12V Water Pump Guide

How frustrating would it be to turn on your caravan taps or shower and no water comes out? Water is a vital part of life, and we use it every day, making it one of our essentials.


Unless you plan only to use bottled water, then you’ll need a water pump. Luckily, most caravans have water pumps already built-in, but there will come a time where you either want to upgrade or replace.


The most common type of caravan pump you’ll find is a 12v water pump because these are designed with caravans in mind whereas other types of pipes are better suited for other use.


We’ve designed this guide to explain why water pumps are needed, how to choose the best water pump and features to look out for.

Whale 12 V Water Master Premium Pump and Plug 


Whale is a well-established brand that has been in the industry since the 1940s due to their revolutionary water pumps. They have continued to innovate with intelligent control electronic pumps for a range of vehicles.


This high expertise design has led to them leading the way in the marine, caravan/motorhome, shower drainage and industrial markets worldwide.


The products they create are also a high quality which has been displayed in the company being accredited across three separate ISO certifications: 9001, 14001 and OHSAS 18001.


This 12V water pump is no different and provides an excellent pump performance of 15.8 litres per minute which will meet the requirements of the majority of caravan owners.


It has easy installation with no need for additional adaptors. The water pump is kink resistant, wipe clean hose which is easy to store away in-between seasons. 

Whale GP1002 Standard 12V Submersible Electric Pump-White


Due to the shining reputation of Whale, it’s no surprise to see another one of their products on this list of best 12v water pumps. This not only offers a simple way of supplying your caravan with water, but it is also extremely economical, so if you are naturally environmentally conscious, then this is a great option.


This water pump is also compact, so it can replace your existing water pump without you needing to build extra space. The pump is durable meaning it will have a long life, while also being quiet in operation.


If you’re looking for a cheaper way of updating a manual system into an electric system, then this is for you. It does have a limitation of a maximum continuous operation of 15 minutes; however, in most cases, this is more than sufficient.

Comet 12v Caravan Water Pump


This Comet 12v water pumps pack a punch and are more than suitable for caravan use. It is easy to install so you won’t be spending days getting frustrated trying to get it to work. In terms of compatibility, it is suitable for the following Thetford cassette models: C2, C200, C200CW, C402 & CWE.


So if you’re looking for a cheaper alternative as a replacement, then this will tick the boxes. To install it’s as simple as removing your old pump by its host, wiping it down with a dry cloth and then you’re in a position to replace your old pump with this Comet water pump.

Whale 12v Caravan Submersible Water Pump 


If your biggest barrier to replacing or installing a water pump is your budget, then this Whale water pump will be the option for you. It’s ideal for basic caravans, boats or motorhomes, giving it versatility. It is also suitable to be a direct replacement in C2 & C2000 Thetford Cassette toilet.


Don’t be fooled that the low price means low quality because it’s still designed and manufactured by one of the leaders in the industry, so quality is assured, and it packs a punch considering its size.

Seaflo 16 LPM Submersible Electric Pump


Last but not least, this Seaflo pump is ideal for automatic water transfer, such as filling your caravan water tank. This pump can run at 16 litres per minute for up to 30 minutes.


The water pump is entirely water submersible and operates silently while also having a durable stainless steel shaft. If you want to transform the pump into an automatic function, then you just need to add in a pressure switch.


Also included is a two-year warranty if a fault develops with the product. If you don’t need to replace your main water pump, then this can also be a spare water pump that you keep onboard your caravan if a fault develops mid holiday with your main pump.

What is a water pump, and how does it work?

A caravan water pump is a crucial essential to your plumbing mechanism and only starts operating when you have a demand for water. So when you turn the tap, the pumping system is initiated and works using a mechanism that increases the pipe pressure to a default level.

This is often a set pounds per square inch (PSI) which is usually around 30. Depending on the water pump, you’ll be able to adjust the PSI setting. Once the pump is turned on, it helps to funnel water through to any open taps until you turn them off.


Benefits of a 12V water pump 


Consistent Water Pumping


A water pump helps you to effectively get water from its source into your caravan, whether this is to your kitchen taps or bathroom appliances. The best 12v water pumps will have automatic features that help to keep a consistent water pressure which then has a shut-off feature that triggers automatically when the intended water pressure is reached.


Energy Efficient

12v water pumps are smaller in size; therefore use lower amounts of energy to operate compared to larger sized water pumps. Some water pumps allow you to run directly from your vehicle battery. This means you’re less likely to see huge increases in your energy bills.

In addition, these water pumps are simple to install while also being quiet so most times you won’t even realise it’s in operation.

High Water Supply

Water is one of the essentials in a caravan, and the water pump plays a key role in supplying enough water. The best pumps will have a high flow rate meaning more litres per minute can be supplied to your taps.

Small and Compact

Caravan water pumps are less bulky, which is important because there is likely going to be a shortage of space due to the limited nature of a caravan. This is one of the main differences between a 12v water pump and a conventional 24v water pump that is usually found on trucks or other large vehicles.

Smooth Supply 


The best water pump can deliver a consistent stream of even water flow. To do this, you need a water pump that provides an adequate flow rate and pressure.


Water Pump Buying Guide



Your budget will determine the quality of the water pump that you can buy. Generally, the higher the quality the water pump, the more expensive it will be. It’s important to have a budget because this will cut down the number of options you have, which will make the buying decision easier.


Several brands manufacture water pumps, and it’s important to choose a water pump that has a strong brand reputation. This can also be in the form of many reviews to give you the extra peace of mind that you’re purchasing a high-quality product.


The voltage requirement of your water pump should be taken into consideration. For this guide, we’ve stuck to 12-volt models because they are the newer type of models that have better qualities compared to 24-volt units that are often found in older vehicles. 

Energy Consumption

It’s important to understand that water pumps will consume energy to run, but you need to ensure that you have the power supply for your intended water pump. If the demands of your water pump exceed your power supply, then you may see an increase in your bills or your supply may run out. 

Pressure Rating

The pressure rating that a water pump can reach because this will play a large role in the number of litres or gallons that it can deliver. If you have a high water demand, then a higher pressure rating will be better suited.



The last thing you want is a noisy water pump. This is often a quality that separates the best water pumps and the lower cost of water pumps. Ideally, you want a water pump that is quiet in operation as this will mean for example if you’re sleeping and someone else uses it, you’re less likely to be woken up.


Pressure Auto Switches off.


It’s recommended that you purchase a water pump that has an auto switch-off feature which means that it will automatically turn off once it has reached it’s intended water pressure.


Size Dimensions


Different water pumps have different size dimensions, and it’s important to check the size of your current water pump to ensure that your new water pump will fit in the existing space. 

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