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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)
  • Mounts Directly To Inlet Side Of Pump
  • Fresh Water Pump Strainer

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 Brass Marine / RV Water Pressure Regulator – Protects RV Kitchen Small Appliances, Plumbing & Hoses – Reduces RV Water Pressure to Safe & Consistent 40-50 PSI – Drinking Water Safe (40055)
  • PROTECTS RV/MARINE PLUMBING: Keep your RV/marine plumbing safe with this brass Camco water pressure regulator. Safeguard against high-pressure city...
  • AUTOMATIC PIPE BURST PROTECTION: Ensure your pipes are safe using the built-in PSI Guard, preset at 40-50 PSI for automatic burst protection. (Maximum...

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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Robert

Tuesday 28th of November 2023

I have low water pressure at all my faucets and the toilet has none I do not have any external filters or regulators can't find the pump or any onboard filters I have gone through and cleaned all the screens I could find still no better this is on keystone springdale 266 any help would be greatly appreciated thanks

TheRVgeeks

Tuesday 28th of November 2023

Oh no, Robert. Sorry to hear that. The fact that it's happening to ALL faucets makes it seem likely that there's a valve (or combination of valves) somewhere that aren't set correctly. Does this happen only when on the water pump and using onboard water? Or is it also a problem when connected to city water? Those answers may help to determine where the issue is happening.

Have you done anything recently to the plumbing? Did you winterize... and forget to change the bypass valves (for the water heater and/or for the winterizing kit)? Did you do any work on the plumbing?

If it's not something that just cropped up out of the blue (i.e. it was working fine yesterday, you went to bed, and this morning it's not working), it's usually a matter of retracing your steps to see if something you DID do is causing the trouble.

Barbara

Friday 3rd of November 2023

I live in a park with well water and the pressure is always low is it an issue with the park or is it an issue with my RV I'd appreciate your thoughts

TheRVgeeks

Saturday 4th of November 2023

Hi Barbara... we'd suggest checking with neighbors to see if they have the same issue with low pressure. If so, it's probably a park-wide problem, so not much you can do in your RV. But if no one else is having a problem, then we'd suggest you start by removing any potential culprits inline with the flow of water into your trailer to identify anything that's reducing pressure. Could be a failed/failing pressure regulator (you can test temporarily with the pressure regulator out... but don't leave it out for long in case a sudden spike in pressure happens) or a clogged water filter.

If you're parked in a place with hard water (and you've been there a while), it MAY be a buildup of minerals inside your RV's plumbing that's reducing flow & pressure. That's a bit harder to deal with... so let's hope that's not it!

Leslie

Wednesday 20th of September 2023

I wish I were writing in with a solution but, unfortunately, it's a problem. The ONLY time I have water pressure issues is when using the pump and then pressure is low ONLY in the tub/shower. There's hardly a trickle. All other outputs, on pump and municipal, have great pressure. Another weird thing is opening the kitchen faucet increases the tub shower output very slightly. I'm new and learning as I go along. I can't figure out how water from 2 sources can have different pressures when flowing through the same pipe. Thoughts? Thank you!

TheRVgeeks

Monday 25th of September 2023

Oh no, Leslie. That IS a conundrum! Issues like this can be tough to troubleshoot remotely... but from experience hearing from other readers, usually the problem has to do with one or more valves for winterizing and/or water heater bypass not being in the correct positions. USUALLY, that affects the whole RV... but depending on how the plumbing in yours is configured, it's possible it's only affecting SOME outlets. When on city water, the incoming pressure and flow must be enough that it's not noticeable.

So, our suggestion would be to follow the plumbing from the pump and look for valves, etc... and be sure they're in the correct positions for normal use.

cindy

Wednesday 19th of April 2023

2018 forest river saber colbalt no water pressure to RV inside did check all hoses and city water side all is good. when we connect back to water we do get a very little amount of water pressure but the goes to almost nothing. HELP

TheRVgeeks

Thursday 20th of April 2023

Hey @cindy... sorry to hear. Your first step should be to try running off of your onboard water pump and see what pressure is like. If it's OK, then you've narrowed things down to being an issue with the city water side of things. If it's a problem even when running the pump, it's somewhere further downstream of the pump.

If pressure is normal when on the pump, we'd suggest that you check your inline water filter (could be plugged) and/or your pressure regulator (either an inline one you use attached to the spigot before attaching your hose... or the one built-in to the city water connection). Either of those two could be the cause for your pressure loss.

CrusherFL

Tuesday 4th of April 2023

I am currently having intermittent issues with pressure. If I turn off city water, depressurize then turn the city water back on I keep pressure for a few hours, then it loses some (not all) pressure later. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

CrusherFL

Wednesday 5th of April 2023

@TheRVgeeks, Thanks for the quick response! I have a small in-line pressure regulator (screwed on to the hose near the connection to the inlet on the rv) that may be the culprit. The pressure from the park connection seems fine. I keep pressure for most of the day, seems after some period of time of not using any water it may be building up pressure and that is what is causing the issue. On my internal water pump I have no issues at all.

TheRVgeeks

Tuesday 4th of April 2023

How about when you’re running on the water pump? Does the pressure stay constant (other than any cycling due to the pump)? If so, the the issue is inline with the city water inlet. Maybe a clogged filter. Or a built-in pressure regulator that’s failing (they can be built into the city water inlet itself).

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