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Having a functioning water pump is essential for any full-time RVer. While you’ll likely spend some time hooked up to city water and campground systems, life on the road doesn’t always have this convenience available. For your RV to have running water when away from these hookups, your RV water pump ensures that what’s in your freshwater tank can get to your sink, toilet, shower, and other places.
When your RV water pump happens to break, it can cause all sorts of inconvenience. Sometimes, you can solve the problems with repairs, but other times you’ll need a replacement part to get things back to normal. If your situation is the latter, then our guide to the best RV water pumps can help you make the best purchase to keep your RV livable.
Our Top Water Pumps for Your RV
|Best RV Water Pumps||Category|
|SHURflo 2088-554-144 Fresh Water Pump||Best Overall 12 Volt Pump|
|Pentair SHURFLO 4048||Best High Volume Pump|
|Remco Aquajet||Best Variable Speed Pump|
|Arterra PDSI-130-1260E||Most Affordable|
A Deeper Look at the Recommendations We’re Pumped About
Ready to learn more about our top picks? Check out our in-depth review of our favorite water pumps for RVs.
Best Overall 12 Volt RV Water Pump
SHURflo 2088-554-144 Fresh Water Pump
The choice that wins our pick for the best RV water pump is SHURflo’s 2088-544-144 model. This product gives steady water pressure, which is what you want out of this part of your RV. It’s more than earned its place as one of the top-rated RV water pumps on Amazon by customers.
Not only is the SHURflo 2088 a high-performing water pump, but it’s also simple to install. You only need to connect a few wires and pipe fittings, and you can complete the process in ten minutes, even if you’re new to adjusting the parts in your RV. The price is also affordable for the quality you’re receiving – the perfect fit for a full-time RVing budget.
One of the few cons of this water pump is that it runs rather noisy. However, you can fix this issue by also purchasing and installing a silencing kit or even using some foam cushioning.
- Easy installation
- Affordable price
- Reliable water pressure
- Highly rated by RVers
- Can be noisy
Best High Volume Pump
Pentair SHURFLO 4048
When living in an RV full-time, you’ll likely find yourself wanting to run multiple faucets at once. The Pentair SHURFLO 4048 makes that level of operation possible thanks to its high-volume output. You can get water from various places at once without worrying about the pressure dropping out.
The high levels of output make this pump suitable for RVs that host large groups of people at once; you won’t have to worry about strategically planning your schedule for showering, washing dishes, and other tasks again!
For all its positives, this water pump is a constant speed model, so you will need to turn it on and off as it goes in and out of use, which can be inconvenient. Additionally, the high volume capacity requires a circuit with a fifteen amp fuse, which may require some upgrades if your RV doesn’t already have the necessary equipment.
- Provides high volume of water output
- Allows running multiple faucets at once
- Four gallons per minute
- Runs constantly
- May need a power circuit upgrade
Best Variable Speed Pump
Many RV water pumps require that you turn them on and off when they’re in use; otherwise, you risk draining your power. A variable speed model doesn’t need that, as it can adjust its output to use. The Remco Aquajet is the top model in this category, providing a smooth and consistent water pressure that adapts to whatever faucets you need to run.
This pump also runs quietly, so it won’t disturb your regular RV life when it’s in use. For those who care about where their RV parts come from, Remco manufactures their products entirely in the United States.
While it doesn’t require as much energy as others in our top picks, this water pump requires a ten amp fuse, so there’s the potential that you might need to upgrade your RV’s electric system to use this part.
- Variable speed model can stay on at all times
- Smooth and consistent pressure
- Made in the USA
- May require a power circuit upgrade
Most Affordable RV Water Pump
If you need to purchase a new water pump without breaking the bank, then Arterra’s PDSI-130-1260E model is our top budgeting choice. While you don’t want to sacrifice quality to pay a lower price, that won’t be the case with this product. The water pressure and overall performance will serve you well while living in your RV, and it can handle regular use.
This water pump is also on the smaller side, so there won’t be fitting issues for most RVs out there (though you’ll still want to confirm the measurements!). The overall installation process is also simple, with a few hookups that will quickly settle into your RV’s system. With such a quick job, you can swap out your parts with as little hassle as possible.
Be aware that some customers find that this pump makes a bit too much noise for their tastes. Again, you can solve this issue by using a silencing kit or other means, though, so it’s not such a massive problem to have.
- Highly affordable
- Simple installation
- Small size is convenient to fit into your RV
- Some users have sound level issues
Recap: Best RV Water Pumps of 2021
- SHURflo 2088-554-144 Fresh Water Pump – Best Overall 12 Volt Pump
- Pentair SHURFLO 4048 – Best High Volume Pump
- Remco Aquajet – Best Variable Speed Pump
- Arterra PDSI-130-1240E – Most Affordable
Buying an RV Water Pump: What to Look For
All RVs are different, and the needs of one full-timer, while sometimes similar, likely won’t match up precisely to those of another. Aside from selecting a quality product, you want to make sure that the one you choose matches up with your RV and water needs. Here are some areas to think about as you shop to make the best possible purchase you can.
Gallons Per Minute (GPM)
Water pumps have a set capacity for how much water they can push through your pipes at a time. Since this spec can vary between models, you need to pick out one that’s suitable for your RV’s water system. Have a rating that’s too low, and you won’t get the water flow you need to get the best operation from your sink, shower, etc.
