How To Convert RV Water Heater To Tankless?

A tankless water heater, also known as an on-demand water heater, heats water only when it’s needed. This can lead to energy savings and provide the convenience of continuous hot water. Embarking on the journey to convert your RV water heater to a tankless system is a game-changer in terms of energy efficiency and on-the-road comfort.

Imagine never running out of hot water in your RV, even after everyone has taken a shower. That’s the beauty of a tankless water heater! so the question is How To Convert an RV Water Heater To Tankless?

This guide will walk you through the process of converting your RV’s traditional water heater to a tankless system. It’s important to note that while the process is straightforward, it should be done by someone comfortable with RV systems or a professional.

Benefits of Tankless RV Water Heaters

Energy Efficiency

Tankless RV water heaters excel in energy efficiency, providing a significant advantage over traditional models. By operating on-demand and only heating water when needed, these units eliminate the constant energy consumption associated with storing and reheating water in a traditional tank. 

Space-Saving Design

The compact and space-saving design of tankless RV water heaters is a game-changer for RV owners seeking to optimize their interior space. Unlike their tank-equipped counterparts, tankless models can be installed in smaller, more convenient locations within the RV.

Continuous Hot Water Supply

One of the standout features of tankless RV water heaters is their ability to provide a continuous and on-demand supply of hot water. Traditional water heaters with tanks may run out of hot water, requiring time to reheat and leaving occupants in discomfort. 

Cost Savings

The energy efficiency of tankless RV water heaters translates directly into cost savings for RV enthusiasts. With reduced energy consumption, owners can experience lower utility bills over time, contributing to the overall affordability of the RV lifestyle. 

Environmental Impact

In addition to cost savings, the energy-efficient operation of tankless RV water heaters aligns with a more sustainable and environmentally friendly approach. By minimizing energy waste, these units contribute to a smaller carbon footprint, reflecting the growing trend of eco-conscious RV living.

Considerations Before Conversion

RV Compatibility

  • Assess the specific make and model of your RV to ensure compatibility with the tankless water heater you intend to install. Different RVs may have varying configurations and space limitations that could impact the selection and installation process.
  • Check the existing plumbing and electrical systems to confirm they can accommodate the requirements of a tankless unit. Modifications may be necessary, and it’s essential to be aware of any potential challenges upfront.

Power Source Requirements

  • Tankless RV water heaters typically operate on either electricity, propane, or a combination of both. Evaluate the power sources available in your RV and choose a unit that aligns with your setup.
  • Consider the electrical capacity and amperage of your RV to ensure it can handle the demands of the tankless water heater. Upgrading the electrical system may be necessary in some cases.

Installation Challenges

  • Identify any potential obstacles or challenges related to the installation process. This could include the need for additional venting, space constraints, or the adaptation of existing plumbing and wiring.
  • Plan the installation carefully, taking into account the layout of your RV and the specific requirements of the chosen tankless water heater model. Professional installation may be advisable for those unfamiliar with RV systems.

Budget and Cost Considerations

  • Establish a realistic budget for the entire conversion project, including the cost of the tankless water heater, any necessary modifications, and potential professional installation fees.
  • Compare the upfront costs of different tankless models with their long-term energy efficiency benefits to make an informed decision that aligns with both your immediate financial considerations and your overall cost-saving goals.

Maintenance and Support

  • Research the maintenance requirements of the chosen tankless water heater and ensure they align with your preferences and capabilities. Some models may require periodic flushing or descaling to maintain optimal performance.
  • Explore the availability of technical support and replacement parts for the selected unit. Opt for a model that comes with reliable customer support, as this can be crucial in addressing any issues that may arise during the conversion or afterward.

Regulatory Compliance

  • Prioritize safety throughout the conversion process. Learn about disconnecting power sources, guidelines for confined spaces, and the use of personal protective equipment to ensure a secure and incident-free process to convert your RV water heater to tankless.

Future Expansion

  • Consider the possibility of future upgrades or expansions in your RV system. Choose a tankless water heater that allows for flexibility in case you plan to make additional modifications or add appliances to your RV in the future.
  • Plan for scalability to accommodate potential changes in your RV setup without the need for extensive modifications to the tankless water heater system.

Gathering Tools and Materials

Comprehensive Tool Kit

  • Begin by assembling a comprehensive set of tools necessary for the installation. This should include wrenches, screwdrivers, pliers, and pipe cutters. A well-organized tool kit will expedite the conversion process and prepare you for any unexpected challenges that may arise.
  • Consider any specialized tools recommended by the tankless water heater manufacturer for the specific model you’ve chosen. Adhering to these recommendations ensures precise and trouble-free installation.

Safety Equipment

  • Prioritize safety throughout the installation process by including essential safety gear in your toolkit. This may encompass gloves, safety glasses, and, if required, a mask. Safeguarding yourself is paramount, especially when dealing with potential electrical or gas connections.

Plumbing Supplies

  • Depending on your RV’s existing plumbing configuration and the tankless water heater’s requirements, gather plumbing supplies such as pipes, connectors, and fittings. Ensure these are compatible with both the RV plumbing system and the new water heater’s specifications.
  • Teflon tape, pipe sealant, and pipe insulation may also be necessary to establish secure and leak-free connections.

Electrical Components

  • If your selected tankless water heater operates on electricity, ensure you have the necessary electrical components. This may involve wiring, circuit breakers, and connectors. Verify the electrical compatibility of your RV and the water heater to prevent any electrical issues during and after installation.

