What is the Best 12V Water Pump for RV?

What is the Best 12V Water Pump for RV?

One of the joys of RV is being able to enjoy the comforts of home while exploring the great outdoors. But to have running water in your RV, needs a reliable and efficient water pump. A water pump is essential for boondocking, dry camping, or any situation where you are not connected to a city water source. But how does an RV water pump work, what size water pump do RVers need for the camper, and so on? We will answer these questions and also give you some tips on how to choose your 12V water pump and recommendation. Whether you are looking for a replacement or an upgrade for your current water pump, this article will help you find the best option for your needs.

What is the RV Water Pump?

Within the realm of camper living, the water system isn't just a technical infrastructure—it's a fundamental lifeline that ensures your on-the-go comfort and functionality. Every time you reach for a refreshing glass of water, or take a soothing shower, you're relying on the seamless operation of your RV's water system. And at the core of this system stands the unassuming yet indispensable water pump.

It draws water from your freshwater tank and pushing it through the hose to reach every faucet, showerhead, and toilet within your mobile haven. Without it, your RV's water supply would remain stagnant, rendering your daily activities quite challenging. With each twist of a faucet handle, the pump springs into action, harnessing its mechanical power to generate pressure that drives the water's movement. This pressure ensures that water flows consistently and efficiently, providing you with a dependable supply for all your needs.

However, as you navigate the market for the ideal water pump, it's crucial to recognize that not all pumps are created equal, each with its unique attributes and capabilities. Understanding the different types of water pumps available in the market will help you make an informed decision for your trailer's needs.

How Does an RV Water Pump Work?

A 12V water pump is a crucial component that pressurizes the water lines to deliver running water throughout your camper or trailer. When you open a tap or fixture, it releases the pressure in the lines, automatically activating the pump. The pump kicks in to repressurize the water lines, forcing the water through and out the fixture. It will continue pumping until the tap is turned off and pressure rebuilds in the line, shutting off the pump.

The camper water pump runs off the 12-volt electrical system and battery bank rather than 110-volt shore power. This allows you access to pressurized fresh water even when boondocking or camping off-grid without hookups. The pump makes your RV plumbing work seamlessly and on-demand, so you can take a shower, wash dishes, or flush the toilet without the need for an external water source. It's a must-have for the freedom and convenience of RV living.

How Does an RV Water Pump Work

Choosing the Best Water Pump for My Camper

Many RVers want to know what size water pump do I need for my camper? Selecting the right size water pump for your camper is a pivotal decision that significantly influences your comfort and convenience during your travels, understanding the factors that influence the ideal pump size is crucial. Let's unravel the considerations that empower you to make an informed choice, enhancing your camper experience with every drop of water.

  • Camper Size and Water Demand

    At the heart of selecting the right water pump for your camper lies the crucial factor of camper size and its subsequent water demands. Just as campers come in a spectrum of sizes and configurations, the water pump's capabilities must align seamlessly with the camper's unique layout. For larger campers with multiple water fixtures such as sinks, showers, and toilets, the need for a robust and powerful water pump becomes apparent. These larger setups necessitate a pump that can effortlessly propel water throughout the intricate network of pipes, ensuring consistent and adequate water pressure at each fixture. A well-matched pump not only guarantees optimal functionality but also enhances the overall experience, offering the luxury of high-pressure showers and efficient water usage.

    Conversely, smaller campers, designed for compact and nimble journeys, may find their ideal companion in a smaller water pump. These pumps cater precisely to the camper's limited water demands while maintaining the efficiency that characterizes life on the road. By understanding how camper size intertwines with water demands, you pave the way for a harmonious coexistence between the pump's capabilities and your camper's unique attributes, ultimately contributing to a comfortable and convenient journey.

