Best Portable Water Heaters For Camping, RV’s & Campers

Gary Johnson
Written by
Last update:

I’m not kidding when I tell you that the best hot water heater for camping is one that you don’t have to turn on and off every time you use it.

As I said, I’m not kidding. And I’m not joking around either. This is pretty serious stuff.

If you’re interested in buying the best hot water heater for camping, you should know that there are several different types of camp hot water heaters (also variously referred to as camp water heaters, outdoor water heaters or portable water heaters).

Below I’m going to outline the variety of different types of camp hot water heaters as well as what you need to know about each. You need this information to make sure that you make the very best decision that is truly best for you.

Once I’ve told you everything you will need to know about the different types of camp hot water heaters, you can then go onto find out what the best water heater for camping is, based on real user reviews.

NameCategoryProduct
Camplux 5L 1.32 GPM Outdoor Portable Propane Tankless Water HeaterBest OverallCamplux 5L 1.32 GPM Outdoor Portable Propane Tankless Water Heater
Advanced ElementsBudget PickAdvanced Elements
Mr. Heater F235350 BOSS-XCW20 Basecamp Battery Operated Shower System,MultiUpgrade PickMr. Heater F235350 BOSS-XCW20 Basecamp Battery Operated Shower System,Multi

1. Camplux 5L 1.32 GPM Outdoor Portable Propane Tankless Water Heater

Our rating: 9 / 10

Camplux 5L 1.32 GPM Outdoor Portable Propane Tankless Water Heater

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • Portable and easy to store
  • Can be hooked up to most outdoor propane tanks
  • Holds a maximum temperature of 104 degrees
  • Can have water flowing within a minute
  • Great for camping, RVs, or any other outdoor activity
  • Little to no wait time and great on energy
  • Can be used in temperatures as low as 40 degrees
  • CSA certified
  • Can be used with any SAE or Propane
  • One year warranty

Cons:

  • The heater needs to be constantly adjusted after the temperature is turned up or down
  • You might lose some hot water while the unit is heating
  • Becomes a bit noisy when you turn up the temperature
  • The valve easily pops out when you turn up the temperature
  • Does not heat up as hot as advertised

2. Mr. Heater F235350 BOSS-XCW20 Basecamp Battery Operated Shower System,Multi

Our rating: 7 / 10

Mr. Heater F235350 BOSS-XCW20 Basecamp Battery Operated Shower System,Multi

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • Feel like a 5-star hotel
  • Convenient, compact, and easy to use
  • Won’t take up much space
  • Improves hygiene, cleanliness, and health
  • Pretty quiet, considering it’s a water heater
  • Easily capable of heating clean water
  • Great battery system
  • Convenient, indicator light to let you know the table is hot so you know when the water is ready for you to use
  • Doesn’t leave you standing awkwardly in the shower with a lit match while you wait for the tank to heat up
  • Portable

Cons:

  • Takes a while to heat up
  • Uses a lot of gas, but you can use it as a backup if you need to boil water
  • Heating element is outside the tank
  • Tank is small, so you’ll have to refill it more often and spend more time doing so

Stream, 2.6 GPM, 120V

3. Eccotemp L5 Tankless Water Heater

Our rating: 7 / 10

Eccotemp L5 Tankless Water Heater

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • Cheaper compared to models with 2-year warranty
  • Small and compact design
  • Portable with wheels for easy transportation
  • Quite reasonably priced
  • Great for RVs, Camper's and small cabins
  • CSA Certified
  • Many use them indoors & outdoors
  • US EPA WaterSense certified
  • Only 5 pounds
  • 15 year Proprietary Heat Exchanger Warranty

One of the most impressive features of this Eccotemp tankless water heater is its compact size and lightweight. Weighing in at just 5 pounds, it’s incredibly easy to transport and doesn’t take up a lot of storage space. Because it’s so compact, you can easily take it along with you in your RV or even out on the road with your family while camping. If you live in the Northern areas, this is a great investment as it helps to keep pipes from freezing and cracking in the winter.

The unit includes a strainer, EccoFlo pump, regulator, brass control valve, and a hose with brass fittings, making it ready to go out of the box. It comes with everything needed to install right to your existing RV water port.

