Best 12V RV Water Pumps (Review & Buying Guide) in 2022
Keep the water flowing while you travel with these RV water pumps.
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BY Heather Fishel / LAST UPDATED ON December 1, 2021
Without a proper water pump, an RV is essentially just a rolling port-a-potty. A water pump allows an RV to have running water using the RV’s 12-volt battery, keeping your sink faucets, shower, and toilet flowing. But when was the last time you checked how your RV’s water pump is working? Driving across Middle America is a bad time for the toilet to stop flushing. If you’re due for a new water pump, we’ve rounded up the best 12-volt RV water pumps, doing the work to take a look at water specifications, water pressure, and the size of the pump for you. So sit back and let’s find your next pump right here with our picks for the best 12-volt RV water pumps you can find online.
A12-volt RV water pressure pump that can flow water pressure ranging from 17 to 55 pounds per square inch, thanks to internal bypass technology which reduces cycling.
- 4-year limited warranty
- Adjustable water pressure switch
- Designed with multiple fittings to allow connections with most outlets
- Compact size may be too small for certain RV models
This smooth-flowing 12V RV water pump features a built-in pulsation eliminator that allows water to flow smoothly without the need for an accumulator tank.
- Self-priming up to 9 feet of suction lift
- Able to run dry without damage
- Totally enclosed permanent motor with ignition protection
- Must check the owner’s manual to ensure Flowjet meets specifications for your RV
This 12V RV water pump delivers reliable performance in high flow, moderate pressure applications and can be mounted in any position for easy maintenance.
- Self-priming with 9 feet of suction lift
- Designed for easy maintenance
- Thermally protected motor
- One-way operation prevents reverse flow
Why Trust Us
Our reviews are driven by a combination of hands-on testing, expert input, “wisdom of the crowd” assessments from actual buyers, and our own expertise. We always aim to offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.
With so many different 12-volt RV water pumps available for you to shop and consider, it’s not easy to pick out the best. In order to narrow down all of the product options and select our top picks, we spent time researching different water pumps for RVs of different makes, models, and sizes. We compared RV water pumps based on their features and fit, their ability to work reliability, their construction, and their longevity or durability. We specifically sought out those that could perform consistently over many miles (and many uses). And we took a look at users’ reviews to assess just how well any given pump would perform out in real-life settings.
Our Verdict on 12V RV Water Pumps
The Seaflo 42 Series 12V Water Pump is our pick for the best 12-volt RV water pump because it delivers variable water pressure, reduces cycling, and can be run dry without you worrying about potential damage. However, if you’re also interested in a pump with great value, the affordable Flojet 03526 Triplex operates smoothly and delivers good bang for your buck.
What to Consider When Buying 12V RV Water Pumps
Having a working water pump can be the difference between a miserable, spartan RV holiday you’d rather wipe from your memory, and a dream road trip you never want to forget.
An onboard water pump makes it possible to shower, fill the sink, flush the toilet, and carry out many other tasks you take for granted at home. It’s very likely that your RV will have an existing water pump and, with a little luck, you’ll never have to give it a second thought. But if you’re looking to upgrade your water pump, or desperately need to replace a faulty one, there are some things you need to know. Keep reading as our buying guide has you covered.
Types of 12V RV Water Pumps
Constant Speed Pump
As the name suggests, a constant speed pump delivers water through your system at a single rate of flow. It’s either on or off and it’s not possible to adjust the water speed. Constant speed pumps are the most common type of 12V RV water pumps because they’re the simplest and most affordable option.
Variable Speed Pump
Variable speed pumps deliver water in a manner you’re probably more accustomed to, in that the flow rate varies depending on what is required. The built-in pressure switch adjusts the speed of the motor in order to maintain a constant water pressure, which results in a varied flow rate. Variable speed pumps are usually quieter than constant speed pumps, but can also be more expensive.
High Volume Pump
The least common type of 12V RV water pump is the high volume variety. They move water at a much faster rate than a standard pump, but this means they also require more power. For that reason, they’re usually only found on the biggest RVs and motorhomes, which can provide the necessary 50 amps. Any water pump listed as having a flow rate of 4 gallons per minute (GPM) or more is considered a high volume pump.
12V RV Water Pump Key Features
When it comes to voltage, you’ll find that water pumps are usually 12V, 110V, or 120V. Regardless of the size of your RV, you’ll want a 12V water pump as the other voltages are for actual houses and are way too powerful even for the biggest rigs.
