Water is one of the most important supplies on your RV, and that is why you need the best RV water pump. It provides water for your RV sink, toilet and shower, so there’s no questioning its importance. But how do you find the right one?
No need to read thousands of reviews as I have handpicked the top water pumps for your RV. I have spent years living in an RV, still do and I can tell you it’s not fun when you’re stuck with a faulty pump, so let us go take a look at the best ones.
Top Water Pump for RVs
Shurflo 2088-554-144 Fresh Water Pump
5 out of 5
Flojet 18555-000A, Portable RV Waste Pump
5 out of 5
Seaflo Water Diaphragm Self Priming Pump
4.5 out of 5
Seaflo Water Pressure Pump 12V
4.5 out of 5
Flojet 03526-144A Triplex Diaphragm Automatic Water System Pump
4 out of 5
The water pump you buy must be designed for RVs. If this isn’t the case there’s a good chance it might not work properly. Second the pump must have sufficient power to handle the water on your RV. The pump must also be durable and capable of supplying pressured water whenever you need it.
5 Best RV Water Pump with Unique Features
1. Shurflo 2088-554-144 Fresh Water Pump
The Shurflo 2088 is a no-nonsense pump that works with toilets, showers and sinks on your RV. Psi level goes up to 45 and at 3.5 GPM the water flow is smooth, powerful and consistent for the different fixtures in your RV.
Other notable features are its three chamber diaphragm pump and permanent magnet motor. Together they provide extra power and consistent performance when in use. It also has a one-way operation check valve to deter reverse flow.
The pump installs easily and 8.6" x 5" x 4.45" is more compact than other models. Even for a non-techie the installation shouldn’t take more than 90 minutes tops. Once the device is in place you’ll notice the difference in pressure and water flow. If you’re unhappy with the flow in your toilet check this out.
Compared to a typical pump the 2088 provides much better water flow. Flushing toilets produces superior results and it doesn’t need a lot of maintenance. The instructions are easy to follow and each part looks to be built from good materials.
- Provides up to 45 psi
- Check valve
- Smooth water flow
- 3.5 Degree CAM
- Full thermal protection
2. Flojet 18555-000A, Portable RV Waste Pump
The 18555 is a heavy duty waste dump that combines ease of use with full functionality. It links to your rig’s waste outlet and does away with the need for a 3 inch hose. With the built in macerator the 18555 crushes particles to 1/8 of an inch. It is powered by a 12 VDC permanent magnet motor.
You get run dry protection up to 30 seconds and a handy carry case is included. The clean up is easy so it’s not going to take up a lot of your time. Another cool feature on the 18555 is its remote handheld for more convenient operation.
The waste pump comes with water rinsing capabilities and a discharge port for the garden hose. What gives the Flojet the edge is its ability to handle long range dumping utilizing any sewer receiver. Its pump housing is directly linked to the waste outlet so it’s easier to use. The 18555 also takes just a couple of minutes to empty toilets.
- Carry case included
- Built specifically for RVs
- Stainless steel shaft and cutter
- 30 second run dry protection
- Low maintenance
3. Seaflo Water Diaphragm Self Priming Pump
The Seaflo self priming pump is designed to work with all types of toilet and water systems. Its automatic pressure pump generates up to 2.8 gallons per minute flow capacity. Combine it with the 45 psi pressure and you’ve got an effective pump for toilets, showers and sinks.
The current draw is lower compared to other pumps and its high capacity improves operating efficiency. Self priming pumps are commonplace but the Seaflo runs quietly and smoothly. The solid construction means it runs dry without suffering any damage.
The unit also comes with ignition and thermal overload protection so it won’t cause problems even with prolonged use. Thee is also a check valve feature built into the system and the mounts are soft rubber.
The Seaflo works great on RVs, with a straightforward installation and reliable operation. The pump is also compatible with caravans, agriculture and marine applications. The intuitive control makes it an excellent option for anyone who owns an RV. Not only is it reliable but also durable.
- 3.6 to 6.0 amps
- Up to 45 psi
- 2.8 gallons per minute
- Mesh inlet strainer included
- Self priming design
4. Seaflo Water Pressure Pump 12V
This water pressure pump produces 1.2 GPM / 4.3 LPM, sufficient for use in RV toilets, sinks and other water fixtures. The Seaflo is built specifically for motorhomes, but it is just as efficient for marine and agriculture applications.
There is a pressure switch that turns on and off automatically depending on whether you use a nozzle or tap. There is protection for thermal overload and ignition so you can use this without worry.
- 35 Psi
- Generates up to 1.2 gpm
- integrated thermal protector
- Self-priming mechanism
- 1.2 DC flow capacity
5. Flojet 03526-144A Triplex Diaphragm Automatic Water System Pump
The Flojet pump doesn’t just work on toilets but also showers and sinks. Every component is made from corrosion proof parts and the design eliminates the need for an accumulator tank.
The integrated bypass means there are fewer pulsations when you’re running the system. The snap-in port fittings function as they should and the mounts do a great job of keeping noise down, better compared to other toilet pumps.
