How to Prime RV Water Pump: A Detailed Guide

As a camper, It’s important to know how to prime your RV water pump as it is one of the must-have when you’re on move. An RV water pump delivers freshwater supply whenever needed.

The RV priming process is the method of flushing water back into the pump and forcing it through the machine; this process helps in generating adequate pressure to enable the water to run smoothly without mishaps.

The most common mishaps include leaks that may be caused by cracks, defective valves, or a loose connection.

Where is an RV water pump located?

Before you start to prime your RV water pump, you first need to know where the pump is located. An RV water pump is often installed inside cabinets or underneath the car seats.

These are the most common points where an rv water pump can be stored. If you can’t locate it, it’s best that you read the manual. Alternatively, simply trace the path from your cabinet located below the kitchen sink.

Once you locate the water pump, priming will be straightforward. If you don’t know the best way to proceed after you have identified the water pump, you can perform an RV water pump troubleshooting. You may consult a professional when you’re stuck.


Remember that when you don’t prime your RV water pump correctly, you might have to deal with other issues that will cost you in the long run.

Importance of priming Your RV water pump

Priming your RV water pump is very important, especially when you shut it off after a long time. Even so, the pump needs to be primed before using it after installing it for the first time to ensure you have adequate water supply when you camp off-grid.

An RV water tank can hold about 200 gallons of fresh water. Additionally, an RV water pump can supply water in varied quantities as your need demands. What’s more, the quantity of water stored in the tank will mainly depend on its capacity.

The kind of water tank you decide to install in your RV will entirely depend on your daily consumption needs. For instance, if you live alone in your RV, then you should install a small tank. Nonetheless, if you plan to camp in the RV with your family onboard, you should consider installing a big tank.

Most water tanks in RVs can produce at least 3.5 gallons per minute. Having understood the importance of priming your RV water pump.

It is equally essential to know how to perform RV water pump troubleshooting in case of any emergency. Now, here’s how you can easily prime your RV water pump in 5 simple steps.

How to prime RV water pump In Five Simple Steps

Before priming your RV water pump, there are some essentials needed to make priming your RV water pump a success. They include; Water, Jar, Rubber tubing, Screwdriver


#-1 Adjust The RVs Pump Collar

First, check whether all the faucets on the water pump are disconnected. If they are still connected, use a screwdriver to adjust the pump collar. This should disconnect your water pump accordingly from its outlet. To do this, simply turn the screwdriver in a clockwise motion until it loosens up.

When it loosens up, pull the water hose away from the water pump. After that, water will flow directly through the hose and into your RV, and it will be distributed to your showerheads, toilet, and kitchen.

#-3 Remove the collar at the end of your water hose

After pulling the water hose away, remove the collar at the end of your water hose. After you have done this, you will see water gushing from the water pump. Connect the water hose to this outlet. It’s important to ensure that both the hose and your RVs water line are similar in size. After that, screw down the clamp into position.

#-3 Use about 12 ounces of water

Fill an empty jar with about 12 ounces of water. After you have done this, suspend your water hose that is already connected to the outlet. Remember to ensure the hose is raised slightly higher than your water pump—drain water from the jar and into the water hose.

#-4 place your thumb on the suspended water hose

Now you should place the thumb on the suspended water hose and then switch on your water pump. You should allow the water hose to accumulate pressure until you feel the water touching your thumb; this typically takes less than 2 minutes. When you feel the water pushing against your thumb, switch off the water pump.

#-5 Disconnect the water hose from its outlets

Finally, disconnect the water hose from its outlets and then reconnect the outlet line. After that, turn on the installed outlets in the RV and power on the pump. After a few minutes, water will instantly gush from the outlet, and this shows that priming has been successful.

After you finish priming, close the faucets. However, if you have any problems during priming, you can consider going through the user manuals used in washing machines and winterizing ice makers.

Also, you can go through your RVs user manuals for specific priming guidelines. Alternatively, you can consult a professional if you experience any problem during priming to avoid damaging the water tank.

Now that you know how you can prime your RV water tank, you don’t have to worry when you get stuck in the middle of nowhere during winter. With this invaluable guide, you should be able to solve the problem should it arise when camping off-grid.

RV water pump replacement tips

Imagine a scenario where you are enjoying a road trip with your family. Then out of the blues, the motorhome suddenly experiences an issue: you realize you don’t have any water, and the water tank needs replacement. Is it possible to fix the tank and continue with the road trip?

To adequately prime the water pump, here are a few important tips that you should keep in mind. For starters, before you hook up the pump with drinking water, it’s important to ensure you have a clean hose.

As a word of caution, you should not use this hose on any other task so that it remains sanitary. Since you will use the hose to fill your tank with freshwater, you should always keep the hose as clean as possible.

But what should I do if I can’t find fresh water when on the move? Well, this is the reason why you should estimate the capacity of your RV tank. For instance, 50 lbs. RV tank can easily store up to 300 lbs. of water. And as mentioned earlier, if you are unable to locate the water pump in your RV, simply trace its origin from underneath your kitchen sink.

All RV models usually have their water lines run underneath the kitchen sink. If you have pinpointed the water tank, use the hose to pour a stream of water inside the RVs water line. This can eliminate all air traps that can prevent the water from flowing freely.


In case you are unable to locate the pump, you can try troubleshooting your RV by reading through the manual. More importantly, if you are priming your RV pump when it’s extremely cold, first you need to ensure you antifreeze all the water lines.

You can do this by opening the faucet and then switch on the pump. Repeat this process until you ensure the water is absolutely clear.

Remember that antifreeze can contaminate the water, which can make you sick. For that reason, it is safe to use the water after a few hours when the pollutant has cleared out completely.

In Conclusion

The most common problem on newly installed water pumps include leaks, defective valves, or a loose connection. That is why it’s essential to prime your pump before operating it.

Find the leaks, repair them and you are ready to go! But if you are unable to repair the leaks by yourself, you can consider consulting a professional to provide you with the much-needed guidance.

When you follow these instructions and warnings carefully, you never have to worry about canceling your road trip when water runs out.

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