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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!
- 1) What Causes Low Water Pressure In an RV?
- 2) How Can I Fix the Low Water Pressure In My RV?
- 3) Have You Experienced Low Water Pressure In Your RV?
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
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.
- 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:
- 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:
- 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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Even though we're handy RVers, we're not professional technicians. So although we're happy with the techniques and products we use, you should be sure to confirm that all methods and materials are compatible with your equipment and abilities. Regardless of what we recommend, consult a professional if you're unsure about working on your RV. Any task you perform or product you purchase based on any information we provide is strictly at your own risk.