The 5 Best RV Water Softeners 2019: Helping you Avoid the Negative Effects of Hard Water


Water usually contains a high level of mineral ions, often including magnesium and calcium, making the water hard. Such high mineral ion content can have a negative impact on your RV’s plumbing system. In addition, it can cause the water to become hard, so expect to have difficulty forming a lather with soap.

Another possible effect is it can cause dryness on your hair and skin, especially if you use the water for bathing while you are in your RV. If you are always on the road, then it is, therefore, important to equip your recreational vehicle with the best RV water softener so you can avoid all the mentioned problems.

With the help of a high-quality and fully functional RV water softener, it is possible for you to lessen the mineral ions present in water. Such can also help ensure that the water you ingest or drink is safe for you as it is free of harmful elements and minerals.

If you want to remove hard water from your recreational vehicle, then the following top 5 products will most likely be of help to you.

Comparison of RV Water Softeners

Best RV Water Softener Reviews 2019

1. On the Go OTG4-DBLSOFT-Portable RV Water Softener - Best of the Best

What I find so impressive about the On the Go Water Softener is that it serves a dual-purpose. It serves as a water softener and a conditioner. I think it is also one of the largest and most portable recreational vehicle water softener available in the market today.

It is large enough as it can produce two times as much as what the standard water softener models can produce – that is actually possible without it losing its portability. It is a 16,000-grain unit, making it really ideal for recreational vehicles. It can produce around forty percent more soft water when compared to other units.

The good thing about this water softener is that it is quick to regenerate. Expect it to do so within just thirty minutes with the aid of common table salt. It has a compact and portable design, too, so I can give you an assurance that it will not take too much space in your vehicle. You can even install it in tight areas.

Another advantage I observed in this water softener is that it promotes high flow rates even with just a low-pressure drop. The large mouth opening of the water softener is also a huge advantage as it promotes ease when you are adding salt.

It features an easy to carry handle, too, as well as a 360-degree swivel, which makes it easy to connect to the inlet hose. The instructions that come with it are quite vague and unclear, though, so you might find it difficult to use at first. However, you will get used to it and learn exactly how it works pretty fast.

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    Dual-purpose product – works as a water softener and a conditioner
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    Features a portable and space-saving design – You can even install it in tight areas.
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    Sports a large mouth opening, so adding salt will be much easier
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    Instructions quite unclear

Other than that minor issue, this compact and portable RV water softener can be expected to do its exact functions effectively. Storing it is also easy with its compact design.

2. Watts RV PRO-1000 OR M7002 Portable Water Softener - Best Bang for the Buck

Watts RV PRO-1000 review is also one of the most compact and portable water softening devices designed for recreational vehicles at present. I like the fact that it boasts of a 10,000-grain capacity. It also features a customized flow valve, making it possible for the water softener to regenerate just by adding salt.

The good news is that there is no need for you to disconnect then reconnect it whenever you need to regenerate it. Another reason why I like this product is that it has a high flow rate. Expect it to flow for around 4 gallons per minute. It has such high flow rate without having to put in too much drop-in pressure.

I like the compactness and mobility of this water softener. It can soften water with the help of its resin tank as such absorb heavy metal ions, such as iron, magnesium, and calcium. Another thing that I think I should highlight is that it makes use of a digital control system panel.

With the help of this system panel, you can make adjustments to the system based on how you intend to use it. It is easy to set up as it does not come with any moving parts. It is also designed with stainless steel and brass fittings that can help ensure that it does not require a lot of maintenance.

Just like the first product, the common complaint in this portable water softener is that it is quite lacking in terms of instructions.

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    Compact and portable, making it really ideal for RVs
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    Sports a customized flow valve, promoting its regeneration just by adding salt without disconnecting and reconnecting it
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    Features a resin tank that absorbs heavy metal ions

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    Lacking in terms of initial instructions

Overall, users of this water softener are pretty much satisfied with its results. It is a systematic device, which is not only portable but also easy to use and maintain.

3. Portable Mobile-soft-water (TM) 16,000 Grain Unit with Tank - Editor's Choice

Another water softener for recreational vehicles that I will definitely suggest to anyone who is on the hunt for a good one is the Portable Mobile-soft-water (TM) 16,000 Grain unit. It is designed for use and installation in recreational vehicles.

It is a good unit as it can eliminate radium, lead, iron, magnesium, calcium, and other harmful and heavy metals usually found in water that the municipality supplies and in the well. It helps treat water at a rate of 5 gallons per minute. It also helps ensure that the hardness of water is removed.

As it has a 16,000-grain capacity, expect it to soften around 16,000 gallons of water before you will need to recharge its resin again. One thing I find impressive in this water softener is that it has a vessel within the tank made of fiberglass reinforced plastic. It also features a pressure vessel that can withstand up to 150 psi operating pressure.

Another highlight comes from the material used in its outlet and inlet connections. They are not from a lead material, making them safe. The connections are actually made of nylon material. It also has an enhanced mobility – thanks to the capped male hose connections.

It does not come with an input water hose connector, though. You will still need to purchase it to install the entire unit.

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    Ideal for use and installation in RVs
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    Effective in getting rid of radium, lead, iron, magnesium, calcium, and other harmful metals
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    Fiberglass reinforced plastic used in the vessel within the tank
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    Need to purchase the required input water hose connector separately

To conclude, I am quite sure that you will be satisfied with this portable water softener because it is a good product that always delivers an excellent performance. It is also a low-maintenance product, which is very easy to install.

