/ / How to Use a Hot Water Heater in Your Camper

How to Use a Hot Water Heater in Your Camper

Camping season is just around the corner and you’re gearing up for a fun adventure. One of the most important things to remember when camping is that water can be scarce, so it’s necessary to find ways of conserving your resources such as hot water.

A hot water heater will help conserve this precious resource by providing an alternative source of heat for cooking and bathing.

What Is an RV Water Heater?

A water heater is a small appliance that provides hot water for your camper. They are generally made of steel, which makes them very durable and long lasting.

Water heaters provide an alternative to heating water on the stove or in the oven.

Most RV’s come equipped with their own built-in hot water heater , so they do not require any additional accessories except perhaps some extra tanks of propane if they run on gas instead of electricity. 

There are, however, many different models of camper-specific hot water heaters available on the market today that can be easily installed into your camper by attaching it to either your fresh or gray water tank using the drain valves.

How Does a Hot Water Heater Work?

There are three components to a hot water heater : the cold water intake, gas or electric burner and thermostat. The cold water intake supplies fresh, cold water from either your fresh or gray tank into the boiling chamber.

The burner heats up the metal in the boiling chamber which eventually becomes hot enough to boil the water within. As it boils, it gets hotter and hotter until reaching its maximum temperature (usually around 120 degrees Fahrenheit). 

When you turn off the unit’s thermostat, this is when it will start losing heat as long as there is any remaining steam inside.

The thermostat detects when needed; if there isn’t enough hot water for your needs once that steam has evaporated then more cold water gets drawn into the system through the cold water intake. This continuous cycle of draining and refilling is what keeps your hot water heater ready for use at all times.

Hot water heaters can be installed in most any camper by attaching it to either your fresh or gray tank using the drain valves, but they do require a constant source of energy such as propane or electricity. 

Installing an electrical outlet into your camper may be expensive and difficult, but you will always have access to hot water whenever you need it if you install one specifically intended for campers.

What Are Some Uses of a Hot Water Heater?

There are many different ways to use a solar powered hot water heater , but here we will focus on its main purpose: cooking and bathing. Since you will most likely be cooking outside during your camping trip, it is best to use the hot water heater for bathing.

Bathing: Tossing cold water into a bath isn’t always very refreshing. If you shower with warm or even hot water then you’ll feel much more relaxed after your long day of adventure! Having access to hot showers also provides great relief if you have any sore muscles from hiking or biking around town.

Cooking: Cooking without hot water is not only harder on the cook but it’s also harder on the food itself since some types of food require longer periods of boiling in order to soften them up. This makes cooking while camping difficult at times, so try using an electric powered hot water heater when possible.

Washing Dishes: Every camper knows that washing dishes can be difficult at times. A water heater with a built in pump makes it easier to clean up even the messiest of camping meals.

Are Hot Water Heaters Safe?

You may have heard horror stories about people inadvertently starting fires while trying to cook on their stove or oven with too little water, but this usually isn’t an issue if you use common sense and take precautions whenever possible. 

Never leave your hot water heater unattended while cooking  and always make sure that there is enough water inside before turning on the burner. Using a gas powered unit will cause carbon monoxide poisoning if used indoors without proper ventilation (i.e.: opening the windows).

Also, never mix water heater chemicals with unapproved substances.

If you use your hot water heater for bathing or washing dishes then it is important to ensure that it doesn’t overflow. Do not turn on the appliance until you are sure that it will properly handle excess water that may be introduced into the boiling chamber. 

Avoid hard objects from entering into any of its openings since they could cause damage to the unit or create a complete blockage.  

Can I Install My Own Hot Water Heater?

Installing an electrical outlet in your camper can be difficult, but installing a solar powered hot water heater isn’t very challenging even for beginners who have little experience using tools. 

You should make yourself familiar with all of the safety precautions before starting work and perform all necessary tests before placing any stress upon the appliance you’re installing.

How much does a hot water heater cost? There is no one answer for this question since it depends on what kind of hot water heater you want and how advanced its features are.

