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Thanks to modern technologies, traveling and living in a recreational vehicle has become a lot more comfortable and convenient. Even far away from home, you can still enjoy the luxury of taking a hot shower. And you can do that without waiting for your hot water tank to heat up. It’s the tankless water heater that provides this solution. It ensures that there’s plenty of hot water for yourself and everyone else in your RV. And to help you choose the right one, we’ve created these best RV tankless water heater reviews where we picked the top 10 most popular products in 2021.
Below the comparison table and reviews, you can also find a buying guide where you’ll learn everything you need to know about RV tankless water heaters.
Top 10 RV Tankless Water Heaters in 2021
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RV Tankless Water Heaters Reviewed
The Eccotemp L5 makes a good RV on demand water heater as it’s portable, lightweight and it comes with great features for efficient water heating.
It’s a lightweight portable unit that weighs just 11 pounds. Moreover, there’s a convenient handle, which makes it easy to carry it to anywhere you need hot water.
The water heater also delivers on performance. It has low pressure activation. It requires just 20 PSI, which should be sufficient for most RV water systems. And it produces 1.5 gallons per minute and offers the adjustability of water temperature from 50 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. There are dial knobs on the front of the unit, which you can use to adjust the gas and water flow in order to achieve the preferred temperature.
For its operation, this RV instant hot water heater requires a standard 20 lb propane tank. And for ignition, it needs 2 D cell batteries. This makes the whole setup simple since all you need to do is connect the unit to a water supply and the gas tank and it’ll be ready for use. Moreover, since there are no electrical requirements, you won’t need to worry about finding a source of energy for it when camping in remote locations.
One more advantage of this unit is the safety shutoff feature. If you leave this instant hot water heater running for more than 20 minutes, it will automatically shut off. The same automatic shut off applies to situations where the heater is tilted more than 45 degrees.
One of the best selling RV tankless water heaters in 2021 is also the Girard 2GWHAM model. It offers state-of-the-art technology that caters to the requirements of the RV’s plumbing, LP gas, and electrical systems.
It features an onboard microprocessor that regulates the burner and maintains the water at the desired temperature. Moreover, it monitors the flow rate, providing a consistent, steady hot water flow.
This tankless water heater offers a capacity of 42,000 BTUs, so it has enough capacity to handle water usage demands in an RV. Moreover, you can pre-set the temperature to your desired level and the processor would regulate the incoming cold water temperature to provide the one you set.
The unit works with a 12 volt electrical system, making it perfect for use in RVs. And with less than 3 amp draw, it provides great efficiency without consuming too much energy. On top of that, it operates using a brushless motor that offers whisper quiet operation.
On top of that, you can use this water heater in the winter. It features antifreeze protection, so you don’t need to worry about it freezing in cold weather. However, it does need to be on to keep the anti-freeze feature activated. Otherwise, you would still need to winterize it.
If you do purchase this unit, keep in mind that the manufacturer recommends professional installation. If you have some basic knowledge of plumbing and electrical systems, you could probably do it yourself. However, by doing so you might make your warranty void.
One more RV tankless water heater that made it into our top 10 list is the Gasland BE158. It’s a propane water heater that is specifically designed for RV and camping use.
This water heater features a convenient portable design. It weighs just 15 pounds, has a small size, and includes a carrying handle. This makes it easy to move it around, install it and use it. So, for example, you could easily use it indoors, but when camping, move it outside for outdoor showers.
For outdoor use, this heater is very easy to install. It takes just a few minutes. However, installation for indoor use is a bit more complicated since you’ll also need to install a duct for proper ventilation.
It offers a power output of up to 41,000 BTUs, so you get plenty of capacity and an instant supply of endless hot water. Moreover, it provides 1.58 gallons per minute of heated water. Though, you can also adjust the water flow rate, as well as the temperature, to your desired level. You also don’t need lots of water pressure to start up this tankless water heater. It needs just 2.5 PSI.
This water heater is also designed to save you money and energy. It features advanced combustion technology that offers a more efficient operation of the unit. It provides reduced gas consumption and less burning noise. So, you can enjoy your showers in quietness and also save a lot of money.
Additionally, the unit is packed with safety features. For one, it has anti-freeze protection, which makes the drain plug discharge residual water if it’s in freezing cold temperatures or if it hasn’t been used for a long time. Secondly, the water heater includes a flame failure device, which automatically shuts off the gas supply if it detects a flameout. And the third safety feature is the overheat protection, which also shuts down the operation if the temperature of the unit reaches over 167 degrees Fahrenheit.