Now that we’ve narrowed it down to 12-volt water pumps, there are still a number of things to take into consideration before getting your wallet out. These considerations depend on the size, make, and model of your RV. If you can’t get your hands on the original owner’s manual, you should be able to find the information you need with a quick Google search.
The most important factor to consider when choosing a new water pump is the RV’s maximum water pressure. This is important for performance and safety reasons, although most pumps will be in the “safe” range of between 60 and 75 pounds per square inch (PSI).
If you’ve spent any time inside an RV, you’ll know that nothing is any bigger than it needs to be and every square inch of the layout has been designed for maximum efficiency. The same goes for all the bits you don’t see, which is why it’s important to measure the space in which your current pump is installed. Chances are, there’s not going to be much additional room for you to fit anything bigger.
Water speed—or flow rate—is measured in gallons per minute (GPM). Your owner’s handbook will confirm what the optimal water flow rate is for your particular make and model of camper. This is important because the higher the GPM, the harder the pump has to work. More powerful water pumps tend to be bigger and draw more electrical power, too. Many pumps are now available with adjustable speeds to combat this issue.
12V RV Water Pump Benefits
Use Multiple Faucets Simultaneously
With one of the best 12V RV water pumps, you’ll be able to use your RV’s plumbing and associated appliances without ever worrying. As your pump pulls water from the source, it’ll use its motor to deliver that water to multiple faucets. You can easily turn on a sink and take a shower, using multiple faucets at the same time without worrying about what’s happening in your hoses and pipes.
Control Water Pressure
One of the biggest advantages of a 12V RV water pump is the ability to achieve better water pressure. While a water pressure regulator is handy here, your pump helps move water effectively and efficiently, which means it plays a crucial role in your water pressure and overall flow power. If you want a low-pressure or high-pressure flow, there’s a water pump that can deliver (and it can make every shower a whole lot better!).
Low Power Draw
While RV water pumps can vary in their power usage, most 12-volt pumps are specifically made to suit campers of various sizes. This means they’re generally light on amps, ensuring they don’t overwhelm your RV’s power system. Typically, 12-volt RV water pumps help conserve power so they can easily run in the background each time you open up faucets for different needs, meaning you should never even notice their impact on your electrical system.
12V RV Water Pump Pricing
A 12-volt RV water pump will cost you anywhere from $60 to $80 on average. This price range includes pumps that offer various flow rates and can handle different maximum amounts of pressure. If you’d like a premium pump (or one with more power), you can expect to spend anywhere from $150 to $250. However, these pumps do tend to be larger and may not be a fit for all RV models.
Tips and Tricks
As with something you do for decades upon decades, you pick up a few tips and tricks along the way in terms of selecting the right product, and/or using it. That’s the case with us and 12V RV water pumps. To help you bridge the information gap, here’s a selection of what we’ve learned along the way.
- Most 12-volt RV water pumps are small and compact, designed to fit into tight spaces, but you should always check your owner’s manual to determine which specs are the right measurement for your pump.
- If you opt for a water pump that’s too small, you may not get a leak-free fit.
- To prevent leaks regardless of the size of the pump you’re using, look for products that offer a leak-free seal. With rubber and a tight-fitting seal around the connection point, a pump with a leak-free seal offers more security.
You’ve got questions. The Drive has answers!
Q: How strong is a 12V RV water pump?
A: RV water pumps do vary in their strength and their maximum PSI, but on average a pump can function safely at anywhere from 60 to 75 PSI.
Q: Can I run my RV water pump when connected to a city water line?
A: Often, city water lines are quite high in pressure—so high, in fact, that the pressure level can damage your RV’s plumbing components. You’ll want to make sure you’re using a regulator if you need to connect to a city water line, so you can bring down the PSI. While pumps can often handle higher water pressure, it’s better to err on the side of safety so you aren’t replacing burst hoses.
Q: Should I opt for a bigger 12V RV water pump for my RV?
A: While bigger is often better, especially when it comes to power and capability, that isn’t always best for every RV. First of all, certain RVs require smaller water pumps simply because they don’t have the space for larger ones. Secondly, smaller RVs really don’t need the same gallons-per-minute rate since the plumbing systems are smaller and not as far-reaching. Check with your RV’s owner manual to determine what size and flow rate is best for your specific camper.