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FAQ - how to choose the best water pump for your caravan - Escaping Outdoors

There are many 12v caravan water pumps on the market but ultimately the best 12v caravan water pump for your caravan is one that will operate trouble free and meet your budget requirements. The best caravan pump will operate quietly and will give you a great shower delivering the required amount of water at pressure to your caravan taps or outlets. Your 12v caravan pump will be able to handle pumping a small amount of water at the kitchen sink or basin, or able to handle one or two taps (shower and sink) operating at the same time without making the person in the shower scream because the water has gone cold or changed to a dribble!

Things to consider when choosing a 12v water pump for your caravan

Escaping Outdoors has a huge variety of 12v caravan water pumps available in store and are able to help you with the technical advice required to set up you caravan correctly for a trouble free set up within your budget. Everyone has a different budget and caravan size to work with when purchasing and there are a huge variety of caravan water pumps available for every budget and every set-up.

There are 3 questions to answer first

  • The pump voltage required
  • The maximum flow rate required
  • The pressure measured as PSI or BAR required

FAQ - how to choose a 12v water pump for your caravan - Escaping Outdoors

Operating Voltage:

Your pump is usually powered by a battery source. This could be a 12v or 24v battery system. Your battery system will determine the pump voltage you require.

Flow rate:

  • Flow rate is measured as litres per minute or gallons per minute. (L/min or GPM)
  • The higher the flow rate of the pump, the higher the volume of water the pump will deliver
  • A low flow rate will result in poor pump performance
  • Too high a flow rate will result in pump cycling

Pump cycling is when the pump turns on and off rapidly whilst it tries to deliver the required amount of water. When the pump can’t deliver, the result is an inconsistant flow and extra wear on the pressure switch due to excess pressure in the system. When there is excess pressure in the system (too high a flow rate) for your system it must be dealt with or you will damage your pressure switch and ultimately your pump will fail.

Therefore - carefully choose a pump with a flow rate which best matches the outlets in your caravan, boat or RV etc and look at the accessories to your 12v water pump required to have a smooth system.

Ideally a single tap system which may be a caravan with a kitchen sink only requires a pump with a flow rate up to 9 L/min to match the maximum flow of the sink tap. A system with 2-3 taps (a kitchen plus shower) will require 11-13 L/min and so on.


Pressure is rated as PSI or BAR. When the taps are turned off the pump will continue to run until the pressure in the water line has reached the pressure switches pre-set value. (EG: your pumps specifications may say maximum pressure of 40 PSI). Your hot water system will have a pressure allowance. It is important to check the pressure allowance of your hot water system prior to purchase to make sure your pressure rating on your pump does not exceed this rating. If you purchase a pump with a higher pressure rating you will need to modify your system (add an accumulator tank) or the excess pressure in your system will cause pump failure.

         Typical 12v 24v 240v water pump set up for Escaping Outdoors pumps

Does your caravan have a single tap?

If there is only one tap / outlet in your camper-trailer or caravan (say the kitchen sink) then you will only require a caravan pump which will deliver what you kitchen tap would use at full flow. If your tap flows up to 5 L/min then the best caravan pump is one which will deliver this amount over the one minute.

The best 12v caravan water pump options for this application include: Escaping Outdoors FL2202, Escaping Outdoors FL30, Jabsco Par-Max 3.0.

Does your caravan have 2 taps or outlets?

If your caravan has two outlets which typically would be a kitchen sink and a shower you require a pump which will deliver sufficient water at pressure to operate both outlets at the one time. You can calculate this by knowing how many litres per minute your outlet delivers at full open tap and adding the 2 together. Your choice would typically be a 12v caravan water pump delivering between 9 and 12 L/min.

The best 12v caravan water pump options for this application include: Escaping Outdoors FL35 used with an accumulator tank, Flojet FJ100, Jabsco Parmax 3.0.

Does your caravan have 3 taps or outlets?

If your caravan has 3 outlets you will require your caravan pump to deliver around 12 to 14 L/min in case all outlets are in use at the same time. Typically you may have someone in the shower whilst someone else uses the kitchen sink.

The best 12v caravan water pump options for this application include: Escaping Outdoors FL35 used with an accumulator tank, Jabsco Parmax 3.0 or Jabsco Parmax HD4 Shurflo Fresh 3 or Shurflo Fresh 4.

Does your caravan have 4 taps or outlets?

A caravan, bus or RV with four taps or outlets will typically have a toilet, shower, vanity basin and kitchen sink. The best 12v caravan water pump for your set up is one which will deliver up to 17 L/min if a number of these outlets are being used at once.

