5 Essentials For Your RV Water System

% essentails for your RV water system

Your RV water system has a greater impact on your daily life than almost any other system in your RV. And it can directly affect your health as well.

So it makes sense to do your best to keep your RV water system in good working order. That way you can make sure that the water you use each day is high quality and safe.

So I’m going to share 5 essential tips about water usage that every RVer should know.

None of these tips are expensive. But they will make your RV travels so much easier if you use them.

So let’s get started with the first essential tip.

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Table of Contents

#1 – Get The Right Kind Of RV Water Hose

In our brick and mortar homes, water is dispensed to us through pipes. And there are safety regulations in place to govern the materials used in those pipes.

This is because unsafe compounds in the piping materials can leach into the water and over time damage our health.

In an RV, we also have water pipes once the water reaches the inside of the RV. But in between the campground source and the RV, we rely on a flexible hose to convey the water.

So what kind of materials is that RV water hose made of? Is any old hose OK to use for your drinking water?

If you ask the average person, they would probably say that any hose will do the job just fine. But that is not true!

What Kind Of Hose Should You Use?

Most water hoses found in a hardware or building supply store are designed for use in a garden or outside area. So the materials used in those hoses do not have to meet strict food safe standards.

And some of the materials used in the construction of those water hoses are not safe for drinking water use.

So are there water hoses that are safe to use in your RV water system?

Yes, but you have to look for a hose that specifically says that it is “food safe” or “drinking water safe”. And yes, these kind of RV water hoses will cost more than the typical water hose.

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But when you are talking about the water you drink every day, don’t go cheap here. Make sure that it is made of high quality materials and “drinking water safe” to use.

Click here for a “drinking water safe” RV hose

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#2 – Get An RV Water Hose That Will Last

In addition to getting a water hose that is safe to use for drinking water, you need to get an RV water hose that will last.

After all, as RVers we put these hoses through some pretty hard times. And the connections are usually the part of the hose that goes first.

I can certainly recall some times where I needed to apply some serious torque to get my water hose to connect properly.

This is especially true in RV campgrounds where the water faucet connection is old and worn.

Well, all of that extra tightening can easily and quickly wear out a water hose with plastic connectors. In fact, I have had them break apart in my hands after a while.

So getting a quality water hose for your RV water system also involves getting one that has strong metal connectors on both ends.

Again, this is going to cost more money than the hoses with plastic connectors. But that’s why the manufacturers make them that way. To keep the cost down.

And if you only go RV camping every now and then, it may last a while. But if you use your RV regularly, that kind of hose is actually going to cost you more in the long run.

This is because you will be replacing it long before the hose itself is worn out. The connectors will fail first.

So make sure to get a hose that will stand up to the unique challenges of regular RV water system use.

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#3 – Get A Water Pressure Regulator With A Gauge

My next essential tip is about RV water pressure regulators. Make sure not only to get one for your RV, but also make sure that it has a readable gauge.

RV travels take you to lots of places and lots of different water hookups. Water pressure regulators are needed because some of those water connections can have extremely high or low water pressure.

If the water pressure from the campground connection is very high, it could damage the pipe connections in your RV water system.

And since those connections are usually hidden, you can imagine how difficult it is to repair. And costly too!

So an RV water pressure regulator helps resolve that issue. It reduces the water pressure to a safe level for your RV.

But there are some regulators that just have a readout dial. Nothing tells you what the water pressure reading is that is going into your RV.

And you can’t adjust the pressure to your specific rig or needs. Of course, it’s nice to have the color-coded readout, but a gauge is much better.

So be sure that the RV water pressure regulator you buy tells you what the exact water pressure is in PSI. And also that it allows you to adjust that pressure as needed.

Click here for my recommended RV water pressure regulator with a readable gauge

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What Is A Safe RV Water Pressure?

The answer to this question is dependent on the age and condition of your rig. But there are some general guidelines that many RVing websites agree on.

Generally speaking, if your RV is more than just a couple of years old, you may want to keep the water pressure between 40 – 50 PSI.

