- 1 Best RV Tankless Water Heater Reviews
- 2 What Is an RV Tankless Water Heater?
- 3 RV Tankless Water Heater Buying Guide
- 4 Types of RV Tankless Water Heaters
- 5 Which Is More Efficient – Gas or Electric Hot Water Heater?
- 6 How Does an RV Tankless Water Heater Work?
- 7 Benefits of Using an RV Tankless Water Heater
- 8 RV Tankless Water Heater Installation
- 9 How to Convert RV Water Heater to Tankless
- 10 How to Winterize an RV Tankless Water Heater
- 11 FAQ
- 12 Wrap Up
Tankless water heaters are the next generation of heating appliances that provide on-demand water whenever you need it. Tanks are a thing of the past – they take too much space and waste a lot of energy. Tankless units are reliable and can heat water instantly. Additionally, purchasing the best RV tankless water heater is an excellent option always to have hot water in your vehicle when you are on a trip.
If you want to find out more about tankless heating units, make sure to check out a detailed buying guide in this article. We cover all the factors you need to consider during the purchase, including heater types, fuel source, and other relevant features.
We will also teach you the basics of how tankless units work and what you should know about installing them. Before reading the guide, feel free to check out the RV tankless water heater reviews listed below. They may help you find the perfect unit that will meet and exceed your expectations.
Best RV Tankless Water Heater Reviews
1. PrecisionTemp RV-550 Tankless Water Heater
If you are looking for a tankless heater to use in an RV, why not pick one specifically made for those vehicles? The first thing you notice is that RV-550 is a small water heater. Its measurements are only 13.5 x 13.5 x 14.2 inches, which means it can fit almost anywhere.
The heater operates on gas, and it utilizes the 20-pound propane tank. It can deliver up to 55,000BTUs to meet all your expectations regarding the hot water temperature. The manufacturer guarantees a flowrate of at least 0.5 gallons per minute, although its optimal rate is 1.0 GPM. You can use the unit throughout the year as it has an integrated anti-freeze feature.
It is a 100% USA product and the company claims that each unit was tested by hand to ensure everything works properly. You might need a bit of effort to figure out how to accurately adjust the water temperature, but overall, this is a solid heater that can serve you for years.
2. Girard 2GWHAM On-Demand Tankless Water Heater
If you worry about your tankless heater making noise when operating, you will appreciate knowing that this appliance uses a quiet and brushless motor.
The unit operates on propane, and it is easy to install. Once you set it up, you can adjust the desired temperature on the control panel. Alternatively, you can utilize the remote that comes with the product.
The heater has a microprocessor system that keeps track of the incoming and outgoing water heat to ensure that you get hot water of optimal temperature.
The heat output is set at 42,000BTUs, which should be more than enough for RVs and on-the-go use. As long as the power is on, the device can be used during the winter, too.
The optimal operation of this unit requires you to use about 1 GPM of water. That being said, you may encounter colder temperatures than expected in case of higher flow rates.
3. EZ Tankless EZ 202 Portable Propane Tankless Water Heater
EZ 202 is one of the lightest models we have seen on the market. It weighs only 15 pounds, which makes it ideal for RV and outdoor use.
The heater has a traditional white design and compact size of 14.25 x 6 x 26 inches. On the front, you will notice a panel for adjusting the water flow, flame level, and choosing between summer and winter settings.
A showerhead comes with the device, and you can connect it to a hose by using the inlet. The inlet does seem a bit mild, but it should serve your on-the-go needs. At a 45F water temperature increase, this unit can deliver around 3.2 gallons of water per minute. That may be enough for more than a single appliance in your RV.
Keep in mind that you will need two cell batteries to ignite the unit, and you will have to buy them separately.
4. Eccotemp L10 2.6 GPM Portable Tankless Water Heater
The unit operates on propane, and the installation process is fairly easy since you get everything you need to connect it to a 20LB gas tank. The unit is fairly lightweight as it weighs 27 pounds, and you can mount it on the wall or even hang it.
The heater has an automatic turn-off timer that will shut down the unit after 20 minutes. Although safety is at a high level, the performance at cold temperatures might not be like the unit doesn’t have an anti-freeze feature.
That shouldn’t be a deal breaker, especially when you see that the device can provide up to 74,000BTUs of heat. You use cell batteries to power the unit, and it is activated by pressure.
You can easily install the heater and set the desired temperature on the control unit. It may be interesting to note that you can even purchase multiple units at once.
5. Excel TANKLESS LPG GAS WATER HEATER
You can activate this unit with a low water pressure of only 2PSI, and the batteries that run it come with the appliance. The heater utilizes propane gas to work, and it can deliver 1.6 gallons per minute of water at an optimal temperature rise.