  • Flow Speed (GPM)

    When we turn on a faucet or tap in your RV, the amount of water coming out is essentially the flow rate. A high flow rate means water gushes out rapidly to fill up sinks or buckets faster. The output capacity of the water pump itself gives you higher flow from your fixtures. The pump's flow rate rating in Gallons Per Minute (GPM) indicates how much water it can deliver through the plumbing system. A higher GPM pump will provide stronger, faster flowing water to your sinks, shower, and toilet.

    RVers need to consider when selecting an 12Volt RV water pump is the Gallons Per Minute (GPM) rating. This number indicates how many gallons of water the pump can deliver per minute at a given pressure level. Choosing a pump with an adequate GPM rating ensures it can handle the peak water demands of your RV's plumbing fixtures and appliances.

    For a typical RV, look for a pump with around 2.5-5.5 GPM capacity. This should provide sufficient flow to run several fixtures at once. Bigger RV's with more plumbing demands need a pump rated for 5 GPM or above. Analyze your expected peak water usage to determine the right GPM for your setup. Overall, match the pump's rated GPM to your RV's water system needs for the best performance.

  • Water Pressure(PSI):

    When selecting a water pump for your RV, it's crucial to consider the desired water pressure level. Water pressure, measured in PSI (pounds per square inch), greatly impacts the strength of water flow from fixtures as well as overall pump performance. Most Camper water pumps allow you to adjust pressure, usually within a range of 40-70 PSI. Finding the optimal balance of pressure versus flow is key.

    The recommended water pressure for an RV typically falls between 40-60 PSI. Below 40 PSI, you may experience weak flow, particularly with multiple fixtures running, which may not be able to deliver enough water for your needs. Excessively low pressure can cause pump cycling and sluggish performance.

    Conversely, higher pressures above 60 PSI put strain on plumbing joints and fittings, increasing the risk of leaks, which can lead to costly repairs and water damage. We can also use a water pressure regulator to try to control and reduce the pressure to a more suitable range.

    Aim for a pump that can achieve around 45-60 PSI to provide strong, reliable water flow throughout your RV's plumbing system. You should look for a water pump that has a psi rating that matches or slightly exceeds your peak water demanding test your actual flowing pressure at fixtures. Proper water pressure enhances everyday use and protects your plumbing, and help you enjoy a comfortable and convenient RV experience.

    12V RV water pump pressure

  • Noise

    One downside of 12V water pumps is that they inherently make some noise and vibration when activated. The humming and buzzing can be annoying in confined spaces, especially if trying to sleep or carry on conversation. However, there are things to look for when selecting a pump to minimize the noise pollution in your RV. Certain pump motors and mounting designs are better engineered to dampen vibrations and sound. With careful selection and installation, it's possible to find a relatively quiet RV water pump that won't drive you crazy every time you wash dishes or take a shower. Ample water flow doesn't have to mean obnoxious noise levels.

  • Thermal protection:

    An important safety feature to look for in a 12 Volt RV water pump is thermal overload protection. This protects the pump motor from overheating and electrical damage. The constant on/off cycling and pressure pumping of cold well water can cause the motor windings to rapidly heat up. If the temperature exceeds safe limits, it could burn up the winding insulation and motor brushes, resulting in electrical shorts and motor failure. This automatic shut off prevents potentially hazardous overheating conditions and avoids pump failure from heat fatigue. It reduces fire risks from electrical shorts in overworked motors.

Should an RV Water Pump Run Continuously?

Turning your RV water pump on is necessary in certain situations to provide you with a water supply while you're traveling or camping. Here are some common scenarios when you should turn on your RV water pump:

Boondocking or Dry Camping: When you're camping in a location without access to a city water hookup, you'll need to use your RV's freshwater tank. To pressurize the water system and draw water from the tank, you should turn on the water pump. Make sure the tank is filled or has sufficient water before turning on the pump.

Using Onboard Facilities: If you plan to use the sinks, shower, toilet, or any other water-using appliances in your RV, you'll need to activate the water pump. This is typically done by turning on the pump switch inside your RV.

