Everyone likes an escape from their day to day life, and one way to take weekend getaways that will not break the bank is to take your RV into the mountains or the forest.
You can rough it during weekend trips, but nothing is more relaxing than a shower at night, especially if you have been hiking or doing strenuous activities during the day.
Did you know that most water heaters in an RV only have a capacity of six gallons of water?
This is enough water for you, but when you are traveling with your family, there is no way that a family of four can get a shower with a standard water heater. They can be upgraded to hold 10 gallons of water, but is that really enough?
I find that even the upgraded standard water heater is not sufficient for my RV needs, which is why I decided to go with a tankless water heater.
With this type of unit installed in your RV, you will have all of the hot water that you need, which means that you can even take a bath if you have a tub inside your RV.
I created this guide to help you find the best RV tankless water heater for your camping needs. Before we dive into the reviews, let's take a look at the different types of tankless water heaters and some of the benefits of having one in your RV.
TANKLESS LPG GAS WATER HEATER
This is a tankless water heater that is small and compact, making it perfect for an RV. Its dimensions are 18 inches by seven inches by 14 inches, and it only weighs about 20 pounds. This is a propane powered unit, but it does ignite using two D batteries. This allows the hot water to flow out of the faucet in just a few seconds.
This water heater is designed to provide you with 1.6 gallons of water per minute, which is more than adequate for most situations. One of the most unique features about this unit is that it does not require a lot of water pressure to function.
In fact, it only requires two psi for the magnetic water flow sensor to activate and provide you with hot water. In addition, there is a knob that you can use to adjust both the temperature and the flow rate of the water.
- It is easy to install.
- It is a great way to reduce the amount of electricity that is being used.
- It works great with low water pressure.
- The heat of the water is not always consistent.
If you are looking for a tankless water heater for an RV that has low water pressure, then this is a great option for you to consider.
Aquaking Outdoorsman Tankless Water Heater
This Aquaking tankless water heater is one of the best options on this list for portability; in fact, the unit only weighs about 10 pounds. This means that it is a very convenient water heater in the event that you need hot water while you are away from your RV as well as camping in it.
This device is powered by propane, but it does not use a lot of fuel to maintain a consistent water temperature. In fact, it can provide the same temperature water for a family of four or more. You will need to have water pressure that is above 10 psi, but it will give you about 1.6 gallons of hot water each minute.
- It is very easy on propane usage.
- This is a very lightweight tankless water heater.
- This water heater works well with low water pressure.
- The winter setting is scalding hot, while the summer setting is barely warm.
If you are looking for a water heater that gets hotter in the winter than during the summer, then this mobile water heater is ideal for your camping needs all year.
Eccotemp L5 Portable Tankless Water Heater
The Eccotemp is also a lightweight option for tankless water heaters. Weighing just 13 pounds, it is designed to generate more than a gallon of water a minute, which is more than enough for most of your RV needs. It is also an energy efficient device, so if you use it, you can expect to start saving money.
One of the features that makes this water heater so great is the fact that it comes with a hose connector that allows you to use the device outdoors as well. The unit does run on propane, but it ignites using battery power, which is more than adequate to get some hot water. This unit does require a 20 psi minimum to function properly, so you should take that into consideration before purchasing it.
- It is a lightweight model.
- This water heater is simple to install.
- Hot water takes less than a second to create.
- The connectors are positioned close together, which can make it difficult to attach the hoses.
The Eccotemp is a great well-rounded tankless water heater that is great for camping in an RV. It has a large temperature range, and it automatically turns off after 20 minutes for your protection.
EZ Tankless 101 Tankless Water Heater
The next tankless water heater that we are going to look at is the EZ Tankless 101. It is another lightweight model that is ideal for camping in an RV.
It weighs about 14 pounds, so it is not the lightest model in this guide, but it is still small enough for an RV. This water heater does function with propane, but the unit ignites with two D batteries, so it is actually not going to use a lot of fuel to provide continuous hot water.
This unit provides 1.6 gallons of hot water each minute, which gives you enough for a nice shower while you are camping. Insofar as heat, there are three different controls that you can use.
- This water heater has a lot of customizability and temperature control.
- You will have hot water in a matter of seconds.
