RV Hot Water Tank

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Your RV hot water tank is a piece of extremely important equipment for your RV. To get the best out of your RV as you would your house, you need an RV hot water tank. There are lots of reasons you’d need hot water in your RV. With an RV hot water tank, you’re able to get the most out of your RV’s plumbing system.

Knowing everything there is to know about an RV hot water tank is necessary if you’re about to get an RV hot water tank or an RV. Learning everything you can about your RV’s water heater will ensure your RV heater lasts for years and you don’t spend money repairing it unnecessarily.

In this article, we’re going to discuss the different types of RV water heaters, how much they cost, the cost of running a hot water tank, etc.

What are the Different Types of RV Hot Water Tank?

RV hot water tanks are usually about 6 or 10 gallons. The sizes do not stop there, but for most RVs, they’re either 6 or 10 gallons. Choosing the size of your RV hot water tank depends entirely on your needs and sometimes the size of your RV.

6 Gallon.

If you have a small RV that you don’t use all the time, then a 6-gallon hot water tank may be the best option for you. This is provided that the RV is for just one or two persons and is not going to be used for long periods.

Also, with the 6-gallon hot water tank, you’re going to have short showers and are going to wait at intervals after every bath or usage for the water to reheat.

10 Gallon.

Compared to the 6-gallon RV hot water tank, the 10-gallon tank is a lot better as it provides a bit more water for use. It’s also not the most convenient for long trips and you also have to wait for the water to reheat after each bath.

There’s another option for hot water in your RV that doesn’t include a tank. It’s called the RV tankless option.

The tankless option heats the water immediately it comes on. Unlike a tank where you have to water for the water to hit the right temperature. The tankless option completely removes this need. The tankless option works best if you’re connected to a steady stream of water. Whenever you run out of water, the tankless burner automatically shuts off.

Compared to the RV hot water tank, the tankless option can be a bit more expensive. But once installed, it uses a lot less energy compared to a tank.

Read More: RV Furniture and the Best Places to Get Them

Gas or Electric RV Hot Water Tank: Which is Cheaper to Run?

The answer to this question isn’t a straightforward one. If your RV is parked somewhere with power, the electric option may be the cheaper option as the cost of the electricity is covered by wherever it’s parked.

A perk of the electric water heater is that it is automatic and turns off whenever the water is hot enough or is not in use.

As for the gas water tank, it’s considerably cheaper compared to the electricity cost. An added advantage to the gas RV hot water tank is that it’s functional even when there’s no electricity. Doesn’t matter where you drive your RV to, as long as you have a full propane tank, you’ll always have hot water.

It’s also important to note that the cost of propane differs according to location. So, keep this in mind when making your decision.

Should an RV Hot Water Tank be Left on at All Times?

Doesn’t matter if your RV hot water tank is gas-powered or electric-powered, leaving it on at all times is not advisable. This is even more so for the gas RV hot water tank.

When your RV is moving, the RV hot water propane tank should never be left on. The reason behind this is if your tank is being used as your RV is in motion, you run the risk of an explosion if the lines connecting the gas tank to the RV shift.

For electric water heaters, other than the cost, there’s no harm in leaving your water heater on 24/7.

While there’s no actual risk involved with leaving your water heater on all the time, there’s no real reason to. Even if you need hot water all the time in your RV, an electric hot water tank should be turned off whenever the water is hot enough or is not currently in use.

When it comes to the manufacturing and structural concerns of the RV hot water tank itself, there’s no real risk attached to it working all the time. The amount of usage doesn’t determine how long it will last.


How Should You Take Care of Your RV Hot Water Tank?

The best way to ensure the longevity of your RV is with proper maintenance. An RV hot water tank should last at least a decade. Here’s a list of what to do to properly take care of your RV hot water tank.

  1. Whenever you’re travelling, ensure to keep the water tank full. Also, make sure you don’t ever turn on the heater when the tank is empty.
  2. An anode rod should be used and it should be replaced yearly. Anode rods prevent the RV hot water tank from eroding.
  3. At least every six-eight months, ensure you flush out your hot water tank.

How Much Does an RV Hot Water Tank Cost?

As said at the beginning of this article, standard RV hot water tanks come in 6 and 10 gallons.

A standard 6-gallon tank costs around $400

A standard 10-gallon tank costs around $700 for an electric tank and about $800 for gas

A tankless water heater is the most expensive coming up from $900.

It is important to note that these prices are not fixed. This means they may vary around to brand and point of purchase.


RV hot water tanks are essential if you hope to get the complete RV experience. As said earlier in this article, deciding which is the best to use depends entirely on what you intend to do with your RV.


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