Filling the Toilet Bowl: Some RV toilets require water pressure to fill the bowl. In this case, you would need to turn on the water pump before flushing the toilet.

Washing Dishes: When you're ready to wash dishes in the sink, you'll need the water pump to provide the necessary water pressure.

Taking a Shower: If your RV has a shower, you'll need the water pump to provide the pressure required for a comfortable shower.

Essentially, whenever you need to use any water fixture or appliance in your RV, you should turn on the water pump if you're not connected to a city water source. Conversely, if you're at a campsite with a city water hookup, you can use that source instead of water tank and pump, in which case the pump can remain off.

Actually, RV fresh water pumps actually consume relatively little power. Newer more advanced RV water pumps are even designed for lower energy use, further reducing electrical demand. So while the water pump is an essential RV component, it is not a major power drain. Its relatively low wattage and intermittent use equate to minimal impact on your overall electrical consumption. Other appliances like air conditioners, hot water heaters, and refrigerators use far more energy in comparison.

How do I know if my RV water pump is bad?

Knowing how long do camper water pump last and when I should replace it is essential for maintaining a reliable water supply during your travels. While water pumps are designed to be durable, they aren't immune to wear and tear, and there are several signs that can indicate the need for a replacement.

Firstly, if you notice a significant decrease in water pressure or inconsistent water flow from your fixtures, it could be an indicator that your water pump is struggling to maintain the required pressure. This could be due to a clogged filter, a leaky valve, a faulty pressure switch, or a worn-out motor.

Unusual noises, excessive vibration, or a grinding sound when the pump operates are also red flags that something may be amiss. It may mean that your water pump is damaged or worn out or this could be due to loose or broken parts, a misaligned motor, a faulty bearing, or a lack of lubrication.

Leaks around the pump or from the fittings can point to deteriorating seals or connections, compromising the pump's efficiency. If your pump frequently cycles on and off even when water isn't being used, it might be struggling to hold pressure or maintain a consistent flow, which could warrant a replacement. If you see water leaking or dripping from your water pump or its connections, it may mean that your water pump has a crack, a hole, or a loose fitting. This could be due to corrosion, wear and tear, or improper installation.

If you experience any of these signs with your water pump, you should inspect it and troubleshoot it to find the cause of the problem. However, if the problem is too severe or too complicated to fix yourself, you may need to replace your 12V water pump with a new one. Ensuring your water pump is in optimal condition guarantees a reliable water supply, making your RV adventures comfortable and hassle-free.

Kohree Water Pump - Performance You Can Trust

When selecting a water pump for your RV or camper, you can count on Kohree pumps to deliver safe, reliable performance trip after trip. Here's what makes Kohree stand out:

  • Thermal Overload Protection:

    Kohree places safety first, equipping all pumps with thermal overload protection to automatically shut off the motor if temperatures get too high preventing pump damage. Top quality construction and components ensure long-lasting durability under constant use. This feature not only enhances its longevity but also ensures your peace of mind, allowing you to enjoy your RV adventures without worry.

  • Leak-Proof Design:

    Nothing is worse than a leaky pump flooding your RV. Kohree meticulously inspects all pumps prior to shipping to guarantee leak-free operation. As a result, there may be some residual water from the factory tests. The sealing tape we provide can be used to seal the joints to reduce wear and leakage.

  • Steady Flow and High Flow:

    Kohree pumps are engineered to provide maximum reliability and steady flow. The self-priming design can draw water from up to 3 meters down, avoiding dry run damage. Automatic cycling provides a constant flow of water whenever you need it. The automatic stop and start function further refines this performance, providing a steady and constant flow with every use.

    This reliable operation is boosted by Kohree pumps' high flow output. Kohree offers pump models with flow rates up to 3.5, 5.5 and 7.0 gallons per minute depending on the size selected. This ample output lets you run multiple water fixtures and appliances without weak pressure drops. Take long hot showers, wash dishes, and flush toilets without annoying trickles. Strong, consistent flow makes RV living easy, while Kohree's quiet operation keeps camping peaceful.

