RV tankless water heaters provide an alternative to traditional tanks when you are traveling with your RV. Tankless heaters can be used to heat your water as well as to cook it. This eliminates the need for a large tank and saves time by not storing water in the space inside your RV. Tankless heaters do not require any storage space and do not have a large standing water supply like tank water heaters do.
Generally speaking, most tankless water heaters will provide 2 to five gallons of heated water per minute with gas models slightly faster than the electric models. In addition to providing heated water when you need it, tankless heaters also are more energy efficient to utilize. This means that the water heaters only need to heat up water when it is needed. A small thermostat set on a thermostatically controlled water heater controls the temperature and flow of the heated water. Once the temperature reaches a pre-set limit, the thermostat shuts off the flow of water.
Most portable propane RV tankless heaters, although a little more costly than electric heaters, are much less expensive to operate. The electrical model can shut off the flow if the compressor is filled too low. On the other hand, the propane heater will continue to run until the tank is full or until the valve near the tank lets the fuel out.
You can convert from standard water heating to portable propane using an RV tankless heater. Some manufacturers offer a conversion kit with the heater itself, while others offer an optional connector kit that you plug into your vehicle’s cigarette lighter. The conversion kits generally take just a few hours to install.
You also have the option of using campers with RV tankless water heaters. However, the hot water supply for campers is usually limited to the faucets located in the bathroom and kitchen. It is not possible to access the hot water supply for shower and bath facilities in an RV. However, standard tanks in these campers can be used to provide hot water for bathing and showering, which can save you money over having a tankless heater installed in your camper.
RV tankless water heaters also provide the convenience of hot showers, whether you want them or not. As long as you have an electrical outlet nearby, you can get a quick shower anytime, without having to wait for the heater to heat up. This is especially convenient during those long car trips. You can jump in the car and head to the nearest hotel, without having to deal with pulling out a hot tub or shower. The RV tankless heater also reduces the risk of scalding when you take a shower in the winter.
Propane RV tankless water heaters have a few limitations as well. They are not very practical in RV parks where electricity is not available. If electricity is unavailable at the park, or if there are no electric showers, propane may not be an option. Also, propane powered water heaters require an external plug for use in most states.
Another disadvantage of using rv tankless water heaters is that they take up less space in your car. You will need to install a larger heat exchanger than you would with a conventional hot tub. They are also usually only able to heat the water to a temperature of around 120 degrees or so, which isn’t very comfortable for many people. Finally, it is important to note that these heat exchangers can be quite heavy, and may cause problems if you have a trailer or other vehicle that won’t easily fit under it.