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How to Convert RV Water Heater to Tankless

As an RV owner, you want to ensure that your mini house has all the creature comforts you would get at home. Using a tankless water heater in an RV will ensure comfort and reliability.

Tankless water heaters are unique as they are designed to provide hot water within no time. but most importantly, they are lightweight and compact, making them perfectly suited to use in an RV.

The integration of advanced technology such as Bluetooth control has made some models expensive. Therefore, it is well worth knowing how to convert RV water heater to tankless and do it yourself, besides giving you great satisfaction, it will save you a considerable amount on hiring a plumber.

How to Convert RV Water Heater to Tankless

Because these tankless water heaters come at a high price, you want to make sure you are doing the install right, otherwise, you could cause damage and destroy the unit. If you do not know what you are doing, then home installation comes with the risk of damage.

So take your time, don’t be looking for shortcuts as that will get you into a mess real quick. Don’t worry; we have explored a DIY shortcut to convert an RV water heater to tankless. Now, there is no need to waste your time on RV heater installation.

In this article, we would discuss the removal of the old water heater and the installation of a new one. Here we go to start our discussion.

Convert RV Water Heater to Tankless

Generally, conversion to a tankless water heater, or replacement of an RV water heater will require two stages. Firstly you need to know how to remove the old unit properly so there no damage is done to your precious home on wheels, or to the new water heater. Secondly, you will install and convert the RV water heater to tankless, which is actually quite easy if you stick to the following easy and simple steps.

Step 1 – Switch off Supplies

Turn all the supplies off that include water, electricity, and propane. This step is necessary to bypass any issue during the whole process.

Switch off Supplies

Step 2 – Drain the Tank Completely

In the very next step, you are required to drain the tank of your old heater. This practice would allow you to have mess-free proceedings.

Drain the Tank Completely

Step 3 – Remove Old Water Heater

Make the external flange clean. Use a drill machine and remove all the fasteners. Locate the flange with good care with the help of a hammer. Make sure you have not destroyed the flange or surrounding area of the RV.

Remove Old Water Heater

You may need a scrapper to undetached the heater from the RV wall. Try not to harm the paint over the surface. Now, you can remove the older unit from RV.

Install a New Tankless Water Heater

To install a new tankless water heater, you have to follow the following steps.

Step 1 – Clean the Area

If needed, you can wipe the RV wall to make it free from dust. Plus, it may be occupied by sealer caulk or debris. Double-check that the RV wall is clearly free from debris and dust particles. After cleaning, this area is ready to install a tankless water heater.

Step 2 – Check for Opening

The tankless water heater demands an accurate opening. If you are installing the heater the very first time to your RV, making the correct opening is necessary. Before managing the hole in the RV wall, measure the size of the tankless water heater opening by using measuring tape. After that, you can make a hole of the correct dimension.

Check for Opening

Alternatively, if you are going for a water heater replacement, prefer the unit with the same dimension as that of the older heater. Now, you are ready to slide the new unit at the required place of RV.

Step 3 – Installation of a New Water Heater

Installing the new water heater is the most crucial step that needs your attention. Collect all the supportive tools and fasteners. Take a good time and make sure the unit sits at the required place. Another important point is that the unit should be balanced after fastening.

Installation of a New Water Heater

Step 4 – Place the Door

You can now position the RV door at its place. Before its placement, make sure that the door has an accurate alignment.

Step 5 – Fill the Gap

After that, observe the whole placement and locate the gaps. For all the gaps, the best practice is to fill them with sealing.

Step 6 – Reconnect the Wires

This step will be tension-free if the installation is correct. Set all the supplies, including the waterline, electrical connection, and propane line. To keep the heater free from moisture from the external, the best practice is to paint it with silicon. This trick would save the tankless water heater from the harsh external environment.

Reconnect the Wires

Step 7 – Confirm Water Flow

After you have done all these steps with great care, the necessary step is confirmation. Turn the tab on check the availability of warm water.

Tankless Water Heater Maintenance

As tankless water heaters are installed at the RV’s external place, one may think about its maintenance. There is a specialized tankless water heater in the market. These are closed container types and do not demand much care.

Tankless Water Heater Maintenance

But, keep checking its gas and electricity connections. You can hire a professional for this purpose to ensure confident usage. Furthermore, maintain the external cleaning to clear dust and debris.

Advantages of Tankless Water Heater

The tankless water heater brings multiple advantages that have made it famous than the tank water heater. The most common benefits are;

  • The tankless water heater is very efficient in cutting down energy loss. The integrated technology lowers down electricity bill and makes it feasible.
  • The size is very smart and compact that allows it to fit at any place with great ease. Amazingly, they provide an equal capacity of water as a tank water heater with a small size.
  • They don’t work with a single type of fuel. Alternatively, three types of fuels provide input power that includes electricity, propane, and natural gas.
  • They can monitor the flow of water and gas that make it safe to use.
  • They don’t store water before need and heat water at the same instant you need it. Still, you do not need to wait for long to enjoy the warm water. You turn the tap on, and warm water gets delivered within seconds.
Tankless Water Heater

Disadvantages of tankless water heater


No doubt, the tankless water heater has great advantages, but it has some limitations as well. Some famous cons are as follows;

  • The tag price of the tankless water heater is high due to the advanced technology integrated into them.
  • The installation is not easy so, it needs a professional that may cost you more.
  • The flow rate gets disturbed in the extreme cold and gets alter according to groundwater temperature.
  • Most units are designed for either indoor or outdoor installation. There are a handful of heaters that are free to install both indoor and outdoor.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can RV Water Heater Replace by Tankless Unit?

Typically RV heaters come with a capacity from 6 gallons to 12 gallons. The tankless water heaters have competed for this capacity. Now, these heaters can fulfill equal demand with small sizes.

2. Does an RV Water Heater Worth It?

Yes, installing an RV water heater is worthy because it uses less amount of propane than a typical unit. Moreover, these are light in weight and very compact. This profile makes it very portable and saves water also.

3. Does a Tankless Water Heater Fill the Tub?

Yes, the tankless water heaters are strong enough to fill the tub.

Wrapping Up

We have discussed how to convert RV water heater to tankless due to its increasing trend on search queries. After writing this article, we concluded that this process demands great practice. If you are a beginner, don’t try to follow this procedure until you have some specialists.

Before conversion, arrange all the necessary tools and mounting kit for accuracy. Keep the external surface clean, so the body would not disturb.

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