Table of Contents

Whether you’re relaxing in your RV after a hard day at work or seeing loved ones, or if you’ve just gotten over a cold.  There are many situations in which running out of hot water is the worst thing that may happen.

The fact that most RV hot water heaters only store 6 to 10 gallons of water makes this an especially common occurrence. However, you’re in luck since this is not the case for you. For those who are concerned about never running out of hot water again (at least as long as their heater is on), tankless hot water heaters are an increasingly popular choice.

By providing constant, on-demand access to hot water, tankless hot water heaters guarantee that your RV is constantly well-stocked with usable hot water.

Let’s take a look at how they operate and some of our favorite examples.

Best tankless water heaters – Top 8 picks

Below are some of our personal recommendations for tankless water heaters. 

1. Camplux 5L portable propane tankless water heater

Camplux 5L 1.32 GPM Outdoor Portable Propane Gas Tankless Water Heater With 1.2 GPM Water Pump
  • CSA approved portable tankless water heater for US &Canada markets. Lowest water pressure start up just need 3.0...
  • Wide comfortable water temperature range from 8℃-46℃ (46.4℉-114.8℉), 1.32 gallons per minute of hot water...
  • Compact and lightweight size tankless water heaterwith folding handle keeps it out of the way, allowing for a...

You may use the Camplux 5L model as a regular hot water heater, or if the weather is good, you can use it as an outdoor shower. All you’ll need is a way to get propane. Additionally, it has a customizable flow rate and consumes less fuel than many similar units, which makes it an excellent choice. Due to the fact that it operates on propane, it may be used even when the power is down. However, one disadvantage is that draining may be a hassle.

A folding handle on this tankless water heater makes it simple to transport or hang from a hook. Because it’s a portable heater, it runs on propane and is powered by two D-cell batteries. Although batteries are not included in the package, you may get away with purchasing them separately because of the low cost of the device.

In order to avoid dangerous amounts of carbon dioxide building up, this model is intended for outdoor usage. However, it may be installed inside with enough ventilation. The top and bottom mounting brackets are also included, and the screw holes are easily accessible with a screwdriver. One disadvantage of this specific device is that the burners are susceptible to failure even when there is just a small breeze. At higher altitudes, when the wind is stronger, it’s almost worthless.

The heater’s burners will stop working if it’s used in a horizontal posture. The folding hanger makes it easy to use while holding it in your hand, or you may hang it up in a secure location. The handle, on the other hand, may become excessively hot from the top-venting heat and become immobile after usage.

There is an adaptor required for NPT fittings when piping water through the device since the water lines utilize 12″ BSP. When the heater is not in use, some people have seen water seeping out, therefore washers may be required.

The good news is that everything you need to operate the unit right away is included in the package, including a gas regulator, hose, and shower head. When it’s frozen, you’ll want a drain stopper so that you don’t ruin your pipes by leaving water in them.

Starting pressure of 2.5 psi is reasonable once your plumbing is finished, but if you utilize stagnant water sources, even a modest water pump will enhance flow. The desired temperature of the hot water may be easily controlled as long as the pressure is constant. Thermostat readouts are nonexistent in this one, so you will have to guess how hot it is each time you use them.

The continuous hot water duration is limited to 20 minutes, like with other tankless portable water heaters. This may not be enough time for certain people. In most cases, though, shutting it off before the time limit has expired would just start the countdown all over again. It is also smaller and produces less heat compared to other popular heaters. Camplux has larger versions with greater power, but they’re less portable.

Pros

  • Retractable handle for easy storage
  • The package includes a shower head, hose, and gas regulator.
  • 2.5 psi is a low starting pressure.
  • Freeze protection for winter seasons

Cons

  • Surface heats up 
  • Flames are easily put out with just a small wisp of air.
  • No temperature display
  • Fittings are not universally available to users in the United States.
  • Continuous hot water has a 20-minute time restriction.

2. Camplux 10L 2.64GPM Outdoor Portable Tankless Water Heater

Camplux Tankless Water Heater, 2.64 GPM On Demand Instant Hot Water Heater,Propane Tankless Water Heater for Shower, White
  • 2.64 GPM Instant Hot Water -Camplux high capacity 2.64 GPM propane tankless water heater delivers 2.64 GPM on...
  • 6-IN-1 Multiple Protection- Flame-out protection, anti-freezing protection (manual drainage needed),...
  • Easy Installation -The propane water heater uses standard 1/2" NPT water fitting and gas inlet. Comes with 2"...

The new 10l Camplux tankless water heater is a step up from the previous 5l model. Water is heated using a propane-powered heater that is ignited by two AA batteries. As a result, it’s mainly intended for outside usage and includes an exhaust vent on top. However, it doesn’t come with a rain cover as well as a folding handle resulting in difficulty in transport. 

