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The Best RV Tankless Water Heaters for Instant Hot Water

Written by Stephen Ryan / Fact checked by William Turner

Ensuring that there is enough hot water in your RV is extremely beneficial, especially if you go out hiking, biking, or doing any other outdoor activity with your loved ones or friends. The problem is that a standard hot water tank can only hold around 6-10 gallons of water on average, which is a problem if you are in a group of at least 5.

Fortunately, you can now solve this problem with the aid of the best RV tankless water heater. It lets you and your huge group enjoy nice warm showers after enjoying your activities outdoors. Just make sure that you choose to buy that, which can provide a limitless supply of hot water.

best rv tankless water heater

With this tankless water heater around, you no longer have to wait for hours to fill a tank with water that you can use to shower. You can just do a simple RV tankless water heater installation to take full advantage of it. Just make sure that you gather the right information and details when starting to look for the suitable unit for you.

Here is a breakdown of 13 of the best tankless water heaters that are also designed for RV and marine use to help you formulate a sound decision.

Top 1

FOGATTI Water Heater


Capacity 6-10 gallon
BTUs 55,000
Power Source Only propane

Jump to Review

Top 2

Furrion 2.4GPM Tankless


Capacity 6 gallons
BTUs 60,000
Power Source Wind Powered

Jump to Review

Top 3

RecPro RV Tankless


Capacity 6-10 gallon
BTUs 42,000
Power Source Air Powered

Jump to Review

Table of Contents

List of Top-Rated RV Tankless Water Heater Reviews

1. FO GATTI RV Tankless Gas Water Heater

With its exotic-sounding name, the FOGATTI RV on demand water heater delivers exceptional water heating performance for the adventurous RVing family. It provides hot water whenever the motorhome occupants need it.

I love this water heater’s 55,000-BTU rating, ensuring more efficient water heating without putting a dent in our propane gas consumption. It delivers sufficient water to make RVing more pleasant and convenient. Its 2.9-gallons-per-minute capacity ensures everyone in our motorhome will never complain about showering in the cold.

It has dry combustion protection, flame failure safety, and water overpressure protection to keep me from worrying about its operation. This RV water heater also has safety features against overheating, freezing, and low water pressure. I love its ability to keep the air fresh, ensuring we have a livable motorhome environment.

This camper tankless water heater also features a remote controller I can mount on the wall. Managing the hot water parameters is a breeze with this nifty gadget. I love its durable construction featuring only the finest materials on the planet, making it last three times longer than other RV tankless water heater brands.

I also appreciate its suitability as a replacement for different RV water heater brands, such as Suburban, Girard, Dometic, Recpro, and Furrion.

Unfortunately, some people will find its installation somewhat complicated. I also must point out that this RV tankless water heater does not come with a pressure relief valve, requiring a separate purchase.

Regardless, I believe in this RV tankless water heater. Its performance is exceptional. I am not surprised many RV manufacturers choose this OEM tankless water heater for their RVs.
  • 55,000-BTU water heater with a 2.9 GPM rating
  • Seven protective systems for improved safety
  • Suitable replacement for RV storage tank water heaters
  • Wall-mounted remote controller for effortless water heater management
  • Three times more durable than other RV tankless water heater brand
  • Pressure relief valve not included
  • Not recommended for DIY installation

2. Furrion Tankless RV Gas Water Heater

The Furrion FWH09A-1-A promises a world of difference for RV owners who want exceptional on-demand water heating performance. It is one of the most trusted brands, giving people peace of mind whenever they go on a camping trip with their RVs.

This Furrion tankless water heater has an impressive 60,000-BTU heating capacity. It delivers 5,000 BTUs more than the FOGATTI. Unfortunately, its higher heat output translates to a lower flow rate of 2.4 GPM, half a gallon lower than the FOGATTI. Regardless, it is still sufficient for most RV families who demand instant hot water wherever they are.

My favorite thing about this RV tankless water heater is its advanced technologies. The Vortex guarantees constant water temperature, while a pair of sensors automatically deactivates the water heater if the water temperature breaches a predefined setting. It also does not matter if the inlet water temperature is 32 degrees Fahrenheit because this water heater will heat it to the desired temperature in seconds.

Another technology I love is VibrationSmart System, a collection of water heater chassis features that work to reduce the effects of road vibrations and other environmental factors. I can drive my travel trailer on uneven terrain without denting this water heater’s construction and performance.

I also love the black digital remote controller people can mount on the wall. The display is bright, and the interface is uncluttered for hassle-free operation.

My only concern about this tankless water heater for RV is its price.