4. EZ 202 Tankless Water Heater

Our rating: 7 / 10

EZ 202 Tankless Water Heater

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • Convenient and portable heat water in a tankless system
  • Mount to the wall or place on a table
  • Heats water in just minutes
  • Featues tankless technology which provides a steady flow of water at the desired temperature
  • Ideal for indoor/outdoor use
  • Includes a low flow mode feature along with a thermal overload protection
  • Volatile fuel detector included
  • LPG/Propane powered

Cons:

  • Recovery time can be a bit slow
  • Boiling water can take about 5 minutes, and that’s assuming you have a fast recovery rate
  • A little pricey for some potential customers

What we like: The EZ 202 Tankless Water Heater – Propane (LPG) Gas – 4 GPM – Small – Portable – Battery Powered Ignition – Digital Display – Camping – RV – Hunting – Boaters – Ideal For Off-Grid Living can heat water quickly for a consistent flow of hot water. It’s perfect for RVs, camping, hunting and even for off-grid living.

5. Advanced Elements

Our rating: 6 / 10

Advanced Elements

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • Lightweight: Only 5.30 lbs
  • Water tight construction: Completely sealed for leak protection
  • 40 foot retractable hose
  • Inflatable, light weight, easy to carry
  • Affordable price

Cons:

  • Poor customer service
  • Complaints of not holding temperature

This portable solar shower by Advanced Elements is our top pick for the best solar water heater for RV’s.

The shower can hold three gallons, or 11 liters, of water and is made of PVC. The water runs through a hose on the inside and it screws on tightly once full. A great feature is that the design of the shower allows easy hanging, which is convenient while camping. It’s waterproof and easy to hang, so you can be sure not to waste a drop of water.

One customer wrote that he liked how much easier it was to set up the shower when compared to the Coleman Power Shower. In addition, the price point of the Advanced Elements shower is incredibly affordable.

6. ZODI Outback Gear Extreme SC Hot Shower

Our rating: 6 / 10

ZODI Outback Gear Extreme SC Hot Shower

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • Uses only 5 gallons of water per hour
  • Very lightweight
  • Thermal Efficiency
  • Simple 2-button switch operation
  • Carry handle for easy moving and storing

The ZODI Outback Gear Extreme Hot Shower is a portable shower powered by propane, and it is, by far, the best way to relieve stress after a day spent out in the wilderness.

This mini-shower conveys the same luxury of a spa while maintaining a weight of only 6 pounds and requiring a minimal amount of space – a maximum of 17.5 quarts of hot water storage space to be exact. The shower heats up to a maximum of 130 degrees Fahrenheit with the included shower hose.

The Outback Gear Extreme Hot Shower is equipped with a two-button system that allows for quick launching of the shower unit and heating up of its water tank. This makes it ideal for hikers who can just set up their shower and press the button to heat up the water without having to go through any strenuous process.

7. Eccotemp L10 2.6 GPM Portable Tankless Water Heater

Our rating: 5 / 10

Eccotemp L10 2.6 GPM Portable Tankless Water Heater

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • Works just like the rest of the water heaters
  • Easy to transport
  • Heats up the water very quickly
  • Has simple controls
  • Can be used anywhere without much hassle
  • Affordable
  • Easy to install
  • Produces plentiful hot water
  • Offers impressive performance

Cons:

  • Cannot be used with high-pressure water lines
  • Does not include any shower heads or connectors
  • The carrying case used for this heater isn’t the best
  • Doesn’t come with a power cable
  • Does not come with a pressure relief valve

One of the most efficient ways to get hot water while you’re traveling is to use an on-demand water heater. These heaters come with a storage tank along with all of the other materials required to get a steady supply of water while you travel. While there are quite a few models available on the market, the Eccotemp L10 portable tankless water heater is our top pick. It’s easy to operate, compact, and offers a number of benefits.

This device works just like the rest of the water heaters. It uses gas or electricity to heat up water that flows into the heater. It comes with a 1.

8. Zodi Outback Gear Hot Tap Travel Shower

Our rating: 5 / 10

Zodi Outback Gear Hot Tap Travel Shower

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • All you need for a hot shower
  • Takes up a small amount of room in your travel bag
  • Optional way to heat shower water
  • Doesn’t require any additional electricity
  • Clog resistant
  • Extremely portable
  • Affordable
  • Durable

Cons:

  • Doesn’t work as well with cold water
  • On-off valve can stick in place and require a hard jolt to open
  • Takes a long time to heat up – about 45 minutes

An investment in a portable water heater is always a smart choice when you’re considering the overall function of your campervan, RV, or tiny home, but the tiny Zodi Outback Gear Hot Tap Travel Shower is an investment that’s truly worthwhile.

