Reviews

LAST UPDATED: June 22, 2020

The Best 12V RV Water Pumps (Review & Buying Guide) in 2020

Enjoy high water flow to multiple fixtures with our 12V RV water pump selection.

Entering our 7th season of /DRIVE on NBC Sports, and with millions of YouTube and Facebook followers, The Drive is a leading authority of all things automotive.

The Drive on NBCThe Drive on YouTubeThe Drive on Facebook

The Review Team

The Drive and its partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.Read more.

PUBLISHED ON June 22, 2020

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, which is key for experiencing all the perks an RV has to offer, like showers, toilets, and cooking. Most RV water pumps run using the RV’s 12-volt battery.

 

It is recommended that you test and inspect your RV water pump before every road trip — especially if the RV it's been parked or stored for a long period of time between uses. The middle of a cross-country adventure is a bad time for the toilet to stop flushing.

 

RV owners will need to research their RV model for specifications on the right water pump for their model. They need to look at water specifications, water pressure, and the size of the current water pump. Luckily, we looked at those aforementioned things for you.

  • Best Overall
    Seaflo 42 Series 12V Water Pump
    Summary
    Summary

    This is a 12v RV water pressure pump that can also be adapted for marine, filtration, and solar water systems. It can flow water pressure ranging from 17 to 55 psi, thanks to internal bypass technology that reduces cycling controlled by a switch. Seaflo took extra steps to make sure it was quiet. According to Seaflo, the 42 series is no louder than an air conditioner running, thanks to the semi-rigid rubber floor mount to reduce vibrations.

    Pros
    Pros

    Adjustable water pressure switch. Designed with multiple fittings to allow connections with most outlets. Runs dry without damage. Includes thermal protection. Seaflo offers a four-year limited warranty.

    Cons
    Cons

    Compact size may be too small for certain RV models. Check the owner’s manual before buying.

  • Best Overall
    Seaflo 42 Series 12V Water Pump
  • Best Value
     Flojet 03526 Triplex
    Summary
    Summary

    This smooth-flowing 12v RV water pump features a built-in pulsation eliminator which allows water to flow smoothly without the need for an accumulator tank. Flojet designed it for easy installation with snap-in, half-inch port fittings. It is also protected against rust, thanks to its durable corrosion-resistant construction.

    Pros
    Pros

    Self-priming up to nine feet of suction lift. Able to run dry without damage. Totally enclosed permanent motor with ignition protection. Adjustable water pressure switch. Noise reduction soft material mounts. Protected against corrosive materials. Built-in bypass technology for adjustable pressure. Works great with Eccotemp L5, L7, and L10 tankless water heaters.

    Cons
    Cons

    Check the owner’s manual to ensure it meets specifications for your RV.

  • Best Value
     Flojet 03526 Triplex
  • Honorable Mention
    Shurflo 2088 Fresh Water Pump
    Summary
    Summary

    This 12v RV water pump delivers reliable performance in high flow, moderate pressure applications. This water pump can be used in a variety of transfer and dispense-on-demand applications. It can also be mounted in any position and is designed for easy maintenance, which is ideal for all types of recreational vehicles. 

    Pros
    Pros

    Has a 3.0 GPM flow rate. 45 psi on-demand switch. Self-priming with nine feet of suction lift. Can be mounted in any position. Designed for easy maintenance. Thermally protected motor.

    Cons
    Cons

    One-way operation prevents reverse flow. Check the owner’s manual before buying to ensure it meets vehicle requirements.

  • Honorable Mention
    Shurflo 2088 Fresh Water Pump

    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, which is key for experiencing all the perks an RV has to offer, like showers, toilets, and cooking. Most RV water pumps run using the RV’s 12-volt battery.

     

    It is recommended that you test and inspect your RV water pump before every road trip — especially if the RV it's been parked or stored for a long period of time between uses. The middle of a cross-country adventure is a bad time for the toilet to stop flushing.

     

    RV owners will need to research their RV model for specifications on the right water pump for their model. They need to look at water specifications, water pressure, and the size of the current water pump. Luckily, we looked at those aforementioned things for you.

    Best 12V RV Water Pumps FAQs

    Best Overall

    The Seaflo 42 Series 12V Water Pump is easily one of the most powerful — and versatile — RV water pumps on the market for a myriad of reasons. For starters, it features variable flow and contains advanced bypass technology to reduce cycling and ensure your water is always the cleanest. It also contains super-convenient features like self-priming and dry-operation capabilities, allowing you access to water in even the most precarious of situations. This 12v, 3.0 GPM, 55 PSI Positive Displacement Pump is UL 778 &- CSA 22.2-certified and comes with a four-year warranty, making it a virtually risk-free purchase.

    Best Value

    In terms of price and quality ratio,  you likely won’t find anything superior to the smooth-running Flojet 03526 Triplex water pump. This no-nonsense 12v water pump features nine feet of suction lift, dry run capabilities, and three separate chambers for your water. In terms of power, it’s a no-brainer thanks to a permanent magnet motor and completely enclosed ball bearing. Soft-absorbing amounts make for even smoother operation and the built-in bypass results in minimal pulsation. The Flojet is also made out of durable, corrosion-resistant materials, giving you a reliable — and inexpensive — 12V water pump that will withstand the test of time.

