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Portable Water Softeners

Published by Alexa Bartel on

iWaterPurification Ultimate Guide To Portable Water Softeners

PuRite 15 Stage Shower Filter Water Softener

Looking for the best deal in a portable water softener, but not sure which brand is the best? Here at iWaterPurification, we’re constantly reviewing the latest portable water softeners for RV and outdoor lovers alike. 

We understand how confusing it can be to find the best value and quality. Reading reviews and price-comparison shopping is time consuming, which is why we’ve put together a comprehensive review of the top portable water softeners available this year.

Since we’re not endorsed by any brand, you’ll find our reviews are an unbiased assessment of user feedback. Carefully researched product information for each water softener in our review is also included so you can easily compare features.

Check out our table of our top picks this year, then scroll further for a detailed product review of each water softener.

Let’s get started!

iWater Purification Portable Water Softener Top Picks For 2019

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Built for heavy usage
  • High-premium resin beads
  • Easy regeneration process
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  • 10,000 grain capacity
  • Highly effective regeneration improves by 55%
  • Cradle base for secure fitting
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  • High-use grain capacity
  • Versatile applications
  • Compact design
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  • Full mfg warranty
  • Adapts to wide range of RV’s
  • Suitable for full-time RV use
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  • 2x more grain capacity than standard model
  • Attachment accessories included
  • Suited for high volume RV use
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  • Lightweight and affordable
  • Requires no tools to attach
  • Filter replacement every twice per year
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iWaterPurification Best Portable Water Softener For Your RV In 2019

On The Go OTG3NTP1DS Double STD Water Softener

Key Features:

– 16,000 grain capacity (up to 40 days of soft water supply)
– Weight: 32 lbs
– Carrying handle for ease of portability and storage
– Easy to install (standard garden hose connection)
30mn regeneration 
– Large-size mouth opening for easy regeneration
– High grade premium resin
360 degree swivel for easy connection of the inlet hose​

Product Review

Our top pick begins with the On The Go Portable 16000 Grain RV Water Softener, and you really can’t do better for the price. Users agree that the On The Go Portable 16000 Grain RV Water Softener is a hassle-free product that will solve your hard water problems on the road within days after being installed! In fact, your only complaint will probably be that you didn’t get it sooner.

Typically, a standard water softener has a maximum 800 grain capacity. This unit, however, has 2x as much grain capacity, which means you’ll need to regenerate less often than your standard model.

The manufacturers claim that the Portable 16000 Grain RV Water Softener system is the best value for its size and we have to agree. The brine tank holds 2 boxes of table salt and only takes about 30 minutes to regenerate. You’ll have about 40 days – or 16,000 gallons – worth of drinkable, healthy soft water before you need to regenerate again.

High grade resins are used to purify your water and the unit, once installed and activated, works in minutes. It includes water test strips as well so you can quickly gauge the water quality before using it.

Despite its large grain capacity, it requires a standard garden hose union to connect to your RV, marine vehicle, or outdoor facility. You won’t need any tools to install it either, and it’s compact enough to be stored in your dock side locker or storage bay when not in use.

If you regularly take week-long camping trips in your RV the On The Go Portable 16000 Grain RV will definitely suit your needs. On the other hand, if you only camp occasionally this may be more than you actually need. Either way, it’s still an incredible bargain and guaranteed to make your next RV excursion even more enjoyable!

Picture of Watts Water Quality Flow-Pur RV-Pro Water Softener

Key Features:

– 10,000 grain capacity unit
– Product Dimensions: 22 x 10 x 10 inches
Weight: 9 lbs
– Built-in drain line flow restrictor for improved regeneration and grain capacity (up to 55% more)
– Custom designed flow valves allow regeneration without having to connect/disconnect the system
– Hardness strips included
– Uses common table salt

Product Review

If you’re sick and tired of hard water in your RV, want something affordable and is low maintenance, our second top pick is a sure winner. Flow-Pur’s RV-Pro 10,000 doesn’t have the same grain capacity as our top pick, the On The Go Portable 16,000, but it performs just as admirably.

Rv’ers are simply amazed by the difference in water quality after installing the Flow Pur RV Pro 10,000. You can immediately test the water quality using the water test strips that come with it, and the installation takes only minutes.

One of the unique features of the Flow Pur RV Pro water softener system for RV’s is the custom built flow valves which allow you to regenerate the resin tank without disconnecting the unit again!

Common household table salt is all you need to regenerate the Flow Pur RV Pro 10,000, which you’ll need to do about 1x month if you’re RV’ing on weekly excursions. As long as you regenerate the unit routinely, it works as well as water softeners hundreds of dollars more expensive.

One issue that appears to recur is the orange Y valve. If your water pressure is high, (above 4 GPM) you may experience leakage or the y-valve might break when you try to tighten it.

But make no mistake, the overwhelming majority of users have nothing but good things to say about the Flow Pur RV Pro 10,000. So if you’re on a budget but still want great quality, the Flow Pur Pro 10000 offers premium performance at a great price point.

