Welcome to our ultimate guide to the best campervan water pumps on the market! Whether you want a simple mechanical pump or a worry-free 12v electric pump, this expert blog post will help you find the water pump you want for your van.
If you’re new to the van life community, then you may not think that running water is a necessity for your campervan. After all, you can shower at the campground, do your dishes in a public bathroom, or even hook up your van to a local city water source.
But once you’re on the road for extended periods of time, you’ll realize how crucial it is to have a reliable water system to tap into.
A campervan or RV water pump allows you to draw water directly from a portable fresh water tank that’s attached to your van.
They provide water that allows you to shower, use the toilet, or wash your hands in the sink if you’re camping off-grid or boondocking full time away from other water sources.
An RV water pump isn’t the most exciting piece of van life equipment to buy, but it can be one of the most crucial. And we’re here to make purchasing the best RV water pump easier than ever.
Let’s take a look at some of the best RV water pumps on the market today.
You will need to be running most of these on 12v power, except for a couple of hand and foot pumps, so make sure you read our expert guide on choosing the right RV battery if you don’t have one already.
WHAT WE LIKE
THINGS TO CONSIDER
WHALE GP4618 BABYFOOT MANUAL PUMP
VALTERRA ROCKET HAND PUMP
The Best Campervan Water Pumps
While researching the best water systems and pumps, we took numerous factors into consideration, like water flow, water pressure, durability, and price.
Whether you’re looking for the best 12 volt water pump or the best manual pump, we’ve got you covered!
If you’re in the van life community, then you probably know someone who uses the self-priming Shurflo 2088.
As one of Shurflo’s best selling products, the 2088 model is a great 12 volt water pump for RV or camper van owners.
This three-chamber diaphragm pump has a flow rate of 3.5 GPM and a pressure rate of 45 PSI, which is ideal for both small to mid-size campervans and RVs.
Due to its small size, the Shurflo 2088 can be mounted in a vertical or horizontal position, which means it’s able to fit in even the tightest of spaces.
It’s also relatively easy to install (simply hooks up to your camper van’s electrical system and water pipes) and even easier to maintain.
The only downside we’ve found is that it can be noisy when switched on. This shouldn’t be a big problem unless you plan to take showers to do dishes when your traveling companions are sleeping.
|* Small and compact|
* Easy to mount
* Reliable brand
|* Can be loud when turned on|
Shurflo’s 4008 model is like the more robust brother to the 2088 series. Although the water flow rate is slightly lower (3 GPM compared to the 2088’s 3.5 GPM), it’s barely noticeably in the long run.
Plus, the Shurflo 4008 is much quieter. And although the water rate is on the lower end of the spectrum, the pump’s pressure is 55 PSI, which creates a strong, powerful stream of water.
This constant speed water pump by Shurflo also only uses 7 Amps of power, which is ideal if you’re running off low-power battery packs or solar panels.
In the backend, the Shurflo 4008 has a bypass low cycling system, which allows it to run dry without damaging the mechanics.
If you don’t mind the lower water flow, the Shurflo 4008 is a more affordable and more reliable alternative to the 2088 model.
|* Small and compact|
* Easy to mount
* Quiet compared to other Shurflo products
* Ability to run dry
|* Low water pressure (3 GPM)|
As one of the most powerful high volume water pumps available, the Shurflo 4048 is a great water pump option if you have a large campervan or RV.
It delivers 55 PSI and 4 gallons of water every minute, which is considerably higher than other Shurflo models.
We love it because you can use it with multiple faucets (shower, toilet, and sink) at once.
Because it’s a high volume water pump, it does use up more electric power (10 Amps). And because of the large motor, it is noisier.
However, it’s also possible to add an accumulator or water pump silencing kit to help minimize the sound of the motor when it’s running.
Like the 2088 and 4008 models, the Shurflo 4048 is also self-priming, which means you’ll still be able to vacuum water from your fresh water tank even if the levels are low.
While the Shurflo 4048 is on the higher end of the price spectrum for a consent speed pump – you definitely get what you pay for.
|* High volume (33% more than the 4048 model)|
* Ability to use multiple faucets
* Ability to run dry
|* High price point|
* Uses more power (10 Amps)
Are you interested in installing a variable speed water pump in your van conversion or RV?
If so, then the Remco Aquajet may be your best bet. It’s high volume and can move a whopping 5.3 gallons per minute using the patented 5-chamber diaphragm pump.
That means the motor speed is automatically controlled, so you’ll get to enjoy a smoother and therefore more comfortable stream of water.
Because the Remco Aquajet is so powerful, it’s best suited for RVs or large vans to reduce water pump cycling. It also requires 10 Amps of electric power, so you’ll need to make sure you have a power circuit or battery that can handle that amount of electricity.
