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Best 12 Volt RV Water Pump in 2020

(Camp Addict does NOT accept payment from any company to review or endorse their products.)

So your RV water pump isn't working or needs an upgrade?

Well please get a new one- because showers are a good thing. Heh.

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.

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 out there to fit your needs?

Below you will find RV water pump reviews for three different categories of use.

Further below you will find information on what you need to know to install a 12v RV water pump.

RV Fresh Water Systems

A 12-volt water pump is just one part of your RV's fresh water system.

If you want to learn more about an RV water system, you can read our Guide to RV Fresh Water Systems.

Here you will learn how to get water into your RV, where to find potable water, and how to care for your RV plumbing system.

RV Water Pump Reviews

If you are looking for a 12-volt water pump for RV use, there are a few manufacturers to choose from.

Most of them 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

Shurflo 4008 rv water pump

Pros

  • 3 GPM maximum water flow rate
  • Self-priming and able to be run dry
  • 55 PSI pump shut-off pressure
  • 7.5 amps maximum power draw
  • Built-in check valve
  • Direct replacement for many existing RV pumps

Cons

  • Constant speed - either on or off - which means noisier pump operation

The Shurflo Revolution 4008 is the ubiquitous 3.0 gallons per minute (GPM) RV 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

Shurflo 4048 rv water pump

Pros

  • 4.0 GPM maximum water flow rate
  • Self-priming and able to be run dry
  • 55 PSI pump shut-off pressure
  • 10 amps maximum power draw
  • Built-in check valve
  • Use multiple faucets at one time

Cons

  • Constant speed - either on or off - which means noisier pump operation
  • May require upgrading your water pump power circuit to handle higher amperage

The Shurflo 4048 is Pentair's high volume, constant speed, camper 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

Remco Aquajet

Remco Aquajet RV water pump right front

Pros

  • 5.3 GPM maximum water flow rate
  • Variable speed delivers smooth flow
  • Self-priming and able to be run dry
  • Use multiple faucets at one time
  • 10 amps maximum power draw
  • Made in the USA

Cons

  • May require upgrading your water pump power circuit to handle higher amperage
  • Higher cost

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 should consider.

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.

You don't want to get one that is too powerful.

Why? The bigger and harder working a pump is, the more electricity it's going to draw from your batteries.

PSI- You should also 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.

Sizing- 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 might be 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 it might 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 can be 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.

Shurflo 255-313 strainer

Shurflo 255-313 (255-213) Strainer

Shurflo 255-315 strainer swivel nut

Shurflo 255-315 (222-215) Strainer


RV Water Pump Silencing Kit

Let's face it - there is not really 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, you will hear it.

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).

Shurflo 94-591-01 pump silencing kit

RV 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 can be 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.

  • DO NOT use an accumulator tank with a Remco Aquajet variable speed RV water pump. It isn't necessary and will actually inhibit correct operation of the pump.
Shurflo 182-200 accumulator

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.

You may have to be fairly flexible in order to get the job done!

Marshalls RV water pump installation

Here's Marshall's travel trailer water pump. Look at this mess! You can't pull the stuff (ducting) in front of it out. Marshall has had to replace his pump at least three times now. 

Kellys RV water pump installation

Look at this giant mess. This is the only way to get to this 12v water pump without taking out the hot water heater. The black hose in front doesn't flex, UGH.

Before you start, make sure your water pump switch is off.

This cuts the power from the RV battery.

Then depressurize the water lines by opening your faucets.

Have towels handy as there will still be some water that leaks 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 the new pump will be pretty easy to install.

Replacing An RV Water Pump

Adjusting a Shurflo Water Pump

  • You can easily increase the water pressure output of a Shurflo water pump too much by 'playing' with the pressure adjustments, so if you don't know what you are doing, PLEASE DO NOT make any adjustments.

After installing your new pump you may find that it cycles 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).

You will know 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.

Shurflo RV water pump adjustment

Conclusion

If you have an RV, you are almost guaranteed to need a water pump.

There will be 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. 

You may just want to stop at a rest stop to feed your family.

No hookups there.

You need a 12v RV water pump to wash hands, do dishes, or use the toilet. 

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 be able 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!

