The Atwood Mobile Products 96110 Water Heater is our best RV water heater and is highly capable of 6 gallons of liquid propane gas. It also has 7.4 gallons per hour recovery rate and it has an input of 8,800 BTU (British thermal unit) and it uses pilot ignition technology and it is also available in 10 gallons.
Our step-up pick is the Suburban SW12DE Water Heater and you can choose between pilot ignition and electronic ignition. It has a capacity of 12 gallons and it combines electric model with electronic ignition. It runs at 12,000 BTU and it has an anode rod that protects you from electrolysis. The steel tank has a porcelain lining and it is backed by a 3 year limited warranty on the tank.
The budget pick is the EZ 101 Tankless Water Heater Portable and it can be used with LPG or propane and it is extremely portable. Being ideal for camping and RVs, it uses battery powered ignition and this is a tankless water heater. The heater uses two D-cell batteries for the battery powered ignitions and it is lightweight at only 14 lbs. Furthermore, it is also great for use on hunting and fishing and general camping.
Table of Contents
- A Little Background
- How we picked
- Our pick
- Flaws but not dealbreakers
- Step-up Pick
- Budget Pick
- Best Direct Spark Ignition RV Water Heater
- RV Water Heater that is Wall Vented
- Best Pilot Ignition RV Water Heater
- RV Water Heater that is Tankless
- Best Electric RV Water Heater
- RV Water Heater with Heat Exchanger
- RV Water Heater with Freeze Protection
- The Competition
- Other Frequently Asked Questions
- Wrapping it up
A Little Background
Water is the most precious element in the world even from the beginning of time. Without water, all of us would starve and die. Without water, there would be no life left on Earth. This is what makes our planet unique from the rest of the planets in the solar system (except Neptune, some of the other moons and more recently Mars) because we have a balanced ecosystem that is in the habitable zone to make life flourish unlike in other planets. We should consider water on earth as a gift from the heavens or whoever designed our universe. But the main problem is that not everyone thinks that way and disregards water conservation.
Conserving water is something that most people forget to look on and practice. Imagine if you left the shower or faucet open – imagine how many people in super remote areas could drink from that, since they have no water sources and clean resources around. You should definitely do your part when it comes to conserving water and not let it go to waste. While all of us at home have convenience when it comes to plumbing system and water sources, some places out there will have limited water supply. One example is that if you camp out, you will definitely worry about getting water.
Living in an RV or camping out becomes very inconvenient if you have limited water source. If you go into the jungle, you can find swamps but with murky water. Rivers are okay but you need some filtration to make it clean, especially if you happened to stumble upon a dead river where people have been throwing trash and contaminating it and thus, clearing it of river fish and life. Water resources when you are living in an RV or camper can be drastic if you don’t know where to look for, and this is why people are very conservative with water when camping.
However, with that said, camping out or living in an RV practices our skills when it comes to conserving water. We are only limited to river water or ocean water or such – unless we have a big tank storage. On the other hand, this will not guarantee that you can live in your mobile home forever. You may use it for extended periods of time but if you plan to make it a permanent home, that’s another question. You might want to double your efforts when it comes to water storage and filtration, but that’s another story altogether.
Not every time do we have to live in an RV or camp out under a sunny or summer weather, as the weather might change from sunny to stormy or chilly winter. Imagine taking a shower in the winter – you can’t because it’s freezing. You might think it’s sunny at first but when the temperature suddenly changes and all you have is cold water, you will probably scream. That’s the problem with most homes and with most campers. You never know what could happen so you must be prepared.
Our homes have water heaters, don’t they? This is exactly why water heaters have been invented, especially for use in super winter places. While tropical countries and super desert countries don’t really need a water heater, most homes in the northern areas definitely do – especially those with greatly cold winters in which they cannot take a shower properly or take a bath properly. Anywhere where there is a cold climate, you will definitely need a water heater to supply your bathing needs or other specific water heating needs.
Water heaters are one of the most convenient inventions in the world. Without them, we could not survive the winter and keep ourselves clean. Without them, we would probably be drinking cold coffee or cold milk all the time. We would not have such conveniences in the cold winter atmosphere without a useful and effective water heater. It is an essential part of any home that is situated in a place where cold weather is more likely to occur than sunny weather.
Without water heaters, we would shiver in the winter and stink due to not taking a shower. This is exactly the reason why people install a water heating system for their homes. They must ensure that the heating system actually works and that it will definitely keep your bath time super warm and protect you from getting sick from the cold water from the shower.