The most intriguing feature is the copper heat exchanger that ensures that optimal hot water is delivered to the faucet. The manufacturer provides a lifetime warranty, and the exchanger does a good job, but note that it will make the device itself hot, which is why you should consider placing it away from other appliances or furniture pieces.
The company indicates that the heater is recommended for a 50F temperature rise. However, you can adjust the desired temperature by using the knobs on the front of the device. The unit is aesthetically pleasing with the classic white color and modern design. The heater measures 18 x 7 x 14 inches and weighs 20 pounds.
6. Camplux 5L 1.32 GPM Outdoor Portable Propane Tankless Water Heater
If you need a serious increase in water temperature, you may consider this unit. The Camplux heater is capable of increasing the water temperature for up to 114F and still secure the optimal 1.32GPM flowrate. It is an impressive temperature rise for a unit designed to be used in an RV or on the go. You can adjust the settings on the front, and the installation itself should be fairly simple.
The unit is packed with safety features, including protection against freezing and an automatic turn-off timer that detects oxygen depletion in the room.
The shower attachment could be of better quality, and the unit itself can get heated quickly. The heater comes with overheat protection, but it seems like the feature could do a better job.
On the positive side, you only need 2.5PSI water pressure to activate it, and it will quickly provide hot water.
What Is an RV Tankless Water Heater?
There is a feeling of pride in owning a recreational vehicle. It gives you the opportunity to go on a trip whenever you feel like it. But when you are on the go, a continuous supply of hot water is essential for all your hygienic and other needs.
That is where a tankless water heater comes into play. As soon as you demand, these heaters can provide hot water. Their biggest advantage is that there is no long waiting time for the water to heat. Instead, they heat the water as it passes through the unit and delivers it hot to your faucets.
That makes tankless heaters one of the most vital appliances you can have in your RV. Not only it can continuously provide hot water, but it doesn’t take a lot of space because it doesn’t use a tank. With RV tankless heaters, you can enjoy a long shower and relax even if you are away from home. Those are perfect after days you spend hiking or sightseeing.
As long as you choose the right tankless water heater, these heating appliances can deliver water to multiple faucets simultaneously. You also do not have to worry whether you will leave enough hot water for the people who you brought on the trip. The continuous heating can provide as much hot water as you need around the clock.
RV Tankless Water Heater Buying Guide
Are you wondering what factors you should consider when purchasing a tankless heating unit for your RV? Here is a simple guide with the steps to follow.
What to Consider When Buying an RV Tankless Water Heater
Estimate the Average Water Consumption
The first thing you want to ensure is that you have enough hot water in your RV when you need it. That is why you should evaluate the level of water consumption.
Take a look at some pointers that can help:
- Showers – 1 ½ to 3 gallons per minute (GPM)
- Bathtubs – 2 to 4 GPM
- Toilets – ½ GPM
- Sinks – 1 ½ GPM
The above list indicates the average consumption of water by the commonly used appliances in an RV. If you plan to use more of them at the same time, you will need to ensure that the tankless heater you are buying can secure enough hot water at all times. That is why you should pay attention to the water flow rate. The manufacturers indicate it by providing the gallons per minute (GPM) information.
Heaters that can provide up to 6GPM will cover you in most cases. However, make sure to check the above table before you decide. Additionally, keep in mind that the flow rate may depend on the desired heat output. You can adjust the preferred water temperature on the unit, but that may affect the GPM delivered.
Identify the Desired Heat Output
The heat output indicates how effective the unit is in heating the water. That information is vital to find out the increase in water temperature after it passes through the heater. The manufacturers indicate the heat output in BTUs. These are British Thermal Units and are a standard measurement for describing the heating power of tankless water heaters.
The required heat output will vary depending on the climate. If you are traveling to a place with a mild climate, even low-power units can cover you. But if you are in a cold climate and need a significant difference in water temperature, look for a powerful heater that is one of the best in its class.
Is It Durable?
In most cases, RV tankless water heaters will last for years and even decades. The exact lifespan might depend on how well you take care of the unit, but most of these appliances are durable and made of high-quality materials.
Many of them even include the manufacturer’s warranty. It may vary from a one-year guarantee to the one covering you for years to come.
Other Features to Consider
Here are some other features that you may also keep in mind when buying an RV tankless water heater:
- Is it easy to install the unit? Does it come with a detailed product manual?
- Make sure to evaluate your budget before choosing the unit. As much as we wouldn’t like it to be so, the price can play an important factor in picking the preferred heater.
- What are the safety features included? Is their protection against overheating or electricity spikes?
- Does it come with accessories like pipes, fittings, hoses, and showerheads? Would you need to buy anything for yourself?
