Arguably, one of the worst things you can experience while camping is a faulty water pump, especially if you rely on your motorhome’s water to cook, clean, and bathe.
That’s why one of the things RVers need to know is where their motorhome’s water pump is located. Unfortunately, there is no generalized location where you can find an RV water pump.
Depending on the manufacturer and model, RV pumps are installed at different locations on a motorhome. Where you might find a water pump on a Forest River fifth wheel won’t be the same place you find one on a Keystone toy hauler.
To help you get a better idea (or find) of where your RV water pump is located, we have listed a few of the places you should check:
What Do RV Water Pumps Do?
Before we have a closer look at the places, you should check to find your RV water pump; we want to tell you more about what it is and does. This way, you will know why it is crucial to know where to find it.
Firstly, if an RV water pump is well maintained, it can last up to 10 years, if not longer. Your RV pump runs off your motorhome’s 12-volt system. This allows it to run off your battery when you’re not connected to shore power.
When you’re RV water pump runs off your battery, you will have access to pressurized water when camping on or off-grid.
Some of the main reasons your motorhome’s water pump can become damaged are a build-up from minerals or you often camp in cold weather. Pumps also get damaged when RVers leave them on with little or no water in freshwater tanks.
Yet, how exactly does an RV water pump work, and what does it do? Simply put, your water pump pressurizes the water lines in your motorhome to force water out.
This is why water is readily available when you open a faucet. Your pump releases pressure and activates the water pump, allowing water to exit a faucet. When you shut off a faucet, this causes your motorhome’s water lines to repressurize and shut off your water pump.
Five Places to Check for your RV Water Pump:
Since most motorhomes have limited space where a water pump can be located, many manufacturers choose different locations that best suit their floorplan layouts.
As mentioned earlier, RV brands will place water pumps in different locations.
However, besides considering the best fit for the design of your motorhome, the RV brand will also consider the type of pump your motorhome should use and how you will use it. This means they will evaluate how many areas need pressurized water (bathroom, kitchen, outdoor shower) and where it will be easiest to service.
Below we have briefly discussed the five places you should check if you want to locate your water pump to maintain or fix it. We have also included the brands that use these locations most often to make it easier for you.
1. Behind a Docking Station in an RV Basement Storage
One of the first places you should look when searching for your RV water pump is behind your docking station in your motorhome’s basement storage area.
Usually, to check if your water pump is located here, you will need to unscrew and remove the panels that lie directly behind your docking station. By doing this, you should easily access your water lines and your water pump.
Forest River models often have their water pumps located behind a docking station in an RV basement storage area.
2. Behind a Panel in a Storage Compartment
Those who own a Keystone RV should check behind a panel in their motorhome’s storage compartment to find their water pump.
Many Keystone RVs have a curbside-facing water pump placed behind a panel in the front storage compartment behind a water heater.
According to Keystone RV owners, if you remove the carpeting that covers a panel from the front to the back of your motorhome, you can get to your water pump through the convention center because it is attached to this panel.
3. Under the Main Bed
It might seem incredibly surprising, but there are a few motorhome manufacturers who install their RV water pumps under the bed in the main bedroom. This location can be tricky to navigate, so it’s best to use caution when trying to locate the exact placement of your water pump.
For example, with the Keystone Bullet and Outback models, you can locate your RV water pump by opening up the secured panel on the left-hand side of your queen-sized bed. You can also access it from behind the bedside table.
Yet, a different Keystone model, “Hideout,” has its water pump installed underneath your bed at the head of it.
Alternatively, certain Springdale RVs have water pumps near a bed. These models have the water pump near a motorhome’s gravity fill valve by a queen-sized bed.
Yet, what’s interesting is that other Springdale motorhomes have their water pump located under a couch close to the fresh water inlet. In contrast, others have it installed behind a freshwater filter and city water connection.
However, some Springdale motorhomes even have water pumps in the main bedrooms lefthand side bedside tables like with certain Keystone models.
Another brand that often installs its water pumps by a bed is Jayco. In certain Jayco models, the water pump is located under the main bed’s front side in the motorhome. If you look to the right from the passenger side, you’ll easily find the panel by the bed where the water pump is situated. With these models, you can flip the bed up to easily access the panel and get to your water pump easily.
4. Under a Sofa
Most RV water pumps make noise which is why many manufacturers choose to install a water pump underneath a sofa. Installing this type of pump under a sofa ensures that its noise is significantly muffled, almost guaranteeing that the noise won’t bother you.
There are two models in particular from two different motorhome manufacturers that install their water pumps underneath a sofa. The Heartland Trail Runners water pump is located near the sofa bed under a panel, and the Sonic 231VRL trailer has its water pump installed under the sofa with a convenient hose for adding anti-freeze.
Other Sonic floorplans have their water pumps situated under the bed with access through a cargo hatch found behind a panel.
5. Inside a Kitchen Cabinet
One of the more easily accessible locations where your RV water pump could be located is inside a kitchen cabinet.
Some motorhomes, like the Grand Design Xplor 240ML, have a water pump inside a cabinet near the left-hand side entrance with an access panel next to the entrance outside the motorhome.
Yet some newer motorhomes have decided not to use a kitchen cabinet and instead install a water pump under a dinette bench to make it easier to access while quieting the noise.
How to Locate an RV Water Pump:
If you want to efficiently find the location of your water pump in your motorhome, there is a simple process you can follow without checking each location we mentioned above.
To start looking for your motorhome’s water pump, you need to turn on a faucet and turn your water pump. Once turned on, you will likely be able to hear it run as it begins catching up on the water flow or pressure in your water lines.
Once you start hearing this, you can begin looking at where the sound originates. Most people using this method are successful at locating their water pump if it is near their RVs water heater.