Looking for a reliable way to combat hard water issues while on the road?
Then, a portable water softener can be the RV Pro’s best friend.
For the RV enthusiast and camper, buying the best portable water softener for RV can be an excellent investment that will be worth every penny.
Not sure which one to get?
Fortunately, we’ve made this comprehensive list and expert reviews of 5 most-popular models.
Whether you are on RV, boat or in camp, having one of these units can help to reduce or even eliminate your hard water problems.
Let’s read through our portable RV water softener reviews below to find them.
What's in this Guide?
- Our Top Picks
- Best Portable RV Water Softeners of 2021
- 1. On The Go OTG4-DBLSOFT- Best Large Capacity RV Water Softener
- 2. PRO+AQUA FBA-WS-P-16 PRO Premium Grade Water Softener
- 3. Mobile-Soft-Water MSW0918-M-16S-C- Best for Total Hardness Removal
- 4. Watts Water M7002 Flow-Pur RV-Pro 10,000 – Best Compact RV Softener
- 5. SoftPro 8000 – Best RV Water Softener for Couples
- How to Choose the Best Portable RV Water Softener
Our Top Picks
Before diving into our detailed review, let’s check the following quick chart.
1. Best Overall: On the Go OTG4-DBLSOFT – If looking for an easy-to-use unit that is efficient and reliable, this might be your best fit.
2. Best for Outdoors: PRO+AQUA FBA-WS-P-16 – With a 16,000 grain capacity, this model can provide up to 2000 gallons for you when traveling.
3. Best Quality: Mobile-Soft-Water MSW0918-M-16S-C water softener that uses robust nylons fittings from NSF listed materials when treating drinking water to ensure that the water is safe at all times.
4. Best User-Friendly: Watts Water M7002 Flow-Pur RV-Pro – An easy-to-use compact model that comes with hardness test strips to help you monitor the output water.
5. Best Budget: SoftPro 8000 – With 0.25 cubic feet of resin it comes with, all you’ll need is a box of table salt to regenerate.
Best Portable RV Water Softeners of 2021
Hundreds of models from different brands are available, catering to different needs and budgets. But all are not built equally. Unfortunately, there are many units that are good for nothing.
So, finding the right one that will offer you the best value for your money is quite challenging.
However, our team of experts have researched and made a comprehensive list with reviews of 5 sought-after models.
Each of our listed products is outstanding in terms of efficiency, quality, durability and price.
Let’s check them out.
1. On The Go OTG4-DBLSOFT- Best Large Capacity RV Water Softener
Founded in 2004, On The Go, LLC is a leading developer of water softening products for the recreational vehicle (RV) market.
OTG4-DBLSOFT is one of the best low cost and travel-friendly models for soft water in the portable water softener line up. It is an easy-to-use unit designed for RV owners. Plus, it offers a simple and affordable way to eliminate harmful hard water contaminants.
When we take its efficiency, reliability, and ease of use into consideration, it is undeniable that On The Go OTG4-DBLSOFT deserves the title of the best RV water softener this year. According to the manufacturer, it is the largest compact salt-base RV softener on the market.
This 16,000-grain unit produces twice the gallons compared to any standard water softening system. Reportedly, it delivers approx. 40% more soft water than any other unit on the market. Importantly, it allows high flow rates with a very low-pressure drop.
OTG4-DBLSOFT is built for quick and simple regeneration. It only requires less than 30 minutes for regeneration with just two boxes of common table salt. The large mouth opening makes salt addition easy and hassle-free.
This salt-based unit makes an incredible difference in water taste. The resin used in this system is of high grade. So, it efficiently softens water to prevent hard water and rust stains. Eventually, it increases the lifespan of your water appliance. It also improves the taste and odor of the water and lathering of soaps.
Notably, you can use potassium when recharging your softener.
The compact, space-saving design allows you to install it in the limited space in your RV. Moreover, you can easily store it in your storage bay or dockside locker.
This travel-friendly unit includes easy to carry handle on top. Additionally, the included cap and plug prevents spills as you’re driving on bumpy roads. Furthermore, the full cradle base ensures a very secure and stable setting.
Setting up this system is super simple. It includes a standard garden hose connection to use between the park faucet and your RV. The top of the tank swivels 360 degrees to fit any inlet hose easily.
Conveniently, it requires no electricity for operation. The back-flush adapter comes included for quick and easy reverse connection when required.
If you’re a frequent RV traveler, consider this model to buy.
- Travel-friendly design
- Easy to set-up
- Quick & simple regeneration
- Space-saver and compact
- Easy to carry and store
- Weighing 32 pounds, this unit is a little heavy for some to lift and move around.
