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How To Choose An RV Water Heater

September 2, 2022

Are you planning a road trip with your RV and wondering how to choose the right water heater? With so many options available in the market, selecting the perfect one that meets your needs can be overwhelming. The water heater is an essential appliance for any RV owner as it provides hot water for cooking, cleaning, and showering. In this article, we will guide you through the factors to consider when choosing an RV water heater.

Firstly, you need to decide on the type of fuel source you want for your RV water heater. Propane gas, electric or hybrid models are popular choices among RV enthusiasts. A propane gas model may be ideal if you plan to spend most of your time off-grid or camping in remote areas without access to electricity. However, if you prefer convenience and do not mind being connected to power outlets at campsites, then an electric-powered unit might be best suited for your needs. Hybrid models combine both propane and electric features to provide flexible usage options depending on your preferences.

Keep reading to learn more about other important considerations when choosing an RV water heater.

Fuel Source Options

When it comes to choosing an RV water heater, the first thing you need to consider is the fuel source. There are three main options: propane, electric, or a combination of both. Each has its own benefits and drawbacks.

Propane-powered water heaters are popular for their quick heating time and energy efficiency. They also don’t require any electrical power to operate, making them great for off-grid camping trips. However, installation requirements can be more complicated due to needing a propane tank and proper ventilation. Safety considerations must also be taken into account when dealing with flammable gas.

Electric water heaters are easy to install and use, as they simply require access to shore power or a generator. They’re also quieter than propane models since there’s no combustion process involved. However, they have slower heating times and may not be ideal for extended periods of use without a reliable power source. Additionally, safety considerations include potential electrical hazards if installed improperly.

Choosing which fuel source option works best for your needs ultimately depends on factors such as installation requirements, safety considerations, convenience, and personal preference.

In the next section, we’ll discuss capacity and size to ensure you choose an RV water heater that fits your specific needs.

Capacity And Size

Now that we’ve discussed the fuel source options for RV water heaters, it’s important to consider installation requirements and safety considerations.

Before purchasing a water heater, make sure you have enough space in your RV to accommodate it. Some models require additional ventilation or clearance around the unit, so be sure to check the manufacturer’s recommendations before making a purchase.

Additionally, installing an RV water heater can be a complex process that requires special tools and knowledge of plumbing and electrical systems. If you’re not comfortable with this type of work, it may be best to hire a professional installer who is familiar with RV-specific installations.

When it comes to safety considerations, always follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and never attempt any modifications or repairs yourself unless you are qualified to do so.

Always turn off the power supply before performing maintenance on the unit, and never use flammable materials near the water heater.

Considering these installation requirements and safety considerations will help ensure that your RV water heater functions properly and safely. In our next section, we’ll discuss energy efficiency and how it relates to choosing an RV water heater that meets both your needs and budget.

Energy Efficiency

As the saying goes, ‘waste not, want not.’ This proverb rings especially true when it comes to energy efficiency in your RV water heater. By choosing an energy-efficient model, you can save on costs and reduce your environmental impact.

Here are three things to consider when selecting an eco-friendly RV water heater:

  1. Fuel type: Propane is a common fuel choice for RV water heaters due to its portability and affordability. However, electric models may be more efficient if you have access to reliable electricity.
  2. Tank insulation: Insulated tanks help retain heat and prevent energy loss. Look for models with thick tank walls or additional insulation layers.
  3. Energy Star certification: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star program certifies products that meet strict energy efficiency guidelines. Choosing an Energy Star-certified RV water heater ensures maximum cost savings while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Investing in an energy-efficient RV water heater not only benefits the environment but also saves you money in the long run through reduced utility bills. Plus, by choosing a model certified by programs like Energy Star, you can feel confident knowing you’re doing your part to reduce carbon emissions.

Transitioning into our next section about maintenance and durability, it’s worth noting that regularly maintaining your eco-friendly RV water heater will ensure optimal performance and longevity.

Maintenance And Durability

Regular check-ups are key when maintaining an RV water heater.

Checking for rust and corrosion should be done regularly to prevent any damage from occurring.

To ensure its longevity, make sure to properly flush the water heater periodically and replace any broken or worn out parts.