9. Coleman Hot Water on Demand H2Oasis Portable Water Heater

Our rating: 3 / 10

Coleman Hot Water on Demand H2Oasis Portable Water Heater

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • Quick heat up time- 3 minutes or less
  • Good for filling pots of water for culinary purposes
  • Versatile uses – works great with pots, showers, and more
  • Unique screen filter protector
  • Includes on/off switch with indicator light
  • Safe and easy to use
  • Collapsible design for easy storage
  • Fuel-free operation
  • Compact enough to fit in a backpack or suitcase
  • Made in the US

The Coleman Hot Water On Demand H2Oasis portable water heater is neat because it’s collapsible, fuel-free, and heats water really fast. This makes it the perfect addition to your camping gear or RV.

Because this model utilizes a state-of-the-art screen filter protector, you won’t have to worry about burning your hands when you pour the water out. Plus, it comes with a convenient screen filter that keeps everything running smoothly.

This water heater heats a large amount of water in a matter of minutes, making it very convenient for filling pots for dishes and other cooking needs. It also comes with a unique no-spill design, which adds additional convenience.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the best tankless water heater for an RV?

Going with a tankless water heater in your RV is a great idea if you want to conserve space, cut down on installation costs, and have more heaters on your water supply. If you have ever had to install a new hot water heater before you will already know that installation projects are not for the faint of heart. With the tankless options available today, you can avoid multiple water pipes and heaters inside your RV.

What is the best portable water heater?

Aside from having a sufficient supply of fresh water when camping, maintaining that access to water can be a challenge. Over time, the tank will heat up and as the water temperature increases, the chlorine in your water supply will evaporate off.

If you buy a fresh supply of drinking water each time you go out, then you won't have to worry about fresh-water loss or impurities. However, this can become an expensive habit when you're out on a long trip.

Having a portable hot water heater beforehand may be a good idea for some situations. It is a very expensive unit to buy but if you are going to be doing extended camping in hot areas or if you want hot water in your tent, then it would be worth the money.

Can you put a tankless water heater in a camper?

It would be very rare to find a camper that has a point in its plumbing where it would make sense to install a tankless water heater. Not only is it a waste of money to invest in a tiny tankless water heater for your camper it would be a waste of energy as well. Given that you have access to plenty of hot water on demand, it would be foolish to also have a tankless water heater on demand. Even if your camper didn’t have a pumping system to supply hot water on demand, the expectation is still that you will have to wait for the requested amount of hot water to be available to you. A tankless water heater will make few compromises to the quality or availability of your hot water but it will increase the energy you expend to make it available.

What is the best portable shower for camping?

Yes, you can easily find them online and in stores nowadays but they've been around for a long time in different variants (big, small, battery-powered, solar-powered, etc.). There are some good models and some that won't hold up to much abuse. Also, there are a few points to consider:

First, a good portable shower has a strong handle and a simple way to adjust the nozzle for different water stream patterns. Further, the water pressure should be ideal – strong enough to give you a decent shower but not so strong that it sprays all over. The portability of an inexpensive unit isn't so great – if you are traveling with kids or simply want to take a hot shower when camping, then think hard if you really want to deal with the inconvenience of moving around another unit.

Conclusion

We all want to enjoy a hot shower every once in a while, and sometimes that means using your water heater in a way it’s not designed. If you’re going to be gone for a week in your RV or camping or in a hotel, you need to have a water heater that keeps hot water available. This post contains a few of the best choices in water heaters if you want to know more.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
Camplux 5L 1.32 GPM Outdoor Portable Propane Tankless Water HeaterBest OverallCamplux 5L 1.32 GPM Outdoor Portable Propane Tankless Water Heater
Advanced ElementsBudget PickAdvanced Elements
Mr. Heater F235350 BOSS-XCW20 Basecamp Battery Operated Shower System,MultiUpgrade PickMr. Heater F235350 BOSS-XCW20 Basecamp Battery Operated Shower System,Multi