How to Convert RV Water Heater to Tankless – Simple Steps to Follow

Are you someone who loves traveling and camping at random places? Most travelers have an RV water heater installed in their vans which may cause a shortage of hot water when needed.

In this case, you should go for an RV tankless water heater and the good thing is you can convert your existing RV water heater to a tankless one. Don’t know how to convert RV water heater to a Tankless? Well, this handy guide is for travelers like you.

An RV water heater makes it easy to stay for long in nature away from hustle and bustle of city life. Rv water heaters provide hot water for showers, dishes, cleaning. This gadget helps make your travel comfortable.

Rv water heaters just like the water heaters installed in our homes heat up the water in our pipes to the required temperature. If you are out on an adventure with your family consisting of 3 to 4 members, an RV water heater will fall short of heated water for the shower.

The process is pretty simple and makes travel and adventure super convenient. The main difference is that RV water heaters have a small size compared to the ones installed at home. They often have only 6 to 10-gallon capacity.

Converting RV Water Heater to a Tankless Water Heating Unit

If you love camping then owning a tankless water heater will make things very much comfortable for you. Going out in nature from place to place you won’t have warm water available for showering and all other basic needs of life. This is the reason you need a water heating unit in your RV.

Traditionally the water heating units had storage tanks that stored a certain amount of water and that was then heated over time. Now with the advancement in technology new forms of water heaters have been developed. These sorts of water heaters heat water on demand and don’t have any storage unit.

These units have about 5 Gallon per minute water heating capacity or more. Thus it enables you to enjoy an abundant hot water supply within minutes of turning on the tap.

If you want to convert your RV water heater to a tankless one you need to follow some simple steps that are listed next.

  1. Start by cutting off gas, electricity, and water supply to your water heating unit. This should be the first step to avoid any inconvenience while proceeding with the next steps. Safety is the first priority. Make it a habit to cut off all connections to any appliance before handling it. Carelessness in this case can result in great havoc. Drain your old water heater. Open the drain valve and let the unit fully empty up.
  2. Look for a suitable place to install your new tank-less water heating unit. The water heating units are installed outside the RV so it’s easy to access them. In case you already have a tank-less water heater then it will be present outside on one side of the RV.
  3. Now unscrew your old water heating unit. Keep all the screws together in one place so in case you need them later they are easy to access. Cut the water heater seal to take it out. Scrape off the sealing on its sides and corners. Make sure while scraping the sealing you don’t scrape off the paint from your RV.
  4. Take out the old water heating unit. Clean the space where the new water heating unit will be installed. Carefully remove any debris or sealer present at the site.
  5. Buy the tankless water heater with the same dimensions as the old water heater. This will make it easy for the unit to fit into the old opening. If the dimensions of the two units don’t match it will create issues for you.
  6. Place the new tankless water heating unit into place. Now caulk around the gaps. Put silicone around gaps so it will absorb moisture from outside.
  7. Held the door in proper alignment and once you are satisfied that the position is correct screw it to secure it in place.
  8. Now that the unit is installed begin with the wiring connection. Connect the black wire to the ground. Make the cold and hot water connections. To install the control panel look for instructions in the manual. When done with all the steps mentioned in the manual test the control panel to see if it’s working properly or not. If you have followed all the steps correctly then your RV tankless water heater will be working fine and will provide you with an instantaneous supply of hot water. If the water supply is not hot as required recheck all the steps and connections to make sure you are not missing out on something.
  9. Turn on the hot water to see if it’s working. Set the temperature closer to the actual water temperature.

Tools Needed to Convert RV Water Heater to Tankless

The process of converting an RV to a tankless water heating unit is not a very complicated one. This process does not require any fancy tools. This job can be done with basic tools like a wrench, screwdriver, chisel, and hammer. Rags will be helpful to clean off the excess sealant.

RV Tankless Water Heater Maintenance

Tankless water heaters have a longer life span than traditional storage ones. The tankless water heater produces hot water on demand. To perform optimally for long the tankless water heating units need annual maintenance.

This maintenance helps descale the unit. Always disconnect all the electric water and gas supplies to the unit before beginning the maintenance process. Let the unit cool down before touching any parts.

RV Tankless water heating units operate just like residential ones. They heat the water in pipes using a heat exchanger. They work on either gas or electricity. Most RV owners use gas to fuel their RV tankless water heating system. The gas-fueled RV either runs on propane or natural gas.

Advantages of Tankless Water Heating Unit

Usage of RV tankless water heaters is quite popular. This is due to the numerous benefits it offers. Some of the advantages are listed next

  • Instant Hot water supply
  • The tankless water heating units heat water when the faucet is turned on. As the water is not stored for long so it won’t be dirty. The water is clean enough to be used for cooking and washing.
  • Energy efficient
  • One major advantage of having a tankless water heating unit is that it saves a lot of energy. Thus the long-term running cost of these units is much lower than the traditional ones.
  • Less space-occupying
  • As water is not being stored in a tank so these water heating units need a very small space to be installed. As the space in an RV is already minimal so it helps create space for other essential items.

We hope this guide was helpful for you and after reading this handy guide you will be able to convert your RV water heater to a tankless one without any issue. If in any case there comes any issue you can comment here or can contact your nearest plumber.

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With years of experience under his belt, Adam decided to put his water heater knowledge to work. By providing high-quality content and expert guides, Adam hopes to help anyone looking for expert water heater advice.