Contrary to popular belief, water heaters can also be present in RVs, campers, trailers and mobile homes. As a matter of fact, because RVs are much like our homes, they can be installed with a water heater to protect us from the cold. Since RVs are designed to be weather proof, they should also keep us convenient in taking showers even in the winter time. RVs aren’t always used in the summer – sometimes you may have to use them during the winter as well and this is why you should get an RV water heater for your mobile home.
In fact, even cabins and small homes can make the use of a small, convenient and portable water heater. Anything that is small and portable as a water heater will definitely work in any small space area for a multitude of purposes. In fact, water heaters are not just for taking baths – they are also used in a variety of purposes, you name them. Some may even use them for businesses.
The amount of heated water you can have on an RV water heater is not like the one you can use at home. Obviously, since water heaters for RVs only give you limited water, you have to conserve. You cannot take full-on showers and expend a lot of water so you have to keep in mind that most RV water heaters only have limited tanks with gallons.
This is however, altered when it comes to having a tankless or on-demand RV water heater system. This system is much more expensive than RV water heaters that are tank-based. If you are not content with 6 gallons or 10 gallons of capacity for the water heater you have on your RV, maybe it is time to switch to a tankless system. Take note that a tankless system is very expensive but if it will give you a peace of mind and convenience then it is a worth-it system to invest on for your RV.
Heating up water helps to kill germs and bacteria during bath time. Most studies say that hot water helps to revitalize your skin and free you from bacteria and viruses, that otherwise may live and dwell on cold water. However, most dermatologists agree that the water you should heat up should not be too hot or else it may dry up your skin, especially during the winter. In addition to that, to conserve water, you should also limit your showers, especially in the RV, so you can have more uses from it.
An RV water heater is an effective and essential part of your RV in case you want to use it for the winter. Generally speaking, RVs aren’t just for summer adventures but sometimes also for cold, winter nights. If you get stuck on a snowy road or rain storm and you have nowhere to go, it is very convenient to take a warm shower using an RV water heater inside your RV, right?
How We Picked
When it comes to choosing the best RV water heater, we considered the following:
The BTU or British thermal unit defines how strong and effective a water heater is for your RV. Always know the BTU of your RV water heater. However, do know that the higher the BTU, the higher the price.
The RV water heater may be in any of the following formats: gas (LP or propane), electric ignition or tankless on-demand RV water heater. Gas or LP ignition is the most convenient and may come in manual or automatic ignition depending on the price and model you buy. Electric ignition is a little step ahead but you will be less worried about the dangers of gas leaks and such. The tankless or on-demand system is the most expensive of all since it gives you unlimited hot water supply.
Consider the amount of gallons and capacity if the RV water heater is not tankless. The most common capacities of a lot of RV water heaters out there range from 6 gallons to 10 gallons depending on what you need. Of course, the higher the capacity, the bigger price you need to watch for.
Know if the RV water heater is okay for use indoors only or also okay for outdoors. Generally, most RV water heaters will be only used for indoor with a little bit of ventilation especially for gas ignition ones, but do know if there are brands that can be used outdoors.
Know the type of ignition the RV water heater uses. They can come in pilot ignition, automatic ignition, electronic ignition and many others, depending on the type of water heater for your RV and the source of its heating and fuel.
The price must be considered but it is not a decisive factor. Generally, the tankless or on-demand systems will be the most expensive of all.
The warranty of the RV water heater is important, as it is an electric item that may run into some manufacturing defects. Since you cannot have a live testing when you buy online, make sure there are good return and exchange policies before you buy.
Top Pick: Atwood Mobile Products 96110 Water Heater
Our best RV water heater is the Atwood Mobile Products 96110 Water Heater which is capable of 6 gallons of liquid propane gas and it uses pilot ignition technology for its heating ignition. As for its capacity of heating, it has an input of 8,800 BTU (British thermal unit).
This RV water heater has 7.4 gallons per hour recovery rate and it is generously priced as it heats up your water in less than 30 minutes. Generally speaking, the Atwood 96110 Water Heater works great for RVs and mobile homes.
As for its build, the outlet side is at the top while the bottom has the cold inlet side and it weighs around 25 lbs. The Atwood Water Heater is also great for camping or for cabins and it is also available in 10 gallons model.
Flaws but Not Dealbrakers
Some people complained that the Atwood Mobile Products 96110 Water Heater is a gas-only water heater and not for electric use, but there are other products out there that uses electric ignition, at a higher price, of course.