Still, this RV tankless water heater is worth the money because of its reliable performance and robust construction. RV families can rely on this device to deliver hot water every time.
  • 4 GPM-water heater with 60,000 BTU heat output
  • Heats the water even at low temperatures (32 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • Advanced Vortex technology with dual sensors for efficient water heating
  • VibrationSmart technology for on-road performance and durability
  • Easy-to-use wall-mounted digital remote controller
  • Costs a bit more than standard products

3. RecPro RV Tankless Water Heater

The RecPro RV tankless hot water heater is a sleek-looking device that delivers hot water as needed when needed. It offers RVers a reliable water heater, allowing everyone in the motorhome to have pleasant warm showers and piping hot coffee on the go.

Like the FOGATTI, this propane tankless water heater for RV also produces 55,000 BTUs. Although it is not as quick-heating as the Furrion FWH09A-1-A, this product heats the water fast enough to hot showers successively. The bright side is that its lower BTU rating translates to extended propane gas consumption.

I love this RV water heater’s intelligent wall-mounted remote controller. It has an auto-diagnostic feature that displays error codes. RV owners will never have issues troubleshooting the tankless water heater, saving them money on costly repairs.

I appreciate the RV water heater’s multiple safety features, similar to the FOGATTI. The system protects against flameouts, freezing, and gas and water supply issues. My family and I will have a more pleasant time in our motorhome with this system keeping tabs on the appliance’s operation.

Many RV owners like the forced exhaust design, giving them peace of mind that no harmful gasses are present in the cabin.

Sadly, this RV water heater will not operate if the inlet water temperature is lower than 43 degrees Fahrenheit. I find this odd, considering the Furion FWH09A-1-A can heat 32-degree water. Moreover, the 55,000-BTU rating is only effective at altitudes lower than 4,000 feet.

Nevertheless, its water heating performance and safety features make this RV tankless water heater an excellent choice for modern RV owners.
  • 55,000-BTU output for faster and more efficient water heating
  • Intelligent wall-mounted controller with fault code display and auto-diagnosis
  • Multiple safety features for improved device protection
  • Forced exhaust design for better motorhome safety
  • Minimalist and ultra-modern design
  • Does not heat the water below 43 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Heating capacity diminishes at 4,000 feet above sea level

4. Camplux 5L Portable Propane Tankless Water Heater

One of the tankless water heaters I will surely recommend to any RV owners is the Camplux 5L portable propane tankless water heater. One impressive benefit I figured out to be imminent in this unit is its distinctive portability property. I noticed that it is indeed very portable in the sense that carrying it around in various places is easy.

Another advantage I found out with the constant use of this water heater is that it operates with the least energy requirements. It perfectly suits RV owners, especially families and a set of people who love to travel outdoors a lot. This is a convenient unit for them, especially in situations where there is a low availability of hot water.

I am also happy that this propane water heater comes at a compact size as it means that I can conveniently and easily set it up outdoors. It features a brass-finished regulator with two knobs – the first one is designed to control the heat while the other can help control the flow rate.

This a big advantage if you want to make adjustments to the flow rate to ensure that you get just the right water temperature. Another favorable advantage of this unit is that it runs using propane so expect it to operate without the need for electricity. It also performs well in off-grid areas.

One drawback of the unit, though, is that it lacks a draining outlet or system, which is supposed to be used when evacuating the system after using it. Such makes it a bit hard to maintain the unit.
  • Highly portable and easy to bring on various places
  • Operates with low energy requirements
  • Allows you to control heat and flow rate
  • Operates without using electricity
  • Good performance in off-grid areas
  • Lacks a draining outlet or system

5. Girard 2GWHAM On-demand Tankless Water Heater

I am also sure that you will instantly notice how efficient the Girard 2GWHAM On-demand Tankless Water Heater is once you get a hold of this item. What I like about this unit is that it serves as the stronger version of the previous tankless water heater discusses – the Girard 1GWHM.

It has an average size, which is suitable for most recreational vehicles. I am impressed with the fact that it is designed to have almost all the features that you need during the winter season. It can even detect incoming temperature and make adjustments to the heat requirements accordingly using its automatic monitor.

Another nice benefit that is a standard in this unit is its freeze protection ability. I am also pleased with the fact that it works quietly. This means fewer worries about it disrupting your sleep when it is turned on.

It is also capable of delivering up to 42,000 BTUs. This is decent enough to optimize its performance for the plumbing system of your RV. Another reason to love this unit is the fact that it does not require any special plumbing or LP Gas lines.

However, it also has a disadvantage and that is the fact that you need to purchase the mounting hardware separately. It is mainly because the mounting hardware does not form part of the purchase.
  • Stronger and more durable version of the Girard 1GWHM
  • Comes at a size, which fits most RVs
  • Uses an automatic monitor to detect temperature and adjust heat requirements
  • Can offer protection against freezes
  • Operates quietly
  • Mounting hardware not included in the purchase

6. PrecisionTemp RV-550 Tankless Water Heater

You might also want to check out the Precision Temp RV 550, which is another of the excellent performers in the RV tankless water heater industry. I am so impressed with this unit because I noticed that it works specifically for different applications, like RVs, tiny homes, trailers, mobile washing services, and cabins.

