To get warm water on the go, you need the best tankless water heater for RV living. Without it, you might do anything to avoid another cold shower while on the road. Just like a home’s water heater, the more mobile RV version provides instant hot water for showers or to rise off a pile of dishes with soap and hot water. We’ve researched and discovered six top-rated tankless water heaters for RV travel, as well as 2 you should avoid.
Reviews of the 6 Best Tankless Water Heater for RV, Plus the 2 Worst to Avoid
1. Precision Temp RV550 Tankless Water Heater Review
RV550 tankless water heaters are well-known for their efficiency and their ability to withstand extraordinarily cold climates.
The Precision Temp RV550 tankless water heater is the best RV 500 tankless water heater available. It’s also the best tankless water heater for RV of 2018. There have been recent improvements to the Precision Temp RV550 tankless water heater as it used to use a bottom vent relying on a hose system. There was a risk with the bottom venting model of pumping the exhaust into your RV which is extremely dangerous.
But, the updated Precision Temp RV550 tankless water heater uses wall ventilation to ensure that the exhaust from the water heater isn’t entering your RV. The Precision Temp RV550 tankless water heater is great for RVs because it’s lightweight, efficiency, and the lack of a pilot light. This RV electric tankless water heater can work on a 12-volt power source or with propane.
2. Atwood Mobile Products 96110 Water Heater Review
This Atwood model is one of the best tankless water heaters for RV in 2018. But, it is the best Atwood tankless water heater. The Atwood mobile products 96110 water heater pumps out 7.4 gallons per hour and relies on a pilot ignition system.
The Atwood mobile products 96110 water heater is also available in a 10-gallon model if you have higher water demands than the casual camper. Both systems use 6-gallons of propane gas which is very efficient for an RV tankless water heater. The Atwood mobile products 96110 water heater is easy to hook up and ready to use in just a few minutes.
The only downside is that you need to keep your camper’s outside door cover. Overall this model is a quality option if you’re replacing an old unit. The refill rate is reasonable, and you can expect years of service without any issues.
When you’re in need of a tankless water heater, the Eccotemp brand is well known for their quality and longevity. As one of the best tankless water heater for RV in 2018, this model is one of the most popular on the market.
The Eccotemp L10 Portable tankless water heater provides an almost endless supply of warm to hot water. Although the Eccotemp L10 Portable tankless water heater is meant for any small living space including cabins and lake houses, it shines in RVs.
What makes the Eccotemp L10 Portable tankless water heater one of the best tankless water heaters is that it can provide 2.6 gallons of hot water per minute. There’s a safety shut-off timer which shuts off the device every 20 minutes. This model relies on liquid propane and has a 20-pound capacity.
4. EZ 101 Tankless Water Heater Review
This model is popular because of its ability, size, ease of portability, and safety features. The safety function that many people find useful is that as soon as the water heater turns off the flame extinguishes automatically. But, as soon as you turn on the shower or sink, the flame re-ignites.
The EZ 101 Tankless Water Heater is easy to use, and very portable. Weighing in at 14 pounds its portability comes from not needing a storage tank or propane tank. Use the electric ignition system with only 2 D batteries. There’s an additional 20-minute timer for automatic shut-off safety.
You can use the EZ 101 Tankless Water Heater using a standard propane tank. However, it works best with the battery/electric function. The system is very compact, and most of the time you won’t even notice this tankless water heater.
5. Girard Tankless Water Heater 2GWHAM Review
This is the best model from Girard. The Girard GWHAM-2 Water Heater is a great water heater that uses 42,000 BTUs and provides only the best performance for an RV or camper. The Girard GWHAM-2 water heater uses a super quiet motor, so you won’t hear it turn on and off throughout the day. The door, however, is sold separately, but that’s what you can expect with most water heaters for RVs.
This model is the best Girard tankless RV hot water heater available because of its economic function, and longevity. Although the Girard GWHAM-2 Water Heater is expensive, which is why it’s towards the end of our list, it’s worth the price.
The Girard GWHAM-2 Water Heater might not be in everyone’s budget, but if you’re an avid camper or traveler, this investment can make all the difference for your time on the road. The Girard GWHAM-2 Water Heater works on propane and does not have an electrical operation option.
6. Atwood 94220 Electric Water Heater Review
The best electric tankless water heater for RVs is the Atwood 94220 electric water heater. The Atwood 94220 electric water heater can provide 20 gallons of water regularly, is extremely light and uses a 1,500-watt heating element. The specialized alloy uses aluminum, and it delivers hot water of a consistent temperature, which is the biggest problem with electric water heaters.
The electrical system has an ignition protected with a heat exchanger coil. The Atwood 94220 electric water heater can last you for years and will continue to provide substantially hot water in just a few minutes. There are a few safety features which direct how often the Atwood 93891 electric water heater is heating water.
