Best 12 Volt RV Water Pump in 2021
(Camp Addict does NOT accept payment from any company to review or endorse their products.)
So, you are here because your RV water pump isn't working or needs an upgrade. (I'm a genius!)
Well, please get a new one, because we want you to shower. Heh.
Indeed, you probably already know that an RV water pump pressurizes the water lines of your rig when you are not connected to a city water source.
The travel trailer or motorhome water pump brings potable water from the freshwater holding tank to the toilet, any faucet, and to the shower.
It keeps the water pumping thru the RV plumbing system so you have H2O when you need it while camping.
Undoubtedly, there will come a time when your camper fresh water pump needs replacing, or you decide to upgrade it to a higher performance model that provides more water volume to your faucets.
So, what is the best RV water pump to fit your needs?
Below you will find RV water pump reviews for three different categories of use.
Further below is information on what you need to know to install a 12v RV water pump.
RV Fresh Water Systems
RV Water Pump Reviews
If you are looking for a 12-volt water pump for camping use, there are a few manufacturers to choose from.
Most produce 12v water pumps for both the recreational vehicle and the marine markets.
Almost all camper water pumps work basically the same way - they are constant speed pumps that are either on or off.
There are a few more expensive RV fresh water pumps that are variable speed, which makes for quieter operation (less pump cycling or 'hammering' of the water pipes) and a constant supply of H2O (no pulsing).
There are some brands that are more popular in the RV market, including SHURFLO (Pentair) and Aquajet (Remco).
Both manufacturers make a good quality unit and have good reliability, though how the RV manufacturer installs the water pumps can affect the longevity.
Other brands cater more towards the marine market (SEAFLO).
Continue on to read the RV water pump reviews and what we consider to be the best choices for a given category.
Best RV Water Pump
Pentair SHURFLO Pump 4008
The Shurflo Revolution 4008 is the ubiquitous 3.0 gallons per minute (GPM) pump used, well, everywhere.
It's affordable, reliable (good quality) and does a fine job of pressurizing an RV water system when you are not connected to city water.
Continue Reading Shurflo Revolution 4008 RV Water Pump Review
Best Camper Water Pump - High Volume
Pentair SHURFLO 4048
The Shurflo 4048 is Pentair's high volume, constant speed water pump.
With an output of 4.0 gallons per minute (GPM), this 12v pump has a 33% higher flow rate than our top choice, the Shurflo 4008.
Continue Reading Shurflo 4048 12-Volt Water Pump Review
Best RV Water Pump - Variable Speed
The Remco Aquajet is a variable speed RV water pump.
It is a high volume pump with an output of 5.3 gallons per minute.
It is best suited for RVs where you want to greatly reduce water pump cycling and when you want constant water pressure when using your camper water pump.
Continue Reading Remco Aquajet RV Water Pump Review
Buying A New RV Water Pump
What should you be thinking about when buying a new RV water pump?
Don't just get the first RV pump you see. There are a few things you need to consider.
Gallons Per Minute/GPM
You should know how many gallons of water per minute your pump needs to put out for your specific RV.
Check your RV owners manual for this information. Don't get one that is too powerful.
Why? The bigger and harder working a pump is, the more electricity it draws from your batteries.
It's important that you know what water pressure (PSI: pounds per square inch) is recommended for your rig so you can buy a 12-volt RV water pump that puts out the right pressure.
Though most are in the 'safe' range of 60-75 pounds per square inch.
Consider the mount location of your current 12v RV water pump.
In RVs, every square inch of space tends to be utilized.
This means your pump is probably tucked away in an area with little or no extra room.
If your current installation is tight, you might not be able to upgrade to a larger capacity water pump as it will physically be larger.
It also isn't easy to install a new pump if the space is tight.
Check your RV owners manual for specifications on the flow rate and the maximum water pressure.
If you can't find the information, give your RV manufacturer a call (hopefully they are still in business!).
Camper Water Pump Accessories
There are travel trailer and motorhome water pump accessories available that should be considered required (strainers).
Then, there are others which you can use in the hopes of making your rig's water pump a little quieter.
RV Water Pump Strainers
If grit, dirt or other foreign material gets inside your RV pump, bad things can happen to the diaphragm (the pump mechanism).
It will wear out quicker or develop catastrophic damage and your pump will stop pumping water.
Below are two common filter strainers manufactured by Shurflo.
One has fixed fittings on both ends (NPSM threads) and one with a fixed fitting on the inlet side (NPSM threads) and a swivel nut fitting (NPT threads) on the outlet side.
The swivel nut fitting makes it easier to thread the strainer in tight places.
Both strainers have fine 50 mesh filter screens with removable housing.
This way the screens are cleaned without removing the entire assembly.
These filter strainers typically get mounted directly to the inlet size of the water pump.
NOTE: Strainer is included with the Shurflo 4048 high volume water pump.
RV Water Pump Silencing Kit
Let's face it - there is not such a thing as an absolutely quiet RV water pump.
Unless you are lucky enough to have your constant speed water pump buried far away from you, it will be heard.
Even a variable speed RV water pump will have a certain noise level unless it is well insulated from the living compartment.
