Nowadays, more and more people are willing to travel with recreational vehicles, it is freer and you can enjoy beautiful scenes all around on your way travel. But considering the problem of hot water used on RV, most people may easily get puzzled.
What if I want to use endless hot water on RV?
Can I shower in the car?
You may ask the questions. Well, the answer is yes, and of course yes with the help of a best RV tankless water heater.
It weights light and can be installed anywhere you want on the vehicle, and the most important, you can enjoy flawlessly hot water on it, do not need to worry about running out of hot water when taking a bath any longer.
Here we offer you some top best RV tankless water heater reviews for you to choose:
Top 5 Best RV Tankless Water Heater Reviews on the Market
What Is an RV Tankless Water Heater?
The RV water heaters are smaller than the normal units in the homes. They are powered by propane, and the majority of RVs use a 6 gallon to a 10-gallon tank depending on the size of the unit. The water heaters are either powered by propane or both propane and electricity. They can either use a pilot light or direct spark ignition and have a safety system that prevents the water from being too hot and making sure the pressure doesn’t build up.
How Does an RV Tankless Water Heater Work?
The tankless water heater on RV works almost like the tankless water heater we all have in our homes. The water is heated through a heat exchanger as the water flows through the units. There are two kinds of RV water heaters; gas and electricity. In the case of the gas, propane is used in the unit.
Features of RV Tankless Water Heater
Nearly all the RV tankless hot water heaters are designed small and compact, when you install it in RV or small home, it occupies an only small piece of land. And some of which can even be installed directly under water sink.
2. No waiting time
It heats water in a second, you can use hot water any time you want.
3. Energy efficient
Most of RV tankless water heaters are propane types, it uses 50% less propane than other types of heaters, thus is more energy-efficient and saves a large sum of money on heating costs each month.
Special Tips: If you want to know how much propane needed when used on RV tankless water heater, check our guides below:
What Are the Benefits of RV Tankless Water Heater?
The RV Tankless Water Heaters have several benefits. They include:
- Although they do not have a storage tank, the best RV tankless water heaters can supply you with water constantly.
- Compared to traditional water heaters, water heaters for RV are more energy-efficient because no heat is lost from standing water.
- You can perform more than one function since the heaters are able to heat the water continuously on demand.
- They are highly durable.
- You are likely to save water using the RV tankless water heaters.
- They are cost-effective
Why Do You Need an RV Tankless Water Heater?
The following are reasons you need an RV tankless water heater:
- The RV tankless water heater uses less propane because it doesn’t keep water at a set temperature.
- There will always be a constant flow of hot water.
- There is no storage tank hence eliminating winterizing.
- Their durability stands at 10 years to 15 years compared to the traditional ones that last from 6 to 10 years.
Best RV Tankless Water Heaters Reviews
This tankless water heater is really a cost-effective one, the price of which is pretty low. But do not get fooled by its cheap price, the performance of it is excellent. It needs only 2.5 PSI of water pressure to start up.
The temperature range of it is 46.4 degrees F to 114.8 degrees F, and the flow rate of it is 1.32 gallons per minute. Thus it is not suitable for the whole house or large family use but is perfect for RV or small cabins.
The anti frozen system protects the machine from being frozen in cold areas or weathers, and the copper heater highly heats resistance and corrosion resistance, promising to be long service life.
There are two buttons settings used for controlling temperature, one is for gas while the other for water flow, through adjusting the two buttons, you can get the suitable temperature, but needs some time.
The compact and stylish small shape is also one reason for choosing it as your best RV tankless water heater, you can install it anywhere that is convenient.
- Lowest water pressure
- Anti frozen protection
- Perfect for camping shower
- Stainless steel burner
- Compact size
- Turn it on and off quickly for controlling water flow
- Hard to get the exact water temperature you want
The key feature of this RV tankless water heater is its wide range of applications, not only for RVs but it can also be used for a tiny home, trailers, cabins, and mobile washing services, etc.
It weights light, only 32 pounds, which means it helps save a large amount of space. It is said to take up half the space and weighs 1/3 as much as a 10-gallon tank. When it is installed on RV, the compact shape enables you to install it anywhere you want.
