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Buying a cooler seems straightforward--until you start looking. There are so many options and competing claims that you can get lost in the sea of choices. 

Two popular upscale coolers are made by Engel and Yeti. Though Yeti commands a higher premium, Engel models are surprisingly close in performance. In this article, we'll take a look at Engel vs Yeti coolers and compare them in light of their price difference. 

What to Look for in a Cooler

Before you start picking out exotic features like built-in speakers or pullout fish scales, here are the important basics. 

Size

One size never fits all when it comes to coolers. Major manufacturers provide an assortment of shapes and sizes, so check out their entire line. This can be a handy shopping shortcut. 

Larger coolers store more, but they're harder to lug around. Remember to check whether a model's dimensions refer to the inner volume or its outer size. PRO TIP: Ice takes up space, so buy a little extra room. 

Materials

One difference between cooler brands is the quality of their materials. Plastic is standard for the walls of hard-sided coolers because it's lightweight, waterproof, and strong. Plastic is also highly economical.

The fasteners also provide a clue about a cooler's quality. Cheaper makes tend to use plastic for latches and joints, which can wear out quickly. Premium coolers provide additional fastener support or use metal for durability, security, strength.

Another key element is the gasket and seal. You want a flexible, strong seal that lasts: premium coolers use high-grade rubber or silicone rather than Styrofoam.

Construction

Generally, lower-end coolers are made of separate parts joined together. Depending upon the quality of the seams and fastenings, this type of construction is prone to leakage and warping.

Engel revolutionized cooler manufacturing by using rotational molding in their construction. The process creates a seamless, single-piece body which is extremely durable and waterproof. Rotomolding has proven so successful that it's used for most modern coolers.

Carrying

This oft-overlooked detail greatly impacts the usefulness—or pain level—of the cooler you purchase. Empty coolers become surprisingly heavy when filled with drinks and ice, and fighting with a flimsy handle doesn't add to the experience. This may not matter for a stationary cooler on the patio, but check out the carrying features if you plan to travel with it. 

Cold-Retention

The point of a cooler is how well it keeps things cold. The average hard-sided cooler only gets about three days. Most premium coolers manage about a week, in the shade. Think about how much you need, because longer cooling capacity is priced accordingly. 

Premium coolers keep their cool through well-designed seals and uniformly applied insulation. The process of rotomolding creates close-conforming insulation layers that minimize heat transfer. 

Here are approximate ice-retention times: 

1 day or less: Any cooler can be expected to stay cold for 24 hours, even soft-sided ones. (Well, we'd hope so.) 

Up to 3 days: Budget hard-sided coolers are giving up by day three … the soft-sided models are already done. 

4 - 6 days: A mid-level cooler can be expected to go four days and maybe a bit longer. Common names like Coleman and Igloo are in this range. It's enough to get in and out of a big weekend. 

7+ days – Top-of-the-market coolers claim to keep ice frozen for about a week. Some will go a day or so longer. 

Ruggedness

Another important variable is how much ruggedness you need. That flimsy discount cooler looks great until you put your foot through it. Quality isn't always apparent, so a reputable brand is important. 

Premium models offer "Bear-Proof" guarantees to highlight their toughness, but you don't need all that for a patio ice chest. Unless, of course, you have bears in the neighborhood. 

If you plan on using the cooler outdoors, add waterproofing to your requirements list. Better units have high-grade rubber or silicone seals to keep you cold and dry. 

Style

Looks matter, even in a cooler. Some brands take a wooden crate as design inspiration, others answer the call for flashy trim and gee-gaws. Ours is a shallow world … but seriously, make sure you like the look. A quality cooler will be around for a long time. 

Features

Once you've covered the basics, add whatever you'd like. Cup holders, bottle openers, pull-out trays, non-insulated storage--these are just a sample of what's out there. 

PRO TIP: Give a thought to external and/or non-insulated storage options. These come in handy if you don't want frozen sandwiches. 

Yeti Coolers

Yeti was founded in 2005, producing the first coolers fashioned as premium consumer products. Yeti upped the game using a rotomold design, quality materials, and built-in luxury features. The company still ranks at the top of the market. 

Wide Selection – There are 20 Yeti models, from the soft-sided Hopper to the 82-gallon Tundra 350. Each cooler is well-built with quality materials and attention to detail. 

Durable Construction – The rotomolded body is filled with 2+ inches of pressure-injected polyurethane foam. The latches are made of heavy-duty "T-Rex" rubber. An interlocking lid system and ColdLock seamless gasket seals the interior. 

Convenient Design – The Tundra series, Yeti's main cooler, has two carrying options: molded LipGrip spaces below the lid, and hanging handles stowed beneath them. 

Ice-retention – Yeti won't say, but users report their coolers keep ice frozen between 3 days and 8 days. The company takes the job seriously: each hard-sided cooler has 2+ inches of injected, top-of-the-line permafrost insulation. 

Clean and Stylish – Yeti's streamlined look is attractive and recognizable. Founded as a premier lifestyle brand, Yeti's attention to style has made them a bestseller. Their 5-year warranty doesn't hurt, either. 

Yeti Coolers have been popular since they began production in 2006. A lifestyle choice as much as a tool, their coolers have a reputation for ruggedness, cooling longevity, convenience ... and style. 

Engel Coolers

Engel began in Japan and was established in the US in 1998. They innovated the now-standard practice of using rotational molding to make a one-piece cooler. Engel's target has always been hunters and fishermen, and there's a lot to like: 

Broad Selection – There are 13 hard-sided and 10 soft-sided Engel coolers available, and an assortment of lightweight dryboxes. Though not priced at quite the premium level, Engel's coolers have surprising strengths. 

Original Rotomolds – Engel still produces state-of-the-art rotomolds with injected insulation. The fastenings are metal, too. The rugged construction makes Engel coolers officially "Bear Proof." 

Carrying Convenience – You can carry these coolers by gripping under the lid. When filled and heavy, two people can carry one comfortably using the flip-up handles. 

Keeping it Cold – Here's the business end of an Engel. These high-performance coolers have been clocked at up to 10 days without losing their last ice. They outlast some premier names, too. Check this cooler out if you need to keep things cold for a long time. 

Straightforward Design – The utilitarian appearance doesn't indicate its quality. Some people like this fact, some don't. (Others can't get worked up about the looks of an ice cooler.) 

Engel is a high-end cooler in terms of construction, but it makes concessions in style and features. That's perfectly fine with its loyal customers. Also, Engel bumped up their original 3-year warranty to 10 years in 2017, a nice indicator of confidence. 

Engel Coolers vs Yeti

As the Engel vs Yeti cage match begins, let's quickly concede. Yeti's are better. They have a bit more style and, most of all, a premium name. The question is whether the Yeti premium is worthwhile … or can you get the same performance without broadsiding your wallet? 

Let's match features. 

Both cooler brands are rotomolded for durability and strength. Both are certified as "Bear Proof." Pro Tip: Per the manufacturers, to retain the bear-resistant guarantee you must padlock the cooler securely. 

Both have extensive lines to choose from. Both use high-grade fastenings and have thoughtful design features like recessed handles and interlocking seals. They both have non-slip feet—but on to the differences. 

Engel coolers are focused on hunters and fishermen. Their coolers are bit lighter and smaller than Yeti's. They are comfortable to work with, and come with a sloped floor for easy drainage. 

Yeti coolers are luxury appliances. Solid construction, stylish and exacting design, convenience—these are all reasons Yeti coolers have stayed at the top of the market for years. If you have the benjies, it's a great unit. 

Where Engel excels—and why it gets the nod here—is in keeping your contents cold for a long time. You may not need three extra days of frozen ice, but it's nice to have. It lends confidence to go along with the 10-year warranty. 

Conclusion

The match-up between Engel Coolers vs Yeti is tough to call on features, because both are excellent high-performance coolers. They're both Bear-Proof, even.

If money isn't the main factor and you like the looks of a Yeti, rest assured you've made a good choice. The savvy shopper, however, can find a bit more performance with an Engel's cooler, and save a few bucks too.

