The 7 Best RV tankless water heaters: Reviews, Prices & Comparison


HTMLFont size

This post contains affiliate links. As an amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchase (at no extra cost to you) Learn more

RV travelers prize having hot water on demand, but a traditional RV water heater can't always provide it.

Especially if you have multiple people or one person wants a hot shower, while the other washes dishes.

A tankless water heater solves this problem by providing copious amounts of hot water on demand.

Of course, not all tankless RV hot water heaters are the same. There are different fuel types, flow rates, and other special features can all factor into the type of tankless water heater that is best for your RV.

So, choosing a perfect demand-type water heater is not easy, especially if you haven’t done so before. Well, don’t worry. I did all the hard work for you.

In this guide, we’ll take a look at some of the best tankless water heater for RVs, campers, and travel trailers. This will include the heat source, and features you need, as well as understanding the flow rate you need to make sure you always have hot water on demand in your RV.

Before we go in depth review, Let’s start by having a look at our top 7 picks for the best RV tankless water heaters.

Product Name

Image

Price

Best Natural Gas Tankless Water Heater: Rinnai RU80EN 8.0 GPM 

Clean burning energy-efficient natural gas is the way of the future. As long as you have a natural gas line plumbed to your RV seasonal rental site, the Rinnai RU80EN is one of the best natural gas burning RV tankless water heaters that money can buy.

Best Propane: Suburban Co 5239A RV Tankless Water Heater

With the ability to run off your RV’s existing gas lines the Suburban Manufacturing Co 5239A is one of the best propane RV water heaters on the market today

Best Portable: Eccotemp L10 2.6 GPM RV Tankless Water Heater

Designed to be portable for travel trailers and pop-up campers the L10 is a lightweight tankless water heater that was engineered to perform for years to come.

Best Indoor Tankless Water Heater: Eccotemp i12-LP RV water heater

With its sleek looks and 4-gallon per minute flow rate, the Eccotemp i12-LP is one of the best indoor RV tankless water heaters, that can also enjoy a long life in a cabin or guest house.

Most Quietest: Camplux 10L 2.64 GPM Tankless Water Heater

If you don’t want to live with the sound of a tankless water heater running in your RV, then you might want to give a good hard look at this unit. As it is one of the quietest RV tankless water heaters on the market.

Best Small: Bosch Mini Electric Tankless Water heater

With its impressive 4 gallons per minute flow rate and compact engineering the Bosch Electric Mini-Tank Water Heater Tronic 3000 T is one of the best small RV tankless water heaters you can find.

Best In-Wall Four Season: Precision Temp RV-550 Tankless Water Heater

If you continue to use your RV or cabin after fall turns to winter, then the Precision Temp RV-550 is one of the best 4-season, in-wall tankless water heaters on the market.

The 7 Best RV Tankless Water Heater Reviews

The truth is there is not a single best RV tankless hot water heater because choosing an RV tankless water heater is pretty personal.

That being said, reading tankless water heater reviews goes a long way towards helping you figure out which suited best for your RV.

However, I've compiled a list of our favorites so you can compare the features, know about the products and decide upon the option that will be best suited.

Here are our top 7 picks for the best best RV tankless water heaters on the market.

Best Natural Gas

1: Rinnai RU80EN 8.0 GPM Tankless Water Heater

The Rinnai RU80EN 8.0 RV tankless water heater was designed to run on natural gas. It’s worth noting that natural gas has roughly a third of the energy density of propane, and thus isn’t available on the consumer level in a traditional storage tank.

This means you will need a reliable source of natural gas such as a plumbed natural gas line at an RV park.

It uses special “Condensing Technology” which makes the most out of the already energy-efficient nature of natural gas.

The net result is that it has up to 97-percent thermal efficiency, which far outstrips propane for superior energy savings. It also meets the emission standards set by the state of California as well as Texas.

It produces a robust 8 gallons per minute, which means it truly has the flow rate to let one person bathe while another one washes dishes or runs the RV’s dishwasher. It’s also a condensing tankless water heater, which helps maximize heat potential.

If you have access to natural gas for your RV, the Rinnai RU80EN 8.0 is one of the best natural gas burning tankless water heaters.

