Hot water is a luxury that RVers should never take for granted. When considering an upgrade to a tankless RV water heater, it's important to understand the advantages and disadvantages of this type of water heater. Tankless RV water heaters heat water instantly, eliminating the need for a storage tank and providing constant hot water. They are more energy-efficient, have a longer life expectancy, and reduce the risk of water damage. However, they may waste water before dispensing hot water and can only operate on propane gas. Consider your water usage, installation requirements, winterizing process, and power source options when choosing a tankless RV water heater.
- Tankless RV water heaters provide instant hot water without the need for a storage tank.
- They are more energy-efficient, saving on fuel consumption and reducing costs.
- These water heaters have a longer lifespan compared to traditional water heaters.
- Consider factors such as water usage, installation requirements, power source options, and winterizing when choosing a tankless RV water heater.
- Professional installation may be necessary for a safe and proper installation.
What is a Tankless Water Heater (and How Does it Work?)
Tankless water heaters, also known as on-demand water heaters, work differently from traditional water heaters. They heat water instantaneously without the need for a storage tank. When a hot water fixture is opened, cold water runs through a heat exchanger powered by propane gas. This design allows tankless RV water heaters to provide constant hot water without the need to wait for water to be heated in a tank. Tankless water heaters are more energy-efficient, reduce the risk of water damage, and have a longer life expectancy compared to traditional water heaters. However, they may waste water before dispensing hot water and can only operate on propane gas.
To understand how a tankless water heater works, it's important to look at its key components. A tankless water heater consists of a heat exchanger and a burner. When a hot water faucet is opened, cold water enters the heat exchanger, where it is quickly heated by the burner. The heat exchanger is designed to transfer maximum heat to the water, ensuring that it reaches the desired temperature. Once the water is heated, it is delivered to the faucet or showerhead, providing instant hot water on-demand.
One of the main advantages of a tankless water heater is its ability to provide constant hot water. With a traditional water heater, you may have to wait for the tank to fill up and heat the water before you can use it. This can lead to running out of hot water during showers or other activities. In contrast, a tankless water heater heats the water as it is needed, ensuring an endless supply of hot water. This is particularly beneficial for RVers who prioritize unlimited hot water and convenience on their travels.
Advantages of Tankless Water Heaters Disadvantages of Tankless Water Heaters - Constant hot water on-demand - Wastes water before dispensing hot water - Longer life expectancy - Can only operate on propane gas - Energy-efficient - Reduces the risk of water damage
"A tankless water heater heats water instantaneously without the need for a storage tank, providing constant hot water on-demand."
Benefits of Tankless RV Water Heaters
Tankless RV water heaters offer a range of benefits that make them a popular choice for RVers. One of the key advantages is increased energy efficiency. Unlike traditional water heaters that constantly heat a large tank of water, tankless RV water heaters only heat water on-demand. This means there is no standby heat loss, resulting in significant energy savings over time.
Another major benefit of tankless RV water heaters is the reduced risk of spillage. With no storage tank, there is no risk of leaks or ruptures that can cause water damage to your RV. This can provide peace of mind and save you from costly repairs or replacements.
Tankless RV water heaters also have a longer life expectancy compared to traditional water heaters. With proper maintenance and care, they can last for many years, reducing the need for frequent replacements and saving you money in the long run.
Table: Comparison of Tankless RV Water Heaters vs. Traditional Water Heaters
Features Tankless RV Water Heaters Traditional Water Heaters Energy Efficiency Increased energy efficiency with no standby heat loss Standby heat loss leads to higher energy consumption Risk of Spillage No storage tank reduces the risk of leaks or ruptures Potential risk of leaks or ruptures from the storage tank Life Expectancy Longer lifespan with proper maintenance Shorter lifespan, requiring more frequent replacements
Overall, tankless RV water heaters provide increased energy efficiency, reduced risk of spillage, and longer life expectancy compared to traditional water heaters. These benefits make them a smart choice for RVers looking to upgrade their hot water system.
Disadvantages of Tankless RV Water Heaters
Tankless RV water heaters, while offering many benefits, also come with a few disadvantages that RVers should consider before making a decision. One such drawback is the potential for wasting water. Unlike traditional water heaters that store hot water, tankless models heat water on-demand. This means that there may be a delay before hot water is dispensed, resulting in water being wasted as it runs to reach the desired temperature.
