RV 101: The Best RV Water Pumps For the Money
One of the most important components of modern RVs is the water pump.
Simply put, water is the stuff of life, so if you plan on staying hydrated on your trip and don't want to pack gallons of water to drink and bathe in, you'll need a quality water pump.
Most RVs come with a functional water pump, but in the past, I've had to replace mine, so I created this guide to help you know what to look for so that you can find the best RV water pump for your needs.
Top 5 Best RV Water Pump Reviews
- RV Water Pump Buying Guide
- Water Pressure And Gallons Per Minute
- How To Quiet A Noisy RV Water Pump?
- Top 5 Best RV Water Pump Reviews
- Final Thoughts
RV Water Pump Buying Guide
Before I start on specific models of replacement water pumps, let's take a quick look at what you should be looking for in a new device of this type.
It's important to know that even the easiest to install pump is going to take a bit of elbow grease, so prepare for a bit of work.
What To Look For
Ease of Installation
In my opinion, you should always seek out models of water pump that are very easy to install.
In most situations, I find that you should have a water hose, at least one screwdriver, some Teflon tape, and some nice work gloves.
The easiest to install water pumps will have a relatively smaller design so that you don't have to struggle with it. Remember, your pump doesn't have to be massive.
All RV water pumps will make some noise. This is because they all incorporate a motor.
That being said, I find that the best water pumps have a five-chamber design; these water pumps have a tendency to make a bit less noise, even when multiple faucets are running simultaneously.
As a rule, if you find that a motor has a jerky operation, the flow will be irregular and the pump with typically make too much noise.
In my experience, certain brands of water pump for RVs have a tendency to make more noise than others. Also, there are pumps that are designed to run a bit more quietly.
Sometimes, a lot of noise can come from the mounting type, so look for models that have noise absorbing mount systems.
Once again, bigger isn't always better. You don't want a power hog water pump for your RV, though it might be tempting to go for more powerful pumps.
In my opinion, you'll save on energy and water bills for your trip by going with something with a little less draw. Also, lessening the times that the pump will need to draw power is helpful too.
To do this, a gravity feed system is an excellent solution. There are a lot of ways to save electricity with alternative systems; in fact, Pure Living for Life has a great guide that you can check out.
Water Pressure And Gallons Per Minute
The amount of water that flows through your water pump accounts for the pressure or gallons per minute.
Most RVs do well with pumps that can produce about three gallons of water per minute, but larger RVs that have multiple faucets and water needs might need at least 5.3 gallons per minute.
How To Quiet A Noisy RV Water Pump?
As I mentioned, RV water pumps all make noise, and oftentimes at night, you'd really like to quiet your pump down a little. Shurflo has a kit that can actually reduce the sound that your RV water pump generates.
For those that don't want to actually spend a lot of cash purchasing one, here is what you can do:
- 12 – 14 inches of flexible tubing from a hardware store (it should be rated for 100 PSI)
- A male half-inch nail pipe thread adapter with half-inch hose barb
- A female half-inch pipe thread adapter with half-inch hose barb
- Two hose clamps
- Teflon tape
The pipe adapters can be plastic or brass. Once you have your materials:
- Use the male half-inch pipe thread with hose barb to attach the tubing to the distribution connector so that the water can flow from the pump to the rest of the RV once the connection is complete.
- When attaching the tubing, it’s important to coil or loop it a bit as this will disperse the vibration when the pump is in operation.
- Attach the female pipe thread with the adapter directly to the pump to complete the attachment of the flexible tubing to the system.
- Use the hose clamps to secure both sides of the tubing connections and finish up the connection with the Teflon tape.
As long as you don't over-tighten the threaded fittings, you should notice a large reduction of the sound produced by your pump.
Top 5 Best RV Water Pump Reviews
Boasting a three gallon per minute flow rate, the Shurflo 4008-101-A65 has a great operation that's also fairly quiet.
Our first pump uses a one-piece diaphragm and an internal bypass to ensure that this device will last for years inside of your RV. When installing this pump, there are no piping changes, which means that this is a very easy-to-install device.
This pump is slightly better at pushing water than pulling with 40psi outlet pressure regulation. Also, since the pump is thermally protected, you can even run it dry from time to time.
- This is a very quiet running RV water pump.
- It has a relatively crisp and even flow of about three gallons per minute.
- It has a maximum liquid temperature of 130 degrees Fahrenheit or 54 degrees Celsius.
- It uses internal bypass-low cycling.
- The plastic housing can crack at the intake valve, which can cause leakage.
- It could pull water a little better.
If you're looking for a well-rounded, and most importantly, quiet experience, then the SHURFLO 4008-101-A65 is an excellent option for your RV. It has a good GPM, a nice temperature range, and it's easy to install in your RV.