One favorable quality that I would like to highlight in this tankless water heater is its ease of manageability. It is mainly because it only comes at a small and compact size. This means that it will never take too much space in your recreational vehicle. It is also easy to manage because of its lighter weight when compared to standard water heaters.

Another great advantage I am really happy about with this unit is the fact that it makes use of less propane compared to the others without compromising its overall efficiency. In fact, it can already provide around 940 gallons of water with shower temperature by just using a propane tank with 20-lb. capacity.

It also does its job well of supplying hot water on-demand using its power that can reach up to 55,000 BTUs. It also boasts of its 1.5 GPM flow, which is more than enough to deliver a decent shower temperature water every time you need it. I also like the fact that it has a quiet and really efficient operation.

Expect to shell out more money for this unit, though because of its quite expensive price tag.
  • Versatile since you are allowed to use it in a wide range of applications
  • Easy to manage because it is lightweight and compact
  • Guarantees less consumption of propane
  • Quiet and efficient operation
  • Provides a decent 55,000 BTU power
  • A bit expensive

7. Eccotemp FVI-12-LP Propane Tankless Water Heater

Another product that I think is worthy to form part of the list of the high quality RV tankless water heater is the Eccotemp FVI-12-LP. It is a liquid propane tankless water heater, which is ideal for use when you need to produce small to medium quantity of hot water. I find it very efficient when used in RVs, small homes, cottages, and vacation cabins.

One favorable advantage of this unit is that it is appropriate for use if you plan to run two showers with restricted flow simultaneously. It is also beneficial because it shows you some error messages as well as the present water temperature with the aid of its digital LED display.

You can also adjust the temperature until it reaches your preferences with the aid of its control panel equipped with two regulator knobs – one of which you can use the flow of water while the other is useful in regulating the flow of gas.

It is also a highly efficient unit considering the fact that it can save energy. It does not come with any standby losses, making it a great option if you are someone who lives off the grid. A 20-lb. propane tank also fuels it and helps it supply the amount of water required by its users.

However, remember that this tankless propane water heater for RVs is manually controlled so you can’t expect it to retain water temperature automatically.
  • Suitable for the small-to-medium supply of hot water
  • Uses a digital LED display to show error messages and the present water temperature
  • Comes with a control panel for temperature adjustments
  • Supplies hot water with the aid of its 20-lb. propane tank
  • Energy-efficient
  • Does not automatically retain water temperature

8. Marey Gas 10L Tankless Water Heater

If you are presently in search of a highly remarkable and dependable tankless water heater then one option that you should include in your list is the Marey Gas 10L. I will always recommend this unit because of its consistency in terms of delivering a dependable performance in the industry.

One thing I am really impressed with in this unit is that it is designed to be compact. That said, I am sure that it can save a lot of space once you install it. The compact and portable design of this unit is also what makes it very easy to install in almost any place you want.

It is also a great investment as it has the capacity of heating an unlimited amount of water based on your demand. In addition, it gives you the option of regulating the flow of both water and gas so you can achieve the perfect temperature depending on what you prefer.

It operates without the need of any electricity. This means that with the presence of this unit, you will no longer need an RV electric tankless water just so you can still get a decent supply of hot water in case of power outages. It also boasts of its 3.1 GPM capacity, which proves its ability to supply hot water for the whole family.

However, take note that this tankless water heater is not suitable for apartment homes because of the clearances needed when mounting it.
  • Compact and space-saving design
  • Easy to install in various places
  • Can heat an unlimited amount of water
  • Capable of controlling the flow of water and gas
  • Operates without needing electricity
  • Not suitable for use in apartment homes

Excel Tankless Gas Water Heater (Outdated)

If you are in search of an RV tankless water heater powered by gas then this product from Excel, which suits a wide range of uses and applications, like RVs, rural cabins, campers, flats, small apartments, mobile homes, sailboats, boats, and hunting cabins, is definitely an excellent choice.

I am sure that you will be satisfied with the ability of this unit to save both water and energy by ensuring that it delivers and supplies hot water right after you open the hot water tap. I also find its beautiful and distinctive design impressive. In fact, it works well in giving a more lavish decoration in any area you decide to install it.

Another valuable advantage of this tankless gas water heater is that it lets you enjoy a water pressure of 2 psi to 120 psi. It should be noted that it is categorized as a vent-free appliance, too. This makes it very convenient to use as it means that you can install it indoors without worrying about dealing with cumbersome and costly processes.

