Buying a reliable water heater for your RV is important. Not only should you aim for constant hot water when you need it, but you will also want an efficient unit that will work in all weather conditions.
And for today’s RV owner’s there’s nothing better than a quality tankless heater to fulfill those needs.
However, with so many options on the market, knowing which model to buy can be confusing. That’s where this guide aims to help.
Below you will find 7 carefully selected RV tankless water heaters covering a range of budgets, features and output levels.
For our findings at a glance, just head to the table below. For a comprehensive review of each of our picks, plus a detailed buyer’s guide, keep on reading.
Top 7 Best RV Tankless Water Heaters
EcoSmart ECO 11
RV Tankless Water Heater Reviews
The following tankless water heaters have been selected based on build quality, reliability, ease of installation and price point.
Our testing method involves a combination of the above criteria, plus recent customer reviews and feedback on performance, as well as analysis of how each of the models fares against others on the market.
1. TOP PICK: EcoSmart ECO 11 Electric Tankless Water Heater
Our top pick tankless water heater for RVs in 2020 is the excellent EcoSmart ECO series of the heater.
This technically advanced system comes in a range of models (based on maximum power level) and is a true leap forward in terms of instant hot water from a tankless unit. In other words a real gem for RV owners.
The model we are looking at today is the ECO 11, the lowest priced and powered option out of the range.
First off, the EcoSmart features a patented self-modulating technology that means the unit is able to automatically regulate its energy output to ensure that the water is heated with optimum efficiency.
The level of efficiency is actually extremely impressive. EcoSmart state that their tankless water heaters are 99.8-percent energy-efficient. (With a Uniform Energy Factor of 0.98).
They also state that it is possible to save up to 60-percent on your water heating cost using one of their devices. With currently over 2 thousand reviews on Amazon.com, the majority of which are very positive, it is clear that ECOSMART has hit a home run with these heaters.
We have chosen to review the ECO 11 because it has the correct power output for a medium-sized RV.
As per the specifications, it is designed to heat up to 2 gallons per minute. Environmental conditions do play a part, however.
If you are using the ECO 11 in warm climes, (optimal weather temperature is 67° F and above), the unit can facilitate two sinks running simultaneously and one shower. In colder climates, this is reduced to two sinks running simultaneously.
If you need more power than this, you can just opt for a higher spec model.
The design is uniform throughout the range, with a space saving, sleek, wall-mounted configuration making it perfect for RV use.
And if all the above isn’t enough, ECOSMART throws in an amazing lifetime warranty on the device. Now you can’t very well argue with that.
It is clear why the ECOSMART series of tankless water heaters have received our top pick for RV owners in 2020.
Patented energy saving technology, output levels to suit a wide range of needs, a great price point and a lifetime warranty. If there’s a box, ECOSMART have ticked it. A very impressive unit that will easily take care of your RV hot water needs.
2. Camplux 10L Outdoor 2.64 GPM Propane Gas Tankless Water Heater
While our top pick from ECOSMART is an excellent electrical powered hot water heater, there are some RV owners that understandably swear by the reliability of gas powered units.
If that speaks to you, we bring you the Camplux, Portable Propane Gas Tankless Water Heater.
The benefits of this high-quality option are evident in the specs. With a maximum power output of a full 68,000btu/hour, your RV will have access to instant endless hot water whatever the conditions outside.
Being tankless this is, of course, a space-saving unit. The Camplux 2.64 gallons per minute heater is compact, lightweight and offers up to 11.5% energy saving ability with the inbuilt technology.
If you have it permanently fixed within your RV you will need to install a ventilation flue pipe, (not included with the device). However, the heater can be used in a more portable mode outside the RV or while camping or at the beach, etc.
Wherever you decide to use it, the safety levels are sufficiently taken care of course.
The heater has a flame failure device as standard, as well as anti-freezing protection if you happen to be traveling in very low climes. There’s also overheating shutdown protection to ensure no problems arise there too.
