Best RV Water Pressure Regulators: Protect Your Plumbing
Protect your RV’s plumbing and appliances with an RV water pressure regulator
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BY Dorian Smith-Garcia / LAST UPDATED ON June 30, 2021
If you’re a frequent RV traveler, you know that water sources at campsites and rest stops in the United States can vary. Unpredictable water pressure can cause serious damage to your RV’s plumbing and fixtures. An RV water pressure regulator can guarantee a safe and even water flow. In our buying guide below, we outline the best RV water pressure regulators available on the market so you can make the right selection for your RV.
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Benefits of RV Water Pressure Regulators
- Control water pressure. One of the most important factors of an RV water pressure regulator is its ability to control high water pressure. Most RVs can safely handle a PSI between 40 and 60. But depending on the location, some places can have pressures as high as 100 PSI.
- Avoid plumbing issues. If you allow too much water pressure to flow through your RV, you can damage appliances or end up with burst pipes. This can lead to costly repairs. A quality water pressure regulator can help you avoid these scenarios.
- Filtration. When you connect to a water supply, you have no way of knowing what type of sediment or obstructions are in the water. A quality RV water pressure regulator features a water filter to prevent blockage from rocks and other items that could be in the water supply.
Types of RV Water Pressure Regulators
This is the cheapest type of pressure regulator you can purchase. Typically, these regulators will allow you to control water pressure to within 40 to 45 PSI and are not adjustable.
In-Line Barrel High Flow
As the name implies, an in-line high flow water pressure regulator is designed to work with higher water pressure. However, it’s not adjustable. High flow models tend to be more expensive than other types.
Adjustable water pressure regulators allow you to do exactly that—adjust the pressure of the water flow. These models will typically feature a water pressure gauge that provides a numerical reading of the actual PSI from the intake. This style of regulator is often preferred because it allows for customization.
Camco is one of the most popular outdoor gear brands on the market. In addition to creating RV water pressure regulators, the brand also focuses on the ATV, camping, and boating categories. While the company is headquartered in the United States, it has production facilities around the world and is one of the most respected RV accessories brands. However, it is best known for its RV water pressure regulators.
Renator is a brand that is made by and for RV enthusiasts. The U.S.-based company was founded by an RV owner who realized that the available RV water pressure regulators that were on the market weren’t long-lasting, reliable, or affordable. Renator prides itself on the quality of its products and the low-lead levels in each of its regulators. The company only crafts RV water pressure regulators, so you’ll have peace of mind that it has expertise in this field.
RV Water Pressure Regulator Pricing
- $5 - 15: RV water pressure regulators are very affordable accessories that you can find for as little as five dollars. At this price point, they usually won’t feature a gauge and are often made of plastic. They usually have a factory pre-set PSI range and cannot be adjusted.
- $15 - 40: The majority of the water pressure regulators on the market today fall in this price range. They typically include a pressure gauge, are of brass construction, are lead-free, contain an RV water filter for rocks and debris, and are adjustable to accommodate a wider range of PSI.
- Over $40: You can find RV water pressure regulators that can cost as much as $100. These regulators have a sturdy construction and are effective at regulating water pressure to a safe level. However, none of them seem to offer any superior benefits compared to regulators in the median price range.
The PSI capacity refers to the amount of PSI, or pressure per square inch, that an RV water pressure regulator can manage. Your target range is going to depend on your specific recreational vehicle model and the amount of PSI it’s rated to handle. Typically, many water pressure regulators are factory pre-set to 45 PSI.
Even if you don’t use your RV regularly, when you do take it for a spin, you’re most likely going to be using the plumbing and appliances frequently. That means you’re going to be using a lot of water and you need to have a water pressure regulator that works properly and consistently. Look for products that are designed from sturdy materials. Most regulators are designed out of brass and are meant for long-term use.
Low Lead Or Lead-Free Content
You don’t want lead in your water in your residential home, a drinking fountain, or your RV. In addition to your RV’s built-in water filtration system, one of the best ways to minimize the chances of drinking water with lead in it is to avoid installing accessories on your water lines that have lead composition. All of the brands we featured in this guide, as well as others we researched, clearly identify that they are either lead-free or have low lead content to within approved limits as specified by governing agencies like the EPA.
- Sturdy Construction: An RV water pressure regulator is a critical component that you will most likely use on a consistent basis to protect your vehicle’s plumbing. Look for models that feature heavy-duty materials and are rated as rust-resistant or are able to withstand extreme hot and cold weather.
- Gauge: You can find RV water pressure regulators that don’t feature a gauge. The choice to use one is entirely up to you. However, for precise measurements, especially if you’re concerned about carefully measuring the water pressure, we highly recommend opting for a pressure regulator that comes with a gauge.
- Long-Term Cost Benefits: Just like with a residential home, burst pipes, blocked water lines, and flooding can be expensive to fix. When you install a quality RV water pressure gauge, you’re actually extending the life of your RV’s plumbing as well as saving money on costly repairs.
Best RV Water Pressure Regulator Reviews & Recommendations 2021
- Your target PSI will depend on whether you have a newer or older RV model. As a general guideline, newer RV models are designed to handle PSI levels as high as 100, while an older model should not have an intake of more than 50 PSI. Still, it’s recommended that even if you have a newer model, your RV plumbing shouldn’t receive more than 60 PSI.
- You should perform regular maintenance on your RV water pressure regulator to guarantee the best performance. Inspect it for any cracks or damage to the interior and exterior. If it has a filter, check it to make sure that it’s intact.
- RV water pressure regulators are critical because at many campsites and rest stops, the facility won’t control the PSI flow rate. Sites don’t always advertise this fact. That means that if you aren’t experienced with RV camping and you don’t come prepared with a lead-free water regulator, you could be setting yourself up for serious RV plumbing and water damage when you connect your lines to a campsite.
Q: How do I install an RV water pressure regulator?
A: Installing an RV water pressure regulator shouldn’t be a hassle. Most models feature a simple two-pronged design with NH threads that are clearly labeled for input and output and fit with most standard hoses. Attach the external hose from the campsite or rest stop to the input thread and attach your RV’s water hose to the output NH thread.
Q: How do I know if it’s time to replace my RV water pressure regulator?
A: One of the best ways to tell if it’s time to replace your RV water pressure regulator is if the water pressure from your faucets or showerhead is low or inconsistent. This would indicate that the regulator is broken. Always check with your owner’s manual to confirm before replacing it.
Q: How do I adjust the pressure on my RV water pressure regulator?
A: Adjusting the pressure is easy to do. But in order to do this, you must first have an adjustable water pressure regulator. Assuming you do, most models will feature a screw that can be turned either right or left to increase or decrease the pressure.
If you’re going to spend time on the road and plan to sleep overnight at a campsite or rest stop, an RV water pressure regulator isn’t a “nice-to-have,” but a “must-have.”
If you want to safeguard your RV, consider our overall top pick, the Renator adjustable water pressure regulator.
Budget-conscious travelers should consider the Camco brass water pressure regulator, which provides a clear gauge for reading pressure output from any water source.