By Cheri Sicard
Are RV water softeners worth it? Here to answer the question is certified RV inspector Duane from the RV Inspection And Care YouTube channel.
Duane’s videos are always highly educational and this one is no exception. He starts by explaining exactly what a water softener does, which is the first step to determining if you need one.
Water from your hose goes in one side of the softener. Inside are resin particles that attract the hard water minerals from the water. The then “softened” water flows out the other side of the water softener and into your RV.
Why might you need an RV water softener?
Without a water softener, hard minerals in the water like calcium, magnesium, iron, etc. can build up in your RV’s water system.
Hmmmm, I shudder to think what my pipes might look like. After spending six months in Baja this winter I could see the mineral deposits building up in my RV’s toilet.
To be sure, you can be using hard water for a long time before it creates problems, but it can create issues.
Hard water can also have an off taste or odor. If it’s high in iron it can leave rust stains. It can make your skin dry. And worst of all, it can shorten the life of your appliances and RV plumbing system.
According to Duane, a whopping 85 percent of homes in the United States are dealing with hard water. So the problem is not uncommon.
How do you know if you need an RV water softener?
Duane recommends a small water testing kit that you can use in the places you like to camp. He thinks you’ll be surprised at how many of them have hard water.
Not to mention that campground water, in and of itself, can often be suspect. Duane has encountered it around the country, and I know I have as well. Many a campground during last year’s long, long RV trip had warnings about not drinking the water.
That’s why a lot of RVers have water filters, which do get rid of larger particulates. But they, unfortunately, do not soften the water.
Duane says you will notice an immediate difference in the quality of the water when using a water softener. Not only that, there are more benefits, including:
- Soaps and shampoos will suds more and work better.
- You’ll no longer deal with clogged shower nozzles.
- Appliances will be cleaner, run better, and last longer.
How to use an RV water softener
Watch the video as Duane shows how he uses the water softener in his own rig. He actually sandwiches it between two different filters and claims they always have really great water. It works well, but of course, there are methods.
RV water softener maintenance
Using the method of doing some filtration before softening, Duane says you will need less water softener maintenance.
That said, there is always going to be some maintenance involved with this particular RV accessory. But it is not a lot and is both cheap and easy to do.
After a while, those resin beads in the water softener become saturated with hard minerals. You need to get those minerals off of the beads. Duane says regular old table salt does a great job of this. In the video, Duane demonstrates exactly how to do this simple task.
Because of the quality of the water, Duane counts his RV water softener as one of the best overall RV accessories they have in their rig. With 85 percent of U.S. water being full of hard minerals, it seems like most RVers could benefit too. Do you use a water softener in your RV? Please share your experiences in the comments below.