The post Engel Coolers vs Yeti: What are the differences? appeared first on Thrifty Outdoors Man.

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Warm, ambient, and toasty--you’re curled up on the couch of your RV and engrossed in a captivating book.

Outside, the cold wind howls and whips around the trailer’s corners.

Since it’s important that you stay warm and safe on these chilly nights, I’ve gathered helpful reviews of the best electric heaters for your RV.

Here are the 5 Best Electric Heaters that we will be covering in this Article:
The Best Way to Use an Electric Heater--Safely and Efficiently

They may be small, but there’s a right way to use these mighty heaters.

Notorious for starting house fires, electric heaters need to be used safely at all times.

It’s recommended to keep the space heaters at least 3 feet away from furniture, bedding, curtains, or other fabrics that could catch on fire.

Below is a video on some safety tips.

Space Heater Fire Danger - YouTube

For those heaters that don’t have a tip-over safety feature, use very cautiously in the presence of kids and pets.

Even if your heater has that safety feature, be aware that some heaters get hot to the touch. Having a clear boundary set around the heater will keep your child or pet safe from getting burned.

In order to get the most out of your purchase, use your electric heater in small spaces to lower your heating costs. Although some electric heaters can warm up fairly large spaces, they’re generally designed to heat small rooms and areas.

These small space heaters work best if used along with a central heating system set at a low temperature setting. Rather than heating the whole house when you’re only using some of the rooms, heat the area you’ll be using to a comfortable temperature.

Never Use an Extension Cord With an Electric Heater--Here’s Why

Power Strips and extension cords are not designed to handle the amount of power the electric heaters generate. The heating elements can reach an extreme 600℉. This type of high current flow can cause the power strips and extension cords to overheat and result in severe damage or even house fires. 

Fire departments warn users to plug their electric heaters directly into wall outlets. Even with this, it’s advised to continuously be alert and aware of your heater’s performance and the condition of the cord and outlet. Here are a few more safety tips from the fire department.

To see the results of a power strip that’s melted from a space heater, see video below.

Space Heaters And Power Strips Don't Mix - YouTube
The Benefits of Oil-filled Heaters

Oil-filled heaters use radiant heat to warm up your space. Electric heating elements heat up the enclosed oil which in turn, heats up the metal fins.

     #1: Once the metal gets hot, it retains heat long after the unit has been shut off

     #2: Since it continues to radiate heat even after it’s been unplugged, it reduces energy costs

     #3: With its powerful heating approach, it can gently heat medium to large rooms

     #4: It operates silently

     #5: Without a fan blowing allergens all over the room, it’s allergy-friendly

Oil-filled heaters are not for you if you require immediate heat directed in a specific area.

The Benefits of Ceramic Heaters

Ceramic heating elements give these heaters their name. They’re usually accompanied with a fan which blows over the ceramic elements and creates a convection effect throughout the space you need to heat.

     #1: It gives off instant heat

     #2: It’s a perfect choice for a small room or office space

     #3: It can be directed in the path of a cool draft or at a cold corner

     #4: It will cool down quickly which makes this a safe choice where pets and kids are present

     #5: Being smaller in size than the oil-filled heaters, it’s easily portable

To read a fantastic article on further explanation of the differences of ceramic and oil-filled heaters, click here.

How To Choose an Electric Heater

Although most heaters are fairly similar, there are a few key differences in their features.

When looking for the right electric heater to purchase, some people look for the fan-driven heaters for their immediate heat as opposed to the radiating ones that take longer to heat up.

For some, the noise of the fan is unbearable or impractical, and they resort to quieter options.

Some heaters have modern technology of digital control panels with beeping sounds when you adjust the settings; while other heaters have simple dials for adjusting the temperature settings.

Some electric heaters come with remote controls in addition to the control panels.

Being that electric heaters are a major culprit to house fires, one of the most sought-after features is the safety tip-over feature.

The following article outlines not only the differences of space heaters but also the prime locations to place them. Click here.

Here are the top 5 Best Electric Heaters for RV in more detail
1. Lasko CD09250 Ceramic Portable Space Heater
Pros
  • Extremely lightweight with a stable base
  • Operates fairly quietly
  • Turns on/off to meet temperature settings
  • Exterior remains cool to the touch
  • Heats powerfully even at low setting
  • Easily portable
Cons
  • Carrying handle is awkward to access
  • May use quite a bit of energy
  • Doesn’t have a tip-over safety feature

The Lasko CD09250 is a tiny little 1500-watt heater with dimensions of 5.7x7.0x9.0 inches and weighs only 3.5 lbs. Its small size makes this unit easily portable. It has 3 settings that give you the liberty to heat up your small room or office cubicle with the options of high heat, low heat, or fan only.

It features an adjustable thermostat with a dial that allows you to set your heat at your desired temperature.

The ceramic elements produce immediate heat which is circulated by the fan and heats your area quickly.

This heater has several safety features. The exterior body remains cool to the touch as it faithfully heats up your home even on the low setting. Its built-in overheat protection keeps the heater from overheating even if left on for a long period of time.

2. Lasko Heating Space Heater 755320
Pros
  • Small, lightweight, and doesn’t take up much space
  • Oscillation heats room more effectively
  • Keeps room temperature within 3 degrees of the set temperature
  • Digital controls are easy to use and read
  • Has a shut off timer
  • Wireless remote control makes changing settings very easy
  • Energy-efficient--heats a small room in as little as 10 minutes
  • Noise level is like a fan noise
Cons
  • May have problems adjusting the thermostat on low heat
  • 6-foot cord seems quite short and thinner than other high current flow appliances
  • Digital display beeps when you adjust the settings
  • Handle doesn’t give you a good grip
  • Doesn’t have a tip-over safety feature

This Lasko tower space heater measures 8.5″L x 7.25″W x 23″H. Its unique design makes this an excellent choice for tight spaces. It has 2 settings of high heat and low heat with an added auto setting.

Its ceramic heating elements use up to 1500 watts or 13.5 amps. You may need to have a 20-amp breaker circuit and 12-gauge house wiring to run this heater.

Its oscillation ability creates even, ambient heating in a small room or office space.

You can adjust the thermostat in Celsius or Fahrenheit, the built-in timer settings from 1-8 hours, and the oscillation speed with the heater’s digital display or the luxurious remote control.

This heater also features overheat protection and its exterior body remains cool to the touch even if used on the high setting for an extended amount of time.

3. BOVADO USA Portable 166648 Ceramic Space Heater
Pros
  • Shuts off when tipped over
  • Small, powerful, and inexpensive
  • Holds temperatures within 2-3 degrees
  • Base has a slight swivel
  • Gets really hot even on low setting
  • Small room heats up in as little as 15 minutes
Cons
  • Handle grip is awkward
  • May have the tendency to make rattling noises
  • Has a loud fan noise (possibly too loud for office use)
  • May overheat too fast
  • Quality makes it a temporary product

The 1500-watt Bovado space heater measures 10 x 6 x 6 inches and weighs about twice as much as the Lasko CD09250. It has 3 settings also--low heat, high heat, and fan only.

The control panel is made up of a red-colored dial that adjusts the thermostat and a white-colored dial that adjusts the heat intensity. You can easily see if your heater is on by the red power indicator light.

A fan blows over specialized ceramic heating discs which creates an even distribution of heat in small spaces.

This heater has an overheat protection system and its body remains cool to the touch. It also has the sought-after tip-over safety switch which will automatically shut the device down if it’s accidentally tipped over.