Rust prevention is also important, so be sure to use a rust converter to coat the heater and keep it safe from corrosion.

Finally, keep an eye on the water pressure and temperature settings to make sure they’re working properly and make any necessary adjustments.

With some regular maintenance, your RV water heater can last for years.

Regular Check-Ups

Are you planning to use your RV water heater for a long time? If yes, then it’s crucial to understand the importance of regular check-ups.

These maintenance activities can help ensure that your water heater will keep functioning efficiently and effectively.

The frequency of these check-ups depends on the type of water heater you have installed in your RV. Generally, experts recommend scheduling annual inspections with professionals who specialize in RV maintenance.

These inspections typically involve a thorough examination of all components to identify potential issues before they become major problems.

In conclusion, taking care of your RV water heater through regular check-ups is essential if you want it to last longer.

Don’t wait until something goes wrong – schedule an appointment with a professional today and start enjoying hot showers during every adventure!

Rust Prevention

Now that we know the importance of regular check-ups for your RV water heater’s longevity, let’s talk about another aspect of maintenance – rust prevention.

Rust is a common problem in RV water heaters, especially if you’re using well water or hard water. This can cause damage to the internal components and reduce its efficiency over time.

However, there are ways to prevent rust from forming in your RV water heater.

One way to prevent rust is by using water softeners in your RV. Hard water contains high levels of minerals like calcium and magnesium, which can lead to corrosion inside the tank. Water softeners remove these minerals, making the water less harmful to your RV’s plumbing system and appliances.

Another effective method of preventing rust is by installing anode rods in your RV water heater. Anode rods are made up of aluminum or magnesium and attract corrosive particles present in the water before they reach other metal surfaces within the tank. These rods need frequent replacement as they wear down over time due to their job of attracting corroding particles.

In summary, maintaining your RV water heater goes beyond just annual inspections; it also includes taking necessary measures against rust formation via adding devices such as anode rods while having access to clean softened water with minimal mineral content through use of appropriate equipment such as water softeners.

By incorporating these methods into your regular maintenance routine, you can extend the lifespan of your RV’s hot shower supply!


Now that we’ve talked about rust prevention, let’s discuss another aspect of maintenance and durability for your RV water heater – longevity.

One way to ensure the long lifespan of your RV water heater is by understanding its warranty coverage. Check the manufacturer’s warranty and see what it covers and how long it lasts. This information will give you an idea of when you should start considering a replacement.

To extend the life of your RV water heater beyond its warranty period, proper maintenance is crucial. Corrosion prevention plays a significant role in maintaining your RV water heater’s longevity. As mentioned earlier, using anode rods can prevent corrosion within the tank, but there are other ways to protect against corrosion as well.

One effective method is to flush out your RV water heater regularly. Flushing removes any sediment or mineral buildup inside the tank that can cause corrosion over time.

By incorporating these measures into your regular maintenance routine, you can not only prevent costly repairs but also enjoy hot showers on all your camping trips!

Additional Features And Accessories

When choosing an RV water heater, there are additional features and accessories that you may want to consider. One of the most important things to keep in mind is installation tips. Make sure the heater you choose can be easily installed in your RV without any major modifications or repairs needed.

Another feature to look for is temperature control. Some models come with adjustable thermostats so you can set the exact temperature you prefer for your hot water. This is especially helpful if you have sensitive skin or need hotter water for specific tasks such as dishwashing.

In addition, some RV water heaters come with extra accessories such as timers or remote controls for added convenience. While these features aren’t necessary, they can make using your RV water heater more efficient and user-friendly.

Take a closer look at what each model offers to determine which one has the best combination of features and accessories for your needs.


So, there you have it – a comprehensive guide on how to choose the perfect RV water heater.

Remember that your choice of fuel source, capacity and size, energy efficiency, maintenance and durability, as well as additional features and accessories are all crucial factors to consider when selecting an RV water heater.

But beyond these technical considerations, don’t forget about your personal preferences and needs.

Consider the frequency of use, number of people in your party, and your budget.

Ultimately, the right RV water heater for you is one that meets both your practical requirements and brings you joy during every trip.

Happy camping!

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