The screw holes on the bottom of the device are simple to reach with a screwdriver, but the mounting bracket on top is difficult to reach. Once the unit is installed, there is adequate room in the rear for air to flow. In order to use the heater inside, you’ll need to build a flue vent or make other arrangements for adequate ventilation in the room.

The water lines in the device utilize a 12″ BSP for plumbing fluids, and while it’s not the most common standard, there are adapters in the box for NPT fittings. The kit comes with a hose, shower head, and gas regulator, all of which are welcome additions. The Full/Eco knob helps you save money on propane by letting you adjust it based on the temperature of the input.

Taking the water out is as simple as pulling the drain stopper. Frozen water within the heater must be avoided if you want to get the most out of it.

If your water supply is a faucet with a high flow, a starting pressure of 3.6 psi will be more than adequate to start the unit. The use of a water pump is not necessary for gravity-fed sources, although it is highly recommended. Hot water takes a few minutes to flow out of a faucet with constant pressure. Fortunately, unlike the other less expensive type, this one has a thermostat readout, making it simple to determine how hot the output will be.

There is a 20-minute timer on the continuous supply of hot water, but you can get around it by turning off the device and turning it back on again before the timer expires. This isn’t a deal breaker if you’re the kind to turn off the water while not in use.

Pros

  • Using the Full/Eco knob reduces propane use.
  • Comes with thermostat display
  • Drain stopper for easy water collection and draining
  • 3.6 psi of low-pressure start-up pressure
  • The package contains a shower head, hose, gas regulator, and several adapters.

Cons

  • No handle
  • No rain cover
  • Screwdriver access to the top mounting bracket is hampered.
  • Takes time to produce hot water
  • Only produces hot water for a maximum of 20 minutes

3. Eccotemp L10 Propane Portable Tankless Water Heater

Eccotemp L10 Portable Water Heater w/ Shower Set
  • Lightweight, easy to carry, and compact, makes using it for camping, hunting, in your Tiny Home, RV’s, Poolside,...
  • Runs on a standard 20 lb. Liquid Propane tank and is equipped with an electronic ignition. Powered by 2 “D”...
  • Features a safety shut-off that is activated when the unit runs longer than 20 minutes or is tilted more than 45...

The Eccotemp L10, like the Camplux 5L, is lightweight and portable, and unlike many tankless water heaters, it only uses energy when you need it. Because of its toughness and mobility, it may also be used as an outdoor shower when camping in distant locations. It is, on the other hand, much heavier than other portable devices.

The burners of this tankless water heater run on propane, while the ignition is provided by two D-cell batteries. Even though batteries aren’t included, having the rain hat in the package is a nice touch. This cap is a godsend if your heater is outside where it’s vulnerable to water damage from the elements.

For portability, I would have preferred an actual handle rather than having to hold on to the mounting bracket. I particularly like the fact that the screw holes are easily accessible with a screwdriver, are almost half an inch farther away from the rear, and have enough room when mounted on a wall to allow for air circulation.

Since the system lacks a pump, you’ll need to use a pressured input to control the water flow. If your water supply isn’t as pressured as a garden faucet, you’ll almost always need a pump to meet the recommended beginning pressure of 20 psi.

It does not come with a shower head or hose, however the fittings are universally used at 12″ NPT. Shower heads and hoses of all brands may be used with the adapters and quick connects that are included in the package, as well. There is also a gas regulator, and a propane tank of 20 pounds or more may be used without any issues.

Controlling water flow and temperature together to produce your desired output requires a steady supply of water as an input. Unfortunately, there is no thermostat, so you’ll have to make educated guesses about how hot the temperature is. For this reason, it is not suitable for winter usage, since there is no freeze protection. Burners may perish in strong winds, so use caution if you’re over 4000 feet in elevation. Be aware that after 20 minutes of continuous hot water supply, the device will automatically switch off.

Pros

  • With a screwdriver, it is simple to get to the screw holes.
  • included are a rain cover and a gas regulator.
  • Quick and simple shower head and hose of any brand installation
  • When you restart the device, the hot water timer is reset.

Cons

  • There are no batteries included in the package.
  • The lack of a handle
  • The burners cannot be ignited without a pressurized input.
  • The timer on the hot water only lasts for 20 minutes.
  • There was no shower head included in the package.