The power element requires about 220 volts of electricity and the water feeds directly into your RVs plumbing with very few modifications. The installation is easy, and the price I reasonable.
Avoid – Camp Chef HWD5 Triton Water Heater Review
Camp Chef did everything they could to pack in the features which is why many people believe it’s a great tankless water heater for RVs but, after a bit of use, they realize their mistake. Instead of being an efficient, and effective tankless water heater, it’s the worst tankless water heater for RV on the market.
Why? Well, it is incredibly difficult to install the battery connectors require adjustment throughout its use, and after a few months’ they’re known for dying. Overall, the Camp Chef HWD5 Triton water heater put too much focus on its ability to fold up for storage and having adjustable water flow.
Stay away from the Camp Chef HWD5 Triton water heater because it’s the worst tankless water heater for RV on the market!
Avoid – Camplux 5L Portable Propane Tankless Water Heater Review
Unfortunately, the 1.32 gallons per minute capacity of the Camplux 5L portable propane tankless water heater isn’t enough to meet even the most basic hot water needs. Although it highlights its portable features and ease of use, the Camplux 5L portable propane tankless water heater isn’t worth it.
Avoid this tankless water heater RV because it can’t support hot water in any environment as it claims. This model uses a design that caters to those who love to travel. However, any avid RV camper will immediately want to upgrade from this option soon.
The already low water supply rate will continue to decrease through the months of use and eventually you won’t get any hot water from it at all.
2018 Buyers Guide to the Best Tankless Water Heater for RV
Tankless water heaters are fantastic choices for RVs because they not only clear up a ton more space, but they also are much more efficient than other water heater options for RVs. Instead of dealing with the old water heater you have now, invest in a tankless option. When you’re shopping for the best tankless water heater for RV, it’s important to keep these following three points in mind.
3 Main Points to Consider:
- Power Source: You may have noticed earlier that some of the tanks listed above were electric while others used propane. The source of power is a big decision. You have the choices between natural gas, electric and propane. However, many people feel most comfortable with propane. Electric tankless water heaters are known to go out more quickly because of their many electronic components. They’re usually not as reliable and are more expensive. Natural gas is the cheapest but makes people nervous because an RV is such a small space. Propane gives you the most control and is usually the most cost-efficient.
- Size and Flow Rate: Because each tankless water heater has a different size, it’s best to start with an estimate of your water usage. Remember that unless you’re living in your RV, your water needs are usually much less than what you would estimate for your home. It’s not likely that you’re running a laundry machine, or a dishwasher constantly. To ensure that you have 10 or 15 minutes for a hot shower though you need something that can handle about 2 gallons per minute. Instead of counting the showers and appliances as you would with a house, count your people and faucets. When people are usually camping or traveling in an RV, they plan showers and chores such as dishes all around the same time of the day. So if you are regularly camping with 5 people, you’ll need a much bigger tankless water heater than if you only camp or travel with 2 people.
- Features and Valves: When you’re looking at drain valves, you should seriously consider the more durable brass options over a plastic valve. Some of the most common RV tankless water heater problems come from less than premium materials. Other features can impact the usability and longevity. Always opt for the better materials even if it’s just for knobs or panels. Knobs and panels are there to help you adjust the water temperature and sometimes the flow rate as well. If you’re looking for some extra features, you should weigh a warranty more heavily than extra functions. Safety features, however, are necessary. Many tankless water heaters come with a 20-minute automatic shut-off or completely extinguish the pilot when the water heater isn’t in use.
Common RV Tankless Water Heater Problems
Tankless water heaters aren’t without their issues, and when they’re made in smaller models for RVs, they usually come with more problems.
The most common problem is that the burner isn’t igniting when the hot water tap is on, or open. This problem is most common on models that have an ignition off safety feature. Before anything else, check that the tankless water heater has the proper gas pressure, or that the tankless water heater is grounded.
The second most common issue is that the water temperature fluctuates, which might require a plumber. This problem could come from a dirty filter, clogged faucets, or a plumbing crossover.
Finally, if your water isn’t hot enough, you should first check the temperature your water heater is set to and correct it if necessary. However, it might be a bit more difficult and involve the temperature sensors.
How to Install a Tankless Water Heater for Your RV (Video Instructions):
Final Thoughts on Finding the Best Tankless Water Heater for RV Living:
Overall you can probably benefit from the best tankless water heater for RV of 2018 if you’re regularly camping, traveling, or living in your RV. Although there are a few problems that come with these types of water heaters, it isn’t anything you wouldn’t expect from any other home water heater. This investment is vital to enjoying the modern benefits of your RV travels!