    Honorable Mention

    If we’re talking about the best here, we can’t leave out the Shurflo 2088 Fresh Water Pump, which certainly deserves an honorable mention nod. This 12V Positive Displacement Diaphragm Pump features a three-chamber design and a powerful permanent magnet motor. The motor is also thermally-protected, making ti all the more durable. It’s compact, yet effective, thanks to its durable stainless steel construction. While the one-way operation is perhaps the device’s biggest downside, it’s still an effective 12V water pump for most RVs. It also contains a one-year warranty in the event of any disasters. 

    Why Trust Us


    All of our reviews are based on market research, expert input, or practical experience with most products we include. This way, we offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.

    Learn more

    Best 12V RV Water Pumps Buying Guide & FAQs

    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. 

    Do You Need a 12V RV Water Pump?

    If you’re planning to spend all your time in the RV parked at a single campsite with water or electricity hookups, you might not need a 12V water pump. But if you’re going to be in the RV for any length of time, either camping off-grid or even just stopping for lunch by the side of the road, a 12V water pump is a must-have. It's even more important if you have children on board. 

    An on-board water pump opens up all kinds of possibilities in terms of travel and freedom. You don’t have to be tied to a campground and, with your own consistent water supply, you don’t have to worry about access to a water supply.

    Benefits of 12v RV Water Pumps

    • Having a reliable running water supply in your RV makes everything from cooking to cleaning a lot more convenient.
    • Camping with children is a much nicer and much easier experience when you have running water and a flushing toilet on board.
    • Avoid the line for the campsite shower in the morning and use your own.
    • RV living is the definition of freedom and self-sufficiency. It’s difficult to be self-sufficient when you’re reliant on a city or campground water supply.

    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.

    What to Look for When Buying a 12V RV Water Pump

    Water pumps are usually 12V, 110V, or 120V. Regardless of its size, you’ll want a 12V water pump for your RV. 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 internet search.

    Water Pressure

    The most important factor to consider when choosing a new water pump is the RV’s water pressure maximum capacity. This is important for performance and safety. Most pumps will be in the “safe” range of 60 to 75 pounds per square inch (PSI).

    Pump Size

    If you’ve spent any time inside an RV, you know that nothing is bigger than it needs to be and every square inch 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.

    Flow Rate

    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 the make and model of your 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.

    Related post:RV Water Filters​​​

    Best 12V RV Water Pumps FAQs

    By now, you should have a pretty good idea about the benefits of having a water pump, what things you need to consider when buying one for your rig, and the different options you can choose from. Is there anything else you need to know?

    Q. How does a 12V RV water pump work?

    A: When you open the faucet or turn on the shower, the change in pressure causes the pump to switch on. This drags water from the tank through the pipes running around your rig to wherever it needs to be. Closing the faucet turns off the pressure switch on the pump head, and water stops flowing.

    Q. How do I choose the best 12V RV water pump?

    A: The best water pump for your RV is always going to be one that is compatible with your individual setup. Make sure you know your maximum water pressure, flow rate, and how much space you have for installation, and use those details to narrow down your options.

    Q. Should I get a 12V RV water pump?

    A: If you’re planning on spending any amount of time on the road, off-grid, or at ultra-basic campsites, then we’d definitely recommend investing in a water pump. If you’re confident you’ll always have easy access to a main water supply, you might not need to bother.

    Best Overall

    The Seaflo 42 Series 12V Water Pump is easily one of the most powerful — and versatile — RV water pumps on the market for a myriad of reasons. For starters, it features variable flow and contains advanced bypass technology to reduce cycling and ensure your water is always the cleanest. It also contains super-convenient features like self-priming and dry-operation capabilities, allowing you access to water in even the most precarious of situations. This 12v, 3.0 GPM, 55 PSI Positive Displacement Pump is UL 778 &- CSA 22.2-certified and comes with a four-year warranty, making it a virtually risk-free purchase.

    Best Value

    In terms of price and quality ratio,  you likely won’t find anything superior to the smooth-running Flojet 03526 Triplex water pump. This no-nonsense 12v water pump features nine feet of suction lift, dry run capabilities, and three separate chambers for your water. In terms of power, it’s a no-brainer thanks to a permanent magnet motor and completely enclosed ball bearing. Soft-absorbing amounts make for even smoother operation and the built-in bypass results in minimal pulsation. The Flojet is also made out of durable, corrosion-resistant materials, giving you a reliable — and inexpensive — 12V water pump that will withstand the test of time.

    Honorable Mention

    If we’re talking about the best here, we can’t leave out the Shurflo 2088 Fresh Water Pump, which certainly deserves an honorable mention nod. This 12V Positive Displacement Diaphragm Pump features a three-chamber design and a powerful permanent magnet motor. The motor is also thermally-protected, making ti all the more durable. It’s compact, yet effective, thanks to its durable stainless steel construction. While the one-way operation is perhaps the device’s biggest downside, it’s still an effective 12V water pump for most RVs. It also contains a one-year warranty in the event of any disasters. 

    Our Top Pick

    We chose the Seaflo 42 Series 12V Water Pump as our top overall pick because of its versatility. An RV water pump that can also be adapted to work with marine, filtration, and solar systems, it’s also capable of handling a range of water pressure from 17 to 55 PSI. It’s compatible with various fittings and connections while being remarkably compact, so it should be suitable for most rigs, too. Add to that the fact that it’s super-quiet, adjustable, and protected by a four-year warranty, and it’s not hard to see why it’s our favorite.

    Final Thoughts

    The super-quiet Seaflo 42 Series 12V Water Pump has a bunch of features, including thermal protection and an adjustable pressure switch, which add up to make it our best overall 12V RV water pump. Our Best Value pick is the smooth-flow, easy-to-install Flojet 03526 Triplex.