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If there’s one thing I know about RV camping, it’s that there is never enough hot water. Whether you are traveling with a bunch of people in need of showers, or constantly doing dishes, hot water will always be at a premium.
This is why many RVers invest in propane tankless water heaters for their RVs. Tankless water heaters are a relatively new addition to the RV scene, but they have changed the way we think of hot water onboard an RV!
How do propane tankless water heaters work? And what should you be looking for in one before you make your final purchase? Read this guide for how to choose the best propane tankless water heater for your RV.
But if just want to get to our top picks, you can check out our favorite options here:
How Does a Propane Tankless Water Heater Work?
A propane tankless water heater works by heating up running water as it passes through the machine. It doesn’t keep a full tank of hot water at a certain temperature all day, like standard hot water heaters.
Instead, it works best when there is a nice, steady flow of water passing through the machine and into your faucets. Once you turn your hot water knob at your RV kitchen sink, your propane tankless water heater gets to work!
All you have to do with a propane tankless water heater is ensure that the unit is hooked up to electricity, and that the pilot light is lit. Once you set your water heater to a certain temperature, your pilot light will activate and heat the water that passes through the unit when you need it.
Without a tank to keep warm all day, propane tankless water heaters often save you more on your propane gas expenses. It also means that you have as much hot water as you could ever want, so long as you have a steady flow of water to your RV.
These water heaters can work whether you have a Class C made for boondocking or a fifth wheel permanently hooked up at an RV site. Propane tankless water heaters can work with your freshwater systems just as well as city water hookups.
All you have to do to get your propane tankless water heater heat in your RV water supply is to install it with some existing propane lines, set your ideal water temperature, and get to work washing dishes!
But what else should you consider in a propane tankless water heater besides it’s efficient heating abilities? Let’s go over some important considerations for you to think about before telling you about some of the best products on the market today.
What to Consider in a Propane Tankless Water Heater
Just like there’s a lot to consider in a new and efficient RV AC unit, the same can be said for a propane tankless water heater. Here are some of the top things for you to think about before making your final investment.
Your overall propane capacity on board your RV matters when it comes to finding a reliable propane tankless water heater. While propane tankless water heaters are more efficient overall, you should still make sure you have ample propane capacity.
Ensuring that you have enough propane for your tankless water heater as well as all of your necessary cooking or heating needs is important. You should also make sure that your propane regulator is working properly and has been inspected recently.
While refilling your propane tanks is a necessary and routine task for most RVers, if you are boondocking or camping where there are limited resources, your propane tank capacity should be something for you to consider.
The main drawback to tankless water heaters is their price point. If you are shopping for a propane tankless water heater, you may be surprised to see how much more expensive they are compared to traditional tank water heaters.
The average propane tankless water heater can cost anywhere between $300 to $1,000, depending on the brand and materials involved. If you are buying a brand new RV with a tankless water heater installed, the price is no doubt rolled into the RV purchase price.
While you can save a bit on your budget with a portable propane tankless water heater, these smaller units often can’t handle the hot water needs of a family of five, or even the average home chef. However, it is something to consider!
Size of the Unit
One of the main benefits of a propane tankless water heater lies in the fact that it is tankless. However, you should still consider the size of the unit that you are purchasing and ensure that it will fit where your original hot water heater was installed.
Unless you are transitioning your electric hot water heater into a propane tankless water heater, you will have a much easier installation if you use your existing propane lines from your old machine.
However, tankless water heaters require a fairly secure wall mounting option to work best, and most units are more rectangular than they are square. It would be a real shame to bring home a propane tankless water heater that can’t fit where your existing water heater is installed!
There is also little to be done with a tankless water heater if it doesn’t fit where you originally thought it would. Propane tankless water heaters rely on their installation location more than you might think, so this isn’t necessarily the place to mess around with it.
Ease of Installation
Speaking of easier installations, propane tankless water heaters can be trickier than you think to install. This is especially true if you don’t have existing propane lines to connect to the tankless water heater.
Running new propane lines is not something that the average RVer knows how to do. It is not recommended for many people to DIY propane lines. Check in with your local RV repair shop if you plan on installing a propane tankless water heater without existing propane line connections.