The Camplux water heater comes with everything you need to get started as far as accessing hot water on the move. CSA approved gas regulator and required adapters are all included, however as mentioned above if installing permanently within your RV you will need a suitable flue pipe.
Note: water flowing from this gas water heater should not be used as drinking water. Also, operation is not advised while elevated above 2000ft.
Overall the Camplux Propane Tankless Water Heater is a high powered gas option that really does deliver an impressive flow of hot water.
If you prefer the convenience and potential portability of gas water heaters, this comes highly recommended.
For fixed installation it may not be the best option however, and bare in mind the non drinking water issues as well as the problems operating the heater at high altitudes.
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3. BEST BUDGET: Gasland AS150 1.5GPM 6L Tankless Propane Water Heater
Keeping with gas powered tankless water heaters, we now bring you the wonderful, budget friendly Gasland AS150 1.5GPM 6L Portable Propane Water Heater.
For the price point, this little beast is packed with great specifications and should suit the majority of RV owners and their water consumption needs, (to a degree, this is significantly less powerful than the Camplux option reviewed above, however, the price is somewhat lower too)
Let’s take a closer look.
First, we’ll discuss that power output. With a maximum power output of 38,000 BTU/hr, there’s enough energy here to provide instant hot water when you need it.
Clearly being tankless, there’s no cause to preheat anything before you access the water. The positive aspect of the reduced power levels, when compared to the Camplux, is that this is a low pressure start up the system.
A mere 2.5 PSI is required to get the gas water heater pumping for a maximum of 1.5 gallons per minute of on-demand hot water. More than enough for a decent shower.
Not only that but the heat and water flow are fully adjustable too.
As well as providing instant hot water, an RV tankless heater needs to be compact and lightweight. Here the device from Gasland comes up trumps.
In fact, this is so lightweight you can easily carry it to a position of your pleasing; whether that’s beside the RV, on the beach or somewhere else within your camping area.
Simply hang it using the mounting bracket on the top/back of the gas water heater. Installation inside or out of the RV is easy to follow according to the provided instructions.
Energy-saving attributes come in at 11.5%, with the propane water heater exchanger and main burner designed to decrease gas consumption and burning noise, via the with advanced combustion technology built-in.
Finally, there’s a 1-year warranty (falling way short of the lifetime warranty offered on our top pick from ECOSMART) and a 100% money-back guarantee should you not be satisfied with your purchase.
Oh, and did we mention that the device is fully CSA certified for US & Canada use. Safety features such as a flame failure device, anti-freezing protection and over heating protection are all present and correct too.
Overall the Gasland AS150 1.5GPM 6L Portable Propane Water Heater is a top-quality device for the money. The flow and consumption are adequate and efficient with the water being instant and easily controllable. Installation is also a breeze.
If you want a simple, cost effective solution to your RV hot water needs, this is the unit to buy.
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4. Eccotemp L10 2.6 GPM Portable Tankless Water Heater
The Eccotemp L10 2.6 GPM Portable Tankless Water Heater, has greater flow ability than our top budget pick reviewed above, which will appeal to some RV owners.
Designed for camping and outdoor showers as well as an internal RV fixed installation, the unit comes complete with an upgraded chrome shower head and stainless steel hose.
The 2.6 gallons per minute of instant hot water will suit your family’s washing needs while adventuring in the RV.
In fact, when you consider that the L10 can provide temperatures between 50 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit, and features a battery-powered electric ignition, (meaning it will work with no problems off the grid), this is a great, practical choice for RV owners.
For permanent installation the unit is also compatible with 12-volt pumps and is designed to work alongside the EccoFlo Pump & Strainer, should you decide to purchase those too.
The L10 from Eccotemp is one of the more powerful gas heaters in our round-up offering 74,500 BTU’s. The operating range of 20-80psi is also very versatile, meaning the Eccotemp will continue to work in most operating scenarios.
A 20-minute automatic safety shutoff timer is built-in, as is a 45-degree safety tilt switch.
