Skip to Content

5 Best 12v RV Water Pumps for your Campervan Conversion

Your RV water pump is one of those machines that you don’t fully appreciate until it decides to die on you. This isn’t a sexy device — but when you’re on the road with no way to take a shower, you’ll develop a whole new appreciation for one of these things in a hurry.

Of course, replacing the water pump in your RV brings up a whole new issue: deciding which water pump is best. Aren’t they all basically the same? Does it really matter?

12v RV water pumps for campervan conversion, van builds and campers on Pinterest

The answers to those questions are “no” and “only if you care about having enough water pressure to rinse the shampoo out of your hair,” respectively. To that end, we looked at 17 of the best RV water pumps on the market today to see which one is deserving of a spot in your rig.

We judged them on things like flow rate, water pressure, noise levels, and more, and in the end, the SHURflo Revolution was crowned our champion.

If you want to see what makes the Revolution such a great pump — as well as learn which other pumps make our top 5 picks — read on.

When you click on links to various merchants on this site and make a purchase, this can result in this site earning a commission. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. For more info, please check our disclosure page.

Build your own camper quick start guide

1. SHURflo 12v 3.0 GPM Revolution RV Water Pump #4008-101-A65 — Best RV Water Pump Overall

SHURflo 12v 3.0 GPM Revolution RV Water Pump

This small pump provides top-of-the-line performance at a middle-of-the-road price

The SHURflo Revolution may not look like much, as it’s a small, un-intimidating device that barely looks capable of causing a ripple in your water tank, much less giving you all the water pressure you need. Looks can be deceiving, however, and you should skip this pump at your own risk.

It’s one of the easiest pumps to install that we’ve found, and even those who aren’t DIY-friendly should find the process relatively painless. You can mount it in any position, so even if you’re cramped for space, there should be a way to install it that doesn’t involve taking things apart, banging your fingers, or cursing loudly in front of the neighbors’ children.

This is a very quiet unit, and if you have the TV on or any other sort of noise occurring, you likely won’t even be able to tell when it’s running (this does, however, leave you vulnerable to “is your water pump running?” crank calls). It won’t cycle rapidly either, so you won’t be subjected to hearing it cut on and off repeatedly while you’re trying to sleep.

Despite its unobtrusive nature, it can ship a healthy amount of water at 3 gallons per minute. That water will come out at 55 psi, which is more than enough for most purposes; it may not be ideal for pressure washing your rig, but it should be able to handle everything else you ask of it.

Be aware, though, that this thing does draw a lot of power (7.5 amps, to be precise). You should check to be sure that your battery can handle that kind of draw before you hook this thing up, or you could find yourself needing to replace more than just your pump.

What I Liked

  • Incredibly easy to install
  • Very small yet impressively powerful
  • Can be mounted in any position
  • Quiet while in use with no rapid cycling
  • Pumps 3 GPM at 55 psi 

What I Didn’t Like

  • Draws a lot of power

2. SEAFLO Water Diaphragm Self-Priming Pump — Easiest RV Water Pump to Install

SEAFLO Water Diaphragm Self-Priming Pump

This universally-fitting pump can replace — and likely improve upon — whatever you already have installed

For many inexperienced users, the prospect of replacing a water pump is terrifying, as they dread the embarrassment that will occur if they have to slink back to the store and admit they bought the wrong pump. That’s not an issue with the SEAFLO Water Diaphragm, though, as its industry-standard connections mean it will replace just about any other pump on the market.

It has a heavy-duty motor and a three-chamber high-volume design, which is basically just fancy talk for “it can move a lot of water.” It will pump 3 gallons per minute at 45 psi, which can’t quite match up with the SHURflo Revolution but is still pretty impressive. It does a good job of maintaining steady pressure, too, so you won’t have to worry about your water flow sputtering all the time.

This is a self-priming pump that can prime up to 6 vertical feet, so it should still work well even when your water tank starts to get low. Don’t worry if you accidentally run out of wet stuff, either, as it can run dry without breaking down (although we wouldn’t recommend it). 

This isn’t a very loud pump, but it does tend to vibrate quite a bit. It shouldn’t be enough to keep you up at night or anything like that, but you’ll definitely be able to tell when it cuts on. The vibrations get worse the more water pressure you need, so expect to feel like you’re showering in an earthquake.

Also, if you plan on hooking up a garden hose to the pump at any time, you’ll need to buy special adaptors. That’s not a huge deal, but it’s a minor annoyance that could seemingly be avoided by including those adaptors from the get-go.

What I Liked

  • Should be able to replace just about any other pump out there
  • Can move a lot of water
  • Self-priming model
  • Can run dry without damage
  • Maintains consistent pressure well

What I Didn’t Like

  • Vibrates quite a bit
  • Requires special adaptors to use with a garden hose

3. Lippert Components Flow Max Water Pump for RVs — Most Durable RV Water Pump

Lippert Components Flow Max Water Pump

This stout pump is a long-lasting model that performs admirably

The Flow Max from Lippert Components just looks like a serious piece of equipment, and when you turn it on, you’ll find that it lives up to its appearance. This is a heavy-duty pump, and the corrosion-resistant motor ensures it will give you plenty of years of faithful service.