This unit equips with freeze protection devices; when it senses cold temperature under zero, it allows the burner to fire and electric elements automatically to protect the system.
It provides 55000 BTU power and uses less propane than other types, thus it is highly energy efficient. The automatic gas modulation system is adopted to regulate gas for sufficient water temperature.
- Freeze protection equipped
- Space saver
- The automatic gas modulation system
- Energy efficient
- Endless hot water supply
- Long waiting time for hot water, takes about 1 minute
Like other types of RV tankless water heaters, this Excel heater is also designed compact, and weights light, you can easily take it anywhere and install it in your vehicle.
Once it turns on, it takes only a few seconds for hot water to flow out of the pipe, it is able to provide constant hot water for you, brings you satisfying enjoyment on taking a bath or washing hands on your way out for traveling.
The required water pressure is low, it starts with only 2 PSI of water pressure, and no pressurizer pump is needed. Besides, the best feature of it is its vent-free appliance, which means you can install it inside your vehicle or home without adding venting facilities.
Two buttons are set on the machine, one is for gas while the other is for water flow, through the adjustment of the two buttons, you can get the exact temperature you want.
- Energy efficient
- Easy operated
- Space much space
- Operates at the low water pressure
- Venting free design
- The installation instructions are not so clearly
This tankless water heater is able to provide stable water temperature, it has a self-modulation system, regulates the burner to maintain water temperature in different using conditions automatically.
Like PrecisionTemp, this tankless water heater is also equipped with freeze protection, thus it is capable of using in winter or cold areas. The system protects the machine automatically when it reaches freezing temperature.
For this unit, 42000 BTU power is required for best and ideal performance, it needs no special LP gas lines or special plumbing. It operates at least 3 amps. The quiet brushless motor enables you to enjoy the satisfying using experience without any working noise.
Also, from the shape we can see how small it is, when it is installed on RV, it occupies only a small piece of land. Thus it can be a perfect one for RV tankless hot water heater.
- Quiet working performance
- No special plumbing required
- Freeze protection system
- Regulate water temperature automatically
- Stylish compact shape
- You need to buy extra mounting hardware
EcoSmart is one of the top brands of electric tankless water heater, among the products line, EcoSmart 11 is the least powerful and the most compact one, thus it is a perfect choice for RV or small tiny cabins or homes use. You can also use it in traveling because of its lightweight.
It is equipped with self-modulating technology, which means it only operates when hot water is demanded. Such a system saves a lot of energy for you each month. But it also has the problem of unstable water temperature, it gets cold and warm from time to time.
It bears a temperature of 67 degrees F and provides up to 2 gallons of hot water per minute. It is said to save about 60% of the electric bill for you.
The automatically resettable thermostat and digital control console enable to help adjust water temperature easily.
- High energy efficient
- Compact and portable shape
- Easy to install
- Self-modulating system
- Automated resettable thermostat
- Lifetime manufacturer’s warranty
- The water temperature is not stable
Most of the RV tankless water heaters need electric ignition before operating, however, it is capable of operating without the need for any electricity, thus it saves much money on electricity costs for you.
It handles low-level water pressure well, you can simply operate with only 8 PSI with its low-pressure start-up system. And three buttons are set on the machine, one is for gas, one is for water flow, and the other is warm and cold settings, you can adjust the temperature with the buttons.
It boasts to be 3.1 GPM capacity and thus can provide endless hot water. The auto-cutoff system is adopted to protect the heater in case of overheating or overpressure.
The compact shape of it enables you to take and install it anywhere you want.
- Handles low-level water pressure well
- Autoignition, no electricity needed
- 3.1 GPM flow rate
- Low-pressure startup
- Auto cutoff system
- Water temperature is hard to adjust the exact one you want
This RV tankless water heater is able to provide constant hot water for you. It is the most ideal one for fishing, camping, traveling, and other outdoor activities. You can enjoy endless hot water for bathing on RV.
It has great safety protection systems, including auto shut off protection and anti-dry combustion system. When water temperature exceeds 167 degrees F, it will shut off automatically in case of overheating.
