Let’s stop pretending that only trickles and drops of water are enough for your bathroom and sink faucets, shall we?
Of course, you can’t expect high water pressure all the time, but weak and low pressure SHOULD NOT be the norm.
You deserve fresh water that’s strong and refreshing for your RV motor home!
Lucky for you, there are easy solutions for this, and it’s NOT as hard as you’d think.
Why Does My RV Have Low Water Pressure and How Do I Fix It?
You can’t fix something without knowing what the problem is. The key is to find out the root cause first before you get into action.
Let’s say that low water pressure is a symptom that something is wrong. A lot of reasons cause it, and each of them requires different solutions.
Problem #1: Pressure Problem With External and RV Park Water System & Water Line
Before you get all worried that something is wrong with your RV, it could very well be that the water lines you’re connected to are the ones with problems.
If you’re connected to the public city water of RV parks, you’ll most likely be affected if they encounter problems with their water and plumbing system.
Solution: Don’t Always Rely on City Water!
Always be prepared with your own storage tank, booster pump, RV water filter, RV’s onboard water pump, water hose, and everything else.
We know connecting to city water is far more cost-efficient and convenient, but there are a lot of factors beyond your control:
- The number of people in the park: Everyone using the same water line and distribution system will certainly affect your water pressure.
- Water pressure problems of the city: You can’t really control if the public plumbing system and water system break down.
Problem #2: Leaking Water Lines and Pipes
If you find that the city water flow is fine after checking or asking around, it’s now time to look into your own water lines.
Check the following:
- If you have burst pipes or cracked water lines.
- If the clamps connecting your pipes are loose.
Pipe problems are very normal whether or not we’re talking about an RV. And you know what that means? Fixes are easy and everywhere!
Solution: Replace Burst Pipes and Water Lines/Tubes
Spotting the culprit of the leaks is fairly easy. Look for areas where you notice drips and pooling water.
A quick tip from us, it’s smart to have reserves and tools on board so you can replace the broken ones without having to wait for finding a repair shop and ruin the trip!
Bring other fittings, pipes, and tools (i.e., pliers, screwdriver, etc.). Make sure to get the ones with the correct sizes that fit your RV plumbing system and pipeworks, of course!
Watch this Youtube tutorial for a good idea of what to do, if ever:
But say you don’t have extra tools with you. A short-term solution is to close the valve to prevent any more leaks and further damage.
Problem #3: Broken RV Water Pump
Your RV water pump is the heart of your RV water system. As you may already know, it’s crucial to the various fixtures and your overall plumbing system.
To explain, the water pump works on a flow rate or, in easier words, by the gallon capacity of the water produced. If it’s broken, then your water pressure will naturally be weaker.
Solution: Check the RV Water Pump
Locating a broken RV pump isn’t as easy as looking for drips, but there are simple ways to determine if your water pump is faulty with the help of some tools.
Use a Water Pressure Gauge:
- A water pump working properly should pump out a flow rate of 3.5-5 gallons per minute and an average of 40-50 pounds per square inch or PSI. Anything more or less than this is a likely indicator of a water pump problem.
Adjust the RV Water Pressure Regulator:
- One quick fix would be to adjust the RV water pressure regulators. Some factory-set PSI may be too low for your liking or the circumstance, so you can set it higher – as long as you don’t exceed the PSI limit (which varies per recreational vehicle).
Adjustable water pressure regulators can easily be turned using a flathead screwdriver!
Remember that high pressure isn’t always good and may sometimes cause collateral damages.
As soon as you can, replace your broken RV pump to avoid further breakdowns.
Problem #4: Empty Freshwater Tank
Before you click off from embarrassment, let us be the one to say, don’t worry. This is a rookie mistake for new RV owners, so it’s worth mentioning.
Remember that you have a storage tank to fill in your RV, okay? An empty RV water tank means no water. No matter how much you adjust your RV pressure regulator, water pump, etc., it will lead to low water pressure.
Solution: Make Sure Your Freshwater Tank is At Least Half-Filled, Always
It’s understandable to forget doing this, though, especially if you’re not used to a small water tank that runs out of water quite often.
But yes, sometimes the problem isn’t as serious and might be just some overlook.
Problem #5: Clogs, Cracks, and Debris
Another plausible cause for a weak flow is that your water filters are clogged, or your screens have debris stuck to them.
Logically, these cloggings interfere with the flow, which will then lead to RV water pressure problems.
Because your water filter, well, filters the water, specks of dirt are likely to be stuck in it. That’s why it’s important to include checking your water filters as part of your maintenance routine!
For the same reason, sediments are likely to get stuck on your hose since water passes through the hose a lot.