- 50 PSI
- 2.9 GPM
- Made from corrosion resistant parts
- Integrated bypass and snap in ports
- Noise reduction mounts
What is an RV Water Pump?
A pump is a device that takes water from your RV’s tank and moves them to the pipes and into the fixtures. The is also responsible for maintaining water pressure, stability and flow.
A pump provides you with the means to use your RV freshwater supply. It is also the one responsible for giving you a specific amount of water per minute and provide pressured water. With a pump you get water into your kitchen, faucets, showers, toilets and sinks.
Types of RV Water Pumps
There are basically two types of pumps you’ll come across, the 12 and 24 volt pumps.
This is the most common type of water pump used in RVs. This is usually the default pump installed on RVs and they do a decent job. The water pressure isn’t that high but for basic water supply needs 12 volt pumps get it done.
A 24 volt pump offers greater water pressure than the 12 volt, so it is more suited for heavy duty work. You may install this on a large RV, but usually 24 volt pumps are used on trucks and buses. 24 volt pumps provide high pressure and flow, but like the 12 volt need regular maintenance to ensure they work.
14 Essential Factors to Consider
Buying an RV water pump is easy but you’ll need to account for the significant features to ensure that you get your money’s worth. To learn how to choose the right pump, read on.
1. Pressure and Power
The pressure and power specs tell you how much water the device can pump in a minute. The higher the number the more powerful it is. The average RV water pump is good for 3 gallons a minute, but others can post higher numbers.
2. Wiring, Fuses, Voltage
Most pumps have 12 voltage. With most motorhome pumps you must use a twin wire and set up a fuse prior to using the device. More information about the wiring, voltage and fuse can be found in the owner’s manual.
Modern pumps still produce noise, but it is nowhere as bad as it used to be. If your pump is too noisy you can put a cover on to muffle the sound. While a cover helps, don’t put too much that it hampers performance. Just enough to cut down the noise.
3. Pressure Rating and Auto Switch
A high pressure rating is good if you need a high level of water flow and stability. An auto switch function is also a useful feature especially if you use the pump a lot. Going back to the pressure rating, this is what determines how many gallons of water the pump can handle.
4. Energy Usage
All pumps require energy and use power, so bear that in mind as a powerful pump consumes more electricity than a weak model. If you want a heavy duty pump you have to monitor its power usage and how much it may add to your bill.
5. Pump Cycle
The pump cycle comes into use when the pump is turned on and off when utilized in the bathroom. The pump cycle should run without a hitch provided the apparatus works properly. Just remember that the pump should turn on automatically if the pressure goes down.
The price is a major concern for many, but don’t let it be the only one. You’ll also want to check for the shipping cost, reviews and the warranty coverage. Read the product description thoroughly and see if it has the features you’re looking for. If not there is no reason to buy the pump.
The motor is the heart of any pump. The more powerful the motor the more capable the pump is. Deciding to go for a powerful motor is easy enough, but you’ll need to consider whether to go for electric or gas.
8. Gas Vs. Electric
The advantage of gas is you can still use it even if you’re in a location where there is no electrical power. The drawback is you must have a regular supply of gas. Gas pumps are known to break down more easily than their electric version because there are more components.
An electrical pump is ideal if you are in areas with a constant power source. they’re easy to use and maintain as well. The drawback is if the power goes out and you don’t have backup power you won’t be able to use it. Decide beforehand which of the two is more applicable in your situation.
The specs for pumps are provided in the manufacturer website and also in online retailer sites. Go through them carefully as it will tell you what the pump can and cannot do.
10. Gallons Per Minute/Hour
The gallons per hour or minute tells you how much water the pump can move. Majority of pumps use a gallon per minute measurement instead of an hour, and you don’t really need a GPH for an RV pump unless you’re handling a lot of water.
A good number for RVs is 3 to 5 gallons per minute, but lower and higher figures are available. It is better to overestimate your needs than end up with a best low powered RV water pump.
11. Vertical Suction Lift
This tells you the volume of water needed for the pump to operate. If you’re going to do heavy duty work you’ll want the lift to be as low as can be. The lower the lift the more water you can drain. If the lift is 1/8 of an inch it means the device can drain water down to a layer of 1/8.
12. Maximum Head Lift
The maximum head lift signifies how high the pump head can be raised before the device can no longer function. If the lift is 10 feet then you can raise the pump to that level and water still flows.
While water may still flow when you lift the pump head, it may not be at the maximum output level. If the pump has a 3000 gallon per hour flow rate, it may drop to 1800 gph if you raise the head at the maximum lift. However, having a higher lift is handy when doing a thorough cleaning.
13. Check the Capacity
The capacity is in reference to the flow rate, which as mentioned earlier is usually in gallons per minute. The greater the capacity the more you’ll be able to do with your pump.
14. Check Its Energy Efficiency
A lot of products these days are energy efficient and pumps should be no exception. Look for one that provides a lot of pumping power but is still efficient and won’t cause a spike in your energy bill.
