Last Updated on September 10, 2020 by Tanmay Sarkar
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Hot water is a basic need especially during cold climate,
which a traditional water heater cannot provide. This is the case especially when there are many people lineup for the shower.
A tankless water heater can provide an ample amount of hot water continuously.
Nowadays most of the RV owners are preferring tankless water heater over the traditional water heater due to the benefits they got from it.
Let’s see which are the best tankless water heater in the market right now and why people are loving it!
1. EcoSmart ECO 11 Electric Tankless Water Heater
Model: ECO 11
Weight: 6.5 pounds
Dimensions: 3.75 x 8 x 11.5 inches
Voltage: 220 volts
Wattage: 13000 watts
This one is the best electric water heater for RV from the leading tankless water heater brand Ecosmart. This tankless water heater uses a self-modulating technology that allows the water heater to regulate its energy output to ensure optimal water heating.
This unit can heat 2 gallons of water in just 2 minutes! These water heaters are different from another type of water heaters as it heats the water when it passes through its heating elements. It does not need to store water in order to heat it. You can look at it as it will provide you an endless amount of hot water.
During warm weather, this unit can handle 2 sinks and one shower simultaneously and 2 sinks in a colder climate. That is great as doing one job will not hinder another.
Not only it heats the water quickly but also saves up to 50% power. This tankless water heater is great for RV living, I am saying this after looking at its multiple customer reviews.
This unit is compact and saves space which is crucial for RVs. You can wall-mount it in the bathroom which will save a lot of space. On top of that, you get a lifetime warranty which is hardly available in the other tankless water heaters.
There is a digital temperature control from where you can adjust the right amount of heating. If the appliance gets damaged its gets easily replaced.
Pros & Cons
2. Stiebel Eltron Tankless Heater – Tempra 12 Plus
Brand: Stiebel Eltron
Wikipedia Page: Visit
Model: 12 plus
Weight: 1 pound
Dimensions: 4.63 x 16.63 x 14.5 inches
Voltage: 240 volts
Wattage: 12000 watts
Installation method: Mounting
This tankless water heater is from the brand Stiebel Eltron which is a German brand equipped with German quality. Its working is based on technology invented by Stiebel Eltron.
The technology used in this water heater maintains the water temperature for constant comfort. As when the hot water demand exceeds the required capacity it reduces the flow as required.
The unit is in the size of a briefcase and will save lots of space as it can be wall-mounted. There is no need for venting.
It saves energy by auto-modulation and also through electronically measuring the amount of water flowing. The unit is completely silent and on display, you can see how much you have saved on energy.
On the digital display, there are preset settings from which you can select your desired temperature. You also get 7 years warranty on leakage and 3 years warranty on parts.
There are different Kw available depending upon the amount of water needed. The available kw models are:
- Tempra 12 Plus (12 kw)
- Tempra 15 Plus (15 kw)
- Tempra 20 Plus (20 kw)
- Tempra 24 Plus (24 kw)
- Tempra 29 Plus (29 kw)
- Tempra 36 Plus (36 kw)
- Tempra 12 Trend (12 kw)
- Tempra 15 Trend (15 kw)
- Tempra 20 Trend (20 kw)
- Tempra 24 Trend (24 kw)
- Tempra 29 Trend (29 kw)
- Tempra 36 Trend (36 kw)
Pros & Cons
3. Eccotemp L10 2.6 GPM Portable Tankless Water Heater
Brand: Eccotemp Systems
Model Number: L10
Weight: 27 pound
Dimensions: 5.37 x 1.97 x 88.78 inches
Power source: Propane
Voltage: 3 volts
Installation Method: Wall Mounted
Temperature Range: 50 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit
Water Flow Rate: 3 gallons per minute
Water Consumption: 2.6 gallons per minute
Max pressure: 80 PSI
Batteries Required: Yes
Warranty: 1 year limited manufacturer warranty
This RV water heater is great for outdoor purposes. There is a 9’ CSA approved gas regular and a hose that can be connected to the propane cylinder.
The best thing about this unit is that it has a 20-minute automatic safety shutoff timer. Its usefulness is that it resets itself when the water supply stops and then starts again when water is available.
The water pressure range is 20 to 80 PSI. there is a manual temperature control from which you can set the desired temperature of the water.
This product has been tested up to 5,500 ft. elevation. You can take it anywhere and the product will work fine. There is also a 45 degrees safety tilt switch installed in the unit.
The product does not take space as you can hang it or simply mount it on the wall. The temperature range is 50 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit which is quite suitable for hot water needs.