This tankless water heater also comes with some useful accessories, which makes it ready for setup right out of the box. It includes a propane regulator with a gas hose and a shower head with a hose. So all you’ll need is a propane tank and a connection to the water supply.
Another great tankless water heater for camper use is the Camplux 10L model. It’s a powerful unit that is at the same time compact and lightweight, making it a convenient option for RVs.
Similar to the above mentioned tankless water heater, this model also comes with extra accessories. They include a shower head with a hose, installation hardware, and a CSA regulator. So, with an easy setup, you could be enjoying a hot shower almost right away.
This on demand hot water heater for RVs is designed for outdoor use. However, it’s also possible to use it indoors. You just have to make sure that it’s well ventilated and install a flue pipe or a duct.
It offers amazing performance with a hot water output of up to 2.6 GPM, which is a pretty decent rate for an RV tankless water heater and plenty enough for a luxurious shower. On top of that, it heats up the water quickly and provides a good amount of pressure. Moreover, it offers an output of 68,000 BTUs an hour.
Another good thing about this one demand water heater is its low pressure startup. Its applicable water pressure range is 3.6 to 110 PSI. This means that you can operate this unit with the least amount of pressure.
The ignition for this unit requires 2 D cell batteries, making it perfect for use in RVs where electricity is limited. It’s also an efficient water heater, with a thermal efficiency rated at 88.5%. This can help you save energy and money.
There are also a few safety features included in this tankless water heater. It includes a device that prevents risks of flame failure and dry combustion. Moreover, there’s antifreeze protection for winter use and overheat protection. So, you can use this water heater with peace of mind.
Camplux has another good RV tankless water heater. The Camplux 5L also makes a good option since it comes with many of the same features that the 10L has. However, this one is cheaper and is better for applications that require a lower water flow.
Same as the 10L model, this portable tankless water heater includes a shower head, a flexible hose, a gas regulator, and installation hardware. So, you’ll have everything you’ll need for the setup and use.
It’s also a highly efficient unit. Operating it on a 20lb gas tank, you can get about 12 hours of continuous hot water set at the maximum temperature. But unless you like showering extremely hot, you can set the temperature to a much lower level, which would make the gas tank last a lot longer.
You can easily adjust the water flow and heat, so you can tune the water temperature to your preference. It offers an output of maximum 28,000 BTUs an hour and it can raise the temperature to a maximum of 115 degrees Fahrenheit.
The flow rate is only 1.32 GPM, which is lower than you’d expect in a high water pressure system but it’s still enough to provide an excellent camping shower. And with this flow rate and a shower head that provides a good pressure, you’ll be able to use less water, conserving your RV’s water tank supply.
The startup pressure is also very low. It can handle water pressure as low as 3 PSI. And it ignites with just 2 D cell batteries, so it doesn’t need any 12V hookup to your RV’s electrical system.
Similar to the 10L model, this Camplux RV tankless water heater also includes essential safety features. Among them overheat and antifreeze protection, as well as flame failure and oxygen depletion automatic shutoff.
EcoSmart Eco 11
If you’re looking for the best electric tankless water heater for RV use, our top recommendation is the EcoSmart Eco 11 model.
This unit features EcoSmart’s patented self modulating technology that automatically adjusts the energy output according to the load, which ensures optimal water heating. This reduces the amount of energy needed and makes the heater 99.98% energy efficient. And this, in turn, saves you money.
It’s designed to provide 2 gallons per minute of hot water. With this high flow, you can use the heater for two sinks and a shower if you’re in a warm climate. In colder climates, the efficiency goes down a bit since it would require a higher temperature rise and so, it would be able to run two sinks simultaneously or just one shower.
The tankless water heater also offers easy to use digital temperature controls that allow you to set the desired temperature at 1 degree increments. This gives you complete control over the hot water supply.
This on demand water heater is also very compact and weighs just 6.5 pounds. So, you can easily find space for its installation in your RV.
The downside of this unit is that it requires a hookup to electricity and a 60 amp circuit breaker for its operation and many RVs don’t have this available. So, keep these electrical requirements in mind when considering purchasing this heater.
One of our favorite picks on this list is also an electric tankless water heater. The Eemax EEM24013 is a compact unit that offers excellent performance with a continuous supply of hot water.
It also features an advanced self modulating technology. This technology provides highly efficient operation since the heater only uses as much energy as needed. It adjusts the energy input based on how much hot water is used. This is definitely a benefit in RV use.
You get full range temperature control on the front panel of the unit. You can easily adjust it to your preference. Its heating capacity is capable of providing heated water for a shower and a sink in warm climates and just one sink in colder climates.