Also, there is an anti-off-balance protection system, the water shuts off gas supply automatically when the off-balance occurs. The heater is able to deliver an average of 0.8 gallons of water per minute, the output power requirement is 18000 BTU per hour.
It weighs only 17.5 lbs, and compact shape makes it easy to be installed anywhere on the vehicle, you can even install it under the hand sink for handwashing.
- Compact and portable shape
- Anti-dry combustion protection
- Anti-off-balance protection
- Instant hot water anytime you want
- Instant heat within 10seconds
- It tries to pump even when you turn the machine off, not good for the pump
This tankless water heater has a relatively large flow rate among RV tankless heater market, reaching 3.6 gallons per minute. Thus it is able to provide constant hot water for you any time you want. Besides, it can also be used for small or middle-sized home use.
It adopts a safe electronic ignition system, you can just plug it into a standard 120v electrical outlet with UL-listed cord.
The water temperature is easy to set by adjusting water flow and gas, but of course, it is quite hard to get the exact temperature you want. The water temperature shows on the screen.
It is also designed to be compact and light, perfect for saving much space when traveling outside or use in a small cabin. The working noise is so low that you can hardly hear it in the working process.
- Energy efficient
- Easy to read digital temperature display
- Compact shape design
- Safe electronic ignition system
- Large flow rate
- Endless hot water supply
- Difficult to get the exact temperature you want
RV Tankless Water Heater vs Tank Water Heater
The safety of both water heaters is quite the same, they are both equipped with protection systems, such as overheating and overpressure devices to cut off the machine automatically. Some are also designed with freeze protection to use in cold weather or cold regions.
2. Waiting time
Tankless water heater needs no waiting time for heating, you can use it anytime you want and do not need to worry about running out of the water, thus not much cold water is wasted.
On the other hand, on using a tank water heater, you need to pump out all the cold water in the pipe, which is costly in energy and wastes a large amount of water.
The tankless water heater is designed simple and compact, multiple colors and styles can be chosen, it can even become one of your decorations in your bathroom or kitchen. And compact shape saves a lot of space for you.
Most of the tank water heaters are designed into white or black, pipes, and power supply is exposed outside. And the large tank occupies a large space. You can only install it on your bathroom wall.
The Best RV Tankless Water Heaters
- Camplux 5L 1.32 GPM Tankless Water Heater – Best selling type
- PrecisionTemp RV-550 Tankless Water Heater – Best point of use type
- Excel Tankless Gas Water Heater – Best one for outdoor shower
How to Look for Best RV Tankless Water Heater?
Choosing the best RV tankless water heater is able to save much money for you for a long term of use, it helps save energy and heating costs to a large extent. But there are a few factors you need to consider before choosing:
Each of the recreational vehicles is different in size, thus you need to know how large tankless water heater fits your RV mostly. And whether you intend to install it underwater sink or on the bathroom wall.
2. Water consumption
Before choosing, you should estimate the amount of water you need on RV, and then select a suitable one according to your average amount of water. Besides, the flow rate of each tankless water heater also differs a lot, the flow rate refers to the amount of water machine releases each minute.
The average RV tankless water heater price is around $500, but there are also cheaper and more expensive ones. Before buying, you need to pick according to your budget. Apart from purchasing price, there are also installation costs and using costs you need to consider.
4. Power source
There are altogether three power sources on tankless water heaters, battery-powered, propane, and electric tankless water heaters for RV use. Compared with electric type, battery-powered and propane types are more portable, while electric tankless water heater needs to be connected when using.
5. Smart protection
Most of RV tankless hot water heaters are equipped with smart protection systems, such as overheating devices and freeze protection devices. Those smart functions are able to protect the machine automatically when in dangerous situations and thus prolongs the service life of heaters.
Maintenance costs are quite expensive, thus choosing a heating machine that needs light maintenance is pretty important and helps save a large sum of money for you.
What Are the Different Types of RV Tankless Water Heaters?
Tankless water heaters are a great choice if you love RVing. They have a heat exchanger, which heats the water instantly, providing around two to five gallons per minute. There is no big difference between the RV water heaters and the normal ones. The RV uses different sources, so you need to decide which one is more suitable for you.