In this unit, there is an electronic ignition function that is powered by 2 “D” cell batteries for your off-grid camping need.
Installing this RV tankless water heater is easy, just follow the steps below:
- First, you can hang the unit by using a mounting bracket which is at the back of the unit.
- Now, connect the regulator and hose to the propane cylinder.
- Connect the water hose to the hot water outlet.
- Take another water hose and connect it to the water inlet.
- Insert the 2 “D” batteries and switch on the unit.
- Instant hot water will be ready for use.
Pros & Cons
4. Atwood New RV 6 Gallon Gas/Electric GC6AA-10E Water Heater
Weight: 21 pounds
Dimensions: 21 x 17 x 15 inches
This RV water heater can run on dual fuel such as propane or electricity, it depends upon your choice and fuel availability. What great about this unit is that it has an aluminum-clad tank which eliminates the need for aluminum anode for corrosion protection.
There are also high-temperature limit switch, temperature control, and pressure relief which is helpful for your safety and protection.
If anyhow something breaks in the unit still its no problem as 95% of the parts can be replaced through the outside door.
Pros & Cons
5. Camplux 10L Outdoor 2.64 GPM Digital Display Portable Propane Gas Tankless Water Heater
Model Number: BW264
Weight: 23.6 pounds
Dimensions: 12.8 x 6.1 x 21.65 inches
Batteries Required: Yes (2 D Batteries)
Size: 10 L
Material Used: Iron, Copper
Installation Method: Wall Mounted
Water Flow Rate: 2.64 Gallons Per Minute
Water Consumption: 10 Liter
Max Pressure: 110 PSI
This RV water heater is from the JAL group and it is loaded with some amazing features. Not only it is a compact and lightweight unit it also works great with any 12V 1.6 GPM water pump.
Its Eco/Full switch function can save energy during summer times. The product is equipped with dry combustion protection if there is no water supply, flame failure device, and also anti-freezing protection.
It is powerful appliances with its 68,000btu/hour, you get hot water easily. It also saves money with its High-thermal efficiency which is at 88.5%.
As I have mentioned before the appliance is lightweight and compact and it can be mounted on the wall to save space.
Well, two things that are a bit negative about this product is that it needs ventilation and for that, you need a flue pipe which is not included with the package. Another negative point is that the unit is not recommended by the manufacturer for elevation above 2000 ft.
In the package you will get a CSA approved gas regulator and adapters.
Pros & Cons
6. Eccotemp i12-LP water heater, 4 GPM, Black
Model Number: i12-lp
Weight: 28.9 pounds
Dimensions: 13.7 x 25 x 5 inches
Size: 4 GPM
Power Source: DC current
Voltage: 120 volts
Wattage: 12 amps
Installation Method: Wall Mounted
Water flow rate: 4 gallons/minute
First, I want to confess that when I first look at the water heater I thought it is a part of some spaceship display unit. Great look with features this is what this unit is loaded with.
This model is sleek in design equipped with black tempered glass paneling which is the reason for its elegant look. This revolutionary design will fit perfectly anywhere.
There is a touch screen with an LED temperature display where you can see the output temperature and GPM flow. There is even a child lock feature which you can use when children are near.
This tankless water heater runs on liquid propane and electricity is needed for powering the internal exhaust fan and digital display. The package includes a horizontal stainless steel vent kit.
Hot water capacity is in the range of 0.6 to 4.8 GPM and the max/min gas rate is in the range of 25,000 to 80,000 BTUs. The unit is energy efficient as it only draws 2 watts while idle and 1.07 Amps during operation.
Pros & Cons
7. Marey GA10LP Power 10L 3.1 GPM Propane Gas Tankless Water Heater
Model Number: GA10LP
Weight: 21 pounds
Dimensions: 6.9 x 13.6 x 23.6 inches
Fuel type: Liquid propane or natural gas
This tankless water heater from the brand Marey, besides being energy efficient it also saves space. You can opt from two models as one runs on liquid propane and the other one runs on natural gas.
The unit is capable of supplying 2.7 Gallons of hot water per minute with 115 degrees Fahrenheit water temperature. The best thing about it is that it heats the water when needed which saves energy. You can save up to 60% of electricity. Energy, which is one of the most important things during RVing or camping.
For ignition purposes, you will need the 2 D cell battery and venting which is not available in the package. Comes with 5 years warranty!
Pros & Cons
8. EZ 101 Tankless Water Heater – Propane (LPG) – Portable – Battery Powered Ignition
Brand: EZ Tankless
Model Number: EZ101LPG
This tankless water heater can fit in any one’s budget and it works quite well. It weighs only 14 pounds and is way easy to transport than any other water heater in this list. If you do not have any reservation on the amount of water flow then it is the best one for you.
