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Most people don’t pay much mind to the press when turning on the hot water in their sink or shower. This is one of the simplest luxuries that is worth considering if you plan to spend time camping or on the road. Taking a cold shower in the middle of winter or even in the middle of a trip is not the most pleasurable use of your time.
Thankfully, RV tankless water heaters can provide hot water on demand regardless of your location. Let’s take a look at some of the most capable models on the market.
There are several tankless water heaters on the market to choose from. Our top three picks are:
- Suburban On Demand RV Water Heater
- Fogatti Tankless RV Water Heater
- Furrion 2.4GPM Tankless RV Gas Water Heater
Hot water on demand when you are traveling can make any journey more pleasurable. We have put together a short guide on tankless heaters to help you make an informed purchase decision.
To find out more about the best tankless water heaters for RVs, and to read our reviews, keep on reading.
What Is a Tankless Water Heater?
A tankless water heater for an RV is a unit that provides instant hot water on demand. The heater is free standing and can be attached to a single source inside your RV.
The only limitations are the size of your tank when boondocking, but if you are hooked up to a city supply line, it’s endless.
A tankless heater is both small and efficient. It heats water at the source as it passed through the machine as opposed to storing heated water in a tank. You won’t have to store water for heating which can also help save space in your RV.
Best RV Tankless Water Heater Reviews
Fogatti RV Tankless Water Heater
The Fogatti tankless propane water heaters for RVs is a great choice for travel trailers and camper RVs.
At 13 by 13 inches this sleek model offers a powerful gas-powered heating element at an affordable price. With 3.5 gallons per minute rate and a heating capacity of 55,000 BTU’s, this little tankless offers a well-rounded punch. The best thing about this model however is the remote that can be mounted on the way. That way you control the water from just about anywhere in your rig.
Warranties are always an important part of any purchase decision. The 2.9 GPM RV Tankless Water Heater by Fogatti comes with a 2-year warranty standard. You can lower or raise the capacity to meet your needs and it is also very user-friendly.
There is no chance of the unit overheating, freezing, or flaming out thanks to its robust safety features. With any gas-operated appliance, carbon monoxide emissions are always a concern. Propane combustion removes those issues by preventing carbon monoxide generation.
Furrion 2.4GPM Tankless RV Gas Water Heater
The Furrion 2.4 GPM Tankless is a compact, but a high-powered model that is ideal for travelers who love the open road. It has a whopping 60,000 BTU heating capacity which allows you to consistently task it for hot water on demand.
The brand features its trademark Vortex Technology which ensures that water coming out of the faucet is always mixed to your preferred temperature. Overheating is not an issue with its dual sensors that cut off unsafe temperatures automatically.
This unit is great for full-size RVs and camper models alike. It is crafted tough to handle off-road vibrations without affecting its performance.
The Furrion 2.4 GPM Tankless is gas-powered and features an alarm and intelligent control for easy use. It’s small enough to replace most traditional water heating tanks and has clean lines that will improve your RVs aesthetics.
This unit happens to be one of the top-rated on Amazon with thousands of stellar reviews which speaks to its reliability and features a 2-year warranty.
Suburban MFG IW60 On Demand Water Heater (5286A)
The Suburban’s MFG On Demand RV Water Heater is a reliable mid-range unit. Made for mid to large-size RV’s, this on-demand tankless water heater offers a diverse range of functions. Not only will you save gas due to reduced weight, but your energy efficiency will also rise.
Installed it is just around 36 pounds and even features protection against freezing. Although it may not be the sleekest design on the market, it does exactly what it claims without complex mechanics. You can easily install this unit yourself, or you can have it installed professionally.
It features a 60,000 BTU Two-Stage Self Modulating Combustion System, a precise temperature control from 95-130°F with on demand control center and a 2 year limited warranty.
At just under 12 by 12 inches, you can easily replace your traditional unit without sacrificing extra space. You will need to buy the exhaust vent and the door separately, but it is well worth the investment.
Instead of waiting for the water to warm between each use, your whole family will have access to hot water on demand. The Suburban tankless on-demand water heater runs on gas and it runs silently unlike other models in this price range.
What To Look for in an RV On Demand Water Heater?
Cutting your dependence on a water tank can help you lower your cost and travel easier. Before making the switch, think about your actual water usage.
Larger families and regular RVers will get the most benefit from a tankless water heater. Most tankless units are made to able to fit in the space of the traditional heater.