4. Excel Propane Tankless Water Heater

Sale
Excel Tankless On-Demand Gas Water Heater VENTFREE – Propane (LPG) - Low Water Pressure Startup
  • PROPANE LPG GAS UNIT
  • "Low Water Pressure" Startup Technology
  • Starts with only 2 PSI of Water Pressure - Amazon Exclusive

This Excel tankless water heater requires just 2 psi of water pressure to operate, and it can operate at pressures as high as 120 psi, making it more versatile than other tankless heaters. When used with water less than 50 degrees (although it can function down to 40 at a reduced flow rate), it has a tendency to sputter. However, it has received positive reviews and is well-designed. Installing it, on the other hand, may be a hassle.

Unlike traditional water heaters, this tankless water heater runs on propane and emits no flue gas as a result of the usage of this technology. Excel’s unique technology converts methane and nitrous oxide from combustion into carbon monoxide and vapor. As a result, there is no smoke produced, making this a green option. One set of D-cell batteries is included in the package. For the first time, I discovered it to be a useful small convenience.

While the device may be installed inside or outdoors, the top can become very hot due to the heat exchange taking place there. Installing it in an area with adequate ventilation is critical. It may also be toxic since it emits carbon monoxide, so keep an eye out for that if you’re in a small area.

For optimal performance, Excel advises mounting this upright. Mounting holes on the rear offer a good airflow allowance, so you should be able to put it just about anyplace.

Plumbing the system requires a minimum input pressure of two psi, which is sufficient for gravity-fed sources as long as the water flow is constant. This is particularly useful if you often move between various water sources and have fluctuating water pressure. Without freeze protection, using it in the winter means emptying it by hand to keep it from freezing and breaking.

Because it comes with normal 12″ NPT connections rather than wanting a shower head or hose included in the package, you may use whatever brand of shower or hose you choose. Only a brass adapter is included in the package; neither a gas regulator nor a thermostat are included.

Because of the low beginning pressure, the heater can operate at elevations up to 7000 feet without a problem, which is astonishing.

This heater, like many others, has a 20-minute timer before it turns off.

Pros

  • no smoke is produced by this device
  • Two D-cell batteries are included in the package.
  • Working at high altitudes with just a 2 psi starting pressure
  • Shower head and hose adapters of any brand may be easily attached.

Cons

  • When utilized inside, be cautious of excessive carbon monoxide.
  • When operating, the top of the device may get very hot.
  • The hot water is only available for 20 minutes.
  • the package did not include a shower head, hose, or gas regulator

5. EZ 202 portable propane tankless water heater

The EZ 202, like the Eccotemp L10, is a small, lightweight heater. Having said that, a handle would have made transporting it much simpler. Some customers have had trouble with the setup procedure, but it’s quite simple to use otherwise. Many thanks to its difficult-to-reach wall-mounting brackets that make it more difficult to install.

Powered by two D-cell batteries, this tankless heater heats water using propane.

Ample vents on the bottom of the EZ202 make it easy for air to flow through. The drawback is that in windy circumstances, the flame will be rapidly extinguished. If you want to use it outdoors, you’ll need something to cover the exhaust vent since it doesn’t come with one. If you plan on using the unit inside, you’ll need to find a way to get the flue gas out of the room. It is efficient in its usage of propane and has one of the highest flow rates available for portable units, at up to 3.2 gallons per minute.

When plumbing your unit, you’ll notice that the water inlet and outlet fittings are made of brass, while the gas inlet is made of steel. This is a nice little detail to have. This helps to differentiate between the water and gas lines. Even though the beginning pressure is modest (2.9 psi), if your gravity-fed system doesn’t have a steady flow of water, you’ll require a small pump. Having a backup water pump is essential in locations without access to running water.

The water line fittings are 12″ NPT, and a shower head or hose is included in the package. Also, there is no gas regulator, which is disappointing considering the price. Fortunately, a thermostat readout is available (unlike some other cheaper models).

With the Winter/Summer knob, you can regulate how much propane you use according to the outside temperature. It’s a good way to save gas, particularly in the summer when heating water that’s already heated because of the temperature uses much less gas.

Turning on the unit and wanting hot water straight away? Just crank the flame up and the flow down a notch. As soon as your hot water starts to run low, the system will automatically turn itself off after 20 minutes to avoid overheating. Using hot water for anything more than this will need turning the device off and then back on. Also, keep in mind that the heater will automatically shut off if the temperature rises to 190 degrees Fahrenheit (88 degrees Celsius).

Pros

  • It’s easy to tell the difference between water and gas lines.
  • This model has a low starting pressure of 2.9 psi and is equipped with a temperature readout.
  • Shower head and hose are included.

Cons

  • It does not come with batteries.
  • When there is a lot of wind, it is more susceptible to fading out.
  • It’s missing a rain cover and gas regulator.
  • There is just a 20 minute hot water cycle.

