12 Best Gas & Electric RV Water Heater Recommendations

Getting in touch with nature is one of the best parts of traveling in your RV, but so is the ability to get outdoors while still enjoying the conveniences of modern life. If you’ve camped without hot water before, you know how jarring icy cold showers can be. We consider a quality water heater to be an essential component of RVing, so we’ve compiled some of our top picks for you.

Best RV Water Heaters  Source: rvweb.net

Buying Guide

  • Type of power. The two main types of energy for RV water heaters are electric and gas. Electric will require you to have your RV running to heat the water, and gas can utilize heat from the engine or simply uses a gas-powered pilot light. Some heaters have a battery backup or run on D-cell batteries.
  • Capacity. There are “on-demand” water heaters, which warm water as it goes through the panel instead of heating and storing it in a tank. These usually just over a gallon per minute capacity, while tanks will store various amounts of hot water depending on their size.
  • Portable or full system. Full system RV water heaters require installation, whereas portable heaters will also need to be hooked up, but some can be moved to other locations when desired.
  • Thermostat. Most contemporary RV water heaters will have a way to adjust the temperature, but be aware that some do not. If your water heater lacks a thermostat, you will not be able to change the hottest setting of water, even if it’s scalding.

Buying Recommendations

Suburban - 1236.2037 12 Gallon Gas and Electric water Heater with Dark Spark Ignition
New Suburban Sw6De 6 Gallon Dsi Electric Ignition/Lp Lp And Gas Rv Motorhome Trailer Water Heater
Eccotemp EM-2.5 Electric 2.5-Gallon Mini Tank Water Heater
Max power output
12,000 BTU
12,000 BTU
BTU not listed
Power source
combination gas and electric
1440-watt electric/LP gas
120-volt electric
Portable or full system
full system
full system
portable
Capacity
12 gallons
gallons
2.5 gallons
Warranty
limited on parts
one-year limited
parts two-years/tank five-years
Best Premium
Suburban - 1236.2037 12 Gallon Gas and Electric water Heater with Dark Spark Ignition
Max power output
12,000 BTU
Power source
combination gas and electric
Portable or full system
full system
Capacity
12 gallons
Warranty
limited on parts
Best Electric
New Suburban Sw6De 6 Gallon Dsi Electric Ignition/Lp Lp And Gas Rv Motorhome Trailer Water Heater
Max power output
12,000 BTU
Power source
1440-watt electric/LP gas
Portable or full system
full system
Capacity
gallons
Warranty
one-year limited
Best Portable
Eccotemp EM-2.5 Electric 2.5-Gallon Mini Tank Water Heater
Max power output
BTU not listed
Power source
120-volt electric
Portable or full system
portable
Capacity
2.5 gallons
Warranty
parts two-years/tank five-years

Best Budget RV Water Heaters

1. Foruee Portable Propane Tankless Water Heater – Editor’s Pick

Specs
Max power output: 34,000 BTU
Power source: two D-cell batteries
Portable or full system: portable
Capacity: 1.32 gallons per minute
Warranty: one year
As far as budget RV water heaters go, Fouree is a fantastic option for a few reasons. This heater is the on-demand style, meaning as long as you only use hot water for one purpose at a time, in theory, you never run out of warmth. This model also runs on batteries, eliminating the need for the RV to be on, and it’s very portable.

What we like about it
  • Stationary or hand-held shower head option
  • Hot water on-demand
  • Overheating and anti-freeze protection
  • Simple to install
  • No large tank required
  • Reasonable price
Drawbacks
  • Not ideal for more substantial water usage at one time
  • Does not pre-heat a tank of hot water

2. Barbella Electric Hot Water Heater

Specs
Max power output: not listed
Power source: 110-volt outlet (electric)
Portable or full system: portable
Capacity: 1.32 gallons per minute
Warranty: unlisted
Barbella Electric Hot Water Heater for Kitchen Bathroom Household- 8L Kitchen Huge-Tank Hot Water Electrical Hot Water Tankless 1500W 110V
Barbella Electric Hot Water Heater for Kitchen Bathroom Household- 8L Kitchen Huge-Tank Hot Water Electrical Hot Water Tankless 1500W 110V
Barbella’s electric RV water heater is compact enough to install in your vehicle and affordable enough to be a reasonable option for those on tight budgets. This heater is best for those who don’t have large-capacity hot water needs but want to be able to warm some water for a shower or washing a handful of dishes.