This pump silencing kit has two flexible hoses that fit between the water pump and your RVs plumbing system lines.
Since the rig's water lines are normally rigid, installing a flexible water line tends to reduce the transmission of the pump's vibrations to the plumbing system (which can cause rattling and other obnoxious noises).
Water Pump Accumulator
Most 12v RV water pumps are constant speed.
This means they are either on or off. Full speed or nothing at all.
And this on/off state is controlled by pressure switches which sense the pressure in the water system lines.
At anything less than having your faucets or RV shower heads fully open, the RV fresh water pump will constantly cycle on and off, which is annoying.
Also, the on/off tends to cause vibration and increases the overall interior noise level of your rig.
One way to reduce this cycling is to install an accumulator tank (pulsation eliminator) that uses a water diaphragm inside of a pressure vessel.
The accumulator builds up an excess of water (think of it as a reserve tank) on the pressure side (outlet side) of your water pump.
This allows reserve H2O to be used instead of the pump having to cycle as much.
This can reduce pump cycling and water pressure spikes.
Below is a fairly inexpensive 24-ounce Shurflo accumulator tank.
Installing A 12-Volt RV Water Pump
Motorhome and travel trailer water pumps aren't very expensive but they can be a real booger to replace.
It's not the installation process that's so difficult.
Usually, it's the placement of the darn thing. Sometimes, you have to be fairly flexible in order to get the job done!
Before you start, turn your water pump switch off. This cuts the power from the RV battery.
Then depressurize the water lines by opening your faucets.
Have towels handy as water will leak out from the water hose when you disconnect the plumbing fittings.
Follow the 12v RV water pump's instructions to make sure the installation process is done correctly (duh!).
Follow the instructions, see how the prior pump was installed, and installation will be a 'breeze'.
Replacing An RV Water Pump
Adjusting a Shurflo Water Pump
After installing your new pump, it may cycle too frequently or at the improper pressure.
Tweaking the bypass valve and/or the pressure switch may be required (though usually adjusting the pressure switch is all that is required).
An adjustment is needed if the pump cycles on and off too frequently, especially when a water fixture (faucet/shower) is fully opened.
Please only do it if it's completely necessary.
You have to be careful when making any adjustments as it is easy to over adjust and get yourself in trouble.
Only adjust if you know what you are doing - otherwise, leave it to the experts.
Below are the exact instructions from the Shurflo installation and operation manuals on how to adjust the bypass valve and pressure switch settings.
If your pump is cycling on and off when you have faucets or an RV shower head fully opened, then most likely ONLY the pressure switch needs a slight adjustment.
If the [pressure] switch or bypass are adjusted too much, the bypass and [pressure] switch shut-off can overlap and THE PUMP WILL NOT SHUT OFF. Screwing the [pressure] switch screw in clockwise will raise the shut-off pressure. Unscrewing the [pressure] switch screw counterclockwise will lower the pump shut-off pressure. Screwing the bypass screw in will raise the pressure at which the bypass starts and raise the full bypass pressure. Unscrewing the bypass screw counterclockwise will lower the pressure at which bypass starts and lower the full bypass pressure.
WARNING: If full bypass is reached before the [pressure switch] shut-off setting, the pump will not shut off. Full bypass pressure setting should be at least 10 PSI higher than pump shut off pressure.
NOTE: A 5/64" Allen wrench (hex key) is required to make these adjustments.
If you have an RV, you need a water pump.
Certainly, there are times when you are not in a campground/hooked up to a city water supply.
Without some type of pump or a city water connection, you cannot run ANY water of any sort in your rig.
For example, you decide to stop at a rest stop to feed your family. No hookups there.
Undoubtedly, you need a 12v RV water pump to wash hands, do dishes, or use the toilet.
Furthermore, being self-sufficient is one of the biggest perks of being in an RV. Having a working camper water pump helps make this possible.
The goal to RVing is to get out there and enjoy it without worrying about your RV pump.
If you have any questions, or comments about this information that Marshall and Kelly have provided for you, feel free to comment below.
We answer every good, relevant question that we can.
(Please read previous comments as we will not answer duplicate questions.)
Thank you for reading!
He-llllo. I'm the co-founder of Camp Addict, which my biz partner and I launched in 2017. I frigging love the RVing lifestyle but in December of 2020, I converted to part-time RV life. Heck, I lived in my travel trailer for over 5.5 years, STRICTLY boondocking for pretty much all of it. Boondocking is a GREAT way to live, but it's not easy. Anyway, I'm passionate about animals, can't stand campgrounds, I hardly ever cook, and I love a good dance party. Currently, I can be found plotting and scheming whether or not to start collecting farm animals (or plotting my next RV trip!) at my beautiful new 'ranch' named 'Hotel Kellyfornia', in Southern Arizona.
Camp Addict co-founder Marshall Wendler brings his technical expertise to help explain RV products in an easy to understand fashion. Full-time RVing from April 2014 - December 2020 (now RVing about 50% of the time), Marshall loves sharing his knowledge of the RV lifestyle. Marshall spends the majority of his RVing life boondocking. He is the part of Camp Addict that knows 'all the things'. He's good at sharing his technical knowledge so you can benefit.