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Old 06-04-2013, 04:18 PM   #1
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De-Ionize and Water Softening Wash Systems

Did a search on IRV2 on this and saw no discussions, so I'll ask.

I've seen several systems on line (On the Go and Watersticks being two) that soften the water and de-ionize the rinse for a near spot free wash without drying. Talked to an owner that swore by the On the Go system.

The On the Go is a little expensive; Watersticks works similar and costs less.

Any others out there with good or bad experiences before I lay out the bucks and buy? Drying by hand on a ladder, only to have additional dripping and lines of hard water "leavings", is 1) a little dangerous on the ladder and 2) a big frustration.

Thoughts anyone?

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Old 06-04-2013, 06:28 PM   #2
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We have an On-The-Go for the coach water system. Didn't think to use it for washing the coach, darn! Other than the lack of for sight, I really like it. I have it mounted in the bay next to the wet bay. Semipermanent mounting. I do have to take it out to recharge. Simple procedure takes about 1/2 hour, mostly waiting for each recharge cycle.
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Old 06-04-2013, 08:27 PM   #3
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I use the CR Spotless from Costco. Works pretty good, but I still use micro-fiber towels to dry as much as I can.

CR SPOTLESS De-Ionizing Spotless Water System
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Old 06-04-2013, 09:20 PM   #4
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OK, little bit of chemistry

Softened water is not de-ionized water and will not work for rig washing - it will leave white marks as the act of softening replaces the hard minerals such as magnesium with sodium and the sodium will be left behind when the water evaporates.

De-ionized water is pretty close to pure water - everything has been stripped out of it and is the final rinse when cleaning your rig or car. When the water evaporates it leaves nothing behind.

A water softening system passes the water through a resin (plastic beads) that can be regenerated using a salt solution.

A de-ionizing system passes the water through a different type of resin that cannot be regenerated and is thrown away and replaced periodically.

Soft water is cheap, de-ionized water is expensive

You can drink soft water, drinking de-ionized water will eventually kill you.
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Old 06-04-2013, 11:17 PM   #5
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I cant comment on the various systems available, but I can offer my observations on using De-ionized water to wash your rig: I setup a system at our shop using a pressure washer attached to our commercial DI water system. I use the pressure washer to get rid of the loose dirt, scrub with a brush on a pole with automotive car wash, then rinse with the pressure washer. It works great! No drying required, and no spots.

I run soft water through the system before storing the pressure washer because DI-water is a little corrosive to metals if left in contact.

Soft water is much less expensive to produce, it does spot, but the spots are simply sodium salt, so they wipe off easily. Not really good for rinsing unless cost a serious factor.

I don't understand why anyone would think drinking DI-water would kill you. I have tasted it, tastes fine, but there is no point in drinking it.

If you are going to wash your own large equipment, I would definitely recommend using DI-water.

ek
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Old 06-05-2013, 12:47 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by e king View Post
I don't understand why anyone would think drinking DI-water would kill you. I have tasted it, tastes fine, but there is no point in drinking it.
A glass of it won't hurt you but drinking too much of it can cause coma and death because of the rapid loss of electrolytes (sodium, potassium, chloride) and trace minerals like magnesium, deficiencies of which can cause heart beat irregularities and high blood pressure. Cooking foods in distilled water pulls the minerals out of them and lowers their nutrient value.
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Old 06-06-2013, 10:11 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steveclv View Post
OK, little bit of chemistry

Softened water is not de-ionized water and will not work for rig washing - it will leave white marks as the act of softening replaces the hard minerals such as magnesium with sodium and the sodium will be left behind when the water evaporates.

De-ionized water is pretty close to pure water - everything has been stripped out of it and is the final rinse when cleaning your rig or car. When the water evaporates it leaves nothing behind.

A water softening system passes the water through a resin (plastic beads) that can be regenerated using a salt solution.

A de-ionizing system passes the water through a different type of resin that cannot be regenerated and is thrown away and replaced periodically.

Soft water is cheap, de-ionized water is expensive

You can drink soft water, drinking de-ionized water will eventually kill you.
So, appreciate the lesson. Th On the Go system both softens and then de-ionizes...a $375 for the system and new resin about every 20-40 washes. Watersticks has a softening system by itself (not interested so much) and a de-ionizing, softening system (less money than On the Go), but says no one can guarantee how many washes because of the differences from place on how hard the water is (makes sense).

Just looking for anyone with practical experience. Have only talked to one person. Would like to see a confirmation, one way or the other. By the way, that person used the water in both soaping/scrubbing and in rinsing.
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Old 06-06-2013, 08:21 PM   #8
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New Resin " every 20-40 washes" ??? Huh what does that mean? Replacing the resin within the "on the Go"?
I have had ours now 6 years and have never changed the resin and it works like the day I bought it. I back wash it as instructed and re salt it before each trip and no problems.
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Old 06-07-2013, 10:49 AM   #9
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On The Go offers a water softener and a separate de-ionizer. Two different systems.

The water softener simply backflushes with table salt every so often. The de-ionizer needs replacement resin when it's all used up.

Don't wash the rig in de-ionized water - waay too expensive for that. Wash and rinse in soft water and then do a final rinse in de-ionized - just like the professional car washes do.
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Old 06-07-2013, 10:56 AM   #10
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I'll take that as two strong endorsements for On the Go. Thanks.
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Old 06-07-2013, 10:57 AM   #11
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X2 Stevecl
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Old 06-07-2013, 07:38 PM   #12
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I would add that if your rig is gelcoat finished then the cost of a de-ionizer system is not justified. The only time it really benefits you is with full body paint.
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Old 01-10-2016, 12:01 PM   #13
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Glad to find this thread. I have been looking at On The Go systems. I have softened well water but I am certain the TDS is still high. Curious to hear what kinds of results you have been getting and what kind of TDS readings you are seeing before and after. I assume anybody that has purchased an On the Go system, it came with the handheld TDS meter.

Another thought. Has anybody ever tried rainwater collection? I'm just wondering what the TDS would be and if it makes a good source for spot free rinsing. I have a large metal roof on my carport and have thought of installing a rainwater collection system for the whole house. It doesn't have to be elaborate to collect enough water to wash and rinse your RV. A large trash barrel could store enough water for that. Just curious.
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Old 01-10-2016, 01:24 PM   #14
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We have the CR Spotless system installed in our shop for washing the coach and cars. We have high solids well water so we go through resin pretty fast. The resin seemed to start lasting longer after we installed a 5 micron filter in line before the DI. Ours is a mixed bed system (anion and cation resin mixed together) We've been working with the folks at Culligan about getting a system installed in the coach and they have told us that the resin in a mixed bed system will separate ( with the heavier resin falling to the bottom) while driving down the road and it won't be as effective. We don't know if the Culligan folks are merely selling us an extra tank that we don't need or not. We ran the question past a couple of the kids with Chem E degrees when they were home for Christmas and we got maybe/maybe not answers. We had a portable separate resin system in a previous coach and it worked great. Maybe someone on here knows the real answer.
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