Water hardness is a problem for every home. But people living in RVs are also not safe from water hardness. Small food vendors around a roadside also use RVs. So besides all the other facilities, they need the best water softener for their RV (recreational vehicle). So if you are an RV owner, choose a suitable water softener for you in this article. Best Water Softener for RV in 2021: The RV goes everywhere and travels miles. It faces different weather and different hardness levels of water. Also, the water hardness type is not the same. So you must choose the one as per your requirement. 1. On The Go OTG4-DBLSOFT On The Go presents you with a highly reliable water softener for RV. It can start supplying water within minutes. The pack includes test strips, storage inlet\/outlet caps, handle, back-flush adapter, high-pressure 4-inch white drinking hose, inlet hi-flow shut off valve, and a full cradle base for stable and secure setting. See all the details about this best water softener for RV below. Capacity: With 16,000 grain capacity, this water softener can provide 40 percent softer water than its competitors. It can supply water up to 1600 gallons or for up to 40 days and only requires two boxes of table salt. There will be minimal pressure drops, and water will flow at a high rate. Maintenance Requirement: It is a travel-friendly water softener and easy to carry, too, because of the handle on the top. It can fit into tight places easily. Also, it doesn\u2019t require you to be an expert and carry tools for installation. You will also be glad to know that it doesn\u2019t require any power to work. Compatibility: This water softener can remove rust stains and scale buildup. Also, it increases the lifespan of all your appliances. The water will taste better as it removes hardness up to zero PPM no matter how hard the water is. Technical Support: The seller cares for you and provides technical support over a phone call at any time by experienced support staff. Pros Cons \tYou do not need to worry about the installation as it is quick and easy \tThis portable water softener provides clean drinking water. \tIt will not work in freezing temperatures. 2. Fleck 56SXT Ships Loaded 16k Fleck offers you an easy to install water softener that is perfect when you run a RV. The pack contains a resin tank, a brine tank with safety float and overflow drain, Fleck 5600SXT control valve, lubricant, test strips, sanitizer, and instruction manual. See how it looks like in the picture and read the details below. Digital display: This system has an LCD display screen that ensures easy programming. Besides, there is a touchpad too. It also provides you all the information you need to know in a go. The control valve keeps a measure of your water requirement and regenerates as you need it. Power backup: This system has an internal power backup of up to 48 hours. That means that you can drive the RV for up to two days without the tension to charge this best water softener. And in case you don\u2019t return in time, it will not forget the set programming because of the microprocessors. Configuration: You can set among the three different regeneration options; immediate meter regeneration delayed meter regeneration, and delayed time clock regeneration. Set one of your choices to reduce water and salt wastage. The safety float is here to prevent overfilling, and overflow drain also works as a backup to eliminate the chances of water messes. Compatibility: This water softener uses the ion exchange method to eliminate calcium and magnesium from water \u2013 the two primary sources of hardness. It also removes rust stains, scale buildup, water spots, and soap scum for your RV. It also improves the leathering of soap, shampoo, and detergent. Technical support: The instruction manual is enough to make sure the installation and programming is a DIY for all RV owners. In case you need some further assistance, you can have it over a phone call by knowledgeable support staff. Capacity: This water system offers a flow rate of up to 12 gallons per minute that is enough for an RV with a single person living in it. Weight: The resin comes preloaded; that\u2019s why the shipment weight gets 150 pounds. Although the softener itself weighs 125 pounds only. Pros Cons \tIt removes the smell of rotten eggs from water sources, particularly untreated water. \tThis RV water softener is super easy to install. \tThe manufacturer provides exceptional customer support. \tIt is not Wi-Fi compatible 3. Pro + Aqua FBA-WS-P-16 No matter if you are on a highway for many days, because you can have this non-electric and portable water softener by Pro + Aqua. It comes in a ready to use form with no need for installation and programming. Learn more details about it below. Compatibility: This best water softener for RV (recreational vehicle) improves the odor and taste of water by removing all the harmful minerals from it. There will be an apparent reduction in calcium, iron, magnesium, lead, and radium from water. Also, it will improve the leathering os soap, shampoo, and detergent. Capacity: This water softener can treat water up to 2,000 gallons for 8 GPG hardness or up to 40 days. But these calculations may vary as per usage