Another disadvantage of tankless RV water heaters is their reliance on propane gas. This can be limiting for RVers who prefer other fuel options or who have difficulty accessing propane. Additionally, installing a tankless water heater in an RV may require complex retrofitting, especially if the RV is not already compatible with the unit. This can add time and cost to the installation process.
Despite these downsides, it's worth noting that newer models of tankless RV water heaters have improved water consumption and energy usage, addressing some of these concerns. RVers should carefully consider their individual needs and preferences, as well as the specific requirements of their RV, when deciding whether a tankless water heater is the right choice.
Table: Comparison of Tankless and Traditional RV Water Heaters
Tankless RV Water Heater Traditional RV Water Heater Hot Water Availability Hot water is available on-demand Hot water is stored in a tank and may run out Water Wastage Potential for wasting water before hot water is dispensed No water wastage Fuel Options Operates on propane gas Can use propane, electricity, or engine heat Installation Requirements May require complex retrofitting Can typically be installed with minimal modifications Energy Efficiency More energy-efficient May be less energy-efficient Lifespan Generally has a longer lifespan May have a shorter lifespan
In summary, tankless RV water heaters have their advantages but also come with a few disadvantages. They may waste water before dispensing hot water and require propane gas for operation. Additionally, installing a tankless water heater may involve complex retrofitting. However, newer models address some of these concerns and offer improved water consumption and energy usage. Ultimately, RVers should carefully consider their needs and the requirements of their RV before deciding on a tankless water heater.
How to Choose a Tankless RV Water Heater
When it comes to choosing the right tankless RV water heater, there are several important factors to consider. To ensure that you make the best decision for your specific needs, take the following into account:
- Water Usage: Evaluate your water usage to determine the capacity needed for simultaneous appliance use. Consider the number of people in your RV and their hot water needs.
- Installation: Consider the installation process and whether the unit can be retrofitted in the same space as the old water heater. Take into account any necessary modifications or additional plumbing requirements.
- Winterizing: Understand the winterizing process and whether the unit has built-in freeze protection for cold climates. This will help prevent damage to the water heater during freezing temperatures.
- Electric or Gas: Decide whether you prefer an electric or gas-powered option. Consider the availability and cost of the power source, as well as any limitations or requirements that come with each option.
- Design: Evaluate the different design options available, including portable and compact models. Consider the available space in your RV and whether the design will fit your specific needs.
- Cost: Finally, consider the cost of the unit and the potential long-term savings in energy efficiency. Remember to factor in any additional installation or maintenance costs.
By considering these factors, you can make an informed decision and choose a tankless RV water heater that meets your specific needs and preferences. Whether you prioritize energy efficiency, installation ease, or design versatility, there is a tankless water heater out there that will enhance your RV experience.
Table: Comparison of Tankless RV Water Heaters
ModelPower SourceCapacitySizeEccotemp L5 Portable Tankless Water HeaterPropane Gas1.5 gallons per minutePortable and compactExcel Vent-Free Tankless Propane Water HeaterPropane Gas2.1 gallons per minuteIndoor or outdoor installationTakagi T-KJr2-IN-NG Indoor Tankless Water HeaterNatural Gas6.6 gallons per minuteIndoor installationRheem RTEX-13 Professional Classic Tankless Electric Water HeaterElectric4 gallons per minuteIndoor installation
This table provides a comparison of different tankless RV water heater models available on the market. It includes information on the power source, capacity, and size of each unit. Use this table as a starting point to identify the options that best align with your preferences and requirements.
Tankless Water Heaters from Camping World
When it comes to finding the perfect tankless water heater for your RV, Camping World has you covered. They offer a wide range of options to suit your needs, including the popular Excel Vent-Free Tankless Propane Water Heater and the Eccotemp L5 Portable Tankless Water Heater.
The Excel Vent-Free Tankless Propane Water Heater is designed for both indoor and outdoor use, making it versatile for any camping adventure. It features an Oxygen Depletion Safety (ODS) shut-off feature, providing peace of mind while enjoying hot water on the go. This model utilizes a copper heat exchanger for fast and efficient heat transfer, ensuring you have hot water whenever you need it. It also starts up at low water pressures, ensuring consistent performance even in challenging conditions.