Solution: Don’t Take Your Water Filters and Hose For Granted – Clean and Replace Them!
You have your water filter and hose to thank for the clean water and clean drinking water coming from it, so don’t forget to take care of them, or else it’ll break down on you.
Clean them before and after use, and make sure that your water tank is at least half-filled all the time. If not, sediments are likely to build up and cause clogging.
Another smart thing to do is always have an extra water filter and hose with you. And to be honest, your water filter won’t last long and would need a regular replacement if you really want to ensure you’re getting the best fresh water.
How to Increase Water Pressure in an RV? Frequently Asked Questions
By now, we hope you have some idea of what might be wrong with the low water pressure in your RV motor home.
But to help you further, we’ll dedicate this portion to some FAQs!
Do I Really Need an RV Water Pressure Regulator?
The short answer is yes.
It’s highly recommended that you have an RV water pressure regulator to protect your plumbing, especially if you often connect to the city source.
The city water often has high pressure. An overflow that’s too strong can damage your RV plumbing. Your pressure regulator ensures that the water coming in is safe and of adequate pressure!
At the same time, as mentioned above, this can also help you increase water pressure if you find the water flowing in is insufficient for your desired use.
What’s the Difference Between an RV Water Pressure Regulator and a Pressure Gauge?
These are two different things, but we get that the confusion comes from the fact that they’re often seen together – making them seem the same. That’s because some more modern models already combine these two.
An example is this one:
The gold one is the water pressure regulator, and the meter attached to it is the pressure gauge. We’ve explained the RV water pressure regulator in the previous question, so we’ll focus on the gauge here.
Basically, the pressure gauge has the readings for you to determine the water pressure, which usually serves the following purposes:
- It helps indicate if your water pump is working well.
- It lets you know if you need to adjust your water pressure regulator to the recommended PSI.
What Is the Recommended RV Water Pressure?
This depends on your RV brand and model. It’s best to ask your manufacturer for what’s ideal. Some modern RV models can handle up to 100 PSI, and some less than that.
But 100 PSI isn’t recommended at all. It’s damaging to your water system, and it’s too much for your water pressure regulator to handle.
The safe and average RV water pressure is 40-50 PSI, with 60 PSI already as the maximum for some.
Is It Expensive to Increase Water Pressure?
Unless it’s your RV water line and system that’s seriously broken, the additional cost is barely minimal to none.
Many tools and parts can be found in your local hardware stores – except for regulators. Some can be hard to find.
The additional cost comes if your actual RV plumbing is the problem. But then that’s just part of owning an RV, don’t you agree?
As long as you double-check and do proper maintenance, the unmanageable breakdowns and uncontrollable leaks can be very well prevented!
What’s the Problem if the Water Pressure Is Weaker in One Area but Strong in Another?
Say, for example, you have high water pressure in your shower but only trickles in the kitchen, then the problem is specifically in the pipeworks of your kitchen. You may want to check your kitchen pipes for leaks in that particular area.
It’s easier to narrow down the problem with this. You can scratch out the city water and water pump problem since it’s working well in other parts of your RV.
Don’t worry! The fixes are more or less similar!
What Do I Need to Prepare to Avoid Low Water Pressure Out There?
We love this question!
The last thing you want is to cut your trip short or ruin what’s supposed to be a relaxing time just because of poor water pressure.
Like with a lot of things that come with RV and camping trips, preparation is key. And especially if you’re expecting to be out in the rural open, you can’t be unequipped!
Here are some things to prepare to combat low water pressure:
- Tools (i.e., pliers, screws, screwdrivers, etc.)
- Extra fittings, clamps, valves, and hose
- Extra filter
- Gauge for water pressure (if separate from water pressure regulator)
- Extra water supply
But keep in mind that these are quick fixes that will only solve short-term problems.
Make sure that before heading out, you’ve already double-checked everything in your RV. It’s too late to fix pipeworks in the middle of the road!
Scrolling down for a quick summary? We got you.
But still, it’s best to read everything for proper guidance!
Common Causes of Low Water Pressure
- External water line problems
- Leaking pipes
- Broken RV water pump
- Empty freshwater tank
- Clogs, cracks, and debris
Easy Solutions to Increase Water Pressure
- Disconnect from the city water source and use your own
- Locate the leak source and replace pipes immediately
- Check water pump and have it fixed as soon as possible
- Ensure the tank is at least half-filled
- Clean your filters and hose regularly
We know! It’s frustrating to have low pressure on supposedly fun camping trips.
And often, we hear people passing it off as a normal thing and accepting their fate with weak water.
We hope you understand that there are remedies for these things to attain high pressure for your next trip!