4. DeLonghi EW7707CM Safe Heat 1500W ComforTemp 
Pros
  • Lowers heating costs
  • Completely silent
  • Allergy-friendly
  • Lightweight
  • Has a useful low temperature setting
  • Retains and radiates a constant heat, even after it’s been shut off
Cons
  • Heats slowly
  • Heavier upper body and flimsy wheels may make this unit not very stable
  • Bright green light is too bright for bedroom at night
  • Doesn’t have tip-over safety
  • Radiator may get too hot for child or pet safety
  • Has several confusing features: the thermostat has numbers but no reference to a specific temperature; the Comfort Setting is unclear

This 1500-watt DeLonghi oil-filled radiator by ComforTemp measures 27x6.5x15.5 inches. This unit has 3 settings in the adjustable thermostat and comes with wheels that snap into place for easy mobility.

This heater uses radiant heat to emit warmth in medium-sized rooms. Since the oil in the reservoir only heats up but doesn’t burn, the oil never needs to be refueled.

This heater features a ComforTemp button which is supposed to automatically keep your room temperature at 68-70℉.

Two of these units can possibly be enough to keep a 32-foot RV warm and toasty.

5. Vornado AVH10 Vortex Heater with Auto Climate Control
Pros
  • Company honors the warranty and provides great customer service
  • Works excellently to heat a 150 sq ft space
  • Heats quickly and evenly
  • Safe for pets and kids
  • Almost completely silent fan operation
  • Has a great digital control panel
  • Can use with other appliances in your RV
  • Saves on your energy..
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After hearing my classmates excitedly talk about their summer camping plans, I knew it was time to convince my parents to finally take my sisters and me camping. And they did!!

Looking back, tenting that summer under the pine forest close to the picturesque Atlantic Ocean is one of my favourite childhood memories.

Camping is an excellent way for families to get away from daily demands and create fond memories

Because I want your next camping trip to be a memorable one, I’ve compiled the ultimate guide to camping with kids!

Here’s a quick overview of what I’ll cover in this article
  • Where’s the best place to go with your kids?
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    What do you take on your camping trip?
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    What kind of activities can you plan for the trip?
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    How can you involve your children?
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    How can you create a sense of wonder for the nature around you?
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    How can you encourage environmental conservation?
Where’s the best place to go with your kids?

When you have kids, you tend to be cautious about where you take your kids. You want a place that’s safe, enjoyable, and affordable.

You may find yourself asking questions similar to these:

Do I go where there’s water or is it safer to stay on dry land?

Do I go remote or is it better to stay in the public eye?

Does there need to be a swing or can we have fun being surrounded by nature?

There’s no right or wrong place to go. Every parent has to decide what is best for their family.

In addition to your kids’ safety, you want to consider your location, budget, and your kids’ ages and interests.

You can use Google Maps to locate all the campgrounds near you or in the area of your preference. Gather detailed information about these campgrounds before choosing your destination.

Camping should be affordable for your family. Some budgets allow for families to rent a cabin in a remote area; while others call for setting up tents on a mossy forest floor.

While location is important, it’s even more important to consider your kids’ ages and their interests. Keeping your plan age-appropriate can make your time away a fun time for everyone.

Yogi-Bear’s Jellystone Parks are excellent campgrounds for kids of all ages

Unless you’re a highly adventurous parent, hiking a mile to a remote cabin may not be the best idea if you have a curious two-year-old in your midst; but a 12-year-old could find this a challenge to remember. If you are that adventurous parent, here are some tips on hiking with a baby or toddler.

You may want to consider campgrounds equipped with swings, slides, or shallow lake shores if you have kids under the age of 10. For older kids, you may need to consider places that give access to a variety of water sports such as wave-running, boating, surfing, or fishing; or other sports including a basketball court or a soccer field; or even trails that you can bike together.

Here are some more tips on finding the perfect location for your camping trip.

If you have a child that loves to explore, consider a more remote location that hasn’t been tampered with by human touch. Kids that love collecting shells or rocks will thrive on the shores of a lake or the ocean.

Keep in mind what you as the parent can--or want--to handle.

If you aren’t fit to hike, you’ll want to stick with a campground you can access with your vehicle. If ocean currents or water in general makes you nervous, maybe you’ll want to consider camping close to an amusement park instead.

If you’re new to camping, here are some basic tips on how to make your trip a great success.

What do you bring on your camping trip?

You may only be going for a few days or just a week, but you get paralyzed thinking about what to pack for your precious kids.

No need to panic!

I’ll cover some basics from the above list you may want to consider packing for your trip.

1. Bug Spray--Whether you’re going to the ocean or the forest, this is a must to ward off those pesky mosquitos and sandflies. (For those of you into essential oils, click here for alternative options.)

2. Sunscreen & After Sun Lotion--The sun gives your body Vitamin D; however, too much sun exposure (aka a nasty sunburn) can end the fun on your camping trip. Applying sunscreen can limit the sunburns, and after sun lotions can soothe any sunburns that your kids do get. There are a few natural sunscreen alternatives that you may want to consider for your little ones. ​

3. Purified Water--It’s important to make sure that your kids stay well-hydrated. Click here to learn how dehydration can make your kids tired and grumpy.

4. Snacks--You’ll want to have lots of nutritious snacks available for your physically active kids.

5. Appropriate Clothing--If you’re going to have fun in the water, don’t forget the swimwear and beach towels. If you’re planning to go hiking, you’ll want to be sure to pack your kids’ comfortable hiking shoes and multiple pairs of socks in case one pair gets wet along the way. Sometimes the evenings can get rather chilly; be sure to pack at least one hoodie, one pair of long pants and perhaps even a fuzzy blanket to keep your child warm around the campfire.

6. Toys--You’ll want to to consider taking a few important toys: water toys such as noodles, tubes, and floaties; or balls--a basketball, soccer ball, or beach ball; or that teddy bear your youngest can’t sleep without; or any other toys needed for your planned activities (see below).

7. Bedding--Blankets or sleeping bags/Liner, pillows, and air mattresses may be on your list to pack.

8.​ Flashlights and Batteries--When your kids need to go pee in the middle of the night, you’ll be quite thankful you remembered these.

Before you start packing, it’s recommended that you take time to sit down in a quiet place to make a list of what you want to pack. Then have that list readily available while you’re packing to make sure you don’t forget the most important things.

Want to turn your camping trip to a Glamping trip? Click on the image above to view a list of some luxury camping gear and accessories. 

What kind of activities can you plan for the trip?

Kids do well when they have a schedule of activities planned. There tends to be less chaos and trouble-making when kids know what to expect and what is expected of them.

When you plan the activities, think of your kids’ ages and where you’re planning to camp.

Here is a list for some great activity ideas for your kids.

Kids enjoy learning and discovering new things. For kids around ages 4 to 9, consider planning activities such as doing scavenger hunts, looking for bird’s nests, building sand castles, or something as simple as collecting different leaves, shells or rocks.

Hiking, biking, and fishing are activities your 10 to 14-year-olds might enjoy. You can even consider taking along a dart board and setting it up in the forest for an archery contest.

Capture the Flag is a timeless game that’s fun for even adults. 

How to Play Capture the Flag - YouTube

If you’ll be camping by a swimming pool or a body of water, you may want to consider some of the water games in the following link.

Kids of all ages could enjoy the quality time spent stargazing. If you don’t know much about stars, check out 10 free astronomy apps you can get which tell you about the different constellations and star names. Together, you and your kids can learn something new.

Perhaps roasting marshmallows and listening to stories around a campfire is something your kids may enjoy. 

How can you involve your children?

Involving your children with your camping trip gives your kids a sense of purpose and importance and frees you up from having to do all the work.

You can involve your children right from the start by letting them choose from the parks that you’ve approved.

Perhaps you want to ask your kids what their idea of a great camping trip looks like. Take the time to actually listen!

Here are a few tips on how involving your kids while camping becomes a bonding experience with your kids.

You could consider putting your 8-year-old in charge of planning and cooking one supper. Have them choose a meal and make the shopping list for it. Then, when it’s the night for their meal, have them take out the grocery items. You can assist them in preparing the meal to make sure the meal gets cooked safely. You can play along and let them know you’re following their orders. (This might require much patience from you, but it could be an excellent way for you to find out the extent of your child’s capabilities.)