Things We Like
  • Energy Efficiency Natural gas seems to be the way of the future, and if you have access to it at a seasonal or long-term rental RV park you will save a ton of money with the Rinnai RU80EN 8.0.
  • Flow RateAt 8 GPM you can get reliable hot water from multiple faucets or fixtures in your RV at the same time.
Things We Don't Like
  • The Availability Of Natural GasNatural gas is just starting to find it’s way into the RV world, and it’s not available in a tank form for consumers. Though there are some compressed natural gas tanks out there that might be worth the investment. Still, this type of tankless water heater isn’t going to be for an RV traveler who moves around a lot during the season.
  • Condensing – As a condensing tankless water heater, you can argue that it loses much of its energy efficiency when you use hot water in short bursts.

Best Propane

2: Suburban 5239A RV Tankless Water Heater

This is a high recovery gas, and/or gas-electric RV hot water heater with a porcelain lined interior tank. This helps prevent the natural corrosion effect that often happens when metal and hot water interact.

It also includes a node rod that essentially absorbs the electrolytic effect that can alter the long-term lifespan of the heating element.

Suburban does their best to stand by their product, and pressure tests it twice during the manufacturing process. They also back it up with an impressive year warranty.

This particular RV tankless water heater model is designed to run on propane and has a burner element rated up to 12,000 BTUs per hour.

It was also engineered to recover rapidly. Water is heated and stored in a 6-gallon tank for immediate use. However, this model is capable of producing up to 10.2 gallons of hot water in a single hour.

If you have an existing gas line in the utility area of your RV, the Suburban Co 5239A is one of the best propane RV water heaters.
Things We Like
  • Porcelain Coating – The corrosion resistance engineered into this water heater helps maximize the long-term value.
  • Build QualityExtensive testing and a three-year warranty make a statement about the manufacturer’s dedication to quality.
Things We Don't Like
  • Tank SpaceIt’s not truly a tankless water heater. You will have to make a little more room for the Suburban Co 5239A Water Heater. Still, it only has a 6-gallon tank measuring in at 19.2 X 12.7 X 12.7-inches and weighing just over 35-pounds.
  • Dubious Flow RateRated to produce 10.2 gallons of hot water in an hour is a little bit on the low side compared to true tankless water heaters which measure their flow rate in gallons per minute. Still, this is in the ballpark for providing you with enough hot water in a modest-sized RV.

Best Portable  

3: Eccotemp L10 2.6 GPM Portable Tankless Water Heater

Eccotemp is a family-run US-based business that specializes in energy-efficient devices. They follow this up with a strong focus on customer service. 

Their Eccotemp L10 2.6 GPM Portable Tankless Water Heater was designed for campers to let you take hot water with you when you are away from most traditional heating sources. It produces hot water at a rate of 2.6 gallons per minute.

It also comes with a regulator and hose which is designed to connect to a standard 20-pound liquid propane tank.

It has an electronic ignition system that is powered by two simple D Cell Alkaline batteries. It is also compatible with most 12-volt water pumps though they do offer their own EccoFlo Pump & Strainer.

Along with the gas regulator and hose this L10 package also includes a showerhead, and a garden hose adapter, as well as an output water, quick connect.

If you need a small lightweight tankless water heater for your RV or to take with you camping the Eccotemp L10 is one of the best options on the market.
Things We Like
  • Accessories IncludedThe regulator, gas hose, showerhead and quick connect are nice and not something you find with many of the direct competitors.
Things We Don't Like
  • Water Pump Not IncludedWith a portable water heater like the L10, it would be nice to see a water pump included in the initial purchase. Still, their in-house EccoFlo Pump & Strainer is relatively inexpensive.
  • Flow RateThe flow rate of 2.6 gallons per minute is arguably a little on the low side. This means that as a unit that was designed to be a portable tankless water heater, you aren’t going to be installing it in anything larger than a travel trailer or pop-up camper.

Most Quietest

4: Camplux 10L 2.64 GPM Portable Propane Gas Tankless Water Heater

The Camplux BW264 on demand water heater was designed with camping and RV vacationing in mind. It can be mounted outdoors or indoors so long as there is some type of ventilated flue pipe to direct the exhaust gases of the propane flame.

