The biggest appeal of an RV is the feeling of being at home with all your creature comforts whilst being out on the road, and having access to hot water is a key element to that. But traditional hot water heaters can not only be a bit bulky, but also drain lots of energy.
That’s not good for the environment or your wallet! But that’s where an electric tankless water heater comes in.
Not only does a tankless water heater save you a tremendous amount of space, but you also don’t have to connect it to gas. This gives you a consistent supply of hot water for showering, cooking, and washing dishes whilst being kind to the environment.
Below, you’ll find eight of the best electric tankless water heaters for RVs, plus a buyer’s guide to the features you need to look out for when buying your own electric tankless water heater, as well as the answers to some frequently asked questions.
But first, let’s go into more detail about what an electric tankless water heater actually is and its benefits.
What Is An Electric Tankless Water Heater?
Unlike a traditional water heater that comes with about 6 to 10 gallons of pre-heated water, an electric tankless water heater gives you warm water on demand, as soon as you turn on the faucets.
This type of water heater is ideal for RVs as it takes up little space and doesn’t use natural gas.
The Benefits Of An Electric Tankless Water Heater
There are so many benefits to using an electric tankless water heater over a traditional water heater.
Consistent: You’ll never run out of hot water with an electric tankless water heater, as it provides unlimited hot water.
Energy efficient: Since it only heats the amount of water you need, an electric tankless water heater is incredibly energy efficient.
Easy to store: Electric tankless water heaters are usually compact and lightweight, making them convenient to store in your RV.
Economical: An electric tankless water heater uses 20% to 50% less energy than a traditional water heater, helping you to save money on your utility bills.Long-lasting: Another thing that makes an electric tankless water heater kind to your wallet is how durable they are, as well as easy to maintain.
OUR TOP PICK
OUR TOP PICK
Measuring just 6.5” x 7.5”, the Stiebel Eltron 220816 Tankless Electric Water Heater is the perfect compact water heater for an RV. It is also powered by 110 volts of electricity, instantly providing you with hot water whenever you need it.
This heater is also easy to install, and it can be mounted with the outlets either facing up or down without affecting its performance. This versatility also gives you greater freedom when installing the heater.
Plus, its compact, sleek design makes sure it blends in wherever you put it.
What makes installing this heater even easier is the pre-hardwired pigtail for electrical connection, that saves you time when installing too. For safety, it has a built-in high-limit with manual reset option in case of electrical overload.
This water heater is also protected by two warranties. A 3-year warranty covers parts, while a 7-year warranty covers leaks.
- Installation is easy thanks to ready-to-go electrical connections.
- Multiple mounting options.
- Sleek design.
- Backed by two generous warranties for parts and leaks.
- No temperature control options.
Ideal for installation under your sink, the Chronomite SR-20L Tankless Electric Water Heater is also compact and sleek enough to be mounted in plain sight without sticking out or being obtrusive.
With this heater you get an on-demand flow of water with temperatures ranging between 90ºF to 120ºF.
But this heater also features patented microprocessor technology that controls the temperature of the water as it flows through the heater. This makes it a particularly safe water heater to use for a family, as it reduces the risk of scalding.
The two chrome compression fittings let you easily fix the water heater to your RV’s inlets, and the water pressure achieved with this heater is a generated flow rate of 0.5 gallons per minute. It is also backed by a 12-month warranty.
- Can be easily installed under a sink.
- Consistently supplies hot water on demand.
- Supplies hot water within 2 seconds.
- Temperature range of 90ºF to 120ºF.
- The built-in patented safety feature prevents bursts of hot water and scalding.
- Compared to other electric tankless water heaters on this list the warranty is quite short.
Our next pick is a bit of an outlier as it’s not technically a true tankless water heater, but it’s still an excellent option for on-demand hot water and is simple to install.
It’s designed to be plugged directly into a household outlet and comes with a bracket that lets you securely fix it to a number of surfaces such as flooring, shelving, and walls.
All you need to do is connect the heater to the cold water line at your sink, and you’ll be able to get a constant supply of on-demand hot water. Plus, at 4 gallons, this electric water heater is capable of providing hot water to two sinks at once.