- Where do you plan to place the heater? Is the size appropriate for that position?
Types of RV Tankless Water Heaters
When it comes to types of tankless water heaters you can place in your RV; you can consider these two categories:
Let’s analyze both to see their advantages and drawbacks.
Gas RV Tankless Water Heaters
Since it is almost impossible to have natural gas available in your RV when you are on the move, we will focus on propane gas heating units. You should consider a gas tankless water heater if you have an RV with multiple faucets where you may need hot water simultaneously. If you want to have a shower while somebody else is doing the dishes, gas units are a great choice to meet all hot water needs.
At this moment, gas is a more affordable option to fuel your heater than using electricity. Although the price may vary from one region to another, propane is a relatively cheap alternative to heating your water on demand.
- It is quite powerful and can deliver a high level of GPM
- You can use it to serve multiple faucets simultaneously
- Gas is a cheaper fueling option than electricity
- Maintenance takes some time and effort
- Not as environmentally friendly as electric heaters
Electric RV Tankless Water Heaters
Electric tankless heaters are perfect for those that worry about the planet and consider their environmental impact. With the energy efficiency of 98% and no dangerous gasses emission, you can enjoy hot water without leaving a carbon footprint.
Setting up the unit may require a little effort, but maintenance is fairly simple. Additionally, electric heaters can be more affordable than their gas counterparts.
When it comes to using them in an RV, please note you will need to secure electricity and a separate socket to power the unit.
In terms of performance, you cannot expect wonders because electric units are not as powerful as gas. While they can do a good job in raising water temperature, you should make sure to make the right choice if using them in cold climates.
- An environmentally-friendly solution
- It doesn’t take a lot of effort to maintain the unit
- You might find affordable heaters
- You need to secure an electric socket to power it
- Cannot raise the water temperature as much as gas
Which Is More Efficient – Gas or Electric Hot Water Heater?
We are focusing on tankless water heaters in this article, and if we pay attention to the quantity of hot water a unit can deliver, we can safely say that tankless gas heaters are more efficient.
Although that ultimately depends on the unit, the statistics indicate that gas units can deliver higher GPM of water than their electric counterparts. On top of that, propane is a cheaper form of fuel than electricity.
However, if you worry about the environmental impact, you may consider electric units, too. Their energy efficiency often goes up to 98%, which is quite impressive. Additionally, there are no emissions of dangerous gases, which means you are taking care of your planet.
Ultimately, gas tankless heaters are more efficient in terms of RPM delivery, but electric units consider they are a better option when it comes to energy efficiency.
How Does an RV Tankless Water Heater Work?
The crucial thing about the working process of an RV tankless heater is the word “tankless.” These units do not require any tank to store water. They work by heating the water as it passes through the unit. The electric heaters use an electric element to heat the water as it goes through a pipe. On the other hand, propane heaters have a gas burner that does the same job.
Depending on the specifics of the unit, the heating elements can raise the temperature of the water for a particular number of degrees. They do that instantaneously, which is how they enable a continuous supply of optimally heated water.
Here is how the process works in several simple steps:
- When you turn on the unit and activate the faucet, the water starts running through the pipes.
- As the water travels, the heating element heats it.
- The water continues its way to the faucet and is delivered hot to the user.
When using RV tankless water heaters, you do not have to wait for a long time for the water to heat. Instead, simply turning the unit on will activate it and you can enjoy its magic.
Benefits of Using an RV Tankless Water Heater
You now know how to choose an RV tankless water heater. But have you ever considered why do you need one in the first place?
Let’s take a look at the crucial benefits of these heating appliances.
- Get Instant and Unlimited Hot Water Whenever You Want It
When using tank water heaters, you need to give them at least half an hour to fill their container with hot water. Additionally, they only deliver a limited amount of hot water, which means that you are in danger of having to finish your shower with cold water.
The crucial advantage of a tankless water heater is that it ensures unlimited and instant hot water. These units deliver water on an on-demand basis. As soon as you turn on the shower, they start the process of heating and send hot water to you.
And the best part is that they do this for as long as you need them. So, if you want to enjoy a long luxury shower without worrying about water going cold, you should go tankless.
- You Can Choose the Temperature of the Water
Many tankless heating units come with an easy to use control panel. That is where you can adjust the desired water temperature. That way you can make the water just perfect for your shower or other necessities.
- They Are Space Savers
Tankless water heaters do not require a tank, which allows them to be compact-sized and take less space as their tank counterparts. That is particularly vital for an RV where you are dealing with limited space anyway.
- You Will Save Money, Too
Never doubt that you will be making a long-term investment with a tankless heating unit. They are durable and can last for years.
