RV Water PumpRV Water Pump

For a smooth and comfortable experience in your RV, having a properly functioning water system is essential. If you’re setting up camp or just starting your journey, knowing how to prime your RV’s water pump is crucial. Priming the pump ensures a steady flow of water and prevents damage to the pump. In this article, we’ll guide you through the steps to prime an RV water pump effectively.


An RV water pump is responsible for delivering water from your freshwater tank to your faucets, shower, and toilet. Priming the pump is necessary to remove any air from the system and ensure the pump can effectively draw water from the tank.

Why Prime an RV Water Pump?

Priming the water pump is crucial for the following reasons:

  • Prevents pump damage: Running the pump without water can lead to overheating and damage.
  • Ensures consistent water flow: Properly primed pumps provide a steady flow of water throughout your RV.
  • Minimizes noise: A properly primed pump operates more quietly than an air-bound pump.

Materials Needed

To prime your RV water pump, you’ll need:

  • Freshwater supply (a hose or container of water)
  • A wrench or pliers (if necessary)
  • Towels or rags (to catch any water spills)

Step-by-Step Guide

Follow these steps to prime your RV water pump:

  1. Turn Off Power: Before working on your water pump, ensure the power to the pump is turned off to prevent any accidents.
  2. Access the Pump: Locate your RV’s water pump. Depending on your RV’s design, this might be in a utility compartment or beneath a panel.
  3. Open Faucets: Open all the faucets and fixtures in your RV, including both hot and cold taps. This helps release any trapped air in the lines.
  4. Add Water: If your freshwater tank is empty, connect a hose to an external water source and add water to the tank. If your tank has water, proceed to the next step.
  5. Turn On Pump: Turn on the water pump switch. The pump will start running, and you might hear it working to draw water.
  6. Monitor Faucets: As the pump runs, water will start sputtering and spitting from the open faucets. This indicates that air is being pushed out of the lines.
  7. Wait for Steady Flow: Keep the faucets open until the water flow is consistent without any sputtering or air bubbles. This indicates that the pump is properly primed and water is flowing smoothly.
  8. Close Faucets: Close all the faucets and fixtures in your RV.
  9. Check for Leaks: While the pump is running, inspect the pump and the surrounding area for any water leaks. Tighten connections if necessary.
  10. Turn Off Pump: Once you’re sure the pump is running smoothly and there are no leaks, turn off the water pump switch.
  11. Test Water Flow: Turn on the faucets again to test the water flow. Water should now flow steadily without any air sputtering.


Priming your RV water pump is an essential maintenance task to ensure a comfortable and hassle-free experience on the road. By following these steps, you can ensure that your water pump is properly primed and ready to provide a consistent water supply during your travels.


Q1: Can I damage my RV water pump by not priming it?

Yes, running the pump without proper priming can lead to overheating and damage, which might require costly repairs.

Q2: How often should I prime my RV water pump?

You need to prime your RV water pump whenever you drain and refill your freshwater tank or whenever you disconnect and reconnect the water system.

Q3: What if my water pump doesn’t prime properly?

If your water pump doesn’t prime properly, there might be a blockage or a leak in the system. Check all connections, hoses, and fixtures for any issues.

Q4: Can I prime my RV water pump with a water container instead of a hose?

Yes, you can use a container of water to manually add water to your freshwater tank if you don’t have access to a hose.

Q5: Are there any specific safety precautions to take while priming the water pump?

Always turn off the power to the pump before working on it to prevent any electrical accidents. Additionally, be cautious of water spills, especially if you’re working in a confined space.

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