Maintaining this electric water heater is easy too, as it’s been built with a high-quality glass-lined material to give it a longer life and make it more durable.
Plus, this material also makes the heater 98% thermal efficient, helping you to reduce your energy consumption and, in turn, saves you money on your bills!
The built-in temperature controls also help you to easily find the perfect hot water temperature. This heater gives you the options of ‘Minimum,’ ‘Ideal,’ and ‘Maximum’ as well as some options in between.
Plus, this heater has an additional safety feature in the form of a temperature pressure relief valve.
Finding space for this water heater in your RV should be easy, as it’s designed to fit under a kitchen cabinet.
This heater is also backed by two generous warranties. These are a 2-year warranty for the parts, and a 6-year warranty for the unit itself.
- It can be directly plugged into a standard electrical outlet.
- Consistently supplies on-demand hot water.
- Made of durable material to ensure longevity.
- Has simple temperature controls.
- Has 98% thermal efficiency.
- You can’t use the temperature controls to choose a specific temperature.
The Girard 2GWHAM On-Demand Tankless Water Heater is a compact water heater at 15.5” x 12.5” and 22 lbs, designed for RVs at 42,000 BTUs and doesn’t require the installation of any specialized plumbing or gas lines, running on 12V power at less than 3 amps.
It’s easy to install as well as store, thanks to its hinged door feature. Plus, it’s freeze protection feature means it can hold up in cold temperatures.
It may not be as portable as other models with battery ignition but its water capacity of 26.4 gallons is undoubtedly impressive.
But what really makes this electric tankless water stand out is its use of modern technology. The onboard microprocessor regulates water flow and temperature and regulates the burner.
All you need to do is set the temperature you want, and the water heater takes care of the rest!
- Provides hot water instantly.
- It’s easy to install.
- Runs silently so it will not disturb you.
- At low inflows the heater may not activate.
The New Suburban Sw6De 6 Gallon Dsi Electronic Ignition Water Heater stands out on this list, as it combines both electricity and gas which has increased the efficiency of its output.
With a 2-gallon flow rate, the New Suburban water heater has a 2-gallon flow rate, measures 12.75” wide x 12.75” x 19 3/16” deep, and weighs 33 lbs.
Plus, you can store up to six gallons of water in this heater, and it has a quick recovery of 10 gallons per hour.
Beloved by RV owners because of its high-quality design, the New Suburban Sw6De is a durable - although not truly tankless - electric water heater for your RV.
- Easy to install.
- Energy efficient.
- Durable, high-quality design.
- Not completely tankless.
Are you after an electric tankless water heater that looks as good as it performs? Well, look no further than the Focket Electric Tankless Water Heater! It not only is made with advanced technology, but has a sleek look sure to fit in with the interior of your RV.
You can easily monitor the operating status of the heater thanks to the HD LED screen, as well as easily control the temperature settings thanks to the touchpad controls.
This means no more worrying about mixing hot and cold water because the heater has a constant temperature control system that sets the temperature at an ideal temperature of 131 °F.
At 4500 W, this heater immediately heats your water without having to wait and is coated with tempered glass, giving it an elegant, smooth look.
Plus, the stainless steel-equipped construction not only makes this heater safer but durable, water-resistant, and scratch-proof.
- Consistently heats water.
- Scratch-proof and water-resistant.
- HD LED screen lets you easily track working status.
- Heats water instantly.
- Durably made with strong materials.
- It is not so easy to maintain and quite costly.
The Camplux ME25 is the best of both worlds. It’s not just high-quality but cost-efficient too! With 2.5 gallons per minute, you have a constant supply of water that is only heated when you need it, saving you energy and money on your bills.
The glass-coated tank not only makes this water heater look good, but makes it more durable and lasts for longer.
You also don’t need to worry about overheating, as the Camplux ME25 also has a thermostat control with a CSA listed relief valve, which allows you to easily adjust the temperature.
Plus, the freeze protection indicator prevents fluids from freezing and potentially damaging the heater.
The 43.3-inch cord plugs also make this electric water heater easy to install. You can enjoy warm water instantly thanks to its fast water recovery that has a maximum pressure of 150 PSI.
