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Installing a tankless water heater in your RV gives you the comfort and convenience of hot water for your showering, dishwashing, and laundry while you are camping away from home. It provides you with a better alternative compared to the bulky traditional tank-based water heaters. Usually, the tankless systems have designs optimized for small spaces and will, therefore, fit perfectly in a wide range of locations in your RV.
That said, a high-quality RV electric tankless water heater ensures good value for money, comfort, reliability, and long service life.
Before buying a tankless water heater system for an RV, you need to understand your vehicle’s electrical system. Most RVs have the DC voltage for the vehicle electrical and electronics, and an additional 120Volts supply for larger equipment such as the water heaters. Fortunately, even for models without the 120V AC, you may consider using an inverter. However, it is important to confirm if your vehicle can support this since the use of some inverters result in significant energy losses and may deplete your RVs battery.
Generally, the portable heating system provides you with hot water for showering, washing dishes, and other uses on-demand. Other than space-saving, it also means that you will use less energy and carry less weight on your RV.
You have the choice of using a gas or electric-powered water heater. However, the electric model, though more costly than the gas-based type, offers more flexibility and peace of mind. With electric models, you only need to hook it up to your RV electric plug, and you are good to go. On the other hand, you may need to stop midway or go out looking for propane refill for the gas models. Generally, the gas heaters are cheaper and easy to install, have a higher flow rate, and do not require an electrical power source such as a battery.
Some models have the option to use either electricity or gas hence offering more value flexibility and continuity.
By giving you hot water, the instant heater makes your life comfortable when showering, doing dishes, laundry, and other activities. With so many products in the market, it can be a challenge to select the best. In particular, finding the best electric tankless water heater for an RV can be challenging, especially since most models in the market require a 240V supply while the RV has 120V. However, you need not worry because we have compiled for you not only the systems that work on the RVs, but simply the best tankless water heaters that will save you money, energy, and maintenance costs.
To guide you and ensure that you get value for money without sacrificing quality, we have compiled a list of the best tankless water heaters for RVs.
7 Best RV tankless electric water heaters
Below is a list of the best tankless electric water heater for your RV.
The Chronomite SR-20L/120 is a compact, environmentally-friendly electric tankless water heater suitable for small spaces such as under the sink. With a temperature range of 90-120 degrees F, the tankless water heater is suitable for various applications. The easy to install tankless water heater is 99% energy efficient. As such, it has low installation and energy costs while it provides you with an unlimited amount of water.
It has a durable cast aluminum alloy housing that can withstand a wide range of environmental conditions. The environmentally friendly water heater has a microprocessor-based self-cleaning capability that prevents calcification and alkali buildup as well as reducing the risks of corrosion. Consequently, it has low operational and maintenance costs.
The highly efficient, low-flow tankless heater enables you to save space, water, and energy and is suitable for low-flow applications. It uses an inbuilt microprocessor technology to control and maintain a consistent water temperature while preventing thermal shocks, scalds, and burns. However, it is not plug-in equipment, and you need to hand wire the Chronomite tankless water heater to the 120V AC RV supply.
Unfortunately, it has a short warranty compared to other heaters for RVs.
The Suburban water heater SW6DEL is a powerful and effective hybrid system that is easy to install and manage. It uses electricity, gas, or both, hence offering more flexibility on energy use. Generally, it combines the 12000 BTU gas heaters with a 1440 Watts electric heating element that runs from 120 Volt AC. Besides the 120 volt supply for the electric heating element, the tankless water heater incorporates a 12 V DC direct spark ignition system.
The high-quality Suburban SW6DEL electric and gas water heater design includes premium materials for enhanced durability. It has long-lasting Porcelain-lined steel tanks that also include a sacrificial anode rod, hence negligible, if any, corrosion or deterioration.
Stiebel Eltron 220816 is a 110V 3KW energy-efficient tankless electric water heater suitable for RVs. The compact unit, which is just 65.x 7.5 inches, can fit in small places around the RV and provide you with hot water at any time. Installation is also simple, with flexible mounting options. For example, you can mount the unit with the outlets facing up or down without affecting the performance. Additionally, the compact and sleek design gives you the flexibility to install it anywhere, including confined spaces, and you do not have to worry about appearance. Since it is aesthetically pleasing, it blends well with most surfaces. Sleek design and easy to install a water heater that you can mount in plain sight
The Stiebel Eltron 220816 tankless electric water heater comes with a pigtail cable with clearly-marked wires – making it easy and fast to connect to electricity. Additionally, it has an inbuilt safety high limit switch that automatically disconnects electricity to the heater in case of an overload.