What we like about it
  • Budget-friendly
  • Adjustable temperature
  • Lightweight
  • Does not require a gas hookup
  • Compact size
Drawbacks
  • Small tank/limited hot water supply
  • Must be connected to a pump
Barbella Electric Hot Water Heater for Kitchen Bathroom Household- 8L Kitchen Huge-Tank Hot Water Electrical Hot Water Tankless 1500W 110V
  • ❤Directly heating type with high efficiency and low power heating tube, which can take advantage of the thermal energy maximally. The temperature can be adjusted between 55℃-75℃ optionally, and the power will be off automatically when the set temperature is achieved.
  • ❤Uses green environmental material, which is qualified for international standard, and satisfies difficulties of hot water supply for multiple places, easily solves issues such as face washing, bathing, vegetable washing and dish washing.
  • ❤Can be installed in the kitchen, rest room, bathroom or any other places you want optionally because of its characteristics of small area, strong applicability and convenient installation.

Best Premium RV Water Heaters

1. Suburban SW12DE Water Heater – Editor’s Pick

Specs
Max power output: 12,000 BTU
Power source: combination gas and electric
Portable or full system: full system
Capacity: 12 gallons
Warranty: limited on parts
Suburban - 1236.2037 12 Gallon Gas and Electric water Heater with Dark Spark Ignition
Suburban - 1236.2037 12 Gallon Gas and Electric water Heater with Dark Spark Ignition
Suburban is a notable name in RV water heaters, and they deliver with this higher-end unit. The 12-gallon capacity is the perfect size for many campers who want enough hot water for a quick shower or two, but don’t want an excessively bulky tank.

What we like about it
  • Pilot or electric ignition option
  • Anode rod inside to prevent corrosion
  • Insulated to maintain heat
  • Reputable brand name
  • Decent tank capacity
Drawbacks
  • Expensive
  • A bit heavy
Suburban - 1236.2037 12 Gallon Gas and Electric water Heater with Dark Spark Ignition
  • SUBURBAN WATER HEATER Steel tanks with porcelain lining
  • Anode rod protects against electrolysis
  • Pilot or electronic ignition

2. Atwood Mobile Water Heater

Specs
Max power output: 8,800 BTU
Power source: 110-volt electric
Portable or full system: full system
Capacity: 6 gallons
Warranty: parts only/manufacturer warranty can be requested
Stiebel Eltron Tankless Water Heater – Tempra 24 Plus – Electric, On Demand Hot Water, Eco, White
Stiebel Eltron Tankless Water Heater – Tempra 24 Plus – Electric, On Demand Hot Water, Eco, White
For such efficient production of hot water, the Atwood Mobile Water Heater is somewhat reasonably priced for what we would consider a premium unit. Sure, it’s not the cheapest out there, but if you don’t like “on-demand” heat and want a heater that consistently operates well, we’re a fan of this model.

What we like about it
  • Fits well in many RV units
  • Reliable hot water
  • Operates efficiently
  • Foam insulation to maintain heat
  • Electric pilot light
Drawbacks
  • Pricey
  • Not the largest tank capacity
Stiebel Eltron Tankless Water Heater – Tempra 24 Plus – Electric, On Demand Hot Water, Eco, White
  • CONTINUOUS FLOW – Advanced Flow Control German patented technology invented by Stiebel Eltron, automatically maintains water temperature for constant comfort. It’ll reduce flow slightly if hot water demand exceeds capacity. Hot showers will never be interrupted again.
  • SPACE & ENERGY SAVER – Its small, sleek white design saves space yet still provides endless hot water for your whole house, and no venting is required. Eco friendly unit saves energy with auto-modulation and the ability to electronically measure water flow. Savings monitor even shows how much you save on energy costs.
  • EASY OPERATION – Electronic flow sensor switches on the powerful solid copper interior heating system of the water heater. It’s noise free while in use and has a digital temperature display and preset temperature memory buttons.

Best Electric RV Water Heaters

1. Suburban Electric RV Water Heater – Editor’s Pick

Specs
Max power output: 12,000 BTU
Power source: 1440-watt electric/LP gas
Portable or full system: full system
Capacity: 6 gallons
Warranty: one-year limited
New Suburban Sw6De 6 Gallon Dsi Electric Ignition/Lp Lp And Gas Rv Motorhome Trailer Water Heater
New Suburban Sw6De 6 Gallon Dsi Electric Ignition/Lp Lp And Gas Rv Motorhome Trailer Water Heater
Suburban makes some fantastic RV water heaters, and their combination gas/electric unit here is one of our favorites. This model utilizes electricity but also has a gas backup, so you don’t have to lose hot water if you lose power. The heating time on this one is excellent, and the entire tank can be warmed in around 20 to 30 minutes.