and water hardness. Also, it provides water with a flow rate of up to 5 gallons per minute. Installation: There is no need to carry tools for installation. It can get ready to supply water within 5 minutes only. The water will also be 40 percent softer. Pros Cons \tYou can use it with a power washer too for added convenience and functionality \tThe manufacturer provides exceptional customer support for this system. \tIt is not compatible for use at home. 4. Nuvo H2O Studio System DPSB-A If you are looking for a smart choice for a water softener that can easily fit anywhere, Nuvo H2O Studio System is for you. The pack contains an instruction manual, screws, housing wrench, mounting bracket, cartridge, and a backplate with Nuvo H2o housing. See how it looks in the picture. Capacity: This water softener is a perfect choice of RV that has a single resident. It can provide soft water up to 10,000 gallons. After that, you will have to replace the cartridge. Weight: This small water softener only weighs 0.16 pounds. Although it comes in a shipment of 6.3 pounds with all the components. Compatibility: This water softener makes calcium and magnesium insoluble in water and doesn\u2019t eliminate them as it is a salt-free softening solution. But there will be no hardness and scale buildup in your RV. It will also remove the existing scale in your plumbing. The water will become so soft and gentle on your skin and will even taste better. Warranty: The seller offers you a money-back guarantee of up to 90 days. So no worries if you are not satisfied. Although it is not going to happen. Pros Cons \tIt will remove copper oxide. \tIt requires minimal maintenance and cleaning. \tThis portable water softener retains essential minerals in the water. \tIt is not suitable for a home with a private well. 5. ABC Waters 16,000-grain Portable Water Softener This water softener from ABC Waters will be suitable for almost any RV, boat or another vehicle with a water system in place. This compatibility, paired with performance and a quality brand means you can trust it to deliver softened water when you need it most. Compatibility: As mentioned above, this RV water softener will work perfectly for your chosen vehicle, but it will also work well for small apartments and mobile homes. You can easily install this on your property and deal with the issue of hard water without installing a complex whole-house water softener system. Capacity: With this 16,000-grain portable water softener, you will get up to 2,000 gallons of water before it needs to regenerate. This level of efficiency and capacity will cope with the needs of a family travelling or those living in a small apartment. Ease of use: The manufacturers have thought about portability when designing this compact unit. It has a handle to help to carry it around and it can be secured easily enough in place. Storage won't be a problem either as it will fit in most cupboards. Pros Cons \tIt is compatible with most RVs, mobile homes and even small apartments depending on water usage \tYou will get approx 2,000 gallons of water per regeneration \tIt is a compact, portable unit that can be easily carried and stored \tIt won't work well in normal households so if you want a water softener that works for both, look at other options. 6. Mobile Soft Water 16,000-grain Portable Water Softener A very similar RV water softener to the previous entry on our list, a sensible investment for those wanting a hard-working, reliable water softener that will provide enough soft water for your trip. Performance: It has the kind of capacity you would expect from a portable water softener, 16,000-grain. On top of this, it will ensure that your water supply is free from harmful minerals such as calcium and magnesium, lead, iron and other heavy metals. This is particularly useful for untreated water supplies and well water sources. It will also deliver 5 gallons of water per minute which is more than enough for the average users. Regeneration: Mobile Soft Water has put effort into creating an RV water softener that regenerates quickly and effectively without electricity. This means you don't have to worry if you're staying in a remote location or lack power, you can still treat hard water. Materials: Designed and built with durable, long-lasting materials making it a fantastic long-term investment. They have also gone to the effort of using NSF approved fittings to prove it is safe to use and safe to consume the soft water that has gone through this system. Pros Cons \tIt has a capacity of 16,000-grain which will be more than enough for most people travelling in an RV \tA quick and efficient regeneration process \tMade with NSF-approved fittings and overall a sturdy, compact unit \tThis portable water softener doesn't come with a water hose connector which is needed to treat hard water. 