One drawback is that the heater does not have temperature control options.
The Atmor AT-900-03 is a powerful tankless water heater suitable for small spaces. It provides you with instant hot water on demand while allowing you to save energy, water, time, and money. The 3KW, 0.5 gallons per minute water heater requires hand wiring to connect to the 120V supply.
Suitable for RVs, residential, and commercial applications, its compact size enables you to install it in tight spaces such as under the sink. Also, the low-cost tankless electric water heater is suitable for applications that do not require large amounts of hot water. It works in all environments, including those with cold climates.
The tankless water heater only activates when there is a water flow and provides a 50 % savings on your water heating costs. However, the heater has a maximum of 0.5GPM flow rate and is ideal for a single sink and similar low-demand applications. It is not a plug-in unit and requires hand wiring to a 30A dedicated circuit breaker using a 10 AWG wire.
Additionally, the easy to maintain, the tankless electric heater includes a pressure relief device and an aerator for the sink faucet. In practice, the Atmor AT-900-03 will give you instant and unlimited hot water provided you install it according to instructions.
Eemax EX3512M is a compact and lightweight water heater that fits in many locations in your RV. The 3.5 kW, 120 Volt point of use heaters takes less space and fits perfectly under a sink or other unused space. It provides maximum temperatures of up to 140 F, and this depends on the flow rate. Usually, the easy-to-install tankless water heater has a flow switch that power on the heater only when there is demand for hot water. You can mount the compact tankless water heater in any orientation.
The Eemax EX3512M interior is glass-lined for longer service life, and its exterior has a strong impact and corrosion-resistant surface.
Also, it has self-diagnostics for easier troubleshooting and an On/Off switch that enhances safety and maintenance.
The EcoSmart POU 4T is a compact and lightweight 3.5KW tankless water heater with an appealing design. It is an easy-to-install 0.6 GPM point of use heater that fits in small spaces and suitable for applications such as washing hands, kitchen sink, etc. Suitable for the sink, bathroom, office break room, and other low-flow or point-of-use or applications in your RV, the low-budget flow-controlled tankless water heater is a low energy consumption device that runs on 120 V. Basically, this means that it will only heat water only when there is a flow. As such, it allows you to save up to 60% on hot water energy costs. Generally, this heater helps you to reduce water and energy wastage.
One drawback is that it requires regular maintenance.
Sio Green IR-30 Infrared Heater
The Siogreen IR 30 is an excellent, compact, and easy to install and maintain infrared-based instant water heater with an innovative and compact design that fits in a wide range of spaces in your RV kitchen, bathroom, etc. Powered by 110Volts AC, the energy-efficient tankless heater provides one of the highest flow rates. The environmentally friendly heater allows you to save up to 65% water heating costs.
Generally, the SioGreen IR 30 is an energy-efficient heater that allows you to save space and energy. It can work in line with a larger system to ensure hot water reaches the dishwasher or shower.
Unlike other heaters that use electric heating elements, the SIOGreen is infrared-based. It uses Quartz infrared heating elements to provide continuous hot water on demand. The infrared heating can safely break down the hard water deposits; hence minimize risks of bacteria and algae growth. Further, the nonmetallic tankless heater does not suffer from corrosion and thus has a longer service life. It has an easy-to-use water flow regulator that allows you to adjust the temperature to suit various applications.
What to look for in a water heater for your RV
Although the needs may vary from one user to the other, there are some features or considerations that influence the choice of the best electric tankless water heater. These include;
Type of power
Water heaters for RVs are either electric or gas-powered. Each form of energy has its benefits and drawbacks. However, the electric model is generally more cost-effective, environmentally friendly, easy to install, use and maintain.
If you want a heater that offers you the ability to adjust the temperature to your needs, look for a system with a thermostat. This will allow you to control the temperate of different applications or users.
Full system or portable
A full tankless water heater for an RV requires quite some installation work while a portable system does not. You can move the portable heater to any location and simply hook it anywhere.
Water heater capacity
Ideally, it is important to look for a heater that meets your hot water requirements in terms of temperature and volume. If you want a system to support showering and dishwashing, you need to purchase a large heater, while you can go for a smaller model if you only need a sink.