Are Tankless RV Water Heaters Worth It

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One of the best things about traveling in an RV is that it has many of the same amenities as a regular residence.

Hot water is among the most vital of them, which is why tankless water heaters are such a popular topic among RVers.

Can you put a tankless water heater in a camper? Yes. Tankless water heaters in RVs heat water as needed. They can deliver an infinite supply of hot water, but this amenity comes with a larger initial cost than regular units.

If you are a beginner in RVing, check out these tips before you start.  

While tankless as well as on demand water heater RV have grown popular among families and people who live in an RV full-time, they do have some drawbacks that may not be suitable for all travelers.

What Is A Tankless Water Heater For An RV?

Tankless RV water heaters provide on-demand heating for your vehicle’s freshwater.

A tankless water heater heats the water as it flows through the heater, as opposed to standard water heaters that maintain a reserve tank of warm water.

This allows you to have hot water whenever and for as long as you would like it.

So how do Tankless Water Heaters in RVs Operate?

Tankless water heaters heat water just when you need it, ensuring a limitless supply. When the water faucet is switched on and the water starts to flow, a heat exchanger is activated.

Heat exchangers are used in many home appliances to thermally conduct from one item to the other.

They use electric coils or a gas-fired furnace to heat the water to a certain temperature, then transmit the heat to the water as it flows through.


Are on demand water heaters worth it? Tankless water heaters are ideal for frequent hot water use and many individuals due to their numerous advantages. While RV-instant-hot-water-heaters are not inexpensive, they are well worth the expenditure.

Better than traditional heaters 

Tankless water heaters heat water using a heat exchanger, eliminating the need for an additional storage tank. But on the other side, traditional water heaters heat water in a container.

Because freshwater that fills the tank requires time to heat up, traditional water heaters can only provide a limited volume of warm water at any given moment.

The water heater tank capacity in RVs is typically 6-10 gallons, which can quickly deplete while taking showers and cleaning dishes, especially if numerous people are doing so.

While tankless heaters may take 10 seconds or longer to warm the water flowing through them, they may give an unending supply of hot water with no recovery period.

Tanks for water heaters are extremely bulky and take up a lot of room. They must also be kept running at all times to keep the water at the desired temperature.


Here are five key points to consider installing a tankless water heater in your RV:

  • They provide a limitless supply of hot water as required.

  • Between hot water usage, there is no recuperation period.

  • Since tankless water heaters switch off in between uses, they are less likely to overheat.

  • They are lighter and take up less space because they do not require a large tank.

  • Because the system is cleaned each time it is used, you’ll never have a problem with hard water buildup with tankless.

You might be tempted to go out and get a new tankless water heater for your next vacation since it has so many excellent features.

However, there are a few more factors to consider before you do so.

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Tankless water heaters can improve the convenience of everyday life, but they also have some disadvantages that may not make them the ideal option for everyone.

If you’re thinking about living in an RV but have heard some falsehoods that are deterring you, we’ll use this guide to debunk 5 Full-Time RV living myths and misconceptions! 

To be powered by electricity, tankless water heaters require a huge amount of electricity.

When it comes to tankless heaters, regular residences have the option of choosing between gas or electric, but RVs typically don’t have enough electricity to handle electric heaters.

Water heater tanks occasionally give the option of converting between gas and electric, sometimes gas heaters are the sole choice.

This might mean propane charges you didn’t have before if you’re consistently connected to an electricity source.

Tankless heaters use much more water than traditional heaters.

Water usage is another area whereby tankless RV water heaters fall far short. Because the flow of water is what causes the heater to switch on in the first place, it is required to run cold water for several seconds before it heats up.

Although it may not be an issue while connected to a water line, for someone boondocking with a restricted supply of water, those cups may rapidly mount up.

This must occur every time the water is switched on again, implying that somebody attempting to save water will seldom leave the faucet on long enough for it to heat it.

Discover 5 water saving hacks that need to be considered while you initiate your trip for dry camping and converse water that keep your camper clean and tidy.

Is It Cheaper To Run On Gas Or Electricity?

Electric heaters are often less expensive to run than gas heaters.

Nevertheless, in terms of RVs, the price gap will not be nearly as significant as it is for tankless heaters placed in homes.

In general, RVs can only include electric point-of-use warmers and gas-powered tankless heating systems.

Even though the electric heater may save a tiny amount of propane, you will still need gas for other outlets and utilities, and the cost difference will likely be negligible when compared to the installation cost.

Is It Possible To Convert A Traditional Water Heater To A Tankless System?

Yes, a traditional water heater can be converted to a tankless system.

The majority of RV heaters are standard types, which means that the tankless unit will fit in the same area as the previous one.

However, before you get your screwdriver out, there are a few things to keep in mind about your new tankless heater:

  • Ensure that the tankless heater’s dimensions correspond to the space available in your prior model.

  • Check that the vents on your new tankless heater are in the same place as the ones on your old one.

  • Confirm that all of the propane and water connections are compatible, or buy the adaptors you’ll need.

You’re ready to ditch the old heater and install the new one after you’ve found one that fits your RV.

Anyone comfortable with certain mechanical and electrical operations should have no trouble during RV tankless water heater installation.

The procedure is simply removing the old heater and replacing it with the new system. However, it is critical to follow the stages in the exact order and make all of the necessary connections when installing tankless water heater in RV.

What’s Next

A tankless heater can be the answer to avoiding cold showers and excessive wait periods for those residing in their RV full-time and for those whose RV has to support the water demand of many persons.

Tankless units, on the other hand, maybe expensive, are inefficient in terms of water conservation and will leave you reliant on propane. And you sure as hell don’t want to run out of warm water mid-shower!

If your RV’s hot water runs out frequently when you need it, it might be time to upgrade to a tankless system.

For everyone else, keeping with a standard system will almost certainly supply enough hot water, as well as the opportunity to save money on water and energy in the long run.
[ Another alternative is getting a heated water Hose. Check out our detailed guide on the Best RV Heated Water Hose for Cold Winters ]

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Jules and Ken

We are outdoor lovers, travellers, and writers all rolled into one. You have seen our posts here reviewing lots of different types of outdoor gear, camping equipment, RV equipment, kayaking, to cycling. Our reviews are guided by our years of experience being outdoors. We are happy to share our knowledge with you to make a better choice when you are outdoors.

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