3 Best RV Water Pumps: Troubleshooting a Bad Pump, Tips for Choosing, and More: 2024 Guide


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Water pumps are a critical component of any RV, so it’s important to make sure you have a good one before setting out.

It’s also important to know how to inspect it in case you think you might have a leak or another water-related issue. 

Below, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about RV water pumps, from our recommendations to what size you need for your rig, and troubleshooting common pump issues.

What Does an RV Water Pump Do?

An RV water pump moves (i.e. pushes) the water in your tank using pressure where it needs to go throughout your RV, from your kitchen faucet to your shower and toilet. 

What Size Water Pump Do I Need for My RV?

There are two main types of water pumps:

  • 12 volt
  • 24 volt

For the majority of RVs, a 12 volt water pump is ideal. The larger 24 volt pumps are reserved only for much larger vehicles such as buses.

Don’t be tempted to purchase a 24 volt pump just because you think it will give you more power. A 24 volt pump has the risk of building up too much water pressure, causing leaks or in rare cases an outright bursting of your tank. 

Within the 12 volt category, there are three types of pumps all notating how they move water:

  • Constant or “even” speed
  • Variable
  • And high volume

Generally, the first– a constant speed pump– is best. Ideally, you should pick a pump around 3 – 3.5 gallons per minute (GPM).

With all of that said, it’s important to consult your owner’s manual and manufacturer before buying a new pump to make sure you’re purchasing something compatible.

3 Best RV Water Pumps: Shopping for a Water Pump

There are quite a few great Rv water pump brands out there, which makes narrowing this list down difficult.

Consider looking into these brands when purchasing a water pump:

  • Shurflo
  • Flojet
  • SeaFlo
  • Aquatec
  • Aquajet

With that said, we wanted to keep it simple and straightforward, so we went with our three top picks below

Here are our picks for best RV water pumps:

1. Shurflo 4008 Revolution

Shurflo 4008 Revolution

Shurflo is one of the biggest names in the industry, and the Shurflo 4008 Revolution is one of their best rated pumps.

It’s not only constructed well but runs quiet and offers a built-in check valve to protect from both high pressure and overheating.

2. Goehner’s 12v


Goehner’s 12v water pump is one of the best-rated water pumps on Amazon, with users raving about its dependability and easy installation.

It offers 6 GPM water flow and comes with a built-in pressure switch like the Shurflo 4008. 

3. SeaFlo 12v High Pressure 

SeaFlo 12v Water Pump

The SeaFlo 12v High Pressure water pump offers 5 GPM water pressure and runs quiet. However, while SeaFlo is a dependable water pump brand, their 12v pump is a bit more expensive than the aforementioned pumps who offer the same features.

RV Water Pump Troubleshooting

Water pumps are relatively inexpensive, so they can often be more easily replaced than fixed. With that said, you’re not always going to be in a position to easily replace it if you’re on the road. 

Here are troubleshooting tips for a few of the most common water pump issues: 

1. My pump is running, but no water is flowing

First, check to see that water is properly flowing to the pump. If it is, check for leaks. 

If not, you can carefully undo the water hose to check if the line is dry. You’ll need to refill the water line if it is dry and check again to see if that worked. 

If there are no signs of leaks, check for clogs or anything obstructing the flow of water. 

At this point, if nothing else has worked, the issue is likely the pump and you’ll probably want to look into replacing it. 

2. My water pump keeps running even when I’m not running water

This is arguably the most common issue seen when it’s about time to replace your pump. 

That’s because running water when the pump isn’t in service is a sign of an outdated diaphragm, something generally not worth trying to fix or replace given how inexpensive water pumps are. 

Alternatively, you can try replacing the pump diaphragm if you’d prefer not to replace the whole pump. Make sure to check with your pump’s manual or manufacturer to figure out exactly what diaphragm you need.

3. My pump is noisy

If your water pump is making a lot of noise, you likely installed it incorrectly or your RV manufacturer did. 

Check to make sure that your pump is securely fastened and not loose anywhere. 

If this doesn’t work, you can consider placing insulation wherever your pump is touching the vehicle, typically either just under or around it against a wall. 

Another reason could be that your pump’s flow of water isn’t set properly, causing unwanted noise for a variety of reasons. Make sure to read the manufacturer’s manual to make sure that your pump is set up properly based on where it’s installed in your RV. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Where do I find my RV water pump?

Water pumps are located in a variety of places depending on the size and brand of RV. 

Some typical locations include:

  • Under the kitchen sink
  • Elsewhere in the kitchen
  • Under the bed

If you can’t find your water pump in any of these areas, look at your RV owner’s manual or contact your manufacturer.

Can You Leave an RV Water Pump on at All Times?

No, a water pump should be turned off on a regular basis to prevent damage to the pump. Night offers the perfect time for an extended period of rest to preserve your pump. 

How Do I Know If My RV Water Pump Is Bad?

There are several ways to tell if your RV water pump is bad. The most common is a water leak. Another common sign is when your pump runs continuously even when not in use.

How Do I Replace and Install My RV Water Pump?

Before deciding whether to replace your water pump, confirm what the issue is. Some common issues are minor and can be fixed easily. However, given water pumps tend to be inexpensive and many fixes time-consuming, it’s reasonable to simply want to replace yours.

 With that said, if you’re ready to replace your current water pump with a new one, here are general instructions for installing a new one:

  • Turn off your water pump as well as water supply
  • Run the faucet to remove the remaining water 
  • Disconnect the red and black electrical wires
  • Unfasten the pump where it’s being held

To install your new water pump, generally you would follow the same instructions above backward then check for leaks to make sure everything is working properly. 

However, you should follow the installation instructions of your new water pump to make sure you’re installing it correctly to reduce any potential issues.

This post may contain affiliate links. Check out our disclosure for more information.

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