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What Is a Safe Water Pressure for RV at Campgrounds?

What Is a Safe Water Pressure for RV at Campgrounds?

Unlike a home, an RV connects to many different water supplies. As you travel, you will quickly realize there is a difference in water pressure between most campgrounds. Sometimes it’s great, sometimes is pathetic. Sometimes, it can even be so high it can cause damage. We learned this the hard way once at a campground that pushed the pressure twice what it should have been.

So, it’s important to understand what safe water pressure is and how you can protect your RV while still having decent pressure for showers and other water uses in your RV.

Let’s find out!

Why Does Water Pressure Matter in RVs?

Just like in a home, you’ll need to use water in an RV. Typically, doing dishes and showering is easier when you have increased water pressure. Rinsing the soap from your hair and body often takes more effort and time when you have minimal water pressure. As a result, higher water pressure may be more appealing to you. However, if the water pressure is too high, it can be problematic.

Is High Water Pressure Dangerous for RVs?

RV plumbing systems can be susceptible to high water pressure. If you put your RV’s water lines and fittings to the test, there’s a chance that you could do severe damage to your RV. Water lines can burst, and connections at numerous fittings can come loose. Even if the high pressure does not do damage immediately, it might weaken the pipes and connections and cause an issue down the road.

Damage to an RV’s plumbing system can be a risky situation. An undetected leak can cause severe damage to an RV before you even realize there’s an issue. Some RVers have experienced water leaks that do thousands of dollars of damage to their rig, and mold can grow. Never subject your RV’s plumbing system to excessively high water pressure.

Potable water sign at campground
Using a campgrounds water connection can make your trip easier. However, you will want to ensure your water pressure stays between 40-60 PSI when using it.

What Is a Safe Water Pressure for RVs at Campgrounds?

When you connect to a campground’s water connection, you want to maintain a water pressure of 40 to 60 PSI. While your water lines and fittings may withstand higher pressures, keeping the water pressure in this range helps avoid potential damage from excessive water pressure.

One of the sure signs that your water pressure is too high is if your hot water tank relief valve is leaking. These devices are designed to open and release water if the tank begins to boil for some reason, preventing a catastrophic explosion. Most of the time, they are set above 100 PSI. However, high pressures can sometimes cause them to drip. If it is dripping when pressure is much lower, it needs replacing.

Luckily, there are some things you can do if the campground water connection exceeds this safety recommendation.

How Do You Keep Your RV Safe from High Water Pressure?

When joining your RV to a water connection, it’s a good idea to use a water pressure regulator. There are adjustable and pre-set water pressure regulators to protect your RV’s plumbing should a campground have high water pressure. This will reduce the water pressure and ensure that any water entering your rig is at a safe pressure for your system.

Alternatively, if a campground’s water pressure is too high, you can fill your freshwater tank and use your rig’s water pump instead. An RV water pump will likely keep the water pressure on the lower end of the 40 to 70 PSI, but you won’t have to worry about damaging your plumbing system from excessive water pressure.

We once connected to a campground water system with 120PSI water! We noticed the hot water tank leaking and immediately disconnected and used our fresh water tank instead. This was when we started using an adjustable pressure regulator full-time.

water pressure regulator on hose
Installing a water pressure regulator can ensure your water pressure is within safe levels while using a campground’s water source. We always use an adjustable water pressure regulator when we hook up.

How Can You Improve Low Water Pressure in an RV?

There are several things you can do to improve low water pressure in a rig. If you’re unhappy with your RV’s water pressure, try these things and see if you notice any improvements.

Upgrade Shower Head

One of the first upgrades many RVers make is to replace the shower head. The shower heads with RVs are typically very cheap and do nothing to increase low water pressure. Luckily, Oxygenics makes various RV shower heads that use less water and increase the water pressure when showering.

If you enjoy higher water pressure while showering, this is a simple upgrade that anyone can complete in a few minutes. The results are worth it!

Pro Tip: Use our guide on How to Upgrade Your RV Shower Head to ensure your shower is always a delight.

Sale
Oxygenics 92489 Fury RV Handheld Shower - Brushed...
  • 5 Spray Settings Are Powered By Cutting-Edge Technology To...
  • Rubber Finger Grips Prevents Any Slippage Or Dropping
  • Flow Control Lever Quickly Adjusts Shower Pressure For A More...

