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Old 08-13-2012, 07:28 AM   #1
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Is a Soft Water system worth purchasing

Any pros or cons to a soft water system for RV's? Any recommendations on brand and best place to order should we decide to purchase one?
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Old 08-13-2012, 12:54 PM   #2
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In 8 years of full timing, I've never stayed at a place where I felt I needed a water softener. I usually stay a month or two in each place. If you're going to be traveling from place to place, and you know the area to have hard water then maybe you might want one, but for me, I'd rather use the money for fuel.

And, doesn't Calgon make a liquid softener that you can pour into your tank? Not sure about that.
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Old 08-13-2012, 07:45 PM   #3
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I have had a water softner in our last two MH. Here is our experience. Our last MH was a 2005 and our friends also had a 2005 coach I used a softner they did not. in five years they have replaced. kitchen faucet, toilet flush kits (3 times ) water heater anode (twice ) and I cannot even tell you how often we have heard his wife complain on cleaning the lime from the shower and sinks. They have replaced the ice maker as well. in 5 years with a water softner we have replaced nothing. and never had any rust nor lime buildup. We have a new 2011 RED and we have a new softner. For the cost,
less than $250 we will always have one.
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Old 08-13-2012, 08:16 PM   #4
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How much you may need one depends a lot on where you are or are going to be. If you're going to be in places like San Antonio you need one or change your filters every other week.

Two of the more popular systems are On The Go On The Go - Portable Water Softener and Flow Pur RV Water Softener
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Old 08-14-2012, 08:26 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by djbmsu View Post
I have had a water softner in our last two MH. Here is our experience. Our last MH was a 2005 and our friends also had a 2005 coach I used a softner they did not. in five years they have replaced. kitchen faucet, toilet flush kits (3 times ) water heater anode (twice ) and I cannot even tell you how often we have heard his wife complain on cleaning the lime from the shower and sinks. They have replaced the ice maker as well. in 5 years with a water softner we have replaced nothing. and never had any rust nor lime buildup. We have a new 2011 RED and we have a new softner. For the cost,
less than $250 we will always have one.
I'm with you - worth the expense and hassle.
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Old 08-14-2012, 08:47 AM   #6
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I'm with you - worth the expense and hassle.

X3

We spend a lot of time in the desert SW and it's a must. I only cons are the fact that you have to lug it in and out during set up and recharging it can be a pain but it's all part of the price of admission.

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Old 08-14-2012, 09:19 AM   #7
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They have replaced the ice maker as well. in 5 years with a water softner we have replaced nothing. and never had any rust nor lime buildup. We have a new 2011 RED and we have a new softner. For the cost,
less than $250 we will always have one.
In the 10 years of full time in my MH without a softener. I have only replaced the bathroom faucet because of leaks. Still on the same toilet flush gasket and water heater(14 years old) has no anode also no rust or lime build up.
Have almost all of the $250 you spent to use for fuel.

All my Ice making & cooking water does go through a certified water filter to meet EPA guide standard protocol for microbiological purifiers against bacteria, cysts and viruses. Plus removing chemical and aesthetic contaminants including herbicides, pesticides, chlorine and foul tastes, odors and colors
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Old 08-14-2012, 09:20 AM   #8
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We stay in one place in AZ during the winter where the hardness is over 50 grains per gallon. Oddly enough it tastes okay but it sure will build up scale in your plumbing system and faucet diffusers.
We use a Mark8000 water softener. You see it HERE. $219 which includes shipping. It uses a box of common table salt for recharges. It is an 8000 grain unit which will last much longer between recharges than the 1500 grain units from Waterstick which some recommend.
In AZ we have to recharge about every ten days. In CO where the hardness is 20 grains per gallon about every 30 days. 20 grains per gallon is considered quite hard.

See this map of typical hardness across the US HERE
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Old 08-14-2012, 10:12 AM   #9
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We just installed a WAterPacker 1600 and added an additional filter. It was a bit pricy but piece of mind is priceless. I realized how much deposits were being laid down in the water system when my cpap water container kept crusading up. As difficult as it is to get to most of the plumbing I would hate to have to start replacing it. Besides we got some upgraded faucets and I wanted to keep them nice. Hate the smell of vinegar. The unit actually fits into a compartment with the additional sediment filter upstream from it. I changed the existing canister filter to a carbon fiber downstream from the softner. Water tastes pretty good, good suds for cleaning body and clothes and no more spotting. Looking at my parked rig you would not know it was there. Water now tests at zero hardness (from 50). Downside besides original cost is having to use water softener salt pellets for regeneration. Do not know yet how long between regenerations. Been 3 weeks so far.
Water Packer RV1600e, 24" tall, 10" diameter,
37 pounds. Rated at 16,000 grains. Larger unit, semi-automatic controls. Includes brine tank. Shipping by UPS.
From RV water filter store.
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Old 08-14-2012, 10:19 AM   #10
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If I'm hooked up to a strange water supply, I just run it through my RO system and filter and dump it in my fresh water tank and use the coach pump.. Better than soft any day.

You can get an RO system for about $100 , don't need the expansion tank,and just let it fill your fresh water tank. Never,ever anything in your water system. AND no spots at all. Take a shower with RO water. You won't believe the difference.

Besides it's cheaper than a softener., less room and you can fill your batteries with it. The only trouble is for every gallon of RO it takes about 3 to 4 gallons of waste. But whose water bill are you hooked up to? No brainer.

And you never have anything in your coffee pot.

Pick up A TDS(total dissolved solids) meter and check your water. Soften it and check it.Will still read the same. Then check the RO.Most of the time it will be zero. Most city water supplies have about 250 PPM.( Same as bottle water)

Don't ever let your pets drink anywater you don't know about.
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Old 08-15-2012, 02:00 PM   #11
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We live in Portland, Oregon where the water, straight out of the faucet, tastes great. Twice a year we travel to Nevada and Arizona where the water tastes terrible to me and my wife. Several years ago we purchased the Mark 8000 water softener (mentioned above) and find that it does a great job of making the Nevada and Arizona water taste more like home. Prior to using the water softener, we did not experience any corrosion in the faucets.

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Old 08-15-2012, 02:42 PM   #12
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Here is one that is sold by a sponsor of this website.
RV Pro 10,000 Portable Water Softener
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Old 08-15-2012, 04:26 PM   #13
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It all depends on where you will be. We routinely go to an area where the water is so soft it's difficult to get off after a shower.
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Old 08-15-2012, 05:18 PM   #14
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X3

We spend a lot of time in the desert SW and it's a must. I only cons are the fact that you have to lug it in and out during set up and recharging it can be a pain but it's all part of the price of admission.

Rick
X4....Well worth the minor inconvienience. Absolutely nothing better than an abundance of cheap...soft water!
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