For RVers looking to conserve storage space, looking for the best RV tankless water heater is an ideal choice. Unlike a traditional tank heater which constantly stores and reheats water, a tankless model heats water on demand. This allows for significant space and power savings, a major benefit for RV living.
While tankless heaters have a higher upfront cost, they can save money in the long run through energy efficiency. However, it’s critical to choose a high-quality unit that will meet your needs.
If you want to get the best tankless water heater for RV, we’ve reviewed some highest-rated units in the market. With reliable performance and savings on space and utility bills, these heaters can be an excellent choice for your on-the-go lifestyle.
How Does an RV Tankless Water Heater Work?
An RV tankless water heater is a type of water heating system designed specifically for use in recreational vehicles (RVs). Unlike traditional water heaters with storage tanks, tankless water heaters heat water directly as it flows through the unit and provide on-demand hot water without the need for a storage tank.
When you turn on your faucet, a tankless model senses the flow and instantly heats the water. As long as the faucet is on, you’ll have a continuous supply of hot water. This can be especially useful when camping in cold weather or at high elevations.
With adjustable temperature controls, the best RV tankless water heater allows you to select your desired output temperature. Whether you’re washing dishes or taking a shower, a tankless heater provides efficient performance.
Here’s how an RV tankless water heater works:
- Water flow activation: When a hot water fixture in the RV, such as a faucet or shower, is turned on, the flow of water triggers the tankless water heater to activate.
- Heat exchanger: Inside the tankless water heater, a heat exchanger heats the water as it passes through. The heat exchanger is typically powered by propane or electricity, depending on the type of tankless water heater you have.
- Rapid heating: The heat exchanger rapidly heats the water as it flows through, providing an instant supply of hot water on demand. This eliminates the need for storing hot water in a tank and ensures a continuous flow of hot water as long as the fixture remains open.
- Temperature control: Most RV tankless water heaters have temperature control settings that allow you to adjust the desired hot water temperature. This allows you to customize the water temperature based on your preferences or specific needs.
- Automatic shut-off: Once you turn off the hot water fixture, the tankless water heater automatically shuts off to conserve energy. There is no standby heat loss since water is only heated as it is needed, making tankless water heaters more energy-efficient compared to traditional water heaters with storage tanks.
By saving space and being more energy-efficient than traditional units, tankless models are an excellent upgrade for your RV.
What Are The Benefits of RV Tankless Water Heaters
RV tankless water heaters offer several benefits that make them an attractive choice for RV owners:
Instant and Continuous Hot Water
RV tankless water heaters provide hot water on demand, eliminating the need to wait for a storage tank to fill up and heat the water.
With a tankless system, you have instant access to hot water whenever you need it, ensuring a more convenient and comfortable experience in your RV.
One of the significant advantages of tankless water heaters is their compact size. They take up significantly less space compared to water heaters with bulky storage tanks, making them ideal for RVs with limited space.
Tankless units can be mounted on walls or placed in small compartments, freeing up valuable storage space in your RV.
Tankless water heaters are energy-efficient because they only heat water as it is needed. Traditional water heaters with storage tanks continually heat and reheat water, leading to standby heat loss and energy wastage.
With a tankless system, you eliminate standby heat loss and only consume energy when hot water is required, resulting in energy savings over time.
RV tankless water heaters are designed to be durable and have a longer lifespan compared to traditional water heaters. They are less prone to issues like corrosion or tank leaks, which can occur in storage tank systems.
With proper maintenance, a tankless water heater can last for many years, providing reliable hot water throughout your RV adventures.
Versatile Power Options
RV tankless water heaters are available in both propane-powered and electric models, offering flexibility depending on your RV setup and preferences.
Propane tankless water heaters are ideal for off-grid camping, as they can operate independently of electrical power sources. Electric models are suitable for RVs with reliable access to electricity.
Precise Temperature Control
Most RV tankless water heaters come with temperature control features, allowing you to set and adjust the desired hot water temperature. This gives you greater control over your hot water supply, ensuring optimal comfort and safety.
