What Should My RV Water Pressure Regulator Be Set At?

What’s the Maximum Safe Water Pressure in an RV?

Most RV manuals and experienced RVers say 60 psi is the maximum water pressure your camper can take, but many campers choose to keep theirs around 45-50 psi.

It’s especially important to try and stay in the lower 45 psi range if you have an older RV.

Related Product: Adjustable RV Water Pressure Regulator (click to view on Amazon)

Here’s why.

RVs and camper trailers aren’t always built with the highest quality parts, and the plumbing system is no different.

To save on weight and cost, pretty much all RVs use 1/2 inch PEX water pipes.

PEX piping has some great properties that suit campers really well.

For instance, it’s lightweight, flexible, can withstand a certain amount of freezing, can take high water pressures up to 160 psi, and it’s easy to install.

See Also: What Do I Need To Use Hookups At An RV Park Or Campground?

Many RVers ask “why can’t the water pressure be set higher since PEX can technically take more?”

But it’s not necessarily the PEX piping that decides the correct and max water pressure for an RV.

There are a lot of connectors, faucets, and the RV toilet connected to the system.

These are not made to take the same high psi of PEX piping.

Higher pressures than 60 psi over time could easily start to cause leaky faucets and connections.

If you’re unlucky a leak could start in a place you don’t see until it’s too late and mold and water damage has already started.

1/2 inch pex pipe inside an RV with water pressure regulator set to 45 psi
1/2 inch PEX pipes coming out from behind an RV shower. The plastic connections are weak and require a lower regulated RV water pressure.

RV Water Pumps PSI

The only time y0u need an RV water pressure regulator is when you are connecting your camper directly to water using the city water connection.

RV water pumps are made to stop pumping once the water pressure reaches around 45 psi.

But some larger pumps may reach pressures up to 60 psi, which is ok for most campers.

Related Product: Shurflo 45 psi RV Water Pump (click to view on Amazon)

Since the RV water system is built around the 12 volt pump, you want to try and match that same water pressure when connected to a water hookup.

In some cases, if you have a large 5th-wheel and you want just a little more pressure you could check the RV water pump to see what psi it stops at.

If it’s just a 45 psi pump you could swap it out for a 60 psi one (click to view on Amazon) to try and get a little more pressure.

Why Do I Need to Use an RV Water Pressure Regulator?

The 60 psi water pressure benchmark isn’t just for RVs.

Most of the time homes will have around 60 psi of water flowing into them as well.

So most of us don’t have to worry as much about the water pressure coming out of the water tap on the side of the hose.

But RV parks are a different story.

You never know what you’re going to get when you pull into any kind of RV camping with a water hookup.

To supply water to the entire campground or RV park, the pressure might be extremely high.

I’ve turned on many hydrants at campgrounds in my day that clearly had over 60 psi shooting out of them.

Another reason to use an RV water pressure regulator is to keep your freshwater hose in good shape for longer.

See Also: Best RV Water Hose For Drinking Water

High pressure over an extended amount of time isn’t good for any kind of hose.

You might end up getting a new one more often than you would like if you don’t keep the water pressure down.

How Can I Get More Water to Flow from the Faucets in my RV?

If you want to increase the water pressure in your camper because you’re frustrated by the amount of water coming out of the faucets and showerhead there are a few things you can do to help that.

Most RV faucets use low flow aerators (around 2 GPM) in them to restrict the water flow to help save on water.

That’s awesome when you’re out boondocking but if you’re camping in an RV park and have unlimited water you don’t need to worry about that.

Getting a high water flow aerator like this (click to view on Amazon) will allow more water flow and make your RV faucets more like the ones at home.

pressure increaseing rv shower head for showering with an rv water pressure regulator set to the correct pressure
Pressure increasing RV shower head for when the RV water pressure regulator is set to 45 psi.

For the RV shower, you can get a better shower head that is made to amplify the lower water pressure and make it feel like a higher pressure.

You can see some of the best water pressure increasing RV shower heads reviewed in this post here.

I recommend a shower head like that for boondockers and dry campers as well since it actually saves water.

But the pressure is still higher than what you find in most home showers.

One thing you can’t really change no matter how high the water pressure is the volume of water flowing through the 1/2 inch PEX pipes.

Water pressure only does so much, that’s why if multiple people turn on the water in an RV it only comes out as a trickle.

It’s annoying, but it’s also just one of the things that make campers different from homes.

Have any more questions about what your RV water pressure regulator should be set at and why you should use one? Leave a comment below.

by Jenni
Jenni grew up in a small town in Idaho. With a family that loves camping, she has been towing trailers since a very young age.

2 thoughts on “What Should My RV Water Pressure Regulator Be Set At?”

  1. The rv park i am at said I needed a regulator on water hydrant. I put one on. Now my hydrant box is full of water and has also flooded the under belly because the psi is so high. Management does not think it’s their problem. Can you tell me if anyone else had had this issue and how it was resolved ? I would greatly appreciate any advice.

    Reply
    • Hi Lisa,

      Sorry to hear this is happening to you. Is the water leaking from the hydrant or the water pressure regulator? If the hydrant is the one leaking it’s absolutely an issue the management should be taking care of.

      If the water is leaking from the regulator make sure you check the rubber o-rings that are between the regulator and the connection to the hose and hydrant. Sometimes they fall out and cause the regulator to leak. Water regulators can also fail or go bad over time and if it’s leaking from the center of the regulator you may need to replace it.

      Reply

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