2. PRO+AQUA FBA-WS-P-16 PRO Premium Grade Water Softener
PRO+AQUA FBA-WS-P-16 is designed for portability and durability. It is built for reliability and built to work when you are on the open road.
The 16000 grain capacity makes it perfect for serious outdoor person and RV/boat owners looking for the best mobile water softener. It is also great for trailer and mobile car detail professionals.
The large capacity container can provide up to 2000 gallons or 40 days of softening water, depending on water hardness and your usage. The manufacturer claims that it softens about 40% more water than any other unit in its size.
Moreover, regeneration requires less than 30 minutes with two boxes of table salt. Backwashing is straight forward with the included female to female adapter.
Importantly this Pro Grade softener uses premium capacity resin. It also reduces iron, magnesium, calcium and other heavy metals from well or city water. Thus, it prevents scale build-up and protects your expensive appliances and increase their lifespan.
Measuring about 10-inch dia. x 19.5-inch height, WS-P-16 is one of the best compact softeners for RV on the market. Moreover, the ¾-inch standard garden hose ports let you easily connect it between the park faucet and your boat, RV or pressure washer.
Of course, the unit comes fully assembled and charged. So, it is ready for use in five minutes.
The compact footprint of this unit makes it easy to carry around from place to place. It is quick and simple to set up as well. The 10-3/8-inch wide base offers maximum stability on uneven surfaces.
When it comes to durability, this system will keep on producing soft water for years to come. Thanks to its high-grade NSF construction materials, including premium polyethylene as well as tough fiberglass.
- Made of premium materials
- Quick and simple to set up/ use
- Easily regenerate
- Designed and assembled in California USA
- Well-made and durable
- Compact and portable
- Bumps and weather protective
- Comes assembled; ready to use
- NSF certified
- Several users have complained that the included fixtures and attachments leaked.
- Somewhat heavy
3. Mobile-Soft-Water MSW0918-M-16S-C- Best for Total Hardness Removal
Mobile-Soft-Water MSW0918-M-16S-C is a great unit for recreational vehicle use and car wash applications.
It has a high capacity of 16,000 grains, and it treats up to 5 gallons of water per minute. It also regenerates quickly without electricity, making it mobile and convenient to use.
The tank comes loaded with 1/2 cubic foot of highly charged 8% cross-link water softening resin. So, water hardness won’t bother you as the resin gets the job done excellently.
This water softener removes total hardness and soluble iron with ease from the well and some municipal water. Thus, it protects your water appliances from adverse effects of iron and scale build-up and helps to extend the life of appliances.
The kit comes complete. Importantly, this model includes NSF61 approved lead-free water connections that make the unit safe for health.
Instead of brass fittings, it uses robust nylon fittings made of NSF listed materials for use when treating drinking water. So, the water output is safe for use and drink.
- Easy to regenerate
- Portable and easy to use
- Made of safe and high-quality materials
- Powerful and safe
- Low maintenance
- You may need to buy a male-to-male fitting to make this softener work properly.
- It uses nylon fittings that may become cross-threaded over time.
4. Watts Water M7002 Flow-Pur RV-Pro 10,000 – Best Compact RV Softener
M7002 Flow-Pur RV-Pro is a user-friendly and competitively-priced portable water softener on the market today.
The sturdy construction of Watts Water M7002 ensures many years of flawless service if you maintain it properly. It offers high flow rates up to 4 GPM (Gallons Per Minute) with low-pressure drop.
It uses a high-quality resin that will last for years (up to 10 or more years, depending on the input water quality). Notably, the resin is pre-treated. So you don’t need to add any salt before using the system the first time.
Conveniently, for regeneration you can use ordinary table salt. So it costs only pennies per gallon to use. It requires only two pounds of salt per generation. This amount is sufficient for every one to two weeks, depending on the amount of water treated and water’s hardness level.
What’s more, the unit comes with a set of hardness test strips. So, you can monitor the output water to know when it is time to regenerate. In general, you have to regenerate when the hardness exceeds 3 gpg.
Importantly, M7002 removes hardness-causing calcium and magnesium from the water. Thus it reduces scale build-up, and extends the life of water-heating appliances.
With a 20.5-inch height and 8.5-inch diameter, this model is the most compact one. So, it won’t take up much space either inside or outside your RV. Of course, the full cradle base on the tank keeps the system stable, whether in use or storage.
It comes with a 5-year limited warranty on the tank and a 1-year limited warranty on the head component.
- Lightweight and portable
- Compact; effortlessly fits tight spaces
- Simple to set up and use
- Efficient regeneration
- Economical to operate
- Very low maintenance
- Manufactured and assembled in the USA
- Several users have difficulty while attaching the input hose to the stationary input nozzle.