Picture of Mobile-Soft-Water Portable 16,000 Grain Water Softener

Key Features:

– 16,000 grain capacity unit
– Weight: 33 lbs
– Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 9.2 x 21.6 inches
– Treats up to 5GPM
– USEPA, NSF61, Lead-free approved water connections

Product Review

RV or yacht, the Mobile Soft Water Portable 16000 is competitively priced and high-performing. This stylish water softener has a large 16,000 grain capacity, larger than your standard model, and you’ll need some accessories to install it that aren’t included, but it works like a charm.

Users recommend you purchase a male to male connection in order to properly attach the Mobile Soft Water Portable 16000. The input hose connector isn’t included either so be sure to pick one up as well along with your Mobile Portable 16000.

That being said, the user instructions are clear and easy to follow. It takes only minutes to install but if you do have a problem call their customer service. You may actually receive an answer to your query from the owner himself, who often helps customers troubleshoot their problems by phone. Not bad, huh?

The ½ cubic feet mineral tank holds highly charge resin that can purify up to 5 gallons of water per minute, which is more GPM’s than most RV’s and marine vehicles have. Any higher, though, and you’ll likely experience leakage problems so be sure and double check your water pressure
is suitable.

Once installed, you’ll enjoy continuous clean water in your RV or boat for showers, drinking, washing dishes, or anything else. Depending on the hardness of your water and your water usage, you could expect to regenerate your unit every 10 days, or 3 times per month, which isn’t bad at all.

We should note that the nylon hose outlet connection will eventually wear out. If that happens, you could see leakage because the threading on the connector has worn out. You could invest in a connector made of more durable metal, provided it is lead free.

It’s also strongly recommended that you apply teflon or pipe dope to the inlet and outlet hoses once you connect your Mobile Soft Water Portable 16000.

Image of On The Go OTG3NTP3M Portable Water Softener

Key Features:

– 8000 grain capacity unit
– Weight: 18 lbs
– Product Dimensions: 7 x 19.5 x 7.3 inches
– Full manufacturer warranty included

Product Review

Having clean water while you’re on the road in your RV or sailing on your yacht isn’t just a luxury. The OTG3NTP3M provides a noticeable improvement in water quality that has amazed users time and again.

Small but effective is the best way to describe the On The Go OTG3NP3M Portable Water Softener. Not only is it lighter than the large grain capacity models we’ve reviewed earlier, at 18 pounds it still performs just as well and isn’t difficult to maintain.

With daily water usage in your RV, for example, you’ll only need to regenerate every 5 – 7 days. You can install it outdoors at a city water source if you need a portable water softener for your seasonal campsite.

scale image of On The Go OTG3NTP3M Portable Water Softener beside a person to show the height

A box of ordinary iodized salt will last about 1 week with daily usage (about 2000 gallons). You can wash dishes, laundry, and drink clean water every day in your RV on just 1 box of salt! The highly charged resin uses ordinary table salt to recharge, so you don’t need a special solution. A bottle of test strips is included and once you add the salt, regeneration takes about 20 – 30 minutes maximum!

If you’re a full-time RV’er, you’ll definitely appreciate how easy it is to maintain the On The Go OTG3NP3M. For those who plan on excursions with 2 or more people, however, may be too small. The On The Go 16000 grain Portable Water Softener is bigger and more suitable.

Overall, On The Go portable water softeners are popular with hardcore RV’ers and the OTG3NTP3M is another example of their commitment to quality at an affordable price. You’ll never need to buy water on the road again!

Picture of On The Go OTG4-DBLSOFT-Portable 16,000 Grain RV Water Softener beside individual parts

Key Features:

– 16000 grain capacity unit
– Weight: 32 lbs
– Product Dimensions: 10 x 32 x 24 inches
– High grade resin
– Uses ordinary table salt for regeneration

Product Review

Designed for everyday RV use, the On The Go OTG3NTP1DS is another large grain capacity water softener from On The Go that delivers everything you’d want in a water softener.

Conveniently packaged, it includes all the attachments you need to install it right away in only minutes. There are test strips, standard garden hose fittings hose plugs, and the ion resin is already pre-charged so you don’t even need salt right away.

Because of its large grain capacity, two adults can use the OTG3NTP1DS every day for about 40 days before regeneration. A single user won’t need to regenerate for even longer. Some users have gone as long as 3 months before needing to regenerate. This of course depends on the hardness level of your water.

It uses premium quality resin that quickly recharges and you’ll notice a drastic difference in your RV water quality. Should you run out of resin beads, you can order more directly from the manufacturer.

At only 10 inches high, the OTG3NTP1DS RV water softener is easy to store when not in use. You’ll need additional insulation if you install it at an outdoor source during winter, but it’s made of sturdy, durable material.

picture of PuRite 15 Stage Shower Filter Water Softener with all included parts

Key Features:

– Weight:1.3 lbs
– Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 3.7 x 3.5 inches
– Easy Installation
– 15-stage water treatment process for improved water quality
– No regeneration required
– No tools required for installation

Product Review

For those of you who are looking for a simple solution that will purify your bath water, the Purite Shower Filter Water Softener is an affordable, quality investment. Although it’s not specifically for RV’ing, the PuRite Shower Filter adapts easily.

