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Low Water Pressure In Your RV? Try These Tips!

Low Water Pressure In Your RV? Try These Tips!

Low water pressure in your RV can be annoying. Low-pressure showers or a lack of pressure when you’re trying to wash dishes, flush the toilet or do anything else that involves a decent flow of water generally indicates that you’ve got a problem somewhere in your RV’s water system.

We recently published a post suggesting what to do if your RV shower head is clogged. But there are many other reasons why you might have low water pressure in your RV.

In this post, we’re going to run through the most likely reasons for low water pressure, and then we’ll tell you how to address each issue.

Let’s get started!

What Causes Low Water Pressure In an RV?

There are a number of common reasons why the water pressure in your RV could be low. They are:

  • The campground/RV park’s water supply is providing low pressure
  • You have a leaking fresh water hose
  • Your RV’s fresh water tank is low on water
  • There’s a leak in an onboard water line
  • You have a clogged water filter (either a whole house filter, which would result in low city water pressure… or the inline filter that protects your water pump, which would cause low pressure when running off the onboard tank)
  • Your RV’s 12V water pump is failing
  • Your water pressure regulator is blocked/failing
Photo of a sink faucet with low water pressure

There are a number of causes of low water pressure. A little investigation should illuminate the reason for low water pressure in your RV. Once you’ve identified the culprit, you can set about repairing the issue.

How Can I Fix the Low Water Pressure In My RV?

Let’s take a look at each of these common causes of low water pressure and what you can do to address the issue.

Campground/RV Park’s Water Supply

If you’re connected to a city water supply, start by checking the pressure at the spigot. If your water pressure regulator has a pressure gauge, you can check the pressure on the gauge. If it appears to be low, try turning up the water pressure a bit (if it’s adjustable). If that doesn’t result in your desired water pressure (or any change at all), then the problem may well be with the water supply coming from the campground/RV park.

In this case, you should notify campground staff of the issue, and then fill your fresh water tank and rely on your onboard 12V RV water pump to provide you with running water in the RV until/unless the problem is rectified.

If you’re staying for a while, you’ll obviously need to refill your fresh water tank from time to time. But at least you won’t have to suffer with low water pressure!

Leaking Fresh Water Hose

Another issue that can result in low water pressure when you’re connected to a city water source is a leaking fresh water hose. Fresh water hoses can crack or become damaged, so check your hose carefully for leaks.

If you do identify a leak, replacing your fresh water hose is the solution.

If you happen to have an RV with a fresh water hose that’s situated on a retractable wheel, feel free to follow our video guide to replacing your RV water hose:

Fresh Water Tank Low on Water

If you’re not connected to city water, low water pressure could be because your RV fresh water tank is low on water. Without a steady, full supply of water to your RV’s water pump, it won’t be able to maintain the pressure and flow you’re used to.

The simple solution? Fill up with fresh water! You may find it helpful to check out our post on 5 reliable places to fill your RV fresh water tank.

Leak In a Water Line

Another possibility when you’re dealing with low water pressure in your RV is a leak in a water line somewhere in your plumbing system.

These can be tricky to diagnose in some cases, and in others, they may be quite obvious (particularly if you find a puddle of water somewhere).

If you’ve got a leak anywhere in your plumbing system, you’re likely to be alerted to it because you may hear your 12V water pump running when you aren’t running any water.

When you turn on the water at a faucet, you hear the water pump running. When you turn it off, you should no longer hear the pump running (after it finishes re-pressurizing the water lines). If you do, then you’ve very likely got a leak somewhere.

We’ve dealt with a particularly elusive leak ourselves. To watch us diagnose and repair the issue, check out this video on plumbing leak diagnosis & repair – practically for free.

Clogged Water Filter/Strainer

Another common reason for low water pressure in an RV is a clogged (or used up) water filter. Water filters need to be changed with some regularity. If you’ve got a filter that hasn’t been changed in a while, remove it or change it and see if that makes a difference in your water pressure.

This isn’t an uncommon occurrence. Feel free to check out our post on the simple truth about how RV water filters work.

If it’s your whole house water filter, you’ll notice it when you’re connected to city water. But keep in mind that there’s usually a small, inline filter/strainer installed between your fresh water tank and the inlet on your RV’s 12V water pump. If that filter is what’s clogged, you’ll notice low water pressure (or your pump running longer/faster than usual for the rate of flow you’re using) when running off your onboard water tank.

These small inline filters/strainers are easily unscrewed from the plumbing (assuming you can get to them in the often cramped quarters where your water pump is installed) and can often be disassembled to clean them. But since they aren’t expensive, you may just want to replace it.

SHURFLO RV Trailer Pump Filter Fresh Water Pump Strainer (1)
  • Fresh Water Pump Strainer; Used For SHURflo Fresh Water Pumps For Keeping Debris And Other Particles Out Of The Pump; Mounts Directly To Inlet Side Of...

12V RV Water Pump

Your RV’s 12V water pump can also be a source of low water pressure in your RV. Water pumps can develop issues over time, or can simply wear out.

Fortunately, an RV water pump replacement is a great DIY project.

