Having running water on the go is one of the benefits of traveling in an RV, but washing or taking a shower under a trickle of water after a day spent outdoors can spoil the fun. Too high or low water pressure in your RV makes adventures much less enjoyable. RV water pressure problems are easy to solve if you know where to look and what to do. Here are our tips to help you find and fix your RV water pressure problems.
Why is low RV water pressure a problem?
Low water pressure in your RV becomes a nuisance when you want to fill your water bottle, wash your hands, or brush your teeth. Depending on what's causing low water pressure, water flow may continue to slow until your RV has no running water at all. When you're off the grid and need filtered water to drink, low or no water flow turns from an inconvenience to a hazard.
How to maintain safe water pressure in your RV
What is safe water pressure in an RV? 40- 50 psi.
A pressure regulator protects your plumbing system from pressure problems. Not all campgrounds monitor their water pressure, and many times, the pressure is inconsistent. Always check the water pressure at the campsite before setting up camp. A pressure gauge measures incoming water pressure in psi. A pressure regulator gives you control over the water's psi, so when camp water pressure surges or fluctuates, yours remains at a safe level.
Learn how to use a pressure gauge.
5 steps to find and fix water pressure in your RV
1. Check the campground's water pressure
Use a pressure gauge to determine the pressure. A pressure regulator keeps your pressure consistent, but it cannot supply the necessary force to boost water flow. If the water pressure is low, then you may need a booster pump to supply increase water flow through your RV.
2. Check the hose line
One bent hose could cause low water pressure. If this is the case, simply straighten the hose to solve your pressure problem.
3. Check the water filter
Water filters are crucial for RV living. Clean water is hard to come by in the great outdoors. However, a filter could decrease water flow since it interrupts the water's path to your faucets and fixtures. If your filter decreases water pressure, then you may need a booster pump to supply adequate pressure.
Your water filter could cause low water pressure because it's clogged and needs replacing. It's important to change your filter every six months to a year to guarantee clean drinking water while you're away from home. You should check your filter before you venture out in your RV to make sure it's clean. We also recommend that you keep an extra water filter in your RV for emergency situations.
How often should you replace your RV water filter? Annually or once a season. Always change your filter if your RV has sat unused for a while.
4. Check the RV water pump
An RV water pump transports water out of your storage tank and distributes it through your RV. An RV pump will affect the flow rate. The pump's flow rate (e.g. 3.5 or 5 gpm) is the gallon capacity of water produced per minute. Once you hook an RV pump up to the distribution system, you'll likely receive a slower flow rate because the water travels through pipes, elbows, and other fittings before it gets to you.
RV pump malfunctions could also influence water pressure. Many issues could cause a faulty RV pump. In this situation, you should troubleshoot the pump for the best solution.
5. Check for leaks
Inspect your RV for a broken tube or a leaking fixture. Whatever is leaking should be tightened, temporarily patched, or replaced.
Why is high RV water pressure a problem?
High water pressure is not as much of a nuisance as low water pressure since it takes less time to shower, wash dishes, and fill your glass. But pressure that exceeds the maximum recommended level could destroy your RV's water system. Your faucets, fixtures, and water filters are likely to leak, and your plumbing pipes could burst. Repairs to an RV plumbing system are costly but may be prevented.
How to find and fix high water pressure in your RV
Make sure your pressure regulator works.
A pressure regulator is the most useful tool when water pressure is too high. An adjustable pressure regulator allows you to set the water to your desired psi. Not all pressure regulators provide this luxury. Many are preset within a certain range. If the incoming water pressure is out of range, then your pressure regulator may be faulty. If you have an adjustable regulator, reset it. If you don't notice a change after adjusting your pressure regulator, it's probably not working properly.
What is an RV water pump?
RV water pumps make showering and drinking fresh water on your excursions possible. A typical RV water pump delivers water from your RV storage tank to your faucets and fixtures, showers, and toilets. An RV booster pump increases low incoming water pressure to provide sufficient water flow in the RV.
An RV water pump is designed for motor-homes, RVs, and even boats. They're usually 12-volt pumps that wire directly into the 12-volt system of the RV. Differences in pump sizes are based on the size of your RV. The right pump for your RV is determined by the amount of water flow and pressure required. For example, If you have a large 40-foot RV, then you need a larger pump. If you have a smaller Class C RV, then you need a smaller pump. Most RV pumps come with a 3.5 gpm or a 5.0 gpm flow rate.
Is an RV water pump necessary?
If your RV has a sink or a showerhead, then it must also have an RV delivery pump. Water gets to the faucets and fixtures of your RV with the help of an RV water pump. Most RVs and boats with sleeping quarters have a storage tank and need a pump to move the water out of the tank to the point of use. However, you may not need an RV booster pump. A booster pump is only necessary if low water pressure needs to be increased.
How to install an RV water pump
The components of an RV pump include:
- The pump
- The fittings required to hook it up to the water system
- 12-volt electrical wires
The Remco RV pump connects with wing nuts in either a barb, straight, or elbow fittings. Others use a fitting called a quad port with a couple of O-rings on the bottom that plug into the pump and lock it in place. Quad ports are available in a variety of thread types. RV water pumps come with a pigtail wiring that may plug into your RV's existing system or bare wire.
An old RVs may have a pump that you need to replace. The new pump sits right where the old pump was placed and hooks up to the waterline with fittings or a wire nut. Choose your fittings based on what your existing system has to make replacing an old pump as easy as possible.
Check out 5 of the best RV water filters.