Taking note of your kids’ favourite snacks and games can make your shopping and planning a greater success

You can involve your kids by letting them help you set up the tents or your camp site. 

If you’re in a remote area, you can have them gather dried branches and natural tinders for the evening campfire.  

After meals and snack times, you can assign a chore to each child to make clean up go smoothly and quickly. After swimming, you can teach each child to carefully hang up their own swimwear and towels to dry nicely for the next day’s swim.

However you choose to involve your kids, be sure they know you believe in them and see them as a wonderful blessing in your life.

How can you create a sense of wonder for the nature around you?

If you adore nature yourself, your child is more than likely going to follow your footsteps and develop their own sense of wonder.

When you go camping, you can point out a deer in the distance and quietly and cautiously take your child and draw nearer to the animal for a closer look. You can teach them how to adore the nature around you without disturbing its natural habitat.

Your child may cling to your hand just a bit tighter as you gaze at the powerful waterfalls or ocean waves.

If you’re collecting rocks, you can point out the difference between the rugged outer layer compared to the beautiful crystals or rings on the inside of the rock. 

Show your kids that little seedlings grow into big trees.

If you come across a caterpillar, you can teach your child that the creepy-crawly thing will one day become a beautiful butterfly or moth.

Perhaps, you’ll catch a mother bird feeding its young. You can use this as an example to assure your child that you’ll always take care of them--just like that bird with its babies. 

How can you encourage environmental conservation?

No matter where you go, it’s highly important to teach your kids to take care of their environment and co-exist with the animals in their natural habitat. 

One way to encourage environmental conservation is to teach your kids to use the fish you catch for food and not just for sport.

Camping trips are great for teaching your kids to place their plastic wrappers and tin cans in garbage cans--not just anywhere on the ground or in the water. 

If you’re camping in a very dry season, you can explain to your kids that on windy days it’s not permitted to have campfires in order to prevent forest fires.

Taking your kids camping can be a time of bonding and learning about each other and the surrounding environment.

Your kids long to spend time with you!

While your work will still be there when you get back from the camping trip, your kids will one day be all grown up.

Taking your kids camping is just one investment you can make in their lives while they’re still young. Where you go and what activities you plan is not as important as actually taking time out to be with them.

Have you found this guide to camping with your kids helpful in any way? If yes, be sure to click like and share!

The post The Ultimate Guide to Camping With Kids appeared first on Thrifty Outdoors Man.

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Going on an RV trip is an awesome way to escape the hustle of the city. One of the biggest challenges for RVing is keeping your belongings organized, especially if your going with children.  

There are hundreds of storage ideas on the internet but a lot are not great. We picked thru hundreds of ideas and compiled the top 39. Here is a list of the top 39 storage ideas that will keep your RV nice and tidy. 

1. Dangling Storage Jars
2. Entrance Shoe Storage
3. Shoe Rack Shower Storage
4. Under Bed Shoe Storage
5. Velcro Remotes

source: Pinterest

6. RV Inside Door Storage

source: Pinterest

7. Foil and Plastic Wrap Dispenser
8. RV Kitchen Peg Board

source: Pinterest

9. Collapsible Kettle
10. Dinner Plate Cradle
11. Broom Brackets 
12. Paper Towel Dispenser
13. Coghlan's Pop-Up Trash Can
14. Space Wall Mount Dry-Food Dispenser
15. Wall Mount Toothbrush Storage Set
16. Paper Plate Holder Under Cabinet Shelf
17. Bathroom Towel Rack Storage

source: Pinterest

18. Vacuum Suction Cup Hook
19. Hidden Cutting Board
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Water...WATER...WATER!!!

We need clean water for drinking in order to preserve our long-term health. Unfortunately, much of today’s hardware and equipment is tainted with chemicals and toxins harmful to the human body.

That’s why I highly recommend to use lead-free drinking water hoses that are safe and healthy for you and your family.

In This Buyer’s Guide, I’ll Cover the following 5 Best RV Water Hoses
Should You Invest In a Good Drinking Water Hose?

Recent studies have shown that the garden hoses we’ve been using for decades are made with highly toxic chemicals and lead content. These toxins are said to be the same culprits for birth defects, early puberty, hormone disruptions, and various diseases. 

The following video is a news coverage that further explains the dangers of freely using water from hoses with lead and chemical content.  

Health Officials Warn Of Dangers Of Drinking Water From Hoses - YouTube

Drinking water hoses have been specifically designed to be compatible with low lead content certification laws to give your family safe and healthy drinking water.

Another added benefit to these lead-free drinking water hoses is that the water that flows through them doesn’t come out tasting like chemicals and rubber hoses.

Making sure that you and your family have clean water to drink is crucially important for your long-term health. Toxins build up little by little and the effects aren’t usually seen until health issues have taken root.

If you intend to keep your family’s water supply safe to drink, it may be worth your consideration to invest in a lead-free drinking water hose.

Can You Prolong the Life Of Your Drinking Water Hose?

Yes!!

If the manufacturer has done their job of producing a quality product, there are ways for you to extend the life of your hose.

Here are a few tips I recommend:

      1) Store your hose out of direct sunlight or keep to minimal sunlight during the course of the day. Constant, direct            UV exposure can weaken the materials of the hose.

      2) When not in use, store without any definite creasing to avoid kinking or cracking. Use a reel to conveniently and            smoothly stow away until your next use.

      3) Even though the product is described to be able to stand high amounts of water pressure, keep the PSI at a                  reasonable level. If rig water systems rupture from high PSI settings, why would we put our water hoses through that?

Here are a few more tips on how to make your water hose last longer. 

What Length Should You Buy?

When you’re travelling in an RV, every foot of equipment matters.

Consider for what you need the hose. You may need a long distance or you may need just a short length to meet your need. Perhaps, purchasing multiple lengths may be a better option to buying one long one.

With longer hoses, you may feel that the excess distance gets in your way. With the shorter ones, you may need to take into consideration the amount of length it needs for when it swags from the faucet. 

Let’s have a look at some different options of drinking water hoses.

1. Camco 25ft TastePURE Drinking Water Hose
Pros
  • Flexibility makes it easy to handle and store
  • Can stand higher temperatures
  • Doesn’t have a hose taste
  • Sturdy
  • Good performance and price
Cons
  • A bit on the stiff side
  • May kink and leak overtime
  • Doesn’t come with a rubber washer
  • Gets rigid when cold

This CSA Low Lead Content Certified and NSF certified hose, made BPA and phthalate free, is safe for drinking water. It has a size of ⅝ inch diameter and 25 foot length.

Delightfully, it delivers water that doesn’t taste rubbery.

Manufactured with durable and sturdy UV stabilized PVC material, it’s engineered to resist kinks and stand a maximum water pressure of 100 PSI.

It features standard-size connectors that are easy to grip, making installation almost effortless.

2. Camco 50ft Premium Drinking Water Hose
Pros
  • Doesn’t leak at ends and fittings
  • Kinks less than some models
  • Durable and quality fittings
  • Strain relief ends protect the hose
  • No rubbery taste
Cons
  • Stiff
  • Too much sun exposure causes it to get sticky
  • Doesn’t have an easy-grip connector

This heavy duty, NSF certified hose is manufactured in accordance to all federal and state low lead laws. It’s lead-free, BPA free, and phthalate free, making it safe for drinking water. It delivers water that doesn’t taste rubbery.

Featuring a ⅝ in diameter which is 20% thicker than standard drinking water hoses, this hose delivers a high flow rate.

This 50-foot drinking water hose has been treated for UV exposure to enhance its life expectancy.

The fittings and strain relief ends are designed with high quality nickel-plated brass for higher and prolonged performance.

3. Valterra W01-5048 AquaFresh High Pressure Drinking Water Hose
Pros
  • ​Fittings and hose hardly leak
  • Safe for drinking water for pets and humans
  • Can stand a fair amount of pressure and abuse
  • Fittings are good quality
  • Great hose with quality at a good price

Cons
  • Not very flexible
  • Female connector is plastic
  • Brass fittings tend to corrode causing leakage
  • Depreciates fast

Designed to stand high pressures of 160 PSI, this ½ in by 4 ft hose is made with NSF certified materials which makes this hose safe for drinking water.

