Just the same way you can’t live without water at home, life without water in your RV would feel like hell on earth.
That’s why I’d recommend you always to check that your RV water pump is functioning well before setting out for a road trip.
If you find your pump having some functionality issues that cannot be repaired, you can always get the best RV water pump from the market and replace the old model.
With that being said, the best model I’d recommend you to go for is the 12V RV water pump. This is a favorite for all RVers and will provide you with consistent, smooth flow of water in your RV throughout the trip.
The purpose of coming up with this post is to teach you some RV water pump essentials, including how to get the right one for your RV, how to take good care of it, and so on.
With the help of seasoned RVers, I was also able to choose up to TEN 12 volt RV water pump models for you that I’ll also share with you in the post.
What’s an RV Water Pump?
An RV water pump is designed to enhance the flow of water in your RV.
As you already know, an RV comes with built-in freshwater tanks located at the trailer base. The work of a water pump is to ensure that this water flows constantly and with stabilized pressure in your RV kitchen, shower, faucet, shower, etc.
To do this, the pump takes water from the tank all the way up the rig pipe system.
The water pump comes with a compact design so that it doesn’t consume much space in your RV. Most of them run on batteries.
Most of RVs today come with a built-in water pump to carry out the above purpose. However, this pump can fail after some period of use, which is understandable given its mechanical nature.
If your pump stops functioning, you don’t have to panic. You can try to repair it to get it back to good health. And if it’s damaged beyond repair, you can simply replace it with a new one (there are multiple models on the market) which will work just like your old pump.
But don’t just buy any other pump…the standard pump for RVs is the 12V. The 12 volt pump for RV pumps water with just the acceptable pressure for an RV, unlike the 110V and 120V whose pressure is suitable for residential homes.
In our next section, we’ll focus on the 10 most used 12V water pumps by seasoned RVers across the US and other parts of the globe…
Our Best 12 volt RV Water Pump Picks:
1. SHURFLO 4008-101-E65 3.0 Revolution Water Pump
Since 1968, SHURflo has been leading the fresh water pump industry with highly innovative and dependable products. SHURFLO 4008-101-E65 3.0 Revolution tops our RV water pump reviews as one of their signature products built up to the highest quality and performance standards.
The pump features a unique design which involves an internal bypass and one-piece diaphragm. These two join hands to offer you a long-lasting service and incredible pump performance in your second home (RV).
The pump is undeniably a mini powerhouse, able to deliver up to 3 gallons of water per minute at up to 55 PSI, to your onboard sinks, showers, toilets, etc. Even with such a great performance, the pump manages to keep its energy consumption at a low (draws a reasonable 7.5 Amps) using a 12V power source.
The convenience of this pump is well exhibited in its ability to install in any position, run dry without getting damaged, and the thermal protection feature.
Unlike most pumps that produce a lot of noise, this pump operates quietly. And that’s based on the use of Flow Reaction Technology (patent pending) which excellently minimizes vibration, noise, and excessive pump cycling.
2. Flojet 03526-144A Triplex Diaphragm Automatic Water System Pump
Flojet 03526-144A Triplex Diaphragm is another top-rated travel trailer water pump that will exceed your expectations. It’s constructed using 100% corrosion resistant materials to make it one of the most durable pumps you can find on the market today.
If your current pump operates quietly, replacing it with this model will change your story for good. This Flojet comes with special soft mounts that actively absorb most of the noise and vibrations produced by the pump while running, ensuring quiet operation. Moreover, the pump comes with a built-in bypass that steadies the device to produce less pulsation, resulting in even quieter operation.
Being one of the highly reliable pumps, the Flojet delivers up to 2.9 gallons per minute. Though this rate is slightly less than our previous products, it’s rate still acceptable for RV water system. Don’t forget it utilizes a Triplex diaphragm which takes the overall performance to an even greater level.
Above all this, the pump is extremely easy to install and has self-priming functionality that enables it to continue running even when the tank water levels are way below the pump level.
3. Shurflo 2088-554-144 Fresh Water Pump
Here comes another quality 12 volt RV water pump from Shurflo—the Shurflo 2088-554-144. Also specially engineered for use in recreational vehicles, the pump has shown an excellent performance curve when it comes to ensuring water flows consistently n your RV faucets, toilets, showers, etc.
One thing you’ll appreciate in this pump is the check valve which prevents cases of reverse flow.
The fact that the diagram and valves are designed using Santoprene thermoplastic means that your water will always remain safe for drinking even after coming into contact with the safe material.
