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What is the RV Water System and how does the Pump Work?

by Scott Horvath on

If you're planning a camping trip or spending time in an RV, one of the most important systems you'll need to understand is the water system. Having a reliable supply of fresh water is essential for cooking, cleaning, and personal hygiene, and a properly functioning water system is key to ensuring your trip is enjoyable and comfortable. In this blog, we'll take a closer look at the RV water system and discuss how the pump works.

The RV Water System

The RV water system is made up of three main components: the fresh water tank, the water pump, and the plumbing system. The fresh water tank is typically located underneath the RV and is filled either manually or through a city water connection. The water pump is responsible for drawing water from the tank and pumping it through the plumbing system to the various outlets in the RV, such as faucets, showers, and toilets.

The plumbing system in an RV is similar to the plumbing in a house, with one major difference: it is much smaller and more compact. This means that there is less room for error and any leaks or malfunctions can have a greater impact on the overall system. For this reason, it's important to ensure that the plumbing system is properly maintained and any issues are addressed as soon as possible.

How the Pump Works

The water pump in an RV is typically a small, electrically powered device that is located near the fresh water tank. When the pump is turned on, it uses a diaphragm or impeller to draw water from the tank and pressurize the system. The pressurized water is then delivered to the various outlets in the RV through the plumbing system.

One of the key features of an RV water pump is its ability to sense when the water pressure drops and automatically turn on to maintain pressure in the system. This is important because it ensures a consistent supply of water to the various outlets, regardless of the demand. When the pump is not in use, a pressure switch will turn it off to conserve energy and reduce wear and tear on the pump.

It's worth noting that the water pump in an RV can be quite noisy, especially if it's an older model or is located close to the living area. Some newer models are designed to be quieter, but if noise is a concern, there are a few steps you can take to minimize it. For example, you can insulate the area around the pump to reduce vibration and use flexible hoses instead of rigid ones to reduce the transmission of sound.


The RV water system is a critical component of any camping or RV trip. Understanding how the water pump works is key to ensuring that the system is functioning properly and that you have a reliable supply of fresh water. By taking the time to learn about your RV's water system and performing regular maintenance, you can help ensure that your trip is comfortable, enjoyable, and free from water-related headaches.

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