How To Choose The Best RV Tankless Water Heater

RVs are being more popular these days, providing people with an alternative way to travel and have a vacation. Aside from providing a mode of transformation, it is also your temporary shelter when camping. With this, it should be equipped with amenities that will make you feel comfortable when you hit the road or when you camp.

Among others, one of the essentials for any motorhome is an best RV tankless water heater. Showers will no longer be dreaded since you will have hot water. After a full day of tiring activities, nothing beats having a warm and relaxing bath. Even when away from home, a water heater is a luxury that you need.

 

best rv tankless water heater

Best RV Tankless Water Heater on the Market

Below is a quick summary of the products that will be further discussed in the next part. This will help you to easily narrow down the options that are available in the market.

Product nameFLOW RATE Priceour rating
EccoTemp L10 Tankless Water Heater 2.6 GPM$$4.9/5
Camplux 5L Tankless Water Heater 1.32 GPM $4.5/5
EZ 101 Tankless Water Heater 1.6 GPM $$4/5
Excel Tankless Gas Water Heater 1.6 GPM $$4.2/5
PrecisionTemp RV-550 Tankless Water Heater 1.5 GPM $$$4/5

EccoTemp L10 Tankless Water Heater 

 

Eccotemp L10 best rv tankless water heater

 

 

If you have to choose only one product, it has to be the EccoTemp L10. From its overall construction to its heating capabilities, it can deliver a performance that is hard to rival, despite a few drawbacks.

Designed specifically for outdoor use, it has a water pressure that ranges from 20 to 80 PSI. The flow rate, on the other hand, is at 2.6 GPM. It runs through liquid propane gas, which makes it important to be more cautious to be ensured of your safety.

As per the technical specifications from the manufacturer, this product has been through field testing and it can be used at a maximum elevation of 5,500 feet. If it is used higher, it will no longer be able to deliver effective heating performance. 

The cell battery ignition is another feature that this product takes pride in having. The latter will work only once the water is already running. Thus, this can prevent overheating, one of the reasons why it is good in terms of safety.

In terms of installation, this is not the easiest to assemble. In fact, you will need a helping hand, perhaps from a pro with technical knowledge about tankless water heaters. The good thing is that it already comes with ½-inch NPT fittings, making plumbing a lot easier.

This water heater also includes a stainless steel rain cap and a garden hose adapter.

This water heater turns off on its own after every 20 minutes. This is one of the most common complaints about the product. Nonetheless, keep in mind that this is a safety feature, which also prevents the components from overheating.

For the warranty, it has a warranty coverage of one year, which is the standard that is offered within the product category.

Pros:

  • Prevents overheating
  • Compact and rugged design for outdoor use
  • High energy efficiency

Cons:

  • Automatically shuts down after running for 20 minutes
  • Installation can be tricky

Camplux 5L Tankless Water Heater  

 

camplux 5L best rv tankless water heater

 

 

This is another option that you should not miss for the best RV tankless water heater. The minimum water pressure required is only 2.5 PSI. The output is 1.32 gallons per minute, which is pretty much ideal in most RVs. At a maximum, this product can heat water at up to 46 degrees Celsius.

One feature that is often emphasized in this product is the Oxygen Depletion Sensor Protection, which means that it can also be installed indoors as long as there is proper ventilation. Such feature also gets rid of the impurities, although you should still not drink the water from it.

To function, it uses propane gas, which is pretty much the standard in many water heaters that are built for RV use. At maximum, its power output is 34,000 BTU.

It also has automatic shutoff feature, which is important for safety. It will turn off on its own after 20 minutes. To make it safer, there are other innovative features that are incorporated into the product, such as anti-freezing and flame failure protection.

Gas leaks and fire hazards are some of the most common problems that you can experience. As recommended by the manufacturer, you can avoid this by making sure that the gasket is properly connected. This will also minimize the possibility of leaking.

Pros:

  • Installation will not require wall venting
  • High power output
  • Has a convenient folding handle

Cons:

  • Water supply tends to be slow
  • Can be easily prone to leakage

EZ 101 Tankless Water Heater

 

EZ 101 best rv tankless water heater

 

 

This is another propane-powered RV tankless water heater that is perfect for outdoor use. It has a flow rate of 16 GPM while the pressure is from 15 to 100 PSI. On the other hand, the rated heat output is 42,000 BTU.

At a weight of only 14 pounds, this is an excellent choice if you want one that is excellent in terms of portability. It has a compact size, making it suitable for many RVs.

In terms of ease of use, the model offers fully-automatic operation. This means that you can expect it to be user-friendly. After turning on the spigot, hot water will flow out of the shower head in a matter of seconds. The shower head is already included as a part of the kit.