Other Important factors
What Does an RV Water Pump Do?
Most pumps produce in the 3 gpm range but if you’ve got a large motorhome you’ll need 5 gallons or more. If you’re not sure what the gpm is, put a gallon under the sink, open the faucet and note how long it takes to fill.
Where Do I Find My RV pump?
The best pump location varies per model. In some cases it is in the kitchen, in others it is under the bed or under the sink.
If you can’t find it, look for your RV’s master switch. Press the button for the pump to activate it. Listen to the sound and follow it. If the sound seems to come from behind a wall, remove the screws and you’ll see the pump.
What Pump Do I Need for My RV?
Most RVs will do fine with a 12 volt, 3 to 3.5 gpm pump. A 12 volt pump is the typical one used in trailers and RVs and it should work fine most of the time. A powerful pump is nice but don’t get more power than you RV needs. If there’s too much force it could wreck your plumbing and lead to a surge in your utility bills as well.
The water flow needs to be consistent for the best results. You’ll get this result if the unit is made from quality components.
How Do I Replace and Install?
Follow these steps.
- Turn off all the pump switches on your RV.
- Turn your water supply off.
- Allow the faucets to clear the drain. Drain as much water as you can.
- Disconnect the red and black electrical wiring.
- Unscrew the bolt that keeps the pump in place.
- Take out the pump.
To install the pump:
- Mount the pump. Connect the water lines just as it was in the pump you just removed.
- Refer to your new pump’s manual for installation instructions.
- Open a faucet. It might take a few moments before water flows as the lines are being filled with water.
- Fill the tank with water. Activate the pump and watch the flow. Keep an eye out for leaks.
RV Fresh Water System 7 Step Guide
Not sure how to use freshwater in your RV? Just follow the steps given here and you’ll be ready to go.
1. How to Get Running Water in Your RV
- There are two ways.
- Fill up your RV tank and use it.
- Connect a hose to your rig and use an external water source.
2. Using City Water
You’ll need to hook up a hose onto a spigot to avail of city water. Now you don’t need to fill up your tank. As long as you’re in the city and there are spigots available, you’ll be able to use this method.
Of course the city water method isn’t going to do you any good if you’re in the boondocks. This is simply a technique you can use to save water if you’re in the city a lot.
3. Using the Fresh Water Holding Tank in Your RV
You use a best rv water pump to access your RV freshwater tank. Look for a potable water refilling station or port. They’re available in many cities and are clearly marked. Some RVs do not have a water filling port, and instead have a valve that directs city water to your holding tank.
4. How to Find Water to Fill Your RV Water Tank
The best place to start looking is the web. There are resources that list RV dump and water locations that can serve as your guide. Often – not always – a dump station has a potable water station as well.
5. How Does Your RV Water Pump Get Power?
12 volts is the standard power source. There usually is no need to mess around with this unless you’re running a different type of power configuration in your RV. The way your pump installs may vary depending on the model so follow the instructions.
6. Filtering Your Fresh Water
A water filter is essential to keep tiny contaminants and particles that could damage the pump. A pump filter is easy to install plus they’re cheap. For a small amount you’ll be able to extend the lifespan of your pump.
7. Disinfecting Your Fresh Water Tank
Some tanks can be disinfected with bleach while others require vinegar. Read your RV manual and follow the instructions for disinfecting the freshwater tank. Regular disinfection is essential if you’re going to drink from there.
RV Water Pump Troubleshooting
Even the best maintained pumps act up every now and then. Don’t call for the technical support yet as the following tips and suggestions may help.
1. How Do I Winterize My Pump?
There are two ways to go about this. The simplest is to pour antifreeze along the water lines. The second option is to blow air. Blowing air is not as effective as it does not always get to the water droplets. This could cause all kinds of damage to the pump and lead to complications.
2. My RV Water Pump Keeps Running?
This is probably due to the diaphragm assembly being worn out. Refer to your RV’s user manual for the model number and buy a suitable replacement. Make certain the freshwater tank has water. If it’s empty the pump won’t be able to shut down.
If the tank’s water level goes down the pump will start sucking in air instead of water. This could cause problems later on so you need to fill up the tank.
3. Why Won’t My RV Water Pump Run?
The battery or the pump may need to be replaced. Make sure the pump switches are on and ensure the breakers are functioning.
4. My RV Water Pump Runs But No Water Comes Out?
Check the water lines in and around the pump. Search for kinks, clogged lines and other signs of leaks. If there are leaks you’ll need to fix or replace them immediately.
If there aren’t any damage parts, gt some towels and set the pump. Loosen up the hose and check the line. If it is not wet then the problem is with the water line. If that’s the case, fill the tank with water and open the faucets.
If water does not come out, the problem is with the pump. If water comes out but only in drips, the pump is malfunctioning.
Water is indispensable when you’re in an RV, and it is imperative that you use the appropriate pump to get the maximum value from your supply. Hopefully I was able to do that in this guide.