4. On the Go Water Softeners for RV

If you are hunting for a user-friendly water softening unit, then the On the Go OTG3NTP3M is definitely one great product I can recommend. You will never have a hard time using this unit because of its simple construction. It can also provide you with soft water for around one to two weeks.

It has a tank, which is around 6 inches in diameter and weighs around 18 lbs. Such dimensions and weight make this unit not only compact and portable but also lightweight. It is possible for it to soften approximately 300-700 gallons of water prior to having the need to recharge it.

One advantage I would like to point out regarding this product is that you can recharge it really quick. You can actually do it in as little as fifteen minutes with just a single box of salt. One more thing, the product comes with test strips that are useful in testing the hardness of water.

In addition, hose adapters are available for both the outlet and inlet valves. There are also caps that you can put on the valves in case you need to store to tank. It also features a 4-feet high-pressure drinking water hose, making this product really complete. You can also easily hook it up in various campgrounds.

Some users find the water softener quite costly, though, as there are some units with almost the same features and benefits that are priced lower.

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    Easy to use because of its simple and straightforward construction
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    Provides soft water for 1-2 weeks
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    Compact, portable and lightweight

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    A bit costly

Most users of this recreational vehicle water softener are pleased with this unit, though, so I can safely say that it is worth the extra cost.

5. ABCwaters Portable 16,000 Grain Water Softener

Another water softener that is known for its good performance and portability is the ABCwaters 16,000-grain Water Softener. I discovered that it is not only for recreational vehicles but also for boats and washing cars. As a portable water softener, I noticed that it does a pretty good job in getting rid of hard water while you are in your RV.

It has a 16,000-grain capacity. Regenerating it is also quick and easy. In fact, you will be able to finish whole regeneration process within just a few minutes with the help of either rock or table salt. Each regeneration will give you softened water of around 2,000 gallons.

The fact that it features a compact design is also a big advantage as storing and maneuvering it. With the handy handle integrated on top of the unit, I can also assure you that carrying it from one place to another is easy. It is a rugged water softening unit with excellently performing fittings.

With those features, it can effectively condition hard water, making it possible for you to use it even for washing new cars without the risk of it leaving unwanted spots and damaging the paint.

One issue, though, is the size of the handle as it would have been better if it is a bit larger. Another complaint of some users is that the design of the water softer makes it quite hard to tighten the screws to prevent leaks.

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    Multi-purpose – useful for recreational vehicles and boats and for washing cars
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    Gets rid of hard water
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    Compact design, so storing and maneuvering it is easy

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    Handle is quite small

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    A bit hard to tighten screws with an aim of preventing leaks

Despite the issues, ABCwaters Portable 16,000-grain Water Softener is still a great addition to your recreational vehicle as it can constantly give you soft water without fail.

RV Water Softener Buyer's Guide

Best RV Water Softeners

So how can you pick the best RV water softener from your numerous options? The following factors can definitely help you:


Remember that water softeners for RVs are available in different types, so you have to figure out which one suits your needs the best. There is the salt-based water softener, which cycles water using two tanks. The first tank makes use of special resin beads and the second one is full of brine.

It functions through the ion exchange principle by substituting salt for hard minerals, thereby softening hard water. There is also what we call as the salt-free water softener, which does not use sodium or salt. It does the regeneration process through a substitute of potassium-chloride salt. It is for those who do not want to take in too much salt.

Other options that you have are the dual-tank and the magnetic water softeners. Make sure that you pick a type, which is suitable enough for your RV and your specific needs.


Choose the right size that can efficiently handle the demands of your vehicle while still not being too large and expensive. Your goal is to find the right size, enough for it to get rid of hard minerals in water without the need for frequent regeneration.

Fortunately, water softeners are now available for sale in different sizes with each one rated based on the number of grains of hardness that the units can efficiently remove in between regeneration. Pick a unit, which can at least handle a minimum of 3 days before it needs to be recharged or regenerated again.


Since you need a water softener for your RV, it is important to check the portability of your options before buying. It is important especially if you are often on the move or tend to alternate between your home and RV.

Just make sure, though, that even if you get the portable or compact unit, it still lets you enjoy most of the features of their standard-sized counterparts. What is good about most high-quality portable and compact units it that it lets you handle the regeneration process manually on your own.


Check the actual steps involved in the installation process. Are they easy or difficult? Ensure that you will not have a difficult time installing it in your recreational vehicle. The best one can actually be installed in less than two hours.


The controls integrated into water softeners will make it easier for you to use the unit the right way. Some units actually come with timed controller system that will let you regenerate soft water based on a pre-determined time every week. It is actually helpful as it makes it more convenient for you to control and time its functions.

There are also units that have automatic controls. Such comes with a volume or meter controlled system, which allows you to regenerate water only at the specific time you choose. It is a useful setting as it lets you detect the amount of water that passes through the system automatically, so you can only regenerate when necessary.


As an RV owner who tends to be always on the road, you need to invest in a water softener that can help get rid of heavy and harmful mineral ions in water. With the best RV water softener installed in your vehicle, you have an assurance that you will always have easy access to soft water that you can use for a number of purposes.

Learn more about how to choose the best RV water hose and best RV water filter 2019 with buyer's guide and in-depth reviews. By the way, have a look at our best RV shower headbest RV tankless water heater, best RV water pressure regulators and best RV water pump to keep your RV safe!

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