The 5 Best RV Hot Water Heaters
There is one thing that people love during bath time—access to readily available hot or warm water. There’s nothing like a good warm bath to relax your body after a busy day. People have become so dependent on hot showers that customers include this feature when booking rooms for a vacation or a short stay. Life in an RV can still be comfortable because of easy access to hot water. Read on and find out our top picks for the best RV hot water heater.
After considering the different aspects in choosing a water heater, we have come up with five to trim down your search.
A Detailed Review on The 5 Best RV Hot Water Heater
Atwood Mobile 6 Gallon Atwood 96110 Pilot Water Heater - 6.0 Gallon, LP
Atwood is an internationally known manufacturer of specialized water heaters for RV and marine use. They have 30 years of experience building reliable and lightweight products to meet challenging mobile needs.
This specific water heater has two versions with two types of capacity: 6 gallon and 10 gallon. It uses liquid propane gas and pilot ignition technology.
Below we will be talking more about the 6 gallon model with a few points on the 10 gallon aside.
The Atwood 96110 Pilot Water Heater is an all-around practical water heater for RV use. It comes at a reasonable price, and according to reviews, is not complicated to install.
The 6-gallon model uses 8,800 BTU gas water heater, and the 10-gallon model uses 10,000 BTU.
Tanks made of Aluminum – this means it can reduce calcium build-up and minimize the effects of corrosion.
It needs to be manually lit unlike electric ones out in the market that have electric starters.
There is a hot water outlet on the top and cold water inlet on the bottom – built to be accessible and more user friendly.
Lightweight – The 6-gallon model weighs 25 lbs while the 10-gallon model weighs 32 lbs. It is considered lightweight for their capacities and contributes to ease of installation.
Recovery rate of 7.4 gallons – The 6-gallon model has a recovery rate of 7.4 gallons of water per hour and can produce up to 12 gallons of hot water per hour.
The feature that prevents overheating – the gas line is a three-eighths inch layered LP gas line.
It is preventing overheating by the gas line that’s thermostatically controlled. It features a high-temperature limit switch that will automatically shut off the unit when it starts to heat up.
Pressure relief valve – This unit has a valve that prevents excessive water expansion.
Tank’s Air Pocket – this air pocket in the tank also keeps the valve from dripping in your cabinet.
Because this uses a propane gas pilot, it has to be manually lit. But as soon as it starts heating, it provides hot water in less than half an hour. If your needs match the electric types, there are options available, but it comes with a higher price.
This should not be a discouraging point to take, especially since overall, the Atwood Mobile 6 gallon 96110 is a reasonably priced and efficient water heater.
PrecisionTemp RV-550 Tankless Water Heater - Wall Vented
We mentioned in the earlier passages the perks of owning a tankless water heater—it’s unlimited. In several reviews, homeowners who have switched to a tankless water heater have highly recommended the PrecisionTemp RV 550. A tankless choice for your RV would be a perfect option, especially when you start considering doing it full time.
Are you ready for winter? Possibly a harsh winter?
One of the perks of a tankless water heater is a constant supply of water. You will only be using propane when needed, and that makes this model more energy efficient.
Some water heaters only provide a limited time for a hot shower, which might not be a good idea if you are exposed to harsher winters. If you fit in a category of full-time RV owners exposed to harsh winters, the PrecisionTemp RV 550 could be a good option for you.
Unlimited hot water supply – if you have a tub in your RV, imagine the ease and convenience.
Size – Some RV owners claim that it might be more substantial compared to other models, which is why you have to be ready to make certain adjustments, especially if your previous water heater is a 6-gallon tank.
High hot water output – this model boasts 55,000 BTU. This high power ensures the temperature remains hot in spite of the change of flow and current outside conditions.
Built-in freeze protection – The PrecisionTemp RV 550 is safe for four-season use. With your 12 volt and gas supply on, burner to fire and electric elements are able to protect the system when freezing temperatures are sensed.
Conserves water and energy – water heaters with tanks have to be kept hot that is why in PrecisionTemp, less propane is used. The heater only starts operating when there is a need for hot water or when the hot water tap is switched on.
Accurate automatic gas modulation – this means it self-adjusts gas use by basing it on variations in the flow of water and incoming water temperatures. This results in consistent temperature control. You won’t have water that’s too hot for summer or water that is not hot enough for winter.
It isn’t cheap – the PrecisionTemp RV 550 comes at a high cost, this is because it is safe to use throughout the seasons and boasts the highest hot water output among all other RV water heaters. It is an investment worth considering if you want a constant supply of hot water ready for brutal winters.
EZ 101 Tankless Water Heater - Propane (LPG) - Portable - Battery Powered Ignition - Camping - RV
Let’s feature an excellent budget option for a portable water heater. This water heater is perfect for small spaces since it is incredibly lightweight and simply runs on a standard propane tank—the ones used for barbecue grills. It is ideal to use outdoors as well for camping and other activities that might require hot water.
Affordable- this tankless water heater is extremely affordable. It is a refreshing option after coming from two other more sophisticated models. Some families are living in the RV full time, so this option might be too light for their needs, but if you live in the RV alone or with your partner, this could be a good beginner’s option for you.
Features an automatic ignition – this ignition fires up and extinguishes with water flow. The EZ 101 has hot water available whenever called upon. Two D-cell batteries power the electronic ignition, which makes this model extremely ideal for the outdoors. Because it runs on propane and is powered by batteries, an electric plugin is not needed.
