Finding the best portable water softener for your camper, RV, or boat can be hard. There are a bunch of different makes and models to choose from. How are you supposed to know which one is right for you?
We’ve reviewed and compared the top-rated portable water softeners, so you can figure out which one will work for your unique set up.
Top Portable Water Softener Reviews
- 1 Top Portable Water Softener Reviews
- 2 Common Portable Water Softener Questions
- 3 Pros of Portable Softening Systems
- 4 Our Recommendation – Here’s What We Think
Here’s a list of the best portable water softeners that you can use for your boat, RV, car, or camper.
Watts RV PRO-1000 OR M7002
The Watts RV PRO-1000 is a 10,000 grain, portable and compact water softener that requires very little maintenance and cost. It’s easy on the wallet and avoids the headache of a lot of other water softeners that are more complex. If you are on a camping trip or out on your boat with the family, the last thing you want to worry about is a water softener. The simplicity of the RV-PRO makes it extremely user friendly and a great choice for a hassle free water softener especially since it uses common table salt for the softening process. Watts includes includes a soft water test kit for testing the water coming out of the softener. This kit aids in helping know when to regenerate which generally takes only around 20-30 minutes.
Since it is extremely portable, it is especially great for marine & RV applications.
SoftSpot Nomad Portable 400 Water Softener and Spot Reducer
The Softspot Nomad Portable 400 is another great choice when portability is key. Plenty of portable water softeners tend skimp out on power and quality, but not the Nomad. The Nomad Portable 400 can produce up to 2400 gallons between regeneration cycles leaving you with plenty of fresh water between regeneration cycles. SoftSpot’s True Water Softening Technology completely eliminates media fouling and ensures proper resin regeneration ever time! The Nomad 400 completely regenerates in just 15 minuets and is ready for use for another 2400 gallons of fresh clean water, while other portable systems can take up to 2 hours to regenerate.
Keeping portability in mind, the Nomad is equipped with easy to use, quick-disconnect attachments with no special tools or electricity required making an even easier, headache free experience. After all, the last thing you want to worry about while you’re out on you’re boat enjoying the sun with your family is a water softener. There are plenty of other great applications for the Nomad, nearly endless. If you are an RV owner, a portable water softener is a must. It saves you from expensive repairs and replacement costs of appliances, pluming, showers, fixtures and more. Not to mention the substantial difference in water clarity and taste right from the faucet. What more could you ask for in a portable water softening system?
SoftSpot Nomad Portable RV Water Softener and Spot Reducer
The SoftSpot Nomad Portable RV Water Softener and Spot Reducer is very similar to it’s big brother, the Nomad Portable 400 as described above. The Nomad Portable 200 can produce up to 1200 gallons between regeneration cycles leaving you with just the right amount of water for your specific application. SoftSpot’s True Water Softening Technology completely is a great feature as it eliminates media fouling and ensures proper resin regeneration ever time! The brass hose connection & swivel quick disconnect fittings make it a reliable, universal fit for nearly every application!
The Nomad 200 completely regenerates in just 15 minuets and is ready for use for another 1200 gallons of fresh clean water, while other portable systems can take up to 2 hours to regenerate. This is one of my favorite features about the Nomad series because like you, I would not want to wait around for my water softener system to regenerate. Another great feature of the Nomad 200 is it’s extremely portable, lightweight design making it great for RV, vehicle and marine applications! It also includes a military grade nylon handle ensuring maximum durability when transporting it from one place to another.
DI-120 CR Spotless Water System
If you are looking for a spotless vehicle finish, the DI-120 is a fantastic choice. The DI-120 uses a de-ionizing system that removes all the minerals from your water dodging hard water spots that can easily ruin your vehicles finish over time. Since the DI-120 removes all of the minerals from your water, you will simply be able to wash and rinse your vehicle without having to towel dry! You’ll immediately notice a spot free finish on your RV, Boat, motorcycle, and more.
One of my favorite popular applications for the DI-120 is window washing. It’s nearly impossible to get spot free rinse when washing your exterior windows of your house with hard water from your spigot. Since the makers of the DI-120 implemented a built in stand, it makes it extremely easy to work your way around the house giving your windows a spot-free finish. The Spotless Water Systems are all equipped with a battery operated TDS meter that measures the quality of the water coming from the system, which completely eliminates the guess work of when to replace the resin cartridge.
ABC Water Equipment Water Softener
This is a great solution if you are looking for one of the best water softeners for your RV. Most campsites and RV parks provide less then satisfactory water sources for their campers, which is harmful to your appliances and plumbing. RV’s already carry a hefty price tag and why add to it with costly maintenance. They also make it easy and compatible by using standard garden hose connections made from brass, which in my opinion is a must for any portable water softener. ABC assembles each one of these water softeners in Phoenix, AZ and uses only the highest quality components available to ensure that it outlasts the rest.
