RV Water Heater Gas and Electric: Comprehensive Guide!

Choosing the right RV water heater can be a puzzling challenge, given the range of options available. Did you know most modern RVs come equipped with hybrid models that run on either gas, 120v electricity, or even both? Our comprehensive guide will unravel the complexities of this choice, examining pros and cons of different types to help you make an informed decision.

Ready for a deeper dive into the world of RV water heaters? Hang tight!

Key Takeaways

  • Gas water heaters in RVs offer quick heating and are reliable, but they may consume more fuel and require regular maintenance.
  • Electric water heaters for RVs are affordable upfront, easy to install, and low maintenance. However, they rely on electricity availability at campsites and have slower recovery times.
  • Hybrid RV water heaters that can run on gas or electric power provide flexibility, faster heating times, and convenience. They are versatile options but come with higher upfront costs.

Pros and Cons of Gas Water Heaters

Gas-powered water heaters are a common option in RVs, offering unique benefits and drawbacks. Let’s provide a detailed analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of this type of water heater:

Most RV water heaters operate on LP gas, making this a standard option.There are rare exceptions where LP gas might not be available, limiting the usability.
Gas water heaters tend to heat water quickly.They might consume more fuel, which can be costly in the long run.
In remote areas where electricity is scarce, gas water heaters can be a lifesaver.They may require more maintenance compared to their electric counterparts.

In the end, the choice between a gas or an electric water heater depends on your personal preferences and camping circumstances.

Pros and Cons of Electric Water Heaters

Electric water heaters for RVs have their own set of advantages and disadvantages. On the positive side, electric water heaters are generally more affordable upfront compared to gas or hybrid options. They also tend to be easier to install and require less maintenance. Additionally, electric water heaters can heat water quickly and efficiently, providing a constant supply of hot water for your RV needs.

However, there are some downsides to consider as well. One major drawback is the reliance on electricity availability at campsites or RV parks. If you plan on boondocking or staying in remote areas without access to electrical hookups, an electric water heater may not be feasible. Another con is that electric models typically have slower recovery times compared to gas-powered ones. This means that if you use up all the hot water in your tank, it may take longer for it to reheat.

It’s important to weigh these pros and cons when deciding on an RV water heater option. Consider factors such as your camping preferences, budget constraints, and overall convenience before making a final decision.

Hybrid RV Water Heaters: Gas and Electric Options

Hybrid RV water heaters are a great option for those looking to have the best of both worlds. These water heaters can run on either gas or electric power, giving you flexibility and convenience.

With a hybrid RV water heater, you don’t have to choose between the two options; you can switch between gas and electric depending on your needs.

One of the main benefits of a hybrid RV water heater is its versatility. You can use gas when you have access to propane and want faster heating, or switch to electric mode when plugged into shore power at a campsite.

This means that even if you run out of propane during your trip, you can still enjoy hot showers with the electric mode.

Another advantage of hybrid RV water heaters is their ability to heat up water faster compared to traditional gas or electric models. By using both power sources simultaneously, these water heaters can significantly reduce heating time, ensuring that hot water is readily available whenever you need it.

While hybrid RV water heaters offer many advantages, it’s important to note that they do come with higher upfront costs compared to other options. However, considering the convenience and flexibility they provide, many RV enthusiasts find it worth the investment.

In conclusion,

hybrid RV water heaters give you the best of both worlds by offering gas and electric options in one unit. They are versatile and allow for faster heating times by utilizing both power sources simultaneously.

While they may be more expensive upfront, their convenience makes them an attractive choice for many travelers.

Factors to Consider When Choosing an RV Water Heater

  • RV size and space availability: Consider the physical dimensions of your RV and whether it can accommodate the size of the water heater you need.
  • Usage frequency: Determine how often you will be using hot water in your RV to determine the capacity and power source needed for your water heater.
  • Power source availability: Assess the availability of gas and electricity at your desired camping locations to determine which power source is more readily accessible.
  • Fuel efficiency: Consider the fuel efficiency of different water heaters to maximize energy usage and minimize costs during extended trips.
  • Installation requirements: Evaluate your technical skill level and willingness to perform installation or maintenance tasks, as some electric water heaters may require professional assistance.

Remember, factors such as cost, durability, ease of use, and maintenance requirements should also influence your decision when choosing an RV water heater. Choose a water heater that meets your specific needs while considering the limitations of your RV’s infrastructure.


1. What are the advantages of a gas water heater for an RV?

Gas water heaters in RVs provide fast and efficient heating, allowing you to quickly heat up your water for showers and other needs. They also tend to be more energy-efficient than electric models.

2. Are there any benefits to using an electric water heater in an RV?

Electric water heaters are typically quieter than their gas counterparts and may require less maintenance since they don’t have a pilot light or burners that need cleaning. They can also be easier to install if your RV has access to electricity.

3. Can I use both gas and electric options for my RV water heater?

Yes, many RV water heaters offer both gas and electric capabilities, giving you the flexibility to choose the most convenient option depending on your situation. This dual-functionality ensures that you’ll always have hot water available regardless of your power source.

4. How do I decide which type of RV water heater is best for me?

Consider factors such as your camping habits, availability of resources (such as propane or electrical hookups), desired amount of hot water, and personal preference when choosing between gas, electric, or hybrid options for your RV’s water heater system.


In conclusion, when it comes to RV water heater options, there are pros and cons to consider for both gas and electric models. However, hybrid water heaters that can run on both gas and electricity offer the best of both worlds.

They provide versatility, faster heating times, and are a popular choice among RV owners. Ultimately, the decision depends on your individual needs, budget, and camping preferences. Consider all factors before choosing the right water heater for your RV adventures.