The pump boasts of up to 3.5 gallons of water per minute and has a 3-chamber diaphragm design, making it one of the best-performing RV water pumps.
Like our previous products, it also comes with self-priming functionality, where it continues running smoothly even when tank water level falls 9 feet below the pump. Installing it is also pretty simple and quick as it mounts in any position.
4. Bayite 12V DC Fresh Water Pressure Diaphragm Pump
If you’re looking for a budget-friendly RV water pump with great features and capabilities, consider buying the Bayite 12V DC Fresh Water Pressure Diaphragm Pump.
The biggest advantage of using this pump is the consistent and smooth flow of water it presents you with. This comes from its patented design which ensures top performance at all operation ranges, with low energy consumption.
It also features a balanced motor design that incorporates precision ball bearings for an extended lifespan. Keep in mind that the motor also comes with an integrated thermal breaker.
Suitable for RV and camper marine boat use, the pump has its switches sealed and finished with electrocoating which keeps way corrosion attempts.
When you install it correctly, this pump will provide you with countless of years of incredibly quiet operation. This is largely because the manufacturer ships it to you with soft rubber mounting feet that absorb most of the vibrations produced.
5. Seaflo Water Diaphragm Self Priming Pump
Halfway our RV fresh water pump reviews, we have the Seaflo Water Diaphragm Self Priming Pump. This particular model provides you with a constant flow of fresh water with a rate of up to 2.8 gallons per minute.
Also falling within an affordable price range, this pump will give you the advantage of low noise, such that you barely hear anything if standing about 5-6 feet away from the pump. It has an above average pressure setting of up to 45 PSI, which makes it a highly efficient model for executing its intended job.
Like the other models we’ve featured on this list, this pump also comes with a self-priming feature. This means that it can easily prime itself even when the tank is located up to 6 feet under it.
The professional grade fresh water pump is also designed to use as low current draw as possible. It also has ignition and thermal overload protection. And the built-in check valve prevents backflow of water when the pump is running.
6. Sea Fresh Marine New RV/Marine Fresh Water Diaphragm 35 PSI Self Priming PUMP
Sea Fresh Marine New RV/Marine pump is a brand new product available at a truly affordable cost and a list of basic features that work together to ensure you’ll never lack water in your RV faucets.
This particular pump offers you a slightly lower water flow rate than most of the models in this list—at 1.2 gallons per minute. Nevertheless, this is above average and acceptable rate for a recreational vehicle. It also offers you an extremely efficient pressure rating of 35 PSI. Note that it manages to keep its overall power consumption at a low of .17 Amps, which makes it one of the most energy efficient water pumps available.
The pump features soft rubber mounts which excellently absorb most of the noise produced by the pump to ensure quieter and smoother operation.
It’s also worth mentioning that this pump has a self-priming functionality and is capable of running dry without getting damaged. The integrated pressure switch automatically turns the device on/off as you turn on the nozzle.
Other than the recreational vehicle, this pump can also be used in boats, mobile homes, caravans, and so on.
7. Bayite 12V DC Fresh Water Pump
Like the other Bayit, this pump comes with a patented designed which delivers a smooth, consistent flow of water in your RV at all operation ranges, while drawing incredibly low amounts of energy (3 Amps only)s. it has also undergone quality tests before being released into the market to ensure it’ll live up to your needs and expectations.
The pump provides you with a vertical suction lift of up to 6.6 ft. (or 2m) as well as an adjustable cut-off pressure ranging from 80 PSI (default) all the way up to 100 PSI.
You’ll also notice that the device’s body comes completely sealed; this has been put in place to stop dust and moisture from gaining entry into the pump, meaning you can use it in wet environments without any worries. The electrocoating and sealed switches enhance the pump’s longevity by inhibiting corrosion.
To reduce the amount of noise and vibration produced by this pump, the manufacturer ships it to you with soft rubber mounting tabs that excellently absorb most of the vibrations.
Overall, if you pair this pump with a low back pressure RV water system, it’ll more than meet your expectations!
8. Amarine-made 12v Water Pressure Diaphragm Pump
At number 8 in our list of RV water pump reviews, we’ll take a look at the Amarine-made 12v Water Pressure Diaphragm Pump. This is a powerful, automatic pressure that provides you with constant water supply at all times.
The pump boasts of up to 11 gallons of water per minute! This is an incredibly high capacity of water that will suit the needs of RVers who need a lot of water in their RVs. In addition to that, it has a highly effective pressure of 35 PSI for efficient water flow.