If you’re more of a visual learner, feel free to follow along with us as we replace our 12V RV water pump:

In the video above, we discuss why we chose our particular water pump, but if you’d like more information on the best RV water pumps, check out our post offering a variety of good choices.

Water Pressure Regulator

And finally, a failed water pressure regulator can be a source of low water pressure in your RV. The solution here, of course, would be to replace your water pressure regulator.

If you’ve ever wondered, “Does my RV need a water pressure regulator?”, the answer is yes. It’s very important to carry a water pressure regulator for your RV if you’ll ever be connected to a city water source. See our post for all the reasons why.

This is the one we use because we like to use a lead-free, easily adjustable water pressure regulator with an inlet filter and a gauge:

Valterra RV Water Regulator, Lead-Free Brass Adjustable Water Regulator with Pressure Gauge for Camper, Trailer, RV Plumbing System
  • WATER REGULATOR: Versatile water regulator is compatible with standard campers, RV's, trailers, and more
  • IDEAL PRESSURE: Regulates water pressure to your preference with pressure gauge

There is a less expensive model on the market. If you don’t care to have a gauge or the ability to adjust your water pressure, you should at least carry one of these with you to prevent potentially serious damage to your RV water system due to high pressure from a water source:

Sale
Camco (40055) RV Brass Inline Water Pressure Regulator- Helps Protect RV Plumbing and Hoses from High-Pressure City Water
  • Helps protect RV plumbing and hoses from high pressure city water
  • Attaches easily with 3/4" garden hose threads

And again, if your water pressure is good everywhere except at your shower head, your RV shower head may be clogged. Visit our post to learn how to fix it.

Have You Experienced Low Water Pressure In Your RV?

Have you experienced low water pressure in your RV? Please share what happened, and how you solved it, in the comments below, as that may help another reader with a similar issue.

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Steve Deschaine

Saturday 20th of August 2022

The water tank is full the camper is set for dry camping the pump comes on but the water just spits and sputters and never gets a full stream and if I turn the hot water on there is nothing

TheRVgeeks

Saturday 20th of August 2022

Hi Steve. Based on what you're describing, our first guess is that it's a valve issue.... meaning they aren't set in the correct position. If you've switched any valves on your winterizing kit or water heater bypass, that may be the problem. Trace lines as best you're able, and try switching valves to a different position one at a time.

Kristy

Friday 13th of May 2022

Hello I have a 199 Holiday Rambler Navigator and am not getting good water pressure inside the motorhome. A new hose has been attached to city water with new filers and I replaced the water flow valve and see no kinks in hoses, etc. I’m at a loss as to what I can check to fix this. Any help would be appreciated.

TheRVgeeks

Friday 13th of May 2022

Hey Kristy. Sorry to hear about the problem. When you say you've set up new filters... are those whole house filters (i.e. they're placed inline with the flow of water coming in from the city connection, filtering the incoming supply)? If so... you may want to try removing the filter cartridge(s) from the cannister(s), closing the cannister(s) back up and testing again. It's possible that you've installed a filter that has too high a filtration level (i.e. too small a micron rating, removing too small of particles) or too low a flow rate(we typically like to see at least a 5 gallon per minute (GPM) flow rate) and it's slowing things down.

Our RV has one filter housing for a "whole house water filter" that we use just to ensure no sediment or other particulate enters our water system or fresh tank. We typically use a 5 or 10 micron filter that you can pick up at virtually any big box hardware store (Home Depot, Lowes, Ace Hardware, RONA, etc)... and those usually have a sufficient flow rate to make sure our pressure and flow inside the RV is sufficient. But it can be easy to accidentally grab a filter that is too restrictive... and doing the test by removing the cartridges should tell you if that's the case.

Hope that solves it for you!

John Schretlen

Tuesday 12th of April 2022

In the photo at the beginning of the article your show the water pressure at 20 psi. I hope you made that adjustment for the photo and that it was not an actual city water pressure.

One question you never answered is what do you set your regulator to?

I set mine to 43-45 psi.

Also, the very few times we've hooked up city water that was less than 40 I've just added 50 gallons to the fresh tank and use the on-board water pump. That results in normal sink and shower flows.

As to house fiters: every 6 months at the most. Often I change it 3 or 4 times a year; and the in-line ACUVA pre-filter and fridge filter gets changed every year.

Yes, my ice cube maker uses water that goes through the house filter, the pump filter, the ACUVA pre-filter, the Arrow 5 filter and the fridge filter. It's very good ice.

TheRVgeeks

Thursday 14th of April 2022

Some water pressure, especially in old or remote parks, can indeed be pretty low, even down to 20 PSI. We keep our regulator set about the same as you do.

William Thaw

Tuesday 12th of April 2022

My pressure was low and I had checked everything in the system. I had even just changed the water filter. I talked with the service department and they asked me what number filter I installed. Long story short, my filter was one that filtered EVERYTHING. I was told to select a different filter, I believe it was a Watts 4 that filtered common contaminates and have had no further problems.

TheRVgeeks

Thursday 14th of April 2022

Glad you got that sorted out William. Filtering is nice, but not at the expense of getting a trickle of water!

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