However, if you are simply replacing your standard propane water heater with a tankless option, you may be able to install your new water heater much more easily given your existing propane lines.
Propane isn’t something to mess with. Always make sure you are installing propane appliances carefully, especially if you are looking at a new RV oven. This could influence your purchase, both for installation and ease of use in the long run.
The installation location of your propane tankless water heater matters not only so that it is installed easily and fits well. It matters so that you can access the control panel with ease.
Propane tankless water heaters have a digital control panel that allows you to adjust the temperature of the incoming water that eventually comes out of your faucets. Having access to this control panel at all times so that you can adjust it can be very valuable.
You may wish to turn the water down if you are bathing a small child or need more of a lukewarm water option for laundry. Having a control panel that is easy to access May influence your installation location decision and overall product purchase.
The overall efficiency of your propane tankless water heater should be something for you to consider. Reading customer product reviews for all of these tankless water heaters is a good idea to judge the efficiency of a new appliance.
Not only does efficiency speak to your overall propane usage while heating hot water, it can also matter when you think about how well your propane tankless water heater performs at different water pressure levels.
One of the main drawbacks of tankless water heaters when installed in an RV is their ability to work under varying water pressure levels. Many consumers mention that tankless water heaters struggle during low pressure conditions.
It is important to consider this, as water pressure can affect your tankless water heater’s ability to heat your water. Obviously having a tankless water heater that doesn’t heat efficiently can be a bit of a downer!
If you know you camp often in low water pressure environments or have a necessary water pressure regulator to protect your RV’s pipes, you may want to consider a tankless water heater that performs well under low pressure.
Removal of Existing Water Heater
If you are installing your propane tankless water heater in a location that doesn’t require you to remove your existing water heater tank, you may consider removing the old appliance or think about leaving it where it is.
No one likes renovating, especially renovating something as delicate as an RV. Take it from someone who is constantly reinventing their 1976 Terry travel trailer! Renovations are a necessary evil for any old RV, but that doesn’t mean you want to give yourself extra projects.
However, removing your existing water heater, especially if it has a tank, can give you a lot more storage space. This can be especially true if your water heater is located in your kitchen or a storage closet area.
You will need to consider what it means to remove your water heater before jumping in. You may need to cap or otherwise remove propane lines, ensure that any electric wiring is taken care of, and make sure that your RV floor wasn’t water damaged in any way.
I recommend watching this video about how to remove a standard RV water heater, should you have an older rig. While it shows you how to install another water heater with a tank, you may be able to glean some important information about how to install a tankless one as well.
Propane Tankless Water Heater VS Electric Tankless Water Heater: What’s the Difference?
If you are shopping around for tankless water heaters, you will soon notice that there are two different styles right off the bat. You will encounter propane tankless water heaters as well as electric tankless water heaters. But what’s the difference?
The main and just about the only difference between the two types of tankless water heaters is the fuel source. One tankless water heater uses propane to heat the water, the other style uses electricity.
There are many reasons that RVers prefer one fuel source over the other. You no doubt have your own opinions, and perhaps even have a good idea about what you would prefer to have installed in your rig at this time.
Having an electric tankless water heater can be valuable if you have Shore power hookups at all times, and don’t want to have to worry about refilling your propane tanks often. Propane tankless water heaters are much better suited for boondocking or dry camping.
These two fuel options will be roughly the same size, and much smaller than traditional water heaters. They will work in a similar fashion, and for the most part cost the same. However, if you know you prefer using propane over electricity, a propane tankless water heater is the way to go.
The 7 Best Propane Tankless Water Heaters for Your RV
If you are looking for some of the best propane tankless water heater options on the market today, you’ve come to the right place! Let’s take a look at our top 7 picks for propane tankless water heaters for your RV.
Best Overall: Furrion 2.4GPM Tankless RV Gas Water Heater
✅ Built for RVs in mind, so the size is just right
✅ Full of technology and safety features for peace of mind
✅ Comes complete with an LED panel and warranty
❌ Premium pricing may not meet everyone’s needs
One of the reasons this propane tankless water heater takes our best overall spot is because it is sized to be a direct replacement for your old propane water heater. Furrion is a reliable brand in the RV world and may be exactly what you have been looking for.