6. Girard 2GWHAM Propane Tankless Water Heater

Sale
GIRARD 2GWHAM Tankless Water Heater
  • Regulates the burner to maintain the set hot water temperature.Freeze protection - designed for winter Use
  • 42,000 BTUs which provides the optimum performance for an RV's plumbing
  • No special LP gas lines or special plumbing required

Those looking for a lot more power should check out the 1GWHAF’s upgraded cousin, the 1GWHAF+. With its freeze protection capabilities, it’s considerably more suited for four-season usage. Compared to the 1GWHAF, the 2GWHAM is noticeably quieter. Because it operates on propane, doesn’t need any special pipes, and self-regulates, you can use it anywhere. The mounting equipment, on the other hand, must be bought separately.

An RV’s six-gallon tank water heater may be replaced with this tankless heater. Fortunately, Girard sells adapters for common water heater manufacturers including Atwood and Suburban, as well as the unit’s door depending on your RV’s make and model. The door will need to be ordered individually from Girard’s website.

You’ll need a 12V power supply to operate the appliance, which runs on propane. Digital temperature control is included in the box; but the speed of the cooling fan cannot be adjusted when the heater is operating. This results in a very loud noise (although not as loud as the previous model). If you keep the heater on all day, you can hear it even from outside the RV, which is inconvenient.

When it comes to changing the unit, it is rather simple, but there is one change in the wiring, which is particularly noticeable when replacing an Atwood unit. When wiring the controller, just utilize the brown wire and leave the blue and brown wires out. The blue cable, it turns out, is not the ground connection, but rather another light indication for the control panel.

The water line includes a 12″ NPT fitting, and the water input control valve is a nice feature when plumbing the device. Instead of a compression fitting, the gas line uses a 3/8″ flare fitting, as specified in the instructions. The instructions may be deceiving for anybody who doesn’t realize that a compression fitting isn’t the best choice for a gas pipe.

The continuous supply of hot water from this tankless water heater lasts for just 20 minutes. This seems to be insufficient for a bigger unit. It appears to work if you switch it off and on again before the 20-minute mark, but it’s easy to forget to do so.

Keep in mind that if the temperature in the shower or sink exceeds 95 degrees Fahrenheit, the unit will not be able to keep up with the volume. It’s unfortunate that you can’t use hot water in the sink and shower at the same time if you want water that’s warmer than 95 degrees.

Because it is more exposed to cold weather than smaller water heaters, this heater has freeze protection so that it may be used in the winter. It’s common knowledge that having access to quick hot water is essential during the cold blizzards, particularly if you live at a higher elevation.

Pros

  • Atwood and Suburban water heaters are directly interchangeable.
  • Girard has replacement doors for several types of RVs.
  • It has a digital controller for easy operation.
  • it’s equipped with anti-freeze technology

Cons

  • Unable to adjust speed of cooling fan makes it noisy
  • Flare fittings are used in gas lines, although the instructions do not accurately describe this.
  • There is a 20-minute time limit on the use of continuously hot water
  • The unit’s maximum hot water temperature is 95 degrees Fahrenheit, which is inadequate for most uses.

7. PrecisionTemp RV-550 tankless water heater

Despite being one of the more costly models, the RV-550 pays for itself over time because of its exceptional efficiency. For example, a 20-pound propane tank can warm up to 940 gallons of liquid. Because of its size and weight, it’s perfect for RVs, but it may also be utilized in other places, such as tiny houses, where space is limited, like a 10-gallon water heater. It has a high flow rate of 1.5 gallons per minute and is very quiet. The only downside is the cost.

A 10-gallon propane tank water heater may be replaced with this tankless propane water heater by connecting your RV’s power supply and heating the water that way. If your RV heater compartment is very large, the PrecisionTemp has adaptor mounts for it.

When putting it together, keep in mind that the front and rear of the unit are tapered. Another camper I know replaced his Atwood 6 gallon tank, but just measured the rear end of it. When he initially tried to install the heater, the hole was too small and he had to enlarge it to fit the opening on the front. Because it’s a drop-in replacement for a 10-gallon water heater, there’s a void within the opening. Nothing that can’t be fixed with a few wood spacers.

In addition to the usual white color, you may request the door in a raw metal finish. For a little extra fee, PrecisionTemp claims that you can even select the color of the unit to match the outside of your RV.

The heater’s cables are a different color after installation, but the handbook explains how to connect them to the existing controller in great detail. However, unlike the Girard 2GWHAMk, you will not be provided with a new controller or a thermostat readout. Even if this is cumbersome, at least it has built-in anti-freeze (thermostat detects 38 degrees Fahrenheit of input).