If you're looking for a portable option, the Eccotemp L5 Portable Tankless Water Heater is perfect for class B RVs or pop-up campers. This compact unit offers temperature adjustment, allowing you to customize your hot water experience. It easily connects to a garden hose or standard RV water hose, providing convenient and instant hot water wherever your travels take you.
Model Features Excel Vent-Free Tankless Propane Water Heater Indoor or outdoor useOxygen Depletion Safety shut-off featureCopper heat exchangerLow water pressure startup Eccotemp L5 Portable Tankless Water Heater Temperature adjustmentConnects to garden hose or RV water hoseCompact and portable
With these options from Camping World, you can enjoy the convenience of on-demand hot water in your RV. Whether you're looking for a permanent installation or a portable solution, Camping World has the perfect tankless water heater to suit your needs.
What is an RV Tankless Water Heater?
An RV tankless water heater is a modern alternative to traditional water heaters commonly used in recreational vehicles. Unlike conventional water heaters that store hot water in a tank, tankless water heaters heat water on-demand without the need for a storage tank. This means that hot water is available instantly whenever you need it, without having to wait for the tank to refill and reheat.
Tankless water heaters are designed to provide a continuous supply of hot water, making them ideal for large families or RVers who prioritize unlimited hot water. With a tankless RV water heater, you no longer have to worry about running out of hot water during showers or other activities. The heating process is efficient and instantaneous, allowing for a constant and reliable hot water supply.
Benefits of RV Tankless Water Heaters
- No storage tank: The absence of a storage tank means that tankless RV water heaters take up less space and are lightweight, making them perfect for RVs and other compact spaces.
- Heating on-demand: With a tankless water heater, hot water is available whenever you need it, eliminating the need to wait for the tank to heat up and reducing water wastage.
- Endless hot water supply: Tankless RV water heaters provide a continuous supply of hot water, ensuring that you never run out, even during long showers or multiple usage scenarios.
These benefits make RV tankless water heaters a popular choice among RVers who value convenience, efficiency, and an uninterrupted hot water supply. However, it's important to consider the specific requirements of your RV and personal preferences when selecting a tankless water heater.
RV Tankless Water Heater Benefits
RV tankless water heaters offer several benefits for your camping adventures. As a more energy-efficient alternative to traditional water heaters, tankless models only heat water as it is needed, reducing fuel or electricity consumption. This not only saves you money but also reduces your environmental impact. With a tankless water heater, you can enjoy endless hot water during your trips, ensuring that you never run out during showers or other activities. This is particularly beneficial for large families or RVers who prioritize unlimited hot water.
Another advantage of RV tankless water heaters is their lightweight and compact design. They take up less space compared to traditional heaters, making them ideal for traveling and optimizing the available space in your RV. Whether you have a small camper or a larger motorhome, a tankless water heater can provide the hot water you need without sacrificing valuable storage or living space.
One of the most convenient features of RV tankless water heaters is their ability to provide instant hot water. Unlike traditional water heaters that require time to heat up a full tank, tankless models heat water on-demand, providing hot water instantly when you need it. This eliminates the waiting time and allows you to enjoy hot water whenever you want, whether it's for showering, washing dishes, or cleaning.
Benefits of RV Tankless Water Heaters Traditional Water Heaters Energy-efficient Higher energy consumption Endless hot water Limited hot water supplyLightweight for traveling Bulky and heavy Instant hot water Waiting time for water to heat up
In summary, RV tankless water heaters offer various benefits such as energy efficiency, endless hot water, lightweight design, and instant hot water. Consider installing a tankless water heater in your RV to enjoy these advantages and improve your overall camping experience.
Downsides of RV Tankless Water Heaters
While RV tankless water heaters offer many advantages, they also have some downsides to consider. It's important to weigh the pros and cons before deciding if a tankless water heater is the right choice for your RV.
Higher Initial Cost
One of the main drawbacks of RV tankless water heaters is their higher initial cost compared to traditional water heaters. Tankless units can be more expensive to purchase and install, which may be a factor to consider for RVers on a budget. However, it's worth noting that the long-term energy savings and durability of tankless water heaters may offset the higher upfront investment in the long run.
