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MattGlamperGear
Author: Matt JohnsonPhotos/Graphics: Mike HawthorneUpdated: August 3, 2023

Have you ever found yourself in the middle of a breathtaking camping spot, surrounded by nature’s splendor, only to be brought back to reality by the harsh realization that you need to take a cold shower? Don’t worry because we’re diving into the world of tankless water heaters for your travel trailer, the solution to all your hot water woes on the road.

Regarding life on the go, space is a precious commodity and every square inch counts. That’s why tankless water heaters have become an increasingly popular choice for travel trailers.

These compact marvels provide unlimited hot water without needing a bulky storage tank, saving you valuable space for essentials like hiking gear or that extra bag of marshmallows for s’mores.

But besides the space-saving advantage, installing a tankless water heater in your travel trailer offers many benefits.

We’ll guide you through everything you need to know about tankless water heaters for your travel trailer, from the benefits they bring to the factors to consider before choosing the right one for your specific needs.

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Tankless water heaters: A space-saving solution for travel trailers.

If you’re an avid camper or travel trailer enthusiast, you know every square inch of space is valuable. That’s why a tankless water heater can be a game-changer for your travel trailer when it comes to water heating. With its compact design and efficient operation, a tankless water heater is the perfect space-saving solution.

A tankless water heater takes up less space than traditional water heaters with bulky tanks. Still, it also provides hot water on-demand, eliminating the need to store and reheat water continuously. This means you can enjoy a hot shower or dishes without worrying about running out of hot water.

On top of their space-saving benefits, tankless water heaters also offer energy efficiency advantages. Traditional water heaters heat and maintain much water in their tanks, resulting in energy waste. In contrast, tankless water heaters heat water only when needed, which can significantly reduce your energy consumption and utility bills.

With a tankless water heater, you can enjoy the convenience of hot water without sacrificing valuable space in your travel trailer. Whether planning a weekend getaway or embarking on a longer journey, having a tankless water heater ensures you’ll always have hot water whenever and wherever you need it. So say goodbye to bulky water tanks and hello to a compact and efficient solution with a tankless water heater for your travel trailer.

Benefits of installing a tankless water heater in your travel trailer.

Tankless Water Heater for an RV

Installing a tankless water heater in your travel trailer offers numerous benefits. Here are some of the best benefits you’ll enjoy once you install a tankless water heater in your RV.

  • Space-saving design. Tankless water heaters are compact and take up less space than traditional water heaters, allowing for more storage or living space in your travel trailer.
  • Unlimited hot water. Unlike traditional water heaters that store a limited amount of hot water, tankless water heaters warm the water on-demand, providing a continuous supply of hot water.
  • Energy efficiency. Tankless water heaters only heat water when it’s needed, reducing energy consumption and potentially saving you money on fuel costs.
  • Longer lifespan. Tankless water heaters typically last longer than traditional water heaters, reducing the need for replacements and repairs.
  • Less risk of leaks. With no tank to worry about, there’s a reduced risk of leaks and water damage to your travel trailer.
  • Improved water quality. Since there is no tank where water can sit and potentially accumulate rust and scale, tankless water heaters can provide cleaner, fresher water.
  • Quick heating. Tankless water heaters can quickly heat water, reducing the wait time for hot water.
  • Environmentally friendly: By using less energy and reducing water waste, tankless water heaters are a more environmentally friendly option.

If those don’t get you excited about installing a new tankless water heater in your travel trailer, then I don’t know what will. The only downside, in our opinion, is that you’re limited by how big of a gray water tank you have. That is unless you’re always connected to a dump station.

Factors to consider before choosing a tankless water heater for your travel trailer.

When it comes to choosing a tankless water heater for your travel trailer, there are a few factors you need to consider. Let’s dive into the important things to keep in mind before making your decision.

Fuel source: electric or propane.

You’ll want to think about the fuel source. Tankless water heaters can be powered by either electricity or propane. If your travel trailer is already equipped with a propane system, opting for a propane-powered tankless water heater might make sense.

This choice can save you the hassle of installing additional wiring. On the other hand, if you prefer the simplicity of electric power and don’t have a propane system, plenty of efficient electric tankless water heaters are available on the market.

Flow rate.

Next, consider the flow rate and temperature rise. Flow rate refers to the amount of hot water the tankless water heater can deliver per minute. On the other hand, temperature rise is the degree to which the heater can increase the incoming water temperature.

These two factors are crucial in ensuring that you have enough hot water for your needs, especially if multiple people use the water simultaneously. So, consider the size of your travel trailer, the number of people using hot water, and the climate you’ll travel in. This will help you determine your tankless water heater’s appropriate flow rate and temperature rise.

Size and weight.

Don’t forget about the size and weight of the tankless water heater too. As a travel trailer owner, space is always a valuable commodity. So, consider a compact and lightweight unit that won’t take up too much room or add excessive weight to your trailer.

Installation and maintenance of on-demand water heaters in campers.

Now that you’ve chosen the perfect tankless water heater for your travel trailer, it’s time to dive into the installation and maintenance process. Trust me; it’s not as daunting as it sounds.

Installing a tankless water heater.

When installing a tankless water heater in your travel trailer, it’s always a good idea to consult the manufacturer’s instructions. However, I’ll give you a brief overview to get you started.