Ease of use is also an important factor to look out for. Some tankless units are complicated and hard to operate. If you have a lot of small or elderly travelers, it is important to choose an RV tankless water heater that is user-friendly. You will also want to find a tankless unit that matches your power preferences.
Do you like to remain hooked up most of the time? If so, an electric model is ideal. For those that are most often on the road, a gas-powered unit is a better choice. Of course, you can also pick up a hybrid to get the best of both worlds.
Is Switching to a Tankless Water Heater in an RV Worth It?
Switching to tankless water heaters for your RV is worth it if you are in need of more space or increased fuel storage. It is also a great investment for those who spend a lot of time in their RVs or who live in them full time. Localized heating systems for your water will help reduce the amount you pay for your electricity.
However, for occasional RV users, the initial investment in a tankless heater may not cover the cost in savings alone.
The advantages of installing a tankless water heater in your RV are numerous. They have increased in popularity because they deliver a regular supply of hot water and use less energy as we mentioned.
One of the financial benefits of using a tankless water heater is that they have a longer lifespan than traditional heaters. When you don’t have to take your RV to a specialist for repair or servicing, your overall cost is further reduced.
The cost of ownership of a tankless water heater is also much lower in general than a traditional tank. Because they use less energy, the cost of operation is much less than traditional options.
Even though the upfront cost can range from $300 to $1,000 for a tankless unit, there is very little maintenance required.
Traditional hot water heaters are much heavier and take up a lot of space. Tankless heaters for your RV are extremely compact which frees up space for other features.
Using a tankless heater is much safer for you and your traveling companions as well.
There is no chance of overheating because the unit will turn off when not in use. You also won’t have to wait for the tank to fill up and the water to get hot because it will be heated at the faucet on demand.
The weight of a tank will be eliminated from your RV which will give you better gas mileage over the long haul.
As we mentioned earlier, there is less maintenance such as cleaning a water tank, flushing the system, or dealing with hard water.
What Are the Cons of a Tankless Water Heater?
Tankless water heaters have a lot of benefits, but there are some drawbacks you should be aware of.
They have a higher upfront cost which can make it hard to obtain for some RV owners. Installation can be complex for some of the higher-end models or even some basic models. If you are not near a specialized service center or purchase a tankless heating unit off the shelf, you may not be able to set it up on your own.
Tankless water heaters also have a lower output than traditional heaters. They are made to facilitate a lower flow rate in order to heat the water at the point of use. Though the flow rate can be increased slightly on most models, it will result in a lower water temperature.
Most tankless units will also work only for a single faucet which means you will need multiple units for multiple areas. There are multi-tap tankless heaters as well, but, they are very costly in terms of upfront investment.
What Size Tankless Water Heater For RV?
Just like with traditional water heaters, tankless heaters for RVs come in different sizes. The openings will differ depending on your desired flow rate and some units will be larger in order to accommodate multiple taps. Tankless water heaters are rated according to their flow rate compared to their maximum temperature at that rate.
In order to understand what size unit is best for your RV, you need to think about how many taps you will use at once.
For example, if you want to use the shower and a sink faucet at the same time, you will need to have a flow rate of 3.2 gallons a minute.
Next, you will need to look at the temperature rise of the unit to prevent undersizing. Warm climate RVs will need a lower temperature rise than RVs who are typically in colder areas. The average user will need a 55-degree temperature rise.
So, in order to get the right size, calculate how many areas you will need to use at once and your flow rate to get the proper sizing.
Do Tankless Hot Water Heaters Run on Propane or Electric?
Tankless hot water heaters can run on propane, electricity, or a combination of both in a motorhome. They are also relatively quiet as far as add-ons go.
The choice of energy source will depend mainly on how your RV camper is set up.
RV gas tankless heaters are able to heat the water quickly and are ideal for those who tend to boondock more frequently.
RV electric tankless water heaters take a slightly longer time to heat the water. They are great for RVs that spend most of their travels hooked up to shore power. Electric models are cheaper to use over the long haul, but in general, the difference in cost is negligible.
Final Thoughts on Tankless Water Heaters
Now that you have an idea about the benefits of tankless heating for the water in your RV, it’s time to start your search. We have put together a list of some of the best tankless water heaters for RV campers on the market. For regular travelers and RVers that sustain extensive families, the ability to access hot water without delay is priceless.
Tankless water heaters will allow you to conserve space in your rig while also increasing your comfort. Many models have extra features such as wireless remotes, automatic cut-offs, anti-freeze technology, and more. For less than $1,000 you can upgrade your RV while cutting your energy expenses at the same time. Let us know which tankless water heater you chose in the comments below.