7. Watts Water M7002 Flow-Pur RV-Pro Water Softener The next system on our best water softeners for RV list is a truly portable product, with an effort made to make it lightweight and lightweight, whilst still delivering a performance that will satisfy customers. Compatibility: As a result of it being compact and lightweight, coming in at an impressive 24lbs you can fit this system into almost any vehicle, whether it is an RV, campervan, small apartment or boat. Performance: Starting with its capacity and regeneration, this portable water softener has been designed to include a drain line flow restrictor and a special valve design. This helps improve the capacity by up to 55% and helps to make the regeneration process more efficient. Installation: We are always happy when a system is easy to install and you won't find a portable water softener that is much easier to install than this one from Watts. The only real downside is that the hose fittings don't rotate, which may be frustrating if you use longer hoses. Flow Rate: You often find water softeners and water filters sacrifice flow rate for performance but this one delivers soft water at a flow rate of 4GPM which will be more than enough for people. Pros Cons \tOne of the most compact, lightweight portable water softeners on the list \tIt has an impressive flow rate of 4GPM \tYou can use this RV water softener with almost all systems \tSome customers have had problems due to the built-in hose fittings not rotating but this is a minor issue. 8. On The Go OTG3NTP3M Portable Water Softener On The Go are one of the leading manufacturers of portable water softeners and the OTG3NTP3M certainly delivers. It ticks all of the boxes you would want - compact, efficient at treating hard water, easy to use and quick to regenerate. What more could you want? Capacity: For anyone wanting to travel for at least a week, then this water softening system will do the job. You should get a supply of soft water for at least 7 days and for as much as 14 days depending on your usage and the level of hard water you're using. It can soften 300-700 gallons of water prior to being regenerated. They've also added a special valve to help control water flow to make the entire system more efficient. Regeneration: Firstly, you can recharge this unit with common table salt, so you don't need to go for an expensive special version. Furthermore, it should regenerate in about 15 minutes which is fantastic because you never want to have to wait long for water to use. Installation: Another system that is relatively easy to install and what we really like is that you can use standard garden hose connectors. The only minor downside is that it doesn't arrive ready to use, so you will have to do a bit of setting up first. Pros Cons \tA lightweight, compact water softening system that will help treat hard water wherever you are \tYou can easily set this up in an RV with a standard garden hose connector \tIt will supply you with enough soft water for between 7-14 days \tIt does require some setting up as it's not ready to use out of the box but it doesn't seem to take much effort to do. 9. On The Go Park Model Portable RV Water Softener And Conditioner Yet another On The Go portable water softener now, with this impressive model that not only softens but conditions water. It also ramps up the capacity and performance when compared to some of the other more portable water softeners. Performance: One of the standout features of this portable RV water softener is that it has a capacity of 32,000-grains. This is far more than the majority of other systems and whilst this reduces how portable it is, it does mean you can get more soft water and more use out of it. If you have a large family or have a high consumption rate then this is a big plus. Regeneration: With this increased performance, you also get up to 3,200 gallons of soft water before you need to regenerate it. Fortunately, it works well with standard table salt so you don't need to budget for large amounts of specialist salt. Installation: Whilst this system is larger and heavier as a result of its greater capacity, it is still relatively easy to move around and works great for mobile soft water supplies. The installation process isn't difficult and On The Go provide plenty of support if you need it. Pros Cons \tAn impressive 32,000-grain capacity means its perfect for larger households who wish to travel \tYou can use standard table salt for the regeneration process \tIt will deliver up to 3,200 gallons of soft water per regeneration \tIt is heavier and less portable than other models but isn't too heavy for a portable water softener system. 10. Poly Salt Free Triple Action Water Softener The last softener on our list could well be the best RV water softener on the market right now, particularly for those that have concerns about using salt. As an alternative to the traditional salt-based water softeners, you not only help protect yourself but the environment and your RV. Performance: Let's start off with the lack of salt. This means that it is smaller and easier to store, yet delivers the performance you would expect. It will treat hard water in a different way to salt-based systems but will still protect your pipes and plumbing from hard water causing minerals such as magnesium and calcium. Installation: Water softener reviews show that the installation process is relatively easy, even for those with minimal DIY or plumbing experience. They provide clear instructions as well as extra customer support should you need it. Efficiency: Thanks to the lack of salt being put back into the water