best RV water softener

The 10 Best RV Water Softeners Of 2021

Peter Wade

In today’s RVing, it’s common to resupply water tanks periodically while traveling which is why RVers come across hard water now and then. Known for its high mineral content, hard water gives a wide range of issues to the plumbing and water appliances of any unprepared recreational vehicles. 

As a result, before hitting the road, many modern camper owners spend significant time and effort ensuring that they have a solid water softener onboard. By adding a water softener to your rig, you could minimize troubles caused by minerals in hard water and avoid plenty of expensive repair bills.

You have a hard time making up your mind on the water softener to get? If that is the case, this article is for you. Down below, you should be provided with everything that you must keep in mind to pick up the best RV water softener for your rig. 

best RV water softener
Cre: Outdoorsy

Comparison Chart of Best RV Water Softeners

NoTop Rated RV Water SoftenersPricesOur Ratings
1On The Go OTG4-DBLSOFT$$*****
2Mobile Soft Water MSW0918-M-16S-C$*****
3Watts Water Technologies M7002$****
4On The Go OTG3NTP3M$*****
5SoftPro PWS-16 $****
6On The Go OTG4-VM-DBLSOFT$$*****
7Pro + Aqua WS-P-16$$*****
8AFWFilters WS48-56SXT$$$*****
9Mobile Soft Water MSW0613-M-3.2S$****
10Whirlpool WHES40E$$$*****

RV Water Softener Basics 

What is a RV water softener?

As the name suggests, a RV water softener is a system purposely designed for recreational vehicles to “soften” hard water by getting rid of minerals. Water softeners for RV come in all shapes and sizes but most models on the market consist of tanks, valves and tubes for inlets/outlets.

How does it work?

In use, RV water softeners would hold back the minerals when hard water passes through them before entering the recreational vehicles. Though the operating principles often change from model to model, the final result is the same: softened water (de-mineralized). Over time, enthusiasts of RVing have to replace water softeners or refill the filtration materials for consistent water softening. 

Benefits of  RV water softener

Flow: With water softeners around, you should have no trouble preventing minerals from accumulating inside the plumbing and water appliances. Therefore, the flow of water inside your rig is going to remain at constant levels.

Efficiency And Effectiveness: If left alone, mineral-rich hard water usually compromises the properties of detergents, shampoo, soaps, creams, … which impair their efficiency and effectiveness. By softening the water via water softeners, you can avoid the mentioned hassle without difficulty. 

Aesthetics: After hard water comes into contact with the surfaces of certain items, it may leave spots on the finishes. You don’t want to see your dishes, pots and so on being covered in spots due to hard water? Then it’s strongly recommended that you outfit your rig with a camper water softener. 

Health: When exposed to hard water for extended periods of time, your hair and skin would inevitably become dry, brittle, … If you keep hard water away with the help of water softeners, it’s a breeze to improve the health of your hair and skin. 

Types Of Water Softeners For RV 

The market is well-saturated but models could be split into three types: magnetic-based, salt-based and reverse osmosis. 

Magnetic-Based Water Softeners: Dependable and reliable, magnetic-based water softeners give a good account of themselves in numerous arrangements. By running hard water through a magnetic field, models of the type significantly diminish the harmful effect of its minerals. However, it’s worth pointing out that water softened by magnetic-based water softeners would harden again after two days. 

Salt-Based Water Softeners: Tested by time, salt-based water softeners prove popular among RVers that happen to desire no-nonsense water softening. Working based on ion exchange, models of the type substitute the minerals for salts to soften water. Naturally, water coming out of salt-based water softeners tastes a bit salty but not to the point of undrinkable. 

Reverse Osmosis Water Softeners: Able to remove not only minerals but also other impurities, reverse osmosis water softeners excel once it comes to comprehensive filtration. Needless to say, RVers that travel year-round and run into water of variable qualities tend to hold models of the type in high esteem. Still, since reverse osmosis water softeners reach the market at steep prices, it’s imperative to give the budget some thought. 


