The water pump on your RV can become a forgettable appliance, as long as it works. When it doesn’t, however, it’s impossible to maintain water pressure to shower, wash dishes, or flush your waste.
While your RV can remain functional if you’re plugged into a city water connection, you’ll need to replace a broken water pump as soon as possible. Fortunately, the best RV fresh water pumps for travel trailer or motorhome aren’t overly expensive.
Replacing them isn’t too difficult either, as long as you make sure you buy a model that can handle the pressure of your RV’s system.
The pump you choose should also fit where your old pump is installed and come with certain important features for seamless use.
That’s why we’ve done the research to bring you eight of the best 12 Volt RV Water pumps on the market today.
I’ve also included a comprehensive buying guide to help you consider all of the most important factors and then select the right water pump for your specific RV, Motorhome and Camper.
8 Best 12 Volt RV Water Pump in 2020: Reviews and Recommendations 2020
The best RV water pumps simply do their job. But there is a bit of differentiation, even amongst the top competition.
So, I’ll take this time to thoroughly review these eight 12 Volt RV fresh water pumps for and let you know what we like and don’t like about each model.
Shurflo 2088-554-144 12 Volt RV Fresh Water Pump
The Shurflo 2088-554-144 gets my vote for the best overall RV water pump because it functions and it’s affordable.
RV water pumps don’t need to be complicated and this one certainly isn’t.
It provides a great flow rate of 3.5 gallons per minute and comes with a factory setting to maintain 45 PSI of pressure in your RV’s water pipes.
Even when operating at its maximum of 50 PSI, this pump only draws 4.5 amps so that it won’t overly tax your RV’s electrical system and prevent you from running other appliances while the pump is on.
This is an on-demand pump that requires a 12-volt DC power supply. If left on, it’s designed to cycle on only when the pressure in your water pipes drops below that factory setting of 45 PSI.
This pump can handle a maximum liquid temperature of 130 degrees Fahrenheit, which makes it compatible with most standard RV water heaters.
If you’re looking to match the dimensions of your existing water pump, this Shurflo model has the following dimensions: 8.5 inches long by 4.5 inches tall by 5 inches wide.
It also weighs less than five pounds and requires a half-inch MPT hose at the inlet and outlet connections.
2: SEAFLO 33 Series 12V Water Pump and Accumulator Tank System
If you want a self-priming travel trailer and motorhome water pump that operates quietly, check out the SEAFLO diaphragm pump.
It has large rubber mounts on the base to help reduce vibrations when the pump is operating, which reduces its overall sound output.
This pump self-primes so that it can handle RV piping that requires a rise of up to six vertical feet.
It’s also designed to run dry without the motor or components sustaining damage. This pump can provide a flow rate of three gallons per minute, which is adequate for most moderate RV applications.
I do like that the pressure rating on this pump is highly adjustable, however. It can be set anywhere from 17 to 60 PSI depending on your personal preference.
It’s also capable of handling liquid temperatures up to 140 degrees Fahrenheit, which is adequate to work in conjunction with most standard RV water heaters.
In order to match with the existing water pump in your RV, check out the dimensions of the SEAFLO Diaphragm Pump: 8.5 inches long by 5.12 inches tall by 5.63 inches wide.
The unit weighs a total of 4.63 pounds and comes with two half-inch barbed hose adapters, a 50 mesh inlet strainer, and a complete set of instructions for installation and operation.
3: bayite 12V DC Fresh Water Pump For RV Camper
If you’re shopping on a budget, it’s going to be tough to beat the Bayite Diaphragm pump because it’s one of the most affordable pumps on the market.
For the price, it also has quite a high PSI rating, with the capability of pressuring water pipes up to 80 PSI.
That being said, most RV pipes are meant to handle maximum pressures of 60 to 75 PSI, so be careful to install this pump before checking the factory settings.
It does contain a built-in pressure switch to allow you to set a lower pressure cut off to protect the integrity of your RV piping.
