It’s not a home away from home without a shower after a long day or running water readily available from your kitchen tap. That’s why you need a caravan water pump.
With lots of 12V caravan water pumps on the market, what should you look for in a water pump? Ultimately, you need one that will run reliably, deliver the right amount of water and pressure, operate quietly and meet your budget. That’s not too much to ask, right?
Learn everything you need to know to buy the right caravan water pump in our guide:
The most common caravan water pumps are 12V and designed for maximum performance in a recreational vehicle. The best part is they aren’t super noisy when you turn them on, so you can turn on the tap without waking up the whole caravan park!
What Flow Rate?
How many taps are in your caravan? This is most important question to ask when working out the right pump for your rig.
If you have a shower and sink, and you want them both operating at the same time without causing the water to turn to a dribble, you need a caravan water pump that will be able to handle it. Alternatively, you might just need a small amount of water to the kitchen sink or basin taps, so there’s no need to buy a powerful pump.
This is where you look at the flow rate.
Flow rate is measured as litres per minute (L/min) or gallons per minute (GPM). The higher the pump’s flow rate, the higher the volume of water the pump will deliver per minute. Here’s the thing – tempting though it might be to get a high flow rate, if you don’t actually need that much water, it will be a waste of money and water. Worse, it can lead to pump cycling, which is where the pump turns on and off rapidly while trying to deliver the volume of water. This causes extra pressure on the system, which can lead to problems with the pump.
On the flipside, a low flow rate will result in poor pump performance and frustration when you want a high volume of water for a shower.
As A Rule Of Thumb:
Single Tap System: Look for a pump with a flow rate up to 9 L/min to match the maximum flow of the sink tap.
2 Taps: If you have two outlets, such as a kitchen plus shower, the best caravan pump needs to deliver enough water flow to both outlets if they used at the same time. Look at how many litres per minute each of your outlet delivers i.e. the flow rate of each outlet. Add the two amounts up and buy the pump that matches this amount. Typically, you should aim for a pump that can deliver 9 to 12 L/min.
3-4 Taps: A four tap caravan is going to need a bigger pump that can deal with pumping water to a toilet, shower, vanity and kitchen sink. Start looking for something around the 15-17 L/min flow rate.
How Much Pressure?
Pressure is another important factor to consider with your caravan water pump. Pressure is rated as PSI, which stands for pounds per square inch.
Your hot water system will have a pressure allowance, so check this and make sure your pump doesn’t exceed it. Otherwise, your pump will pull more hot water than your hot water system can produce, causing a pump failure.
Do you have a gas hot water system? Check the specifications on what PSI is required to ignite the pilot light so that the gas hot water system will operate.
Top Water Pump Brands For Caravans
Shurflo offers RV and caravan water pumps designed for high flow demand with smooth flow, quieter operation and no rapid cycling. Choose from a range of sizes to meet your needs, up to 15 LPM for the Shurflo 4048 fresh water pump.
If you are looking for a high pressure pump for your caravan, you can’t go past the Flojet Triplex pump – it’s engineered as the most reliable and advanced pump on the market. These pumps feature a unique three chamber design that allows the pumps to offer exceptional pressures and flow rates as soon as you open a tap.
Pro Tips for Caravan Water Pumps
If you go big when you don’t need to, it will drain your battery quicker, put too much pressure on your pump and hot water system and ultimately cause more problems than you want on the road!
One last piece of advice: if you use anything but mains water through your water pump, a water filter is required to prevent voiding your warranty.
You can buy inline water filters from top water pump brands. For example, the Shurflo Filtration Kit is capable of filtering water down to 0.5 microns, and with the ability to filter about 1900L before requiring a replacement. Check out the water filters in our range.
Ready to buy your caravan water pump? Shop now.
DISCLAIMER* Please note, this advice is general in nature and we strongly recommend consulting the product manual and where relevant, a professional installer.