Suburban SW12DE Water Heater
The Suburban SW12DE Water Heater is our step-up pick and it has an anode rod that protects you from electrolysis. As for its ignition, it combines electric model with electronic ignition. As for its design, it is a steel tank has a porcelain lining. As a matter of fact, you can freely choose between pilot ignition and electronic ignition.
As for its content, the Suburban SW12DE has a capacity of 12 gallons. As for its power, it runs at 12,000 BTU and it can also be used for camping other than RVs. The door is sold separately. It is currently backed by a 3 year limited warranty on the tank for your expediency.
EZ 101 Tankless Water Heater Portable
The EZ 101 Tankless Water Heater Portable is our budget pick and it uses two D-cell batteries for the battery powered ignitions. As for its fuel system and heating element, it can be used with LPG or propane. It is also extremely portable and lightweight at only 14 lbs when it comes to its built.
All in all, this RV water heater is definitely ideal for camping and RVs. Do know that because of the price; do consider that this is a tankless water heater system. As for its technology, it uses battery powered ignition. In addition to that, it is also great for use on hunting and fishing and general camping.
Having been priced at a step-up value, the EZ 101 Tankless Water does not require electrical plugs and it was designed to be convenient and safe due to its no pilot light design. Most customers on Amazon also agree that it is also okay to use on workshops, shelters, cabins, homes, sheds and any open areas as long as it has good ventilation.
The Water Heater EZ 101 Portable Tankless is definitely great for areas with limited sources of electricity and it is backed by a 1 year warranty.
Best Direct Spark Ignition RV Water Heater
New Atwood RV Water Heater G6A-8E
The New Atwood RV Water Heater G6A-8E is a great RV water heater to consider because it uses direct spark ignition. As for its heating capacity, it has an input of 8,800 BTU and it uses a capacity of 6 gallons. Do know that it does not have door so you have to provide it separately.
Being a RV water heater with quality value, with the Atwood RV Water Heater, you can replace a variety of Atwood models such as G6A, G610, GH6 and many more. As a matter of fact, 95 percent of the parts are serviceable and replaceable.
Going on with its features and specifications, the RV water heater has pressure relief feature and it also comes with temperature control. It also has a high temperature limit switch for safety and it also has a built-in 6 gallon tank.
RV Water Heater that is Wall Vented
PrecisionTemp RV-550 Tankless Water Heater Wall-Vented
If you want to go tankless and have a wall vented water heater for your RV, you should purchase the PrecisionTemp RV-550 Tankless Water Heater Wall-Vented which does not have pilot light and has great efficiency for propane, making it super ideal for RVs, mobile homes, cabins, small homes, trailers and such similar occasions.
As for its portability and lightweight capability, it can weigh as much as a 10 gallon tank for a small space. When it comes to the looks and the build, the PrecisionTemp RV-550 Tankless has a wall vented design makes it safe to use and worry-free. It is an expensive but worth-it tankless RV water heater and it has extremely reliable design and technology.
In addition, it also uses a VaryFlame technology system for controlling the temperature for its technology. With this RV water heater, it eliminates the need for a tank. It is also eco-friendly and power saving as it uses less than 1.5 amps of power when you are operating it normally. As a matter of fact, during cold weather, it can operate at about 3 amps using its cold weather protection feature.
The PrecisionTemp RV-550 Wall-Vented also has a minimum flow rate of incoming water at about 0.5 GPM and it has an optimal operation of 1 GPM. In addition to that, it can have 50 percent more power than other tankless water heaters in the marketplace. As a matter of fact, you should have a gas supply and 12 volt on to allow the burner to fire and protect the electric elements.
Moreover, this RV water heater is easily winterized so you can use it all year round. In addition, it easily self-adjusts due to its true automatic gas modulation. Likewise, when it comes to power, it runs at 55,000 BTUs which is particularly higher than a lot of other water heaters. The PrecisionTemp RV-550 is super ideal for indoor use only.
Best Pilot Ignition RV Water Heater
Suburban 5117A Water Heaters 6 Gallon
The Suburban 5117A Water Heaters 6 Gallon uses liquid petroleum as a heat source and it also uses pilot ignition. This is a great RV water heater and this is a gas only water heater for RVs. As for its aptitude, it has a capacity of 6 gallons. On the usefulness of the RV water heater, it also works for campers and trailers. It is very easy to blow even in a windy day. The Suburban 5117A is a great water heater to consider for any camper or RV.