However, you don’t want to overcompensate and get a water pump with a GPM spec that’s more powerful than your water system needs. Parts with more power behind them take more energy to run, and you don’t want to overtax your electrical system and batteries for no useful reason, especially since that can add extra expenses to your full-timing budget.
Water pumps mostly come in twelve and twenty-four-volt options. Higher voltage generally indicates more GPM.
You won’t need much more than a 12 volt water pump for RV usage, so you can stick to that rating without worries of overtaxing your electrical system!
Without a functioning and reliable motor, you won’t be getting much use out of your water pump otherwise. With this factor, you want to ensure that the part will last long enough to be worth your money; the more effective the pump is at doing its job, the less strain it will go through while in use, meaning it can have a greater lifespan, expanding how long it will take to need a fresh replacement.
Additionally, consider your motor of choice’s noise level as well. Preferably, your water pump will operate quietly. One that’s too loud isn’t desirable when you have to live with it in close capacity.
Water pump motors produce noise that could be really annoying if the pump doesn’t have great sound blocking around it. Water pumps with a 5-chamber design tend to be the quietest models. Wherever you mount your water pump, you can also look into putting in some sound deadening material to cut down on the noise.
Just like you’ve seen in the list of our top picks, water pumps come in constant flow and variable flow options. You don’t want to ignore this factor in your shopping as it will impact the ease of use and other areas in your RV.
A constant flow water pump is always running, which means that it can take up a lot of power from your RV’s electrical system. You can turn them off, but then you need to turn it on whenever you plan to use the water, and it does take some time for the pump to warm up enough to give you steady water pressure.
On the other hand, a variable flow pump will work very similarly to a pressurized water system in permanent homes. They adjust the water pressure based on how much they’re in use, which gives smoother water flow while also using less overall power – they’re even quieter than their constant flow counterparts. However, the downside is that all that convenience leads to a heftier purchasing price.
If you can afford a variable flow pump, they’ll be well worth the expense while living full-time in your RV, where continually having to turn the water on and off can be a hassle. For those who’d prefer to save the money, though, a constant flow model will get the job done, especially if you pick a high-quality one.
PSI (Pounds per Square Inch)
Another stat you want to pay attention to for your water pump is paying attention to its psi measurement – which indicates the level of water pressure. Much like the motor capacity, you want the pump to match the needs of your RV.
Thankfully, most water pumps aimed at RV usage fall in the range of sixty or seventy-five psi, which is safe for most motorhomes. It’s still best to check your RV’s owner’s manual before picking out a pump, just in case.
Vertical Suction Lift
Vertical suction lift is all about efficiency. It refers to the amount of negative pressure on the suction end of the pump. Essentially, how hard is your pump working to get water through your appliances?
Make sure to check the energy efficiency certifications of the water pump before you make a decision. You don’t want this appliance to be a huge drain on your battery.
As full-time RVers, performing your maintenance is essential for keeping your home in good shape and also sticking to your budget. Those circumstances likely mean that you’ll be installing your water pump on your own, so you want to make sure you can handle the process as smoothly as possible.
When selecting a water pump, pay attention to what fellow RVers have said about the installation process to give you an idea of the process and also keep an eye out for products that have unnecessary attachments and components. Our RV expert, Brian, can also help you out in this department. He recently wrote an article on how to prime an RV water pump that should give you a good idea about the installation and priming process.
Something else to look out for is the size of your replacement water pump since this factor can vary between models. If you purchase one bigger than your previous water pump, then you likely won’t be able to fit the new one into your RV – not a situation you want to be in if you’ve already done the work of removing the previous part.
If you can upgrade your water pump to a larger size, it can have better performance. However, you don’t want to aim for so massive an upgrade that you can’t make use of it!
As with any other purchase, you should always plan to buy a new RV water pump with a clear budget in mind. Especially for full-timers, every section of your budget counts, and you don’t want to go overboard and put a strain on other financial areas of your life.
Need more advice on your water setup? Read these guides.
- How to Sanitize Your RV Water System
- Best RV water hoses
- Best RV water filters
- Best RV water softeners
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is The Best RV Water Pump?
The best water pump for your camper is going to depend on all the factors we mentioned above: gallons per minute, the motor, noise level, flow type, PSI, vertical suction lift, energy efficiency, how easy it is to install, size, and your budget. However, after our research and testing, if you’re looking for a good 12v pump, we think the SHURflo 2088-554-144 Fresh Water Pump offers really good value.
How Long Does an RV Water Pump Last?
If your pump is properly taken care of, it should be able to last more than 10 years. However, there are a lot of factors that can shorten the lifespan of your water pump like cold weather, corrosion, or mistreatment (like leaving the pump running when there is no water left in the tank).
How Do I Know If My RV Water Pump Is Bad?
Most water pumps will have a warning light letting you know something is wrong with it. Some other tell tale signs that there is something wrong with your water pump are: it is making more noise than usual, it is leaking water into your RV, or it won’t turn on.
What Are On-Demand Pumps?
On-demand water pumps only run when it is necessary to run, which is pretty much how most modern RV water pumps operate these days. Once you flip the switch to turn the pump on, it will keep water flowing to any open faucets. Once you turn off those faucets, the pump will run for a short period longer to reach a desired pressure level and then shut off automatically until it is needed again.