Water lines utilize 12″ NPT connections, while gas lines use 3/8″ flare fittings when piping gas through the system. However, unlike the Girard model, this one does not have a valve for controlling the amount of water it receives. Adding flow valves to the piping isn’t difficult, thus this isn’t a deal breaker for me.

It takes a long time to obtain a constant supply of hot water if the input pressure fluctuates, since it is dependent on water pressure to function properly. If the pressure drops during peak hours, it’s almost worthless in campsites. It also happens to be quite annoying when it simply goes off for no apparent reason. When everything is up and running, I recommend that you turn the hot water on all the way and use a dial to set the appropriate temperature for the cooler water coming in.

You may have hot water for as long as you want as long as the pressure remains constant. Contrary to conventional units, which tend to shut off after 20 minutes, the continuous hot water unit has no time restriction. As a bonus, it operates in colder and windier climates like those found at higher altitudes.

This system shuts down instantly when you start it at a low input temperature, such as below 32 degrees Fahrenheit. When applying anti-freeze, PrecisionTemp recommends that you don’t use more than a pint at a time.

Pros

  • Adapter mounts and custom-painted doors are available via PrecisionTemp’s online store.
  • Has a freeze-protection feature for winter usage and has an unlimited hot water time limit.

Cons

  • There isn’t a digital controller included in the package.
  • There is no temperature display.
  • With low and erratic pressure, it fails to function properly

8. Camp Chef HWD5 Triton Water Heater

This propane-powered, space-saving tankless water heater is powered by two D-cell batteries for ignition. The large handle makes it convenient to carry, and the screw holes make it simple to mount on a wall with a screwdriver. Also, it comes with a stand, making it easy to transport.

A garden hose adapter is provided in the package for use with the 12″ NPT water lines. A shower head and hose are provided, which is a welcome bonus, but there is no gas regulator. When not in use, the device needs a drain plug to empty the contents. It’s a bummer since this also protects against freezing while using a heater in the cold.

A starting pressure of 25 psi is required for the burners to ignite after the water and gas are ready. A water pump is also required for stagnant water sources. It has a lower maximum pressure of 80 psi than other heaters of a comparable size. There’s no thermostat either, so you have no clue how hot the water will be until it comes out of the faucet.

Once your hot water is up and running, all you have to do is keep an eye out for wind, since the burners are prone to burning out in strong gusts. However, unlike the other models on this list, you cannot restart the unit after using it for the full 20 minutes.

Pros

  • Conveniently portable, with both a handle and a stand included
  • In the package, you’ll get a shower head, hose, and several adapters.

Cons

  • There is no gas regulator included in the package.
  • The 80 psi maximum pressure is lower than that of comparable heaters.
  • There is no thermostat and there is no drain stop to prevent the pipes from freezing.
  • Even after restarting the device, the timer for hot water does not reset.

9 Bosch mini electric tankless water heater for small RVs

Bosch Electric Mini-Tank Water Heater Tronic 3000 T 4-Gallon (ES4) - Eliminate Time for Hot Water - Shelf, Wall or Floor Mounted
  • CONVENIENT HOT WATER HEATER: 4 gallon point-of-use mini-tank fits under your sink to provide hot water right where...
  • LONG LASTING QUALITY: This electric water heater is easy to maintain and has premium glass-lined material for a...
  • INDEPENDENT INSTALLATION: 36-37" cord plugs into a 120 volt outlet for independent installation or in-line with a...

With a 4-gallon capacity, the Bosch ES4 Tronic 3000 T Electric water heater blows beyond expectations for a tankless water heater in an RV.  If necessary, you may tuck this 13.75 x 13.5 x 13.75-inch item beneath the kitchen or bathroom sink of your RV. An ordinary 120-volt AC wall socket is all that’s required to power it; a 3-foot power cable is also included. But if you want, you may connect it to a second, bigger hot tank so that you have more on-demand capacity. 

The Bosch ES4 Tronic 3000 features a temperature control dial and a temperature and pressure relief valve that allow you fine-tune the temperature range. The tank’s inside is coated with glass, making it more soundproof and resistant to corrosion.  A compact tankless water heater like the Bosch ES4 is a great option for RVers who want an instant hot water heater that works on 120 AC and can be placed beneath a sink.

Pros

  • In terms of volume, the unit’s 4-gallon capacity is remarkable for a device that can be placed beneath an RV sink.
  • Impressive corrosion resistance due to glass-lined interior

Cons

  • As a result of its size, the electric element’s lifespan will be constrained and may last just for the duration of its guarantee.

How do tankless water heaters work?

Water heaters that are tankless or on-demand heat the water as it passes through the device, rather than storing it. It depends on the installation but in general, it is done in-line. To put it another way, water enters the tankless heater, gets heated as it travels through the device, and then exits via a different channel.