Types of RV Tankless Water Heaters
Tankless water heaters come in various models. Each type offers different capabilities and are suited for different needs and uses.
There are different categories of heaters based on the heating process and fuel type.
Depending on the heating process, tankless water heaters are mainly 3 types:
Condensing: These heaters are highly efficient. They have multiple heat exchangers that extract heat from exhaust gasses, using the same energy twice to heat the water.
Non-condensing: These machines use a single heat exchanger, so they are less efficient. They also require expensive venting to exhaust the hot gasses outside. However, non-condensing models tend to be more affordable upfront and are suitable for warmer climates or lower hot water demands.
Hybrid: The hybrid models have a small storage tank, so they aren’t completely tankless. The tank stores a small volume of hot water, so you have some buffer for high demand use. However, hybrid heaters are more expensive than regular tankless models and the tank still takes up some space. They also require sufficient airflow for safe operation.
Depending on the fuel type, tankless water heaters can be electric, battery-powered, and gas-powered.
Propane/Gas: These units produce a higher hot water output, making them a good choice for high demand or whole-RV use. They use propane gas as the fuel source for heating the water. These units are typically compact and designed for easy installation in RVs. Propane tankless water heaters provide instant hot water on demand and are suitable for off-grid or boondocking situations where a continuous power supply may not be available. They require ventilation and professional installation of gas lines, which can increase upfront costs.
Electric: Electric tankless water heaters use electricity as the power source for heating water. An RV tankless electric water heater is easy to install and maintain as it only requires access to a power outlet. These units are energy efficient since there is no energy wasted storing hot water and provide instant hot water when needed. However, electric models may face limitations for high-demand or low-flow situations. They also require a reliable power supply and may not be suitable for off-grid camping or situations where electricity is limited. They are best suited for occasional or light use.
Hybrid: Hybrid tankless water heaters combine the benefits of propane and electric units. These systems utilize both propane and electricity for heating water. They are designed to automatically switch between the two power sources based on availability. Hybrid tankless water heaters provide flexibility and can be used with either propane or electricity, depending on the camping conditions.
Battery-powered: These heaters are completely self-sufficient and ideal for off-grid living or dry camping. But they won’t be sufficient for high hot water demands.
The Best RV Tankless Water Heater: In-depth Reviews of 8 Models
We’ve compiled RV tankless water heater reviews of 8 models. Find out which one suits your needs the most.
The RV hot water heater is a compact yet powerful unit that delivers up to 6 gallons of hot water on demand. It runs on LP gas, making it suitable for both indoor RV installation and off-grid use.
The unit offers precise temperature control from 95-124°F, allowing you to select the ideal output temperature. The intuitive control panel makes adjustment between Celsius and Fahrenheit easier. If any issues arise, the panel displays error codes to help you quickly resolve problems.
Despite its small size, the Girard tankless heater provides sufficient hot water for most RV needs. Its efficient on-demand operation saves storage space and energy, while the wide temperature range adds versatility.
The RV on-demand water heater comes in sleek black or white models for indoor installation. The propane-powered unit features advanced safety mechanisms and microcomputer control. If there is a malfunction, the heater will display an error code to help you quickly troubleshoot the issue.
The heater also has flame-out and freeze protection to safeguard against risks. When not in use, it’ll automatically shut off the gas supply to save fuel.
It’s the best RV tankless water heater if you’re looking for a gas-powered model. Its space-saving design and precise control make it an excellent choice for meeting your motorhome’s hot water needs.
The Fogatti RV instant hot water heater provides an efficient and convenient solution for your on-demand hot water needs. The propane heater is offered in three stylish exterior colors to match your RV’s decor.
The heater is made of durable copper and is suitable for high-altitude locations. Its advanced control technology helps conserve propane by preventing the water from overheating in warm weather. With adequate fuel, the heater can supply over 20 minutes of continuous hot water—sufficient for most tasks, including showering.
