What You Should Know About Tankless RV, trailers and campers aren’t the same as a home and it doesn’t have the same amenities (such as a full-time water supply for running water and waste drainage).
One of the options you can choose is to use an electric tankless water heater. What does that mean? It means that once you turn on the faucet, within seconds you’ll be getting hot running water without worrying about having enough stored in your tank (with traditional RV/trailer water heaters).
You’re probably wondering why to use a tankless unit instead of a 50 or 30-gallon gas/propane one. Well… if everything is going well outside with no wind, cold temps, or any other weather-related issues, it’s much less problematic to use a gas/propane water heater when hooked up to an external power source.
But… what will you do if something happens and there’s no way of getting gas to the unit? That’s where electricity comes in. You can easily hook up your trailer or RV with access to 240 volts AC (or 110v if that’s all you have available).
And because this is an electric model, the lack of noise is yet another pro. No more running water sounds at night. The last thing you want while trying to get some shut-eye is noisy pipes! And overheating issues are also eliminated because there are no hot fluids inside the system, of course, they’re all-electric.
But what about the price? Some of the units are more expensive than their gas/propane counterparts, but they’re also smaller and more efficient. If you have limited storage space inside your unit, then go for an electric tankless water heater instead.
Top 9 Best Electric Tankless Water Heaters for RVs, Trailers, And Campers
Now that you know the benefits of using an electric tankless water heater, let’s talk about some of the best models available on the market. After researching online and reading countless reviews posted by people who actually bought and used these products, I found five that seem to be the most popular ones so far.
Breaker Alert: Make Sure The Circuit You Are Plugging It Into Has Enough Amps To Handle The Unit The first thing you want to do is make sure your circuit can handle it. Not enough amps will damage or destroy any appliance or electronic device. Here are a few guidelines if you’re not sure what kind of receptacle (or outlet) you have available inside your unit: RV/trailer with 30 amp service – capable of running up to 50 amps of power
RV or trailer with a 15 amp service – you can safely plug in anything that requires up to 20 amps. Remember, the 15-amp outlets are only good for small electronic devices and appliances. If you use a dryer, air conditioner, water heater, or other high-powered appliance, it won’t work.
A regular household outlet – just because your home has an outlet inside it doesn’t mean it’s a good one. Most homes have a 15-amp receptacle which means you can run a maximum of one appliance that needs more than 12 amps (or 1,440 watts). Anything over that will trip the circuit breaker. It may be possible to upgrade the circuit if you know what you’re doing, but that’s not something I’m going to talk about now.
For now, let’s check out some of the best units available :
Camco Olympian 5500 Water Heater
The Camco Olympian 5500 is both affordable and efficient. It has a high capacity tankless water heater design which provides instant hot running water inside your RV. There are no cold spots or fluctuations in temperature because it produces up to 55 degrees Fahrenheit (the temp doesn’t fluctuate). You don’t have to wait minutes for the water to heat up. Because there are two internal heating elements, it can produce 3 gallons per minute. Note: It comes with a three-pronged electrical cord so you can use a standard household outlet inside your RV.
The Newair AI-215SB is small and lightweight, making it easy to fit in tight spaces. It has a sleek design that will fit any decor, plus it’s inexpensive. It heats water fast and could constantly run for extended periods without overheating or shutting down. Like the Camco 5500, this model also produces 55 degrees Fahrenheit but without the need to wait minutes until the hot water comes out of your faucet. And unlike other models in its price range, this one has a remote control so you don’t have to get up every time you want to change anything from your seat.
Camp Chef Portable Water Heater
The Camp Chef Portable Water Heater is another popular choice. It’s compact, lightweight, and offers a lot of features that are usually found in more expensive models. You can use it to produce both hot and cold water. Because the heating element is exposed outside the tank, you don’t have to worry about corrosion or rust damage. Like the other models mentioned above, it has an electronic ignition so there’s no need for matches or lighters.
Ivation IVADM10 Portable Tankless Water Heater
This unit is great for small spaces because its slim design makes it easy to fit into tight spaces (it also comes with different rubber pads that prevent sliding). The Ivation IVADM10 comes with all sorts of features including self-cleaning and electronic ignition. Instead of using a gas burner or electric heating element, it heats hot water by converting natural gas into flames. With the push of a button, you can enjoy instant hot running water without any temperature fluctuations.
Ivation IVADM05 Portable Tankless Water Heater & Outdoor Shower
This model differs from the others because it’s capable of heating both cold and hot water (instead of only one like the other units). It also comes equipped with an outdoor shower and hose so you can use it as your personal spa inside your RV. Like most units, this unit has a sleek design that will fit any decor and offers built-in timer controls. Plus, there’s a need to worry about rust or corrosion damage because it uses a stainless steel heating element.
Rheem RTGH-95DVLN 9.5 GPM Natural Gas Tankless Water Heater
This Rheem tankless water heater is another popular choice among RVers. It has a high-capacity design that can produce water up to 95 degrees Fahrenheit. It also works fast – you’ll never wait minutes for hot water to reach your faucet or showerhead.
The unit comes with a drain pan and overheats protection so there’s no risk of freezing, overheating, or shutting down mid-use. Plus, it comes equipped with a standard one-inch NPT gas connection and a power cord that plugs into a regular wall outlet inside your RV’s cabinetry.
Ivation IVADM03-BL Portable Tankless Water Heater
Another great choice is the Ivation IVADM03-BL which provides instant hot running water thanks to its two heating elements. The total output of this unit is 3 gallons per minute and it’s capable of producing water as hot as 100 degrees Fahrenheit (slightly less than some other models on today’s list).
