Best RV Tankless Water Heaters of 2020 – Ultimate Round-up

| Last Updated: April 30, 2021

If you love biking, hiking, and doing outdoor activities with your family and friends, then having enough hot water in your RV is incredibly important. However, standard hot water tanks have an average capacity of only 6-10 gallons, making them unsuitable for groups of five or more.

Fortunately, RV tankless water heaters help solve this problem. They enable you and your entire group to enjoy soothing, warm showers after a tiring day of outdoor activities.

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To help you find a model that provides a limitless supply of nice, hot water, this guide includes detailed reviews of some of the best tankless water heaters, the different types available, and the factors to consider before buying one. So, make sure you stick through till the end before you make your purchase! 

Comparison Chart of the Best RV Tankless Water Heaters

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Best RV tankless water heater
  • Water pressure of 3.6 to 110 PSI and hot water output of 2.64 gallons per minute
  • Operating gas pressure of 0.4PSI with a maximum power output of 68,000 BTU per hour
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  • Enables users to control water temperature by regulating gas and water flow
  • Provides approximately 3.1 GPM at numerous points of use
  • Uses gas and can also operate with two D cell batteries
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  • Best for the money
  • Ignition is powered by 2 D cell batteries
  • Operates on a standard propane (LP) tank, similar to those used with barbecue grills
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  • Best RV electric tankless water heater
  • Automatic gas modulation self-adjusts gas usage according to the variations in water temperatures and water flow
  • Hot water output of up to 55,000 BTUs
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  • Best RV tankless water heater propane
  • Maximum temperature of 114.8℉ and a minimum temperature of 46.4℉
  • Maximum power output of 28,000 BTU/hour and an operating gas pressure of 0.4PSI
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  • Best 110V tankless water heater for RV
  • Designed with an over-temperature automatic power-off system
  • Initial pressure of 0.4-0.6 MPa and a water temperature range of 35-55°C
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  • Best Girard RV tankless water heater
  • Powered with a brushless motor and provides 42,000 BTUs
  • 12V requires less than 3 amps of power
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Perks of Getting a New Tankless Water Heater For Your RV

Tankless water heaters help save energy and space. Along with providing hot water on demand, some other benefits of the unit include:

Environment-Friendly

As the name suggests, these units don't need a tank to heat water but heats it directly, as needed. This saves energy and uses less gas, making them a greener and more environment-friendly option. 

Eliminates the Need for Waiting for Hot Water 

One of the biggest advantages of tankless water heaters is they ensure a constant supply of hot water whenever you need it, especially those with a higher recovery rate. They also use less propane or gas, resulting in a lower operating costs, as well. 

Portability

These units are usually smaller in size and don't take up a lot of space in your vehicle. They are incredibly portable, allowing you to take them anywhere, without worrying about their heavy weight or bulky size. Since you have limited space in your recreational vehicle, you can also fit them easily in smaller or hidden places.

Gas Savings 

Since tankless water heaters are incredibly efficient, they also use LP and propane more efficiently. In other words, they are fuel-efficient, ensuring you don't run out of fuel fast.

What Should I Look For When Buying a Tankless Water Heater?

A tankless water heater is a great investment and an incredible addition to your vehicle. It is connected to the onboard water tank and provides you with hot water whenever you need it. To ensure you don't end up wasting your money, here are some factors you should consider before you finalize your decision:

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Water Consumption

Before buying a tankless heater, make sure you know what your average water consumption is. This will give you a better idea about the size of the heater you need. For example, people usually use an average of one to three gallons of water per minute when showering.  

Water Flow Rate

Arguably the most important feature to consider, the flow rate can be simply defined as the amount of hot water released by the unit every minute. Since most people use this heater for showering, it's advisable to choose a model that supplies approximately 2 to 2-and-a-half gallons of water per minute. 

BTU

British Thermal Units are used to measure the heating capacity of the product. By considering the BTUs, you'll have a better idea about the amount of heat you'll need according to the different places you plan on traveling to. 

Protection

Make sure the model you purchase has a durable, sturdy construction that won't be damaged by rough terrain and poor weather. Furthermore, it's also advisable to choose models with features that protect it from electronic ignition and voltage spikes and shortages.