It’s a complete water heater for your outdoor pursuits. Runs on liquid propane as you use with barbecue grills. You do not need any electricity to run it which makes it perfect for camping purposes.
You can easily control the temperature through the multiple controls provided in the unit. You can adjust water temperature and water flow.
One negative point that I noticed is that the unit may freeze when exposed to freezing temperatures for a long time.
Pros & Cons
9. Excel Pro Tankless Gas Water Heater NATURAL GAS 6.6 GPM
Model Number: JSD10D 10D
Weight: 39.6 pounds
Dimensions: 14.5 x 5.5 x 23 inches
Material used: copper
Power source: AC current
Voltage: 110 volts
Flow rate: 6.6 gallon per minute
Water consumption: 6.6 gallons per minute
Max pressure: 150 PSI
Capacity: 6.6 gallon per minute
Batteries required: NO
This 110 Volts tankless water heater for RV is powerful and efficient enough to provide hot water for a large family. The unit has a water flow capacity of 6.6 gallons with a 35 degrees Fahrenheit.
Plus point is the modulation of heat with respect to the water flow which means when the water flow is less the heat is low and when it rises the heat also increases. It maintains a steady temperature throughout the water output.
This unit also needs ventilation which can be provided through rooftop (Vertically) or through sidewall (Horizontal). The ventilation can be installed via steel CAT 3 Flue 3.5.
This is a European model so the unit digital display is in Celsius. The unit can be wall-mounted whenever required to do the same.
Pros & Cons
10. PrecisionTemp RV-550 Tankless Water Heater – Wall Vented
Brand: Precision Temp
Model Number: RV-550
Weight: 32 pounds
Dimensions: 13.5 x 13.5 x 14.25 inches
Power source: 12V, Propane
Installation method: Wall mounted
Batteries required: No
This unit is from the brand Precision Temp which saves water and energy. It is only 1/3 of a 5 to 10-gallon water heater. In this type of water heater, you only get hot water when needed which also saves power than any traditional water heaters.
In a rough estimate, a 20 pounds propane tank will provide around 940 gallons of hot water. That is way enough for your 1-week camping.
It has true automatic gas modulation which itself modulates the amount of heat based on the flow of water and also on incoming water temperature. This is great as it will prevent the overheating of water in summers and less heating in winter.
Power consumption is low as it uses 1.5 amps of power in normal operations and 3 amps when cold weather protection is activated.
One thing that I got really impressed with this water heater is that it is a true all-weather model. This protections work when it is on 12 volts and propane gas supply is on. This is due to the inbuilt in freeze protection which is not available in almost any type of tankless water heaters.
Its hot water output is 55,000 BTU which is above average than other types of tankless water heaters.
It can be used in RVs, trailers, cabins and others.
Pros & Cons
11. Portable Propane Tankless Water Heater – EZ 202 – EZ Tankless – Battery Powered Ignition
Brand: EZ Tankless
Model number: EZ202
Batteries required: No
This water heater is the lightest in our list of the best tankless water heaters. It can provide hot water up to 3.2 gallons per minute, small, compact, and powerful.
Very simple design and operation make it a good option for RVing, camping, and other outdoor activities. The good thing about this product is that it can deliver hot water in even low-pressure ignition at under 0.02 Mpa or 2.9 PSI.
It’s safe and conserves energy as it uses automatic ignition. For ignition, it uses 2 D cells. The unit weight is only 15 pounds which is half of what other models weigh. It’s great for RVs, camping, barns, etc.
Pros & Cons
Things to know before buying an RV tankless water heater?
RV tankless water heater is great for outdoor use as it saves water and energy which is not possible with water heater used in the tank. There are many things that you must know before you step out to buy a new tankless water heater.
Let’s see which factors are important to select the best tankless water heater.
1. Water flow rate or water capacity
The water flow rate is a measurement of how much hot water can a tankless water heater provides per minute. Anything above 2 gallons per minute is considered good because it is sufficient hot water for an average family.
The water flow rate is crucial as if the water flow rate is low then it might take longer to get enough water for bathing, especially if you have multiple members. Make sure to get the maximum as it will make things easier and fast enough.
2. Water consumption
Every RVers have a different amount of water consumption and it is in the best practice to buy a tankless water heater according to it. if you have an idea about your water consumption then you can select the best.