The unit comes with three dials, providing you with complete control of how it works. You can adjust the flame level to determine how much the water heats up. The dial can also be used for easily adjusting the water output.

One of the problems that you can experience, however, is that it will not start if it is able to detect that the water pressure is below the minimum. To avoid such frustrating experience, see to it that the flow rate is always right.

Pros:

  • Dials for easy adjustments
  • Lightweight for RV camping and outdoor use
  • Delivers excellent fuel efficiency

Cons:

  • Does not start if pressure is too low
  • Coil quality could have been better

Excel Tankless Gas Water Heater

Excel tankless water heater

 

 

 

This RV tankless water heater delivers low-pressure startup. With as little as only 2 PSI, the heater can start. It has a flow rate of 1.6 GPM, which is already pretty much decent considering the fact that it is built for motorhomes.

The vent-free technology is one of the innovative features that you can find in this product. This means that it can be installed even indoors. Best of all, the installation will not be complicated as there are lesser parts that you have to be dealing with.

It is also equipped with a magnetic water flow sensor. This is the reason why even when there is water low pressure, the unit will still work. This is ideal in rural communities where there is not much water supply.

Looking at its components, another thing that is desirable is the pure copper heat exchanger. This is the same one that is found in premium products with a more expensive price.

Nonetheless, it should also be noted that there are some safety concerns, such as flames. This is quite common in heaters that are powered by propane. To be sure, see to it that it is installed properly and follow the precautions from the manufacturer.

Pros:

  • Installation is easy to accomplish
  • Solid construction
  • Heats water quickly

Cons:

  • Minimal user reviews are available online
  • Can be prone to safety issues

PrecisionTemp RV-550 Tankless Water Heater

 

PrecisionTemp RV-550 best rv tankless water heater

 

 

With a weight of only 32 pounds and size that is ½ more compact compared to other models, this is without a doubt an excellent choice in terms of portability.

More so, the heater uses 50% less propane in the absence of compromising its heating performance. If you have a 20-tank propane, it can heat up to 940 gallons of water, which is indicative of its efficiency. At 55,000 BTU, it heats up water quickly without using too much gas.

It also offers freeze protection, allowing you to use it through the years. Even during the winter, freezing is not an issue, which is one of the reasons why it fares well in terms of safety.

For energy-efficiency, this model uses a power that amounts to only 1.5 amps, provided that you are in a normal environment. On the other hand, if you are in a place that is cold, more effort will be required in cooling water, which is why it uses 3 amps of power.

When it comes to popularity, it is not as commendable as the other brands that you can find. The manufacturer is not as popular as the others. On top of it all, the price can be ridiculously expensive for a lot of users. 

Pros:

  • Excellent temperature even during winter
  • Has a reliable control system
  • Solid construction for long-term functionality

Cons:

  • Extremely expensive price
  • Few reviews are available

Benefits of RV Tankless Water Heater

Still looking for reasons to be convinced that you need a tankless water heater for your motorhome? Below are some of its advantages:

  • Compact Design: RVs do not have the luxury of space. Because of their small size, RV tankless water heaters are ideal. It can be installed in the bathroom of your motorhome without the need for a lot of space.
  • Continuous Supply: Conventional heaters have tanks, and hence, they produce a limited amount of hot water. With a tankless water heater, on the other hand, you will have a continuous supply as long as there is a source of water.
  • Adjustable Temperature: This will depend on the specific product that you will choose. Most of the newer models have a knob or dial that you can adjust depending on how hot you want the water to be.
  • No Waiting: Another benefit is that there is no need to wait before the water becomes hot, making it a perfect product for people who are impatient. The moment you turn it on, hot water is ready.
  • Energy-Efficiency: This is also dependent on the product that you will choose. Most of them, however, are designed in such a way that they will consume minimal energy while still delivering their peak performance. To be sure that it will be energy-efficient, choose products from trusted brands, such as Girard and Suburban.

Types of RV Tankless Water Heater

The type of the RV tankless water heater will depend on its source of power. That being said, below are three of the most common options that will confront you:

Propane Water Heater: This is the more common option for an RV tankless water heater. A gas burner and a flow sensor combine to heat the water. Its speed is twice as fast compared to the electric heater. It is also cheaper to maintain in the long run.

Electric Water Heater: If budget is your concern, this type is the cheaper option. It is also less complicated, which means that its installation can be accomplished easily. Another benefit is that it operates without making a loud noise.

Combination Type Water Heater: This is perhaps the best choice from the three types as it can offer the best of both worlds. You can choose to use either propane or electricity, depending on which one is available or which is safer for the given external conditions.