It features durable high-flow fittings and a plastic female connector. It comes with a little washer attached to prevent leaking.

The length is excellent for any of your short distance water hose needs.

4. Valterra W01-5120 High Pressure Drinking Water Hose - 1/2" x 10'
Pros
  • Can hand-tighten fittings in order that they don’t leak
  • No smell or taste in water
  • Less kinking than some hoses
  • Lightweight
  • Good length if you need to insulate a hose
  • Works great
Cons
  • none

This drinking water hose is designed to stand the high pressure setting of 160 PSI. It’s an NSF certified hose, making this safe for drinking water.

This white, ½ in diameter hose is 10 feet long and features hi-flow fittings and an easy-to-use hose gripper.

5. Swan Products ELMRV12050 Element RV Camping Water Hose
Pros
  • Hose doesn’t mark up your rig
  • Lead-free, which makes this drinking water safe
  • Great for a longer hose choice
Cons
  • Some find it too soft
  • Kinks and bursts more quickly than advertised
  • Not a popular choice

This drinking water hose is designed to stand great strengths of pressure up to 300 PSI. The ½ in by 50 ft hose is lightweight, flexible, and easy to store.

Meeting the standards of the Federal Safe Drinking Water Act and California’s strict phthalate content standards, this water hose is made of a medical grade PVC which is safe to use for your drinking water.

It features a high UV resistance which keeps it from cracking so easily.

The couplings are manufactured with an aircraft grade stainless steel for great durability.

Have You Decided On Your Choice of Drinking Water Hose?

The Valterra W01-5120 AquaFresh--½ in x 4 ft is an excellent choice if you are looking to cover a short distance from the faucet. It’s a durable water hose that can stand a fair amount of pressure and yet hardly leaks.

If you’re looking for a slightly longer length, you may want to consider the Valterra W01-5120 AquaFresh--½ in x 10 ft. At a..

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If you’ve ever come face-to-face with water gushing out of your water hoses, pipes, or faucets, you know what kind of horrifying and frustrating damage severely high water pressure can do to your RV.

Getting the best RV water pressure regulator is considered a necessity in the life of an RVer.

In This Review, I’ll Cover 5 of the Best Water Pressure Regulators
What’s the Big Deal About Water Pressure Regulators?

Water pressure regulators are designed to regulate the PSI of the water coming out of a spigot. They keep the out-flow safe and consistent to ensure your plumbing is protected.

Often campsites have highly unpredictable water pressure that leave you to wonder each time you hook up if this is the time everything will go south. And I don’t mean palm trees and beaches…

Some places have been reported to produce water pressure up 120 PSI. This kind of pressure will tear your rig’s plumbing and give you extensive damage repair costs.

The purpose of water pressure regulators is to protect your RV’s plumbing from being utterly destroyed by these unreliable campsite water pressures

It’s a little investment that can potentially save you extensive amounts of money.

Do You Need a Water Pressure Regulator?

Prior to hooking up your RV, you can use a water pressure gauge to determine how much water pressure is coming out of your water supply. You want the pressure to be consistently between 40-60 PSI.

If the PSI level is considerably higher, then YES!!! It’s strongly advised for you to attach a water pressure regulator. 

You may be new to RVs or you may have been one of the lucky ones SO FAR who’ve been spared the devastating results of 120 PSI!

If you frequently hook up to various water sources, I highly recommend one of these little investments to keep your future free of disappointing damage.

How Much Pressure Should You Let Through?

Factories usually set their regulators at a default level of approximately 45 PSI.

Most homes are designed for 40-60 PSI. Some of the newer RVs are able to stand up to 80 PSI.

Anything higher than 80 PSI is considered dangerous for your hoses, pipes, faucets, and even your washing machine. To be on the safe side, it’s recommended to keep the pressure around 50 PSI for a water flow that resembles your shower flow at home.

See below for some Water Pressure Tips and Tricks.

RV Water Pressure Tips and Tricks - YouTube

It’s not all about safety for your plumbing.

In some cases you want to consider how much water is in your water heater. A higher pressure will produce a higher flow rate and deplete your hot water supply faster than you had anticipated.

If you need to be efficient with your water supply, you may want to consider using a lower setting for a slower flow in order to save water.

Click here to read about how a water pressure regulator can help you save energy.

What Are Your Options?

Some water pressure regulators are simple brass or stainless steel devices that you attach to any standard garden hose and spigot fittings. These are fixed units that regulate water pressure at the default setting.

They may be simple, but many of these certainly do the trick. A couple downsides of these regulators are that you can’t see or adjust the PSI levels.

Other water pressure regulators come with a gauge that allows you to see how much water pressure is coming through the water line. You can adjust these with a screwdriver and set the water pressure at your desired PSI level.

With advanced technology and added benefits come more parts. These regulators with gauges pose the possibility of higher maintenance.

In all cases, you can choose to go with a fixed water pressure regulator at a low cost to see if it suits your needs; or you can opt to go for a higher investment for the convenience of a gauge and adjustability. 

Let’s have a look at some options!

1. Renator M11-0660R Water Pressure Regulator Valve
Pros
  • It’s lead-free
  • Pressure is adjustable
  • Has a pressure gauge
  • Doesn’t leak
  • Works consistently and accurately
  • Maintains a high flow rate
  • Great customer service
Cons
  • Can easily be stolen if connected to the park water hook-up
  • Costs more than fixed regulators

This durable, lead-free pressure gauge is a new and improved version with a 1-year warranty. This quality product maintains a high flow rate of 6.51 GPM while controlling water pressure at a desired level.

It’s manufactured with an all-time low lead content rate of less than .13% which make this safe to use with your drinking water.

The convenient gauge is constructed with oil to keep the internal components working with longer life expectancy.

The water pressure regulator can easily be adjusted with a screwdriver up 160 PSI.

It features both female and male fittings that have standard ¾ in water hose threads and NH threads which makes this an ideal choice for all American water sources.

It’s advised to refrain from using this device in frigid environments.

2. Camco RV Brass Inline Water Pressure Regulator (40055)
Pros
  • Easy installation
  • Solid brass hardware
  • Very affordable
  • Does its job well
Cons
  • Doesn’t have a pressure gauge
  • Pressure can’t be adjusted
  • May reduce pressure more than you want

This inexpensive little brass water pressure regulator is designed to keep your water pressure at a fixed level of 40-50 PSI. At this setting, it keeps the water pressure consistent and your RV’s plumbing and hoses safe.

CSA low lead content certified, this unit is safe to use with your drinking water.

The standard ¾ in fittings are compatible with US water sources and standard garden hose threads.

3. RVAQUA M11-45PSI Water Pressure Regulator for RV Camper
Pros
  • Easy to use
  • Water pressure is easily adjustable
  • Attached gauge helps you monitor your PSI setting
  • NPT fittings are well-made
  • Screening filters minor contamination
  • Keeps a great and consistent flow rate
  • Packaged well
  • Great customer service
Cons
  • Oil has a tendency to leak from the gauge
  • Water pressure may not remain consistent

Another lead-free brass water pressure regulator, this unit is safe to use with your drinking water.

The attached gauge conveniently shows the PSI levels of the water source. The oil in the gauge prolongs the life of the inner components. The water pressure can be adjusted up to 160 PSI by using a screwdriver.

The ¾ in garden hose threads and NH threads fit with all standard garden hoses and US water sources. Designed with durability, they are engineered to prevent water leakage.

Another unique feature is the explosion-proof plug. It prevents water from spraying out of the hose when the water pressure goes above its designed capacity.

Additionally, this regulator features a dual-layer inlet screened filter. This allows for the unit to be spared from damage or blockage caused by gravel or other debris.