Like the previous product, this pump also comes with a built-in pressure switch that automatically goes on and off whenever you open/close your RV faucets for on-demand water supply.
It also operates smoothly and quietly, with its soft rubber mounts which absorb most of the vibrations produced.
Other notable features include ignition and thermal overload protection, low energy draw, self-priming capability, and easy and quick installation process.
You can also use this pump in other application apart from RV, such as caravans, boats, mobile homes, etc.
9. Flojet Quiet Quad Water System Pump
Flojet makes a comeback as our list nears the end with yet another powerful and highly reliable water pump for RV—the Flojet Quiet Quad Water System Pump.
This Floject has a pretty high water flow rate of up to 3.3 gallons per minute (or 12.5 liters per minute). It also has a pressure rating of 35 PSI. These two aspects qualify it to rank among the best-performing fresh water pumps for RVs. The high flow rate, in particular, is made possible by the 4-piston design.
Another thing that makes this pump qualify for this list is the self-priming capability. It has vertical suction lift capability that extends all the way to 2.4m. for this reason, you can rest assured that this pump can run dry without developing any problems.
Keep in mind this pump features an intermediate duty, pressure-switch control which enables you to run the pump only when it’s necessary, helping save as much power as possible.
Thanks to the quick-connect plug-in ports, installing this pump is extremely easy and fast and does not require you to have any special skills.
10. BACOENG AC110V Self Priming Water Pressure Diaphragm Pump
Our last 12 volt RV water pump is the BACOENG AC110V Self Priming Pump. This is also an on-demand automatic fresh water pump that you can install on your camper, boat, or van.
It presents you with built-in 40 PSI pressure switch that automatically turns off the pump whenever the pressure builds up (in simpler words, the pump goes on when you turn on the tap or faucet and vice versa). Note that this pressure switch is changeable.
This pump is rated 4.5GPM, which means it can deliver up to 4.5 gallons of water in 60 seconds only. Clearly, this is such a huge amount in such a small period and will meet the needs of RVers with heavy water usage.
Another exciting thing about this water pump is its 9 feet self-priming capability. This is to mean that it can run dry without sustaining any damages or functional issues. It also has a quiet operation, so it won’t distract your peace of mind when out there.
Probably the best thing you’ll love about this pump is the thermal overload protection. This feature automatically stops the motor in case it overheats as a result of overload. It even has an auto resistant feature for even more convenient operation.
RV Water Pump Buying Guide - Things To Look For!
When shopping for the best RV water pump, you’ll come across multiple models on the market. These models greatly vary in terms of features, design, functionality, cost, and so on.
If you’re not careful, you’ll easily get overwhelmed by the multiple and end up with a pump that doesn’t work as you expect.
Thankfully, I’ve prepared a quick buying guide below to show you exactly what to look for in an RV water pump:
Pressure and flow rate
Looking at the pressure rating of the RV water pump you want to buy will give you a clear understanding of how it functions.
Always start by checking at the PSI value (clearly indicated on the pump body or specifications card). Anything between 30-50 PSI will translate to efficient pump operation.
You should also check the water flow rate related to the given pressure rating. Again, you should expect an ideal water pump to provide you with a water flow rate of around 3 water gallons per minute.
For larger RVs, with multiple faucets and taps, you might consider looking for a higher flow rate of over 5 gallons per minute.
The noise produced by the pump is another important issue to keep in mind when buying an RV water pump.
While the noise is dependent on the design of the pump and how powerful it is, you should make a point of looking for a model that produces as less noise as possible.
Check what the previous users of the pump you plant to buy are saying. They’ll give you firsthand information on whether the pump will be a nuisance or will operate quietly.
You should also look what efforts the manufacturer has put in place to lessen the noise and vibrations produced by the pump, like soft rubber mounting feet.
Ease of installation
You should also check for an easy to install camper water pump. Such a pump should come with a compact design so that you don’t struggle to install it.
It should also allow you to install in any position. A good example is the SHURflo and Flojet models we’ve featured on the above list- they allow you to install them in any position you wish.
A package that comes with easy to follow instructions for the installations process should also contribute to ease of installation.
I’m assuming you’d wish to save as much as possible on energy and power bills while on a road trip.
With that in mind, you should ensure the water pump does not draw large amounts of energy. Resist the attempt to go for the highly powerful motors as they tend to consume a lot of energy compared to the others.