The family-friendly nature continues with the easy to use temperature controls. Should you wish to use the heater for outside showers and camping it is also lightweight and easy to carry.
The unit is shipped with 9′ CSA approved gas regulator and hose, showerhead, 1/2″ NPT garden hose adapter, and output water quick connect.
Featuring similar specs to the Camplux heater reviewed above, this is a high-quality gas-powered tankless heater that will comfortably see to your family’s RV water needs. Highly recommended.
However, if you are unfortunate enough to receive a faulty unit, the customer service does leave a lot to be desired.
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5. Excel Tankless LPG Gas Water Heater (1.6GPM Ventfree)
Where this tankless gas water heater really excels is the capability of working with such low pressure. Just 2psi is enough to get the heater up and running, with no pressurizer pump required.
Not only that, in situations where the PSI levels reach 120, this unit will continue to work. That is the best operating range of all the gas heaters in our top 7.
The key to this is the inbuilt low-pressure startup unit. A magnetic water flow sensor ensures that the unit keeps working at the low water pressures normally found in RV and boat install environments.
Another benefit for those looking to permanently install the water heater is that there is no need to fit a costly flue valve. The unit includes vent-free technology in the form of ODS (an Oxygen Depletion Safety shutoff system).
Performance levels are great too. The water heater is able to heat incoming cold water temperature above 50°F with ease.
Should colder water be the source, (less than 50°F you can simply reduce the water flow rate in order to heat the water to the necessary levels).
The heater is fitted with a pure oxygen-free copper heat exchanger. This is more efficient and durable than standard models and will ensure that the unit carries on providing hot water for you and your family for many years to come.
In fact, Excel provides a lifetime warranty on the heater showing the confidence they have in their product.
The ignition system requires 2 size D Batteries and means that the unit will work without the need for a complicated electrical setup.
Another great gas powered option to make our top 7. Here the benefits are clear, ventless technology and works with ultra low water pressures; two very important features for RV owners. Overall a great unit that will satisfy your hot water needs.
6. BEST PREMIUM: PrecisionTemp RV-550 Tankless Water Heater
Our top pick premium tankless water heater for 2020 is the RV-550 from PrecisionTemp.
Designed specifically for RVs, trailers and cabins this lightweight, highly efficient water heater is one of the best on the market if you are looking to permanently install a heater into your RV and enjoy constant and reliable hot water.
The system requires no pilot light and the VariFlame technology means you will never lose heating power when you least expect it.
Conservation of energy, gas and heat is accomplished due to the tankless design. In fact, the manufacturers state that a 20-pound tank of propane will provide approximately 940 gallons of hot water.
Furthermore, the RV-550 features built-in automatic gas modulation.
This means that the unit is able to self-adjust the consumption of gas based on water flow and pressure as well as the water source temperature.
Whether your RV is in situated in the desert or in the mountains, you will have hot water delivered with extremely high propane efficiency.
Electrical power consumption is also minimum meaning there is no drain on your RV batteries. The PrecisionTemp uses less than 1.5 amps of power in normal operating circumstances.
If the cold weather protection is initiated, just 3 amps of power will be used.
And let’s talk about that protection for a moment. The hi-tech features continue here in the way of sensors that constantly keep track of the operating environment.
Should environmental and/or source water temperatures plummet, the burner will automatically fire and the electric elements switch on, in order to protect the system from freezing.
As we states, no matter where you are, hot water is just moments away with the RV-550.
Finally, each RV-550 tankless water heater is designed, assembled and tested by hand in the USA. Now that is something worth supporting.
The pros of the PrecisionTemp RV-550 say it all. If you are looking for a permanent solution to your RV hot water needs this is the unit to buy.
Having this fully installed will provide you and your family with a highly efficient supply that will continue to work no matter where you are traveling.
Yes, it is expensive, but for this level of features and performance you do expect to pay more. If you have the budget, this is our top pick for 2020.
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7. Girard 2GWHAM On-Demand Tankless Water Heater
Our final RV tankless water heater in this review round up is another premium option, this time from Girard.
