Water is essential to all facets of our lives, including when we RV. No matter what kind of RV you have, motorhome or travel trailer, you’ll need fresh water to cook, clean, bathe, and stay hydrated. That means ensuring your RV’s fresh water tank is sanitized and filled, or connecting to a city water spigot.
This podcast episode is about the importance of filtering water from these connections, but you should also be concerned about the water pressure coming from this water source. Too much water pressure on your RV increases the risk of damage to its plumbing and hoses. Luckily there’s something you can do to prevent damage like cracked pipes and flooding: add a water pressure regulator.
Let’s take a closer look at what a water pressure regulator can do for you and why you need one for your RV.
How Does an RV Water Pressure Regulator Work?
A water pressure regulator is simply a valve that reduces the water pressure as it enters your RV from a city water source. These regulators are designed to reduce water pressure to a safe level for the plumbing systems in modern RVs. But they also protect your RV’s water hose and filtration systems. Water pressure regulators are not necessary for filling your freshwater tank.
Do I Need a Water Pressure Regulator for my RV?
Water from city water connections will offer varying pressures depending on the campground or RV park you’re staying in. Additionally, water pressure at each campsite isn’t something that campgrounds routinely monitor. This means you might have a low-pressure connection that’s perfectly safe for your RV at one location, but your next location could have a high-pressure connection that creates issues for your RV’s plumbing.
Low-pressure connections are more of a nuisance than anything else. You may struggle to clean dishes or take an adequate shower, but there will be minimal risk to your RV. It’s high-pressure connections that present the real danger.
If the water pressure is too high, it can lead to broken plumbing lines or fittings that result in leaks and water damage. Water damage is never a good thing for a residential property, but it’s especially troublesome for RVs that are more exposed to heat and other elements. You really need to avoid it at all costs, so you should install a water pressure regulator every time you connect to city water to protect your plumbing and hoses from high pressure.
What Is the Right Water Pressure for an RV?
The correct water pressure for an RV varies depending on the model and the condition of your RV’s plumbing system. Modern RVs, like fifth wheels, can handle up to 100 pounds per square inch (PSI) of water pressure. However, most RV experts recommend never letting the water pressure exceed 60 PSI. Somewhere around 40 to 55 PSI is ideal for many RVs.
Of course, you should consult your RV’s owner’s manual for the specific pressure threshold for your RV. Your RV’s owner’s manual may also recommend a specific type of water pressure regulator. Always go with what your owner’s manual recommends.
How to Hook Up an RV Water Pressure Regulator
The best method is to screw the regulator directly onto the spigot for the city water supply. From there, you can attach an RV water filter to the regulator, screw your city water drinking hose (not just a garden hose) into the filter, and connect the other end to your RV’s city water inlet.
The regulator comes first to protect not only your RV but your water filter, hose, and hose fittings as well. This method reduces the water pressure immediately upon water coming out of the spigot so that it doesn’t damage your RV or any of your RV accessories.
What is the Best RV Water Pressure Regulator?
There are a couple of kinds of RV water pressure regulators for you to choose from. For starters, the best RV water pressure regulator for you is any regulator that reduces city water pressure to a safe PSI for your RV.
But there are adjustable and non-adjustable regulators, and there are regulators with pressure gauges and others without. If you’re willing to pay a little extra, a regulator with a gauge is nice because you can visually monitor water pressure instead of blindly trusting that the regulator is still functioning properly.
An adjustable water pressure regulator allows you to dial in your water pressure according to your needs. This allows you to decrease the pressure to an acceptable level while keeping it high enough to take a solid shower and clean your dishes.
If you’re not concerned about low-flow showers and dishwashing, however, you can save a little money with a non-adjustable regulator that doesn’t come with a gauge. If you need a water pressure regulator, check out all of the water pressure regulators available at Camping World.
A water pressure regulator is an essential addition to your RV tool kit. Here are a few more resources to help you learn what to add to your RV if you’re just starting out:
- RV & Outdoor Essentials
- 7 Essentials You Need Before Your First RV Road Trip
- 12 Must-Have RV Kitchen and Living Essentials
Do you use a water pressure regulator? If so, what do you use? Leave a comment below!