First, you’ll need to locate a suitable spot for the water heater. Ideally, it should be close to both the water and propane source and have proper ventilation. Most of the time, tankless water heaters can simply slide right into the space where your old RV hot water tank once was.  Once you’ve found the perfect spot, you’ll need to secure the water heater in place using brackets provided by the manufacturer.

Then, you’ll need to connect the water inlet and outlet pipes and the propane line. Remember to use appropriate fittings and sealant to avoid any leaks. Most of the tankless water heaters include the necessary fittings; however, you might find that you have non-standard plumbing or other issues.

Tankless water heater maintenance.

Now, let’s talk about maintenance. Regular maintenance is key to keeping your tankless water heater in top-notch condition. One of the most important tasks is descaling the unit, especially if you have hard water. Over time, mineral deposits can build up and affect the performance of your water heater.

To descale, follow the manufacturer’s instructions and use a descaling solution. Additionally, it’s a good idea to periodically check for any loose connections or signs of damage. This will help ensure that everything is working properly and prevent any potential issues down the road.

Installing and maintaining a tankless water heater in your travel trailer is a small investment of time and effort that will pay off in the long run. Not only will you enjoy endless hot water on your camping adventures, but you’ll also have peace of mind knowing that you’ve taken care of your water heating system.

Selecting the right size and capacity for your travel trailer’s water heating needs.

Selecting the right size and capacity for your travel trailer’s water heating needs can significantly impact your overall camping experience.

Consider the size of your trailer and the number of people it can accommodate. If you’re traveling alone or with a partner, a smaller unit with a lower flow rate might suffice. However, if you have a larger family or often travel with friends, a more powerful tankless water heater with a higher flow rate would be better.

Another crucial factor to consider is the climate you’ll be camping in. If you primarily camp in colder regions, you’ll want a tankless water heater to heat the water to quickly provide a comfortable showering experience. On the other hand, if you tend to camp in warmer climates, a lower-temperature range tankless water heater may be suitable, as the incoming water will already be at a higher temperature.

By considering the size of your travel trailer and the environmental conditions you typically encounter, you can select a tankless water heater that meets your specific water heating needs. This way, you can enjoy a warm and satisfying shower no matter where your travels take you.

Top brands and models of tankless water heaters for travel trailers.

When investing in a tankless water heater for your travel trailer, choosing the right brand and model is crucial. You want a reliable and efficient option to meet your water heating needs on the road.

Here are a few top brands and models to consider:

  1. Girard Tankless RV Water Heater. This model is powered by 12V and provides 42,000 BTUs. It features a quiet operation and has an onboard microprocessor for precise control. The digital user control panel makes it easy to adjust settings, and it also offers freeze protection for safe use in colder climates.
  2. Truma AquaGo On-Demand Water Heater. A product of a German company that recently launched in the United States, this on-demand water heater supplies endless hot water while maintaining a constant temperature, providing an excellent balance of efficiency and comfort.
  3. Furrion’s RV Water Heater: This tankless water heater operates on propane and is designed to perfectly fit your camper. Furrion’s product promises unlimited hot water on demand, ensuring a comfortable camping experience. That’s a tall order for unlimited hot water, but we haven’t heard anyone complain.
  4. PrecisionTemp RV-550 Tankless Water Heater. Featured as the best overall electric tankless water heater for an RV, the RV-550 model is wall-vented and offers a reliable and efficient solution for hot water needs. It’s designed to provide consistent hot water without the need for a large storage tank.

Remember to consider your specific needs, such as your travel trailer’s size and water usage requirements, when selecting a tankless water heater. Additionally, check customer reviews and ratings to better understand each brand and model’s performance in real-world use.

Choosing a reliable and efficient tankless water heater allows you to enjoy hot water on-demand during your travels without sacrificing valuable space in your travel trailer.

Get hot water on demand!

Investing in a tankless water heater for your travel trailer is a game-changer. It’s a space-saving solution that provides hot water on demand, ensuring comfort and convenience during your adventures. With the benefits of energy efficiency, portability, and endless hot water, it’s no wonder that tankless water heaters are becoming increasingly popular among travel trailer enthusiasts.

Before choosing a tankless water heater for your travel trailer, consider fuel type, size, and capacity. Consider your specific needs and the available resources to make an informed decision. With the right choice, you can enjoy the luxury of hot showers, clean dishes, and a cozy environment no matter where your travels take you.

Remember to follow proper installation and maintenance guidelines for your tankless water heater to ensure its longevity and optimal performance. Proper installation is key whether you opt for a DIY approach or hire a professional. Regular maintenance, such as descaling and flushing, will keep your tankless water heater in top shape.

A tankless water heater is a worthwhile investment that brings comfort and convenience to your travel trailer experience. Their space-saving design, energy efficiency, and endless hot water supply make them a valuable addition to any adventurer’s setup. 

MattGlamperGear

Matt Johnson


Senior Content Writer

Matt is an experienced camper and glamping enthusiast with a Master's degree in Wildlife Science from Texas A&M University. Authoring posts for GlamperGear, he shares his wealth of knowledge on picturesque campsites, luxurious accommodations, and the best gear for outdoor adventures. His passion for nature and knack for comfort in the wilderness make him an expert guide for your next camping endeavor.

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