To get a general idea about your water use take a look at the table below:
- Bathtub: 10 to 15 gallons
- Toilet: 2 to 4 gallons
- Kitchen sink: 1 to 2 gallon per minute
- Shower: 2 to 4 gallons per minute
Plus makes some room for extras as you might need it from time to time for various reasons. For a small family of 4, you can easily go for anything above 2 gallons per minute.
3. BTU or Heat Output
BTU is the abbreviation for British Thermal Unit which is a measurement for heat. BTU is important to consider as you can visit colder to very colder places. And, as the surrounding temperature drops it also affects the heating of water.
The lower temperature will decrease the heating capacity and it will take time to heat the water. Most of the tankless water heaters are in the range of 30,000 to 50,000 BTU.
Also, most of them will work well in a moderately cold climate. Just do not buy in low BTU range if you visit very cold places frequently. One other thing that I want to say is that all of them will provide hot water sooner or later.
4. Power source
Another important point which you must focus on is the power source that will run the water heater. There are three types of RV tankless water heater available, they are:
- Electric water heater
- Liquid gas water heater
- Electric and gas combined water heater
In my opinion, the best one is the combined one as it can run both on electricity and gas. These models may be costlier than the other two but it will increase the chances that you will get hot water for sure.
But remember that you may not get all the features in them as the unit needs additional space for fitting both types of components, electric and gas.
My second best option after the combined one will be the gas-operated ones. This is due to the reason that you may be already struggling to rationalize your electric budget. Water heater consumes a lot of electricity.
The probability of an electric water heater to get damaged is more than the gas one. A gas run water heater has a long life and a 20-pound gas tank can provide over 600 gallons of hot water.
Size matters a lot especially when you are traveling in an RV. We all know that it is not easy to make space for anything in the RV. Many people later find it difficult to fit a new water heater in the place of the old one.
If you are buying a new water heater then the first lookup for space where you would like to keep it. Most of the tankless water heaters can be wall-mounted.
6. Weather protection
Some places can be very cold which can halt the operation of the water heater. So, if you keep visiting places that have freezing temperatures then select a model accordingly.
7. Tank or tankless
This question might confuse some people as which may be the best tank or tankless water heater. It will be best to look at the pros and cons of each and act according to the needs.
1. Tank Water Heater
2. Tankless Water Heater
A long-lasting water heater can make you buying worthy. The durability of the unit depends upon the material used in manufacturing and how you use it.
Look for the product which is made up of good material and is rust and corrosion-free. Read the owner’s manuals to know every detail about the product as it can become useful during operating the product itself.
Also, read the customer review to know about the product before purchasing you will get a lot of detail about it.
9. Ease of installation
Installation is important as if you are unable to do it yourself then it can be costly for you to call a professional. Manufacturers also offer expert installation add-on which is costly.
Last but not least is to consider the price of the water heater. Prices of the water heater will be in the range of $200 to $1000, some of them can cost more than that.
When looking for a water heater do not go for the price and look for a product which can last long because, in the long run, it will be cheaper. It is better to buy one best rather than buying every year.
Benefits of an RV tankless water heater
There are many benefits of tankless water heater over tank water heaters, that’s why they are popular among the RV owners. Let’s take a look at them to prove my point.
1. Provide hot water
The first benefit is of course the availability of hot water during colder climates. Hot water can be used for bathing, toilet, and kitchen. It saves you from cold water and related illness.
It makes your work easier in the kitchen area where you have to deal with water to wash utensils.
2. Temperature control
A very good thing about tankless water heater is the ease of controlling the temperature of the water which is not readily available with the tank water heaters. You can now have a shower with the desired temperature without leaving your comfort.
3. Long lasting
The tankless water heater is for the long run as its life span is for about 10 to 15 years depending upon the model and use. It adds value to your RV and is a good investment on which you can bank upon.
A tankless water heater provides hot water instantly whereas the traditional tank water heaters take a lot of time in providing hot water depending upon the volume of water. You may also have to wait to fill the water in the tank before you can get hot water.
You will never have to wait for hot water with the help of tankless water heaters.
5. Space saver
Space is limited in an RV that is why the tankless water heater is a better option. They are 1/5 of tank water heaters and can be wall-mounted to save a bit more space.
6. Saves money
A tankless water heater is also a money saver. This is due to the fact that it provides instant hot water. Whereas traditional tank water heaters need more time and energy to heat the water. If you want one bucket hot water you have to wait for it to heat up the whole tank.
Types of RV tankless water heater
There are basically three types of tankless water heaters, electric power-based, and liquid propane ones. The third one is a hybrid of the two which uses both as the power source one at a time.
1. Electric RV Water Heater
An electric RV water heater works on 120 volts of electricity. They are costlier than the propane-based water heater as electrical components that are used to manufacturer it is costly.
