Most people understand that when they purchase an RV, they must purchase certain things to go along with the rig and make it fully usable. A sewer hose, for instance, is a must-have. A freshwater hose and a battery are important as well, and nobody would even consider going camping without these things.
However, there is one item that many people don’t even realize they need to grab before hitting the road on their first adventure: an RV water pressure regulator.
RV water pressure regulators may be tiny, but they are incredibly useful pieces of camping equipment. In this article, we will discuss what a water regulator is, how it’s used, and more.
What is an RV water pressure regulator?
Let’s begin by talking about what exactly this little tool is. An RV pressure regulator is exactly what you might expect: a tool to regulate the pressure of the water entering your rig.
It’s a small piece of equipment and is usually made using plastic or brass. Some are adjustable or have gauges, while others have no special features whatsoever. However, each and every one has the important job of protecting your RV water system.
Do I need a water pressure regulator?
Wondering if you actually need to invest in a water pressure regulator? The answer is yes, you definitely do. The water lines in travel trailers and motorhomes are not made to withstand a lot of force. Water pressure that is too high can cause serious damage to these lines, resulting in leaks.
Obviously this is an issue, and to top it all off, these leaks are often difficult or even impossible to reach and repair. A water pressure regulator will ensure the pressure never gets too high, preventing this problem altogether.
What to look for in an RV pressure regulator
Of course, if you’re going to pick up a water pressure regulator for your RV, you’ll want to make sure you get one that’ll do its job well. Fortunately, there are plenty of great options on the market, and even the ones with all the bells and whistles don’t cost too much.
Here’s what we recommend looking for while shopping for a camper water pressure regulator:
- Material — The type of material used to make the regulator can make a big difference. Generally speaking, we recommend sticking with the brass options, as these are very durable and safe for drinking water.
- PSI — You will want to make sure the regulator you purchase provides the correct water pressure to your camper. Most newer RVs have a water pressure limit of 60 PSI. Meanwhile, older rigs can only withstand around 50 PSI. Keep this in mind while shopping.
- Adjustability — Of course, you could just purchase an adjustable RV water pressure regulator. These handy gadgets allow you to adjust the water pressure to suit your needs while still remaining under the safety threshold for your RV.
- Gauge — Some RV water pressure regulators come equipped with a gauge. Gauges are nice because they allow you to see exactly where you stand in terms of water pressure, ensuring you always remain well within the safe zone.
How to use an RV water pressure regulator
Once you have your new water pressure regulator in hand, you will need to know how to put it to work for you. Fortunately, this is an incredibly easy process, meaning you’ll have water running at the proper pressure and into your rig in a jiffy.
How to install a water regulator
All RV pressure regulators are installed using twist-in threads. The regulator should be twisted first onto the freshwater tap and then onto the freshwater hose. You could choose to attach the regulator to the inlet and the hose instead.
If you find that your regulator tends to leak once screwed into place, try using a bit of Teflon tape on both connection points. This should seal up any leaks.
How to adjust a water regulator
If you choose to purchase an adjustable water pressure regulator, you may be wondering how exactly to take advantage of the adjustability of it.
Generally, these regulators come set at about 45 PSI. To move the pressure up or down from this factory setting, simply use a flathead screwdriver to turn the screw on the side of the regulator. Just make sure you stay under that safety threshold in order to avoid problems.
How to tell if a pressure regulator has gone bad
Occasionally, an RV water pressure regulator will go bad or get clogged. If you notice a dramatic decrease in the water pressure inside of your rig, a bad or clogged pressure regulator might be to blame. In this case, the best thing to do is to replace the faulty part with a new one.
Of course, low water pressure can be caused by a number of issues. Be sure to check these things as well as the regulator if you experience a problem with your RV water pressure:
- Clogged water filter
- Clogged mesh at the water inlet
- Kinked, cracked, or clogged freshwater hose
As you can see, a water pressure regulator is a very important addition to your RV tool kit. If you don’t have one, now is the time to pick one up. Be sure to use it each and every time you connect the trailer or motorhome to a water source in order to protect your camper and keep your water system in tip-top shape.