There are a few types of on-demand water heaters that may be used inside or outside of an RV. Like a typical water heater, additional components must be added. Tankless water heaters differ from conventional ones in that they heat water in the usual flow, rather than storing a large volume of water in a tank, heat that water, then replace that water, and then heat the replenished water. This is a significant difference. In other words, as long as you remember to power your tankless water heater, you’ll always have hot water on demand.

Let me start by congratulating you on your interest in a tankless water heater. As a bonus, tankless on-demand water heaters are not only smaller, lighter, and more energy-efficient, but they may also help you save money on your RV’s fuel bill and help keep the overall weight of your RV down by eliminating the need for a hot water heater with a tank.

Types of RV Tankless Water Heaters

ELECTRIC

Because they are ecologically friendly and cost-effective, electric tankless water heaters have become popular among RV owners. You may use a generator or a solar panel to power an RV tankless electric water heater. It has a 99 percent efficiency rating and produces no greenhouse gasses during operation.

GAS

Kerosene or propane fuels a tankless gas water heater for an RV. Venting is critical for optimal functioning and is usually included with power vents. A propane tankless water heater has the disadvantage of releasing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Electric tankless water heaters are more costly, but this one is more energy-efficient, at 85%.

NON-CONDENSING

In order to heat water on demand, a heat exchanger is used in a tankless water heater. It’s extremely dependable, but the hot exhaust requires stainless steel venting, and that may become expensive. For those who use a lot of hot water often, this isn’t the best option.

CONDENSING

The heat from the exhaust is re-used in a second heat exchanger to warm the water even further. The efficiency of condensing tankless water heaters ranges from 92 to 94%. Despite their low cost, PVC vents consume a lot of energy when just a little amount of water is being used at a time.

What size tankless water heater do you need?

That being said, knowing how much water you use will help you choose the tankless system that’s right for you. There is a wide range of water usage in showers, toilets, and kitchen sinks, with the majority using between one and three gallons per minute. To put it another way, how you utilize water in your RV may have a significant impact on how much you consume.

Some on-demand water heaters provide as much as 6 gallons per minute of water, but that depends on the model. Your RV’s water capacity is also an important factor to bear in mind. A water heater that can spit out 6 gallons of hot water every minute may be overkill for a freshwater tank that holds only 12 gallons.

If we’re being honest, most consumers want tankless RV water heaters for better showers, therefore the flow rate and water pressure required for a satisfying shower must be quantified. That’s about 2-3 gallons of hot water per minute for the majority of people, but your needs may vary.

How much do tankless water heaters cost?

With regards to cost, there are many tankless water heaters available. There are tankless water heaters on this list that cost less than $500, and there are also some that cost more. Installation (which may need the services of a professional) and any extra components required to make them function in your RV are not included in these prices, so plan carefully and do your homework before making any purchases.

Can you save money with tankless water heaters and are they worth the purchase?

Tankless demand-type water heaters are more expensive up front, but the difference isn’t significant. In the long term, they do save you money, with an estimated energy savings of 8-14% according to Energy.gov. Unlike storage heaters, they have lower running costs and last up to five times as long. If your heater satisfies efficiency standards and you reside in the right area, you may be eligible for refunds or tax credits.

As a result, I’d say the answers to both questions are yes. They save you money and, if you care about the environment, they’re well worth it.

Pros & Cons of Tankless On Demand Water Heaters

Demand-type water heaters have their benefits and drawbacks, just like everything else.

PROS:

  • Efficiencies in energy use
  • To avoid running out of propane as quickly, use 50 percent less propane (if you have a gas heater).
  • A reduction in operational expenses
  • take up a lot less room than conventional tanks
  • Water flowing continuously
  • a storage tank isn’t required (or winterizing it)
  • Spills are less likely to occur.

CONS:

  • When placed incorrectly, it may lead to water waste.
  • In other models, the water temperature isn’t as consistent, and that’s something to consider.
  • Initial investment is more expensive.

Important considerations before purchase

To begin, consider where you want to place the water heater. Colder water models perform better than others, and certain models are made with winter use in mind, as opposed to others that aren’t. Depending on your requirements, you may need more or less BTUs. If you want a shower like the one you get at home, you’ll need a higher-capacity water heater than the typical demand model, which only has a BTU capacity of 30,000–50,000.

Make a mental note of the kind of power supply you like to use. In general, propane-fueled tankless water heaters are preferred (sometimes with battery-operated igniters), although electric versions are available as well. Keep in consideration, too, how much room you have in your RV for such a device.

Even if you can convert your existing water heater to a tankless one, be aware that doing so may require a significant amount of preparation and effort, including the employment of a professional to assist.