supply, you will be reducing your impact on the environment. Not only is it environmentally friendly but the running costs are minimal as you won't need to replace the salt as it doesn't regenerate in the same way. Pros Cons \tIt is easy to install and the instructions are very clear and easy to follow \tIt is smaller than most salt-based water softeners \tIt will treat your hard water and protect pipes and appliances \tIt is a more expensive system as it is a salt-free water softener What is a portable water softener? A portable water softener or water softening system for an RV is pretty much the same as a standard water softener. It provides all of the advantages that a whole-house or single faucet softener does but has been designed to work best with RVs, campervans and boats. This means in general it will be more compact, easy to carry and install when compared to the larger static versions. However, this will often mean you lack the capacity, performance and sometimes extra features. As long as you carefully review each product and evaluate what your individual requirements are then you can still find the perfect system for your RV, campervan or small apartment. How does it work? The ultimate goal of any portable water softener is to deal with hard water found wherever it is you are staying or travelling through. This means tackling those minerals that cause hard water, such as calcium and magnesium. The way that soft water is produced will depend on which of the water softeners you go for but the vast majority will be salt-based water softeners. This means that they will go through an ion exchange process. Hard water will flow through a tank and come into contact with resin beads that attract those hard water causing ions. They are then replaced with sodium ions that don't attach to surfaces, reducing the build-up of scale on your pipes, faucets and appliances. When these resin beads are full, the system must go through a regeneration process which uses a brine tank to wash the resin beads in a saltwater solution. This creates wastewater but refreshes the beads ready to work again. If you go for a salt-free type of water softening system then it will work differently. It will still treat hard water and protect your pipes and appliances, but in some cases, it won't actually create soft water instead acting as a descaler. This depends on whether you use a non-sodium salt or go for a magnetic descaler. Types of water softeners There are two types of water softeners to choose from when looking for the best RV water softener and we've detailed both types below: Salt-based water softeners The most common type and frequently appear on our best RV water softener list thanks to their performance, reliability and budget-friendly prices. They work by replacing the hard water causing ions, such as magnesium and calcium with sodium ions. This prevents hard water from damaging your pipes and appliances, whilst providing you with soft drinking water. These are often cheaper than salt-free alternatives and in most cases can use common table salt as the replacement salt, brining down the running costs a great deal. The main issue with this type is the fact that they do produce plenty of wastewater and add sodium to your diet, which many people wish to avoid. Salt-free water softeners As an alternative to salt-based water softeners, you can find a variety of different salt-free systems. There is a range of softeners that use a sodium alternative, such as potassium-chloride. This acts in a very similar way to sodium softeners and will treat your hard water, leaving you with soft water that won't damage your RV plumbing. The other type of salt-free water softeners is known as magnetic descalers. These RV water softeners don't actually create soft water but change the form of the ions that cause hard water, such as magnesium and calcium so that they don't attach to the surface of any pipes or appliances. The clear benefits of these are that they don't use salt and are better for you and the environment, but they are often more expensive initially so you will have to bear that in mind. Key Considerations There are some key considerations to be aware of when making a purchasing decision and we've put together the most important ones below for you to think about. Once you understand what factors and features are required, you will be able to narrow down your search and find the most suitable of the many RV water softeners on the market right now. Type The first consideration is what type of water softener you wish to go for. Is it a salt-based system or a salt-free one? There are some fundamental differences that you need to be aware of as one may suit you more than the other. Firstly, salt-based water softeners are more widely available and cost-effective, so for those on a budget that is an important factor. Secondly, they are highly effective at treating hard water and creating the kind of soft water you'd expect. However, there are some fundamental issues with salt-based water softeners and these are the health and environmental impacts of using salt. Many people will need to avoid increasing their sodium intake and not appreciate the saltwater being sent back into the environment. This