This pump requires ⅜-inch hose to be connected using the hose clamps that come with the pump.
It draws a relatively low power draw of three amps and runs on a standard RV 12-volt DC connection.
The Bayite Diaphragm Pump is also one of the more compact water pumps that I’ve included in this list.
It’s dimensions are 6.1 inches long by 2.4 inches tall by 3.94 inches wide. So if you’re looking for a water pump that can be installed in a small space, this model is also a good choice.
4: Arterra PDSI Power Drive RV Water Pump
For those searching for a RV water pump that can deliver a steadier water flow without drawing too much amperage, the Arterra PDSI-130-1240E is an excellent choice.
It uses a four-chamber design for smoother flow rates and less motor vibration.
This reduced degree of motor vibration makes this a quieter pump than many competitors.
It also means less likelihood of the pump loosening once it is installed in place and screwed down according to the manufacturer’s recommendation.
This pump has a pressure switch that allows you to adjust the flow rate. It can be adjusted from 0.5 up to 3 gallons per minute and it will draw a maximum of seven amps when performing at maximum capacity. This pump is designed with a cut off pressure of 40 PSI.
It’s also a very compact water pump with dimensions of 7.65 inches long by 4.35 inches tall by 3.29 inches wide.
It weighs five pounds and requires a standard 12-volt RV DC power supply. It also self-primes up to six feet and is made with corrosion-resistant materials to improve its overall lifespan.
5: Shurflo 4048153E75 Electric RV Water Pump
This next pump on my list is a bit higher-powered to prevent backflow. Water flowing in the wrong direction is never a good thing in any plumbing application, but the Shurflo 4048153E75 is specifically designed with a built-in check valve to prevent backflow.
I like that this pump also features a “green design,” which is meant to reduce both the amount of hazardous waste this pump produces and the amount of power it consumes.
It will draw a maximum of 10 amp when operating at maximum capacity.
It also supplies an ample flow rate up to four gallons per minute, which is great for anyone that’s tired of feeling like their RV shower is barely powerful enough to wash the soap off their body.
The pressure switch on this pump can be set to a maximum pressure setting of 55 PSI.
Designed to be installed either vertically or horizontally, this pump can adapt to the current setup in your RV.
It also includes Flow Reaction Technology, which is just a fancy way of saying that the manufacturer has taken steps to reduce cycling and increase the length of time that this pump maintains the preset pressure in your pipes.
In order to ensure compatibility, the dimensions of the Shurflo 4048153E75 water pump are 10.3 inches long by 4.9 inches tall by 4.8 inches wide.
It weighs five pounds and requires a standard 12-volt RV DC power supply. This pump can also self-prime to push water up to six vertical feet in your rig.
6: Remco ARV Aquajet RV Series Water Pump
If you want a quietest RV water pump that adjusts to how you use water in your RV, you need to check out the features of the Remco 55AQUAJET pump.
The Remco 55AQUAJET is a variable speed water pump which makes for quieter operation , which means the pump will actually adjust its speed as you open or close the faucets throughout your RV.
For RV owners that are tired of washing their dishes with low water pressure, this pump provides a super high flow rate of more than five gallons per minute.
It’s also been outfit with a soft start feature that functions to eliminate annoying rapid cycling when you don’t necessarily have any faucets open.
I really like this pump because it will make your RV feel just like home. You won’t have to deal with water pressure dropping when you open multiple faucets and flush the toilet at the same time.
It also self-primes up to 13 feet and has been tested to dry run for up to three hours without any damage.
The dimensions of this pump are 8.89 inches long by 4.6 inches tall by 4.84 inches wide. So it’s a little bigger than many of the pumps we’ve reviewed thus far.
Just be sure that you have that kind of space where you plan to install this pump before buying.
It weighs eight pounds, runs on a 12-volt RV DC power supply, and draws a maximum of 6.5 amps.
