12 Simple Steps: How To Convert RV Water Heater To Tankless

Ok, you looking for How To Convert RV Water Heater To Tankless because you desire more convenience and comfort when bathing, cooking, or cleaning.

Most of us love a long hot shower, right? An RV water heater can deliver gallons of hot water fast.

Here we get into how to convert your water heater to enjoy less leakage, safety, and long lifespan of a tankless water heater.

This can easily be a DIY project if you have good technical insight, some experience, and are familiar with tools.

How To Convert RV Water Heater To Tankless

How To Convert RV Water Heater To Tankless

One of the main concerns of people who have regular heaters in their RV is the fact they need to go tankless.

Only make the switch if it makes sense to you.

Don’t fret, here are some steps on how to convert RV water heater to tankless:

Step 1: Buy a tankless water heater that is the same size as your current hot water heater. Also, get a door that is sold separately (measure the outside compartment for proper size)

Step 2: Turn off everything! Shut off the propane, water pressure, and electricity. Now, drain the tank.

Step 3: Disconnect all lines to the old water heater! The hot and cold water, gas and electricity.

Step 4: Remove the old unit, waterproof sealant, caulking, and/or any excess residue. You can use a cordless drill when removing the fasteners and a hammer and chisel to pry the mounting flange from the RV.

Step 5: Grab your butyl tape and place it around the opening of the exterior compartment.

Step 6: Convert! Slide the new tankless heater into the recess, take time to make sure it’s balanced and doesn’t snag or catch anything. Now screw on the new door.

Step 7: You can add a bead of lap sealant around the heater (not always needed). But, make sure all the mounting holes are aligned.

Step 8: Reconnect! Make sure the water and gas lines are connected properly. If the water lines aren’t lining up, you can use Flexible PEX tubing to help.

Step 9: Install the heater control panel inside the RV

Step 10: Reconnect the existing electrical connections

Step 11: Turn on the LP gas lines and water to make sure there aren’t any leaks.

Step 12: Turn it on and test your hot water heater.

Related: 7 Best RV Dehumidifier Reviews


RV Tankless Water Heater Pros and Cons:

Pros

  • Long Hot Showers (Hot water on demand)
  • Monitor Gas and Water
  • Energy-efficient
  • Longer Lifespan
  • 3 types of fuels provide input power (Electricity, propane and natural gas)
  • They don’t store water before need it

Cons

  • Designed for indoor and outdoor installation (few can install in either place)
  • If you dont feel comfortable doing it yourself you may have to pay someone to install
  • Not cheap

Most Popular Models For Tankless Water Heater

1. Girard 2GWHAM On-Demand Tankless Water Heater

What we like most about this heater is the digital control panel.

The Girard Maintains water temperatures up to 124°F using 42,000 BTUs and has troubleshooting diagnostics in the event that the burner doesn’t ignite.

Its quiet has a brush-less motor and 12V power that operates at less than 3 AMPs for high efficiency.

2. Atwood Gas/Electric Water Heater

Designed to replace a tanked 6-gallon water heater in most RV models, the Atwood is one of the best RV tankless water heaters and It weighs just 19 pounds empty.

We like this product because nearly 95% of the parts can be replaced or serviced through the outside door.

Heats water with 8,800 BTUs and has a 17.8 gallon-per-hour recovery rate. Includes exterior door for easy integration.

3. Eccotemp L10 2.6 GPM Portable Tankless Water Heater

The Eccotemp has a 9-inch CSA-approved gas regulator, and for use on a standard 20 lb grill style tank, it has a hose.

It is an automatic gas water heater, and you can reset when water stops and when it starts again.

But, by default, it has a 20-minute automatic safety shutoff timer that means you don’t need to manually stop this water heater.

It is very lightweight and easy to carry, so this water heater can be your first choice when you are camping.

Related: How Long to Keep Fresh Water in RV Tank?


Can I Replace My RV Water Heater with a Tankless Unit?

Yes, you can replace your RV water heater with a tankless unit.

Tankless water heaters are designed to replace existing units. These are retrofit designs so they can fit in the same cut-out of your existing water heater.

So if you have a standard 6-gallon water heater or a 12-gallon water heater, you won’t have a problem making the converting.

How Much Does It Cost to Replace a Water Heater with a Tankless Water Heater?

If you plan on paying someone it can cost around $1,500 – $3,000 to install a tankless heater. Labor rates vary so you have to shop around.

It’s cheaper to convert on your own but if you don’t have the time, patience, or comfortability with tools then paying someone to install is the way to go.

Related: 5 Steps – How To Sanitize RV Water Tank?

What is the Downside of a Tankless Water Heater?

Generally, no, there are no downsides to a tankless water heater.

If you don’t plan on making this a DIY project, there is a downside to paying for someone to install the heaters.

Also, it has been said that travelers should stick with a tanked heater if they do a bunch of boondocking, are on a budget, or camp infrequently.

It really all depends on the RVer in question. The purchaser can find a downside in the cost of the actual heater. *Visit the pros and cons section above.

Related: How Does RV Plumbing Work?


Enjoy Your Hot Water on Demand

Now that you know how to convert RV water heater to tankless, you probably also wondering…

Are RV tankless water heaters worth it? Yes, you will love the on-demand hot water and more energy efficiency because there is no heat loss from standing water. Just make sure you maintain it.

Double-check the steps, pros & cons, and the suggested tankless water heater above, and I’m sure you quickly see the benefits and advantages of converting to a tankless heater.

Before you convert, arrange all the necessary tools for mounting accurately.

Be Safe Out There!

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