Quick Take: Best RV Tankless Water Heaters

These are our recommendations for the best RV tankless water heaters:

  1. Camplux 10L Outdoor 2.64 GPM Tankless Water Heater
  2. Marey GA10LP
  3. EZ 101 Tankless Water Heater

Review of the Best RV Tankless Water Heaters

Tankless water heaters ensure you have hot water whenever you need it. However, with so many models available, choosing the best heater is no easy task. To ensure you find a unit that perfectly suits your needs, here are detailed reviews of some of the best RV tankless water heaters available today:

PROS

  • High thermal efficiency rate of 88.5% saves money
  • Full/Eco switch function helps save more gas in the summers
  • Includes CSA-approved gas regulators and all the required adapters
  • Lightweight and compact design with around 11.5% energy-saving technology
  • Over-heating protection, flame failure device, and anti-freezing protection ensure safety

CONS

  • Quality of the shower hose is a bit poor
  • Water temperature is a bit difficult to adjust
  • Cannot be used in campers or enclosed RVs

What Recent Buyers Report

Most buyers were extremely satisfied with their purchase and found that it heated up water quickly and effectively. Users stated that it was incredibly easy to set up and loved the water pressure it provided. They were also impressed with the company's customer service and stated they quickly resolved any issues they experienced. However, customers were disappointed with the poor quality regulator, while some reported that the unit stopped working after only a few uses.

Why it Stands Out to Us

With an impressive water output that's even higher than other models, this unit provides 2.64 gallons of water per minute. It also stands out to us because of its multifunctional showerhead. This allows users to easily change or adjust its settings to achieve the required hot water temperature.

Who Will Use This Most

Since the unit is portable, it's perfect for cabins, campsites, horse stables, or just around the house. It can also be used for boondocking or off-grid camping. It's also ideal for campers or smaller RVs without a shower, including foldable and teardrop campers. Its anti-freeze protection further makes it perfect for use in extreme winter conditions.

Bottom Line

One of the best and most reliable brands available today, this unit is extremely convenient to use. Different than other models, it also works as a small, portable outdoor shower. It's designed with a handle that can be attached to any wall, further adding convenience and ease of use. However, the quality of the regulator could be improved.

Runner-up:
Marey GA10LP

Marey GA10LP Power 10L 3.1 GPM Propane Gas Tankless Water Heater, Liquid, White

PROS

  • Backed by a 5-year warranty
  • Extremely durable with an efficiency level of 87%
  • Works easily and effectively with low levels of water pressure
  • Compact design takes up less space and can be easily installed anywhere
  • Does not require any electrical connection, saving almost 60% in electricity bills

CONS

  • Not suitable for apartment homes
  • Might not work at higher altitudes above 2000 ft
  • Water temperature can be a bit difficult to adjust with faucets

What Recent Buyers Report

Some stated that it heated water quickly, was able to run two showers easily, and loved its water pressure and temperature display. They also found temperature adjustments and the setup process to be extremely easy. However, some were disappointed with the design of the battery compartment. Some users also reported that it changed water temperature frequently and needed a lot of flow to start the heating process.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This unit primarily stands out to us because of its design. Constructed with a stable, secure connection, it ensures no leaks. It's also rustproof, so you won't have to replace the anode rod. Furthermore, it is manufactured with eco-friendly components and is designed to last many years.

Who Will Use This Most

If you're looking for a dependable and highly remarkable tankless water heater for your RV, then this unit is the one for you! Since it does not require any electricity, it's also ideal for use in areas with frequent power outages. Its 3.1 GPM capacity further makes it perfect for a large family.

Bottom Line

A close second, this unit is incredibly consistent when it comes to delivering outstanding performance. It operates without any electricity and is able to heat an unlimited amount of water according to your needs. However, it is not suitable for use at higher altitudes.

Best for the Money:
EZ 101 Tankless Water Heater

EZ 101 Tankless Water Heater - Propane (LPG) Gas - 2 GPM - Small - Portable - Point of use - Battery Powered Ignition - Camping - RV - FREE UPGRADE

PROS

  • Provides a thermal efficiency rate of almost 85%
  • Compact and lightweight design makes it incredibly portable
  • No pilot light design makes it convenient and safe to use
  • Enables users to adjust the water flow and heating temperature easily
  • Built-in 20-minute timer protects against carbon monoxide poisoning

CONS

  • Flow rate might be a bit low for some users
  • Prone to freezing if used in extremely cold temperatures

What Recent Buyers Report

The majority of the users found that it provided excellent value for money and said they would not hesitate to purchase it again. They stated that the temperature and water flow remained constant and it did not leak. Buyers also liked the flexibility of different temperature, burner, and flow adjustments. However, some customers found that it did not provide enough heat, while others found the gas pressure flow to be too sensitive.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Boasting automatic operation, this unit fires up automatically when you open the faucet. It also extinguishes the flame automatically once the water supply is turned off. Designed with multiple control knobs, it further enables users to adjust and regulate the water flow and heating temperatures easily. Moreover, the built-in, 20-minute timer provides increased protection.