7: Flojet Triplex Diaphragm Automatic RV Pump
If durability is your main priority, the corrosion resistance of the Flojet 03526-144A should capture your attention.
It’s designed so that the housing and components won’t corrode over a long period of operation.
It’s also outfit with soft rubber mounts on the base that help to reduce vibrations when the pump is operating.
A pump that vibrates less is a pump that makes less noise. So you won’t get annoyed when this pump is running.
One thing that really stood out to me was the snap-in ports on either side of the pump. These ports are designed to make hose installation super quick and easy.
You won’t have to deal with pesky hose clamps or worry about cross-threading your water hoses.
This pump can provide a flow rate up to 2.9 gallons per minute and offers a maximum shut off pressure of 50 PSI.
It runs on a standard 12-volt RV DC power supply and draws 4.4 amps when operating at 10 PSI. For the record, it does draw up to 7.5 amps when operating at its maximum of 50 PSI.
The pump’s dimensions are 9 inches long by 4 inches tall by 4 inches wide. It weighs under four pounds and requires half-inch water hose.
This quiet RV water pump can also self-prime for up to nine feet of vertical suction lift and offers a built-in bypass feature that further reduces pulsation and noise output.
8: SEAFLO New RV/Marine Self Priming RV Pump
For those that don’t have a lot of space to install a new RV water pump, the SEAFLO 21 Series pump is a great option.
It’s a more compact design with a lower flow rate than most, but that also means you won’t need to over-tax your budget to pick one of these pumps up.
This pump also operates quietly and smoothly without any need for add-ons like a water pump silencer.
It can run dry without causing damage to the motor and is also outfit with thermal protection to guard the motor against overheating.
The SEAFLO 21 Series pump can provide up to 1.2 gallons per minute and offers a maximum shut off pressure of 70 PSI.
It has dimensions of 7.5 inches long by 2.5 inches tall by 4.25 inches wide and it weighs just 1.51 pounds.
The SEAFLO 21 Series is the quiet RV water pump because of it's constructions. The rubber feet on the bottom of the pump are specifically designed to reduce vibrations when the pump is operating. This minimizes the amount of noise the pump produces.
This pump only self-primes for up to four feet of vertical suction lift, but it only draws a maximum of 2.7 amps when operating at its maximum pressure cut off setting.
How To Pick The Best Water Pump For Your RV
In order to choose the right water pump for your needs, you’ll need to know how to sort through their varying features and specifications.
In this Buying Guide, I’m going to cover many of the basic factors you’ll need to consider when comparing and contrasting different RV water pump models.
RV water pumps are mainly separated by the power supply they require to operate effectively.
So let’s take some time to examine the advantages and disadvantages of 12-volt and 24-volt water pumps.
12-Volt RV Water Pump
Most RV water pumps are 12-volt units. These units typically have lower pressure than higher voltage models.
That said, they are specifically engineered for use in RVs and motor homes and come with pretty standard operating motors.
This type of water pump is also compatible with almost any recreational vehicle out there.
24-Volt RV Water Pump
If you really desire greater water pressure, 24-volt water pumps are a great solution.
While they are more common to trucks and buses, RV owners that require a high-performing water pump should consider a 24-volt unit.
Although they are designed to handle heavier tasks, 24-volt water pumps tend to require more regular maintenance than their 12-volt counterparts.
With frequent use, these units can be prone to clogging without regular maintenance.
They also consume more electricity, which means you might not be able to run your water pump and several other RV appliances at the same time.
Even though they can have a longer lifespan if well maintained, 24-volt pumps aren’t recommended for RV use because they can also raise both your water and electric bills.
2: Energy Consumption
Each time you turn your water pump on, it consumes a certain amount of electricity.
This means you need to be careful to choose a pump that won’t exceed the capacity of your RV’s electrical systems.
Fortunately, RVs are designed to run a water pump and several other appliances. This true whether your RV uses a 30-amp or 50-amp connection.