Its compact size also makes the Camplux ME25 easy to store, as well as look discreet. Its space-saving design also means you can use it at home or on a boat as well as on your RV.
But no matter where you want to install this small, convenient water heater, it’s sure to get the job done!
- Quick, immediate hot water recovery.
- Easy and quick to install.
- The glass-lined construction keeps this electric water heater looking good for years.
- Easily control and monitor the temperature with temperature control systems.
- Energy-saving and cost-effective.
- While the freeze protection indicator is designed to reduce damage from freezing liquids, if the heater isn’t used for a while it is at risk of freezing.
What’s so impressive about the cost-effective SIO Green IR288 v2 POU water heater is its ability to prevent corrosion, thanks to its infrared technology.
It’s also made of Quartz, a material that is less likely to corrode than your standard metallic heating tubes, which also makes it resistant to calcium and limescale deposits.
By using Quartz instead of metal, the manufacturers have ensured this is a low-maintenance heater.
You won’t have to worry about doing the dishes or taking a hot shower with this tankless water heater, as it only uses 100 V or 220 V to suit your needs. An excellent way to save some money on your bills! You can also adjust the current from 10A to 40A.
This heater also measures less than 20 inches, making it ideal for your RV as you can install it pretty much anywhere in your motorhome.
The heater also has an adjustable heating mode with manual and automatic modes to heat your water.
The SIO Green IR288 is efficient in every way. Not only does it save you money on your electricity bill, but saves energy too.
But while a lot of electric tankless water heaters save you money just by virtue of how they operate, this electric tankless water heater saves you money on maintenance too thanks to the durable materials it’s made of.
- Temperature controls let you adjust temperature easily.
- Made of corrosion-resistant Quartz.
- Easy to maintain.
- Quick and easy to install.
- Environmentally friendly.
- While this heater is easy to install, it does require additional products in order to be installed properly.
We all need to have hot water in our RVs in order to shower, cook, and wash dishes and while traditional water heaters are fine, a tankless water heater takes your RV to the next level and makes for hassle-free vacations in your motorhome.
You may have seen some common themes running through the reviews of the above products, and there are definitely a few key features to be mindful of when purchasing your own electric tankless water heater for your RV.
Below, you’ll find more details on those key features, so you can make a confident purchase.
Water Flow Rate
The water flow rate is the amount of water your system can heat in a minute and is arguably the most important feature to look out for. The water flow rate is often measured in GPM, or gallons per minute.
Simply, the higher the flow rate, the faster your sink will fill with water when doing the dishes, and the more pleasant your shower will be. This also affects how easily your water heater can handle providing water to two different faucets at once.
Most electric tankless water heaters are capable of doing this with no issues, but before purchasing this is always something to look into.
Tankless water heaters are designed to be small and compact, so most are sure to fit into your RV without a problem. But it’s always good to check the dimensions of the water heater you want and how big your RV is before you buy.
You should also take into account any extra room needed for connections.
It’s easy to look at smaller heaters and think they are less powerful, but this is not the case. No matter the size of your water heater it should still be able to provide a consistent supply of instant hot water without taking up too much space inside your RV.
Tankless is of course preferable to save space, but electric water heaters with mini tanks are worth considering too, as they let you store extra water.
One of the things that make an electric tankless water heater so appealing is the fact they’re easy to install. Still, while tankless water heaters are easy to install you need to make sure that the connections on the heater are compatible with the water input from your RV.
A few water heaters are also designed not just to be compact, but to be fairly flexible too. This means that you can install them at different angles and positions without affecting the water pressure, which is ideal in an RV where you may be limited on space.
Some tankless water heaters are powered using propane, which is handy if you would rather not deal with the restrictions of an electrical connection when installing your heater.
But if you want to go down the propane route, you will still need to consider how you want to connect your heater to the propane supply and if it needs to be vented.
It’s also worth keeping in mind that some electric tankless water heaters need to be installed by a licensed plumber or electrician otherwise the warranty will be void.
This is definitely something to look into when shopping for electric tankless water heaters, as the cost of professional installation will need to be factored into your budget.
