Best RV Water Softener

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Buyers Guide For RV Water Softeners

You shouldn’t have to rely on public water stations just because you’re living in a recreational vehicle. Too many minerals in the water can cause scale buildup, a metallic taste, and dry skin and hair.

Water softeners have improved to the point where they can now be taken on the go without sacrificing efficiency, allowing you to have access to a steady supply of soft water everywhere you go. We experimented with a variety of tiny water-softening devices, each with its own set of advantages.

The price differences among them are bound to have you questioning which option is the most cost-effective. Because of our personal interest in this matter, we’ve done extensive research on the various RV water softeners available.

In order to aid your decision, the following sections detail our experiences with each water softener.

What To Consider When Choosing

RV water softeners are a useful tool for improving the quality of water in your recreational vehicle. Hard water can leave behind mineral deposits and cause issues with plumbing and appliances. A water softener works by removing these minerals through a process called ion exchange, leaving you with softer, clearer water.

When shopping for an RV water softener, there are a few key things to consider:

Size and Weight

When shopping for a water softening system for a recreational vehicle, it’s important to take the RV’s size and weight into account. Because of this, a small, lightweight design is recommended.

The convenience of being able to take a unit with you everywhere you go makes portable units invaluable. This unit, which resembles a miniature tank, is big enough to serve a group of five people in a recreational vehicle. The most widely used water softeners weigh only about 35 pounds, making them simple to transport in and out of a camper or other vehicle.

Because of its light weight, the water softener may be conveniently moved from the water supply to its storage location, sparing the user any unnecessary back strain.


Taking into account the water softener’s construction materials is also important. NSF-certified materials are the gold standard in the industry. This guarantees that only materials fit for human consumption meet FDA standards. With high-quality components, your water softener will last for years and years while maintaining its optimal effectiveness.

Water Hardness

The hardness of water varies widely. Determine the hardness of the water you intend to treat by using a hardness testing kit. In the United States, the average reading is 30 GPM. More powerful water softeners are required for extremely hard water.

Grain Capacity

The more water an RV water softener can cure at once, the higher its grain capacity is. Therefore, a greater capacity for grain also results in a greater outflow of water. You will need a larger water softener to keep up with the demands of a huge recreational vehicle with many bathrooms and sinks. Lighter and smaller water softeners with less grain capacity are preferable if your RV is quite small.

Regeneration Process

This isn’t as big of a problem if you live in a warm climate all year round and don’t mind waiting outside while saltwater runs through your water softener for 30 minutes.

On the other hand, if you reside in a region where it frequently drops below freezing, you may want to select an RV water softener that requires minimal or no regeneration at all.

Flow Rate

This is a common metric included in product descriptions, and it describes how fast water moves through the device. Typically, this is expressed as a rate in gallons per minute. This is something that varies depending on the model. More water can be pumped through the system at once if the flow rate is increased. It’s important to consider how much water you consume in your RV and what kind of maximum flow rate you need.

Ease of Use

It’s a serious lifestyle commitment to live in a recreational vehicle. You can’t be expected to give up valuable time learning how to use your water softener when there are so many other things that need your attention. The goal is to have potable water available whenever needed. This highlights the significance of selecting a user-friendly water softener.

Most portable systems are plug-and-play, meaning you won’t need any special equipment or electricity to get started. Be sure your water softener is ready to use right away after opening it. You may go about your day carefree, knowing that your water softener is ensuring that you and your family have access to pure water.

Maintenance Requirements

Will you be able to take the time and effort to refill a water softener? Prior to making a purchase, you should consider the amount of maintenance that will be required for the unit. Some models contain cartridges that need to be replaced, while others can be installed and immediately put to use. You may learn a lot about how well the water softener you’re considering is maintained by reading reviews written by actual customers.

Types of RV Water Softeners

There are a variety of water-softening systems available for RVs, each with its own method for neutralizing hard water.

