water coming into your tiny home or mobile home, you can be certain that your plumbing system will be protected from mineral buildup, including soluble calcium and iron. That said you could also protect the components of your water system from stains and corrosion.
The eco-friendly softener is also a complete kit that has all you need to set it up in minutes. Its materials are also BPA free and have NSF certifications, meaning they’re safe and healthy.
Another thing we love about this product is its included wall bracket, which makes installation even easier and faster. This product is also lightweight at only four pound and is small at 4.5 x 4.5 x 10 inches.
Being on the go does not mean you have to keep up and deal with hard water supply from sources in the campground or well. By using a unit like the Poly Salt Free Triple Action Water Softener, you can soften water and make it more useful for domestic or RV use.
And whether you’re living in a condominium, RV or tiny home, you can take advantage of the cool benefits that a water softener like this one can offer you and your loved ones.
Why You Should Trust Us
There are so many choices on the web for a water softener unit, and we understand how it is confusing to choose one. It is also equally overwhelming to trust just about any reviews when trying to decide among the best RV water-softening device to use for your mobile home, tiny home, apartment, condominium and recreational vehicle.
You should trust us because we are real and fulltime RVers that know the ins and outs of RVing lifestyle. We also have firsthand experience in using water softeners, so we know what makes a good one.
A few factors like capacity, weight, regeneration time, construction and price are good starting points when reviewing products in the category. Our team has made sure that each factor is taken into consideration in picking up the right unit for your RV. We have also carefully picked those products with high ratings and trust reviews from other authorities.
Our RVers also picked the products based on the usefulness and durability of the product. We figured these out by checking on the functions and lifespan of each product, apart from their capacities.
You should also trust us because we have been living the RV life. We are composed of RV camping enthusiasts who have combined years of experience in using RV gears, accessories and systems, to name a few.
Definitely, our team is always here to guide and support our fellow RVers when looking for the RV information and products. We’re hoping you could learn something from this guide.
What Is An RV Water Softener and How Does It Work
RV water softeners are essential to install and use in a recreational vehicle. It does wonders by ensuring the prevention of soap scum, rust buildup, and dry skin and water spots. With one, you can be sure to protect your plumbing system from the buildup of rust and accumulation of minerals, including calcium and iron that might degrade its function. Added bonus can include those coming with a filter because it can reduce the bad odor and taste in the water.
How does it work? Different systems work in different ways, too, in order to get rid of the harmful effects of hard water. These systems include salt-free systems, salt-based systems, reverse-osmosis systems and magnetic systems.
It is one of the methods of softening water, one also used in desalinating saltwater. Here, the hard water will be forced through a fine line membrane. When it does, the impurities will be left on one side and the water on the other side. RO systems are also used in above sink water filters and under sink systems.
Here, hard water will have to pass through a magnetic field, resulting in the reduction on the effects of hard water. Such systems are smaller in size versus other types of water softening systems.
Salt-based water softeners
They’re the most common are said to be most effective of all water softening systems available. It makes use of an ion exchange process. How does it work? Here, hard water will pass through a mineral tank filled with resin beads charged with sodium ions.
Generally, they come with a brine tank that washes and cleans hard water minerals trapped inside the resin tank, a process called regeneration. This process will start again once a cycle is completed.
In this system, the minerals in hard water are not removed but are only changed in another form. In some cases, they are crystallized. So without even saying, the minerals are just transformed or converted into hard crystals, so they won’t bind to a surface.
Why Do You Need an RV Water Softener (Benefits)
There are many benefits to using a water softener in your recreational vehicle. You should not go camping with your RV without it. For one, hard water is often the common problem in many campgrounds all over the US.
If you don’t use a water softener, your plumbing system will be damaged because of the mineral buildup. For more explanation, check out the following for the benefits of using water-softening units.
Easier appliance and cookware maintenance and cleaning
Coffeemakers and washing machines as well as silverware and other kitchenware can have stains and spots due to calcium, heavy metals and other minerals present in hard water. If water is unconditioned, it will be harder to clean them up.
The same goes regarding maintenance. Without an RV waters softener, your entire plumbing system will be harder to maintain because the elements in hard water will spread in your entire RV water system.
And when unattended, your system will not only be harder to maintain but it might also suffer from irreversible damage requiring replacement.
Longer appliance lifespan
Hard water can degrade the function of your appliances as well as shorten their lifespan. If you’re looking to extend their lifespan to serve you longer, you should definitely buy a water softener that can help you achieve this goal.
A water softener will remove hard water minerals and heavy metals, which would otherwise ruin the function and later on damage your water appliances, such as coffeemakers. To prevent it from happening, you should consider softening water using one of the water softeners we have featured here.
Water heater efficiency
The buildup of minerals, including calcium and magnesium in the water heater can degrade its function. With too much buildup, you will later notice that it works slower than it normally does.
By using a water softener like On the Go with the On the Go water softener regeneration, you can improve the function of your water heater.