It works well when dealing with an incoming cold water temperature, which is more than 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Note, however, that it is also capable of handling lower temperatures just by using its control knob to adjust and reduce the flow rate of the water.

It also operates at extremely low water pressures, especially those experienced in boats, recreational vehicles, and rural areas because of its magnetic water flow sensor. However, one problem you might encounter with this unit is its somewhat unclear installation instructions.
  • Can save both water and energy
  • Supplies hot water on demand and in an instant
  • Features a distinctive and beautiful design
  • Allows you to adjust and reduce the flow rate of water
  • Equipped with a magnetic water flow sensor
  • The included installation instructions are pretty unclear.

Eccotemp L10 Portable Tankless Water Heater (Outdated)

The Eccotemp L10 is also another of the RV tankless water heaters that I would like to suggest to RV owners. One of its most appealing qualities is its portability but I also realized that it works well in case you want to do a permanent installation of it outdoors. It has a rugged design, making it tough to deal with the outdoor elements.

It works as a propane-powered heater capable of supplying 2.5 GPM of hot water, allowing it to work perfectly for all your shower needs outdoors. I am also impressed with the 2 D cell battery ignition because it is designed in a way that it starts to work only once the water runs.

This results in a lower risk of overheating. With that, I am sure that you will find it easy to use in areas with limited electricity as well as in off-grid areas. There is a lower risk of this unit to overrun and cause a fire because of its automated 20-minute shut-off function.

I am also glad that I never had problems with setting up the water heater mainly because it already comes with all the accessories and fittings for its installation right from the box. The included standard half-inch fittings are also easy to plumb into standard fixtures.

Furthermore, it is quick to activate, supplying scalding hot water when set on low water flow. However, take note that the heating box of this tankless water heater is heavier in comparison to other units.
  • Highly portable while allowing permanent installation outdoors
  • Features a rugged design, thereby withstanding harsh outdoor elements
  • Lowers risk of overheating and overrunning
  • Easy to set up and install
  • Quick to activate
  • Heavier heating box

EZ 202 Propane Tankless Water Heater (Outdated)

You may also like to check out the EZ 202 tankless water heater if you are interested to invest in a propane-powered one, which is also highly portable. I can offer a hundred percent assurance that you will have a high level of satisfaction from this water heater, especially if what you prefer is fast water flow.

It is because it is capable of delivering water at 3.2 GPM when dealing with a temperature of 450 degrees Fahrenheit. I also want to emphasize its suitability for RV use and other outdoor activities, such as hunting. It is mainly because a plugin is unnecessary for its operation.

It is also capable of operating using low water ignition. Also, it has DC cells that you can replace every six months without spending too much. I am also pleased with the overall design of the unit as it guarantees convenience and safety to users. In addition, it can provide an adequate supply of water for the entire family wherever you decide to go.

Operating it is also easy, which is one of the reasons why it is a highly efficient RV tankless heaters that can also perfectly go with your camping, hiking, and hunting escapades. You can also operate it automatically. Furthermore, turning it off is also quick in case the source of water goes off.

The material for the inlet is slightly flimsy, though, so make sure to go easy when using it and avoid cranking it.
  • Highly portable unit powered by propane
  • Guarantees fast water flow with its 3.2 GPM
  • Suitable for outdoor activities
  • Designed to be safe and convenient for users
  • Easy and automatic operation
  • A bit flimsy material used for the inlet

EZ 101 Tankless Water Heater (Outdated)

Lastly, I would like to introduce the EZ 101 Tankless Water Heater. I think that this tankless water heater deserves a spot in this list of the best units in the industry because it also consistently delivers a good performance. One thing I really love about this unit is that it is lightweight plus it is budget-friendly.

It weighs 14 lbs. only while still providing a decent thermal efficiency of up to 85 percent with the aid of the built-in DC electric ignition system. I also discovered that it is designed to be operated automatically, making it more convenient to use. You will realize that it is a sound purchase, especially if you love to have fun outdoors in the winter.

In terms of the heating element and fuel system, I can assure you that it is ideal for use on either propane or LPG. You will also be satisfied with the multiple control knobs built into this unit as these knobs let you regulate and adjust the heating temperatures and water flow with ease.

You can also control the flame of the burner as well as the specific number of burners that you can use in heating water. Another impressive benefit is it has the capacity of preventing the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning without your vehicle due to its built-in 20-minute timer.

However, one drawback that you have to take note of about this unit is that it is slightly susceptible to freezing when exposed to extremely cold temperatures, especially if you decide to install it outdoors.
  • Lightweight and budget-friendly
  • Provides up to 85% thermal efficiency
  • Allows you to adjust the heating temperature and water flow
  • Features a 20-minute timer for protection
  • Guarantees an automatic operation
  • A bit susceptible to freezing

Girard 1GWHAF Tankless Water Heater (Outdated)

Another product that I suggest you should check out is the Girard 1GWHAF Tankless Water Heater. It is one of the most reliable tankless water heaters that perfectly suit the requirements of the majority of RV owners. What I like the most about it is that it fits an existing 6-gallon tank really well.