Electric RV Tankless Water Heaters
The RV electric water heaters are cost-effective, highly efficient, and environment friendly. They are also easy to install and can be used with a generator or solar panel.
Gas RV Tankless Water Heaters
RV tankless gas water heater runs on propane or kerosene. The water heater comes with vents to release exhaust gases, which is essential for proper operation. The only downside of using propane is it releases greenhouse gases. This makes it 85 percent efficient, but it is still less expensive than electric tankless water heaters.
Non-Condensing RV Tankless Water Heaters
The water heater uses a heat exchanger to heat water on demand. It requires steel venting for the hot exhaust, which is very expensive. This particular unit is not energy efficient, especially If you are using a lot of hot water in short bursts.
Condensing RV Tankless Water Heaters
It uses two heat exchangers. The second one reuses the heat from the exhaust, which helps to further heat the water. This gives them a 92% to 94% efficiency. The PVC vents are inexpensive. This particular unit is not energy efficient when the water is used in short bursts.
How to Use an RV Tankless Water Heater
Below are steps on how to use the RV water heater:
The first thing you want is to ensure that the RV water heater is filled up with enough water. Then check the water heater bypass valve and open it up allowing water to flow to the primary tank.
Switch It On
RV water heaters have to be switched on considering they do not run continuously as households do. If you need hot water it is up to you to think ahead of time as to when you need it so that you flip the switch ahead of time.
Give It Time
Do not panic when the water heater has been switched on and no hot water comes from the tap. It will take around 30 -60 minutes before heating up the water.
Limit Hot Water Usage
The RV water heaters hold around 6 gallons of water which means that when you use more then you have to wait for more to heat up. The 6 gallons of water aren’t as much as you would want so ensure to use the water carefully.
Switch It Off
If you will not use the hot water again after a short while, then make sure to switch off the water heater after using it. I am sure you do not want to keep the switch on, especially if you are using propane. And for those using electricity, you also need to keep the switch off unless you want your heating element to burn.
Replace the Plug
You should replace the plug once a year and while at it rinse out the tank to remove any built-up gunk that has accumulated.
Prepare for Winter
When the water tank is full during winter, it will end up bursting hence causing a lot of damage to the surroundings. Make sure to empty the water and feel the tank with antifreeze.
How to Install an RV Tankless Water Heater
There are two ways of doing this; hire a professional or do it yourself (DIT). Installing the RV water is not rocket science, as long as you handled handy jobs before.
When you have purchased the needed sized holding tank and the other parts, then you are good to start the installation. First, clean out your water system, draining your pipes, holding tanks, and hot water heaters. After that clean your tanks by using the laundry detergent mixed with water. Now read what the instructions say about how that particular model should be installed. After a successful installation, check for leaks. If the new tank is leak-free, then you can sanitize the system using bleach rising several times to ensure it is clean.
What Are the Most Trusted RV Water Heater Brands?
Are you wondering whether the RV water heater you purchased is the best? There are three brands that have proven to be worth the title of being the most trusted brand. These are Camplux 5L Portable propane tankless, SUBURBAN MFG tankless water heater, or precision temperature RV 550. They are the best so it is up to you to select the one that best suits your needs and space.
How to Convert an RV Water to a Tankless?
The most important thing is to choose the size of the tankless water heater you want for your RV.
Your decision should be influenced by how much water you use at a time, the demand, and how many gallons can be used in a minute. The tankless water heater can be installed at any place in your RV, as long as you have space. In an instance that you want a dedicated model of RV, the heater has to be installed on the panel.
Those units using LP or natural gas need to be vented. Water lines have to be run from the group to the water supply. When you have to install the heater on the outer panel then the vent also needs to be cut out. Failure to which it vents directly through the wall considering it has to be directly attached to the unit.
The first step is to make sure that the propane is switched off and the switch of water connection and electrical is disconnected.
After you have done that disconnect the gas, water, and the electrical from the unit. When you are installing the tankless water heater on the outer panel, carefully cut out the previous unit measuring the hole fits up for your new tankless water heater.