You can run it if you have a generator, solar power, or shore power whichever is available in your RV. They are more energy-efficient than the propane ones.
2. Liquid Propane RV Water Heater
These types of tankless water heater run on liquid propane which is readily used for cooking purposes. That’s why it is popular among RV owners as they often carry a propane cylinder.
Generally, these water heaters have a vent for the exhaust gases. Their efficiency is around 70 to 80% depending upon the model. Running them is not costly because of the low-cost propane.
They can be started with spark ignition or through manual pilot light. Direct spark ignition types are most advanced and are easier to use.
3. Electric & Liquid Propane RV Water Heaters
These are the hybrid of the two as you can power it up through propane or electricity. You can have peace of mind using them as you can have any one of the power sources to run it. Most of the time, you will have both of them.
How to install an RV tankless water heater?
Installation of an RV tankless water heater can vary upon the model but most of the time it will overlap the instruction given below. But do not worry as you can always go through the owner’s manual given at the time of purchase.
Below I have given the step required in installing the Eccotemp L10 2.6 GPM portable tankless water heater.
Step 1: first you have to mount or hang the unit through the mounting bracket.
Step 2: now, connect the water hose to the hot water outlet
Step 3: connect the second water hose to the water inlet of the unit
Step 4: connect the gas hose and regulator with the propane gas cylinder
Step 5: insert 2D batteries in the unit
Step 6: start the unit by switching the on/off button given at the bottom of the unit.
Step 7: if the installation was correctly done then the unit will provide hot water instantly.
RV tankless water heater problems
The tankless water heater is a great device for your outdoor activities as it provides hot water instantly. It is highly efficient and saves money.
But, there are also some problems which may arise in the unit. Here are some common RV tankless water heater problems and their solutions.
1. Mineral buildup
Mineral buildup is a common problem that is common in traditional tank water heaters and tankless water heaters. Mineral buildup in the water heater is due to the mineral present in the water itself.
When water is heated inside the unit some of the minerals stick to the side of the metal, this gradually builds up and chokes it. Hard water has the highest percentage of mineral present whereas soft water also contains mineral but that is lower in percentage.
Calcium and magnesium are the two minerals that are generally the reason for scaly buildup. If maintenance is avoided then it can hinder the operation of the water heater.
To avoid this mineral scaly buildup you can use Flush system descaler cleaning kit like this one.
Use this once every six months, it will remove any mineral scale that has built during use.
2. Cold water sandwich
Coldwater sandwich is the second problem that is faced by tankless water heater owners. What happens is that when someone in your family takes a hot shower and right after that it’s your turn.
At first you get a shower of warm water and then for some seconds you get cold water. The reason for this is the hot water that was remaining in the pipes that you get. After it clears away the burst of cold water starts.
Tankless water heaters takes some time to raise the temperature of the water. That best way to avoid this is to wait for some time and enter shower when you feel the water is warm.
3. Ignition failure
There can be many reasons for the ignition failure in the tankless water heater. The reasons are as such:
- Check the gas supply and make sure that there is propane in the tank
- Check the gas valve, are they fully opened
- Check the water valve and make sure it is fully opened
If the problem persists then the ignition system may have damaged. For this contact the technical support.
4. Flame failure
The most common cause of flame failure is gas pressure or an electrical issue. Find out whether the tank is full or not. Other problems such as a damaged regulator, combustion issues, ventilation, and others could be the problem.
5. Exhaust blockage
Most of the tankless water heaters have a vent for exhaust gases. If the vent is blocked then you can see an error in the display of the unit. To troubleshoot the problem you must follow the steps below.
- First look for any holes or punctures in the exhaust or vent pipe.
- Make sure the unit is not blocked or kept too close to the object which can block it.
- Make sure you have read the manual and it is meeting all the requirements.
- Rodents, wasps, birds nest, and other things can block the venting.
If problem persist then call the technical team for further troubleshooting.
6. System overload
System overload can also interrupt the hot water supply. This often happens when there are multiple showers or tap opened at a time. Either your water heater will supply less water or will shut off immediately when the system is overloaded.
To avoid the problem reduce the water demand by closing the extra taps and showers. If the problem keeps on arising then it can be the time for upgrade or additions of another tankless water heater.
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Tanmay Sarkar is the person behind writerzmag.com. An RV enthusiast, lover & admirer. Whatever I learn about RVs and RVing, I share it on this blog. Learning is a lifelong experience and it should be shared with people who have the same hobby and love as you… This blog is and shall be for the people who love and want to know about RVing…