It is one of the more expensive RV water pumps, but it’s a worthwhile investment if you want a reliable and powerful water system.
|* Powerful 5.3 GPM|
* Smooth variable speed water flow
* Ability to use multiple faucets
|* High price point|
* Large amperage power (10 Amps)
When it comes to robust 12 volt RV water pumps, the Seaflo 55 is one of the best. The flow capacity of this RV water pump is 5.5 gallons per minute, which is impressive considering the size and price of the pump.
And when it comes to water pressure, the water pump can churn out 60 PSI with an enclosed pressure shut off switch which automatically starts and stops the pump.
This new and improved water pressure switch is the main differentiating factor between the Seaflo 55 and previous Seaflo models.
It’s also self-priming up to 9 feet, which is good if you have a large water tank system attached to your RV water pump. Seaflo models are able to run dry, so you won’t have to worry about constantly monitoring how much water you have left.
We also believe that it’s important to look for a company that offers a long warranty for their products, especially when it comes to high volume water pumps like the Seaflo 55. That’s why we’re impressed with the four-year warranty that Seaflo offers, although we don’t anticipate anything happening with such a durable water pump!
|* High water flow and water pressure|
* 4-year warranty
* Durable pressure switch
|* Only comes with a .5 inch water hose|
If you’re a fan of Seaflo water pumps but aren’t sure if you need something as robust and powerful as the Seaflo 55, then you might consider looking at the Seaflo 33 model.
Compared to the 55, the 33 is lighter, cheaper, and more energy-efficient, which makes it idea for a short trip or small camper van.
With just 1.2 Amps of power, the Seaflo 33 can produce 3.3 gallons per minute and 44 PSI. It does have a lower self-priming reach (6 feet instead of 9 feet), but this shouldn’t be a problem if you’re hooking this camper water pump up to a small water tank.
The only downside is, it’s not totally “out of the box” ready. You’ll need to purchase a few more parts including findings, screws, hose clamps, and workable threads.
But once you have everything, it’s relatively easy to install your new pump.
|* Four-year warranty|
* Built-in pressure switch
* Affordable price point
|* Hard to install|
* Requires more hardware
If you’re looking for a camper water pump that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, then look no further than the Flojet 03526-144A.
At about half the cost of other models on this list, the Flojet series is an energy-efficient three-chambered water pump that connects directly to your freshwater tank.
It delivers a constant flow of 2.9 gallons of water per minute and has a maximum pressure of 50 PSI, which we believe is more than sufficient for leisurely campers, although it might not be strong enough for large RVs. For a consent speed pump, the water system pump produces a smooth flow which means you might not have to purchase or attach an accumulator tank.
The most impressive feature of the Flojet 03526-144A is the soft noise absorbing mounts. Although you can’t eliminate the noise completely (no motorized water pump can), it is quieter than other Shurflo or Seaflo models.
If you don’t mind living with a low water output, then the Flojet is a reasonably priced water pump for camper vans.
|* Affordable price point|
* Less noisy compared to other models
* Eliminates the need for an accumulator tank
|* Low water output|
Whale GP4618 Babyfoot Manual Pump
No electricity? No problem! The Whale Babyfoot Pump is a manual alternative to the multitudes of electric water pumps on this list.
It’s small, compact design is easy to install and store, even if you’re van is limited on space.
All you have to do is connect the new pump to a .5 inch water hose to have instant access to water inside your camper van.
To pump water, just press down on the pedal with your foot. The flow rate has a maximum of 2.2 GPM, although one pump is usually enough to wash your hands or do a few dishes.
The only downside is, it’s manual to operate, which doesn’t make it the best water pump for RV or large campervans. But if you’re looking for a cheap option that allows you to stay off the grid while traveling, then the Whale Babyfoot Pump will make a great addition.
|* Affordable price point|
* Easy to store and use
* Small and compact
* No electricity needed
|* Manual (not great for RV living)|
* Requires additional hose
Valterra Rocket Hand Pump
This Valterra Rocket hand pump faucet combo is one of the best manual pumps for travelers who don’t want to install an electric system in their campers or travel trailers.
It’s easy to install, and only needs to be drilled into your countertop and connected to your water tank.
To operate, you’ll rotate the handle back of forth to pump water through the faucet. This can be tricky – especially if you need to use your spare hand to wash dishes, etc. If you need both hands, then you can turn on the faucets prime lock feature, which stores the water in the line eliminating the use of manually pumping.
|* Affordable price point|
* Built-in prime lock feature
* No electricity required
|* Only works with sink|
* Not for powerful, constant streams of water
Choosing the Best RV Water Pump
When shopping for the best RV water pump for your van or RV you will want to take the following factors into consideration.