If it is a fairly new rig, the plumbing has probably been tested up to 100 PSI at the manufacturer. But you don’t want a steady diet of that kind of water pressure going into your RV.

So for newer rigs, many RVers have successfully adjusted the pressure to 60 PSI and had good results.

But what about low water pressure?

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There is only so much pressure that you can get out of a hookup with low PSI. But an adjustable water pressure regulator allows you to get as much as you can.

In most cases you will find a screw on the top of the regulator that can adjust the water pressure.

By tightening the screw, you can often raise the water pressure. And by loosening it, the water pressure going into your RV is reduced.

The real point is that having an adjustable water pressure regulator with a gauge puts you in control. It allows you to set the water pressure in your RV water system to the level that you desire.

#4 – Use A 90 Degree Elbow Water Connector

As mentioned above, you will encounter all kinds of water hookups when you travel in an RV. And some of those hookups are very close to the ground.

In fact, sometimes the connection is so close that it makes it difficult to get the hose connected without kinking it.

This is especially true if you use an RV water pressure regulator. These units work best when they are first in line at the campground water connection.

So when you add the water pressure regulator to the hose connection at the faucet, more room is needed. And if the water faucet is close to the ground you may run out of room fast.

Also, the water connection that goes into the RV is usually on a vertical wall. If you like to use a water filter or other accessory before the water enters your RV, this can be a problem.

The weight of the filter or accessory can put downward pressure on the water connection going into the RV. Over time, this can weaken that connection and leaks develop that are hard to resolve easily.

So in both scenarios mentioned above, using a 90 degree elbow can solve the problem.

How A 90 Degree Elbow Can Solve These Problems

If the faucet is too low, just attach the 90 degree elbow. Then you can put the water pressure regulator and anything else you wish on the hose without running out of room.

And if you attach the 90 degree elbow when the hose goes into the RV, this solves the weight issue at the wall connection.

Since the 90 degree elbow points down at the connection, now gravity is working for you and not against you in this critical area.

These little 90 degree connectors are so cheap, but they help so much to make your RV water system last without developing leaks prematurely. So get a few of them and keep them on hand!

Click here for a 90 degree RV water connector

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#5 – Cold Weather RVing Tips

My last essential tip for your RV water system is about what you should do with your campground water connection in really cold weather.

When I say cold weather, I mean when the temperatures will be falling to freezing or below for a few hours. Above freezing, your water hookup should be fine.

But if you know that freezing temperatures could be in store, I recommend unhooking from the campground faucet altogether.

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Of course, before you unhook, be sure to put sufficient water in your fresh water tank first. Then just use the water pump to feed your faucets and shower.

In fact, I just had a little bit of a wakeup call on this subject recently.

I saw that the temps were going to go below freezing for a few hours, so I unplugged my hose from the RV. But I forgot and left the outside water filter on the faucet.

The next morning the water had frozen in the filter, expanded, and tore it in half!

This was a real reminder of the damage that can done to RV plumbing by freezing water.

Of course, many RVers seem to ignore this advice and many get away with it too.

But nobody likes big plumbing repair bills. Especially when they happen simply because you didn’t take a few minutes and unplug your RV water connection.

So be sure to take freeze warnings seriously and prepare well for them. This includes unhooking any water filters and storing them in a warmer area.


None of the RV gear recommended above is expensive. In fact, they are very cheap compared to some other RV related items and gear.

But they can make sure that your RV water system is the best that it can be. And having these items can make your RV travels less costly and frustrating.

In the case of RV water hoses, many people don’t give them a second thought. So they just buy the cheapest one they can find.

But that can be a bad choice for many reasons. Just getting a “drinking water safe” hose with metal connections is the right choice for this section of your RV water system.

Then getting 90 degree elbows can make sure that you are ready for almost any water hookup issue you may encounter.

And finally, don’t tempt freezing temperatures when you are RV camping!

Unhooking at the campground pedestal is the smart move in these cases every time.

I hope these 5 essential tips have been helpful for you.

We would love to hear about your own experiences with RV water hookups. So please comment below and share your knowledge with us as well.

As always, have safe and happy travels my friends!

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