Part of the reason why it’s likely to live so long is that it has a screen that filters out debris before it can reach the motor and wreak havoc. That also ensures that the water that comes out of your faucet is clean, even if you had to fill up from a less-than-reputable source.

This is a versatile machine as well, as it can work with either a 12v or 115v power source (although you’ll likely only use it as a 12v water pump on your RV). Regardless of which you use, it can deliver quite a bit of water — 3 gallons per minute at 50 psi.

Despite the power it produces, this is one of the quieter pumps we tested. You should barely be able to hear it, and after a while you likely won’t notice it at all.

This is another power-chugger, though, as it often draws as much as 9.5 amps off the battery. It’s also not a continuous-duty cycle pump, as it can only run every 5 minutes out of 10. This isn’t a problem for most applications, but if you like long, luxurious showers, this won’t cut it.

What I Liked

  • Corrosion-resistant motor
  • Filter removes debris before it reaches motor
  • Works with either 12v or 115v power source
  • Very quiet while in operation
  • Delivers 3 GPM at 50 psi

What I Didn’t Like

  • Draws a lot of power
  • Not a continuous-duty cycle model

4. SHURflo 12v 3.5 GPM Fresh Water Pump #2088-554-144 — Best Safety Features

SHURflo 12v 3.5 GPM Fresh Water Pump

This model has been on top for over 20 years, thanks to its excellent performance and safety features

The SHURflo Fresh Water Pump can produce a larger volume of water than its counterpart on this list (3.5 gallons per minute vs. 3.0), but it does so at a lower pressure (45 psi vs. 55). There’s not really a right or wrong answer here, but most people prefer high water pressure, so we gave the slight nod to the Revolution.

It’s to be expected that the Revolution should be slightly better, though, as it’s a newer model. That speaks to the enduring quality of this option, though, as it’s been around for 20+ years and is still one of the best water pumps you can buy.

The motor has a one-way check valve that ensures there’s no backflow, so your water supply won’t accidentally get contaminated. While it may not provide as much pressure as the Revolution, the difference isn’t that noticeable, especially if you’re just running one faucet at a time.

What is noticeable, however, is the difference in noise. This is a much louder pump, largely due to the fact that it uses a metal mounting bracket as opposed to encasing it in rubber. You can try to mitigate this yourself by experimenting with various ways to pad the bracket, but it’s a problem you’ll either have to solve on your own or learn to live with.

While you’re trying to figure out a way to dampen the noise this thing makes, you may also need to swap out some of the hardware during the installation process. The included screws are very short, and may not be long enough for many setups, so don’t be surprised if you have to swap them out before you can put the thing in. Once you get the right gear, though, installation is fairly easy and straightforward.

What I Liked

  • Been one of the top models for over 20 years
  • One-way check valve prevents backflow
  • Long-lasting and durable
  • Easy to install
  • Good water pressure when running one faucet at a time

What I Didn’t Like

  • Very noisy
  • May need to swap out included hardware during installation process

5. Bayite BYT-7A108 12v DC Fresh Adjustable Self-Priming Water Pump — Best Budget RV Water Pump

Bayite BYT-7A108 12v DC Fresh Adjustable Self-Priming Water Pump

This little machine works surprisingly well, especially given its budget-friendly price

When you open the box and see the Bayite BYT-7A108 staring back at you, there’s a good chance you’ll think you brought home the wrong part. This thing is tiny (a mere 14.1 ounces), and it doesn’t look like it could push any amount of water at all.

In actuality, though, it can create a serious amount of water pressure, as it can top off at 100 psi before automatically shutting down. The downside is that the total volume of water is low, as it’s only capable of pumping 1.2 gallons per minute, so you’ll have to pick your poison there. You can also adjust the pressure as needed; it’s set on about 70 psi out of the box, but you can raise or lower it as needed. 

This is one of the cheapest pumps we looked at, but despite the low price, it boasts some impressive features. The body is sealed to prevent moisture from seeping in, ensuring you get plenty of durability from your minimal investment, and it’s self-priming up to 6 feet, allowing you to install it at the top of your water tank. Indeed, you’ll have to put it above the tank, as it can’t be submerged.

It’s also very quiet, thanks in large part to the rubber mounting tabs that dampen vibrations. You can barely hear this thing when it’s on. That’s a bit of a double-edged sword, though, as it sometimes strains under high pressure, and if you can’t hear it struggling, you can easily burn out the motor.

