LAST UPDATED: June 22, 2020
The Best 12V RV Water Pumps (Review & Buying Guide) in 2021
Enjoy high water flow to multiple fixtures with our 12V RV water pump selection.
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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.
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.
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.
Compact size may be too small for certain RV models. Check the owner’s manual before buying.
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.
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.
Check the owner’s manual to ensure it meets specifications for your RV.
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.
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.
One-way operation prevents reverse flow. Check the owner’s manual before buying to ensure it meets vehicle requirements.
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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.
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).
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.
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.
The Seaflo 42 Series 12V Water Pump earns the top spot here and it’s not difficult to see why. It 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 12 Volt, 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.
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.
If we’re talking about the best, we can’t leave out the Shurflo 2088 Fresh Water Pump, which certainly deserves a spot on this list. This 12V Positive Displacement Diaphragm Pump features a three-chamber design and a powerful permanent magnet motor. The motor is also thermally-protected, making it 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. But most reviewers agree — that’s certainly the exception, not a rule.
Your RV's water pump is a very important appliance. If it doesn't work, you won't be able to flush the toilet, wash dishes, or even take a shower. The best 12V RV water pumps are not expensive, so you can quickly get a replacement if yours gets spoiled. If you have a limited budget for a water pump, get the Bayite freshwater pump. It has a very high pounds-per-square-inch rating and can pressurize water pipes at up to 80 PSI.
The freshwater pump has a built-in pressure switch that lets you set a lower pressure cutoff to keep your RV's pipes in good working condition. It draws only 3 amps when operating and runs on a 12-volt DC connection. It’s very compact and can be easily installed in a small space. The hose clamps it comes with allow you to easily connect it to a 3/8-inch hose.
However, you should check your RV's water pipes before installing this pump because most pipes are built to handle maximum pressures of 60 to 75 PSI. It also has a low flow rate (one gallon per minute) and may malfunction if you try to increase the speed. Additionally, it does not create a leakproof seal.
If your RV’s water pump has stopped working—or you simply want to upgrade it—get the SEAFLO self-priming water pump. It has a high pressure rating of 45 pounds per square inch. You'll also love the fact that it operates quietly. The large rubber mounts on its base help minimize vibrations as it runs. The pump self-primes and can push water up to 6 feet vertically. It has a flow rate of 3.3 gallons per minute, which is sufficient for most RVs.
The self-priming pump can run dry, and its motor and components will not sustain damage. It has a built-in pressure switch and automatically starts and stops when you open or close a faucet. The pump can also handle hot water, so it can work with most standard RV water heaters. It’s easy to install, as it comes with detailed instructions.
To make sure this water pump will be ideal for your RV, check the dimensions of the existing water pump. However, it’s worth noting that this pump has a low flow rate compared to other 12-volt water pumps in its category. It’s also not very durable and may stop working after a short period.
This 12-volt RV pump is better than most because its higher pressure helps prevent backflow. When water flows in the wrong direction in an RV, it can cause serious damage. The Shurflo pump has a built-in check valve that helps prevent backflow. It has a "green design" and does not produce hazardous waste or consume a high amount of power. When operating at maximum capacity (55 pounds per square inch), it pulls only 10 amps.
The electric water pump has a volume flow rate of 4 gallons per minute and will make your RV's shower powerful. It can adapt to your RV's current setup and be installed vertically or horizontally. The pump is equipped with flow reaction technology and maintains the preset pressure for a longer period of time. It can directly replace Shurflo 4900 and 5900 Smart Sensor pumps.
This water pump self-primes and pushes water up to 6 feet high. However, some users have complained that it needs to be adjusted every few days as it doesn't maintain its settings. It also produces an unpleasant noise when running, unless all the water sources in an RV are on.
If you want a water pump that’s durable, get the corrosion-resistant Flojet automatic pump. You can use it for years and its housing and components won't corrode. The pump has soft rubber mounts that minimize vibrations when it's running. Its built-in bypass feature further decreases pulsation and noise output. Snap-in port fittings on each side make hose installation quick and easy. You don't have to cross-thread your water hoses or deal with hose clamps.
The pump has a flow rate of 2.9 gallons per minute and a shut-off pressure of 50 pounds per square inch. It doesn't draw a lot of power and only consumes 7.5 amps when running at 50 PSI. It can lift water up to 9 feet high and run dry without getting damaged. It doesn't go on and off frequently when you turn on the water sources in your RV, reducing the need for an accumulator tank.
However, there are some issues with this water pump. For starters, its flow rate is on the lower side, so the water in your RV won’t have a lot of pressure. Its suction also has a low-quality plastic O-ring fitting that can leak water.
This is one of the quietest 12-volt RV water pumps, and it adjusts automatically based on your water usage. Even when you open multiple faucets in your RV, the water pressure will not drop. So if you're tired of low water pressure, get this pump. It has a high flow rate of more than 5 gallons per minute and a positive shut-off at 75 to 85 pounds per square inch. The pump's soft-start feature does away with rapid cycling—it doesn't switch on and off frequently when you open the faucets in your RV.
The water pump's five-valve design allows it to deliver twice the pressure and water flow of other pumps in its class. It operates very quietly and increases the water pressure when you turn on more faucets. It’s easy to install, and you'll be done in less than an hour. Its universal mounting feature also makes for easy replacement. It has safety features you won't find in other pumps, like low voltage protection and maximum pressure bypass.
However, this pump is quite big, so make sure you have enough space before you buy it. Its high flow rate may also be unsuitable for some RVs. In addition, it’s more expensive than other 12-volt RV water pumps.
RV water pumps don’t have to be complex, and this one isn’t. It’s functional, affordable, and built to last. It’s quite popular among RVers. Its flow rate is 3 gallons per minute, and it operates on 55 pounds per square inch. Even if your RV is small, you’ll find space for it because it can be mounted anywhere.
We like a few things about this 12-volt RV water pump. It features a one-piece diaphragm and internal bypass for durable, long-lasting performance. You will love its high flow rate and low noise emission. Rapid cycling will never be an issue. It’s also thermally protected to offer reliable performance and can run dry without getting damaged.
The Shurflo Revolution water pump will keep your motorhome supplied with plenty of fresh water. But its constant speed makes it noisier than other RV pumps. Its auto-shut-off feature may also stop working after a while.
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.
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.