RV Water Heater that is Tankless
Girard Gswh-2 Tankless Water Heater 2GWHAM
If you want to have a great tankless RV water heater system, you should check out the Girard Gswh-2 Tankless Water Heater 2GWHAM which is very simple to install. As we said, this is a tankless system and it is an RV water heater that will surely work for your RV. Do know that the door is sold separately, like most RV water heaters. It is a very economical, running on propane and will definitely exceed your expectations. It may be expensive but it will save you fuel and give you more efficiency in the long run.
Best Electric RV Water Heater
Atwood 93891 Electric Water Heater
The Atwood 93891 Electric Water Heater is an electric RV water heater which has a capacity of 6 gallons. It weighs very light compared to most RV water heaters out there and it uses 120 volts and 1,500 watts of incoloy heating element. It uses highly specialized aluminum alloys and is an RV water heater that really works.
It adheres to the standards and specifications of UL listings and the electrical system is also protected with ignition. It has a heat exchanger coil and it can last for a long time with proper maintenance. It can give you quality steaming hot water in just about ten minutes or so.
RV Water Heater with Heat Exchanger
Atwood EHM4 96411 EHM4-SM 4 Gal
The Atwood EHM4 96411 EHM4-SM 4 Gal has a double tune construction to prevent contaminants to the fresh water system and it has been made with high strength aluminum core that has a cladding material that is bonded corrosion fighting on its inner surface for a longer lasting life.
Also worth noting is that it has a cubic shape to make it super flexible in any surface or floor plan. It also has a capacity of 4 gallons and its electric input is at 1,400 watts and 120 volts AC. The Atwood EHM4 comes with a convenient heat exchanger and this uses electric ignition.
As this is an RV water heater that you might like, the exterior is also corrosion resistant and it has a recovery rate of 7.21 gallons per hour. The incalloy heating element is at 1,400 watts.
RV Water Heater with Freeze Protection
Suburban 5132A IW60 On-Demand Water Heater
The Suburban 5132A IW60 On-Demand Water Heater has an output of 60,000 BTU and it is powered by propane fuel. It also has a built-in freeze protection which makes it unique among the RV water heaters we have here. It is a great water heater for your RV and it is backed by a 2 year warranty.
Most water heaters we found were only for home use and there are very limited RV water heaters specifically for camping and RVs so it was very difficult to decide. However, these are among the best from the most known brands of RV water heater manufacturers.
Other Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is the importance of maintaining your water heater?
A: According to Len The Plumber, it gives you more savings for your money and gives you a more efficient system and you can get hot water faster than before so you can save on electricity. Additionally, it is good that you flush your water heater every 6 months or so and you will not be surprised with sudden cold showers when your water heater stops working. Moreover, the costly repairs will be reduced if you properly maintain your water heater by doing a plumbing inspection with a certified plumbing expert.
Q: What are some of the things you need to know about your RV water heater?
A: According to RV Share , you can choose between electricity, propane or heat when it comes to heating your RV water. Electric heating is the most convenient as there will be no pilot light to worry about while using engine heat is the most economical but it might take its toll on your engine instead and is only usable when your engine is running.
All RV water tanks have a variation when it comes down to size and the most common RV water tanks are 6 gallon or 10 gallons depending on your needs. Suburban and Atwood are among the most common water heater manufacturers specifically for RVs and mobile homes and since they are for mobile use, RV water heaters are typically smaller so you have to conserve some more. However, manufacturers like Girard sell tankless water heaters which are a bit pricier but you will never run out of steaming water. Furthermore, an anode rod can help to prevent hard water corrosion that might occur inside your tank.
Q: Any tips on choosing a great water heater for your RV?
A: According to the guide by Camping World , the most common ones are the gas water heater that works on LP gas in which you have to manually light up the water heater. These are the most common and inexpensive RV water heaters. Also, if you want a hassle-free water heater you can go for something that has a direct spark or DSI which has an automatic ignition rather than manual but also uses LP as the gas supply.
You can also have a more convenient electric water heater that also has DSI or gas options which heat up nicely but a bit pricier than the first two. On-demand or tankless water heaters are the most expensive ones and run at higher BTUs than the previous ones.
Wrapping It Up
As a whole, the Atwood Mobile Products 96110 Water Heater is our best RV water heater that is guaranteed to give you safely warm showers even during cold winter nights on your RV.