Who Will Use This Most

This model does not require an electrical plug-in, making it perfect for camping and hunting expeditions. It can also be used for semi-permanent installations at small cabins or lake homes, open shelters, campsites, barns, workshops, sheds, or any other open area that has excellent ventilation. It is also ideal for people living in remote rustic homes and cabins with only one bath.

Bottom Line

A popular product, this model does exactly what it's designed to do at an incredibly affordable price. Featuring a simple design, it's the perfect solution for heating water when out camping or doing other outdoor activities. However, the flow rate might be a bit too low for some people.

Best RV Electric Tankless Water Heater:
 PrecisionTemp RV-550

PrecisionTemp RV-550 Tankless Water Heater - Wall Vented

PROS

  • Takes up half the space as a 10-gallon tank
  • Built-in freeze protection enables four-season use
  • Incredibly high propane efficiency and no pilot light design
  • VariFlame technology control system ensures durability and reliability
  • Normal operation requires less than 1.5 amps, and cold weather protection requires almost 3 amps

CONS

  • Is quite bulky and heavy
  • Bit expensive than other models

What Recent Buyers Report

The majority of users stated that the unit was worth every penny and worked just as advertised. They said it provided consistent hot water and loved its silent operation. One customer even said that they opened two showers and all the faucets at the same time, and the unit still provided hot water. However, some customers reported receiving defective items and were unable to control the water temperatures.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This unit's efficiency is what makes it stand out from the crowd. With a 20-lb. propane tank, it's able to provide approximately 940 gallons of water. It can further reach 50,000 BTUs, making it extremely effective in supplying hot water. Moreover, it boasts a 1.5 GPM flow, which ensures a decent water temperature whenever you need it.

Who Will Use This Most

Featuring a good construction design and high-quality materials, this unit is perfect for full-time RVers looking for a decent and efficient heater. It has several different applications, including cabins, trailers, mobile washing services, and tiny houses.

Bottom Line

Ideal for several different uses, this unit is certainly the best electric tankless water heater for RVs. It has an incredibly compact and small size, making it extremely easy to manage. While it boasts an efficient and quiet operation, it has a heavier price tag than other models.

Best RV Tankless Water Heater Propane:
 Camplux 5L 1.32 GPM

PROS

  • Only needs 3.0 PSI of water pressure
  • Allows users to adjust the flow rate and heat easily
  • Hot water output of 1.32 GPM provides a consistent hot water supply
  • Folding handle and compact size ensure a convenient and easy setup process
  • Anti-freezing protection, oxygen depletion safety shut-off, and flame failure device makes it extremely safe to use

CONS

  • Heavier price tag than other models
  • Does not have a draining system or outlet
  • Lower water supply rate compared to other models

What Recent Buyers Report

Almost every user loved this unit and stated that it worked as advertised. They found it extremely easy to install and said it was very easy to find the right temperature. Buyers also reported that it provided hot water instantly and recommended it to other people, as well. However, some customers reported that the unit caught on fire after a few days of use.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This unit primarily stands out to us because of its portability. Its lightweight and compact design enables users to take it to different places. The folding handle further ensures that it doesn't get in your way when you're installing it outdoors. It also does not require any wall venting, making it even easier to use.

Who Will Use This Most

If you need a durable and reliable unit you can take anywhere, then this model is perfect for you! It's ideal for camping, mountain cabins, family vacations, and horse stables. The Oxygen Depletion Sensor Protection further makes it perfect for indoor use where it's well ventilated.

Bottom Line

Perfect for RV owners and families who travel often, this unit provides a constant supply of hot water whenever you need it. With an efficient and silent operation, it helps save a lot of water and energy. However, it has a lower supply rate than other models.

Best 110V Tankless Water Heater for RV:
Mini Instant Water Heater Electric Under Sink

kbxstart Electric Tankless Hot Water Heater, 110V 3000W Hot Water Heater with LCD Digital Display for Hand/Face/Bowl Bathroom Kitchen Washing, Version 01- Blue

PROS

  • Heats up water in 3-5 seconds, saving your time
  • Mounted installation system makes it extremely easy to set up
  • Leakage protector automatically powers off the unit when leakage is detected
  • Liquid digital temperature display adjusts water temperature according to the water flow
  • House insulation protection, anti-dry protection, and hydroelectric isolation protection makes it incredibly safe to use

CONS

  • Might not provide hot water constantly
  • Water flow might be too low for some people

What Recent Buyers Report

This model has received mixed reviews. Some users loved its performance and stated that it heated water quickly. They also found it extremely easy to install. However, some buyers were disappointed with the low water flow, while others reported it did not heat up water at all.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Rather than waiting before an open faucet and wasting cold water, this unit is innovatively designed to hasten the heating process. You only need to wait for about three seconds, and the model will provide you with constant hot water to meet your washing demands.