On top of that, they are more energy efficient than their tank alternatives. With the high energy efficiency, they will save you money on operating costs in the long run.
- Make Sure the Water Is Clean
When using a tank heater, the chances are the water spent some time in the container before you decided to use it. If there is any sediment or rust inside the tank, that may affect the quality of water.
Tankless units do not hold water because they heat it as it passes through the unit. That means you will get a cleaner water supply whenever you decide for a shower.
Additionally, the cleaning and the maintaining process of tankless water heaters are fairly simple.
- It Is an Environmentally Friendly Solution
Tankless heating units only heat water when you demand that from them. That secures improved efficiency and spends less energy. Therefore, tankless heaters are more environmentally friendly than the tank heating unit.
RV Tankless Water Heater Installation
The actual installation process varies from one heater to another. That is why it is important to consult the product’s manual and follow all the steps carefully.
Here are the usual steps included in the process of installing an RV tankless water heater:
- Mounting the unit in the desired position
- Connecting the unit to the gas and electricity lines
- Setting the connection to the desired water faucet(s)
- Installing the flue for any potential exhaust gasses
It is vital to strictly follow the instructions for the tankless heater that you bought. These appliances can be dangerous in case of improper installation. An average DIYer shouldn’t have any problems installing an RV water heater. However, if you feel like you can’t do it yourself, make sure to hire a professional.
It is better to ensure that everything is done right. That way you will know that the item is safe, and you will ensure that it works as expected.
How to Convert RV Water Heater to Tankless
In essence, you will have to make an upgrade. The majority of water heaters that come with a tank cannot be directly converted to tankless units. You should consider contacting a professional that will tell you whether you can use particular parts of your old system. However, you should be prepared to invest in a new tankless heater.
The good news is that converting a water heater to tankless is an investment that will save you money in the long run. The expense you have on fueling the appliance will be considerably less than before, which makes it a smart investment.
Having a plan is essential when doing the RV water heater conversion to a tankless unit. You should consider where to place the water heater, how many faucets you plan to heat and run simultaneously and choose the right unit to meet your needs.
As for the last one, we hope that our reviews can help, so go ahead and check them out once again to pick the appliance perfect for your needs.
How to Winterize an RV Tankless Water Heater
The main reason why you need to winterize a tankless water heater is to expand its longevity and keep it from damage. That is especially important if winters come with low temperatures, snow, and other severe weather conditions.
Here is how you can winterize your tankless heating unit:
- Turn the unit off by pressing the OFF switches on the control panel. Additionally, you want to turn off the main energy line. If you use an electric unit, pull the plug from the socket. As for gas heaters, you should turn off the supply line by ensuring that the main valve is turned off.
- Make sure to check if there is any water inside the pipes. In other words, you want to drain the unit.
- We do not advise doing that immediately after using the appliance. Instead, be patient and wait until the water cools down before draining the pipes.
- If you do not plan to use the heater, you probably won’t use the RV either. So, make sure to turn off the water supply.
- Run all the taps in your RV to drain the system.
- The pipes that go into and out from the tankless heater should be disconnected.
Check once again that there isn’t any water left to confirm you are safe for the upcoming winter. The process is a bit of hassle, but it will ensure everything will be working properly once the spring comes.
- Q: Where can I install a tankless water heater in my RV?
A: In most cases, you can place the heater wherever you want as long as there is enough space for it and you can make the connection with the water faucets around the vehicle. However, make sure to consult the instruction manual for tips regarding your particular unit.
The general rule is that you should aim in to place the heater close to water taps. That way you can maximize its efficiency.
- Q: Do I have to clean my RV Tankless Water Heater?
Yes, cleaning the appliance is vital if you want to keep the optimal quality of water. By cleaning the heater regularly, you ensure there is no bacteria or any other dangerous compounds. It is extremely important to clean the heating unit if you haven’t used it for a while.
The cleaning process may vary from one appliance to another, so make sure to read the manual.
- Q: How to use a tankless water heater?
Most tankless heating units come with a control panel. That is where you can turn the unit on or off, as well as adjust the desired water temperature. You control the unit pretty much the same as any other appliance in your RV or home.
Once the unit is turned on, go ahead and activate the water tap. You will notice that the tankless heater delivers on-demand hot water whenever you turn on the faucet.
When choosing the best RV tankless water heater for your needs, the critical thing to consider is that you shouldn’t rush things. As you could read, many different factors should be considered when purchasing a tankless unit for your recreational vehicle.
Make sure to take your time reading our buying guide and discovering which features matter to you the most. That will enable you to identify the most suitable appliance from our RV tankless water heater reviews. While you cannot go wrong with either from the list, it is vital to find a unit that perfectly suits your needs!