Measuring 12.81 x 12.62 x 20.75 inches, The size of this tankless water heater should fit exactly where your old one was, or somewhere nearby. Available in a clean white color and made of high-quality materials, this water heater should last the lifetime of your rig.
This appliance is capable of supplying your rig with 60,000 BTUs of hot water, instantly, whenever you need it. It uses Furrion’s unique Vortex technology to prevent your machine from overheating and potentially damaging your pipes.
One of the main appeals to this tankless water heater is that it can maintain a consistent temperature. Furrion has developed unique technologies with RVers in mind to ensure that you have water coming out of your faucet at the exact temperature you need.
Speaking of hot water, this machine has the capability of delivering almost two and a half gallons of hot water per minute to your RV. You won’t have to worry about taking too long of a hot shower anymore!
This tankless water heater also comes with a sleek LED temperature display panel that you can install in the wall of your RV. It comes equipped with the temperature, pressure level, and even a pressure level alarm so that you know whether or not you have enough water pressure for your tankless water heater to work properly.
Furrion also has another unique technology to show off with this hot water heater: VibrationSmart technology. With this unique addition, this tankless hot water heater is built to withstand the vibrations and rattling caused by driving your RV over rough and uneven terrain.
That isn’t where the perks end. Furrion also offers a 2 year limited warranty for their tankless water heaters, so that you can have the peace of mind you need to make this purchase. Their customer service is also top notch!
Best Outdoor Shower Choice: Marey GA5PORT Portable Propane Gas Tankless Water Heater
✅ Compact and lightweight design means this water heater is portable
✅ Only requires 2 batteries and a propane hookup in order to work
❌ This tankless water heater doesn't work indoors so you may need something different
Did you know that they make portable propane gas tankless water heaters? Check out this lightweight and easy to move option from Marey. It comes with an attached showerhead, carrying handle, and more.
While this tankless water heater shouldn’t be installed inside of your RV, if you’ve been looking for an outdoor shower option, this one is perfect. It can hook up easily to a garden hose or to your existing outdoor grill propane hookups, and you will have instant hot water in no time.
You can adjust the temperature as well as the water activation flow. It has the option to be used as a shower or as a simple hand wash station. Having an exterior mounted tankless water heater shower means that you can wash your rig, your dog, or your tow vehicle with ease.
This thing is also very compact and lightweight, weighing only 12 pounds and measuring 4.7 x 11.4 x 17 inches. It can still produce up to 2 gallons of hot water per minute in certain climate zones and locations.
That is the main drawback of this portable tankless hot water heater: it does not work in every location, and you may be surprised to know that it will struggle in areas with a cold air base water temperature.
However, I assume most of you are not interested in taking a hot shower outside in freezing cold temperatures. This portable hot water heater is best for summertime camping and hot showers on a budget as well.
Marey offers its customers a five year warranty on this product, along with intuitive and helpful customer service care lines. It has 35,000 BTUs and requires two D cell batteries to operate its interface, but it is otherwise entirely off grid!
As I mentioned already, this tankless water heater may not work best for you given that it is meant for outdoor use only. However, if you’ve been looking for an outdoor shower to add to your RV, a propane tankless option is the way to go!
Easiest to Install: GIRARD 2GWHAM Tankless Water Heater
✅ Size and ease of installation means it's a great replacement for your old water heater
✅ Produces hot water in as little as five seconds, so that you can shower quick
❌ Does not come with a door or thermostat
Highly rated, capable in cold weather, and easy to install. What more could you ask for out of a propane tankless water heater? This appliance from Girard is an excellent choice if you are replacing your old propane water heater in your RV.
With a whopping 42,000 BTUs, this water heater is ideal for RV plumbing. It won’t ever get too hot in order to melt your pipes, but it also has the capability of providing you with even and warm water, whether it be straight from the source or your holding tank.
While it may not be a looker, it does what you want it to. This quality aluminum tank will fit most anywhere that your old hot water heater existed. It weighs about 20 pounds and measures 14.5 x 17.8 x 14.6 inches, making it compact yet powerful.