Top-Rated RV Water Softeners 

There is no shortage of options regarding water softener for RVers but if you seek a good buy, you must check out the following models:

1. On The Go OTG4-DBLSOFT – Best Of The Best 

On The Go OTG4-DBLSOFT-Portable 16,000 Grain RV Water Softener
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Specifications And Features:

  • Harness Level: 16,000 Grains 
  • Flow Rate: 4.5 GPM 
  • Carrying handle 
  • Non-electric 
  • Adapter included 

Why This Is The Best:

Versatile and adaptable, On The Go OTG4-DBLSOFT is going to work like a charm in a diversity of environments. Possessing a hardness level of 16,000 grains, this water softener for recreational vehicles could deliver up to 1,600 gallons of softened water. In addition to that, with a regeneration time of less than 30 minutes, it minimizes interruptions to the flow of water. Because of that, people who wish to secure a constant supply of softened water think of this water softener as the best RV water softener

Built to last, OTG4-DBLSOFT would have an easy time dealing with nearly all challenges of RVing without breaking apart. Since it’s light and compact as well, this RV water softener is superior to many of its market competitors once it comes to handling. Hence, moving it into position is essentially a walk in the park by all accounts. About compatibility, this water softener accepts standard garden hoses so it’s possible for people to use hoses they have instead of buying specialized hoses. 

Throughout the course of operation, the portable RV water softener from On The Go requires little care from RVing enthusiasts. To keep it up and running, all camper owners need to do is to add salts from time to time. 

Pros:

  • Economical 
  • Space-saving
  • Intuitive setup process 

Cons:

  • A number of units arrive with missing parts 
  • Water flow fluctuates on occasions 

2. Mobile Soft Water MSW0918-M-16S-C – Editor’s Choice 

Mobile-Soft-Water Portable 16,000 Grain (tm) Unit
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Specifications And Features:

  • Harness Level: 16,000 Grains 
  • Flow Rate: 5.0 GPM 
  • Garden hose connection 
  • Highly charged resin 
  • Lead-free fittings 

Why It’s An Editor’s Choice:

Capable of removing magnesium, calcium, radium and so on from water, MSW0918-M-16S-C of Mobile Soft Water could soften hard water without difficulty. Designed with highly charged resin, it could provide 5 gallons of softened water per minute which is sufficient for typical rigs. Moreover, incorporating fiberglass reinforced plastic into the body, this water softener handles pressure spikes superbly. As a result, it earns a shower of praises from people that have a couple of concerns about potentially unstable water pressures in the outdoors. 

Upon purchase, the Mobile Soft Water portable water softener for RV comes fully assembled so installation can begin as soon as it leaves the packaging. Equipped with a garden hose connection, it’s compatible with a wide range of hoses on modern-day recreational vehicles. Thanks to the inclusion of lead-free hose fittings, this water softener even eliminates the risk of metal poisoning. If you care about the health of yourself and fellow RVers, it’s the best RV water softener you can get. 

As proof of confidence, Mobile Soft Water offers a one-year manufacturer warranty for those that grab its water softener. That means if your MSW0918-M-16S-C fails due to defects within the warranty, you could claim a replacement. 

Pros:

  • No-nonsense installation 
  • Top-notch portability 
  • Sturdy and stable 

Cons:

  • People complain about odd odors 
  • Shipping should be overhauled 

3. Watts Water Technologies M7002 – Editor’s Choice

Watts Water Quality/Condition M7002 Flow-Pur RV-Pro 10,000 Water Softener
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Specifications And Features:

  • Harness Level: 10,000 Grains 
  • Flow Rate: 4.0 GPM 
  • Full cradle base
  • Custom flow valves
  • Built-in restrictor

Why It’s An Editor’s Choice:

Specifically engineered from the ground up with practicality in mind, Watts Water Technologies M7002 rarely fails to please its users. Boasting a full cradle base, this water softener should remain steady no matter what and that is a big plus. Additionally, owing to the custom flow valves, it allows regeneration while staying connected so it’s very convenient to use. Needless to say, this RV water softener achieves high ranks in reviews of water softeners for its ease of use. 

