Onboard Water Softener

I’ve found water at many places to be hard. Hard water is water with dissolved minerals. It can stain plumbing fixtures, add a foul taste, and make cleaning and laundry more difficult.

Water softeners are devices designed to remove most of the dissolved minerals in water. The softened water has fewer dissolved minerals and is more amenable to domestic use. There are several brands of portable water softeners suitable for use in an RV. For my rig, I used a product from, “On the Go”.


It consists of a fiberglass tank that holds a resin. The hard water flows through the resin where dissolved minerals are removed. This is typical for many brands of water softeners.

Water softeners can be hooked up to an outside water source using the supplied hose. I decided to install my softener onboard as a matter of convenience. It’s one less item to have to dig out of storage and setup and I don’t risk forgetting it or having it stolen.

Of course, you’ll need to find a place to install it. I was fortunate to find a place in my wet bay where I could stand up the cylinder upright (they don’t work lying sideways). I had to remove the black base and make a small plywood receiver that holds the bottom of the tank in place.

I also bought an extra length of water hose, a standard male water fitting and hardware to splice into to existing line. This will be different depending on your configuration. To secure the tank, I used a heavy-duty rubber shock cord.

As you can see from the video it was a tight fit but I still have access to the water pump switch and intake selector.

When it comes time to recycle the softener, I undo the rubber shock cord, disconnect the water hoses and remove the tank to an outside water spigot where it can be back-flushed using a small box of table salt.

Written on June 3, 2017