What I Liked

  • Can create very high water pressure
  • Flow rate is adjustable
  • Body sealed to prevent motor damage
  • Very affordable
  • Rubber mounting tabs keep it quiet

What I Didn’t Like

  • Low volume at only 1.2 GPM
  • Can’t be submerged
  • Struggles and can burn out at higher volume

What We Looked For in the Best RV Water Pumps

Water pumps aren’t the sexiest products in the world, so it’s no surprise if you’ve never really given much thought to what to look for when you need a new one. Fortunately, picking a new pump isn’t exactly rocket surgery, as there are really only a few things you need to look for when shopping around.

Here’s how we evaluated the various pumps that we tested:

Flow Rate: this is the amount of water (expressed in gallons per minute, or GPM) that your pump can process at a time. The higher the flow rate, the more water you’ll get when you turn on the tap. 

Pressure: while flow rate is an important metric, it’s only half the story. The other is how forcefully that water will flow out of your faucet or showerhead. This is expressed in pounds per square inch, or psi. A higher number means more pressure, but if you go too high, you run the risk of creating leaks in your system.

Power Draw: running your water pump can put a lot of strain on your RV’s battery. Some of the pumps that offer the best performance will also suck down plenty of juice, potentially draining your battery in a hurry. Ideally, you want a pump that works well without needing a ton of electricity to do so.

Noise: water pumps can be extremely loud. If you don’t want to have to wear earplugs every time you take a shower, you’ll want to find a pump that can perform well without creating a huge racket in the process.

How to Choose the Right RV Water Pump

We believe that our top pick, the SHURflo Revolution, will be the best option for most users. However, it’s unrealistic to expect that any single pump would be ideal for every single situation, so rather than blindly trusting our judgment, you should do your own research.

When thinking about which pump to buy, you should primarily be concerned with the things we mentioned in the section above (water flow, noise level, etc.). Beyond that, though, you should look at the following criteria:

Pump Type

Generally speaking, there are three different types of RV water pumps: constant speed, variable speed, and high-volume. 

Most of the options you’ll find are constant speed; this means that the water only comes out at a single speed, and you can’t really adjust it one way or the other. These pumps are generally inexpensive and get the job done well, but they may not give you the luxury you’re accustomed to.

Variable speed pumps, on the other hand, can alter the flow of water depending on your needs. That means that, if you turn on the faucet a tiny bit, the pump will only give you a tiny bit of water. These pumps are usually quieter than their constant-speed counterparts, but they’re more expensive, too.

High-volume pumps can move a lot of water quickly — often over 4 gallons per minute. They’re usually only found in larger rigs with massive water tanks, and they suck down a lot of electricity in order to move all that liquid.

Size

Your water pump has to fit in a clearly defined space inside your RV. However, the size of these pumps can vary wildly, as some can be quite tiny while some high-volume pumps can be formidable beasts.

Before you buy a new pump, you should measure the existing space to make sure that the model you have your eye on will actually fit in your RV. 

Safety Features

Water pumps aren’t really dangerous machines, so when we mention safety features, we’re talking about being safe for the pump. This usually means some form of thermal protection that will shut the pump down before it overheats, but there are other things you might want to look for as well.

They can include sealed bodies that prevent water and debris from entering the motor, check valves that prevent water from running from the pump back into the tank, and filters that screen out contaminants before they can enter the housing. 

Safety features can increase the cost of a pump by a few bucks, but if they also extend its lifespan by a few years, it will be money well spent.

Power Supply

Virtually all RV water pumps should run off 12-volt electricity, as they’ll draw power from the RV’s 12-volt battery. However, you may see some water pumps that say they run off 110v or 120v power.

Avoid 110v or 120v pumps at all costs — they’re made for buildings with more robust power supplies, not RVs with tiny batteries. Installing one in your rig could do a lot of damage to the electrical system.

The only exception is if you have a secondary power source that you plan to use to run the pump, like a generator or grounded outlet in a building. If that’s the case, you can buy one of the other pumps; however, most 110v or 120v water pumps are high-volume machines designed for giant rigs.

Build your own camper quick start guide

Wrapping Up

If you’re in the market for a new water pump for your RV, you can’t go wrong with the SHURflo Revolution. It’s powerful, quiet, and can provide years of faithful service.

That doesn’t mean that it’s right for everyone, though. You should try to find a pump that’s capable of giving you all the water pressure you need, without drawing down your battery or drowning you in noise. 

Whatever you do, though, don’t skimp on your water pump. After all, there’s no better pickup line when you’re out on the road than, “Hey baby, come back to my rig — the water pressure in my shower is amazing.”

Like it? Pin it!

12v RV water pumps for campervan conversion, van builds and campers on Pinterest
campervan water tanks for van builds, RVs and motorhomes
Previous
DIY Campervan Water Tanks for Van Conversions
patagonia packing list essentials
Next
Packing List for Patagonia: What to Pack for Hiking, Camping & Road Tripping in Patagonia

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.