In use, M7002 could soften water at a rate of 4 GPM and by integrating a built-in restrictor, its regeneration efficiency and effectiveness would increase. In terms of maintenance, it only needs a bit of care so keeping it in working order is a cinch. You want to spend more time traveling and less time looking after your water softener? In that case, it’s strongly recommended that you consider adding this water softener for recreational vehicles to your shortlist.

Reaching the market at a reasonable price, the water softener from Watts Water Technologies is the best RV water softener for cost-conscious RV owners. On arrival, it’s accompanied by a one-year warranty that brings peace of mind. 

Pros:

  • Inexpensive 
  • Long-lasting 
  • Slim and sleek

Cons:

  • Reports of ill-fitted fittings appear now and then 
  • Owner’s manual is poorly-written 

4. On The Go OTG3NTP3M

On The Go OTG3NTP3M Portable Water Softener
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Specifications And Features:

  • Harness Level: 8,000 Grains 
  • Flow Rate: 4.0 GPM 
  • 360° swivel
  • High-flow
  • Shut-off valve

Why We Love It:

Packing optimal functionality, OTG3NTP3M of On The Go gives a good account of itself in lots of situations.  Assembled for high flow applications, this RV water softener could soften water at a fast pace for quite some time. Furthermore, with a large opening, it let owners of travel trailers add salt at any time without leaving a mess. Unsurprisingly, people that prefer to keep things neat and tidy hold this water softener for recreational vehicles in high esteem. 

Regarding installation, the RV water softener from On The Go contains a user-friendly 360° swivel on its shut-off valve that facilitates the setup process. That is why it’s recognized by many as the best RV water softener for enthusiasts of RVing who happen to be in a hurry. For regeneration, this water softener needs a box of salt and around 15 minutes to flush out the minerals it caught. Therefore, people don’t have to spend much money and time in order to get it back to softening water. 

Compared to other RV soft water systems, OTG3NTP3M occupies negligible amounts of space in the interior of rigs. Consequently, squeezing this portable water softener inside recreational vehicles is just a piece of cake. 

Pros:

  • Enduring 
  • Easy to set up
  • Second to none handling 

Cons:

  • Threads could use some work 
  • Sporadic leakage of water 

5. SoftPro PWS-16 

SoftPro PWS-16 Portable RV Water Softener
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Specifications And Features:

  • Harness Level: 16,000 Grains 
  • Flow Rate: 4.0 GPM 
  • Quick connect 
  • Hardware included 
  • Salt generation 

Why We Love It:

Despite its plain appearance, SoftPro PWS-16 is still a solid water softener that could meet most demands of RVers. Able to soften water on a daily basis for years, it’s well-suited for camper owners that travel year-round. In addition, featuring salt generation, this water softener for RV swiftly flush out minerals and resume filtering water within moments. Because of that, once it comes to the consistency of flow, it’s the best RV water softener available for purchase on today’s market. 

With a low profile construction, PWS-16 takes up rather insignificant space so squeezing it into conventional rigs is a snap. Aside from that, being sold with hardware included, this water softener permits people to set it up in a flash. Naturally, it gets an assortment of compliments from the RV community for its brief installation. Last but not least, as this water softener for recreational vehicles boasts uncomplicated maintenance requirements, RVers should have no trouble keeping it in top shape. 

About affordability, the water softener of SoftPro is budget-friendly so its purchase would have minor effects on upcoming spending. Your wallet is kind of tight but you like to pick up something of quality? If that is so, you must think about buying PWS-16.