Ventilation Materials

  • For propane-powered tankless water heaters, proper ventilation is crucial for the safe release of combustion byproducts. Acquire the necessary ventilation materials, including vent pipes and fittings, to meet safety standards.
  • Refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines for specific ventilation requirements and confirm that your RV’s layout allows for a secure installation.

Tankless Water Heater Unit

  • Purchase the tankless water heater unit that aligns with your RV’s needs and specifications. Consider factors such as size, power source, and features when making your selection.
  • Double-check that the unit comes with a detailed installation manual. This manual serves as a valuable guide throughout the conversion process, offering step-by-step instructions and important safety information.

Installation Manuals and Guides

  • In addition to the tankless water heater manual, gather any other installation guides or manuals relevant to your RV’s plumbing and electrical systems. Having comprehensive documentation on hand ensures you can refer to specific guidelines as needed during the installation.

Sealants and Insulation

  • Invest in quality sealants and insulation materials to secure connections and prevent heat loss. Proper sealing is crucial for maintaining the efficiency of the tankless water heater and ensuring that the RV remains well-insulated.

Measuring Instruments

  • Accurate measurements are critical for a precise installation. Equip yourself with measuring instruments such as a tape measure and level to ensure the tankless water heater is installed correctly and functions optimally.

Storage and Organization

  • Keep your tools and materials organized in storage containers or toolboxes. This not only helps you locate items quickly but also minimizes the risk of losing small components during the installation process. An organized workspace contributes to a smoother and more efficient conversion experience.

Safety Precautions

Convert the RV water heater to a tankless water heater using safety precautions. Learn about disconnecting power sources, guidelines for confined spaces, and the use of personal protective equipment to ensure a secure and incident-free conversion.

Turning Off and Disconnecting Power

The first step in the conversion process involves safely turning off and disconnecting power to the existing water heater. This section provides a detailed guide on shutting off gas supplies, disconnecting electrical connections, and ensuring a hazard-free environment.

Removing the Old Water Heater

Carefully uninstalling the old water heater is a crucial phase in the conversion journey. Learn how to drain the remaining water, disconnect plumbing connections, and remove the unit without causing damage to your RV structure.

Installing the Tankless Water Heater

This section walks you through the positioning and secure installation of the new tankless water heater. Detailed steps and considerations for connecting plumbing are covered to ensure a successful upgrade.

Adjusting Settings and Testing

Once the tankless water heater is installed, discover how to adjust temperature settings and conduct thorough tests to ensure optimal functionality. This step-by-step guide minimizes the chances of issues arising post-conversion.

Optimizing Space Usage

With the tankless water heater in place, explore the newfound space within your RV. Creative suggestions on utilizing this extra room add a personalized touch to your upgraded RV environment.

Maintenance Tips for Tankless RV Water Heaters

Maximize the benefits of your tankless RV water heater with regular maintenance practices. Learn how to perform checks, address issues promptly, and troubleshoot effectively for prolonged system longevity.


Can any RV be converted to a tankless water heater?

While many RVs can undergo this conversion, compatibility and space considerations vary. Check your RV’s specifications and consult with professionals if needed.

What are the main advantages of switching to a tankless system?

Tankless RV water heaters offer energy efficiency, continuous hot water supply, and space-saving benefits, making them popular among RV enthusiasts.

Are there specific challenges in converting older RV models?

Older RVs may have unique challenges such as space constraints or outdated plumbing. Professional advice can help navigate these challenges effectively.

How does a tankless RV water heater impact energy consumption?

Tankless models are more energy-efficient as they heat water on demand. This can lead to significant energy savings compared to traditional tank-based heaters.

Can I perform the conversion myself, or should I hire a professional?

DIY conversion is possible for those with mechanical skills, but hiring a professional ensures a seamless and error-free process, especially for complex installations.

What is the expected lifespan of a tankless RV water heater?

Tankless water heaters generally have a longer lifespan than traditional models, often exceeding 20 years with proper maintenance.

Conversion ProcessStep-by-step guide for converting RV water heater to tanklessLearn the process of transforming your RV water heater into a tankless system, optimizing space and efficiency.
BenefitsIncreased space, energy efficiency, on-demand heatingEnjoy more storage space and enhanced energy efficiency by switching to a tankless water heater. 
ConsiderationsRV size, water usage habits, installation feasibilityTailor the conversion to your RV’s size, considering water usage habits. 
Materials NeededTankless water heater, plumbing tools, safety equipmentGather essential materials, including the tankless water heater, plumbing tools, and safety equipment. 
Conversion TimeVaries based on experience, complexityThe time needed for the conversion depends on your familiarity with RV systems and the complexity of the process. 
Safety MeasuresTurn off utilities, follow manufacturer guidelinesPrioritize safety by turning off utilities before starting the conversion.
Testing and AdjustingCheck for leaks, adjust settings for optimal performanceAfter the conversion, conduct thorough tests to identify and address leaks.
Maintenance TipsRegular checks, flush the system, address issues promptlyKeep your tankless water heater in top condition with regular checks. Periodically flush the system to prevent buildup.


To convert your RV water heater to a tankless system is a transformative upgrade that enhances efficiency and convenience. This guide equips you with the knowledge needed to navigate the conversion process successfully. Whether you’re a seasoned DIY enthusiast or prefer professional assistance, embracing the world of tankless RV water heaters promises a more comfortable and energy-efficient road-tripping experience.

Armed with well-informed choices, RV enthusiasts can set out on their journeys, enjoying the convenience and dependability of a water heating solution personalized to their preferences, and convert their RV water heater into a tankless marvel.

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