- This is a fuel-efficient tankless water heater.
- It will not start if the water pressure is too low.
If you are looking for a tankless water heater that has a lot of control for seasonal camping, then this water heater has three different control options that you will appreciate.
EZ Tankless Portable Propane Tankless Water Heater
The final water heater on our list is another model from EZ Tankless. This one weighs about 15 pounds, so it is the heaviest one in this guide. Despite this, it is a great propane water heater with a battery powered ignition that heats almost instantaneously.
There is a safety feature on this unit that turns off the heat after 20 minutes of use, which should be more than enough time for a quick shower in your RV.
In addition, this unit has a low water pressure ignition, so if you have less than a 2.9 psi, you can still get hot water easily.
- It is easy to install.
- It works well with low water pressure.
- You are protected by a auto turnoff feature that happens after 20 minutes.
- This tankless water heater is a bit on the heavier side.
This is one of the heavier options on our list, so if you want a tankless water heater that you keep in a specific location within your RV, then this may be a great option for your needs.
Propane Vs. Electric
When you have a tankless water heater that is powered by propane, the water is heated when it crosses over a flow sensor by a gas burner.
This method gives you hot water almost immediately, and as long as you have a full hook up where you are camping, you will never run out of hot water.
An electric water heater does the same thing, but it is a more compact unit that actually allows you to adjust the temperature of your hot water. These models also tend to make less noise as they heat the water.
In addition, with this type of heater, you will never run out of hot water. There are also battery operated models that you can make use of when you are camping off of the grid.
Advantages Of A Tankless Water Heater
I already mentioned that with a tankless water heater, you will have a supply of hot water that never runs out.
If you stick to the standard tank design, the most you can have is 10 gallons of hot water at a time, which may not be enough for all of your RV needs, especially if you are traveling with your family.
What are some other advantages of a tankless water heater?
- A tankless water heater is a great way to save space. Most RVs already have limited space, especially if you are traveling with your family. A 10-gallon tank does not have a small footprint, but going with a tankless model will allow you to install it in the smallest spaces of your RV. In fact, many of the tankless water heaters on the market can fit into a hidden space within the bathroom of the RV.
- There is no wait time for hot water with a tankless water heater. If you have ever used a standard water heater in an RV, then you understand that when the tank gets low, it needs to be refilled and reheated, which can take a few minutes. A tankless water heater provides hot water almost instantaneously.
- You can save energy using a tankless water heater. In fact, a tankless water heater can use up to 50 percent less propane than a standard water heater. Electric models utilize less energy as well, which helps decrease your footprint on the environment.
Considerations For A Tankless Water Heater
As with any purchase you make for your RV, there are a few considerations that you should look into before making a purchase decision. Here are a few of the most important things to think about:
Size And Installation
Even though these tankless water heaters are smaller than many of the standard water heaters that come in an RV, you still need to ensure that you have enough space to install one that you select.
Installation is typically painless when it comes to tankless water heaters, but here is a custom install video that may interest you.
Propane And Energy Usage
Consider the length of the trips that you make and the amount of propane and energy that each tankless water heater will use during that period of time.
The energy usage may vary for each unit, but they will all use less than a standard water heater, which is better for the environment.
Amount Of Water
How much hot water can the tank create per minute? If you want a lot of water pressure, you may need a model that delivers more water per minute.
In addition, some models also have knobs that allow you to adjust the water pressure, which allows you to customize your shower a bit.
Many tankless water heaters come with a warranty, so check to see how long it is on the model that you purchase. Some models may even come with a lifetime warranty.
As a person who likes to travel a lot in an RV, I can tell you that a tankless water heater is well worth purchasing. It gives you the freedom to take long showers, take baths, and jump in the shower after someone else without letting the water reheat.
The initial purchase may be a bit more than a standard water heater, but over the years that you use the water heater, you will save money by using less propane and electricity to run it.
All of the tankless water heaters in this guide are great options, but if I were to select one, the Eccotemp L5 Portable Tankless Water Heater is the one that stands out above the rest. It has a battery powered ignition, it is easy on fuel, and it can be used as an outdoor shower if you'd like. Hot water will be available within seconds with this unit so that you can take a shower whenever you want.