That being said, it’s good to know the energy requirements of your water pump because you’ll want to avoid blowing a fuse by running your pump alongside too many additional appliances on the same circuit.
A water pump that consumes more electricity can also drain your battery and result in quicker water use.
This is important to consider because it will dictate how often you need to refill water and check that your house battery isn’t discharging too far on a regular basis.
3: Voltage Requirements
Most water pumps either fall into the 12-volt or 24-volt category. But there are the rare exceptions that have different power requirements.
Before settling on a water pump, make sure that your RV is capable of supplying the amount of voltage that the pump will need to operate effectively.
In the reviews above, I’ve chosen to include 12-volt water pumps because they are compatible with almost every RV out there.
Larger 24-volt models are more commonplace in larger buses and trucks, but you’ll still need to double-check that your RV can meet the voltage requirements of the pump you’re interested in before finalizing your purchase.
4: Sound Output Of The Fresh Water Pump
All water pumps are going to produce some noise because they involve the operation of a motor to function.
But certain models are quieter than others. Comparing the sound output of different pump models will help you find one that won’t be overly loud and annoying when it’s running.
In general, travel trailer and motorhome water pump like Remco Aquajet that feature a five-chamber design are the quietest models on the market. These pumps tend to operate quietly even if you open multiple faucets at the same time.
The manner in which you mount your water pump will also play a role in how loud or quiet it operates.
Mounting systems that are designed to absorb vibrations will help to minimize the amount of sound produced when the pump is operating.
Another way to determine the sound output of a certain pump model is to look through user reviews.
Some pumps produce irregular flow rates (i.e. faster and slower at unpredictable times). This is usually due to a jerky motor that will also produce more noise than a motor that’s running smoothly.
Looking into pump manufacturers with an established reputation in the industry is also a good way to make sure you’re getting a pump that isn’t too loud.
Brands like Shurflo, Remco, Arterra, Seaflo, and Flojet are well-known water pump suppliers.
5: Auto Switch Feature
Most pumps come with an automatic switch feature, but this is a really important feature to double-check on as you look into different water pump models.
This feature ensures that the pump shuts off when the preset pressure rating is reached.
Without an auto switch feature, you run the risk of your pump continuing to run when it isn’t really needed.
This can cause damage to your RV’s pipes and also significantly increase your electric consumption.
In the long run, a pump that continues to run unnecessarily will have a much shorter life than one that cycles on and off as needed.
6: PSI and GPM
PSI stands for pounds per square inch and GPM stands for gallons per minute. These are two of the most important metrics you need to consider when comparing RV water pump models.
Understanding the PSI rating of your RV is important to know the recommended water pressure rating for your RV’s system.
Before deciding on a new water pump for your RV, you need to know the safe pressure for your rig.
Most rigs can handle between 60 and 75 PSI, but a safer operating pressure is closer to 30 or 40 PSI.
This is typically the kind of pressure that can be provided by a 12-volt water pump designed for RV use.
GPM is the measurement used to tell you a water pump’s flow rate. In other words, it tells you how many gallons of water it can pump in one minute.
Flow rate is important to make sure your system can achieve the desired pressure you want for things like cleaning dishes and taking showers.
While, at first, it might sound beneficial to have a pump that can supply a higher flow rate for your RV, there are pros and cons to a pump that achieves more gallons per minute.
The main downside to a higher-rated water pump is an additional power draw. Sure, you’ll get more water per minute, but you’ll draw more power if you’re connected in an RV park or drain your battery if you’re running off-the-grid.
Pumps that draw more electricity are capable of providing a flow rate of more than five gallons per minute. But most RVs don’t require a flow rate quite that high.
You’ll be fine with a water pump that can supply somewhere between 3 and 4 gallons per minute.
8: Ease of Installation
Any water pump that claims you won’t be able to install it on your own should be avoided.