While this product isn’t very different from our Furrion top choice, it couldn’t nab the top spot based on BTUs and overall appearance. However, this tankless water heater still works wonders, and has many top reviews to show for it!
Many folks mention this tankless water heater as being the main reason they use their RV so much. They no longer have to dread the 2-minute shower that is associated with most water heaters in RVs!
It has a 12 volt ignitor, so you will need to hook it up to your battery power for this reason only. It can be run by your usual thermostat, and doesn’t come with a decorative door. This is likely just in case you still have one attached to the outside of your RV.
What really stands out for me is the ability to install this tankless water heater with little to no issues. Customers that claim to have very little electric or plumbing experience are able to hook this guy up and get it going without help!
This might be a very reassuring thought for those of you attempting DIY projects for the first time. This propane tankless water heater is best installed where your existing water heater is, but you might be able to even get creative with this one.
This brand is ready to go at any elevation or temperature and should be a quick and easy install. What more could you ask for in addition to endless hot water?
Most Efficient: Fogatti Tankless RV Water Heater
✅ Quick heating up makes your RV experience more enjoyable
✅ Can supply a lot of hot water, very quickly
❌ Premium pricing
Fogatti is a brand chosen by most RV manufacturers nowadays. Their tankless water heaters are more popular than any other brand, and I’m starting to see why! Let’s take a look at what all this tankless water heater has to offer.
Measuring 16.93 x 16.15 x 16.15 inches, this tankless water heater is designed to fit where your existing propane water heater is. It also comes with a door, available in either black or white, just in case your old water heater takes the door with it.
Being a big name in the RV game has its perks. This water heater is engineered with Fogatti patented technologies and uniquely designed components, ensuring proven performance and ultimate comfort for mobile living.
Plus, this propane tankless water heater is safe. It has more safety features than at the majority of products on this list, including flameout, anti-freeze, overheat, and overpressure protections as well as troubleshooting diagnostic codes. It can even prevent carbon dioxide and smells.
This tankless water heater can produce up to 55,000 BTUs of hot water, and can give you over two gallons per minute. This should be ample hot water for your RV and whole family to shower, wash dishes, and even do laundry, all at the same time!
This tankless water heater also comes with a digital remote control display panel so that you can easily adjust the temperature from your wall mounted LED display. It is easy to use, attractive, and doesn’t take long to hook up.
The design of this water heater for RV life can’t be beat. It has a low pressure monitoring system in case your water pressure is ever too low for the water heater to function. It also has built-in durability for any bumps and rocks in the road.
The main drawback on this unit is the price. It isn’t the most affordable, like many RV appliances. If this particular water heaters out of your budgets, I can’t blame you. But go ahead and read the reviews first before you write it. You may just find that you change your mind!
Best on a Budget: Marey GA10LP Power 10L 3.1 GPM Propane Gas Tankless Water Heater
✅ 3 gallon per minute hot water is a lot of hot water in an RV setting
✅ Requires no electrical hookup, unlike others on this list
✅ Best for smaller budgets, but with no performance sacrifices
✅ Not a traditional hot water heater size, so you may need some help with install
❌ Additional venting kit needs to be purchased to get this one to work
Now it’s time for those of you looking for a propane tankless water heater on a budget. We’ve already seen a Marey product, but here’s another one for you to consider, as this one can be installed inside.
Not only is this tankless water heater smaller than all the others, it does have the ability to work in potentially low-pressure environments. It just may take a bit of patience and time. You may need to adjust your water input, and this unit may struggle more with retrieving water from your holding tank rather than water from a hookup.
With all of that in mind, let’s get into the details. Weighing just over 20 pounds and measuring 6.9 x 13.6 x 23.6 inches, it is a compact and rectangular unit rather than a square one. This means that you may need to install it differently than your old water heater.
You do not need any electrical hook-up to make this propane tankless water heater work. It activates based on your water pressure, and of course your propane connection. It is capable of producing a whopping 3 gallons per minute, plenty for an RV environment.
This company offers valuable customer feedback and support, at all hours of the day. They include a manual and encourage you to install this unit yourself, further saving you money and giving you the satisfaction of a job well done.