Solar powered units tend to be cheaper than other models as long as they don’t require an electrical power source, so take this into consideration when making your decision.

How to Use a Hot Water Heater in Your Camper?

A hot water heater in your camper is one of the best inventions ever since it provides more comfort while cooking and bathing during your camping holidays. Using a hot water heater for cooking/bathing:

  1. Prepare your unit by making sure that you have enough water inside to prevent it from boiling dry. Never place any flammable materials nearby until you are certain that all of its systems are turned off.
  2. Clean up after using your appliance by cooling down the chamber before opening its door or removing any foreign objects. Allow proper ventilation for several minutes if you used a gas powered model since carbon monoxide poisoning can be fatal if there isn’t enough airflow available.

Ways to use a hot water heater for washing dishes:

  • First, clear away any larger pieces of food that are stuck onto the plates.
  • Next, fill up your hot water heater with enough cold water to prevent it from boiling dry.
  • Lastly, pour dishwashing soap into the tank and turn on the appliance, allowing it to boil for around five minutes should be enough time to remove any stubborn stains.

A hot water heater provides heat energy in order to raise the temperature of bath water or used for other tasks such as cooking or washing dishes. Depending on its power source, a hot water heater can either use gas, oil, nuclear fuel , solar power or electricity . 

They are available at many department stores where you will find different kinds of models that have different features. It is important to understand how a hot water heater works and not use one for purposes other than intended in order to avoid accidents.

Many people don’t realize the importance of having a hot water heater at home or while camping, but it becomes apparent when you want to cook or wash your dishes.

Not every camper can afford an RV with an oven and stove top inside, but this should never be an obstacle since you can add such appliances on your own whenever necessary. 

Especially if there is enough space available near your campsite. You don’t necessarily need electricity to run such units, so it is worth considering if you plan on spending more time outside during all seasons.

It is important to understand how a hot water heater works and not use one for purposes other than intended in order to avoid accidents. You don’t necessarily need electricity to run such units, so it is worth considering if you plan on spending more time outside during all seasons.

If you do not drain the tank of your hot water heater before leaving for an extended period, then any bacteria inside may grow to dangerous rates.

You should always allow a window of at least one day after turning off your water heater in order to avoid the risk of scalding yourself or anyone else who uses the hot water without checking its temperature first.

The best way to store propane tanks for camping trips is in a shaded area that is ventilated properly. It is also possible to cover them with a tarp while being stored outdoors, but leave some space so they have enough room to breathe just like any other living organism. 

The same process should be done if you need to put it inside your garage, shed or cellar. Although you should never keep a large tank of propane gas more than 20 feet away from your home’s outer walls since it can become flammable due to its fumes.

Properly disposing of used propane tanks after a camping trip. It is possible to keep full propane tanks for up to two years, but you should never store them while they are empty since it could cause malfunctions in the appliance that uses them – such as a gas burner. 

This is why you should always use all of your propane before replacing it with a new tank if needed. If you have enough time on your hands and want to send back an emptied tank for recycling, then this might be the best thing to do.

What Are Some Useful Tips for Using a Hot Water Heater in Your Camper?

Some useful tips for using a hot water heater in your camper are as follows:

  • Turn down the temperature on the water heater. There is no need to have it at its highest setting since this will only waste energy that you could use for other purposes such as cooking or washing dishes. Most models have an indicator which lets you know when the water is too hot so keep an eye on it if you want to prevent scalding injuries.
  • After turning off the tap, leave it open for about 10 minutes before closing it completely so there isn’t any chance of getting burned by leftover heat trapped inside. If left opened, water can also flow back into the water heater, so this is yet another reason to do it. 
  • If you are not using your camper for an extended period of time, then it would be wise to drain its water heater before doing so since bacteria can grow at alarming rates otherwise.


You can now enjoy hot showers and dishes in your camper. With the help of a water heater, you’ll be able to cook with ease while camping. It’s easy!

All it takes is installing an electric or gas-powered hot water heater into your camper van conversion kit. 

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