Portable Water Softeners for RVs


Well-known member
At the 2006 rally in Goshen, a few of us were talking about water filtration in our RVs. Most of us use at least an inline filter and some of use 2 or 3 stage filtration systems. In 2007, I want to take my water quality to the next level. Specifically, I’d like to soften it up a bit so it’s easier on our skin, tastier in our coffee and much less harsh on our water system components (fixtures, water heater etc.).

Has anyone here had any experience with portable water softeners for RVs? I started looking at portable units today. Below are two of them:

“Travelsoft RV1200” unit sold by RV Water Filter Store, Camping World and elsewhere.

“On The Go” unit made/sold by On The Go and sold by Camping World and elsewhere.

I phoned RV Water Filter Store today and spoke to the owner, Richard Dahl. This is where I purchased my 2 stage filtration system last year. Richard was generous with his time and gave me a lot of information. I have since emailed him a list of about 6 follow-up questions.

I also phoned On The Go today and spoke with Ben Scherschel, their managing partner. He too was very generous with his time and gave me a lot of information about their product and how it differs from the Travelsoft product.

I have to say that after learning what I have thus far, I would favor the On The Go portable water softener.

I would love to hear from anyone who has had experience with either of these units or some other brand. I have a few months before I have to decide on a unit.



"On The Go" Portable Water Softener

"Travelsoft RV1200" Portable Water Softener


Well-known member

I have been looking at the water softeners also, due to the hard water in the So Calif area. I like the On the Go since it only uses table salt and not rock salt.

Also it seems not to take as long to regenerate once the 300 gallons of water have been made.



EX-Travel Bug

I used the travel soft while full timing. Had no problems, easy to regenerate and it stores nicely in the hook up port of my Grand Canyon. You have to use rock salt, but I found it in small ten pound bags in Ca. The unit uses Ten cups of salt, I found that I could only get about 7 - 8 cups in the unit. Cost was around 250, from camping world.


Well-known member

Thanks for your review on the Travelsoft unit. Sounds like it would work out fine. Still, I am leaning towards trying the 'On The Go' unit. Using table salt sounds like it's easier to load.



Well-known member
I just ordered the On-The-Go Portable Water Softener (image in post 1 of this thread).

To start out the season, I plan to keep it simple and connect it to the output of the second filter of my 2 stage filter system. I plan to keep it outside of the trailer with the filters.

Later in the season, I may put the softener between the Sediment and KDF (Kinetic Degradation Fluxion) filters.

Should be nicer on the water system in the trailer and make for spot-free truck/trailer washing.



Travelsoft RV1200

Jim, we have the Travelsoft RV1200 that we use at our campgound on Lake Leelanau over by Traverse City Michigan. Last year it appeared to consume the salt in the unit very quickly. When I refilled the unit, it appeared I was pouring salt into a bottomless pit. I read a review on the softner at CW, and one reviewer said he attached a recharging unit to the softner and no longer needs to recharged it with salt. I just wish I knew where to get such a recharge unit.

Bill & Renee' Kaufman
2008 3370 Bighorn


Well-known member

I chose my unit as I could use standard table salt (1 pound) to recharge rather than use rock salt. Just seemed easier.

I have yet to put any salt in my unit as the resin bed is virgin. As the resin bed collects all the particles that make up the hardness in the water, they require back flushing or cleaning. This is what the salt is used for.

So my understanding is that the unit will not consume salt during normal usage. Salt is used in the resin bed cleaning process only. Once all the salt is flushed from the system during the cleaning/back flush/recharging process, little residual salt remains in the resin bed and therefore in the water we use from it.

That all said, I am sorry but I cannot help you with finding an attachable recharge unit for your Travlsoft. I am sure some Google searching will find what you need.

RO system

[FONT=&quot]Here are some pictures of the RO system I have installed in my 06 LM. I use my RO system when I at places that have hard or bad taste water. I only use RO water from my fresh water tank while I'm there. It's all inside the trailer and the only thing you can see is the wastewater drain that's plumbed into the drainpipe. I use 6 filters, one 20m, one 10m, one 5m and 3 1 micron carbon block filters. The water is pumped at around 90 to 100 psi to the filters then to the UV light and then into 4 parallel RO membranes. All the water lines are plumbed thru the trailer from docking station to the compartment where the hydraulic pump and RO system is located; back to the docking station to the water tank fill cap and the drainpipe. Other than the drain line the only water line that can be seen is the hose from the hydrant to the trailer. Just using filters you can't remove the Total Dissolved Solids from the water, just the boulders that flow thru the water pipe. At least that is what I was told while I was at El Centro Ca. the first time I was there. That’s been about 3 years ago right after I started full timing. I was also told that running RO water in your fresh water system in the trailer would help remove the solid minerals that have remained from other water sources... I really enjoy reading what others have done and all the good information that is posted here. I always love learning new things. Take care all; Hope to see you on the road... [/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT]


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Well-known member
I've been using the 'on the go' system for about a year. It is easy to recharge with a box of table salt. With both of us taking daily showers and usually long showers we can get about 5 days out of a recharge. I have not found the recharging as quick as they claim though. They claim about 15 minutes. I probably over do it but take sometimes a couple of hours to ensure I get maximum softening out of it. Also if you are ever in high iron areas use about a tablespoon of IronOut when softening. It keeps it clean but also descales the beads that become iron covered.

I am quite happy with it and think it does a good job.


Well-known member

I bought the "On The Go" Water Softener at Our Rally in Goshen.

I use a in line filter before the softener. Hoping that filter will protect what goes into the softener as well as our RV.

I enjoy how well it's working... So nice to have soft water for a Shower... the walls of the shower shows it was a worth while purchase... they nearly dry spot free.

We now find the taste of our water to be consistant. My Coffee now tastes the same in each state we've been in.... Karen has stopped buying her occasional bottled water and now enjoys the taste of tap water.

I bought this with thoughts of the water we had in Arizona... it left spots on all the faucets and the shower walls... Made bad coffee... and generally was hard to drink. This Softener along with a pre-filter for taste and the big particles that flow in some water supplies... should help the problem. If I find it's not quite enough I will add one more filter so I can have two seperate types of cartridges.

Easy to re-charge... one box of table salt... unscrew the top with the water supply off... dump in the salt... let it set for 15 minutes... then flush the salt out of the Softener by flowing a pencil stream of water into the drain... for 15 minutes time. Our use so far has required this only once a Month.