My wife and I recently purchased a brand new destination trailer to spend the summer in with our kids. We chose our "permanent" campground based on my wife's parent's presence there and price rather than amenities or practicality, and as such, the campground is currently more of a dry camping area after the Missouri River floods of 2019 (no direct water or sewage hookups). To accommodate that, my wife decided to purchase an enormous (no idea the size) water tank but at least 3-4x the size of our fresh holding tank. And also purchased a sump pump to transfer the water from the large external tank to our holding tank as needed. It works ok... but not ideal.

My question is, since my trailer has a city water connection, does anyone know if it'd be possible or even a good idea to try to hookup the sump pump full time as the city water connection of our rig? Obviously it won't work full time as a feeder to our holding tank as the tank has a overflow fail safe that dumps extra water that won't fit in the tank and we'd just end up with everything from the external tank on the ground.

Appreciate any insights y'all can provide.

  • Welcome to outdoors.SE. Could you tell us what a destination trailer is?
    – user2169
    Jun 8, 2021 at 14:04
  • I feel like you might get better advice on Home Improvement. Not that this is off-topic here. Just that those folks know a lot about plumbing and how not to do it wrong.
    – csk
    Jun 8, 2021 at 15:42
  • 1
    @BenCrowell - I'm not sure I know the textbook definition but generally a destination trailer is like a travel trailer/pull behind camper except that they tend to be larger and are not designed to be moved often or for long trips. It's somewhere between a travel trailer and a mobile home.
    – M Babcock
    Jun 8, 2021 at 17:37
  • I don't believe the question is specific to the type of camper, but wasn't 100% sure so thought being more specific might make a difference. It seems likely the answer would be the same for any camper with a city water line hookup... so @csk could be right, maybe this is more of a home improvement question
    – M Babcock
    Jun 8, 2021 at 17:39
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    Just to be clear, I do think this is on topic here, and I'd suggest giving this community a chance to come up with an answer. Just wanted to point out that the other site exists, and has people who know stuff about plumbing.
    – csk
    Jun 8, 2021 at 18:24

1 Answer 1


No. Your sump/transfer pump is probably not rated to hold pressure to act like city water.

To act like a city water service, you need to rig up something more like a well with a pressure tank and pressure switch.

If your sump pump can develop enough pressure to act like city water, you need to add a pressure switch to turn off the pump when there is no water being used, and a pressure tank to maintain pressure and keep from cycling the pump to death.

The https://diy.stackexchange.com/questions/157662/can-i-operate-a-well-pump-with-no-pressure-tank-by-using-the-breaker-as-a-switch question is similar.

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