Another benefit of this heater is that it lets you save significantly on the use of fresh water and LP. I also noticed how easy it is to use the temperature setting, thereby ensuring that I can make adjustments to it when necessary. It is also known for its variability when used on a wide range of sources for fresh water.

Another impressive benefit is that installing it is a breeze. In fact, you can do it really quickly because the whole installation process is easy and straightforward. Expect to be able to complete the whole installation process in as little as two hours. It is one of the best performers in the tankless water heater industry.

It also features a compact design, suiting the needs of RV users really well. In addition, it comes at a reasonable price. However, one possible problem with it is the noise it tends to produce when operating.
  • Highly reliable and compatible with the needs of RV owners
  • Fits an existing 6-gallon tank
  • Comes with an easy to use temperature setting
  • The easy and straightforward installation process
  • Compact design and affordable price
  • Produces noise when operating

What to Look for When Buying an RV Tankless Water Heater

If you plan to purchase a tankless water heater for your RV then you are probably aware that it can provide more rewarding benefits that the traditional storage tank heater. One benefit is that it is more energy-efficient as it has a lower risk of losing heat from standing water.

It is also smaller and has a lower risk of spilling. However, you can’t just buy any of the tankless water heaters without considering these important and crucial factors:

Water consumption – Before you start to shop for a tankless water heater, it is advisable to have an estimate of your water consumption. This will roughly give you a clear idea about the actual size of water heater you need. In most cases, the average water consumption in the shower area is around 1 and ½ to 3 gallons every minute.

As for the bathtub and toilet, expect it consume around 2 to 4 gallons and ½ gallon per minute, respectively. Your kitchen sink will most likely use around 1 and ½ gallons of water every minute. In choosing the ideal tankless water heater for your RV, you have to determine the frequency of using these multiple facilities and appliances all at once.

It is because the heater is capable of supplying on-demand water heating from 2-6 gallons every minute based on the model. With that in mind, you have to really have a close estimate of your overall water consumption based on the mentioned facilities and appliances.

Water flow rate – You should not also fail to consider the rate of water flow supplied by the tankless water heater you are planning to buy. This flow rate actually refers to the amount of hot water that the device releases each minute.

The majority of users of this water heater actually makes use of it for showering so the best one that meets the needs of an average family is that, which can supply around 2 to 2 and ½ gallons of hot water per minute.

Price – Another vital factor to take into full consideration is the price. Note, though, that you might have to spend more, especially if you plan to live in your mobile home for quite a long time. The average price for this water heater is around $500-$1,000. Some high-quality ones might cause even higher.

The cost indicated does not include the professional installation yet, so you also have to factor that in. That way, you can set a budget based on how much you are really willing and can afford to spend for this device.

BTU – BTU, which stands for British Thermal Unit, refers to the heating capacity of the unit. It is also important to factor in the BTU of the water heater you are planning to buy. It will give you an idea about the amount of heat that you will need depending on the specific place you intend to travel.

It is mainly because the temperature in groundwater differs based on location. Some of the models also face issues when it comes to heating cold groundwater and you have to take that into full consideration before you make your choice.

Several products will also hover between 30,000 and 50,000 BTU per hour, which is a bit smaller than the ones installed in households. That said, you should not feel too disappointed just in case your choice does not match the heat and flow from the shower in your household.

Your goal actually is to find a tankless water heater, which can get close to the heat and flow provided by household water heaters.

Power source – Another important consideration is the source of power provided by your chosen unit. In this case, there are actually three options available for you – the battery, electric, and propane-operated ones.

Figure out which among the three can offer you the highest number of benefits. Note, however, that many RV owners prefer the battery-operated and the propane units because of their portability. Electric ones, on the other hand, have to be completely integrated each time.

Space – It is also crucial to find out the amount of space that the water heater might consume. Note that space is important in every RV, camper or trailer. Find out if your RV still has enough space for you to install a water heater inside.

You really have to check the actual size of the unit so you can decide whether it fits the allocated space for it. If possible, choose a lightweight one, too so you will not have difficulty handling it.

Protection – Ensure that the water heater you are thinking of buying has more than enough protection against the poor weather and rough terrains while you are traveling on your RV. In addition, it should have features designed to protect it against voltage shortage and spikes as well as electronic ignition triggered by the excessive heat.

Other Important Factors to Consider


What is an RV Tankless Water Heater?

An RV tankless water heater is one of the most valuable devices or appliances that you can invest in for your recreational vehicle. It is primarily because of its ability to give you a constant supply of water. It provides hot water on demand and does so without needing a storage tank.