Who Will Use This Most

Manufactured for low flow use, it can be easily installed under the sink in the bathroom and in the kitchen. This unit is perfect for washing your hands and face, and for dishwashing. However, it's not ideal for outdoor use, including campers, motorhomes, and dining cars.

Bottom Line

Small and affordable, this unit is undoubtedly the best 110V tankless water heater for an RV. With a space-saving and compact design, it provides instant hot water whenever you need it, while its safety features make it extremely safe to use. However, it cannot be used to take hot showers.

Best Girard RV Tankless Water Heater:
 Girard 2GWHAM

GIRARD 2GWHAM Tankless Water Heater

PROS

  • Brushless motor ensures a quiet operation
  • Freeze protection makes it perfect for winter use
  • Large burner regulating capacity maintains the flow of hot water
  • Onboard microprocessor controls and monitors the outgoing hot water and incoming cold water temperatures for constant hot water flow

CONS

  • Heavier price tag than other models
  • Mounting hardware has to be purchased separately

What Recent Buyers Report

Most users were impressed with this unit and recommended it to other potential buyers, as well. They said it worked perfectly, quietly, and provided hot water instantly. Buyers also found installation to be very easy. However, some customers reported receiving defective items, while others stated that the unit stopped working after a few months of use.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This unit stands out to us for several different reasons. Firstly, the automatic monitor detects incoming and outgoing temperatures and makes adjustments accordingly. Secondly, its freeze protection ability enables users to enjoy hot showers in extremely cold conditions, as well. Lastly, it has a quiet operation, so your sleep won't be disturbed.

Who Will Use This Most

If you're looking for a new heater for your RV or motor home, then this unit should certainly be on your list. It boasts freeze protection, which further makes it ideal for use in winters. With 42,000 BTUs, it can provide hot water for the whole family.

Bottom Line

One of the latest models from Girard, this unit is incredibly easy to operate and keeps hot water at the desired temperature. Its onboard microprocessor ensures a constant hot water flow, while its brushless motor boasts a quiet operation. While it does not require any special plumbing or LP line, you will need to buy the mounting hardware separately.

Best Atwood Tankless Water Heater for RV:
 ATWOOD GC6AA-10E

Atwood New RV 6 Gallon Gas/Electric GC6AA-10E Water Heater DSI with White Door

PROS

  • Features both electric and gas element options
  • 95% of the components can be serviced or replaced
  • Does not require any special plumbing and has an incredibly easy setup process
  • Temperature control, pressure relief, and high-temperature limit switch make it safe to use
  • Aluminum clad tanks eliminate the need for aluminum anodes for corrosion protection

CONS

  • Bit more expensive than other models
  • Domestic switches might be disappointing for some

What Recent Buyers Report

The majority of buyers were extremely satisfied with their purchase and stated that the unit worked as advertised. They found installation to be fairly straightforward and said it provided plenty of hot water. However, some users reported that the metal shroud interfered with closing the door, while others felt the instruction manual could be improved.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The unit's flexibility is what truly makes it stand out from its competition. A combination of gas and electric elements, it boasts a high 8,800 BTU input and a faster recovery rate. The electric element is capable of delivering hot water output of 6.2 Gal/Hr, while the gas element delivers an output of 11.6 Gal/Hr. When combined, the total recovery rate totals to 17.8 gallons per hour.

Who Will Use This Most

With several different applications, this unit provides hot water wherever and whenever you need it. It's ideal for use in homes and RV camping, while its six-gallon capacity further makes it perfect for almost all family and RV needs.

Bottom Line

Truly the complete package, this product will certainly make RV life more convenient. Manufactured by one of the most reliable brands, it ensures excellent quality and outstanding performance. While it is designed with both electrical and gas elements, it has a heavier price tag than other models.

Types of Tankless Water Heaters

There are several different types of RV tankless water heaters, each designed with a different heating process. Some of the most common types include:

Electric

Electric heaters are popular because of their cost-effectiveness and environment-friendly nature. Since they are primarily powered by electricity, they are extremely easy to install. Users can even use a solar panel or generator to provide the heater with a constant supply of electricity. 