Low volume of hot water – the EZ 101 only produces around 1.6 gallons per minute. So if you are a little low on patience when filling up a tub, this model might not be for you.
User friendly – the EZ 101 Tankless Water Heater is easy to install at only 14 lbs. It is unobtrusive and will fit a very minimalist lifestyle. You can carry it anywhere and use it in your RV or move it outdoors should the need arise.
Three dials for adjustable burners – the EZ 101 has three dials. The dials correspond to the number of lamps you need. You may select dial 1 when you need hot water in the summer and dial 3 for winter.
Limited Indoor Use – although we featured this together as one of five options for the best RV heater, it has specific conditions for RV use. The EZ 101 is labeled as an outdoor heater. For its price and its capacity, it really cannot manage heavy usage. If you plan to use this heater for multiple areas like your kitchen, bathroom and etc., it is not a wise choice. Some RV owners have found a workaround and found it valuable enough for its price.
Suburban Manufacturing Suburban Co 5239A Water Heater Sw6De W/H 6 Dsi/Elec
The RV requirements can be astounding. It depends on the size of the RV, availability of electricity, or the capacity of the RV. The Suburban line of water heaters provide gas-electric, high recovery gas models and some motor aid models with a variety of sizes and features that can meet the needs of any RV.
Heated water can be dangerous to metals. That is why Suburban uses a porcelain-lined, steel water heater tank. It contains an anode rod so it can “absorb” the electrolytic action and prevent corrosion. It is set up similarly to your home’s water heater. With proper maintenance, the tank life of Suburban models may double or triple its limited warranty, saving you a lot of cost.
Uses Propane and Electric – the option to use either one can depend on your needs. Some users enjoy having the propane option when electric hookups are not readily available. You may also use both for faster recovery of water.
Pricey – some users have stated that it can be a bit costly for a 6-gallon water heater. It does, however, compensate by ensuring it has the fastest recovery rate among other water heaters.
Fast recovery – refers to a water heater’s ability to produce more hot water and fewer cooling water cycles. The Six-gallon Suburban gas water heater has 12,000 BTUH input with a recovery rate of 10.2 gallons per hour. They have claimed to have the fastest water recovery in the industry.
Additional installations – take note of your RV needs so you can anticipate the other materials needed for the installation of this unit. When replacing a different model with this unit, certain parts may be required, such as Heavy-duty 110 volt plug, wire nuts or connectors, a 12-volt relay, and some additional parts for nondirect replacement.
Girard 2GWHAM On-Demand Tankless Water Heater
This model is another tankless investment for your RV home. It does not come cheap because it has a lot of attractive features to offer. The Girard brand is renowned for manufacturing high-quality tankless water heaters for RV use. You are assured of good quality and safety so you can weather through the seasons with readily available hot water.
As one of the newer models, the Girard 2GSWH is the product of years of research and experience and is an incorporation of consumer needs and suggestions. Its best feature is the onboard microprocessor that monitors the incoming cold water temperature, flow rate, and the outgoing hot water temperature. It is able to maintain constant, steady, and hot water flow efficiently, placing it as one of the best tankless water heaters in the market.
Efficient water heater that does not consume too much energy – this water heater operates on 12v of power at less than three amperes.
Comes at a steep price for a tankless water heater.
Takes up less space – it is much more compact for water heaters in this category.
Brushless motor – this feature ensures that it operates quietly, making you less worried about indoor and outdoor noise.
Easy installation – there is no need to buy special plumbing or use LP gas lines for this model.
Pricey – all that ease and convenience comes with a price. And in comparison to other tankless water heaters, it falls under a more costly category. It shouldn’t discourage you, however, since it lessens your need for replacement, allowing you to save more in the long run.
Things to consider when choosing The Best RV Hot Water Heater
Here are a few things to consider when choosing the best RV hot water heater for you:
- Type of ignition – depends on the source of its heating and fuel
- Pilot ignition
- Electric ignition
- Automatic ignition
- BTU (British Thermal Unit) – defines the strength and effectiveness of the water heater for your RV. A higher BTU translates to a higher price.
- RV Water Heater Format:
- Gas (LP or Propane) Ignition – convenient and may come in both manual and automatic ignition
- Electric Ignition – dangers of gas leaks less worrisome
- Tankless/ On-demand system – unlimited hot water supply but is also the most pricey
- Capacity/ Amount of Gallons – how many gallons do you need. It ranges between 6-10 gallons, so the higher the capacity, the more expensive it gets. However, it does not apply to tankless water heaters.
- Indoors or Outdoors – some RV hot water heaters can be used outdoors.
- Price – although the price is an essential factor, it should not be the deciding factor for choosing your RV water heater. It is good to work around a reasonable budget that addresses your RV needs.
- Warranty – this is an essential thing to consider when choosing your RV water heater. You want to make sure you have access to excellent service when you experience any issues with your water heater. Also, review its return and exchange policy in cases where it is needed.
Hot water has gone from a luxury to a basic necessity, especially in areas where keeping warm is a matter of survival. There are some water heater types and brands to choose from that best suit your needs. The freedom to choose is at the heart of this post, so we hope we were able to trim down that confusing list of choices in your head by featuring five awesome water heater brands. Cheers to a future of readily available hot water in your RV!