With this equipment, you can constantly heat water without having to spend a lot of time waiting for the water in the tank to get hot. It is a great investment for RV owners like you as it allows you to have luxury and cozy showers even if you are far from home.

Note that RV owners, especially those who travel constantly and enjoy certain activities, like biking and hiking, want to end up their day enjoying a relaxing and luxurious shower. That is true, especially if they spent the entire day doing tiring activities outdoors.

In such a case, your standard water heater can negatively impact your chance to enjoy your shower. For instance, if it features a 6-gallon tank, then there is a great possibility that you will consume all the water fast, thereby ruining your shower enjoyment. The best solution for this is to go tankless.

With a tankless water heater, you are a hundred percent sure that there is a constant availability of hot water not only for yourself but also for everyone else who stays with you during your RV trip.

You can also expect the tankless water heater to be a great buddy during the winter season when you desperately need hot showers. Even if you are RV camping, you can completely depend on this equipment to give you hot showers because of its usually high recovery rate.

How does It Work?

Also called instantaneous or demand type water heater, a tankless water heater, as mentioned earlier, can supply hot water on demand or only when you need it. This means that it will not create the standby energy losses often linked to storage water heaters, thereby helping you save money.

It works by heating water directly without using any storage tank. Once you turn on a hot water tap, you can expect cold water to travel into the tankless unit through a pipe. It tends to heat water by using either an electric element or a gas burner. This results in making the tankless heater capable of delivering a supply of hot water constantly.

There is no need for you to spend a lot of your time waiting for the unit’s storage tank to be filled up with an adequate amount of water. In most cases, the tankless heater can supply hot water at around 2 to 5 gallons per minute. The one, which uses gas to work, can be expected to supply higher flow rates in comparison to the electric unit.

Types of RV Tankless Water Heaters

RV tankless water heater actually comes in a couple of types. Here are the most common types of this popular necessity in an RV:

Electric – A popular type of water heater, the electric RV tankless water heater is known for its environmentally-friendly nature and cost-effectiveness. One of its major advantages is that you can easily install it because it is primarily operated by electricity.

You are even allowed to use a generator or solar panel so you can have a constant supply of electricity in your vehicle, which you can use in running the heater. The electric tankless water heater is also known for being 99 percent efficient.

It is also capable of eliminating the problems often linked to greenhouse emissions because it is environmentally friendly.

Gas-fired – This water heater tends to run with the help of propane or kerosene. It also needs venting to operate properly. In fact, it comes with flues that are generally larger than the ones needed for gas storage heaters. In most cases, they come with power vents that let exhaust gases flow to a side wall.

This specific unit is perfect, especially during those situations when running a new vent is impractical or impossible. One thing to take note of regarding gas-fired water heaters is that they have an 85 percent efficiency. It is less expensive than the unit powered by electricity considering the fact that gas can be bought at a low cost.

In terms of installation, it is necessary to have some form of venting. One downside, though, is that it releases greenhouse gases that might not be good to the environment.

Non-condensing – It is popular for being the first generation in the field of tankless water heaters. It makes use of a heat exchanger as a means of heating water on demand. One proven benefit of the non-condensing water heater is that it is reliable.

It is mainly because it is already an established product with only a few issues regarding manufacturing. One drawback in this unit, though, is its hot exhaust. It is mainly because of the need to install stainless steel venting, which is a bit expensive.

It also has a lower energy-efficiency when compared to the other water heaters. The energy-efficiency of this unit tends to drop each time you use plenty of hot water in just short draws (for example, when you are washing hands).

Condensing – This falls under the second generation units of the tankless heater. The condensing type actually utilizes a second heat exchanger. This exchanger tends to reuse the heat that comes from an exhaust as a means of heating water even further. This is actually beneficial as this leads to a higher efficiency, around 92 to 94 percent.

Another benefit is that you can vent the condensing type using PVC, which is actually inexpensive. There are still drawbacks, though, including the higher cost of the unit and its lower energy-efficiency when it comes to short draws of water.

Benefits of an RV Tankless Water Heater

Going tankless when it comes to your RV water heater carries with it numerous benefits. Here are just some specific advantages that can definitely put a smile on your face:

Prevents you from dealing with cold showers – With its ability to give you hot water on your demand, the tankless water heater, when installed in your recreational vehicle, can definitely help you stay away from cold showers.

In case you are not alone in your travels, this specific benefit can definitely make your experience even more unforgettable. For instance, if there are over four people in your RV during a trip, then you can prevent everyone from battling to get hot water with a tankless heater around.

It solves the problem of not having enough hot water for everyone with its ability to supply it instantly and on demand. It is mainly because it uses a water heating system, which does not depend on reserving hot water in a storage tank.