Gas-Fired

This unit uses kerosene or propane to heat water and requires venting for proper operation. In fact, it is designed with flues that are typically larger than those found in gas storage heaters. It usually features power vents that allow exhaust gases to flow to a sidewall. When it comes to installation, some form of venting is required. However, this unit releases greenhouse gases, resulting in only an 85% efficiency rate. 

Non-Condensing 

These models are widely known as the first generation of water heaters. Using a heat exchanger to heat water, they have a lower energy-efficiency rate, compared to other water heaters. This energy-efficiency further drops when you use large amounts of hot water in short draws, like when washing hands.

Condensing

The second generation of tankless heaters, these models are designed with a second heat exchanger. They reuse the heat released by an exhaust to heat the water even further. This method is extremely beneficial and results in a higher efficiency rate of around 92% to 94%.

How to Flush an RV Tankless Water Heater

It's advisable to check and clean your unit at least twice every year. However, if you're a full-time RVer, it's better to clean the heater several times a year. If you store your RV during the off-season, then the best time to clean the heater are; before storing it and when you de-winterize your vehicle. This helps reduce and virtually eliminate the build-up of scale and calcium deposits. It also helps clean the heating element, ensuring the unit works at peak efficiency.

Here are some steps you can follow to flush your tankless water heater before you store it for the season:

  1. Turn off the gas and power to the heater
  2. Drain all the hot water from the tank
  3. Turn off the water supply to the vehicle and turn off the power to the water pump
  4. Open all the hot water faucets of the RV 
  5. Open the relief valve on the heater
  6. Remove the drain plug from the unit and allow water to drain. If the tank is equipped with an anode rod, replace it once a year, or when it's 75% consumed 
  7. Flush the heater tank by turning on the water supply. You can also use a flushing wand.
  8. Turn off the water supply
  9. Install the anode rod or drain plug with a correct thread sealant

However, there are some extra steps you're going to have to follow if you plan on using your RV immediately:

  1. Close all water faucets and turn on the water supply until water starts coming out of the relief valve
  2. Turn off the water supply
  3. Close the relief valve once the water stops coming out of it
  4. Turn on the RV's water supply 
  5. Close the faucets once the water starts coming out of them without any air gaps 
  6. Check for any leaks in the heater
  7. Open the faucets to get rid of any air in the lines, then turn on the unit's gas or power
  8. Check the unit again for any leaks after an hour

To get a better understanding of how to flush a tankless heater, you can watch this video below:

Conclusion

Buying the perfect RV tankless water heater can become an incredibly easy decision if you know what you're looking for. Make sure it's constructed with rust-resistant and high-quality materials, so the water stays clean and uncontaminated. Above all, choose a model that perfectly suits your needs. 

For us, the best unit is the Camplux 10L Tankless Water Heater, but make sure you go through all the aforementioned reviews before finalizing your purchase!

People Also Ask

Choosing the right tankless water heater can be an incredibly difficult and technical task. To clear any confusion you might have regarding the unit, the following are some of the most frequently asked questions:

Can I Leave my RV Water Heater on?

RV water heaters are simply smaller and more compact versions of the standard residential heaters. You can leave it on all the time, but it's economically and environmentally better to turn it on only when you're going to need it.

How Do You Winterize a Tankless RV Water Heater?

  1. Shut off the main shut-off valve's water supply
  2. Open all taps and faucets, so pressure from the plumbing system is drained and released
  3. Disconnect outgoing and incoming water pipes from the unit
  4. Remove the inlet water filter and collect all residual water in a bucket. Make sure all water is fully drained from the system

How Long Does it Take for an RV Water Heater to Heat Up?

Propane RV water heaters take around 51 minutes to heat up a ten-gallon tank, and around 31 minutes for a six-gallon tank. However, using electrical or both elements can result in much slower or quicker heating times.

Do You Need a Drain for a Tankless Water Heater?

Every reputable brand of tankless heater needs a drain pan if the unit is set up where a leak can damage the building or home. Engineers understand that similar to tanks, tankless heaters also start to leak once they reach the end of their life. 

What is a Neutralizer on a Tankless Water Heater?

As the name suggests, a neutralizer neutralizes the acidic water that collects in the unit's secondary heat exchanger. It uses connectors to connect to the unit's condensate drain port and then raises the condensate's pH level, enabling safe discharge into the sewer system. 

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My name is Bob Wells and I am a retired HVAC tech from Washington state. I am currently retired and no longer do much with HVAC, however, I feel like I have a lot of knowledge in the subject and I wanted to create a website where I could talk about what I've learned and help upcoming HVAC techs. Find more info about me and HVAC Training 101.