Types of RV water heaters?

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RV water heaters come in tank and tankless configurations, with tanks typically made of aluminum or steel and ranging in size from 3-10 gallons. They can run on LPG or electricity and have pilot lights or remote starters. Tankless units save energy by heating water only when needed.

Recreational vehicle (RV) water heaters come in a wide variety of different configurations. The two main types of RV water heaters can be differentiated based on whether a tank is present. Traditional RV water heaters have small tanks that can hold anywhere from three to ten gallons (approximately 11 to 37 liters) of water, although smaller and larger units are also available. These water heaters can run on liquid petroleum gas (LPG) or electricity, and may have pilot lights or remote starters. Tankless RV water heaters can also use electricity or propane.

Many RV water heaters use tanks to heat and store a sufficient volume of water for washing dishes, showering, and other uses. The size of the tank generally corresponds to the capacity of the vehicle and the number of people who are likely to need hot water. Units with larger tanks are usually more expensive and may also take more propane or electricity to heat.

RV water heater tanks are typically made of aluminum or steel and may be enclosed in expanded polystyrene, porcelain, or other insulating materials. Heater tanks that are made of steel usually include a sacrificial anode to prevent corrosion. This anode needs to be replaced on a regular basis to prevent damage to the tank unit. Some manufacturers also offer secondary heating elements that can be inserted where the anode would normally be. These elements can perform the function of the anode while heating the water more quickly.

The other main difference between RV water heaters that use tanks is the type of ignition. Many units use a pilot light that must be turned on, often from outside the vehicle, before the heater can begin to work. Other units use a remote start option so the heater can be turned on simply by flipping a switch on the inside.

It is also possible to get RV water heaters in a tankless configuration. These RV tankless water heaters work in the same way as home units in that they use a heat exchanger to heat water only when it is needed. This can save electricity or propane because there isn’t a large water tank to keep you warm for long periods of time. Some newer RVs come with these units already installed, though it’s sometimes possible to retrofit an older motorhome or travel trailer with a tankless unit that simply slides into the same space the old heater took up.

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