What we like about it
  • Fast heating
  • Reliable brand name
  • Combined gas and electric options for heating
  • Ideal for RVs
  • Capacity is excellent for one to three people
Drawbacks
  • Requires a bit of electric knowledge to install
  • Not the most budget-friendly

2. Camplux Mini Tank Electric Water Heater

Specs
Max power output: BTUs not listed/1440 watts
Power source: 120-volt electric
Portable or full system: portable
Capacity: 4 gallons
Warranty: none listed
Camplux ME40 Mini Tank Electric Water Heater 4-Gallon with Cord Plug,120 Volts
Camplux ME40 Mini Tank Electric Water Heater 4-Gallon with Cord Plug,120 Volts
Camplux makes an excellent option for a compact yet efficient electric RV water heater. This smaller unit heats water to very high temperatures when turned up all the way, and stores four gallons—enough for a shower, but not so much that the tank will utilize too much space.

What we like about it
  • Compact size for RVs
  • Super hot water on the highest setting
  • Other tank sizes available
  • Simple plug-in power
  • Efficient water heating
Drawbacks
  • No warranty
  • Not ideal for high-flow showers
Camplux ME40 Mini Tank Electric Water Heater 4-Gallon with Cord Plug,120 Volts
  • Saving Energy & Money- Built in insulation foam, reduces heat loss. 4-gallon point-of-use mini-tank fits under your sink to provide hot water right where you need it.
  • High Quality Built & Elegant Design- Camplux electric water heater has glass-lined tank for long service life and easy to maintain. Elegant streamline design cover, made your kitchen more pretty.
  • UL Approval Safety - Thermostat Control allows adjustment of water temperature. High Limit device provide protection while overheating.

Best Gas RV Water Heaters

1. GASLAND 6L Portable Gas Water Heater – Editor’s Pick

Specs
Max power output: 41,000 BTU
Power source: gas
Portable or full system: portable
Capacity: 1.48 gallons per minute
Warranty: one-year limited
For a portable gas water heater, this GASLAND unit combines the heating power of gas with the peace-of-mind of battery power. You don’t have to worry about running out of hot water when your RV is parked and off for a while.

What we like about it
  • Compact and portable
  • D-cell battery backup
  • On-demand, efficient hot water
  • Anti-freeze and over-heat protection
  • Reasonable price
Drawbacks
  • Not ideal for high altitudes
  • Occasional issues with cord breaking

2. Atwood RV Gas Water Heater

Specs
Max power output: 8,800 BTU
Power source: gas
Portable or full system: full system
Capacity: 6 gallons
Warranty: extended warranty available for purchase
Atwood RV Water Heater G6A-8E 6 Gallon Gas Water Heater DSI WITH WHITE DOOR
Atwood RV Water Heater G6A-8E 6 Gallon Gas Water Heater DSI WITH WHITE DOOR
For those who prefer gas RV water heaters, the Atwood G6A-8E model consistently puts out hot water at an efficient rate. We like the easy-install of this unit, and many issues that can potentially arise are simple to fix from outside of the heater. Overall, this is a quality water heater with helpful customer service behind it.

What we like about it
  • The aluminum-clad tank does not require anode stick
  • 6-gallon recovery rate per hour
  • Simple installation
  • Overheat temperature lock option
  • Produces high-temp water
  • Quality customer service
Drawbacks
  • A bit expensive
  • Some quality control issues from various sellers online
Atwood RV Water Heater G6A-8E 6 Gallon Gas Water Heater DSI WITH WHITE DOOR
  • COMES WITH WHITE DOOR
  • Direct Spark Ignition 6 Gallon Capacity
  • Input 8,800 BTU

Best Full-System RV Water Heaters

1. Suburban 10-Gallon Gas Water Heater – Editor’s Pick

Specs
Max power output: 12,000 BTU
Power source: gas
Portable or full system: full system
Capacity: 10 gallons
Warranty: manufacturer warranty can be requested

Suburban 10-Gallon Gas Water Heater  Source: homedepot.com

If you want reliable hot water and are not a fan of the “on-demand” heating style, or have more than a couple of people using water in your RV, Suburban’s full-system, 10-gallon gas model, is an excellent option. The water supply is high enough to take a couple of showers with the tank capacity, and the gas heating warms up to a toasting temp.

What we like about it
  • Large tank capacity of 10 gallons
  • Produces extremely hot water
  • Ideal for more than one or two people
  • Reliable brand name
Drawbacks
  • Expensive
  • Heavy

2. Atwood 94026 XT Water Heater

Specs
Max power output: not listed
Power source: LP/electric
Portable or full system: full system
Capacity: 10 gallons
Warranty: parts only
Atwood 94026 XT Water Heater - 10 Gallon, LP/Electric
Atwood 94026 XT Water Heater - 10 Gallon, LP/Electric
If you can’t get your water hot enough with current or previous RV water heaters, Atwood’s 10-gallon 94026 XT might be perfect for you. This unit does require a bit of electrical handiness to install, but once it’s in place, the water output is quite hot, and the tank capacity offers plenty. This model is fantastic for families or those who want piping hot water in their RV.