This portable water softener provides a 12,800 grain capacity, which is actually pretty generous when compared to other portable systems. So, if you are looking for a larger portable unit with a bit more capacity for your application than this is a great solution. ABC includes a soft water test kit for testing the water coming out of the softener. This kit aids in helping know when to regenerate which is typically between 1500 and 2000 gallons depending on the condition of the water.
Common Portable Water Softener Questions
How Do Portable Softeners Work?
In this next section we are going to cover lots of ground and hopefully answer all the questions that you may have about the portable water softener. We’ll cover things like, what harmful minerals they filter out and why they’re harmful. Why they cost less to run than whole house water softeners. We will also list several great uses for the portable water softener that may have never even crossed your mind!
Like the whole house water softeners, the portable version is effective in softening your hard water and removing all the harmful mineral ions. The two most common minerals found in hard water is calcium and magnesium. These two minerals are notorious for causing mischief in your pluming, ruining your shinny faucets and wrecking your overly expensive appliances in your RV. Most portable water softeners like the ones listed above use a method called Ion exchange. The water supply is first directed into a tank that is filled with small negatively charged resin beads. Since the minerals carry a positive charge, they cling to the beads and are then traded off with sodium. Once the resin beads are full of minerals, the regeneration process begins.
The portability factor really plays a large role in the way these softeners work. In order for them to be portable, the manufacturers have to take several things into consideration when designing and creating them. Some of the limitations these have actually end up being some of the key features.
Most portable water softeners do not use electricity. Electricity costs money. Whether you are paying for gas to run the generator in your RV or paying the electricity bill at your house, it’s money out of pocket that you now do not have to spend. Since finding the nearest power outlet is no longer a concern, as long as there is a water source you will be able to have a quality, softened water.
A must have for RV owners. When camping at an RV park or a campsite that provides a water hook-up, these places provide less then adequate water supplies. These water supplies can cause serious damage to your RV’s appliances. Water heaters, washer and dryers, dishwashers, ice makers and other appliances in your RV are greatly affected by hard water and will decrease in overall effectiveness overtime. Replacing your appliances is a much more costly route than purchasing a water softener.
How do they work with the RV’s reservoir? Since they are portable, they tend to be simple. Which means an easy, headache free hookup. The softener simply goes in line between the water source and your RV. Here is how it works. First, a hose is connected from the water supply to the inlet of the water softener. Then, a hose is connected from the outlet of the softener to the water inlet of your RV. I told you it was simple!
A spot free wash for your vehicle. Whether you are a car enthusiast or just an everyday driver, you’ll love a spot-free shinny vehicle. When washing without a softener, the hard water minerals are scraping and grinding into your cars finish with no mercy. Overtime this causes a less than pleasant result. Your cars once shinny coat will become dull and boring. Using a softener will keep your new car looking new. Softening the water also minimizes soap use and increases lathering and when you rinse your vehicle you’ll soon realize that your vehicle is completely spot free!
Why Do I Need a Portable Water Softener?
Many standard tap and well water sources have excess amounts of calcium and magnesium in them making the water “hard.” In the H20 business, they call those hard minerals mineral ions. This basically means the water doesn’t have a proper chemical balance. These harsh elements in the water can cause dry skin, dry hair, plumbing problems, and soap incompatibility. The hard water repels soap similar to oil and water making it difficult to wash the soap off of your skin. The only way to reduce these problems is to reduce the excess amounts of calcium and magnesium in the H20. Once the water “softens,” the hard water problems will disappear.
Traditionally, people use whole home water softeners to treat their water before it comes into their homes, but what about when you aren’t at your house? Vacationers, campers, and people who travel the country need a more compact, moveable solution to treat their hardwater, particularly RV vacationers. Dealing with hard water on the road, at campsites, and in the wilderness is much easier with one of the best portable water softeners. Here are some of the top brands we found.
Pros of Portable Softening Systems
- Increased life of RV and marine appliances
- Clean and tasteful drinking water
- Lightweight & portability
- Easy installation
- Reduces hard water build up
- Spot free rinse for washing vehicles, RVs and boats
- Softened water minimizes soap use and increases lathering
Our Recommendation – Here’s What We Think
Those are the best on the go water softeners that we’ve found and think they are perfect for people who need to treat their water outside the home. The most common example of this is an RV traveler or camper who needs to treat their drinking and bathing water on site. There’s no way around it. People driving across the country in a recreational vehicle need something that smaller and more movable than an actual home unit.
These compact softeners are exactly what you need. All of the ones above are durable, long-lasting units that will do a great job providing clean water for you and your family. You can’t go wrong with any of them. Just think about your needs. Are you looking to wash your car or go on a road trip with the family? Then pick out one of the best softeners we’ve listed above.