Pros:

  • Low-priced 
  • Splendid versatility 
  • Maintenance is child’s play 

Cons:

  • Customer service is less than ideal 
  • Several units show up without any instructions 

6. On The Go OTG4-VM-DBLSOFT

On The Go OTG4-VM-DBLSOFT Portable Large Compact  RV Water Softener
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Specifications And Features:

  • Harness Level: 16,000 Grains 
  • Flow Rate: 3.0 GPM 
  • Cap and plug 
  • Low pressure drops 
  • Built-in handle 

Why We Love It:

Possessing a compact design, OTG4-VM-DBLSOFT of On The Go could be set up in the tightest of places without getting in the way. Moreover, since this water softener is light compared to its contemporaries, moving it into position takes little time and effort. As a result, it’s the model of choice for numerous RVing enthusiasts that hit the road on small rigs. Equipped with standard garden hose connection, this water softener for RV also supports multiple hoses which lead to outstanding compatibility. 

At 3 gallons per minute, the flow rate of water softener made by On The Go is adequate to keep water appliances on recreational vehicles running. On average, it’s going to deliver 1,600 gallons of softened water to RVers over 40 days. When it’s time, this RV water softener only needs 2 boxes of salt in order to flush out caught minerals. Considering that the regeneration completes in a blink of an eye, it would soon return to softening water for RVers.

As OTG4-VM-DBLSOFT is a breeze to maintain, there is no need for people to give it special attention. This water softener is backed by a one-year warranty so RVers have something to count on if manufacturing defects cause unexpected problems in use. 

Pros:

  • High endurance 
  • Fantastic fitness 
  • Decent flow 

Cons:

  • A few users complain about underfilled resin 
  • Shut-off valve need to be tweaked 

7. Pro + Aqua WS-P-16

Portable RV Water Softener 16,000 Grain PRO Premium Grade
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Specifications And Features:

  • Harness Level: 16,000 Grains 
  • Flow Rate: 5.0 GPM 
  • Polyethylene shell 
  • Adapter for backwash 
  • Food-grade premium resin

Why We Love It:

As an all-inclusive model, Pro + Aqua WS-P-16 is loaded with everything that people seek in RV water softeners. Integrating food-grade premium resin, it could filter out minerals around the clock without affecting the drinkability of the water. Additionally, this water softener features a polyethylene shell that remains uncompromised even if exposed to elements as well as impacts. As it uses salt for regeneration and the regeneration tends to conclude in 30 minutes, it manages to keep interruptions to flow of water minimal too. 

Being sold in a ready-to-use state, WS-P-16 requires just a bit of time to position and secure in most of the cases. It’s noteworthy that this water softener carries heavy-duty brass connections with terrific compatibility. Because of that, with it, RVers can use a diversity of water hoses to run softened water to water appliances. Finally, owing to the O-ring seal, this water softener for RV is good at keeping water from leaking out in the course of operation.  

Available at a price that camper owners could accept, the water softener of Pro + Aqua fits plenty of shopping budgets. In terms of post-purchase support, it comes alongside a one-year warranty and a one-month money-back guarantee. 

Pros:

  • Sublime portability 
  • Simple to install 
  • Responsive customer service 

Cons:

  • Quality control still leaves something to be desired 
  • Particular units seem damaged on arrival 

8. AFWFilters WS48-56SXT

Fleck 5600SXT 48,000 Grain Water Softener Digital SXT Metered Whole House System
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Specifications And Features:

  • Harness Level: 48,000 Grains 
  • Flow Rate: 12.0 GPM 
  • Digital display 
  • Bypass valve 
  • Safety float 

Why We Love It:

Created for modern applications and built to last, AFWFilters WS48-56SXT is one of the favorites of full-time RVers. Packing a flow rate of 12 GPM, this water softener could provide large volumes of softened water to water-hungry rigs. Furthermore, the use of high capacity resin lets it get rid of nearly all minerals such as calcium, magnesium and so on in the water. That is why this water softener for RV is popular among those that regularly have to deal with hard water as they explore the outdoors. 

Utilizing a digital display, the AFWFilters water softener makes it easy for people to supervise the flow of softened water. Interestingly, thanks to the display backlighting, it can be used in low-light conditions with relative ease which is nice. Also, since this water softener happens to contain internal power backup, its display would stay up for two days if the power supply experiences disruptions. Therefore, only a few water softeners for recreational vehicles on the market may outperform it.