Features to look for in an RV water heater

Brand

Atwood, Suburban, and Girard are the top three tankless water heater manufacturers on the market today. No matter what brand you choose, you just need to buy the right size if you want to match your existing RV. They’re all retrofit models, so you should be able to use them with your existing camper.

Size

In comparison to traditional tank water heaters, tankless water heaters are more compact. A new door, which is supplied separately, must also be measured and purchased.

Flow Rate (GPM)

To express flow rate, we use the unit gallon per minute (GPM). Once a minimum flow rate is achieved, the burner in a tankless water heater ignites. Many people have expressed dissatisfaction with hot water heaters because the flow rate is too low to light the burner.

To enhance the rate of flow, follow these steps:

  • Disconnect any water lines and blow out any remaining air.
  • Disconnect all of the valves and restrictors in your plumbing system.
  • One water fixture per time is all that should be used

BTU

This unit of measurement is known as the “British Thermal Unit.” It keeps track of how much electricity each gas appliance uses. Consider it the “horsepower” of the machine. A high-BTU water heater either heats water more quickly or to a higher temperature.

Water Pressure (PSI)

Psi is the unit of water pressure measurement (PSI). To ignite, all hot water heaters need a certain amount of water pressure. The flow rate is more significant in tankless heaters than the PSI.

Other Considerations

  • Space. In a camper, trailer, or RV, space is at a premium. This means that you have to watch out for how much room the water heater uses. Check to verify whether the heater will fit correctly by measuring the actual size of the device. You may also want a lightweight model for ease of movement.
  • Failsafe. To keep it functioning properly, a travel trailer or RV tankless water heater should be shielded from the elements. These features include an approach to avoid power shortages and peaks, in addition to electronic ignition triggers being accidentally activated by high temperatures. Features that keep it safe in poor weather and on difficult terrain should be included.

Top brands

EXCEL

Excel was founded in 2004 and is located in Miami, Florida. The gasFlex flexible gas pipe system and the Excel tankless gas water heater line are both distributed by the business. The Excel Tankless Water Heater is one of the company’s best-selling items.

THE GIRARD GROUP

One of the top-selling tankless water heater businesses in the RV industry is Girard Products, a Clemente, California-based company that launched its first RV tankless water heaters in 2009. The 2GWHAM Tankless Water Heater is one of the products that comes highly recommended.

SUBURBAN 

Located in Dayton, Tennessee, Suburban Manufacturing was founded in 1947 and is the world’s largest producer and supplier of RV water heaters, kitchen equipment, and heating systems. AIRXCEL, INC. presently owns and operates it. Suburban Electric Ignition RV Water Heater is one of the most popular items.

TAKAGI

Since 1952, Takagi has been manufacturing tankless water heaters all around the globe. California, Tennessee, and New Jersey are all home to regional offices, as well as a worldwide headquarters in Canada. The Takagi Indoor Tankless Water Heater comes highly recommended.

RV tankless water heater pricing

  • Under $200: Typically, a small RV water heater costs several hundred dollars. In comparison to more expensive models, their capacity and features may be reduced.
  • In the $200 to $500 range: You’ll find some of the most popular RV tankless water heaters. They’re effective enough to do the job, but they’re also reasonably priced.
  • Over $500: Purchasing a top-of-the-line tankless water heater is not uncommon. Some go for as much as $1000. People who live off the grid and in small cabins often use them as well.

Installation of on-demand tankless water heater

The experience of installing a demand-water heater varies greatly depending on the type and the available space. Hire someone who has specific expertise installing tankless water heaters and can adhere to local regulations for RV plumbing, electric, gas and venting if you want to avoid making a costly mistake.

Installing and operating a tankless water heater is straightforward once it is in place. Connect your RV to a water supply after checking the bypass valve and opening it. This will enable water to flow into the main tank. Start pumping water using the on-board pump by pressing a button on the console. Turn on the hot water faucet to start the heating tank’s stream of water flowing and make sure it is completely filled. And that’s it! You’re up and running. That’s all there is to it.

Tankless water heaters aren’t hard to come by after all. Make sure you’ve done your homework and know exactly what you want before you start shopping. To summarize, you must know how much water you want to use, how much room you have, and what type of flow rate and power you intend to use. Following a few simple assumptions, you’ll be amazed at how fast you can begin evaluating your choices and come up with an initial short list of tankless water heaters that will work for you.

Just make sure you deal with experts when it comes to installing your new heater, and you’ll have much nicer showers in no time.

Conclusion

Of course, this is by no means a complete list. There are a few that I really like, though. It’s possible that the tankless water heater best suited to your RV’s space and requirements isn’t included above since there are so many excellent options. That’s all right. Just remember to do your homework, read reviews, and contact the company with any questions you have along the way.