Reverse Osmosis

It is a technique used in the desalination of saltwater and as a means of softening water. In this case, the hard water will be pushed through a thin membrane. When that happens, the contaminants will settle to one side, and the water to the other. Under-sink systems and water filters placed on top of the sink also utilize reverse osmosis (RO) technology.

Magnetic Systems

In this setup, hard water will be degraded by a magnetic field before reaching the tap. This kind of water softening system is more compact than others.

Salt-Based Systems

They are the most popular type of water softener and are widely regarded as the most efficient. An ion exchange mechanism is used. How does it function, exactly?

Here, hard water will go through a mineral tank where sodium-ion-charged resin beads will soften the water. They typically feature a brine tank, whose function is to regenerate the resin tank by washing out the hard water minerals that have accumulated in it. At the end of each cycle, this procedure will begin again.

Salt-Free Systems

The hard water’s minerals are not removed but rather transmuted into a different form in this system. They can form crystals in certain conditions. To prevent them from adhering to a surface, the minerals are simply altered or turned into tough crystals.

How We Chose Our Top Picks

Traveling together as a married couple is where we spend the most of our time learning. To identify the finest RV water softener, we looked into the most widely available models available online and made a summary of the pros and cons of each model. Then, after reading over all of the ratings, remarks, and input from our RV community peers, we settled on our favorites.


Should I buy a water softener for my RV?

An RV water softener is a good investment if you do a lot of traveling or if you know you’ll be using hard water. Those with dry skin will notice a significant improvement after switching to softened water. It’s also a huge plus for the long-term health of your RV’s plumbing and appliances. Last but not least, an RV water softener is an easy investment that may save you a ton of stress and frustration in the long run by preventing calcification.

How does an RV water softener function?

A water softener for RVs may regenerate the water to make it soft. In other words, the sodium ions are used to displace the calcium, iron, lime, and magnesium that were previously present in the water. This aids in keeping your RV’s water heater and pipes clean. In the end, these tools will help keep your RV’s water system in good working order for longer.

How long do RV water softeners typically last?

The average lifespan of a portable water softener for an RV is between seven and ten years. A few of them can keep going for up to 15 years. However, this is conditional on the water quality and frequency with which it is regenerated.

What is regeneration time in RV water softeners?

An average time for regeneration is 1.5 hours. This is the minimum amount of time required by most ion-exchange water softener systems for an automated regeneration cycle to complete. The filter medium is flushed with the hard water softener during the regeneration process.

When the chemical process is inverted, it purifies the water by removing the minerals that would otherwise be dissolved in it. Don’t forget that a system valve controls the timing of the regeneration cycle. The valve is a crucial component of the system that issues directives to start the regeneration cycle at the optimum time.

What is the procedure for regenerating an RV water softener?

It’s different for each make and model. Typically, it will be dependent on the sort of equipment you have. That’s why it’s important to read and follow the instructions in the manual.

However, there are some name-brand versions where you need only power it on to begin the regeneration process. This refers to the devices that already have control knobs installed.

How do you care for your RV water softener?

It’s possible that the maintenance procedures for RV water softeners will vary by model. Each model and manufacturer has their own unique approach. If you want satisfactory outcomes at all, you should read the handbook.

Clean the tank and add more salt pellets to it often; these are typical maintenance tasks for most tanks. However, there are devices available that don’t call for frequent servicing or adjustments.

Final Thoughts

It’s great that RV owners can avoid dealing with hard water while seeing the country. Hard water may not pose any health risks, but it might damage your RV’s plumbing, appliances, and other plumbing fixtures. It can shorten the life of appliances by adding limescale and mineral accumulation.

It can also produce dry skin and dull hair, as well as a sticky sensation after washing. Water pressure and temperature aren’t the only things that might be affected by limescale in the pipes. In addition, harsh water can be rough on our laundry.

Finding a water softener designed for RV use is, thus, logical. The water softeners available on the market are discussed in this helpful guide for RV owners. Using this data, you can pick the most suitable system for your travel.