There are a lot of features and accessories included and it comes with a 1-year warranty. Like most high-quality tankless water heaters, it’ll shut down automatically if there’s ever an issue or malfunction. This helps prevent damage to your RV as well as annoying leaks inside your coach.
The Newair AI-215ST is another popular pick for those who want an affordable option that doesn’t skimp on quality. Like many other tankless models, it’s capable of reaching boiling temperature so you can enjoy endless hot water without worrying about running out any time soon.
And because there are no tanks to maintain, you don’t have to worry about corrosion or rust damage if your unit is exposed to moisture. This model comes with a bonus faucet which you can use to fill up your RV’s freshwater tank (a portable hose is also included).
Ecosmart ECO 18 Electric Tankless Water Heater
Another popular pick for those looking for medium-sized heaters is the Ecosmart ECO 18 Electric Tankless Water Heater. It provides 1.5 gallons per minute and its slim design makes it easy to install anywhere inside your RV (just be aware that you’ll need a separate power source). It’s perfect for smaller spaces and it comes with stainless steel construction so there’s no risk of rust or corrosion damage.
If you’re looking for a more compact and affordable option without compromising on quality, the Ecosmart ECO is definitely worth considering.
As you can see, there are plenty of great tankless water heater options available for RVs. Whether you need something small or large, there are high-quality models that will fit your needs.
You just have to think about how much space you have inside your RV along with your specific hot water usage requirements. And whether it’s electric, propane, or natural gas model – read up on customer reviews before making any final decisions so you know exactly what to expect.
Whether you plan to use your outdoor shower to wash or bath your dog, it’s best to invest in a portable tankless water heater so you don’t have to worry about finding warm water during cold nights.
If you plan to use your unit inside your RV, make sure you purchase one that’s electric (not gas-powered) so there’s no risk of freezing or corrosion damage. And don’t forget about the water pressure – most models come with a built-in regulator to ensure you get enough hot water without having to worry about voltage drop.
I hope this article helped you find the best portable tankless water heater for RVs and campers! If you have any questions, please leave them in the comment section below and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.
What to Look for When Buying an RV Tankless Water Heater
If you’re looking for the best small tankless water heater, chances are you want to use it during your travels. Portable units like the Eccotemp FVI-12-LP can be used anywhere (campgrounds, hotel rooms, or even inside your RV). But since they heat up to 55 degrees Fahrenheit in under 2 minutes, these units aren’t ideal for larger RVs with lower water pressure.
Once you’ve decided on a unit, make sure to carefully read up on the necessary installation requirements (including power requirements and minimum/maximum water pressures). You should also check out customer reviews before making any final decisions so you know exactly what to expect.
Some people prefer using propane models while others prefer electric ones which work great during dry camping. As with any appliance, it’s always better to have your unit professionally installed by a company that specializes in tankless water heaters. This way you’ll avoid any safety hazards associated with DIY installation and you can rest assured knowing your unit is properly grounded for maximum safety and efficiency.
If you plan on using your outdoor shower during those cold nights, make sure to purchase an electric (not gas-powered) model so there’s no risk of freezing or corrosion damage. And if the power goes out, make sure it automatically switches over to propane mode (it will beep if it doesn’t switch over).
Other Important Factors to Consider
Installing a tankless water heater is relatively easy (just be sure to carefully read all the installation requirements first). However, it’s important to note that you’ll need enough power to run your unit.
If you don’t have 240V service at your campsite, you can use an inverter or generator (keep in mind that inverters tend to be less efficient than generators so they will drain your battery faster).
Before making any final decisions on which model to buy, check out customer reviews so you know exactly what to expect.
While some people prefer using propane models during their outdoor showers, others prefer electric models which heat the water quickly without requiring additional power sources.
As with any appliance, installing a unit professionally by a company specializing in tankless water heaters is always the safest option.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: How do electric tankless water heaters work?
A: Since an electric unit is directly connected to your standard 110V outlet, the healing process begins immediately once you turn it on. Once the water reaches a certain temperature (usually between 55 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit), it automatically shuts off which helps save energy and reduce costs without sacrificing performance.
Another great thing about using an electric model in cold weather is that they tend to be more efficient than propane models since they don’t rely on fuel sources for power.
Finally, if the power goes out or you’re camping somewhere with low voltage service, your unit will automatically switch over to propane mode instead of draining more battery power.
Q: What are some safety precautions to consider when using a tankless water heater?
A: First and foremost, always make sure your unit is properly grounded at all times.
You should also keep your unit at least 6 inches away from any flammable objects (including towels, clothes, or even wood).
If you’re planning on installing it outdoors, make sure the power and propane connections are very secure before turning it on. And remember that electric units will only heat the water in cold weather so if there’s no electricity available they won’t work. Finally, always be mindful of children or pets around an outdoor shower that uses a (propane-powered) tankless water heater since they may electrocute themselves if they stick their hands directly into the water.
Q: How do I install a propane tankless water heater?
A: Since all propane models come with detailed installation instructions, we won’t go into any detail here. Just be sure to carefully read through them before making final purchase so you know exactly what to expect.
Keep in mind that most outdoor showers use a combination of propane and electric power so you can always plug it indirectly if there’s no electricity available at your campsite or RV park (just remember that during freezing weather, your unit will automatically switch over from electric mode to propane mode).
Q: Can I temporarily leave my tankless water heater outside during winter?
A: No, this is not safe as it will freeze solid during freezing weather and prevent the unit from functioning properly.
The best thing to do is simply bring it indoors or at least cover it with a waterproof tarp if you’re worried about rain. This way, the unit will be ready for your next outdoor shower whenever you want one.