That doesn’t mean that it’s a simply plug-and-play installation, but it’s also certainly not complicated.
You’ll do well if you have all water turned off in your rig closely follow the manufacturer’s installation instructions.
One thing that will make your installation process easier is making sure that the new pump you choose has the same dimensions as your old model.
That way you won’t need to worry about whether or not it’ll fit where it’s supposed to and you won’t reduce your total underneath storage capacity by installing a huge new water pump.
In general, a lighter and more compact water pump will be easier to install.
The supplies you’ll need for a successful installation will vary depending on the model of pump you purchase, but some universal supplies include a screwdriver, Teflon tape, and a water hose.
This one is pretty simple. Just make sure the size of the water pump you choose will fit where you plan to install it.
The easiest way to make sure you don’t buy a water pump that’s too large is to measure the dimensions of your current water pump.
There’s not as much harm in buying a water pump that’s too small, but definitely make sure you don’t purchase a model that’s much larger than the dimensions of your existing pump.
10: Pump Cycle
A functional water pump should “cycle” every time it turns off. This should happen every time you turn the water off at any faucet in your RV, or in the shower. It should also occur once you’ve finished flushing the toilet.
Occasionally, you might hear the water pump cycle even if you haven’t recently been running any water.
If left on, a water pump will effectively cycle every time the pressure in your RV’s pipes drops below the pressure setting you’ve adjusted on the unit.
If the pressure setting on your pump is set too low, you’ll probably hear the pump cycle quite frequently. This will happen even if you haven’t finished running water recently.
The easiest way to minimize pump cycles is to raise the pressure setting directly on the pump itself.
So, Which Is Best RV Water Pump For Your Unit?
For those that want an RV water pump that consistently gets great ratings from users, definitely opt for the Shurflo 2088-554-144.
The good news is that this pump is also extremely affordable compared to some of the competition.
If you’re looking for a self-priming pump that can achieve excellent vertical suction lift for a taller rig, check out the SEAFLO Diaphragm Pump.
This pump self-primes for up to six feet of vertical suction lift so that water pressure won’t be an issue in your shower.
The Bayite Diaphragm Pump is a good option for anyone that needs a new RV water pump but doesn’t have a huge budget to drop on a high-end model.
This pump also offers great adjustability of pressure settings depending on your preference.
When you get tired of your current water pump providing an inconsistent flow rate, look into the Arterra PDSI130-1240E pump.
It is outfit with Power Drive Technology, which is simply a fancy way of saying it has been designed to deliver a more stable, consistent water flow every time it turns on.
For a pump with a higher flow rate and the ability to prevent damaging backflow, look no further than the Shurflo 4048153E75 water pump.
This pump can deliver up to four gallons per minute and will keep your water flowing in the direction it was always meant to go.
The Remco 55AQUAJET water pump can deliver more than five gallons of water per minute and is great for anyone that’s tired of their water pressure changing every time they open multiple faucets.
This is a variable speed pump with smart technology to keep things flowing at a consistent rate.
If you’re looking for a durable water pump that’s not going to corrode over time, the Flojet 03526-144A is purposely designed with corrosion-resistant materials.
This pump also delivers nearly three gallons of water per minute and is equipped with a bypass valve that reduces vibration and makes it run quieter.
Finally, one of the best RV water pumps for rigs that don’t have a lot of space is the SEAFLO 21 Series pump.
This pump is really lightweight and offers a super-compact design. It also draws a very low amperage so that you won’t overtax your RV’s electrical system.
Frequently Asked Questions
By now, I hope you’ve already zeroed in on your next water pump. But just in case there’s any remaining confusion, here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about RV water pumps.
What are ‘PSI’ and ‘flow rate’?
PSI stands for ‘pounds per square inch’. It is a measurement of the water pressure recommended for your RV.
Most RVs operate at a safe pressure range of 60 to 75 PSI, but it’s a good recommendation to get a water pressure gauge if you want to test the pressure coming out of a new city water connection before connecting it to your RV.