4. U.S. Solid - RV Pressure Regulator with Gauge and Water Filter Net
Pros
  • Has a gauge to show pressure levels
  • Sets pressure levels with accuracy
  • Great water flow
  • Solid, heavy, and works well
  • Pressure is adjustable
  • Quality fittings and fine brass finish
  • Comes with excellent packaging which can be used for storage and travelling
Cons
  • No warranty

This lead-free water pressure regulator by US Solid is manufactured well under low-lead requirements for safe and healthy water. It regulates water pressure to a consistent and safe pressure level and still allows for a great water flow.

By using the attached gauge, you can see the current PSI levels and adjust them from 0-160 PSI with a screwdriver.

The ¾ in NH threads are compatible with all US water sources. The fittings have a quality, thick design that prevent leakage.

The inlet screened filter keeps gravel and debris from blocking or damaging the regulator.

5. Valterra (A01-1122VP Lead-Free Water Regulator
Pros
  • Affordable
  • Product with high quality and performance
  • Fits standard hose connections
  • Keeps your pipes safe
  • Has a considerably higher flow rate than average regulators
Cons
  • Screen is permanently attached to the regulator
  • Not for cold weather
  • Doesn’t have a gauge to monitor PSI settings
  • PSI setting isn’t adjustable
  • May have a tendency to leak from the middle section

This water pressure regulator’s tough and solid build is designed to last without leaking. It fits standard hose fittings.

It keeps water pressure at a fixed setting of 50-55 PSI, which is still well in the range that keeps your plumbing safe. Higher than the average 45 PSI setting, this is designed for the water systems in the newer RVs.

Along with the higher pressure setting, it features a wide mouth which allows for the RV’s showers, toilets, and sinks to function with a 15-20% higher flow than the previously mentioned regulators allow.

This flow rate gives you the comforts of home while you’re on the road.

This unit includes a built-in stainless steel filter screen to keep debris out of the regulator.

Which One’s Right For You?

If you’re looking for a simple fix and some peace of mind when you’re hooking up to a water source, you may want to go with the Camco Model #40055. It’s highly affordable and yet it’s designed to still maintain a safe and desirable pressure level.

You may want a higher flow rate to give you a comfortable shower likened to home. If your RV can stand higher levels of PSI, choosing the Valterra may be a great option for you. 

Many RVers want to be able to monitor the pressure levels and adjust the PSI settings. If that’s you, the Renator M11-0660R may be just what you’re..

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Water is essential to life!

Installing a quality water filter to your RV’s water system can give you the clean, fresh and sweet-tasting water that’s vital for your family’s health.

And…

It can save you lots of dollars from not having to buy bottled water while you’re moving from campground to campground.

In this article, I’ll share with you the following 5 best RV water filters
How Do You Choose a RV Water Filter For Your Needs?

Depending on your area or the area of your chosen campground, you’ll face various levels of water issues.

Some areas have average problems and a simple water filter will cover your basic need for purified water.

Other areas are not so blessed

Water with a foul smell and taste can come from a heavy metal overload, high levels of chlorine or sulfur content, or even poisonous contaminants.

To view the long-term effects of chlorine, see video below.

Chlorine in drinking water is bad for you - YouTube

For locations with highly contaminated water, you’ll want to consider filters that greatly reduce or even eliminate the impurities. Carbon or GAC filters with KDF treatments are excellent choices for bad-tasting and foul-smelling water.

For areas with high sediment levels, you may need to consider getting a dual grade filter cartridge.

What Exactly Is a GAC (Granular Activated Carbon) Filter?

Charcoal, which is a form of carbon, resembles a cross between graphite and a sponge.

See below video for a visual definition of activated carbon.

What is CARBON FILTERING? What does CARBON FILTERING mean? CARBON FILTERING meaning - YouTube

Its porous body is prime ground for luring and trapping contaminants like chlorine, pesticides and other poisonous solvents residing in your water source. A GAC filter has the ability to greatly reduce these contaminants from your water line.

Much like a sponge, this filter absorbs the impurities until it gets saturated to the point that it actually clogs and needs replacement.

Note with setting up a granular activated carbon filter, it’s advised to run the water through the filter until the excess carbon particles are washed out. Once the water runs clear, the filter is ready for use.

What’s the KDF (Kinetic Degradation Fluxion) Process Media?

The KDF55 is an ingenious design that utilizes science to bring healthy drinking water out of your kitchen tap.

You may have heard the age-old saying, “Opposites attract.”

This process does just that!

The alloys copper and zinc use their positive and negative charges to work together in attracting metals such as aluminum, mercury, cadmium, lead and arsenic. These metals bond with the copper and zinc to form a plate, effectively removing these metals from the water.

Some contaminants react by changing form and pass through the filter as harmless substances. Free chlorine is one such impurity; it changes into water-soluble chloride salt.

In this reaction process, copper and zinc chelates multiply in a controlled amount. They enter the water system as nutrients that are actually beneficial to the human body.

This whole process creates an uncomfortable environment for bacteria, viruses, and mold.

The KDF process is commonly used with GAC filters to enhance the performance of the carbon and reduce the bacteria growth while the filter is not in use.

When Do You Change the Cartridges In the Water Filter?

Most water filters are advertised to last through one camping season. More advanced water filters can last much longer than that. Cartridges still need to be maintained regularly.

Typically, full-time RVers will change their cartridges quarterly, or every 3 months

High levels of contamination and sediment will greatly reduce the life of the cartridge in your water filter. 

Here are two clues that your cartridge may be ready to be replaced:

     1) The water flow has slowed down considerably

     2) You begin to taste the chlorine or other unwelcome tastes again

It’s always an excellent idea to keep a close eye on your cartridge.

This Is Important About Your Water Filter

Remember that water expands when it freezes. In order to protect your water filter, store it safely in a warm place during freezing temperatures to prevent the housing from cracking.

Secondly, water filters are designed to make potable water healthier and more pleasant to drink. They’re not designed to make non-potable water, potable. 

Here are our Top 5 Choices for the Best RV Water Filter
1. Camco TastePURE Water Filter with Flexible Hose Protector (40043)
Pros
  • Hose attachment adds flexibility to the system
  • Turns nasty water to good-tasting drinking water
  • Highly recommended
  • Easy to use and well-made
  • Gets rid of chlorine taste
  • Great customer service
Cons
  • Cartridge isn’t replaceable
  • Could use a storage case to keep clean
  • One filter may not be enough for highly contaminated water

Made in the USA, this 20 micron sediment filter uses GAC and KDF technology to greatly reduce chlorine taste and smell, sediments, bacteria, and other contaminants and odors to make your potable water healthier.

It removes aluminum, cadmium, hydrogen sulfide, iron, lead, and mercury from the water which makes this a necessity for RVs, boats, campers, pets, and gardening.

Featuring a wide body that lines up with the hose, this filter is able to produce a high flow rate. The filter is compatible with any standard water hose.

The included Flexible Hose Protector keeps the water hose from crimping and straining.

In between uses, consider airing out the filter to prevent any water left inside from turning stagnant.

2. Culligan RVF-10 Exterior RV Drinking Water Filter
Pros
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to install and use
  • Does a great job of eliminating chlorine and keeps sediments from clogging the water lines
  • Cartridges are easily replaceable
Cons
  • Comes with a very short hose
  • Doesn’t have a mounting bracket
  • Plastic fittings tend to leak
  • Water pressure may cut down with certain systems

The RVF-10 model is designed with sturdy, slim housing and a GAC cartridge filtering system that gives you water that tastes better and a storage tank that stays cleaner.

By eliminating foul taste and odor, chlorine, and sediment, this water filter is ideal for RVs. It lasts up to 250 gallons or 3 months.

This filter comes with a hose connection kit and a spare model D-15 replacement cartridge.