Choosing the Best RV Tankless Water Heater 

To help you in narrowing down the choices, below are some of the most important things that you have to consider:

Flow Rate: This is one of the most important technical specifications that require your attention. Look at the GPM or gallons per minute. This refers to how much water can flow out of the shower head within a minute. The best options should have 2 to 2.5 GPM, especially if you are a small family.

Temperature: You also have to look at the maximum temperature that can be reached by the water heater. The higher is the temperature, the hotter the water will be. To add, it must also not take a long time before it becomes hot.

Energy Consumption: Most of the RV tankless water heaters operate with the use of propane, which allows water to become hot. See to it that it can reach the required temperature without requiring too much propane or electricity.

Installation: Choose one that is effortless to install. The manufacturer must provide comprehensive instructions on how the assembly can be completed. The kit should also be inclusive of everything that you will need, including the fittings.

Durability: Consider the materials and the overall design of the product. All parts, including the bypass valve, motor, and even shower head, should be rugged to withstand long-term use. The materials must be able to survive wear and tear, especially if you travel a lot in your RV.

Heat Output: This is measured in British Thermal Units or BTU. A higher number will be indicative of higher heat output. This means that you do not have to wait for a long time before water heats up.

Safety: It is also important to look at the safety features of the product, such as protection from freezing, overheating, and voltage spikes, among other external conditions that could possibly put you and your motorhome at risk.

Warranty: This is important as it provides you with peace of mind. The standard warranty is one year. Some manufacturers are generous enough to offer a lifetime warranty on labor and some parts. Do not buy a product if it does not come with a warranty.

Price: This should be the least of your priorities. A lot of you may be tempted to choose a product only because it is cheap. Nonetheless, I suggest that you emphasize quality and functionality over cost. It does not matter if you have to spend more if this means being able to enjoy a top-notch product.

Care and Maintenance for RV Tankless Water Heaters

Even if you choose the best product that you can find on the market, you need to pay attention to its care and maintenance.

Dealing with Hard Water

 When you are on the road or in a campsite, you are not sure about the quality of the water supply. More often than not, you will be using hard water. This means that it can be prone to impurities and mineral deposits. Calcium and magnesium ions will most likely be present in the water. The scaly buildup can cause clogs.

Through a long time of exposure to hard water and mineral buildup, the functionality of your heater can be negatively affected. The heating efficiency will no longer be as commendable. The internal parts of the heater can also be damaged.

One of the solutions that you can consider is to use a filter, which will remove the impurities from the water before they reach the RV tankless water heater. Flushing your heater annually is also necessary. Using a combination of white vinegar and water will help to effectively get rid of this build-up without the need to resort to toxic methods.

Aside from the use of a filter, a scale prevention shield can also extend a helping hand. In a nutshell, the latter is a product that has the primary function of preventing the components from hard water from attaching to the heating chamber.

Refer to the Manual from the Manufacturer

For basic troubleshooting and maintenance, you should take the time to consult the manual and follow the instructions that have been specified by the manufacturer. While there are many resources that are available online, the problem is that the steps may not be specific to the model of the water heater that you are using in your RV.

Perform Regular Inspection

 You do not need to be a pro to inspect the RV tankless water heater. By performing a regular inspection, you will be able to identify the problem early on and prevent it from escalating.

One of the things that you should check is the venting. Most models have a venting system that is fan-operated. Make sure that the vents are working properly, which will lessen the likelihood of suffering from a fire. This is especially important if your unit is powered by propane.

Other Tips for Using RV Tankless Water Heater

For your safety and for the heater’s optimal performance, keep these things in mind:

Do not use parts and accessories that are not provided or approved by the manufacturer. If there are some components that need to be replaced, see to it that you buy ones that are compatible with your heater.

If you have a propane-powered tankless water heater, avoid using it when you are driving. This is because the incoming air can have an impact on the pilot light or flame. This can start a fire.

Choose the right location in the RV. Make sure that it is in a place where it will not get wet or it is not exposed to external elements that could speed up wear and tear. It should also be placed as close as possible to the source of water.

Turn off the heater when it is not being used. This will not only help to save energy consumption, but will also prevent heating and other potential problems, especially if the unit uses gas to heat water.

Conclusion

The best RV tankless water heater is a must-have for motorhomes. It makes sure that you will have hot water on demand, making it possible to have a relaxing shower. However, with the multiplicity of the options, do not pick just any model on the basis of price. Take time to evaluate all factors, including those briefly outlined in this guide.

Are you using an RV tankless water heater? Is there anything else that you would like to add? Do not hesitate to write in the comment section below.

 

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