The Valterra A01-1117VP wins our title for best RV water pressure regulator due to its quality, design, and effectiveness. Once you buy this adjustable regulator, you likely won’t ever have to buy another.
You can also count on this model to give you the correct water pressure reading with its super accurate and easy-to-read gauge.
It has a screen for filtering out debris, powder coating to prevent corrosion, and is made from durable brass. Another feature we love is the accessible nut on the top which is easy to adjust.
The Valterra A01-1117VP stands out from the crowd and is a favorite among RV owners, winning our best RV water pressure regulator currently on the market.
Best Water Pressure Regulators for RV Living
Most people never think about how much pressure their RV water system can take versus the typical city water pressure. This could be a big mistake! Uncontrolled water pressure can put too much stress on the water systems in your RV and cause a lot of damage to your RV plumbing fixtures.
This is where RV water pressure regulators, also known as pressure-reducing valves (PRV), are essential. They ensure your water is at a safe pressure when it reaches your pipes, faucets, showers, and toilets in your RV.
Regulating water pressure, and making sure you don’t spring a leak after connecting to the water supply, will give you peace of mind over your RV’s water system.
Read on to learn the basic guidelines surrounding water pressure and what to look for in a quality water pressure regulator.
We have also researched and reviewed seven of the best RV water pressure regulators on the market. We’ll tell you their pros and cons and why we chose the Valterra A01-1117VP to be the overall best RV water pressure regulator on our list.
Looking for the best water pressure regulators for your RV?
- Why you want to have a water pressure regulator installed
- How these devices work
- Different types of regulators and what they are for
- The best water pressure regulator for RV living
What is an RV Water Pressure Regulator?
An RV water pressure regulator is a small device that lowers water pressure before it enters your RV’s water lines. These devices are usually very small – only a few inches long – but they do a big job, and are essential for protecting your RV’s plumbing system.
Most pressure control valves fit a standard-sized hose and screw onto the spigot. These are “easy to install” – screw it on and then screw your hose onto the other end. If you have a good one, it’ll automatically do its job.
RV water regulators look very similar to each other. The main differences lie in superficial features such as the size, color, material that it’s made from, etc. However, don’t let this trick you into picking the cheapest one. Just because they look the same doesn’t mean they’ll perform the same.
How Does an RV Water Pressure Regulator Work?
The mechanics of an RV water pressure regulator are fascinating. You have this tiny device that drops water pressure down by 50 percent or more. How can this small device be more powerful than all that rushing liquid?
Inside this device, there are multiple small interior components. They are:
- Throttling stem
These parts are tiny. It’s safe to call them micro parts. When water comes from the supply, it enters the device through the inlet. From there, the liquid flow is split and rushes around the left and right sides of the seat and into the throttling stem. Think of the seat like a fork in the road, and the throttling stem like a tunnel.
The springs work to keep the throttling stem area open for the liquid to flow through. The throttling stem is attached to the diaphragm at the other end, and as the liquid rushes toward it, the pressure of the water causes the springs to compress, and the springs press on the diaphragm to close it. It will close just enough to limit the water pressure to the desired level. When the water comes out of the outlet, the pressure has been significantly reduced.
As you can see, these devices may be small, but they have a complex system inside that regulates pressure. Every single piece must work, or the device won’t be any good to you.
Why You Need a Water Pressure Regulator for Your RV
If you plan to use the water in your RV (and we’re pretty certain you will), you need a water pressure regulator. There is no getting around it if you plan to use city water hookups as your go-to source.
City water is commonly anywhere from 100 to 150 PSI (pounds per square inch). RVs are only designed to handle a maximum of somewhere in the area of 50 to 60 PSI. If you use a city source without a water pressure regulator, there will be too much pressure and akin sending a tsunami to your sink to get a glass of water.
High-pressure water can cause a lot of damage to the plumbing system in your RV. It can cause cracks, leaks, and eroding of pipes. Your pipes could burst, or it may cause a noise commonly referred to as “water hammer.” If you hear it, you’ll know. It’s loud and unsettling. All of this can be prevented and give you peace of mind with a great pressure regulator.
Types of RV Water Pressure Regulators
There are three types of regulators: standard (sometimes called in-line), high-flow, and adjustable. All three types are technically in-line regulators although they perform differently.
Standard models allow between 40 and 50 PSI. High-flow models, as the name implies, control allows a higher PSI than the standard. Typically between 50 and 60 PSI. High-flow regulators are not recommended for older RVs.
Adjustable pressure regulators can adjust anywhere from 0 PSI up to an insanely high PSI, usually about 160. While the flexibility is nice to have, you must be careful with these, so you don’t accidentally allow for too much water pressure.
RV Water Regulators – Key Features to look out for
The main feature you want to look for is PSI and flow. Standard regulators will be between 45 PSI to 50 PSI and high-flow regulators will be between 50 to 60 PSI. An adjustable model will be between 0 to 160 PSI.
RV water regulators are made from three types of material: plastic, brass, or stainless steel. Occasionally, you may find a water pressure regulator made from copper (rare). Plastic options will be bargain buys. They won’t last as long, but they are good for people on a budget or people who won’t use them often.
Copper is a great metal that won’t rust or corrode, but it’s softer than steel, so it may lose shape and therefore not last as long. Brass is also softer than steel, but it’s harder than copper and like copper, it won’t rust or corrode. Stainless steel is the most durable material, and although it is “stainless,” meaning it resists rust and corrosion, at some point in its long life, it will eventually give in. However, it will be a long time before that happens.
In short, stainless steel is the most durable choice. Plastic is an economical choice. Brass construction is a great choice also.