Potential Water Wastage
Another downside of RV tankless water heaters is the potential for increased water usage. With a continuous supply of hot water, it's easier to use more water unconsciously, which can lead to wastage. RVers must be mindful of their water consumption and implement conservation measures to mitigate this issue.
Freeze Protection Required
In cold climates, freeze protection is necessary to prevent damage to the tankless water heater. Unlike traditional water heaters that store water in a tank, tankless units are more susceptible to freezing. This may require additional steps or accessories to ensure the proper functioning of the water heater in freezing temperatures. RVers in colder regions should carefully consider the winterization requirements of tankless water heaters.
RV Tankless Water Heaters Traditional Water Heaters Initial Cost Higher cost Lower cost Water Usage Potential for increased usage Usage controlled by storage tank capacity Freeze Protection Required in cold climates Less susceptible to freezing
"While RV tankless water heaters offer many advantages, it's crucial to consider the downsides as well. The higher cost, potential water wastage, and the need for freeze protection in cold climates are key factors to weigh before making a decision."
Choosing an RV Tankless Water Heater
When it comes to selecting the right tankless water heater for your RV, there are several factors to consider. Let's explore the key considerations that will help you make an informed decision.
First and foremost, ensure that the tankless water heater you choose is compatible with the available space in your RV. Measure the dimensions of the installation area and compare them to the specifications provided by the manufacturer. It's essential to select a model that fits properly without compromising other components or obstructing airflow.
Water Flow Rate
Another crucial factor to consider is the water flow rate of the tankless water heater. This measurement indicates how much hot water the unit can deliver per minute. Assess your hot water needs and determine if the flow rate of the selected model can accommodate simultaneous appliance use, such as showers and faucets running simultaneously.
Power Source Options
The next consideration is the power source options available for the tankless water heater. Some models operate solely on propane gas, while others can be powered by electricity or offer a dual-fuel option. Evaluate the advantages and limitations of each power source and choose the one that aligns with your RV's infrastructure and fuel availability.
Safety should be a top priority when selecting an RV tankless water heater. Look for models that offer essential safety features such as an ignition source, freeze protection, overheat protection, and overpressure protection. These features will give you peace of mind and ensure the safe operation of your tankless water heater.
By considering size compatibility, water flow rate, power source options, and safety features, you can make an informed decision when choosing an RV tankless water heater. Selecting the right unit will provide you with reliable hot water on demand, enhancing your overall RVing experience.
Installing an RV Tankless Water Heater
Installing an RV tankless water heater may involve various tasks, including plumbing, electrical work, and dealing with propane lines. While some installations can be done by RV owners, it is important to consider personal comfort and expertise when performing these tasks. If you are not comfortable or experienced with plumbing or electrical work, it is highly recommended to hire a professional for installation. This will ensure that the installation is done correctly and safely, minimizing the risk of damage or accidents.
Before starting the installation process, it is crucial to disconnect and properly shut off the RV's water, electricity, and propane supplies. This will prevent any accidents or damage during the installation. It is also a good idea to take photos of the connections before disassembling the old water heater. This will serve as a reference when connecting the new tankless water heater.
During the installation, it is important to follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully. These instructions will provide step-by-step guidance on how to install the specific model of tankless water heater you have chosen. Additionally, it is essential to ensure the installation location is suitable and meets any venting requirements specified by the manufacturer. Adherence to plumbing and electrical codes and regulations is crucial for both safety and optimal performance.
Overall, while installing an RV tankless water heater can be a complex process, it is important to prioritize safety and proper installation. Whether you choose to hire a professional or do it yourself, following the manufacturer's instructions and taking necessary precautions will ensure that your tankless water heater is installed correctly and provides you with a reliable source of hot water during your RV adventures.
Using a Traditional RV Hot Water Heater
When it comes to hot water for your RV, there are different options to consider. One common choice is a traditional RV hot water heater, which can run on propane, electricity, or even utilize the heat from the engine. Each fuel option has its own advantages and considerations.
Propane: Many RVers prefer propane as it offers convenience and reliability. With a propane hot water heater, you can easily switch it on from inside your RV without the need for a pilot light. This makes it a hassle-free option, especially when you're on the go and need hot water quickly.
Electricity: Electric hot water heaters provide a faster heating process compared to propane. However, it's important to note that they may require more time to heat a full tank of water. If you have access to shore power or a reliable generator, an electric hot water heater can be a convenient choice.