Camp Addict Kelly
Kelly Beasley

Kelly Beasley is co-founder of Camp Addict and loves sharing her enthusiasm for the RVing lifestyle. As a full-time RVer since May 2015, Kelly's playful writing style helps make learning about the sometimes dull subject of RV products a bit more interesting.


Marshall Headshot
Marshall Wendler

Camp Addict co-founder Marshall Wendler brings his technical expertise to help explain RV products in an easy to understand fashion. Full-time RVing since April 2014, Marshall loves sharing his knowledge of the RV lifestyle.

    • Hi Chis,

      Which RV water pump(s) in particular are the ones with these reviews?

      Without knowing the exact situation, I have no clue what is going on. Did the people adjust the pressure settings on the pumps?

      I have never heard of an RV water pump blowing an RV’s plumbing apart, and I know a lot of people who RV full-time. Just not a rampant problem.

      And I find it hard to believe that an RV water pump set properly from the factory would do this.

      For example, a Shurflo 4048’s pressure switch is set to shut off the pump at 55 psi. Which is below the pressure of some (most?) city water systems.

      The 4048’s manual states the following:

      “The by-pass is a spring loaded diaphragm that opens up allowing water from the discharge side back to the inlet side. The by-pass is set to begin opening at about 30 psi and creating full by-pass at about 65 psi. The pressure switch on the pump is set to shut off at 55 psi. If the switch or by-pass are adjusted too much, the by-pass and switch shut-off can overlap and THE PUMP WILL NOT SHUT OFF.”

      This is why one shouldn’t adjust the pressure settings unless they know what they are doing (or are able to follow instructions and double-check things).

  • Thanks so much for this post! Did you install an on off switch to help conserve energy when you’re not using the sink? We will not be installing a toilet, so water will just be for the sink. Also, did you install a water filter on your water system?

    Thanks!

    • Hi Keely,

      You’re welcome! No, there’s no need for an on/off switch when you’re not using the sink. The pump will not run as long as the pressure doesn’t drop in the tank. The amount of electricity it uses to monitor is negligible.

      I have not installed a water filtration system. Some people have. You can filter at the inlet hose and/or get a filter for your drinking water if you don’t want to deal with a water filtration system install. Or, install a filtration system! I’m just not the type to go that far. : )

  • My husband replaced our water heater pump on our 5th wheel, everything on the outside is working and there hot water in the tank but no hot water coming inside the faucet and shower.what could be the problem?

    • Hi Karen,

      What do you mean by “water heater pump”? Are you saying that the main water pump was replaced? I’m not aware of any RV having a separate pump for the water heater.

      Also, what do you mean by “everything on the outside is working”? What on the outside is working that is related to hot water?

      Did the water heater bypass valve (on my water heater, it’s located right at the water lines by the water heater itself) get turned to the ‘bypass’ position?

      How do you know there is hot water in the tank?

      So. Many. Questions. 🙂

  • I installed a pump in a fire apparatus and I’m having a problem with the water pulsation out of the faucet. What can I do?

  • Just bought my first RV a week ago. It’s a junker, Falcon Sport series 19 (ever hear of it?). No voltage at the Shurflo 8005-292-139 water pump, so I decided to remove the pump to test it. The pump indeed works great, but the contacts on the pressure switch are loose inside the housing (poor design and manufacture). Consequently, operation of the pump would be unreliable. So I decided to purchase a replacement pressure switch assembly. At an outrageous $37 that’s more than half the price of a new pump. Just not worth it. I’m looking for a separate pressure switch that I could mount in the water line. Have you or other people done this? Do you have a recommendation for a specific switch to use?

    • Hey Vanamee,

      I have indeed heard of that brand trailer. You will notice that it did not make our best RV brands list.

      I assume that this is a new-to-you trailer as opposed to being a brand new trailer. Otherwise, the water pump would be under warranty and there would be no sense in messing with it.

      Unfortunately, RV water pumps are a disposable item. If something goes wrong, you just replace rather than try and fix. As you have found out, replacement parts are generally cost prohibitive, considering one of the recommended pumps above costs well under $100.

      I don’t know how you would put in a separate switch. Sounds like a complete pain to me, and considering the cost of a new one, I don’t think it’s worth one’s time to track down how to do this, modify your plumbing system to allow for a separate switch, hope that the switch actually works, etc, etc, etc.