Water flow is an important factor when comparing different types of RV water pumps. In the van life community, this is measured by gallons per minute (GPM).
The lower the GPM, the weaker the pump (although weaker pumps also use less water, making your water tank more efficient).
Generally speaking, most small to mid-size pumps will have an average of 3.5 GPM. If you have a larger van or RV, you can also opt for a larger model that can pump out over 5 gallons per minute.
You should consult with your camper van or RV living owner’s manual to see how many gallons per minute your van can handle.
Water pressure for a water pump is determined by pressure per square inch (PSI). The PSI of a water pump is important to take into account, as pumps with extremely high PSI can damage or rupture your campervan’s system and pipes.
The best pipes and connections are built to handle anywhere between 40 and 60 PSI.
However, you also don’t want a pump with a very low PSI – unless you’re the type of person who loves taking a shower with weak water pressure.
Amperage (Power Draw)
It’s important to note that most camper van water pumps require 12-volt electric power. While the best 12-volt pumps are relatively efficient to begin with, you should also look at the amperage (amps) needed to power the pump.
If you are relying on a small battery pack or solar panel, then you’ll want to make sure your water pump requires fewer amps.
The more amperage that is required, the more power you’ll be drawing from your battery.
Every inch of space in your van conversion is valuable. That’s why it’s crucial to look for a water pump that can be mounted in your van.
More powerful pumps tend to take up more space, which is fine if you have a large van or RV.
But if space is limited, then you’ll need to purchase a compact pump that can easily be installed in small or narrow spaces.
The best RV water pump models need to be durable, efficient, and of course, wallet-friendly.
Thankfully, it’s not hard to find RV water pumps that are reasonably priced – especially compared to other equipment and hardware you spend on your camper!
A decent campervan water pump will cost anywhere from $50 to $100. For this price, you can score a basic consent speed water pump from a reputable company that has a GPM of at least 3 gallons per minute.
If you are supplying water for a large van or RV, then you’ll likely need something more powerful.
Variable speed and high-volume water pumps are perfect for large RV water tanks, although they are on the higher end of the price spectrum. If you’re looking for a pump that has a high PSI and GPM flow, then you’re probably looking to spend over $100.
If budget is a concern, then you can also find cheaper water systems for under $50. For this price, the pump will probably deliver less than 3 gallons of water per minute, which is more than sufficient for a small van.
You can also op for a hand pump instead, although don’t expect to use it for a full shower.
Unless your water pump is sold as part of a kit, most packages will only include the necessary parts to pump fresh water into your van.
However, there are numerous add-ons and accessories you can purchase to upgrade your portable water system.
If your constant speed water pump is too loud (we found that most are), then you might consider purchasing an accumulator tank.
An accumulator is installed next to the pump and stores water that can be used before the pump’s motor kicks in. Not only does it cut down on noise, but it also creates a more constant flow and reduces cycling.
While most people use their 12v water pump for RV showers or sinks, they can also be used to supply drinking water.
A water filter can greatly improve the quality and taste of the running water, which makes it a great addition to any van lifer camping off-grid.
If you plan on connecting your water system to city water, then you’ll want to purchase a water pressure regulator.
Because most vans and RVs can only hand up to 60 PSI, a water pressure regulator is crucial to protect your water pump and plumbing system.
Types of 12v Water Pumps
When researching the best 12v water pumps, you’ll likely come across three different models – constant speed, variable speed, and high volume.
Most RV and campervans use a constant speed water pump. As its name suggests, it can only deliver water at one speed. Because the motor of the pump can only be switched on or off, there is no way to adjust the pressure or motor speed.
If you’re looking for a smoother, more comfortable shower experience, then you might consider investing in a variable speed water pump. Unlike constant speed models, variable speed pumps have a pressure sensor that can adjust the speed of the motor.
While variable speed pumps are quieter and generally more efficient (since they automatically adapt to the water flow), they do tend to be more expensive than constant speed models.
A water pump with a water flow over 4 GPM is considered to be a high volume pump. They are built to handle high volumes of water and are usually found in larger vans or RVs.
Hand Water Pumps
Despite what you may think, not all water pumps have to be electric. If you’re traveling off-grid or without any electric supply at all, you can still have access to freshwater with a hand pump.
The biggest benefit of using a hand pump is that they don’t require any power. You don’t need to rely on a battery, solar panel, or fuel tank to use them, which could save you lots of money in the long run.
They are also a lot quieter than an electric 12-volt pump because there isn’t a motor.
The only downside is – you have to pump it manually!
If you’re looking for a cheap, environmentally friendly way to use water in your RV or camper van, then consider purchasing a manual hand pump instead.
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