    Kohree 12V RV Water Pump

  • Adjustable Pressure Switch:

    One advantage of the Kohree Water Pump is the ability to customize water pressure using the adjustable pressure switch. This allows you to tune the pump output to your plumbing system's specific needs.The Kohree pump makes it easy to tweak pressure. Simply open the pressure switch cover and adjust screw to increase or reduce the pressure.

  • 45 DB Low Nose:

    In improving the overall workmanship and performance of their 12V water pump, Kohree has also managed to minimize operational noise. The pump works at an impressive 45 dB low noise. This allows the pump to run quietly, avoiding any disturbance to your rest or your pets' sleep.

    Kohree 12Volt RV Water Pump

  • Multiple Application:

    With CE certification, Kohree pumps are proven safe and effective for a wide variety of uses. Whether pumping fresh water in your RV, irrigating a yard, washing a boat, or cleaning equipment, a Kohree pump will get the job done. The versatile utility ensures you can count on steady water pressure across many applications and environments.

    With Kohree's commitment to safety, leak prevention, robust construction, versatile utility, and powerful output, you get an 12 Volt water pump for your camper built to last. You get a robust, durable pump that also happens to be among the quietest choices available. Kohree engineers pumps for flawless functioning trip after trip, year after year. You can trust a Kohree pump to keep the water flowing wherever you wander.

Kohree Camper Water Pump

How to Test If The Pressure Switch Is Faulty for Water pump

Why is my RV not pumping water? One potential culprit is a faulty pressure switch that controls pump operation. You can check it is a faulty by yourself first. In this section cover simple steps for diagnosing and testing a problematic pressure switch.

  • Step 1: Open the Pressure Switch Casing
  • Step 2: Unplug One Wire and Touch to the Other
  • Step 3: Check if Pump Responds

For more detailed each step and troubleshooting tips for testing the pressure switch, check out our in-depth article "Reliable Kohree RV Pump Review by @AdventureRocks".

How can I make my RV water pump quieter?

Poor installation can indeed contribute to noise issues with an RV water pump, particularly when the pump is mounted directly on a solid surface. This setup can create resonance, where the vibrations from the pump reverberate through the RV's structure, amplifying the noise.

When a water pump is installed directly on a solid surface, the vibrations generated by the pump's operation can resonate through that surface, amplifying the noise levels significantly.

To reduce the less noisy caused by poor installation, here are some steps you can take:

Isolation Mounts: Mount the water pump on a soft, vibration-damping material, such as rubber or foam pads. This helps to absorb and dissipate the vibrations before they can transfer to the surrounding surfaces.

Rubber Pads or Gaskets: Place rubber pads or gaskets between the pump and its mounting surface to absorb vibrations and reduce resonance.

Soft Mounting: Opt for flexible hoses or tubing instead of rigid pipes to connect the pump to the RV's plumbing system, minimizing vibration transmission.

Proper support and securing: Ensure that the water pump and its mounting surface are properly secured and supported. Any loose components or connections can amplify vibrations and increase noise levels.

Insulation: Apply foam insulation or sound-deadening materials around the pump to dampen sound transmission and absorb vibrations.

By implementing these solutions, you can effectively decouple the water pump from the surrounding surfaces, reducing the resonance effect and minimizing the noise levels within your RV. Proper installation techniques and vibration isolation measures can significantly improve the overall quietness and comfort of your RV's water system.


In the intricate orchestration of your RV's water system, the water pump plays a vital role that can't be overstated. As you traverse the landscapes of your adventures, this unassuming yet essential component ensures that the rhythm of water flow remains steady and dependable. Kohree Water Pump emerges as a key player, offering a composition of features that elevate your RV experience. With proper selection, installation and maintenance, an RV water pump will keep you comfortably hydrated wherever the road takes you.

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