Water regulators are labeled as lead-free or low lead. Obviously, a lead-free regulator is ideal, but even these may leach a tiny percentage of lead. According to the Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act (RLDWA) and the Community Fire Safety Act, lead-free is defined as less than 0.25 percent lead.
Low-lead regulators may have slightly more than 0.25 percent lead, but not much more. If you’re concerned about this, stainless steel is genuinely lead-free. All of the models in this review are made from lead-free brass, aside from the Camco 40143 which is made entirely from plastic and is therefore completely lead-free.
Most water regulators include a screen filter that helps to filter debris out. This isn’t necessary, but it is extra protection to make sure you have clean drinking water.
Best RV Water Pressure Regulator Reviews
The KepooMan is a durable brass adjustable water pressure regulator with excellent features. It works well in extreme weather, so is suitable for varying seasons and environments. The working temperature range is 14°F to 248°F meaning it could even handle boiling water (although that would probably never happen).
This model adjusts from 0 PSI up to 160 PSI and has a built-in gauge so you can be sure to detect any issues early on. It also has a screen to filter out any debris. This sturdy and solid construction from KeepooMan is reliable and perfect for protecting your delicate plumbing system.
- Great in extreme temperatures
- Gauge is oiled to reduce friction
- Powder-coated screw is easy to turn
- Oil can sometimes leak a little
- At extremely low temperatures, the gauge is sometimes a little bit off.
Bottom-Line: This is an affordable and durable option you can put your trust in.
Camco 40143 Plastic Regulator
The Camco 40143 is a budget-choice, and so may not be as durable as others on this list, but will still get the job done. It’s made from ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) plastic which automatically makes it completely free of lead. It has a controlled water pressure range of between 45 and 50 PSI.
We like the two grooved handles on the side of this water pressure regulator making it easy to grip while screwing on or off. The blue color is bold and so when storing it won’t get lost in a sea of metal parts. Out of the budget options, this is a great choice.
- Grooved handles for easy handling
- Tends to leak
- Will crack in cold temperatures
Bottom-Line: This is a budget option, so suitable for someone who only needs occasional use out of it.
Best for High Flow
Valterra is a company well-known and recognized for its commitment to producing quality products. This high flow model keeps a regulated water pressure of between 50 to 55 PSI. It’s made of high-quality brass and is free from lead, as indicated by the orange cap (exclusive to Valterra).
The body of the A01-1122VP is designed with a textured surface all around, so you’ll have a good grip when screwing and unscrewing it. This water pressure regulator has a screen that does a fantastic job of filtering out those unwanted particles, however, it is not made from stainless steel and may be prone to rusting after a while.
- Free of lead
- Easy-grip textured surface
- One-year warranty
- Screen is not stainless steel
- Leaks a little from the swivel
Bottom-Line: If you prefer a high-flow model, this one will provide you with the most constant supply of high water flow and will last a long time. Overall, this is an exceptional product.
Valterra A01-1124VP Regulator/Gauge Combo
Most Accurate Gauge
The third Valterra product on our list, the A01-1124VP, is a standard model regulating between 40 to 50 PSI. Like the previous models reviewed in this list, it’s made from high-quality brass, but this one has a built-in gauge.
The gauge on this regulator is one of the best for accurate water pressure reading you’ll find in the water regulators market. Even despite not being oil-filled it still works great.
We also like that it has a textured body for easy installation. It upholds Valterra’s high-quality standards and we would recommend this to anyone looking for an affordable option.
- Highly accurate gauge
- Textured body
- High-quality brass construction
- Gauge placed in a spot that makes it difficult to grip the body of the regulator
- No screen
Bottom-Line: Lightweight, dependable, and easy-to-handle, accuracy is king when it comes to the Valterra A01-1124VP.
Camco RV Brass Inline
Brass models with gauges are very popular, so it’s not a surprise to see another brand with this type of regulator. Like most adjustable water pressure regulators, this one goes from 0 PSI to 160 PSI. The gauge actively tells you the pressure level, so you don’t have to worry about overpowering your RV’s plumbing.
One of the things that set the Twinkle Star apart is its stainless-steel screen. Stainless steel is preferred since it won’t rust in the long term.
We also love the fact that it’s lined with leak-proof PTFE tape. This is a unique feature that most other manufacturers don’t include. This sturdier pressure gauge is also designed to be explosion-proof in case the regulator ever fails.
There are some small design-related things we would change about the regulator, but nothing that has any effect on the quality and longevity of the device.
- Textured mid-section
- Wing-like handles for easy removal
- High-quality brass material
- No screen
- Easy to misplace
Bottom-Line: This is for people on a budget – it’s inexpensive without sacrificing quality or ease of use.
Another adjustable model, the price of the Valterra A01-1117P is matched by its quality. This is one of Valterra’s most heavy-duty offerings. It’s built like a tank, yet it’s easy to use. This model is a great investment, which is why it won the top spot in this review.
One of its great features is the adjustable nut on the top of the device. It does need a flat-head screwdriver to turn it, however, it’s powder-coated for easy grip and rust prevention.
It has an excellent built-in gauge, however, it does not have a red zone to indicate danger. Overall, we can overlook this small point due to its otherwise impressive build. If you want a leak-free, durable, heavy-duty regulator, you’ve found one.
- Lined with leak-proof tape
- Powder-coated top to prevent rusting
- Gauge is in a good easy to read spot
- Screen is not stainless steel
- Expensive compared to others
Bottom-Line: A regulator this good is worth spending a little extra on because, in the long run, it will pay for itself.
Last update on 2021-09-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API