In fact, this model is designed specifically for operation in very low climes. Much like our top pick premium option from PrecisionTemp the 2GWHAM is able to continue working even as the mercury drops.
Here the system works by regulating the burner in order to provide freeze protection. When the temperature gets too low, the unit will kick in to protect the components from malfunction.
The on-board microprocessor monitors not only sense the incoming cold water in order to offer freeze protection, but they also control flow rate and the temperature of the outgoing hot water temperature so that you enjoy a constant, steady flow.
Fixed installation is actually very simple on the Girard tankless water heater, as there is no need for special LP gas lines or other intrusive plumbing. The brushless motor is also whisper-quiet meaning access to hot water during the night won’t risk waking up the entire family in the confines of a compact RV.
3 amps are what it takes to power the 2GWHAM and for this, you will need to have the unit connected to the 12V batteries of your RV.
With 42,000 BTUs on offer, this is less powerful than our top premium pick but should be enough for most RV owner’s needs.
The Girard 2GWHAM is a capable tankless heater with premium features built-in. However, it doesn’t quite cut it when compared to the PrecisionTemp, meaning our vote has to be with the RV-550 instead.
However, this remains a worthwhile addition to our top 7 review round up.
RV Tankless Water Heater Buyer’s Guide
There’s a number of factors you should consider before buying a tankless water heater for your RV. First and foremost are the issues of size, power rating and power source (gas or electric).
The type of installation (outside portable or inside fixed) is another thing to think about.
In this short buyer’s guide, we will cover all of these variables and more.
How to choose the right size heater?
This fundamental question when buying a tankless heater is all dependant on how much water you think you’ll be using.
A family of 5 touring in an RV will use considerably more water than a couple traveling alone.
Consider how many fixtures you are likely to use at any one time. The maximum amount of water flow a tankless heater can provide is measured in gallons per minute (GPM).
On gas models, the amount of BTU’s per hour is also a specification worth paying attention to, as it is an indication of how much power can be generated in order to heat the water.
Clearly the higher the GPM the more hot water you will have available at any one time.
Should you opt for an electric or gas heater?
Generally speaking, gas-powered heaters are more cost-effective than electric as propane gas tanks are easy to obtain and can power tankless heaters in an efficient manner.
However, while a gas model can easily be used outside the RV in a portable fashion, when fixed installed within the RV ductwork and venting is normally required.
Electrical models are convenient in that once you have them rigged to your RV power supply, you do not have to think about refilling gas tanks.
You just turn the tap and the hot water is there. And in the case of our top pick from EcoSmart, you will have an extremely efficient system that uses very little power in heating your water supply.
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Installing the RV tankless water heater
Ease and location of installation are also factors that should be considered before you choose which type and model heater to buy.
Dedicated tankless heaters designed for RV installation will be mounted in the heater panel of the RV and can be rigged accordingly.
That being said, unless you opt for a ventless model (electric or gas with ventless technology) you will have to install necessary ductwork for the gas to be safely vented.
Other heater designs allow you to mount the unit under the sink, within closets or on the wall inside the bathroom itself.
The same issues with venting will apply however.
Water lines will also need to be connected and in the case of an electric model, you will have to have the heater components linked to the 12v power source of your RV.
Other types of portable tankless heater can be rigged outside the RV for fast and convenient showering capabilities.
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Do you need a water pump?
Many tankless heaters will work fine without a dedicated pump, (for instance, the excel model reviewed above will still provide running water with only 2psi pressure available).
However, a pump will make most model heaters perform better.
For this, you should pay close attention to the specifications of the heater you are interested in to see if a pump is advised for optimum performance.
A competitive warranty while not a deal-breaker is a good thing to look out for when buying a tankless water heater.
Read reviews to see how previous customers rate customer service with a given manufacturer.
If problems occur you will want a company that is quick and easy to contact and that satisfactorily responds to your needs.
A long warranty is key in this, as is the performance of the customer service. If you read complaints in this regard, you may want to look elsewhere for your RV water heater.