What we like about it
  • Produces very hot water
  • Plenty of supply with a larger tank capacity
  • Ideal for families or more than a couple of people
  • Efficient electric heating
  • Well-known brand name
Drawbacks
  • Expensive
  • Does not have an adjustable thermostat
Atwood 94026 XT Water Heater - 10 Gallon, LP/Electric
  • The Atwood XT 10- Gallon water heater provides the equivalence of a 16- Gallon unit without increasing the space required
  • Saves weight while fitting in the same cut-out dimensions of other Atwood water heaters
  • Comes pre-configured with a winterization bypass kit, tee fittings, hoses and a thermostatically-controlled mixing valve with check valves in both inlets

Best Portable RV Water Heaters

1. Eccotemp 2.5-Gallon Mini Tank Water Heater – Editor’s Pick

Specs
Max power output: BTU not listed
Power source: 120-volt electric
Portable or full system: portable
Capacity: 2.5 gallons
Warranty: parts two-years/tank five-years
Eccotemp EM-2.5 Electric 2.5-Gallon Mini Tank Water Heater
Eccotemp EM-2.5 Electric 2.5-Gallon Mini Tank Water Heater
If you need a super compact and affordable water heater for your RV, the Eccotemp 2.5 gallon is one of our top picks. This small, portable unit utilizes electric heat to provide you with a small but efficient amount of hot water for those who want to save space in an RV or camper.

What we like about it
  • Ultra-compact for smaller RVs and campers
  • Reasonable price
  • Electric pilot light
  • Bracket wall mount included
  • Adjustable temperature
  • No recirculating lines or pumps necessary
Drawbacks
  • Petite tank size (can run out of hot water quickly)
  • Not ideal for larger families
Eccotemp EM-2.5 Electric 2.5-Gallon Mini Tank Water Heater
  • Compact design fits virtually anywhere, easy and ready to install
  • Adjustable temperature control 50 Degree-140 Degree
  • Temperature/Pressure relief valve included

2. Bosch Electric Mini-Tank Water Heater

Specs
Max power output: BTU not listed
Power source: electric
Portable or full system: portable
Capacity: 4 gallons
Warranty: 2-year parts/6-year on unit
Bosch Electric Mini-Tank Water Heater Tronic 3000 T 4-Gallon (ES4) - Eliminate Time for Hot Water - Shelf, Wall or Floor Mounted
Bosch Electric Mini-Tank Water Heater Tronic 3000 T 4-Gallon (ES4) - Eliminate Time for Hot Water - Shelf, Wall or Floor Mounted
The small size and simple 120-volt plug-in design of Bosch’s portable water heater make this unit ideal for RVs. The heating is efficient, and with an adjustable thermostat, you can control how warm your water gets.

What we like about it
  • Compact size is perfect for RVs
  • Rapid heating time
  • Reasonable price
  • Simple to mount on a wall or under sink
  • Excellent customer feedback
Drawbacks
  • Can’t be winterized
  • Rare issues of leaking
Bosch Electric Mini-Tank Water Heater Tronic 3000 T 4-Gallon (ES4) - Eliminate Time for Hot Water - Shelf, Wall or Floor Mounted
  • CONVENIENT HOT WATER HEATER: 4 gallon point-of-use mini-tank fits under your sink to provide hot water right where you need it. Thermal efficiency is 98%. Dimensions : 13.75 W x 13.75 H x 13.5 D Inches
  • LONG LASTING QUALITY: This electric water heater is easy to maintain and has premium glass-lined material for a long service life. (Amps 12A, Volts (VAC) 120)
  • INDEPENDENT INSTALLATION: 36-37" cord plugs into a 120 volt outlet for independent installation or in-line with a large hot water source

Final Thoughts

If you’re going to camp in an RV, you might as well have the convenience of hot water, even if you try to “rough it” with most other things. Hot water heaters can be incredibly expensive, but if you minimize your use of warm water, you don’t always have to spend several hundreds of dollars to get a decent unit. Using smart practices such as washing dishes in colder water or lathering up all over before rising off in the shower can extend the use of your hot water, and by doing so, you can often get away with a much smaller tank. Pick your favorite, and start enjoying warmer water in your RV today.

Last update on 2020-10-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.