What it does, instead, is heat water instantly while it passes through your heater. This can definitely give you enough hot water anytime.

Promotes a higher distribution rate – Due to the ability of the tankless water heater to produce hot water on your demand, you get the chance to do a few activities simultaneously while you are using the tank.

For example, you are allowed to run your washing machine, dishwasher, and multiple showers simultaneously while still ensuring that the system continues to produce hot water. Hot water will never run out in that case. It is primarily because this tankless heater is designed in such a way that it can distribute a high volume of water.

Long-lasting – Another remarkable benefit of the tankless water heater is that it tends to last longer when compared to the other types of water heater. Note that the traditional one, which uses a tank, carries around 6 to 10-year warranty and can be expected to last for a max of a decade.

The tankless system, on the other hand, boasts of a longer warranty period (around 10 to 15 years). You can also anticipate that it will serve its purpose for up to two decades. With that in mind, it is safe to say that it is a better investment. It can also add more value to your home away from home, which is your recreational vehicle.

Works effectively in conserving water – You will also be pleased to know that your tankless water heater is the ultimate solution for anyone who is searching for a unit, which can help in conserving water. Note that the traditional tank heater takes around two to three minutes on average to create hot water.

It also takes around twenty to thirty minutes for it to refill its tank. This is not the case if you invest in the best RV tankless water heater. It is because you no longer have to wait for a long time to let the water heat up. The tankless unit will actually do that instantly.

Aside from helping you save time since you can quickly get in and out of the water, it also prevents you from wasting water by letting it go down the drain when you are still waiting for the heated water to come out. The tankless unit, therefore, is a more effective technique as far as heating water is concerned.

Promotes huge financial savings – The rationale behind this benefit is that the tankless water heater works more efficiently than the other types. It also tends to use less energy when compared to the tank unit.

The ability of the tankless unit to consume less water and operate more effectively can definitely let you enjoy huge savings each month. In fact, it is possible for it to let you enjoy up to 30 percent more savings annually.

Saves space – Aside from helping you conserve water and save money on the process, the tankless unit is also capable of saving space. It is mainly because of its compact size. In fact, it is only one-fifth of the actual size of the tank unit.

It is compact and easy to install in that you can mount it on the wall with ease then connect it to your water. It is also safer to use than the tank water heater, which gives you the chance to place it in the recommended areas without problems.

Deciding to go tankless can also increase the number of your storage choices. It can free up space in your RV so you will have more room for other necessities. In most cases, this unit can only consume a space, which is equal to the one used by a home PC.

Distributes clean, safe, and pure water – The water stored within a standard heater will most likely sit stagnant in a tank for an extended period of time. This is the reason behind the buildup of rust and sediment on the interiors of the tank. This might lead you to get a supply of contaminated water.

Such a problem will never happen if you use the tankless system. It is because the tankless water heater will never hold water within its confines. This results in a cleaner supply of water for everyone who stays with you during your trip.

Provides hot water instantly – One more benefit of owning a tankless water heater is that it gets rid of lag time. This means that you can expect to get hot water instantly. You no longer have to spend a few minutes of waiting time. It is usually because this heater does not have long routes of pipes where the water needs to pass.

The temperature is easy to adjust – What is even better about the tankless heaters, especially the newer models, is that they have a digital screen. With such screen, adjusting the temperature will be easy. You can make adjustments to it based on your preferences.

However, there are also drawbacks to owning a tankless water heater and installing it in your RV. One of the drawbacks is that you may need to spend some money on expensive stainless steel tubing for the venting propane and gas systems.

If you choose the gas units then you will also most likely spend money on annual servicing. Still, the numerous benefits of having a tankless water heater around significantly outweigh its disadvantages, making it a truly great investment for any RV owner who travels and camps a lot.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

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

While it is advisable to use a shower head, it is actually okay to connect directly to the hot water side of the water faucet. Turning on the water faucet will actually open the valve found at the end portion of one of the intake pipes of the service line.

Note that each water appliance in your RV features cold and hot water settings containing the intake pipes. This is what connects to the cold and water hot supply lines. With the aid of these two pipe connections, there is an assurance for your appliance to receive both cold and hot water.

How big of a tankless water heater do I need for RV?

  • Tankless water heaters have different sizing than storage tank systems. Tank water heaters have capacities in gallons.

For example, one can pick a 10-gallon unit for the RV. On the other hand, a tankless water heater for RV comes with a gallons-per-minute (GPM) rating. Hence, it would be best to check the RV occupants’ peak hot water consumption to determine the water heater size.

  • One must check the water flow rate of RV water fixtures, such as the shower and kitchen sink.

For example, suppose the shower flow rate is 1.5 gallons per minute, and the kitchen faucet flows at 0.5 gallons per minute. In that case, the RV owner needs a tankless water heater capable of delivering at least two gallons of hot water per minute.