No more straw-like hair, skin rashes, or filmy soap residue. Say goodbye to corroded shower heads once you install the PuRite Shower Filter. No tools are required, no hoses or connectors. The attachment weighs less than 2 pounds and attaches easily to your showerhead in minutes.

No regeneration is needed with the Purite Shower Filter either. The attachment uses a unique filter 15 stage filtering system that purifies and fortifies your water with healthy elements such as vitamin C, calcium sulfite, and nano silver.

picture of the 4 step installation process of PuRite 15 Stage Shower Filter Water Softener

The universal fitting on the PuRite Shower Filter Water Softener is suitable for fixed, rain or handheld shower heads. Attach to your showerhead in your RV, on your boat, at your campsite, or even your garden hose. The high quality filter lasts 6 months and you can easily order your replacement online from the company website.

So if you don’t feel the need for a large grain capacity portable water softener, the PuRite Shower Filter is much more affordable and far easier to maintain. Your hair and skin will definitely thank you!

black and white picture of shower head releasing water

Do I Really Need A Portable Water Softener?

Anyone who enjoys outdoor travelling knows that access to clean drinking water on long excursions can be expensive and inconvenient. The cost of hard water, however, to your health and equipment, can be even more damaging.

Leaking faucets, foul-smelling water, filmy residue, skin rashes, straw-like hair: these are just some of the symptoms you may be experiencing if you use hard water regularly on your outdoor excursions. The calcium and magnesium build-up rusts fixtures and pipes, and at high levels you’ll notice a range of hygienic problems that aren’t lethal, but certainly unhealthy.

RV enthusiasts, outdoor campers, boaters, and other thrill seekers can easily solve the problem with a portable water softener. Designed specifically for use on the road, a portable water softener is a fairly simple device that connects to your water supply to purify hard water in minutes.

A portable water softener is much smaller than a whole house water filter system and as a result, more affordable.

Key features of a quality water softener for your RV, camping ground or marine vehicle include:

– Lightweight ( avg 8 – 30lbs)
– Compact design stores easily
– Universal garden hose connections for easy installation
– Quality resin beads that recharge quickly

How Does a Water Softener Work?

Salt water softeners are considered one of the best ways to remove hardness from your water. While it’s impossible to eliminate hardness entirely, a quality salt water softener is cost-efficient, even if it does require regular maintenance.

Using a process called ion exchange, a salt water softener passes the hard water from the water source through a mineral tank. In the tank are sodium ion charged resin beads, which act like a cleansing agent to adsorb unwanted elements in your water.

As the hard water passes through the mineral tank, magnesium and calcium ions in your hard water are replaced with the friendlier, softer, more pleasing sodium ions.

Salt water softeners need to be replenished each time the supply of sodium ion beads is depleted of their charge. The recharging process, called regeneration, requires some maintenance but it’s not labor intensive. How often you regenerate will depend on the grain capacity of your water softener, and the level of water hardness.

To regenerate your water softener, a brine tank filled with a solution is used to cleanse the mineral tank of the calcium and magnesium ions that were removed from your hard water.

picture of a faucet running hard water

How Hard is Your Water?

Testing your water quality regularly is the only way to ensure that you’re maintaining appropriate ppm (parts per million) levels. Typically, water hardness is measured in gpg, or grains per gallon. CWS sources are generally safe and reliable but that isn’t always the case.

If you are a regular RV’er or you rely on an alternate water source for your campsite, ranch, or marine facility, you can test water quality using water test strips. These can be purchased at most hardware stores but your portable water softener will include a few for your initial use.

After testing your water quality, refer to the table below to determine how hard your water is.

iWater Purification Water Hardness Table

Classification

Grains/Gallon

mg/L or PPM

Soft

Less than 1

Less than 17.1

Slightly Hard

1 – 3.5

17.1 – 60

Moderately Hard

3.5 – 7 

60 – 120

Hard 

7 – 10

120 – 180

Very Hard

Over 10

Over 180

1 gpg = 17.1 mg/L (17.1ppm)

Maintenance Tips For Your Portable Water Softener

– Regenerate as the user manual instructs.
– Test your water hardness regularly
– Do not over-tighten connectors or you’ll risk leakage
– Insulate your connector hose with teflon tape or pipe dope to reduce risk of leakage.
– Purchase replacement filters, resin beads or water test strips before your supply runs out.
– High water pressure can reduce the effectiveness of your portable water softener.
– Don’t install in your home.

Final Words

Hopefully, you’ll find the perfect portable water softener for your RV among our top picks. We’d love to hear your feedback if you have experience with any of the brands in our review. Visit iWaterPurification often for more great reviews on the best water treatment products for your needs!