For added peace of mind, the unit includes a pressure relief valve and an intelligent remote controller with a range of up to 6.5 feet. This allows easy adjustment of the heater from a distance.
If you’re looking for the best RV tankless water heater on the smaller side, this model from Furrion is the one. It’s capable of continuous operation even in freezing temperatures.
This propane-powered unit is offered in a range of door sizes to suit different needs. The smallest 2.4GPM heater provides sufficient hot water for smaller RVs or when you are traveling solo. It’s built with durable components with vibration resistance to ensure stable performance on the road.
Furrion’s tankless RV water heater is worth considering if you want convenient and economical mobile hot water.
Camplux offers a versatile RV propane tankless water heater suitable for both indoor and outdoor installation. It is offered in two sizes to meet different demand requirements.
Safety is a priority with the Camplux tankless heater. Its multiple protection mechanisms shut off the gas supply and prevent freezing or overheating to safeguard the unit in different conditions. With necessary ventilation and flue attachments, the heater can be installed almost anywhere in your camper.
For a high-value tankless solution for your on-the-go lifestyle, Camplux delivers.
Dometic brings the best RV tankless water heater for high usage. It has a 6-gallon capacity and fast recovery, allowing you to complete most hot water tasks with a single tank fill.
The camper water heater is a compact and lightweight unit suited for indoor installation in RVs. It’s made of durable aluminum and weighs under 1 pound.
The unit runs on battery power and comes with pre-installed plugs for easy connection to a wall socket in your RV. This convenient electric heater eliminates the need for extra wiring and is more affordable to run than propane. It’s a great space-saving solution for occasional use on camping trips.
The Eccotemp brings a lightweight, portable RV tankless hot water heater. The propane-powered unit has an output up to 1.5 gallons per minute. It connects to a standard garden hose and functions even with low water pressure.
Weighing under 12 pounds, the Eccotemp heater is easy to carry and set up for activities like outdoor showers, pet bathing, or dishwashing. For an affordable and portable tankless water heating solution for your RV adventures, the Eccotemp L5 is worth considering.
The tankless water heater for travel trailer is a high-performance yet space-saving solution for RV travelers.
With a capacity of 2.64 gallons per minute, the Camplux heater provides sufficient hot water for most travel trailer demands. Its maximum output temperature of 124°F can be adjusted using the wired controller, which offers three temperature settings for convenience.
The heater’s durable copper construction is resistant to the vibrations and fluctuations of travel, ensuring consistent and reliable performance on the road.
Buying Guide: How to Choose the Best RV Tankless Water Heater
When selecting an RV tankless water heater, it’s important to consider various factors to ensure you make the right choice. Here is a detailed buying guide covering the key criteria to help you choose the best RV tankless water heater for your needs:
Number of Water-Using Areas
Consider the number of water outlets, such as sinks, showers, and appliances, that will be used simultaneously in your RV. This will help determine the required size, flow rate and heating capacity of the tankless water heater to meet your hot water demand.
Evaluate the available power sources in your RV. Electric tankless water heaters are suitable if you have consistent access to electricity. Propane-powered units are ideal for off-grid camping or situations where electrical hookups are limited. Consider your camping preferences and power availability when choosing the power source for your tankless water heater.
The heating capacity of a tankless water heater determines its ability to raise the temperature of incoming water to the desired hot water temperature. Consider the required temperature rise based on the incoming water temperature in your location. Ensure the tankless water heater has sufficient heating capacity to meet your desired hot water needs.
Check the temperature range of the tankless water heater. Different models may have varying temperature limits. Ensure the unit can provide the desired hot water temperature for your comfort and convenience.
Flow rate refers to the amount of hot water the tankless water heater can deliver per minute. Determine the flow rate required to meet your hot water demands based on the number of water outlets used simultaneously. Consider the flow rate for showers, sinks, and other appliances to ensure the tankless water heater can supply sufficient hot water.
Consider the physical dimensions of the tankless water heater and ensure it fits within the available space in your RV. Tankless water heaters are known for their compact size and space-saving design, making it easier to find a suitable unit for RV installations.