WS48-56SXT is backed with a top-of-the-line warranty: 5 years for the valve and 10 years for the tank. If you value a sound insurance policy, this water softener is exactly what you need. 

Pros:

  • Rugged 
  • Rapid regeneration 
  • Estimated lifespan is wonderful 

Cons:

  • Delivery service occasionally ship incorrect units 
  • Leakage of water around the valve is noted 

9. Mobile Soft Water MSW0613-M-3.2S

Mobile-Soft-Water Portable Softener 3.2 Kgr Shorty for RV
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Specifications And Features:

  • Harness Level: 3,200 Grains 
  • Flow Rate: 5.0 GPM 
  • Portable 
  • No electricity 
  • Nylon hose connection 

Why We Love It:

Efficient and effective, Mobile Soft Water MSW0613-M-3.2S swiftly adapts to an assortment of environments while maintaining a rather stable flow of softened water. With a hardness level of 3,200 grains, it’s able to transform most hard water into soft water in a flash. In addition to that, boasting a flow rate of 5 gallons per minute, this water softener for RV is going to fill the water tank of the average rigs before long. Needless to say, it’s well-received by owners of campers who hate to wait all day to resupply water. 

As MSW0613-M-3 occupies little space inside recreational vehicles, there is no need to rearrange the interior to accommodate it. By making use of fiberglass reinforced plastic, this water softener could withstand pressures as high as 150 PSI without giving out. Thus, it’s considered to be a must-have for trips that pass through locations with varying water pressures. Lastly, this water softener for recreational vehicles is certified by NSF too so its level of safety is fantastic in use. 

For maintenance, the RV water softener from Mobile Soft Water requires basic treatments from enthusiasts of RVing over the years. To reassure RVers, MSW0613-M-3 is backed with a one-year warranty that covers defects. 

Pros:

  • Consistent operation 
  • Durability is excellent 
  • Fast rate of flow 

Cons:

  • Owner’s manual is vague 
  • People notice output deviations 

10. Whirlpool WHES40E

Whirlpool WHES40E 40,000 Grain Water Softener
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Specifications And Features:

  • Harness Level: 40,000 Grains 
  • Flow Rate: 8.5 GPM 
  • LED interface 
  • Demand-initiated regeneration

Why We Love It:

Once it comes to applications that need substantial amounts of water, Whirlpool WHES40E is what RVers opt to use. Featuring a hardness level of 40,000 grams and a flow rate of 8.5 GPM, this water softener guarantees access to softened water in a wide range of situations. Moreover, it’s NSF-certified so water that it processes could be consumed by everyone from children to adults. Naturally, this water softener for RV is superior to traditional models regarding level of safety.

One interesting thing about the water softener for recreational vehicles made by Whirlpool is that it incorporates demand-initiated regeneration. As it flushes out caught minerals, it automatically calculates how much salt is needed and only uses the necessary amount. Hence, with this water softener, RVing enthusiasts don’t have to worry too much about wasting salt needlessly during regeneration. Via the LED interface, it permits people to monitor the filtering of minerals and apply adjustments if they see fit. 

Upon purchase, WHES40E is backed with a decent one-year manufacturer warranty that covers part as well as labor. If you opt to purchase three bottles of Whirlpool WHEWSC water softener cleanser, the warranty can extend to three years. Though this water softener is slightly pricey, it offers impressive benefits in the long run. 

Pros:

  • Small 
  • Uncomplicated installation 
  • Regeneration is automatic 

Cons:

  • A couple of units leak water sporadically 
  • Packaging is hardly adequate 

Best RV Water Softener Buying Guide

With different people looking for different things, the RV community is at odds about the best RV water softener nowadays. That being said, in order to get your money’s worth, it’s widely advised that you memorize these criteria 

Hardness Level 

Commonly measured in GPG (Grain Per Gallon), the hardness level of a water softener for RV determines its ability to soften water in use. You should be able to deduce the ideal hardness level of your water softener by taking your travel into account. In the case that you stick to locations with water of decent quality, feel free to pick up a standard water softener for your rig. On the other hand, if you plan to venture into regions known for having hard water, you have to prioritize models with high hardness levels. 