5. SoftPro 8000 – Best RV Water Softener for Couples
Next, we have this mini water softener from SoftPro, the leader in water treatment innovation and solutions. It’s an affordable water softening system that’s suitable for marine and RV enthusiasts.
SoftPro 8000 is a truly portable unit that provides softened water during your travels. It comes completely assembled and ready to travel.
8,000-grain capacity is the perfect amount for a compact and portable unit. It ensures that you will have soft water, no matter where you stop on long drives.
You’ll be amazed at the difference in the quality of the water in your RV or cabin. It protects the plumbing and fixtures throughout your RV from scale build-up.
You’ll find no water spots on your dishes. Additionally, the softened water helps you get rid of dry skin. It is also great for washing your RV or car.
This model comes with 0.25 cubic feet of resin. You’ll need just a box (2 pounds) of table salt to regenerate. Conveniently, it includes a cap which is removable for easy manual regeneration.
It is well-designed and compact to fit most RVs. Moreover, When not in use, you can easily store it away.
The wide base makes it very stable to prevent tipping over and keeps it upright. Thanks to its 6-inch diameter by 21.5-inch tall (with valve) fiberglass tank with base.
Installing this system is straightforward. It connects to most fittings in minutes.
SoftPro 8000 comes with everything you’ll need to hook it up. It also includes a 4 feet garden hose, a female inlet, and a male outlet; Simply connect the unit from your standard garden hose to your RV to enjoy high-quality water.
The nice feature is the convenient handle to carry it anywhere easily. It can also be used to mount the unit securely.
- Quick and easy to set up
- Easy to operate and regenerate
- Light and compact to carry
- Soft water soap test kit supplied
- Economical operation
- Lifetime warranty
- Assembled in the USA
- No regeneration instructions included
How to Choose the Best Portable RV Water Softener
When it comes to finding the right model, educating yourself about all the essential factors or parameter is a must. Buying the wrong one will cause you to waste both money and time.
You have to consider several features/ factors when shopping for this product so that you can better decide which model can meet your need when you are on the road.
This buying guide will help you to make a more informed choice.
Types of RV Water Softeners
Different types of RV water softeners are available to choose from. Some are salt-based, while others are salt-free. These include ion exchange, electronic, and magnetic water softening system. Of course, each type has a slightly different approach when it comes to softening water.
The ion-exchange system is the most effective one if you want a salt-based model. But they are expensive than others.
Magnetic water softeners or electronic water softeners might fit your needs if the use of salt in salt-based models cause concern in you. On the negatives, these types are known to be less effective than salt-based models.
Depending on your needs and preferences, decide on the kind of water softener you need for your RV.
Dimensions, Weight and Capacity
When you’re planning a trip in your RV, consider the gross weight of the RV and available space in it. You have to be careful with what you’ll pack and bring on your trip.
In this case, the size and weight of your water softener are important. In most cases, the portable models appear in a mini tank style.
A unit with a large capacity might sound good. But, it might not be necessary for one or two people. Also, avoid buying a softener with inadequate capacity as it may be unable to serve its purpose.
So, first, consider how many people will be with you during your trip. This should give you a good indication of how large the unit you may need to supply you constantly with soft water.
Go for one that requires regenerating less often while giving you a longer service time.
Ease of Use and Maintenance
Consider the ease of installation and use of the unit. Installation of a portable unit should be manageable and doable.
If you use a salt-base model, check how easy it is to regenerate. In this case, you should look at the mouth opening. It should provide you with easy access when it is time to refill the salt.
Go for a model that functions smoothly without requiring a lot of tune-up and maintenance.
It refers to the speed through which the unit can produce soft water.
It is expressed in GPM (gallon per minute). Different models come with different flow rate. Consider the peak usage in your RV and then determine which flow rate is appropriate for you.
Some of the reputable brands for manufacturing quality and reliable RV water softeners are On the Go, MOBILE-SOFT-WATER, WATTS WATER. They are trusted by consumers worldwide for offering but the best products that perform and last.
Buying a product from a trusted brand means it’ll most likely increase your chances of being satisfied with the unit.
How much a portable water softener costs depends on its size, type, extra features and brand reliability.
Simply put, you may need to spend anywhere between one hundred and five hundred dollars on a standard system.
After reading our reviews and buying guide, hope you won’t become the next victim of false reviews and advertising of portable water softeners that are good for nothing.
Quality soft water, convenience, and portability are just a few of the benefits these above-reviewed models offer.
If you love living outdoor, any of these models can be an excellent buy.
Pick the best portable water softener for RV and take that well-deserved break with your family and relax!