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When caught up in the hustle of planning a new RV trip, it’s incredibly easy to overlook one detail that can affect both the health of your RV in the long term and the enjoyability of your trip in the short term. You wouldn’t be blamed for not having water hardness on your mind when packing, preparing, and planning for your family trip. Many people have perfectly soft water at their homes and may have never even heard of the term soft water. RV veterans, however, can attest to the value of an on the go water softener. Here’s a basic rundown for anyone who isn’t familiar with water softeners or water hardness yet:
When we think of hardness, water is probably the last thing that would jump to mind. In this case, however, hardness does not refer to how strong or difficult it is to break something. When talking about water, especially drinking water or water for household use, hardness refers to the amount of minerals that are dissolved in the water.
Calcium and magnesium are two perfectly natural minerals that are found all over the world and can be detected in nearly every type of water (except distilled water, which can actually be unhealthily pure, believe it or not)! However, when too much calcium and magnesium are present in water, it can have a number of negative effects.
While hard water isn’t toxic, it can often taste poorly and look unappealing. The high mineral content crowd out other minerals and substances on a chemical level, resulting in water that doesn’t properly dissolve soaps, salt, and sugar. Hard water can also be rough on skin and hair if used for showering; while it’s not dangerous, some individuals may find that it dries out their hair or skin more than is pleasant.
Finally, hard water can be rough on pipes, faucets, drains, and filters, leading to shorter life span and more frequent clogs. This tendency is because, as hard water dries, it is more likely to leave behind mineral residue that slowly builds up or erodes the metal around it.
The process of softening water refers to lessening the amount of minerals in the water. Generally, water softeners focus on calcium and magnesium, but they also sometimes work to remove iron from water sources. They do this by pumping water through a reservoir that contains specially formulated salts. These salts bind with the minerals in water, allowing the water that is pumped out of the reservoir to be considerably less mineralized.
Water softeners are relatively simple in their construction, and, as a result, it’s perfectly possible to find portable products like an on the go water softener.
No matter how experienced you become as an RVing enthusiast, the unexpected will always be part-and-parcel of the RV experience. While not all unexpected events are fun, many are, and the mystery of the open road is what captivates so many of us. Being prepared is priceless when such unpredictability is constantly present.
In our modern era of relative plenty, it’s easy to forget that ideal water isn’t always available. This is particularly true when you’re on the road. There are so many factors that play into water quality that it’s simply not wise to leave the quality of your water to chance.
A water softener helps to reduce the chances that you’ll find yourself without good water. Showers are considerably less enjoyable when you cannot rinse the soap off your body easily, and long days outside are worsened by dry skin and metallic-flavored water. Having an on the go water softener on hand means that no matter where you stop to refill your potable water, you’ll have comfortable and useful water.
There’s more in favor of getting an on the go water softener as well, which has nothing to do with how the water interacts with you and your body directly. Having soft water means less risk of mineral buildup in your RVs plumbing, less aggressive degradation of faucets, spigots, and pipes, and less hassle with on-the-road repairs.
Nothing is worse than driving all the way to an incredible RV park with a view of the mountains only to have to spend a day trying to find a hardware store where you can buy a new showerhead. Thinking ahead is one of the most valuable traits that an RV owner can have.
In the end, having a water softener on hand only brings you benefits. They’re easy to maintain, affordable, and the functionality they bring is fantastic. In addition to improving your day-to-day experience on the road, you’ll also be able to rest easy knowing you aren’t putting undue stress on your plumbing.
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