The ignition system is linked to a pair of D-Cell alkaline batteries, which lets you truly run this quiet tankless water heater off the grid.

It’s rated to produce a comfortable 2.64 gallons of hot water per minute heated by the 68,000 BTU propane burners.

This rv instant hot water heater doesn’t come with a water pump included but will work with most standard 12-Volt water pumps. Camplux also offers its own 1.6 GPM flow rate 12-Volt pump that was specifically designed to work with this model.

The Camplux BW264 also has an Eco/Full switch function, which helps you to use less propane in the summer months!

It also works great with Camplux 12V 1.6 GPM water pump. It was also engineered with “Dry Combustion Protection” as well as a special flame failure device, and anti-freezing protection.

With it’s advanced digital controls and the safety features the Camplux BW264 is one of the quietest RV tankless water heaters on the market.
Things We Like
  • The Propane ElementRated to produce 68,000 BTUs of heat per hour at up to 2.64 GPM the Camplux BW264 is one of the quietest tankless RV water heaters.
  • Dry Combustion ProtectionThis added safety feature helps protect against accidentally fires.
  • Four Season Functionality – The anti-freezing technology is nice for RV travelers in the north or times when you might be staying in the desert at night during a cold snap.
Things We Don't Like
  • No Water PumpThis is something to debate about, as someone with an on-board water pump on their RV wouldn’t want a pump. Still it would have been nice if there was a package deal to put this tankless RV water heater and the companion pump together.
  • Low Flow Rate – 1.6 gallons is a little bit low for times when you might have one person needing to take a shower and another washing the dishes.

Best Indoor Unit

5: Eccotemp i12-LP 4 GPM RV Tankless Water Heater

The Camplux BW264 tankless water heater was designed with camping and RV vacationing in mind. It can be mounted outdoors or indoors so long as there is some type of ventilated flue pipe to direct the exhaust gases of the propane flame.

The ignition system is linked to a pair of D-Cell alkaline batteries, which lets you truly run this quiet tankless water heater off the grid.

It’s rated to produce a comfortable 2.64 gallons of hot water per minute heated by the 68,000 BTU propane burners.

This tankless water heater doesn’t come with a water pump included but will work with most standard 12-Volt water pumps. Camplux also offers its own 1.6 GPM flow rate 12-Volt pump that was specifically designed to work with this model.

The Camplux BW264 also has an Eco/Full switch function, which helps you to use less propane in the summer months!

It also works great with Camplux 12V 1.6 GPM water pump. It was also engineered with “Dry Combustion Protection” as well as a special flame failure device, and anti-freezing protection.

For the money and modern feel, the Eccotemp i12 is one of the best indoor tankless RV hot water heaters on the market for RVers who use large amounts of on-demand hot water.
Things We Like
  • Energy EfficiencyIt only draws a miniscule 2 Watts when at idle to maintain the electric pilot light.
  • Easy Controls – The LED touch screen is sleek as well as accurate.
Things We Don't Like
  • Variable TemperatureWhile all tankless water heaters have some degree of variance when the flow rate is turned up the 34-45 degree variance at the maximum 4 GPM is a little looser than you might like.

Best For Small RVs

6: Bosch Mini Electric Tankless Water Heater

The Bosch ES4 Tronic 3000 T Electric water heater has an impressive 4-gallon capacity which you wouldn’t expect in such a small RV tankless water heater.

If need be you can fit this 13.75 x 13.5 x 13.75-inch unit under your RV’s kitchen or bathroom sink!

It was designed to be powered off a standard 120-volt AC outlet and it comes with a 3-foot long power cord.

Though if you prefer, you can install it in-line with another larger hot tank to give you larger reserves on demand.

The Bosch ES4 Tronic 3000 has an external control dial that lets you accurately adjust the temperature range, as well as a temperature-and-pressure relief valve.

The interior of the tank is glass-lined which provides superior insulation and corrosion resistance.

If you need a convenient tankless water heater that runs on 120 AC, and can be mounted under an RV sink, then the Bosch ES4 is one of the best small tankless water heaters on the market.
Things We Like
  • The CapacityFor the size, the 4-gallon capacity is impressive for a unit that can be installed under an RV sink.
  • Glass-Lined InteriorThis provides superior corrosion resistance, which is a factor whenever hot water interacts with metal.
Things We Don't Like
  • The Element LifeBeing so small, means the overall life of the electric element will be limited and may only live a little while longer than the warranty.

