An RV water softener can protect your pipes and your skin. Hard water filled with minerals like lime can wreak havoc on your RV pipes. And it can dry out your skin. A portable water softener is a great solution when hooking up to campground water sources.
Keep reading to learn why a water softener for your camper is beneficial. And learn which are the best models on the market.
What Does an RV Water Softener Do?
An RV water softener makes hard water soft through regeneration. In other words, it flushes out calcium, magnesium, lime, and iron from your water supply and replaces them with sodium ions. This helps eliminate buildup in your RV’s pipes and water heater.
Ultimately, these devices can protect your RV’s water systems and increase its longevity.
Do You Need a Water Softener for Your RV?
Determining whether you need an RV water softener can depend on your water source. If you’re stationary and your water isn’t hard, you may not need one. But if you’re traveling with your RV, you won’t know ahead of time what kind of water you’ll have access to.
The hardness of available water varies greatly from place to place. There are a few places notorious for having hard water, though, including the desert southwest.
If you find yourself spending a lot of time in areas with hard water, we’d recommend getting one of these devices to ensure you’re protecting your RV and your skin. Too much build-up of minerals, also known as calcification, can damage pipes, faucets, and appliances like your RV water heater.
Pro Tip: If you’re new to RVing, or just want to brush up on the ins and outs of your RV, this is How an RV Water System Works.
6 Best RV Water Softeners for Your Camper
We recommend the following five RV water softeners. Each is portable and lightweight for easy transportation.
1. Watts RV PRO-1000 10,000 Grains Portable Water Softener
The Watts RV PRO-1000 is a 10,000 grains portable water softener with a high flow rate of up to four GPM (gallons per minute) and low-pressure drop.
It has a built-in drain line flow restrictor that provides effective regeneration, which increases capacity by up to 55%. There’s a complete cradle base that keeps the tank secure. It uses regular table salt.
- Built-in drain line flow restrictor provides a more effective...
- Custom designed flow valves allow regeneration without having to...
- Full cradle base keeps tank more secure than cometing open base...
2. On The Go Portable 16,000 Grain RV Water Softener
On The Go’s portable 16,000 grain RV water softener and conditioner provide soft water up to 1,600 gallons or for 40 days. It regenerates with two boxes of common table salt in less than 30 minutes.
The water softener allows high flow rates with very low-pressure drops. It has a carrying handle and largemouth opening to add salt. The case is high-grade premium resin. It uses a standard garden hose connection between the water spigot and your RV.
- The Double Standard Softener & Conditioner produces twice the...
- Built for the owner of any RV/Marine model, this 16,000 grain...
- Its compact, space-saver design allows it to be installed in the...
3. Pro+Aqua Portable RV Water Softener Premium Grade
The Pro+Aqua 16,000-grain portable RV water softener has high flow ports for minimal pressure drop and a five GPM flow. It can provide up to 40 days or 2,000 gallons of softened water.
The base is 10-⅜ inches to increase stability on uneven surfaces. A standard ¾-inch garden hose comes with a water softener for connecting the water spigot and your RV. It comes fully assembled and ready to use with no tools required.
- PREMIUM PRO FEATURES: Wide 10-3/8" base for maximum stability on...
- PREMIUM VALUE: This Portable Softener & Conditioner produces...
- TOP CAPACITY: Designed for portability and durability, this...
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4. H2oEliteLabs EWC-Max I Electronic Water Conditioner
H2oEliteLabs EWC-Max is an electric water conditioner. It’s a compact and chemical- and salt-free water softener alternative.
The eco-friendly and maintenance-free technology eliminates hard water buildup. It’s for indoor only use in spaces up to 5,000 square feet. The water conditioner can handle up to 35 grains per gallon.
- PROTECTS ENTIRE PLUMBING SYSTEM: This compact device helps...
- SIMPLE DESCALING PROCESS: Our whole house water descaler system...
- CHEMICAL FREE, SALT FREE: Our eco-friendly and maintenance-free...
5. Pro+Aqua Premium Water Softener Regeneration Kit and Filter
Pro+Aqua’s Premium Water Softener Regeneration Kit and Filter reduces bad odor, strange taste, sediment, and chlorine. It uses a PA-DC replaceable two-stage filter with a clear view of the filter’s condition, so you know when to change it.
You’ll need one to two pounds of table salt, but no electricity or special tools. It simply takes a ¾-inch garden hose to connect the water spigot to your RV.
- Easy to use: No electricity or special tools required. 3/4”...
- Double Filtration: The WS-P-REG-KIT is a Dual Stage water filter...
- Universal Regen Kit: The WS-P-REG-KIT is the first of its kind...
6. Essential RV Water Softener Portable 16,000 Grain with Custom Hose
The Essential RV Water Softener comes with a no-kink water hose and three-quarter-inch high flow lead-free brass ports. It can be set up in as little as five minutes. Once connected, this softener will last for 60-days or 2,000-gallons before needing to be recharged.
This unit uses NSF 16,000 grain resin to remove calcium, magnesium, iron, lead, radium, and more. The Essential RV Water Softener can also be connected with other filtration systems from the RV Water Filter Store.
- PORTABLE WATER SOFTENER FOR RV'ers ON THE MOVE - This RV water...
- NSF MATERIALS ARE SAFE FOR YOUR FAMILY & PETS- Features a rugged...
- EASY 5 MINUTE SETUP - Ready to use right out of the box with the...
How Long Do Portable Water Softeners Last?
A portable water softener can last between seven and 10 years. Some even last 15 years. But, of course, it depends on the quality of the water you’re running through it and the frequency of its regeneration. For example, with On The Go’s products, you can replace the resin after seven years with new resin that will last another seven to nine years.
Pro Tip: Before you pour yourself a cool glass of water, read up on Is It Dangerous to Drink from Your RV Fresh Water Tank?
How Do I Recharge My RV Water Softener?
You typically back-flush a standard RV water softener every three months for two to five minutes. Specific instructions should come with whichever water softener you purchase, or you can find them online. For example, On The Go has a step-by-step guide for their product.
How Do I Decalicfy My RV Without a Water Softener?
What if you already have calcification build-up? What if you decide to risk it and RV without a softener?
You can descale appliances like your RV water heater by using high-pressure water sprayed into the tank. Some appliances even have a special de-scaling process, like the Truma AquaGo Water Heater. This makes use of special chemicals that remove the scale.
A similar procedure can be used to descale other appliances with specialty chemicals, like CLR. Typically you don’t run this through your pipes, but can be used in coffee makers, RV dishwashers, RV washing machines, and ice makers. Always follow instructions for proper use.
- Industrial Strength: CLR Calcium, Lime and Rust Remover is a...
- Fast Acting: Quickly removes calcium, lime and hard water...
- Multi-Purpose: Versatile cleaner for home or office surfaces. Use...
Is an RV Water Softener Worth It?
If you’re frequently traveling or know that you’re using hard water, an RV water softener is worth it. People who suffer from dry skin can particularly notice the difference when using a water softener. And keeping the overall health of your RV pipes and appliances good is a massive bonus.
Finally, dealing with calcification down the road is a massive headache, one that is easily prevented with an RV water softener.
Have you ever had trouble with hard water? What’s your go-to water softener? Drop a comment below!
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