Use Water Pump

Another way to improve the water pressure in your RV is to use your water pump. Most RV’s can use the water pump while hooked up to city water to “boost” the water pressure. To do this, you’ll need to fill up and keep water in your freshwater tank as it will use some water from the tank in addition to the city water. This helps ensure you get between 40 and 60 PSI when running water.

Depending on how long you’re using your RV, you may need to manage your water usage in these situations. If there’s a nearby water connection at your campsite, it won’t be too challenging to fill up your RV’s freshwater tank. However, not every camp offers water at the campsite, so you’d need to haul the water to your RV or take your RV to the water source.

Check for Leaks

Leaks can be a common occurrence in RV plumbing systems. Your water lines and connections in your plumbing system will vibrate and bounce around as you travel. This could cause them to loosen over time, leading to leaks.

You should always check for leaks in your plumbing system. If left alone, these leaks can damage an RV and result in mold. We don’t know about you, but we don’t like the sound of either of those possibilities.

Pro Tip: Found a leak in your RV plumbing system? Repair and seal it with ease by using these tips.

Check to make sure your water hose has no kinks in it that could be causing your water pressure to drop.

Use a Non-Kinking RV Water Hose

A kink in an RV water hose can drastically reduce the water pressure. In some cases, a kink will entirely prevent water from entering an RV’s water system. There are non-kinking RV water hoses that can help prevent this issue from occurring. You can avoid kinks by curling up your RV water hose in a circle once you connect it to your RV and the water source. However, a non-kinking RV water hose gives you the best chance to avoid these annoyances.

Check Water Filters

If you’ve connected water filters to your rig’s water system, there’s a chance they could be the cause of decreased water pressure. The water quality might be low, and they could require more time to filter out impurities and sediment. In addition, if your water filters are past their prime, they’ll decrease the pressure in your rig. Check when the last time you replaced your water filters was and see if that solves your issue.

RV water filters
Upgrade your RV shower head to improve the water pressure in your RV.

FAQ: Why Is There No Water Pressure in My RV When Hooked to City Water?

There are several possible explanations if you hook up to city water and have no water pressure. First, you’ll want to ensure the water spigot is functioning. The campground or water provider may be working on their system and need to shut off the water to the entire campground. In this situation, you’ll need to wait for them to turn the water back on or address the issue.

Another possible reason you have no water pressure in your RV is due to a severe leak. If you can feel the water moving through your hose but get no water pressure, the water will be going somewhere. The question is, where? You’ll want to immediately look for any signs of leaks in your plumbing system. There could be a leak that’s causing the water to fill up the enclosed underbelly of your rig. This will ruin insulation and cause a messy situation.

Another solution to not having water pressure is a kink in your water hose. Keep your water hose curled on the ground when in use. This helps reduce the chances that you’ll end up with a kink in the hose that will cause issues in your RV.

Its also possible that your RV has a valve of some sort that is diverting water incorrectly. Some RV’s can fill the fresh tank from the city water connection. If the fresh fill is selected many times, water pressure will not make it inside. The valves could also be set to winterize or another incorrect setting. This will be very rv specific.

rv valve positions
Sometimes the hookups and valves are not clearly labeled on and RV.

Always Use a Water Pressure Regulator

Using a water pressure regulator is the best way to protect your RV. You can find adjustable RV water pressure regulators, but they don’t have to be fancy to do the job. A standard inline water pressure regulator won’t break the bank and can protect your water system. Since these crucial safety mechanisms are costly, the damage that excessive water pressure can cause to an RV is not worth the risk.

Do you have a water pressure regulator for your RV? Tell us in the comments!

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About Mortons on the Move

Tom & Caitlin Morton of Mortons on the Move gave up the stationary life for one where they are constantly on the move. They are full-time travelers, television hosts, and digital media producers.
They left their jobs, sold their house and possessions, and hit the road in September 2015 in their full-time “home on wheels”. Since then they have traveled the US, Canada, and even internationally by RV.
Now, they are Discovery Channel & PBS TV Co-stars of The RVers, producers of “Go North” on Amazon Prime, co-founders and instructors of RV Masterclass, and contributing authors for Hwy.co and an Arizona travel guide.

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Greg

Monday 28th of November 2022

It is important that you mentioned an adjustable regulator. The fixed type may deliver more pressure when the RV park has very high pressure. Conversely if the park is low as in when they are watering their grassy or planted areas areas you might get fooled into adjusting it for the low pressure. Both cases have happened to me and I had a small leak on the hoses to the new pressure tank I put in my rig.

Mortons on the Move

Wednesday 7th of December 2022

Great point, we have not had good luck with that type either.

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