Best In-Wall Four Season

7: PrecisionTemp RV-550 Tankless Water Heater

The Precision Temp The RV-550 was designed to conserve water and energy, while still serving as an in-wall tankless RV water heater.

It only weighs in at 32-pounds, which is a fraction of a traditional water heater tank.

It only heats water when a hot water tap is turned on which can effectively reduce the total propane consumption for hot water by almost half when compared to a traditional water heater.

This is also due to the RV-550 also has true automatic gas modulation, which carefully self-adjusts the active propane usage based on variations in the water temperature and flow.

When you do the math,it means that a 20-pounds of liquid propane can heat up to 940 gallons of water!

It’s also worth noting that Precision Temp realizes that not every RV enthusiast and cabin owner limits their travel to the warm months of summer.

They specifically built the RV-550 to with a special freeze protection feature. While it does use a little bit more energy in the winter months, it also ensures that you can have access to hot water even in the depths of winter.

Designed to fit into a wall and provide you with copious amounts of hot water the Precision Temp RV-550 is one of the best four-season RV tankless water heaters.
Things We Like
  • 4-Season FunctionalityThe built-in freeze protection feature truly lets you use this RV tankless water heater in spring, summer, fall, and winter.
  • In-Wall InstallationThe fact that you can tuck it neatly into most walls or a cupboard helps to save space.
  • Automatic Gas Modulation – This feature helps make the RV-550 very energy efficient and reduces the total amount of propane your RV goes through on a single trip, for making hot water.
Things We Don't Like
  • High PriceYou could argue that the price is a little on the high side, which is what you would expect with this level of engineering. Still, the propane savings on energy efficiency might take a bit longer than you expect for this unit to pay for itself.

How Did We Pick The Best RV Tankless Hot Water Heaters?

A tankless water heater not only provides you with hot water on-demand, but it can also save you a fair amount of money in energy savings. A propane tankless water heater can also help extend your RV’s gas reserves, while also saving you a fair amount of space.

Recent innovations in materials and manufacturing have also helped to extend the overall lifespan of an RV tankless water heater. Indeed, some of the best RV tankless water heaters can last 10 to 15 or even 20 years!

Of course, there are a few key factors and features to consider when finding the best tankless water heater for your RV or camper.

Choosing The correct Power Source

There are a few different power source options to consider in an RV tankless water heater. The one that’s right for you might vary depending on where you plan to park up and what features are built into your RV currently.

Electric 

Electric RV tankless water heater is arguably the most ecologically friendly option and also one that tends to be cost-efficient. An electric tankless water heater also tends to be relatively easy to install, and if you are relatively handy, you should be able to truly do-it-yourself.

Propane 

Propane is the most common heating source in RV tankless water heaters, simply because you can tap it into the existing propane system. Chances are if you previously had a propane heated traditional water heater, you can simply tap into the same plumbed line.

Natural Gas 

These days natural gas is gaining increasing traction as a source of home heating. It’s energy-efficient and clean-burning.

Though it has roughly a third of the energy density of propane, which means it’s not readily available in a tank at the consumer level. 

However, if you have a motorhome that you park up for the season at an RV park or campground with natural gas available, then a natural gas tankless water heater might be on your radar.

What Size of Water Heater Do You Need

This is another one of those times where you need to break out the tape measure and make sure that you have the space you need to properly install the tankless water heater.

Now, in the case of a retrofit or a replacement for an existing traditional water heater, you should have plenty of room.

Though, you should be extra-cautions about the size and mounting possibilities if you are doing something like installing a tankless water heater in an RV that didn’t originally have one.

Dialing In The Flow Rate

Having a tankless water heater in your RV is nice for having hot water on demand, but you might also want to run more than one hot water source at a time.

To estimate how much flow you might need at any given time, you can assume that a shower stall in most RV’s will use between 1.5 to as much as 3-gallons per minute. Bathtub faucets and toilets can produce even more at around 2.5 to 4.5 gallons per minute.