Efficient plumbing system
Using a water-conditioning unit, you can have a more efficient plumbing system that stays clean and free from trace minerals and heavy metals. With an improved plumbing system also follows money savings because you don’t have to spend on frequent repairs, too.
Your appliances will work more efficiently with a water-softening unit. It is because they don’t suffer from the building up of elements, including iron, calcium and magnesium. As our appliances will work more optimally, we don’t also have to worry about increasing energy bills.
How We Picked
Our team used several factors to review each product we have featured here. As there are many water softeners on the market, we find it uneasy to select the top choice without checking on some characteristics.
Easy and quick regeneration
When picking the best water softeners for RV, we also believe that the unit should offer quick and easy access for regeneration. For one, the unit should have large mouth opening and requires no disassembling when regenerating.
Just as we noted earlier in this guide, there are four basic systems in softening hard water. But for the most part, we recommend either a salt-based or a salt-free based system for the purpose of softening water to go into our RV.
Capacity and Weight
When choosing a water-softening unit, we must look for one that is lightweight, ensuring that it is highly portable for carrying around. For one, we can use it not only in our RV but also in the house and in the car. It can help us in softening water for use in washing the car, filling soft water to our tubs and taking a shower.
That is why we have to look for a portable choice that also has a large capacity. In our featured products above, we have chosen those with high capacities, as we believe these are also the practical choices other than smaller capacity models.
For the most part, we suggest choosing a standard unit with 8000-grain capacity and weighs at most 18lbs. But if you have larger water softening requirements, we recommend picking one weighing about 30 lbs with 16,000-grain capacity.
When it comes to the accessories coming with the water softener, we also consider the carrying handle. It is what can make the unit more portable to carry anywhere. That is why we have chosen those that offer us with good handling ability.
There should also be inlet flow control. We find it useful for quick and easy regeneration. And when it comes to eliminating water spillage, we find those having transportation and storage adapters useful.
We also picked based on the base of the unit. It should be stable and wide to keep the product secure in place. Some of the models may also come with a wall bracket for more support. Nevertheless, pick one that has a sturdy base when selecting an RV water-softening unit.
We recommend using only water softeners that make use of high quality exchange resins to ensure of the best results. That is why we carefully picked those models with premium exchange resins. We do hope that you can choose one from those we have listed in the above reviews.
There you have a few factors to consider when choosing the right water softener for your RV. Again, check on the exchange resin, system, capacity, weight, handling and base, to name some. Finally, compare and weigh your options well to pick the right recreational vehicle water softener.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is the regeneration time?
A: The regeneration time usually takes between 85 and 90 minutes for its automatic regeneration cycle. Nevertheless, we recommend that you check the user manual coming with the model you have purchased just be sure on how much time is needed for the regeneration cycle to complete. For example, if you’re using an On the Go water softener, read and understand the On the Go water softener instructions for specific regeneration time reminders.
Q: How to regenerate RV water softener?
A: It varies from one model to the next. In most cases, it will depend on the type of unit you have. Thus, you should follow the user manual for the best results. On the other hand, there are brand models that require you only to turn it on in order to start the regeneration. These are the units with the built-in knobs.
Q: Does RV water softener go through a lot of salt?
A: Water softeners require salt to function, so yes, it does require going through much salt. But remember to use only the correct amount of it so that your water-softening device will function correctly. In all cases, make sure that salt is at a consistent level, so figure out the right pattern based on the model you have chosen.
Q: Is it possible to use potassium instead of salt?
A: Yes, you can. It is a good alternative to salt even if more expensive. Remember though that it can melt easily when wet. That said it has the tendency of causing a bridge development within the tank. For that reason, the experts suggest filling just more than the halfway mark when using potassium chloride.
Q: How to maintenance your RV water softener?
A: Each RV water softener may require different maintenance instructions. It varies from model to model or maker to maker. At the very least, you should refer to the manual for the best results.
In general, most tanks will require regular maintenance, such as cleaning the tank and refilling the salt pellets as you may read in a Watts RV Pro-1000 review. On the other hand, there are units that do not require much maintenance or tune-ups.
Hope you learned something on this list of the best RV water softener and buying guide. Decide and buy based on your needs, budget and preferences. Find one with the ideal capacity, weight and features that can offer you the benefits we’ve discussed earlier, including easier to clean appliances, longer lifespan of appliances and energy savings, to name a few. Buy your RV water softener today! If you are looking for other RV freshwater system products, you should read these articles: best RV shower heads, best RV water filters, best RV water pressure regulators, best RV water hoses, best RV water pumps and best RV tankless water heaters. We do hope you like them. Thanks!
Except when sleeping, Arthur cannot keep camping out his mind. He loves RVing that he spends most of his time in his recreational vehicle and on the road. Arthur knows that this might change once he got married to the love of his life, Amanda. But the two have no problem, as Amanda also loves camping. In fact, the both of them are excited to have kids that would also love RVing.