It’s a lot simpler to locate tankless water heaters if you know what you’re searching for, so do your research beforehand.

When you finally locate the ideal equipment, don’t forget to seek expert assistance. If you mess up the installation, you risk having an excellent water heater fail.

I hope you found this list to be useful, and please don’t hesitate to ask any questions you may have.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do tankless hot water heaters run on electric or propane?

A tankless water heater can only be run on either propane or electricity. The water heaters in RVs run on 12 volt direct current (DC).

Why is the water coming out of the faucet colder than the control panel states?

The temperature of the hot water that comes out of your heater’s output valve will match the setting on the control panel. Using your RV plumbing will cause the water to chill somewhat. More distant fixtures will be cooler than those that are closer to the heater. Variations in temperature are possible, although they are likely to be minor.

Are tankless water heaters harder to install in an RV?

If you’re a mechanically inclined do-it-yourselfer and you’ve done your research to locate the finest tankless water heater for your RV, installing one shouldn’t be too difficult.

Just make sure you install it properly and attach all of the necessary gas, water, and electrical connections before using it.

While you’re at it, you should also verify the warranty coverage on your RV. To avoid voiding the guarantee, certain manufacturers demand expert installation.

Can you install a tankless water heater below the sink?

RV tankless water heaters may be mounted under the sink, which is an appealing alternative.

Ensure you can accommodate all connections without kinking or placing an electrical wire in a hazardous location before you commit to this choice by double-checking the manufacturer’s instructions.

How to convert an RV water heater to tankless?

The tankless conversion of your RV water heater necessitates some forethought. This is a smart decision since it allows you to save money on your heating bill. It’s critical that you plan every step of the process, from selecting the appropriate heater to assembling the necessary equipment and calculating the total cost of ownership.

Once you’ve properly planned out all of this, you may begin the tankless water heater conversion in your RV. To prevent problems in the future, choose a professional installation service.

Do I have to use the shower head or is it okay to connect directly to the hot water side of a faucet?

While using a shower head is recommended, connecting straight to the hot water side of the water faucet is perfectly fine as well. When the water faucet is turned on, the valve at the end of one of the service line’s intake pipes opens.

The intake pipes are located on the cold and hot water settings of each water appliance in your RV. This is where the cold and hot water supply pipes are connected. Your appliance will have access to both cold and hot water thanks to these two pipe connections.

Do I still need to clean my tankless water heater?

Most tankless water heaters need to be cleaned on a regular basis. The suggestions of various manufacturers may vary somewhat from one another. Your owner’s handbook should provide all the answers you’re looking for.

What is the difference between a condensing water heater and  a non-condensing one?

To heat water on demand, a non-condensing RV tankless water heater utilizes a specialized kind of heat exchanger. This has the advantage of being very dependable as well as long-lasting. The disadvantage is that to discharge the hot exhaust gases, heavy-duty stainless steel venting is often required. As a result, the final cost rises.

When using a condensing tankless water heater in an RV, heat is obtained by reusing exhaust system heat.

When used in short bursts like hand washing or rapidly rinsing soiled dishes one by one, they are less energy efficient. However, since they utilize PVC venting, they are less expensive.

Can I mount a tankless water heater in any part of my RV?

Even the smallest tankless water heaters may be installed using drywall anchors on panel board walls.

While anchoring them to studs or other structural elements is preferable, this isn’t always an option. Most notably in the presence of a more substantial unit.

You don’t want your expensive purchase to be damaged by road vibrations or to tumble off its mounts and shatter.

Do I need a water pump for my tankless water heater?

Your RV’s specific situation dictates the answer to this inquiry. Tankless water heaters without built-in pumps are an option if you have a large Class A motorhome with a working water pump. If so, you can save money.

People with popup campers or small travel trailers may need an additional water pump in order to take advantage of the tankless water heaters’ higher flow rate.
Tankless water heaters are sold separately by several manufacturers. After that, you’ll need a 12-Volt electric water pump, which you can connect.

An accessory pump designed to work with the tankless water heater is available with many of these units. You may even be able to get them all together in one place!

How to turn on a water heater in an RV?

There are just a few procedures involved in turning on the water heater in your RV. The majority of the time, this entails first opening the bypass valve on the unit and enabling water to flow into the main tank. The next step is to find a nearby water outlet and connect your RV to it.

You can start pumping water right away thanks to the built-in pump. Turning on the hot water faucet at this time is also ideal. When the heater is switched on, water will begin to flow through the tank’s pipes. Allow the water to fill the line completely before turning on the water heater.

If you click on the Amazon link or Add to Cart and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you. Last Update: 2021-11-29