Any camping or road trip experience would be incomplete without an RV water heater, which would allow you to enjoy the luxury of hot water while traveling. However, you might have a question when you set out on your adventure: “How long does it take for an RV water heater to heat up?”

Planning ahead and ensuring a comfortable trip can be accomplished by being aware of how an RV water heater heats up. In this post, we’ll look at the variables that affect how quickly an RV water heater heats up and give you the knowledge you need to get the most out of your portable hot water source.

how long for water heater to heat up

The Heating Time Is Affected By:

RV water heater types:

There are two main categories of RV water heaters: tankless and tank-based. On-demand water heaters, commonly referred to as tankless water heaters, produce hot water on demand. Tank-based water heaters, on the other hand, hold a certain amount of water and need time to heat it before use. Your RV water heater’s kind has a big impact on how long it takes to heat up.

Tank Volume:

The tank size is a key factor in influencing the heating time for RVs with tank-based water heaters. Smaller tanks may achieve the appropriate temperature more rapidly than larger tanks, which will take longer to fully heat up.

Power Source:

RV water heaters can be powered by a variety of fuels, including propane, electricity, or a mix of the two. The heating time can be impacted by the energy source you choose. For example, propane water heaters heat water more quickly than electric ones.

Initial Water Incoming Temperature:

Your RV water heater’s heating time is influenced by the temperature of the water when it first enters. The water heater will take longer to reach the correct temperature when camping in colder climates where the incoming water temperature is lower. In contrast, due to the greater initial water temperature, camping in warmer climates may result in faster heating periods.

Efficacy of Insulation and Energy:

The length of time it takes to heat up your RV water heater depends on its level of insulation and overall energy efficiency. Water heaters with better insulation can hold heat more effectively, resulting in shorter recovery times between uses of hot water.

RV water heaters’ anticipated heating times:

RV water heaters without tanks:

You won’t have to wait for a tank to fill up and heat up since tankless RV water heaters give hot water on demand. You may enjoy hot water as soon as you turn on the faucet thanks to tankless water heaters’ nearly immediate heating times.

RV water heaters that use tanks:

The tank capacity, power supply, and initial water temperature are all factors that might affect the heating time for tank-based RV water heaters. The water heater may take anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes or more to properly preheat on average.


The tank capacity, energy source, initial water temperature, insulation, and water heater type (tankless or tank-based) all affect how long it takes an RV water heater to heat up. While tank-based heaters may take up to 30 minutes or more to fully heat up, tankless RV water heaters deliver hot water instantly.

You can maximize the hot water supply in your RV while camping if you are aware of these aspects and make plans accordingly. Whether you want the ease of on-demand hot water or don’t mind waiting a little while for a tank-based heater, it is now very possible to guarantee a comfortable and joyful trip.