      Best of luck with your ‘new’ trailer! I hope that the water pump situation gets sorted out.

  • Very complete article, thanks. A couple of questions, I am replacing the pump in my 2005 Fleetwood Bounder. I will be using the Shurflo 4008-101-E65. My unit has a whole house filter so I would assume I don’t need the strainer, is that correct? Also, old school me wants to add an accumulator. I’ve heard this pump doesn’t need one but would there be any advantages at all or just a waste of money.

    • Glad you found this page useful, Norm!

      Pentair/Shurflo says the following in the Shurflo 4008 manual “Pump must use an adequate 50-mesh strainer [such as SHURFLO 255 series strainers].” It doesn’t let you off the hook even if you are using a whole-house filtration system. So it’s your call.

      Shurflo says you don’t need an accumulator, but I’m here to tell you an accumulator will help. Greatly. I use the 4008 and about a year ago put in an accumulator. World of difference! Go with the accumulator, IMHO.

      Hope that helps! Thanks for the question, and Camp On!

      • Thanks for the fast response. Your answers are great. Both items are not high dollar, so why not. Glad I found Camp Addict, I will put your in my favorites and visit often.

        • You are most welcome, Norm. And THANK YOU for your kind words. Kelly and I are happy you found us too.

          One more thing about the accumulator – I didn’t install the Shurflo one (the 24 ounce one). Instead I installed a 2 gallon (no-name) version (that required some plumbing into the system, but overall not rocket science). It gives me a decent (but no where near 2 gallons) of water before having the water pump kick back on to refill it. If you go with a 24 ouncer, I’m sure it’s fine. It’ll smooth out the pulsing. You just won’t get a lot of water out of it before the pump kicks back in.

  • My water pump quit pumping. The pump runs but no water. The pump has easy access in the BR and on several occasions I have jiggled wires and hoses and after several minutes the pump starts pumping and will continue to work until i shut it off. Then it reverts to running but not pumping. It seems there may be a priming issue or an air leak. I have no idea how to go about looking for an air leak. If i install a new pump I’m afraid the same will happen if I don’t figure out the problem now. Any suggestions where to start?

    • Hey JR,

      I’ve been fortunate enough not to have run into this type of RV water pump issue. My ‘issues’ always have been solved by replacing the pump with a new one.

      I’d start by doing a Google search for the term “rv water pump air leak”. There appears to be some good info using that search term, including some YouTube videos. I’m guessing one could go down quite the rabbit hole here, but I’m also sure you’ll come up with some ideas on how to tackle this problem.

      Best of luck and Camp On!

    • Hi Jim,

      The quietest water pump is going to be the Remco Aquajet, which is a variable speed pump. The other pumps are either on (full speed ahead!) or off – they don’t have the ability to ‘be quiet’. The Aquajet’s variable speed means that at lower flow rates, it’s just ‘ticking over’ and can be quieter.

      Keep in mind all water pumps are going to make some sort of sound. Depending on the location of the actual pump, you will either be annoyed by the sound, or it will just be a background noise. Camp Addict Kelly’s pump is under her bed and isn’t horrible to listen to, even though it is an on-off style pump. Camp Addict Marshall’s pump is under his kitchen sink and very obnoxious. It’s all about location, location, location. ?

      Thanks for the question Jim, and Camp On!

  • Great web site with lots of useful info. Will definitely use your affiliate links to shop. I do have a question. I am considering a variable speed pump. In your review, you stated “DO NOT use an accumulator tank with a Remco Aquajet RV water pump. The variable speed design means an accumulator is not necessary, and using one will actually cause the Aquajet to not function properly.” I understand why a tank might not be necessary, but I didn’t see anything about causing a variable speed pump to malfunction on Remco’s site, nor any of the other manufacturers of variable speed pumps. Can you please point me to the source of this warning?
    Thanks!
    Pete

    • Thanks for the kind words, Pete!

      In the following video meant for their dealers, you will notice they not only mention that an accumulator isn’t necessary, but to bypass an existing accumulator (do not use it): https://youtu.be/IbE6bWO5370

      They should definitely make this more clear. Like putting it in their installation manual. Things that make you go hmmmm…

      Camp On!

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