Flow Rate 

The flow rate of a RV water softener essentially indicates the amount of water that it’s capable of softening. Usually, you could learn the flow rate of a particular water softener just by checking out its owner’s manual. Still, as brands tend to overstate the flow rate of their products, it’s a good idea to read several customer reviews to be thorough. That is going to help you keep the number of models that reach your shortlist low and save some time. 

Size

It’s common knowledge among RVing enthusiasts that space is hard to come by so size is an important consideration. Owing the best RV water softener means nothing if you cannot find space to set it up in your RV. To make a wise investment, you need to compare the dimensions of the interior to that of market water softeners. Unless the numbers happen to suggest a match, it’s strongly recommended that you refrain from committing to a purchase. 

Ease Of Installation 

Well, technically, you always have the option of hiring someone else to take care of the setup process of your water softener in your stead. However, since you want a water softener anyway, why don’t you choose one that could install on your own? In most of the cases, the owner’s manual of a certain water softener should contain a lot of details regarding its ease of installation. Think about your level of skill too and decide accordingly. 

Price 

$100 – $250: Basic and practical, water softeners in the range could guarantee a flow of softened water in a diversity of conditions. Besides that, being a breeze to operate and maintain, models that cost between $100 and  $250 take very little time to master. 

$250 – $500: Equipped with an assortment of features and functions, water softeners in the range perform fairly well no matter the environment. Hence, for their versatility and adaptability, models with price tags from $250 to $500 receive positive remarks from RV water softener reviews

Above $500: As high-end models, water softeners in the range never fails to please RVers in the course of operation. You place quality above all? If that is so, it’s best that you look for models with costs exceeding $500.


Top RV Water Softener Brands

Water softeners for recreational vehicles on today’s market come from brands but once it comes to reputability, certain names stand out from the rest 

On The Go

With substantial experience in designing filtration systems, On The Go fully understands how to put together solid water softeners that could satisfy people in use. Thus, RVers from novices to veterans think highly of On The Go and its models. 

Mobile Soft Water

Thanks to the emphasis on optimization, Mobile Soft Water is capable of assembling long-lasting water softeners with wonderful utility. Furthermore, introduced to the market at budget-friendly prices, models from Mobile Soft Water fit the wallet of typical RVers. 

Pro Aqua

With a user-oriented mindset, Pro Aqua consistently releases water softeners that boast terrific convenience. With models made by Pro Aqua, enthusiasts of RVing could keep the minerals out of vehicles without breaking a sweat. 

Whirlpool

By applying innovations into production, Whirlpool could provide RVers with tip-top water softeners that don’t cost a fortune. Aside from that, models of Whirlpool come alongside reassuring warranties that bring peace of mind. 


FAQs About Water Softeners For RV

What is water softener regeneration?

In layman’s terms, regeneration is the phase that water softeners flush out all the minerals they caught so they can soften more hard water. Depending on the models, regeneration of water softeners for recreational vehicles lasts between 45 and 90 minutes. 

How much salt do water softeners use to soften water? 

A lot of factors affect the amount of salt that salt-based water softeners consume in the course of operation. On average, you need to add around 50 ounces of salt into ordinary salt-based water softeners to soften hard water. 

Is it wire to use potassium as a salt substitute? 

In time of need, you could substitute potassium for salt but keep in mind that potassium cost more than salt. Also, potassium melts when wet which may even lead to the creation of brides inside the tanks of water softeners. 

Do water softeners require dedicated maintenance? 

Overall, different water softeners often have different characteristics so it’s widely advised that you refer to the owner’s manual of your water softener. If you have questions, contact the manufacturer for answers instead of improvising on the spot.

You can also find our guides on how to choose the best RV shower head, best RV water hose, best RV water filter, best RV water pressure regulator, best RV water pump, best RV tankless water heater with detailed reviews in RV Freshwater Systems category. In these reviews, we only include and recommend the best products with the highest ratings among highly sold products on the market.

Last Updated on May 10, 2021

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