Flow rate is the amount of time required for a pump to move a certain amount of water. Most pumps measure flow rate in gallons per minute.
Most RVs require a water pump with a flow rate of at least 3.5 gallons per minute. However, certain larger trailers or RV require a water pump that can move at least 5.3 gallons per minute.
Why are some called “on-demand” pumps?
On-demand pumps run only when absolutely necessary. This is the standard method of operation of most RV water pumps.
It requires you to turn on a switch (usually located somewhere inside your RV) to turn on the pump.
Once the switch is turned on, the pump will continue to supply water to any faucets that are open.
Once all faucets are closed, the pump will still run until it reaches the preset pressure rating.
At that point, it will automatically shut off until faucets are opened again and it detects a drop in pressure. When this drop is detected, an on-demand pump will begin pumping again.
This style of pump pressurizes your RV’s water pipes based on the pump’s preset PSI rating.
Most on-demand pumps are preset to a pressure rating around 30 PSI and can be adjusted to the user’s preference.
Which voltage should I choose?
Although it might sound enticing to go for a more “powerful” 24-volt water pump, these pumps are more commonly designed for trucks and buses.
Most RVs supply 12-volt power, so it’s best to stick with a 12-volt pump that won’t require you to make any changes to your RV’s electrical system.
Can I make my water pump quieter?
Most RV water pumps aren’t overly loud, but they all make at least some noise. If you really want to make your water pump quieter, you can invest in a water pump silencer or even make slight changes to how the pump is installed.
Sliding a small pad beneath the pump before securing the screws down is a good way to minimize vibration when it’s running.
As long as you don’t overtighten the screws, this is a great way to make your water pump quieter.
Some pumps become annoying because they cycle rapidly. This is usually caused by a low-pressure setting and can be fixed with a minor clockwise turn of the pressure adjustment screw.
A good rule of thumb is to adjust this setting until your pump turns off (i.e. gets quiet) for at least two seconds between cycles.
How long do these water pumps run?
The on-demand water pumps can be turned on and left on to continue to pressurize your water pipes, provided you ARE NOT hooked up to a city water connection.
However, it’s typically best to turn your water pump on and off as needed.
These pumps don’t take very long to pressurize RV water pipes, so you can turn them on just before you need water and off again after you’re finished.
That being said, an RV water pump that’s functioning properly will only work when a faucet is opened or the toilet is flushed.
It will not continue to run and use power unnecessarily if the need for pressure is not immediate.
Dealing with your RV water pump might not be the most exhilarating part of owning an RV.
But it surely won’t be very much fun living in one without running water.
If you’re like me, you might even think about getting a spare water pump so that you’re ready if anything goes sideways with your existing pump.
Whether you’re searching for a new RV water pump because something went wrong with your old one or you’re just preparing for the future, these are eight of the best RV water pumps available to you today.
I hope you’ve enjoyed these reviews and found the information on how to choose your next RV water pump helpful!
Tucker Ballister is the proud owner of a 36-foot 1997 Fleetwood Bounder. This is the second RV that Tucker has owned. The first was a beat-up 1983 Ford Tioga that he and his brother renovated before road-tripping from California to Texas to explore the music scene in Austin. Tucker grew up taking multiple RV trips throughout the western United States every summer. He also had the privilege of being the primary RV driver for a five-month road trip across the country in support of a Run Across America event, which raised money for the Guardian for Heroes Foundation. Tucker began his copywriting career as a graduate student in 2013. He has worked as a full-time freelancer and part-time outdoor guide ever since, while also starting his own website thebackpackguide.com dedicated to hiking, backpacking, and outdoor gear reviews. Tucker currently resides in the gorgeous mountains to the north of Lake Tahoe (the second deepest lake in the United States!). His current tally of RV road trips across America stands at five and counting.
Last Updated on