An average model that does its intended job well is all you need to enjoy a consistent and smooth flow of water in your recreational vehicle.
After you’ve checked all the above features, you’ll also need to look at the price tag of the pumps.
I’d recommend you to come up with a budget of the amount of cash you’re willing to spend on a pump. This way, you’ll be able to narrow down your choices to the models that fall in your budget.
While still on it, note that you’ll get what you pay for. The more you pay, the better the performance and reliability of the pump you’ll get.
Though these features aren’t necessary for smooth operation, they make it convenient to run your pump. They include:
How To Install a RV Water Pump?
Now that you’ve finally gotten the best RV water pump, let’s get down to some essential details on how to correctly install it into your camper.
(I’m assuming you followed by shopping advice and bought an easy to install water pump).
1. Assuming that you’re replacing the water pump that came with your RV, the first thing you need to do is find its location. The way RV companies position the system looks like they’re hiding it. The easiest way to locate it listening to the sound it produces when running.
In most RVs, you can find it outside the trailer and close to the fresh water tank. In some models, you can find it inside the vehicle, under the cabinet or dinette table.
2. Once you’ve located your water pump, your next step would be to drain the RV fresh water tank. Make sure you completely drain it and remove all the residue present. An easy way to empty the tank is to siphon the water using a water hose connected to the tank base.
If you wish to save this water, you can direct the hose to large pails or drum.
Once you’ve completely emptied everything from your tanks, move on to the third step.
3. Now, it’s time to remove the existing pump you want to replace with a new one. First, switch off the power leading to the pump. Then grab a screwdriver and remove all the wires leading to the pump (i.e., the black and red colors).
You’ll also need to disconnect all the hoses connected to the old pump. Remove all the screws and bolts holding the pump in place and then carefully remove it from its place.
4. Now take your new camper water pump and place it where the earlier pump was resting. Use a screwdriver to secure it tightly and firmly into place. Wrap the pipe threads with some Teflon tape. Connect the inlet and outlet hoses and then secure them using the clamps supporting them.
5. Reconnect the fresh water pump to the pump link (ensure you fasten it correctly to prevent leaks) and the two wires. Finally, reconnect the battery to supply the pump with power.
6. Lastly, check that everything is working well. Start by testing if the pump is running correctly. Start your RV and see if your pump is running— it should simply produce a sound that means it’s ready to pump. If you don’t get any sound, you’d want to check if the battery and the wires are correctly connected.
Also, check the entire water system. Fill the tank, turn on the pump, and open the faucets. Check if all the lines and connections are working correctly. If they’re any leaks, fix them ASAP.
Some Very Effective Maintenance Tips For You!
RV water pump maintenance is an important ritual that you should never skip if you want your pump to serve you with fewer or zero malfunctioning issues—and for an extended period of time
Follow the useful maintenance tips for RV fresh water pump outlined below to ensure your pump does its intended job well at all times:
1. Keep the water pump sanitized at all times
Not sanitizing your RV water pump is one of the top causes of poor performance and premature pump failure. It can also lead to build up of limescale on the pump valves and diaphragm, resulting in leak back and low flow.
You should sanitize your pump before storing it and after a prolonged storage period.
Here’s how to do it:
You can also find installation specific to your water pump on the user manual.
2. Winterize your pump
If you allow water to freeze inside your water pump, and basically the entire RV water system, it can lead to serious damages to the system and render it non-functional.
Luckily, you can avoid damage to your pump by completely draining it during the winter storage.
Make sure you sanitize your pump after the storage period is over.
3. Inspect and clean the pump strainer regularly
You’ll also need to examine your pump strainer regularly and even clean it to minimize leakage and pump failure cases.
To clean the strainer:
Priming of the water pump after a long storage period is also recommended to ensure the systems runs well again, with no any problems.
The video below will take you through the basics of priming your water pump.
NOTE: most pumps fail to prime after an extended storage period. If your pump indicates such sighs, check out troubleshooting section in this article on how to fix this.
4. Regularly inspect the entire pump for damages, cracks, etc.
This is a no-brainer. It’s important to examine a pump to ensure its housing has no damages, cracks, and isn’t worn. It would be helpful if you can do this a few days before going for a trip as it’ll help you determine if you’ll need to get a new pump for your recreational vehicle.
REMEMBER…if you can follow these maintenance tips, you’ll not have to deal with most of the troubles we’ve explained in our troubleshooting guide below.