However, keep in mind that this is a 240 volt system and it requires a 60 amp breaker. And it has a maximum of 57 amps draw, which could quickly drain your RV’s battery. So, before purchasing this tankless water heater, make sure that your RV can meet these electrical requirements. Or you might only be able to use your shower when you’re connected to a campsite’s electricity supply.
Foruee Propane Water Heater
If you’re looking for the best RV on demand water heater on a budget, a great option is the Foruee model. It’s designed for recreational vehicles, campsites, and other similar applications. It offers excellent performance and it continues to receive great reviews from many happy customers.
This tankless water heater comes with everything you’ll need to be able to take a hot shower right away. In addition to the water heater itself, it also includes a shower head, a long shower hose, a regulator for a propane tank, and a gas hose.
Keep in mind that this heater is meant for outside installation. If you’ll be installing it inside your RV, it will require proper venting.
The unit also packs a punch. It can produce up to 45,000 BTUs per hour, so running on a standard propane tank, you can get about 11 hours of continuous use. Moreover, it produces hot water almost instantly. And there’s a convenient dial knob on the front that allows you to set the temperature just right.
The included shower head offers 3 different settings. They include rain, massage, and jet. This can give you more versatility in the shower, choosing the spray pattern for personalized comfort. Moreover, there’s an on/off switch that allows you to pause the water flow whenever you’re lathering.
The maximum water flow it can produce is not very high. 1.85 gallons per minute is a bit low but it’s great for helping you use less water of your water tank’s limited capacity. However, if you do want more water flow, this model is also available as a 2.64 GPM option. Or if you want lower flow rate, you can also buy the 1.31 GPM option.
While the water heater runs on gas, it’s ignited using 2 D batteries, so you don’t need to do any complicated connections to the RV’s 12V system.
EZ 101 Tankless
We also recommend checking out the EZ 101 tankless water heater. It’s a propane water heater that only needs gas and 2 D cell batteries to operate. There are no electrical requirements, which makes it a suitable option for campers and trailers.
This on demand water heater features a simple design that makes it unobtrusive when installed in an RV. It’s also lightweight, weighing just 14 pounds, which makes it easy to install and use.
The unit uses automatic ignition and for that, it requires two D cell batteries. And there’s no plug-in, so you can conveniently use it in motorhomes, campers, and trailers. This also makes it possible to use it as a semi-permanent installation since you could easily move it from one location to another, as long as there’s good ventilation in those locations.
It’s capable of delivering 2 gallons per minute of water flow. And it can ignite with low pressure. It also delivers a consistent temperature level that can be easily modified using the control knob on the front of the heater.
Since this heater doesn’t have a pilot light and uses instead automatic ignition, its operation is safer and convenient. Another safety feature of this tankless water heater is the 20 minute automatic shutoff, which prevents it from overheating.
This unit is designed for outdoor installation. However, it’s possible to also have it indoors. But if installed indoors, as with all propane operated units you have to ensure that it has proper ventilation.
One more good RV tankless water heater recommendation is the PrecisionTemp RV-550. It’s a unit specifically designed for RV and mobile home use and it comes with features catered to this application.
It’s a compact unit that offers space saving to the limited amount of space available in RVs. Weighing just 32 pounds, it’s half the size and one third of the weight of a 10 gallon tank. And this is one of the top features that buyers usually look in a good RV on demand water heater.
Moreover, this unit offers reliable water heating abilities. It features VariFlame technology, which offers true automatic gas modulation. The technology adjusts the gas usage based on the water flow and incoming water temperature. This conserves energy and provides a more consistent temperature control. It doesn’t overheat the water in the summer or make it not hot enough in the winter.
This tankless water heater also boasts 55,000 BTUs, which is the highest in the industry. Moreover, it provides a water flow of a minimum of 0.5 GPM. Though at optimal operation, the flow will be 1 GPM and that’s sufficient enough for a decent shower.
In order for the unit to function, it needs to be connected to a 12V system and gas supply. It uses less than 1.5 amps in normal operation, so you don’t need to worry about it depleting your RV’s battery. However, if you activate winter protection, the current draw will go up to 3 amps.
Another advantage of this RV tankless water heater is that it can operate in all four seasons. It features antifreeze protection, which fires the burner when it senses freezing temperatures and protects the electric components and the system overall.
What Is an RV Tankless Water Heater? How Does It Work?
An RV tankless water heater is an appliance that is used to supply hot water on demand. They are also called instant or on demand hot water heaters since instead of heating the water in a storage tank, they heat the water as it flows through the heat exchanger coil. This provides a continuous and endless supply of hot water. And this means that it heats only the amount of water that is required. It doesn’t waste energy on heating water that might not be used.
