When you’re out in your RV, having a lot of hot water on demand is a huge advantage. Unfortunately you can’t always get the results that you need with a standard electrical RV water heater. A tankless water heater is a great alternative, as it gives you a pretty much bottomless supply of hot water whenever you need it.
There are a whole bunch of fantastic tankless water heaters on the market. The only question is, how do you select the best option for you? Thankfully, we’re here to help.
Read on for our picks of the best RV tankless water heaters, in addition to a handy buyer’s guide to help you to make your decision.
OUR TOP PICK
If you’re looking for a highly portable tankless water heater for your RV, then the Camplux 5L Portable Propane Tankless Water Heater may be a good choice for you. The whole unit is very compact, and if that wasn’t enough it also comes with a folding handle to make it even easier to carry from one place to the next.
What’s even better is that the unit uses fairly little energy when it’s operating, so if you are concerned about conserving energy then this will be a huge advantage to you. As a result of this it’s also ideal for people that like to travel a lot. You don’t even need electricity to run it as it runs entirely off propane.
Furthermore the device is simple for anyone to use. It comes with just two regulator knobs and these are very easy to use. They control the water and the gas flow, and you can alter them as required. There are also safety features in the event that something goes wrong.
- Safeety features
- Ideal for people that enjoy traveling
- Highly portable
- Instructions somewhat challenging to follow
Any RV owner is going to love the Eccotemp FVI12-LP Liquid Propane Gas Tankless Water Heater. This model is exceptionally easy to use - perhaps one of the most user friendly models on the market.
The unit comes with an LED display that is simple to read. Any time there are problems it will show you any error messages and will also display the water temperature so that you know how hot it is before you hop in the shower. It’s lightweight and takes up very little space too, ideal if your RV is a little bit cramped.
If you want to change the water temperature then it’s easy enough to do so with the two knobs on the unit. One of them will allow you to play around with the flow of the water and the other one allows you to alter the flow of gas. This means you have the ultimate control over the device.
If all of this wasn’t enough, you will also be pleased to know that the device operated very quietly, so you won’t be waking up your neighbors on the RV park if you fancy taking a midnight shower.
- Ability to control water and gas flow
- Quiet operation
- Not very well insulated for freezing temperatures - extra care is needed with maintenance
The Rinnai V65iP Tankless Water Heater is by far one of the best tankless water heaters on the market. With this, you can expect seamless hot water flow through the pipes of your RV so you can enjoy that hot bath or shower without any rude interruptions from cold water.
The device heats water as and when you need it, and this means that it consumes a lot less energy than most other classic water heaters on the market. It is lightweight and compact, making it ideal for someone that enjoys traveling. It also comes with a digital display and this means that you can alter the temperature whenever you want. What’s particularly fancy is the WiFi controls, allowing you to change the temperature from a distance.
If you find that something breaks later down the line, then the Rinnai V65iP has replaceable parts. This means that it’s easy to find replacement parts if anything goes wrong.
- Replaceable parts
- Easy to use
- The exhaust venting is a little challenging to set up
This highly efficient tankless gas heater is a great choice for you and your RV. No matter what, you can expect hot showers and baths every time you the heater on in just an instance.
There are a number of things to enjoy about this water heater. For starters, you aren’t just limited to using it in an RV. You can use it in a cabin, an apartment, RV, campers and motorhomes an so much more. You can start the device with water pressure at low as 2 psi, too.
The heater is very compact, so it’s easy to move from a to b in no time at all. It features an attractive design so it won’t look massively out of place in your RV. It’s even possible to install it indoors as it is vent free.
- Costs little to run
- Easy to use
The Marey Power 10L Propane Gas Tankless Water Heater is a reliable option that any RV lover is sure to enjoy using. It performs exceptionally well in any situation.
The device is compact and lightweight so it won’t take up a massive amount space inside of your RV. It’s very durable, so you can be sure that it will last a long time. It’s simple to set up too. The unit costs very little in the long run as it will only activate the hot water when it’s needed.
The unit is made out of rust proof materials, so there’s no need to worry about it corroding. If you are concerned about the durability, however, you will also be pleased to know that the unit can come with a 5 year warranty if you opt for it.
You don’t even need to have an electrical connection to run the model as it runs entirely on propane. All in all, a very strong choice for heating the water in your RV.
- Very durable - made out of rust proof materials
- Easy to set up
- Ideal for off the grid use or for those that like to travel thanks to the propane power source
- A dual power source water heater would be more convenient in the circumstance that the propane runs out
RV Tankless Water Heater Buying Guide
Why Should You Get a Tankless Water Heater?
There are a number of different reasons why you should choose a tankless water heater instead of a regular water heater. First of all you will get an unlimited supply of hot water, so long as you are staying on a full service camping area. If you have a large group staying with you then this is perfect, and you won’t have to take shorter showers as you’re limited on water.
Not only that, but you don’t need to deal with recovery times either. You don’t need to sit around and wait for the water to heat up before you use it, and you could feasibly shower right after the last person showered as a result of this.