  • RV owners must also understand that an electric tankless water heater for RV has a lower GPM rating than a gas-powered unit due to the latter’s heating efficiency.

For instance, a 5-GPM gas water heater can heat the water by an additional 70 degrees, while an electric version can only deliver 2.5 GPM.

How much propane does a RV tankless water heater use?

How much propane a tankless propane water heater for RV uses depends on the water heater’s British Thermal Unit (BTU) rating. As a rule, a gallon of propane gas produces 90,500 BTUs of heat. Hence, a 100,000-BTU tankless water heater should last about one hour and six minutes of continuous hot water consumption.

Three factors come into play.

  • The higher the GPM rating, the more propane the water heater uses. For example, a 150,000-BTU water heater will utilize more propane than a 75,000-BTU unit.
  • The higher the hot water consumption, the faster it is to consume the propane gas. For instance, using the tankless water heater for travel trailer nonstop will use up the propane gas faster than running the water heater for 15 to 20 minutes daily.
  • The higher is the device’s EF rating, the less propane gas it uses to deliver hot water.

A 53,000-BTU water heater with an EF rating of 100% consumes 0.58 gallons of propane gas hourly. On the other hand, a 199,000-BTU unit with 100% efficiency uses 2.18 gallons of propane per hour.

Can I install a tankless water heater under an RV sink?

Yes, you have an option of installing a tankless water heater beneath an RV sink. You can actually enjoy several benefits from installing this appliance under your sink. This is crucial if you want to save water and do not want to spend too much time waiting until the water becomes hot.

By connecting the heater under your RV sink, you get the chance to enjoy hot water in an instant. What is good about it is that it is possible to install it without the need for any wiring or special tools.

How to convert RV water heater to tankless?

Converting your RV water heater to tankless actually requires planning ahead. Doing this move is actually beneficial as it lets you save more on heating costs. Make sure that you carefully plan everything from choosing the right heater, gathering the required tools, and figuring out the overall cost linked to the purchase and installation.

Once you have all these carefully planned out, you can start converting the water heater in your RV to tankless. If possible, seek the help of a professional installation service provider to avoid issues afterward.

Do RV tankless water heaters need cleaning?

Yes, a tankless water heater for camper, motorhome, fifth wheel, or any other RV requires periodic cleaning, descaling, and flushing.

Ideally, RV owners must clean and flush their RV tankless water heaters before winterizing the motorhome towards the end of the camping season.

RV owners must recognize that the water flowing through the RV tankless water heater can contain sediments and hardness minerals that cause limescale and other deposits. These substances can cover the water pipes inside the tankless water heater and undermine the device’s heating capabilities.

Too many sediments in the tankless water heater’s pipes can prolong heating times, increase energy consumption, and produce colder water. It can tax the water heater, reducing water heater efficiency and increasing the risk of water heater damage.

People can install a water conditioner before the tankless water heater to prevent sediment adhesion and mineral deposit formation in the water heater’s water pipes.

However, it would be wise to clean and flush the RV tankless water heater at least once annually, even if a water conditioner is present.

How to install a tankless water heater in RV?

Installing a tankless water heater in your RV actually involves mounting your chosen unit, connecting gas, water, and electricity lines, and installing the flue. It should be noted, though, that while you can manually do the mentioned steps yourself, it is a bit hazardous if you do not do it properly and you are unfamiliar with the whole process.

In this case, it would be best for you to seek the help of a qualified and licensed professional installer who is capable of adhering to the local plumbing, electrical, gas, and venting codes. That way, you will not end up dealing with an improperly and unprofessionally installed water heater.

How to turn on a water heater in RV?

Turning on your RV’s water heater actually involves simple steps. In most cases, it involves checking the bypass valve of the unit first, opening it up, and then allowing water to flow to the primary tank. The next thing you have to do is to connect your RV to a water outlet, which is close to it.

With the help of the onboard pump, you can begin pumping water. This is also the perfect time for you to turn the hot water tap on. Once turned on, you can expect water to start flowing through the heating tank’s lines. Make sure to let it fill the line so the water heater will be ready to go.


Shopping for the best RV tankless water heater will not be that overwhelming if you have an idea of what you should look for. Ensure that you go for one, which is highly durable, too.

It should be constructed out of premium quality and rust-resistant materials to ensure that the water stays fresh and uncontaminated. The best choice for you is also that which can serve its purpose for the long term even with the least maintenance.

We would like to thank you for reading this article. Find out more about how to choose the most popular RV water pumps, RV water hoses, RV water softeners and RV water pressure regulators with our reviews and ratings. Furthermore, please take a look at the top-rated RV water filters and  RV shower heads, to choose the best one for your RV freshwater systems.

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