There are a lot of things that can cause damage in an RV, and water is right at the top of that list. Sometimes parts just fail, and other times there may have been something you can do about it. The acceptable pressure for you exterior water hookup varies with your RV, so find out what your maximum system pressure is. For us, a 2011 Keystone Alpine, it is 50-80 psi max, depending on which source of literature I use. So to me, I take the safe number, therefore our maximum pressure is 50 psi. If you hook up to a water source that has a higher pressure than your allowable maximum pressure, bad things can happen. If a hose or fitting bursts, you are going to have a massive water leak, which will not stop until you turn off the hose spigot. If your home at the time, it may only be a few gallons that leaks (which is still a lot), but if you’re not home, the amount is limitless.
There are two basic types of pressure regulators you can put inline on your hose. One type is the ball and spring method. These are very cheap and work quite well. Inside, there is a ball that is pushed by the spring into a seal. Basically, the water was to work harder to get through and the pressure is then reduced on the out side. The advantages of this type are that it is cheap, reliable, and does what it’s supposed to do. The negatives are that if the water pressure isn’t that strong to begin with, this will lower it even more and can cause low pressure inside, resulting in a week shower and flow at the other outlets. Most also do not have a pressure gauge showing the water pressure going into your RV. You can find them, but for the added cost it makes the second type even more logical to buy.
The second type of pressure regulator is an adjustable type. It works in the same way, but the spring tension is adjustable. It also usually has a pressure gauge that you can use to set the pressure at the number you want. I like 40 psi, so when I hook up to a new water source, I can adjust it to give me 40 PSI inside my RV. Keep in mind that if the water source is already a low pressure, such as 20 psi, you can’t raise that number, you can only lower it. So even with this type of pressure regulator, you would still only get 20 psi, but with the cheaper one you may only get 10 psi. Yes, you can easily remove both types, and that is an option. The adjustable pressure regulator is a bit more expensive, but worth it in my opinion, because even if it only prevents one failure through your entire life, it will have easily paid for itself and saved you a huge headache.
If you have any experience, questions or comments about RV water pressure regulators, please leave a comment below and I will replay.