RV Water Pump Troubleshooting
Even if you’ve invested in the best of the best RV water pump, you can’t escape the fact that it’s a mechanical device and can stop functioning at some period and disappoint you.
Don’t panic though.
If your pump starts misbehaving, you can get it up and running again by looking for the issue behind the failure and fixing it.
Before we close our post, let’s take a look at the 10 most common troubles associated with RV water pumps, their possible causes and how to fix them on your own.
#1. Water pump making a lot of noise.
Water pumps for RV produce noise to some level, depending on the design and power. However, some level of noise and vibration isn’t acceptable in your water pump.
Causes: Excessive noise and vibration arise from improper pump mounting, loose mounting bolts, restricted intake line, loose drive pulleys, worn mount brushings, and worn pump bearings.
Solution: to get rid of this problem, you can tighten all the loose bolts, tighten pulleys, replace the bearings/bushings/damper, follow the correct installation process, and clear the suction hose.
#2. The pump is running but no water is flowing into the facets
Possible causes: the key causes for this frustrating issue include low levels water in the tank, kink in suction line, clogged water lines, air leaks in the suction line, pump running backward, plugged in-line filter, worn pump impeller, cracked pump housing, broken pump-drive belt, stuck backflow valve, punctured diaphragm, and stuck pump-check valve.
Solution: replenish the tank water levels, locate and remove any debris, repair air leak, straighten the line, tighten clamps, repair or clean the valve, reverse the pump wiring, or repair diaphragm, belt, backflow valve, impeller, element or screen.
#3. Getting inconsistent water flow
Causes: the major culprits behind sputtering water flow include suction air leak, the presence of air in the water heater, and presence of air in the lines.
Solution: spot and repair all the leaks, bleed air from the lines, and bleed the hot water lines.
#4. Getting insufficient/low water flow
Another frustrating issue reported by most RVers!
Causes: the main causes of this problem include pump suction air leaks, undersized suction line, clogged intake strainer, a kinked outlet line, leaking pump diaphragm, or inadequate pump wiring.
Solution: inspect the suction line, replace a larger suction line, clean the strainer, straighten the line, replace the diaphragm, or rewire with adequate wire.
#5. The pump doesn’t go off on closing the faucets
If you notice that the pump keeps running even after you’ve closed the faucets, this is your part.
Causes: pump inlet leaks, air in the pump, pump outlet leaks, water tank could be empty, malfunctioning of the pressure switch controller, low pump voltage.
Solution: you can fix this by checking the hose connections tightness, check possible damages to the inlet filter, hose, and valves, purge air, fill up the tank, replace the controller, or change battery/power supply.
#6. Pump motor fails to run
Causes: motor function might result from low battery voltage, blown fuse, defective pump motor, poor ground, loose wiring connection, or master switch off.
Solution: charge the battery, replace the faulty motor, check the ground connection, check all the connections, turn the master switch on, or locate and replace the blown fuse.
#7. Pump fails to prime
Causes: if you try to prime your water pump for RV over and over again without success, the possible causes could be an empty tank, suction line air leaks, clogged intake strainer, broken pump-drive belt, restricted suction line, defective pump impeller, or defective pump diaphragm.
Solution: fill the water tank, inspect and repair the suction line, clean the strainer, clear any debris present, replace the diaphragm, impeller or drive belt.
#8. Presence of leaks in the pump
Causes: inlet/outlet fitting leaks or punctured diaphragm.
Solution: replace the O-rings and/or the fittings, replace the diaphragm kit.
#9. Pumps cycling on and off (rapid cycling) while running
Causes: hydraulic pulsations pump outlet restriction.
Solution: install a pulsating damper, check the inline filter (if any).
#10. Pumps cycling on and off (rapid cycling) when the faucets are closed
Causes: pump outlet leaks, presence of debris under the valves, fill valve bypassing to RV tank.
Solution: replace the fill valve, flush pump in the nominal flow direction, or check the hose selections tightness, check possible hose damages.
Never make a mistake of going out for a road trip with your RV before checking if the water pump is running correctly. This simple device does a noble task of ensuring fresh water flows constantly and smoothly in your RV faucets and taps.
If you find your RV malfunction or simply want to replace it with a brand new, better RV water pump, this guide will show you the steps to follow to ensure you get the most suitable pump for you.
All the 10 best RV water pump models featured in the list above have been used by RVers all over the states and have received loads of positive feedbacks for their dependability and reliability.
Go through the list and select the model that blends with all your specific needs and expectations to prepare for a great experience on your next road trip.