Tankless water heaters typically use either an electric element or a gas burner for water heating. So, when you turn on a tap in your RV, the water flows through the pipes into the heater. Then, a heat exchange in the unit raises the temperature and transfers the heat to the water. So, in the end, you have water coming out of your faucet at a preset temperature.
Benefits of RV Tankless Water Heaters
- Less energy consumption. Since tankless water heaters operate only when there’s a demand for hot water, it significantly reduces the energy consumption. Moreover, there’s no standby heat loss. As a result, they use 30 to 50 percent less energy than water heaters with storage tanks.
- Cost effective. Tankless water heaters might have a higher upfront cost compared to water heaters with tanks. However, over long term use, since they use less energy and they typically last longer, it will offset the higher purchasing price.
- Greener option. Tankless water heaters are also better for the environment due to the lower energy consumption. Moreover, when there’s a malfunction, many of the tankless water heater parts are replaceable, unlike water heater tanks that often need to be replaced entirely.
- Endless supply of hot water. With one of these units installed in your RV, you’ll never have to worry about running out of hot water. As long as you have water in your RV’s water tank, of course. And it takes just a few seconds for the warm water to start flowing, so you can have hot water any time you want.
- Space saving. Without the need for a water storage tank, tankless water heaters come in very compact sizes, which makes them perfect for RV use. They can easily fit into tight spaces and be very unobtrusive. You can hang them on a wall or even a door and leave more usable space on the ground.
- No risk of flooding. Since there’s no risk of a water tank rupture, there’s no need to worry about your bathroom getting flooded.
- Last longer. A good RV tankless water heater can last as long as 20 years, while a high quality tank model will last only half as long. So, a tankless model can save you from having to spend on a replacement every 10 years.
What to Look For in the Best RV Tankless Water Heater? – Buying Guide
When choosing the best RV tankless water heater, there are a few factors that you should keep in mind. This will give you better chances of buying a high quality unit that would be perfect for your needs. So, here’s a list of some things that are worth considering before making a buying decision.
Types of RV Tankless Water Heaters
There are two main types of tankless water heaters, which are categorized based on the source of power they use. You need to decide beforehand which power source would be more suitable for you. For example, if your RV has a single fuel source, a tankless water heater with that particular fuel source would be better for you. However, having both fuel sources available, you can weigh in the pros and cons of each type of water heater and make your decision from there.
- Propane. Most RV tankless water heaters run on propane. They usually have a lower upfront cost and lower running cost due to the low cost of gas. Moreover, since many RVs have a built in propane system that is used for powering different appliances, it makes it easy to connect it also to the water heater. On the flip side, propane tankless water heaters release a certain amount of greenhouse gasses, which makes them more harmful to the environment. On top of that, when installed indoors, these units require additional installation of proper venting.
- Electric. Another common type is electric tankless water heaters. They are more environmentally friendly since they don’t release any gases. And they are also easier to install since there’s no need for venting. Moreover, they are energy efficient, operating with an efficiency as high as 99%. However, they also have a few downsides. They are usually more expensive. And they typically have high electrical requirements. Many of them need a 240 volt system and a 60 amp breaker to work. And most of the RVs are not equipped with such an electrical system.
Another important factor to consider is the water flow or the water heating capacity. It shows how much water the unit can heat per one minute.
To determine how much water flow you need, you should estimate your recreational vehicle’s hot water consumption based on the facilities and appliances that use it. From there, look for a tankless water heater with a water flow rate that would meet your requirements.
Some of the smaller units can only handle as low as 0.5 gallons per minute, while bigger ones can offer 3 to 6 gallons per minute. With 0.5 GPM, you’ll only be able to supply hot water to one faucet. With 2 to 4 GPM, you’d be able to simultaneously supply hot water to one faucet and one shower.
You most likely won’t be using that many fixtures in your RV simultaneously. So, a tankless water heater with a water flow rate of 2-3 GPM would be sufficient in most cases. It would allow you to comfortably shower and at the same time use a faucet if needed.
Tankless water heater’s heating capacity is typically measured in BTUs or British Thermal Units. And this is one more important aspect that will determine if the water heater is right for your application.
Most RV tankless water heaters offer a heating capacity in the range of 30,000 to 50,000 BTUs. That’s lower than by units used in households due to the higher demand for hot water at home.
A higher BTU rating means that the heater can provide faster heating of the water that goes through it. Under normal circumstances, a tankless water heater with a heating capacity of 30,000 would be able to deliver a hot water flow of 1.2 GPM.