The best 12v caravan water pump options for this application include: Escaping Outdoors FL40 used with an accumulator tank, Jabsco Par-Max HD4, Jabsco Par-Max HD5 or Shurflo Fresh 4.

Does your caravan RV or bus have five or more outlets?

Although it is unlikely all outlets will be in use at one time, it is possible the washing machine may be running at the same time a shower is going or the toilet is being flushed together with someone washing the dishes. In order to run a number of these outlets at the one time you will require your 12v caravan water pump to deliver up to 22 L/min.

The best 12v caravan water pump options for this application include: Jabsco Par-Max HD5, Jabsco Par-Max HD6, Shurflo Fresh 5.

Escaping Outdoors Caravan Pump range:

You have now picked out the best pump options for your caravan

Once you understand which size pump best suits your voltage, pressure and maximum flow you can then decide on the pump brand which best suits your budget. Noting however that the cheapest options will require more refinement on your system and dearer options will have benefits built into the water pump such as built in bypass, which provide benefits and longer warranties on your pump.

The most important factor is to not buy a pump which is too big for your application and your hot water service. If you buy a caravan pump which is too big it will use more amp on your battery and drain your battery quicker. If you pump is delivering a higher amount of water through pressure to your outlets you will need to refine your system with an accumulator tank to deal with the pressure or you will run into problems which could damage your pump.

If you are unsure of which caravan pump will best suit your set up contact us or phone on 0412 150 120. We will help you to set your caravan water pump up so it works smoothly every time. You will forget its even there!

How do I match my 12v pump to my Gas Hot Water Heater

If you have a gas hot water system, please check the specifications on what PSI is required to ignite the pilot light so the gas hot water system will operate. If the gas hot water specifications use the term "Bar" then 1 Bar = 14.5 PSI or "KPa" then 6.89 KPa = 1 PSI.

Escaping Outdoors FL Pumps

The cheapest alternative is the Escaping Outdoors FL diaphragm pressure pump range. They are an excellent caravan pump, widely used throughout Australia since 2004 and will last for years and years using both salt and freshwater. They do not have a return valve or built in bypass and they operate at one speed, so you will need to match your caravan pump to your system a little more closely and add a small pressure tank ( also known as an accumulator tank ) if required to balance your water flow (the pressure PSI) in your system. An accumulator tank provides a constant and consistant water flow and reduces water hammering and cycling. Escaping Outdoors pumps come with a 12 month Australian Warranty with spare parts and technical help available 7 days a week.


  • 1 tap 4.5 L/min - FL2202 12v
  • 2 taps 9.3 L/min - FL30 12v
  • (This pump provides low pressure 17PSI)
  • 2 to 3 taps 12.5 L/min - FL35 12v
  • 4 taps 17 L/min - FL40 12v
  • 4 taps 17 L/min FL44 24v

FAQ - Escaping Outdoors FL35 12v caravan water pump

Jabsco Par-Max Pumps

The Jabsco Parmax range of fresh water caravan water pumps are marine grade and can be used in either caravans or boats. The built in bypass in these highly regarded caravan and marine water pumps lowers pulsation and noise and there is no need for an accumulator tank in most systems, however if you have constant water hammering or cycling in your system, Jabsco also recommend an accumulator tank to minimise and alleviate this issue. Jabsco caravan pumps are available in 12v and 24v caravan and boat water pumps with a 3 year manufacturers warranty.


  • 1 to 2 taps 11 L/min - J20-202 12v, J20-205 24v, J20-208 12v
  • 3 to 4 taps 15 L/min - J20-210 12v
  • 4 to 5 taps 19 L/min - J20-280 12v or J20-285 24v
  • 5 to 6 taps 22.7 L/min - J20-284 12v or J20-285 24v

FAQ - Jabsco 12v water pump

Shurflo Pumps

The Shurflo range of automatic fresh water caravan water pumps are widely used throughout the world as caravan pumps and include a built in mechanical bypass function enabling these pumps to vary the flow rate for any on-demand condition, without cycling and without the need for an accumulator / pressure tank. Features a 3 year limited warranty and also available in a 24 volt model.


  • 2 to 3 taps 11.3 L/min - RWB5904 12v or RWB5906 24v
  • 4 taps 15 L/min - RWB5900 12v or RWB5901 24v
  • 4 taps 19 L/min - RWB 5902 12v or RWB5903 24v

FAQ - Shurflo Fresh 3 12V caravan water pump

Browse Escaping Outdoors full range of 12v pumps or 24v water pumps for all applications.

If you need any assistance or would prefer to order over the phone, please don't hesitate to phone us on 0412150120.

We welcome your enquiry.

Check out our full range of caravan pump products at Escaping Outdoors online.


Call: 0412 150 120