Look for safety features such as overheating protection, flame failure detection (for propane units), and automatic shut-off to ensure safe operation of the tankless water heater.
Evaluate the installation requirements and complexity of the tankless water heater. Some units come with detailed installation instructions and mounting hardware, making DIY installation easier. If you’re not comfortable with plumbing and electrical work, professional installation may be recommended to ensure proper setup and safe operation.
Check the durability and build quality of the tankless water heater. Look for models made from high-quality materials that can withstand the demands of RV travel and exposure to various conditions. Read customer reviews and consider the reputation of the brand to gauge the long-term durability of the unit.
Determine your budget range and compare the prices of different tankless water heaters. Consider the features, performance, and reliability offered by each model to find the best value within your budget. Keep in mind that investing in a higher-quality unit may result in better performance and longevity, saving you money in the long run.
When installing an RV tankless water heater, there are several key factors to consider:
Proper Sizing: Determining the appropriate size of the tankless water heater is essential to ensure it can meet your hot water demands. Consider factors such as the number of people in your RV, the number of fixtures that will be used simultaneously, and the desired flow rate for each fixture. This will help you determine the required flow rate and temperature rise to choose the right-sized unit.
Power Source Availability: Evaluate the power sources available in your RV. If you frequently camp off-grid or in areas without electrical hookups, a propane tankless water heater may be the best option. If you have consistent access to electricity, an electric tankless water heater can be a suitable choice.
Plumbing System Compatibility: Check the compatibility of the tankless water heater with your RV’s plumbing system. Ensure that the unit has the appropriate water inlet and outlet connections that match your RV’s plumbing setup. Additionally, consider any specific pressure regulation requirements to ensure proper operation.
Venting and Exhaust: For propane tankless water heaters, proper venting and exhaust systems are crucial for safe operation. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for venting options and ensure compliance with RV safety standards. Electric tankless water heaters and some ventless propane models eliminate the need for venting.
Professional Installation vs. DIY: Consider your comfort level and expertise in RV plumbing and electrical systems when deciding between professional installation or a DIY approach. If you’re unsure or not experienced in these areas, it’s advisable to seek professional installation to ensure proper setup and safe operation.
Maintenance Tips for RV Tankless Water Heaters
To keep your RV tankless water heater functioning optimally, follow these maintenance tips:
Flushing the System: Regularly flush the tankless water heater system to remove any mineral deposits or sediment buildup. This helps maintain its efficiency and prolongs its lifespan. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for flushing procedures and recommended frequency.
Cleaning and Replacing Filters: Check and clean any filters in the water inlet to prevent debris from entering the unit. Depending on the model, the filters may need periodic cleaning or replacement. Refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines for specific filter maintenance.
Inspecting for Leaks and Corrosion: Regularly inspect the tankless water heater for any signs of leaks or corrosion. Check the fittings, connections, and hoses for any water leakage. Inspect the unit for any signs of rust or corrosion and address them promptly to prevent further damage.
Winterizing the Unit: If you plan to store your RV or use it in cold temperatures, ensure proper winterization of the tankless water heater. This involves draining all water from the unit, protecting it from freezing temperatures, and following the manufacturer’s instructions for winterization procedures.
Regular Inspection and Servicing: Schedule periodic inspections and servicing of your tankless water heater to ensure it’s in good working condition. Professional servicing may be
In conclusion, understanding the key aspects of RV tankless water heaters is crucial for any RV enthusiast. By considering factors such as the benefits, types, installation considerations, maintenance tips, and frequently asked questions, you can make an informed decision when choosing the right tankless water heater for your RV.
When you’re looking for the best RV tankless water heater, you need to keep in mind what you are really seeking, how often you need to use the heater, and your desired capacity.
By equipping your RV with a reliable tankless water heater, you can enjoy the convenience and comfort of instant hot water, while maximizing space and energy efficiency. Upgrade your RV’s water heating system today and enhance your overall RVing experience with a reliable and efficient tankless water heater.