However, given that it isn’t a traditional RV water heater size, you may want to ask for help installing this one if you find yourself needing to cut into your RV in order to make it fit. This particular unit may work best in a van conversion or huge RV renovation.
Speaking of installing this unit on your own, if you plan on hooking up this water heater indoors, you will need to purchase an additional venting kit. This kit may suit your budget, but it may be an unexpected purchase.
Either way, this tankless water heater is affordable, easy-to-use, and efficient. If you can install it properly, it’s a great choice. You can read more reviews and check it out for yourself by clicking here.
Compact and Sleek: Camplux Constant Propane Water Heater
✅ Attractive tempered glass display makes this water heater sleek and cool
✅ Ample safety features means this water heater won't worry you
✅ Price point is very reasonable for all of the features
❌ Unique size and installation needs may make this one difficult to install
If you like the shape and size of the last propane tankless water heater, you will love the way this Camplux product looks and operates. Compact, sleek, and efficient, this constant hot water tankless water heater is a great choice for your high-tech rig.
Measuring 14.37 x 4.72 x 25.39 inches and complete with a trendy black design and interface, this hot water heater stands out above the rest based on look alone. It also weighs just around 30 pounds, making it a more lightweight option as well.
The most striking feature of this tankless propane water heater is that it has a tempered glass LED display. This display shows you the temperature of the water, allows you to adjust it to your needs, and it will also keep you apprised of the water pressure and gallons per minute.
You will need a standard 120 volt hookup for this machine. This is due to its safety features, as it has a vent fan to keep everything cool and operating efficiently. While some boondockers may not be excited about the electric needs of this machine, it is worth it in the long run.
This fan means that you don’t have to worry about venting or cutting another hole into your RV. However, given the unique dimensions of this product, you may still need to cut into your RV a bit in order to make it fit.
The good news is that the electric needs of this water heater are efficient. It pulls less than one amp while it is running, and the rest of your hot water is powered by propane fuel. Let’s talk more about what you can expect from this product in terms of your hot water.
With a maximum output of over 80,000 BTUs, this is our highest producing water heater on this list. It can also produce nearly four gallons per minute, making this product efficient as well as stylish!
The price point isn’t bad for all of the features that you are getting, including a child safety lock for the LED display. Your main trouble with this water heater will be during the installation. Perhaps you should ask a handy friend for help with this one.
Best Water Heater Replacement: RecPro RV Tankless Water Heater
✅ Standard RV sizing makes replacement easy
✅ Fast and efficient tankless water heater means you always have hot water
✅ Low pressure protection keeps your unit safe
❌ May be more complicated to install than you think
If you aren’t looking for a propane tankless water heater with a complicated installation, you should check out this option from RecPro RV. A well-known brand in the RV game, you can expect this tankless water heater to be a good size and efficient machine.
Measuring roughly 15 inches in almost every direction, this unit should fit where your existing hot water heater is. It comes complete with an attractive white finish to match most RV exteriors as well.
This unit also comes complete with a remote control, capable of wall mounting inside of your RV so that you always know where it is. This unit works best with more water pressure than less, though it does have low water pressure safety features.
Speaking of safety features, given that this unit is built for RVs, you can expect it to perform well on rough roads. It also has the ability to supply you with endless hot water, even at high altitudes or during cold weather times.
There isn’t much more to say about this product, unless you read the customer reviews. While this unit should indeed fit where most standard water heaters are in your RV, many reviews mention struggling with this installation.
Whether you have the same results is up to you, but it may be worth taking a look at the unit and measuring your RV thoroughly before making your final purchase. If you’ve owned an RV for long, you know how often you need to go to the hardware store for your DIY projects!
No matter what, RecPro is a reliable brand and their customer service can help you out. You can check out the installation reviews for yourself and look at the product in more detail by clicking here.
Finding a propane tankless water heater for your RV shouldn’t be a chore. Choosing to upgrade your old water heater can be a huge benefit, both for your RV enjoyment and the enjoyment of everyone who comes with you.
Consider a tankless water heater today, whether it be propane or electric. Having an endless supply of hot water is truly an RVer’s dream – and you can have it for your rig too!