If you're new to RVing and want a good and reliable pump, I'd recommend trying the SHURFLO 4008-101-A65 out.
Another Shurflo product, the 4008-101-E65 is actually an aftermarket version of the A65. That being said, it employs many of the standout features of the other version.
First among these is the very quiet operation. If you were to combine this pump with the method that I outlined above, you'll have one of the quietest RV water pumps on the market.
The three gallon per minute operation is very respectable. In my experience, this is a good amount of steady flow for most mid-sized RVs.
Like the A65, the E65 is thermally protected, it has a 12-volt operation, and works optimally at 55psi. It can also be run dry without damaging the components and has a relatively easy-to-install design.
- This has a fairly even pressure setting; you'll get about three gallons per minute with this pump.
- It has a very quiet operation.
- It's thermally protected.
- It can manage temperatures as high as 130 degrees Fahrenheit or 54 degrees Celsius.
- This is an aftermarket product, which may turn some users off.
- There are some plastic components that can wear over time.
For those looking for a water pump that has a green design that reduces waste and power consumption, the SHURFLO 4008-101-E65 is a great choice.
It has a quiet operation, is thermally protected, and has a good amount of pressure for most RV applications.
While this Seaflo product has a slightly lower gallon per minute operation that the two Shurflo products that we've covered, a loss of .2 GPM isn't really that noticeable.
This product uses a one diaphragm pump to provide 2.8 GPM and it is fully self-priming as well.
It's even fairly customizable; you can adjust the shut-off pressure to about 20psi, which provides a good amount of versatility. This is also a very quiet pump; if you are more than six or so feet from it, it'll actually be fairly hard to hear.
This product stands out because it has self-priming functionally. This means that the pump will prime itself, even if the tank may be as much as six feet under the pump's level.
- This is a very inexpensive RV water pump.
- It's very sturdily constructed.
- Seaflo provides a four-year warranty with this product.
- It's very quiet so that you won't wake the entire RV when you have to flush at night.
- It can be run dry.
- The connectors have a tendency to leak if you don't use Teflon tape.
- The threads on the outlet can be misaligned.
This is a great option for someone that needs a relatively cheap RV pump replacement. It has a good, even flow and it runs very quietly. It can even be run dry.
I really liked the fact that this Flojet product has self-priming functionality that will let it function even if the tank is more than nine feet below the level of the pump.
Additionally, it has mounts that actually absorb the vibration so that this is a very quiet-running RV water pump.
In fact, Flojet even included a built-in bypass that also steadies the device so that it produces less pulsation, which means that it's quieter as a result.
This is also a very reliable RV water pump; it is crafted from corrosion-resistant materials and is very durably constructed as well. It has a 2.9 gallon per minute operation that's very respectable and uses a Triplex diaphragm.
This product has a good enough pressure to be used with propane for an instant hot water shower, which is perfect for most RVers.
- It comes with four fittings, including elbow slip threads and male threads.
- It has a very quiet operation due to some unique design features.
- It's fairly easy to install.
- It's self-priming up to a depth of nine feet.
- For some reason, the manufacturer didn't include 3/8 inch tubing adapters.
For a pump that's designed to run exceptionally quiet, the Flojet 03526 is also very effective at providing a good pressure at a steady GPM. It's also designed to be very durable and will last you for years of use.
The final RV water pump in this guide is another Shurflo product; this time, this model incorporates self-priming. In fact, the self-priming feature works up to nine vertical lift feet, which means that you can have the pump itself up to nine feet above the tank.
Of all of the products that I've covered in this guide, this is the most industrial-oriented pump of them all.
It has features like a check valve so that you can actively prevent a fluid backflow and a built-in pressure switch. The valves and diaphragm are also very durable and are made of Santoprene thermoplastic.
- This valve will last you for years because it's built very durably.
- It has a gallons per minute rating of three.
- It can work well with a rain barrel system.
- The pressure is nice and even, even when using multiple faucets simultaneously.
- Out of all the products that I've covered, it's probably the loudest.
The Shurflo 2088-594-154, 2088 Series is a great option for someone looking for reliability. It's built tough so that you can rely on it lasting for years.
Finding the right RV pump can be difficult, especially when you're replacing a model that you've used for years.
Fortunately, the products that I've covered in this guide are all designed with quality in mind and should all last for the long haul. While we covered a few Shurflo models, the Flojet and Seaflo models definitely stack up when it comes to quality.
In fact, if I had to pick a winner out of the RV water pumps that I reviewed, I'd go with the Flojet 03526-144A. It has some extremely quiet operation and is simply built to last.