3. Clearsource Premium RV Water Filter System
Pros
  • Produces clean water without bacteria growth
  • Comes with a handy built-in stand
  • Clears up sulfur taste and smell
  • Water pressure remains great
  • Easy set-up and take-down
  • Cartridge replacement is easy
Cons
  • Incoming hose fittings are fixed (stationary)
  • Pricey

This impressive, top quality Premium RV Water Filter System sends water through 2 5.0 micron filters. The sediment filter and the carbon block filter work together to eliminate chlorine, cysts, giardia, volatile organic compounds, and other impurities. Both filters are protected by 2 large filter canisters.

Although this is a dual filtering system, this water filter produces a high flow rate.

The system features stainless steel fittings and a powder-coated metal chassis which makes it easy to set up and keep standing.

4. Camco EVO Premium RV/Marine Water Filter (40631)
Pros
  • Affordable
  • Cartridges are replaceable
  • Quality product with great performance
  • Produces great, clear drinking water
  • CSA low lead content certified
Cons
  • Doesn’t eliminate chlorine and sulfur tastes and odors---only reduces
  • Connections can break if over-torqued
  • May need to consider a regulator to avoid springing leaks
  • Doesn’t come with a mounting bracket
  • One filter may not be enough for highly contaminated water

This water filter uses KDF and GAC technology to reduce sediment, bad tastes and odors caused by chlorine, aluminum, cadmium, heavy metals, hydrogen sulfide, iron, lead, and mercury; and controls bacteria levels.

Its 5 micron barrier results in fresh, clean, and great-tasting drinking water for one camping season.

The filter’s compatibility with any standard garden hose connection makes it easy to install.

Included in this filter system is filter housing, one extension hose, one replaceable filter cartridge, a cartridge wrench, and teflon tape which can be applied to fittings to eliminate any potential leaks.

5. Culligan RV-800 Exterior Pre-Tank RV Water Filter with Hose
Pros
  • Long-lasting
  • A great and affordable investment
  • Easily attaches to your water supply
  • Keeps water lines and tanks clean
  • Removes odors and tastes caused by sulfur and iron
  • Reduces calcium deposits
Cons
  • May reduce water pressure
  • Plastic threads may not seal well

Using the KDF process along with the GAC filter, the Culligan RV-800 water filter reduces bacteria, bad taste and odor, chlorine taste and odor, sediment, other contaminants, and turbidity.

The standard hose fittings and the included 12-inch connection hose make it easy to connect to your RV, motor home, trailer, or boat.

The RV-800 model has a high flow rate that can last up to 2,000 gallons which makes this a great choice for larger families or higher water demand.

For storage, it’s strongly advised to cover the filter with ends to keep the filter wet and contained.

Which Filter Do You Prefer?

If you don’t mind changing the entire filter every camping season, you may want to consider the Camco TastePURE Water Filter which does an excellent job of removing metallic and chlorinated tastes and odors from the water. 

If you don’t use extensive amounts of water and prefer to change only..

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My family and I absolutely love to hit the great outdoors after a long winter.

We’re ecstatic about our new addition: an outdoor shower!!!

Conveniently, we’ve set it up just outside our RV. The tankless water heater gives us the luxury to enjoy the summer sounds and a hot shower at the same time! 

In This Buyer’s Guide, I’ll Cover the following 5 Best RV Tankless Water Heaters 
Some Benefits of a Tankless Water Heater

A tankless water heater is an innovative way to save energy. It doesn’t use energy to keep water heated in a holding tank. Rather, these water heaters only heat water on demand--which means when the water is turned on.

If you have a gas water heater instead of an electrical heater, you can save extensively on your heating bill. Additionally, these little units are highly efficient with their propane usage.

A portable tankless water heater has a unique compact design which uses considerably less storage space than a conventional hot water tank.

How to Choose a Tankless Water Heater

When choosing a tankless water heater that’s right for you, you’ll want to consider a few things.

First, determine how much GPM your shower or other points of use produce. If you wish to send water to multiple points of use, calculate the total amount of GPM needed to supply your water outlets.

For example, if you wish to supply only the shower with hot water and it uses 2 GPM, then look for a unit that produces a minimum of 2 GPM.

Secondly, subtract the temperature of the groundwater at your location and the desired water temperature. Typically, a comfortable shower temperature is at 120 degrees F. If the groundwater is at 62 degrees F, your water heater should be able to warm up water with a temperature rise of 58 degrees F.

Review the GPM guide and groundwater temperature map here.

What you may not know is that your tankless water heater heats water according to the flow rate. If you live in a climate with groundwater of cooler temperatures, you’ll need a larger unit water heater with a greater flow rate in order for it to produce your desired temperatures. 

How to Properly Set Up a Portable Water Heater

Manufacturers advise consumers to hire professionals to install their newly-purchased water heater. If the unit isn’t set up properly, the escaping gas leaks can cause severe damage to the unit or even alarmingly catch on fire.

If your jurisdiction allows for homeowners to set up their own water heaters and you do decide to install it yourself, be sure to follow the manual’s set-up instructions very carefully.

Installing a New Girard Tankless Instant RV Hot Water Heater - YouTube

Here are a few tips that can make the installation process more secure:

            1) Rather than using your hands to tighten the gas connection, use a torque wrench

            2) Use teflon tape to snugly fit around all gas connections

            3) Do the Gas Leak Test--Spray soapy water around all gas connections. If it bubbles when the gas is turned on, then                      there’s a gas leak and connections need to be made airtight

See video below for a visual of the Gas Leak Test. 

Testing for Gas Leaks - Soapy Water Test - YouTube
Can You Install a Portable Water Heater Indoors?

Since many users prefer the convenience of having the unit installed indoors, this is a frequently asked question.

Yes, it’s possible to install inside IF it’s vented properly.

Since portable water heaters are manufactured for outdoor use, no ventilation is required when set up outside. 

Propane water heaters emit carbon monoxide and thus cause concern for the safety of humans and animals. Manufacturers advise to install a flue pipe or a duct to ensure proper ventilation and a safe indoor environment. 

And with newer designs of ventilation ducts, you don’t have to sacrifice beauty for safety.

You can lear more facts about venting tankless water heaters here.

Consider These Quirks When Setting Up and Using Your Tankless Water Heater

Since the portable gas tankless water heater has a little ignition flame, you will want to set up your water heater out of direct wind or even away from drafts. Some units are more particular than others; but in general, these need to be set up free of wind exposure to prevent the flame from extinguishing.  

These little units can get severely hot. It’s advised to install a protective metal heat shield on the mounting wall to prevent any danger of fire.

The exhaust is very hot. Refrain from placing any items directly on top of the unit.

When using or storing in freezing temperatures, drain the unit completely to avoid damage caused by freezing and cracking.

Consider removing the batteries for storage or travelling to ensure extra safety.

Make sure you use a water pressure regulator

Here are our picks for the top 5 Best RV Tankless Water Heaters
1. Eccotemp L10 2.6 GPM Portable Tankless Water Heater
Pros
  • Highly energy-efficient
  • Long-lasting and tough
  • Produces almost instantaneous and unlimited hot water
  • Warms up cold water very quickly
  • Uses very little propane gas
  • Comes with useful hardware
Cons
  • Design at the bottom makes connecting the fittings difficult
  • Some units have an inconsistent hot and cold water flow
  • May need to constantly adjust water flow to adjust temperatures
  • The 1-yr warranty may or may not be honoured

The Eccotemp L10 portable water heater is a light unit that’s easy to carry and mount to a wall. It produces 2.6 GPM of very hot water at 20-80 PSI. It can achieve temperatures from 50--140 degrees F.

This heater easily connects to any standard garden hose with an included garden hose adaptor and the  ½ in npt to ¾ in garden hose fitting. It’s also compatible with a 12V water pump.

It features a chrome shower head and stainless steel hose which is perfect for hosing down your pets or setting up your outdoor shower.

This unit has a safety feature that automatically shuts off when used longer than 20 minutes or tilted more than 45 degrees.

It comes with a long LP gas regulator and hose which connects to any standard 20 lb liquid propane tank. Being powered by 2 “D” cell batteries makes this an excellent choice for any off-grid needs.