Engine Heat: Some RVs have the capability to harness heat from the engine for hot water. This option is economical since it utilizes the existing engine heat. However, it's worth considering that if the engine is off for an extended period, the water may become tepid. If you frequently idle your RV or stay in one place for an extended period, this may not be the best option for you.
No matter which fuel option you choose, keep in mind the waiting time required for hot water. Traditional RV hot water heaters typically have a storage tank, which means you may need to wait for the tank to refill and heat up again if you deplete the hot water supply.
Comparison: Traditional RV Hot Water Heater Fuel Options
Fuel Options Advantages Considerations Propane Convenient and reliable May require propane refills Electricity Faster heating process Requires access to shore power or generator Engine Heat Economical, utilizes existing heat May result in tepid water if engine is off
When choosing a traditional RV hot water heater, consider the available fuel options and how they align with your specific needs and preferences. Take into account factors such as convenience, access to fuel sources, and overall efficiency. By selecting the right hot water heater for your RV, you can ensure a comfortable and enjoyable experience on the road.
Caring for an RV Hot Water Tank
Maintaining your RV hot water tank is essential to ensure its optimal performance and longevity. Regular maintenance tasks such as draining the tank, checking the anode rod, and winterizing are crucial to prevent damage and extend the lifespan of your hot water system. Let's explore the key maintenance steps you should take to care for your RV hot water tank.
Draining the Tank
Draining your RV hot water tank should be done on a regular basis to remove sediment and debris that can accumulate over time. To drain the tank, start by turning off the propane or electricity supply to the water heater. Next, locate the drain valve at the bottom of the tank and attach a hose to it. Open the valve and let the water drain completely. Once the tank is empty, close the drain valve and remove the hose. Draining the tank will help maintain its efficiency and prevent clogging.
Anode Rod Inspection
The anode rod is an essential component of your RV hot water tank that protects it from corrosion. Over time, the anode rod can deteriorate and lose its effectiveness. Regularly inspecting and replacing the anode rod is crucial to prevent damage to the tank. To inspect the anode rod, locate it on top of the tank and remove it using a socket wrench. Check the condition of the rod, and if it is significantly corroded or worn down, replace it with a new one. This simple maintenance task will help prolong the life of your RV hot water tank.
Winterizing your RV hot water tank is essential if you plan to store your vehicle during the cold winter months. Freezing temperatures can cause damage to the tank and plumbing system. To winterize, start by draining the tank and all water lines. Next, close the bypass valve on the water heater to prevent antifreeze from entering the tank. Connect a hand pump or use the RV's water pump to circulate antifreeze throughout the plumbing system, including the hot water tank. This will protect the tank from freezing and potential damage.
Maintenance Task Frequency Draining the tank Every 3-6 months Inspecting the anode rod Annually Winterizing Before winter storage
Regular maintenance of your RV hot water tank is essential to ensure its optimal performance and prevent costly repairs. By draining the tank, inspecting the anode rod, and winterizing as needed, you can prolong the lifespan of your hot water system and enjoy a constant supply of hot water during your RV adventures.
In conclusion, upgrading to a tankless hot water heater for your RV provides numerous benefits for your camping adventures. These tankless RV water heaters offer increased energy efficiency, ensuring you save on fuel and electricity costs. Additionally, they provide an endless supply of hot water, eliminating the frustration of running out during showers or other activities.
Moreover, tankless water heaters have a longer lifespan compared to traditional water heaters, reducing the need for frequent replacements and saving you money in the long run. However, it's important to consider the downsides as well, such as the initial cost and potential water wastage before hot water is dispensed.
When choosing a tankless RV water heater, carefully evaluate your water usage, installation requirements, power source options, and safety features. It may be necessary to enlist the help of a professional for proper and safe installation. Regular maintenance, including winterizing, is crucial to ensure the longevity of both tankless and traditional RV hot water heaters.
What are the advantages of a tankless RV water heater?
Tankless RV water heaters are more energy-efficient, have a longer life expectancy, and reduce the risk of water damage. They provide constant hot water without the need for a storage tank.
What are the disadvantages of a tankless RV water heater?
Tankless RV water heaters may waste water before dispensing hot water and can only operate on propane gas. They may also require complex retrofitting for installation.