However, keep in mind that in colder climates the water heater would require more energy to raise the same amount of water temperature since the incoming water would be colder. So, if you’ll be RV camping in winter, take this into account when choosing the unit’s BTU capacity.
Most tankless water heaters consume less energy than conventional ones. However, there are also specific units that are even more energy efficient than others. No matter which fuel source it uses, it should produce more hot water with less energy used.
Since RVs have a limited amount of space, the size of the tankless water heater should also be weighed into your buying decision. Figure out where you’ll be installing the unit and measure the available space. Choose a location that would be convenient for the installation and that would provide easy access to the control panel for quick adjustments to the settings.
You don’t want to wind up with a water heater that wouldn’t be able to fit into its designated space. So, make sure to check the manufacturer’s specifications to see if the unit fits your available dimensions.
To avoid the risks of different hazards, look for an RV tankless water heater that also includes a set of essential safety features.
If you’re buying an electric tankless water heater, make sure that it has protection against sudden changes in electric current, such as voltage spikes and shortages. And it should have protection against excessive temperatures of the heater’s components. If it’s a propane unit, look for overheating protection and protection for flame failure.
One more safety feature that an RV tankless water heater should have is antifreeze protection. It’ll be especially beneficial for you if you do a lot of RV traveling in winter.
Choose a tankless water heater that is also user-friendly. Look for features such as easily adjustable controls that would allow you to set the flow, pressure, and temperature at your desired level. Moreover, the readings should be easily viewable at a glance, so you could adjust exactly what you need at the moment.
Some RV tankless water heaters also include the unit itself, while others come with extra accessories. The most important accessories you should look out for are the installation hardware. If it’s all included in the package with the water heater, you’ll be able to set the system up and start using it right away. Otherwise, you’ll have to spend extra time and money looking for the necessary parts.
On top of that, some manufacturers also provide a shower head and shower hose. This option might be suitable for you if you’re looking for a complete shower kit and you don’t want to spend more time looking for the right fixture. However, keep in mind that most of these shower heads are usually made from cheap materials. And if you want a long lasting shower head, it’s better to buy it separately.
When analyzing different RV water heater options, also consider the ease of installation for them. They should come with detailed instructions that would help you through the process. An easy installation can also help you save money since otherwise, you’d have to hire a professional.
The price is also an important factor. So, decide how much you’re ready to spend and set your budget.
You can find RV tankless water heaters in a wide price range, from $100 to $500 and more. A lower priced unit might be of lower quality and might offer fewer features. And a higher priced unit might offer better quality and higher-end features.
One more thing worth mentioning is that these prices don’t include professional installation. You might want to install it yourself but if not, keep in mind that for the final price you’ll also need to add the installation cost.
RV Tankless Water Heater FAQs
Can I install an RV tankless water heater under a sink?
It is possible to install a tankless water heater under an RV sink. However, keep in mind that if it’s a propane unit, it will require proper venting, which might not be possible in this enclosed space. On the other hand, if you have an electric unit and you can wire the unit under the sink and then connect it to a water pump, it can be a good option.
Before deciding where to install the water heater, consult the manufacturer’s manual where you should find recommendations for proper installation placement.
How to convert an RV water heater to tankless?
To convert an RV water heater, you’ll need to replace the entire with a tankless system. And your travel trailer water heater replacement would require a new installation.
How to install an RV tankless water heater?
The tankless water heater installation process can differ from unit to unit. That’s why it’s important that you consult the manual that came with your specific product. This would ensure proper installation and proper functioning of the system.
With that being said, most RV continuous water heaters are fairly easy to install. A propane unit would require connecting it to a propane supply and cold water supply, as well as mounting the unit on a wall or other preferred place. An electric on demand hot water heater, instead of the gas connection, would require wiring it to the 12V electrical system.
How to use an RV water heater?
To use an RV water heater, turn on the water and then use the dial knob to adjust the temperature to your preference. And that’s it. You can open a faucet or a shower head and receive a flow of hot water.
Do tankless water heaters work without electricity?
While some tankless water heaters require a power outlet, others can operate on propane. These units feature automatic ignition, which is usually powered by D cell batteries and the operation is fueled through propane.
There are many benefits to getting an RV tankless water heater. It will provide you with an endless supply of hot water and will do while saving energy. However, to make sure that you get the most out of your investment, it’s important to choose the best RV tankless water heater. We hope that our RV tankless water heater reviews and comparison will help to point you in the right direction. And don’t forget to take into account the information we’ve mentioned in our buying guide in order to ensure that you buy a water heater that is right for you.