When it comes to producing hot water, different water heaters use different heating elements. The material of these elements can impact on the durability of your heater and how long you’ll be using it for.
Copper is a common material found in tankless water heaters, as it’s able to conduct heat quickly which is what allows water heaters to produce hot water in seconds. But copper can succumb to oxidation over time, which means eventually you will have to replace the copper parts.
Stainless steel is another common material used in tankless water heaters. This is because stainless steel is incredibly durable and is designed to be long-lasting, not succumbing to corrosion or rust.
Other water heaters use infrared technology that is usually paired with Quartz and this is probably the most durable material used to heat water.
Quartz doesn’t corrode and also prevents calcium and limescale build-up. Plus, Quartz is recyclable which makes it a very environmentally friendly material.
Ability To Adjust Temperature
A water heater also needs to provide a wide range of temperatures, especially when it comes to hot water temperatures, as your family may have a few hot water preferences.
Most electric tankless water heaters are able to generate temperatures that vary between 86ºF and 140ºF. This is a pretty broad range that gives you plenty of control over the heat of the water being produced.
Another appealing aspect of electric tankless water heaters is just how much more environmentally friendly they are than traditional water heaters.
Rather than using energy to heat up a large tank of water and keep it consistently warm, a tankless water heater produces hot water on demand.
If you’re interested in a really eco-friendly tankless water heater try to look out for heaters with self-modulating technology. This technology makes sure your heater is only using as much energy as it needs to provide water at the perfect temperature without being wasteful.
Tankless water features without a standby button are also better for the environment as they don’t use energy when not in use.
Of course, safety is always an important consideration in whatever you buy, but especially when it comes to electrical appliances like a tankless water heater.
The ideal safety features of an electric tankless water heater include leakage protection or overheating protection, as they not only give you value for money but protect you and keep you safe while using your water heater.
Thermal and pressure relief valves are also great safety features, as they let you completely reset the water heater and stop it from overheating or pressure from building up inside the system.
Also, warranty is also important to consider regardless of what you’re buying. As we have mentioned above, some electric tankless water heater warranties will be voided if they are not fitted by a licensed professional.
While some warranties will only cover certain parts of the heater, and some heaters on our list are backed by two warranties that cover things like parts and leakage.
Don’t just take a warranty at face value. Investigate what your warranty covers, and if there are any conditions attached to the warranty, such as the installation being carried out by a licensed plumber or electrician.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Is Only Lukewarm Water Coming Out Of My Shower Or Faucet?
This may be because the hot and cold faucets on the outside shower or water line are turned on, which causes the cold and hot water to mix together.
If lukewarm water is coming out of your shower or faucet, check that the hot and cold faucets on the outside shower or water line are turned off.
Can I Install My Tankless Water Heater In My RV Under The Sink?
You can, but make sure to refer to the manufacturer’s manual to double-check where exactly you can install your electric tankless water heater.
Does An Electric Tankless Water Heater Need To Be Cleaned?
Yes, it does, especially if it’s been a while since you last used it. Regularly cleaning your heater will prevent a buildup of bacteria, but again refer to the manufacturer’s manual for guidance on how to best clean it.
Do All Tankless Water Heaters Need Electricity To Operate?
Not necessarily. Some tankless water heaters are mainly powered by gas, but some brands require electricity in order for automatic ignition to work. Meanwhile, other non-electric tankless water heaters have a battery ignition, meaning you don’t need electricity to operate them.
Is An Electric Tankless Water Heater Easy To Maintain?
On the whole, yes, electric tankless water heaters are easy to maintain. Some are specifically designed to be easy to maintain, but some are a bit more difficult and if any issues occur you may need to ask an electrician to take a look at it.
Related: 7 Reasons why your hot water tank is noisy.
Electric tankless water heaters are a great investment. Not only are they incredibly convenient, but they save money and reduce your energy use. They also provide a consistent supply of hot water in seconds.
We hope that you have found the right electric tankless water heater for your RV in our list, but when shopping for your own electric tankless water heater be sure to pay attention to the warranty details, as well as the material the tankless heater is made from.
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