Tankless water heaters also allow you to set the water temperature in advance. They also weigh a lot less which is ideal if you travel around a lot and need something lightweight.
Before you buy your tankless water heater, you first need to consider the key things that you need for your RV. Not everyone will have the same preferences, so what may work for someone else may not be a good choice for you.
With that in mind, here are some of the things that you should keep in mind when you’re making your decision.
Before you buy your tankless water heater for your RV, you should think about how much water you are likely going to consume first. If you do this then it will help you to buy the right size for your requirements. It's worth noting that a shower in an RV will usually use around 1.5 to 3 gallons in the space of a minute.
A bathtub and toilet can eat up from 2 to 4.5 gallons in a minute. Your kitchen sink can often eat up 1.5 gallons in a minute. If you’re going to be taking a lot of baths for example then you’re probably going to need a much larger tankless water heater. Likewise, if you have a lot of people living with you then the same is true in that situation.
Rate of Water Flow
The rate of water flow on a tankless water heater is essentially the volume of hot water it can release in the space of a minute.
The main thing that you will need a lot of water flow for is your shower, so ideally you should be looking for an RV heater that can give you around 2 to 2.5 gallons of hot water per minute if you are in your RV with your family.
It’s important to consider what kind of power source you need before you buy your tankless RV water heater. There are usually three main options available: liquid propane only, electric only, natural gas, and a combination of both options. Here’s what you need to know about each option.
These heaters are usually the best option from an ecological standpoint, and they cost very little in the long run. They are pretty easy to set up, and for many people that are good with their hands it only really requires one person to get it up and running. Check out our electric tankless hot water review we made for your best options.
This is the power source that you are most likely to come across when you’re on the hunt for a tankless water heater for your vehicle. They’re pretty handy because all you need to do is hook them up to the propane system that you already had. You can usually set them up to the same form of plumbing if you’re had a standard propane water heater before.
Natural gas is becoming more and more popular as time goes on. This option consumes very little energy and it’s good for the environment. Unfortunately it’s normally not easy to come by for consumers. It can sometimes be a good choice for motorhomes that are set up on a campground where natural gas is available.
A combination tankless water heater is a fantastic choice, as it means that if you ever run out of one power source then you have a backup option available to you. This means that you will never need to worry about running out of hot water access. Unfortunately they can cost a little bit more money.
So, which should you choose? Ideally a combination heater should be your main choice unless you’re on a budget. The other options are pretty good too and will certainly fulfil their purpose in a satisfactory manner.
It’s worth getting propane instead of electric, but propane heaters usually need to be maintained more regularly. Ultimately it depends on your specific needs.
Heating Capacity is usually measured in BTU - British Thermal Units. Not all groundwater is the same temperature, and if the groundwater is especially cold then it may be harder to heat it. The vast majority of tankless water heater units will give you 30,000 - 50,000 BTU.
This is a little less than what you would normally have at home, but this is to be expected. If you have a higher BTU rating device then it means that it will be more efficient at heating your water, and it will do so much faster too.
Tankless water heaters can be pretty expensive sometimes (more on that later!) so it’s important to ensure that you choose an option that is going to stand the test of time. Take some time to consider the materials, designs and finishes of the water heater and this will give you an indication of the longevity of the device.
It’s also worth checking other consumer reviews, as if there have been many durability concerns it’s likely that someone will bring it up.
The pricing of tankless water heaters for RVs can vary depending on what you buy. This means that you can likely find a good choice for your individual budget so long as you look hard enough.
It’s worth remembering, however, that the quality and features that you get with your device will be reflected in the price that you pay. If you pay a dollar for a water heater for example, then you’re getting quality that reflects that.
Sure, you don’t need to spend your whole life’s savings on a tankless water heater, but you should still try to avoid getting the cheapest models out there as they just aren’t going to give you the quality that you need.
So, before buying, think of the things that you cannot live without and set a budget based on that. You can then compare prices to see what option will best suit you.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it difficult to install a tankless water heater in an RV?
If you’re pretty handy at mechanics and you really look into the best option for your specific RV then it shouldn’t be too difficult to install the hot water unit if you’re careful. It is important that you are careful with mounting the unit and setting it up to all of the main electrical, gas or water lines that it needs to operate.
It’s also worth considering the warranty on your RV, as some manufacturers will require professional installation to keep the warranty in check.
What are some of the main issues that you may encounter with a tankless water heater?
There are a few problems that you may encounter and need to troubleshoot. First of all, you may not get hot water from the device - it may just be lukewarm.
This can often occur because you’re eating up too much water at once. If you are concerned then check with a plumber as they may be able to advise whether you need to upgrade. It can also depend on your gas supply or a lack of proper maintenance.
The other issue is that the water heater can turn off when you’re showering. This is usually because your water heater’s minimum flow rate is too high, and it generally happens in older models.
You may also experience temperamental water flow issues - one minute it’s hot, the next it’s freezing. It’s referred to as a ‘cold water sandwich.’
It generally occurs because the heat exchanger hasn’t had long enough to warm up. If it continues then you should speak to a professional for further advice.