Of course, don’t forget about the kitchen sink. One person might want to wash dishes while the other bathes. In a scenario like this, the sink faucet will need roughly around 1.5 gallons per minute of hot water.

Consider The BTU’s Per Hour

When it comes to propane and natural gas BTUs or British Thermal Units per hour are the standard measure of heating and thermal efficiency.

For a gas-burning RV tankless water heater, a good ballpark to look for is between 30,000 to 50,000 BTUs per hour. A higher rating translates into a faster ability to heat water in a short amount of time.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Tankless Water Heaters Difficult To Install In An RV?

If you have a basic level of mechanical skill, and you take the time to find the best tankless water heater for your RV, then installation is certainly in the realm of possibilities for an avid do-it-yourselfer.

Just make sure you take the time to securely mount the unit, and connect all pertinent gas, water, or electrical lines.

While you are at it, you might also want to double-check your RV’s warranty coverage. Some manufacturer’s require professional installation to keep from voiding the active warranty protection.

Can A Tankless Water Heater Under A Sink?

Under-sink installations can be an attractive option for mounting an RV tankless water heater. Before committing yourself to this option, double-check the manufacturer’s instructions to make sure you can accommodate all the connections without kinking a water or gas line or putting an electrical wire in an unsafe place.

Do Tankless Water Heaters Need Cleaning?

Periodic cleaning is required with most tankless water heaters. Different manufacturers have different recommendations. You should be able to find the information you need in your owner’s manual.

What Is The Difference Between A Condensing And Non-Condensing Tankless Water Heater?

A non-condensing RV tankless water heater essentially uses a special type of heat exchanger to heat water on demand.

The benefit here is that it tends to be highly reliable and long-lived. The drawback here is that it often requires heavy-duty stainless steel venting to release the hot exhaust gases. This inevitably drives up the overall price tag.

A condensing RV tankless water heater essentially reuses the heat energy from the exhaust system to help heat the water.

They also tend to be less energy efficient when you use them in short bursts like washing hands or quickly rinsing dirty dishes one by one. However, they use PVC venting which means they are more affordable.

Can I Mount A Tankless Water Heater Anywhere In My RV?

Some of the smaller lightweight tankless water heaters can be mounted to panel board walls with simple drywall anchors.

Though it’s better to secure them to some type of stud or other structural components. Especially with a heavier unit. 

The last thing you want is for your somewhat pricey investment to suffer damage from vibrations while traveling or falling off its mounts and breaking.

Do I Need A Tankless Water Heater With A Water Pump?

The answer to this question depends on your RV. If you have a large Class A motorhome with a fully functional water pump, then you might be able to save some money by purchasing a tankless water heater that doesn’t have a pump built into it.

On the other end of the spectrum, someone with a popup camper or small travel trailer might need a water pump just to make full use of the tankless water heaters available flow rate.

A lot of manufacturers will sell just the tankless water heater itself. You can then connect an aftermarket 12-Volt electric water pump to create sufficient water pressure.

With many of these units, the manufacturer also offers an accessory pump that’s been specifically engineered to work with the tankless water heater. Sometimes you can even find them as a package deal!

So, Which Is Best Tankless Water Heater For RVs Or Campers?

A tankless water heater might seem like just another gadget at first glance. Still, if you have an RV and family who loves to bathe and wash dishes at the same time, then chances are pretty good you have dealt with the frustration of running out of hot water more than once on a trip.

Not only is a on demand rv water heater convenient for keeping your RV supplied with hot water on demand, but it can also be more energy-efficient while also freeing up some precious space. The tankless water heater that is best for you will vary depending on your RV and even the size of your family.

The heating method or fuel is probably the first place to start. A lot of RV travelers lean toward propane tankless water heaters, as you can tap it into existing gas lines.

If this sounds like you, then the Suburban Manufacturing Suburban Co 5239A Water Heater might be your best option.

Though it’s also worth noting that these days natural gas is also an increasingly Just make sure to ask the RV park hosts if a natural gas line is plumbed to your specific site. In a scenario like this, you might want to give some thought to the Suburban Co 5239A Water Heater.

Whatever your preferred power source and flow rate, chances are good that the best tankless water heater for your RV is somewhere on this list.

Last Updated on