is where a salt-free alternative comes into its own. Whilst it is more expensive to buy, it won't use salt, has minimal maintenance requirements and still protects your pipes and appliances. Capacity It is important to remember that even the best RV water softeners will have a reduced capacity when compared to the larger whole-house systems. This is what you sacrifice for the ability to take it with you when you travel. However, you can get a range of capacities from a smaller 8,000-grain RV water softener up to 32,000-grain softeners that will deliver soft drinking water for all the family. Do your research on water usage and look at what capacity you require. There is no point paying for the best portable water softener on the market just because it has a capacity that you won't use. Budget Never a fun topic to think about but an important one nonetheless. You will find that water softeners come in a range of prices, with cheaper salt-based water softening systems being cheaper to buy but with some running costs as you need to replace the salt. However, the majority will use common table salt which is inexpensive. You can then go up to the more expensive salt-free softeners which cost more to buy initially but have next to no maintenance costs involved. Installation Fortunately, the vast majority of water softeners on the market are easy to install, even for those with minimal DIY or plumbing experience. The best portable water softener systems will come with easy to follow instructions and supportive customer service teams, especially if you choose one of the bigger manufacturers with many years of experience. No matter which system you choose, always follow the instructions clearly to ensure you get safe water when you need it most. A good idea is to look at water softener reviews and keep in mind that everyone has different skill levels so don't worry if the odd person says it was awkward to install. Brand We do appreciate that people will have their favourite brands or feel safer going with one of the big names in water treatment. If you fall into this category, then choosing a brand like On The Go or ABCWaters is a great choice as they have been leading the way in the world of water systems for years. However, it is also important to be aware that with the market getting more competitive and innovations in technology happening all of the time there are some fantastic manufacturers out there. Ultimately, you just need to review each product carefully, look at its features and functions, check customer reviews and decide on whether it meets your individual requirements. FAQs: Do RVs really need a water softener? \t\t \t\t\tA water softener is a requirement of everyone. Whether someone is living in a home or an RV. \t\t \t \tDo RVs need a salt-free water softener? \t\t \t\t\tBeing salt-free is not a necessary requirement when you buy a water softener for RV. Although, if you are facing kidney and heart disorders or doesn\u2019t like the taste of salt in water, you need a salt-free softener. \t\t \t \tShould a water softener for RV always be non-electric? \t\t \t\t\tIt always depends on your choice and requirement. If you don\u2019t go out for too long, you can have an electronic water softener too. But a water softener with a power backup is a must when you go for an electronic water softener for your RV. \t\t \t \tHow to install an RV water softener? \t\t \t\t\tRV water softeners are mostly very easy to install and come fully assembled. You only need to attach the water supply line to the input and output of the water softener. The rest of the job will be done by itself. \t\t \t \tHow to recharge the RV water softener? \t\t \t\t\tRV water softeners have batteries that most of the time run smoothly up to 48 hours. So you can recharge your RV water softener by the time you return home. If you are going on a long journey, you can recharge it at any pit stop too. \t\t \t \tHow to regenerate the RV water softener? \t\t \t\t\tYou can regenerate your RV water softener at any suitable place when you don\u2019t need water for a few hours. Place it near a water drainage spot and start the regeneration cycle. After some time it will be ready to supply soft water again. \t\t \t \tHow to store RV water softener? \t\t \t\t\tRV water softeners are smart and do not consume a large place for storage. You can place it in any corner of your RV. The ideal place will be your RV\u2019s kitchen. \t\t \t \tHow to winterize RV water softener? \t\t \t\t\tYou need to buy a water softener for RV that can work in winter. If your RV water softener is not compatible to work in the winter season, you can install it inside where the temperature is controlled. And it will work smoothly then. \t\t \t \tWhat is the best water softener for RV (recreational vehicle)? \t\t \t\t\tWater softener is not a choice that each one can fit anywhere. Although, water hardness level and usage requirement decide what's the best water softener for RV. As per our recommendation, On The Go is the best water softener for RV. \t\t \t See all other salt-free water softeners here. Have you made a choice now? Don't forget to write back to us about your experience. It will help us and many others in making a choice.