Then place the unit up the holes carefully and then properly position the door and seal it.
Ensure you line up the holes on the door match with the holes on the water heater.
The next thing is screwing up everything in its place so that you secure the tank.
Put a bead of silicone around to seal it from any other moisture and water from the outside. You have to connect the 12 volts electrical connection where you have to connect the red with the positive and the black to the ground. But you can combine the gas line with the unit If you want to use gas.
Finally, add the hot and cold water connection to the unit.
Then mount the control panel to the base where it will be easier for you to turn on or off or when changing the temperature.
How to Remove an RV Water Heater
When using the gas water heater, turn off the gas using the cut off valve then turn off the water supply and turn on all the hot water faucets in the house. Drain the water using a garden hose The final step is to disconnect the pipes and the water heater.
How to Light an RV Water Heater Pilot
Make sure the water tank is filled with water before lighting the pilot light to avoid causing any damage. The following is the way to do it:
Press the pilot light knob
Turn the propane tanks and access the panel of the water heater and remove the cover. Twist the control knob over to the pilot then press down on the knob and hold it down to feed propane through the lines.
Light up the pilot light
As you are holding down the control panel, ignite the pilot light using a kitchen lighter or a match. Continue to hold down the knob until you see the flame of the pilot light.
Turn on the water heater
When you are done lighting the pilot light, let go the control knob and twist towards the on position. Finally set your desired temperature and wait for the water to heat up.
How to Maintain an RV Water Heater
The most important fact is to know how to access the water heater and perform maintenance safety. For those RV water heaters using LP and electricity, make sure the power sources are off before tinkering with it. Secondly, make sure you flush the water heater at least twice a year so as to get rid of any hard water that might be building up.
Always ensure you check the electricity once in a while ensuring the electric heating element is functional. You can always remove the electric element and examine it for any corrosion. When preparing to winterize, drain the water heater of all water and ensure its lines are cleared.
How to Turn on a Water Heater in RV
Hot water heater on the left if running on electricity and the propane is on the right. Turn on the profane at the further chamber, if it does not light then it works, but if it lights read, turn it off and on again, and it will light again.
What Size of Water Heater Do You Need?
This depends on the number of people using it or the setup. You don’t expect 10 gallons of water to be used by 4 family members to shower, wash clothes, and cook, choose the size as per your needs.
Are Tankless Water Heaters Difficult to Install in an RV?
As long as it has been done before, it is never difficult. There is a clear and defined procedure on how to install the tankless water heater in an RV. Having instructions makes everything easier as long as you follow them carefully.
Can I Mount a Tankless Water Heater Anywhere in My RV
Not really a direct answer, but this will matter with space you want to install it whether indoors or outdoor. Upon realization of where one is, then you can decide to mount or not. That decision is left in your hands.
- Turn off the power every time you stop using
- Shut off the valve immediately
- Do not use a chemical to clean your heating machine, or it is easily corroded and service life will be shortened
- Always flush and drain under the manufacturer’s instruction
- Turn the machine on slowly so that the air can pass through the pipe
1. Can I install it under the RV sink?
Yes, you can if it is small enough. When you install it under the sink, it needs no wiring or special tools in installation and helps save much space.
Also, the distance between tap and heater is close so less cold water is wasted in using, and the water bills can be saved to a large extent.
2. How to install RV tankless water heaters?
Before installing, you should pay attention to the connecting gas, water, and electricity lines, etc. If you lack enough knowledge of it, you can just get a professional to help to install it for you.
3. How to turn it on?
There are several steps on turning the machine on, you need to check the valve first, open it up and allow the water to flow to the primary tank. Then you can connect RV to the water outlet.
|Tankless Water Heater||Best Type|
|Best selling type||Camplux 5L 1.32 GPM Tankless Water Heater|
|Best point of use type||PrecisionTemp RV-550 Tankless Water Heater|
|Best one for outdoor shower||Excel Tankless Gas Water Heater|
RV tankless water heaters are able to provide constant hot water for you when you go out for traveling or for camping. Apart from the above recommended tankless water heaters, there are still many types on Amazon that can be chosen, please feel free to check out more information or price details on it.