2. Portable Propane Tankless Water Heater - EZ 202
Pros
  • Very hardy water heater
  • Delivers a fair amount of GPM
  • Functions at a low PSI level
  • Doesn’t have a pilot light
Cons
  • Fittings aren’t standard to American fittings, making set-up frustrating

This tankless water heater is lighter than the Eccotemp’s water heater. Weighing only 15 pounds, it’s easily portable and easy to install and use.

Its 3.2 GPM makes this unit a favourable choice for anywhere that hot water is needed. Whether it be at campsites or your barns, this unit is activated at a low pressure of 2.9 PSI with a rise of 45 degrees F.

You can connect this water heater easily to a standard garden hose.

It uses 2 “D” cell batteries to power the unit, making this a great choice for saving energy or using it in off-grid settings. These batteries are the power source of the ignition--no pilot light is needed.

3. Camp Chef HWD5 Triton Water Heater
Pros
  • Reliable, safe, and long-lasting
  • Inexpensive
  • Produces extremely hot water--could possibly make a hot beverage with it
  • Great for a single shower or sink set-up
  • Safety feature turns unit off after 30 minutes of use
  • Excellent customer service
  • 1 Year Warranty
Cons
  • Temperatures can only be adjusted by the heater
  • Battery case is poorly designed and causes batteries to short
  • May need to adjust the clips in the battery compartment for better contact
  • Stand and hose connector is not the best quality

A fabulous choice for any hot water needs, the Camp Chef Triton produces nearly instant hot water at a rate of 1.5 GPM and a comfortable setting of 25-30 PSI. Its maximum PSI is at 80.

This water heater functions great with both a garden hose and a water pump.

This unit’s unique feature of self-standing capability makes this an optimal choice for use quite literally anywhere. It includes brackets for you to hang on a wall if you choose to mount it. The carrying handles neatly tuck away for compact storage.

The shower head features 4 settings (off, mist, shower, and jet) which is perfect for your outdoor shower at a pool or beach. An 8 ft water hose and a brass garden hose connector is included.

When the water is turned on, 2 “D” cell batteries automatically ignite the burner. A regulator hose for a bulk propane tank is included.

4. Marey Power Gas 10L 3.1 GPM Propane Gas Tankless Water Heater
Pros
  • Can easily run 2 showers or fill a hot tub with hot water
  • Can get very hot
  • Batteries last long
Cons
  • Installation can be a hassle
  • Poor battery compartment design
  • Poorly designed flow rate setting doesn’t heat water at 2.0 GPM or more

This rust-proof tankless water heater is easy to install. It produces 3.1 GPM and can be used for multiple points of use. This is an on-demand water heater that can function at low levels of PSI. It has a 5-year warranty.

It features temperature knobs that give you the luxury to control the water temperatures.

Highly efficient and economical, this unit can save you up to 60% on your electricity bills. If you’re in an area with frequent power outages, this water heater may be a great choice for you since it doesn’t need any electrical connections.

One unfortunate part of some of these tankless water heaters in this model is that it’s slightly contradictory of itself. It needs a fair amount of water flow to ignite the on-demand heating cycle. However, the flow rate setting forces you to run the water at 1.0 GPM to produce heated water. Even at this setting, you can be suddenly blasted with cold water because the heater doesn’t recognize the need to heat water above 2.0 GPM.

This unit is made cheaply but performs fairly well. If you need a quick solution, this may be for you.

5. Camplux 5L 1.32 GPM Outdoor Portable Propane Tankless Water Heater
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Water is essential to life!

Installing a quality water filter to your RV’s water system can give you the clean, fresh and sweet-tasting water that’s vital for your family’s health.

And…

It can save you lots of dollars from not having to buy bottled water while you’re moving from campground to campground.

In this article, I’ll share with you the following 5 best RV water filters
How Do You Choose a RV Water Filter For Your Needs?

Depending on your area or the area of your chosen campground, you’ll face various levels of water issues.

Some areas have average problems and a simple water filter will cover your basic need for purified water.

Other areas are not so blessed

Water with a foul smell and taste can come from a heavy metal overload, high levels of chlorine or sulfur content, or even poisonous contaminants.

To view the long-term effects of chlorine, see video below.

Chlorine in drinking water is bad for you - YouTube

For locations with highly contaminated water, you’ll want to consider filters that greatly reduce or even eliminate the impurities. Carbon or GAC filters with KDF treatments are excellent choices for bad-tasting and foul-smelling water.

For areas with high sediment levels, you may need to consider getting a dual grade filter cartridge.

What Exactly Is a GAC (Granular Activated Carbon) Filter?

Charcoal, which is a form of carbon, resembles a cross between graphite and a sponge.

See below video for a visual definition of activated carbon.

What is CARBON FILTERING? What does CARBON FILTERING mean? CARBON FILTERING meaning - YouTube

Its porous body is prime ground for luring and trapping contaminants like chlorine, pesticides and other poisonous solvents residing in your water source. A GAC filter has the ability to greatly reduce these contaminants from your water line.

Much like a sponge, this filter absorbs the impurities until it gets saturated to the point that it actually clogs and needs replacement.

Note with setting up a granular activated carbon filter, it’s advised to run the water through the filter until the excess carbon particles are washed out. Once the water runs clear, the filter is ready for use.

What’s the KDF (Kinetic Degradation Fluxion) Process Media?

The KDF55 is an ingenious design that utilizes science to bring healthy drinking water out of your kitchen tap.

You may have heard the age-old saying, “Opposites attract.”

This process does just that!

The alloys copper and zinc use their positive and negative charges to work together in attracting metals such as aluminum, mercury, cadmium, lead and arsenic. These metals bond with the copper and zinc to form a plate, effectively removing these metals from the water.

Some contaminants react by changing form and pass through the filter as harmless substances. Free chlorine is one such impurity; it changes into water-soluble chloride salt.

In this reaction process, copper and zinc chelates multiply in a controlled amount. They enter the water system as nutrients that are actually beneficial to the human body.

This whole process creates an uncomfortable environment for bacteria, viruses, and mold.

The KDF process is commonly used with GAC filters to enhance the performance of the carbon and reduce the bacteria growth while the filter is not in use.

When Do You Change the Cartridges In the Water Filter?

Most water filters are advertised to last through one camping season. More advanced water filters can last much longer than that. Cartridges still need to be maintained regularly.

Typically, full-time RVers will change their cartridges quarterly, or every 3 months

High levels of contamination and sediment will greatly reduce the life of the cartridge in your water filter. 

Here are two clues that your cartridge may be ready to be replaced:

     1) The water flow has slowed down considerably

     2) You begin to taste the chlorine or other unwelcome tastes again

It’s always an excellent idea to keep a close eye on your cartridge.

This Is Important About Your Water Filter

Remember that water expands when it freezes. In order to protect your water filter, store it safely in a warm place during freezing temperatures to prevent the housing from cracking.

Secondly, water filters are designed to make potable water healthier and more pleasant to drink. They’re not designed to make non-potable water, potable. 

Here are our Top 5 Choices for the Best RV Water Filter
1. Camco TastePURE Water Filter with Flexible Hose Protector (40043)
Pros
  • Hose attachment adds flexibility to the system
  • Turns nasty water to good-tasting drinking water
  • Highly recommended
  • Easy to use and well-made
  • Gets rid of chlorine taste
  • Great customer service
Cons
  • Cartridge isn’t replaceable
  • Could use a storage case to keep clean
  • One filter may not be enough for highly contaminated water

Made in the USA, this 20 micron sediment filter uses GAC and KDF technology to greatly reduce chlorine taste and smell, sediments, bacteria, and other contaminants and odors to make your potable water healthier.

It removes aluminum, cadmium, hydrogen sulfide, iron, lead, and mercury from the water which makes this a necessity for RVs, boats, campers, pets, and gardening.

Featuring a wide body that lines up with the hose, this filter is able to produce a high flow rate. The filter is compatible with any standard water hose.

The included Flexible Hose Protector keeps the water hose from crimping and straining.

In between uses, consider airing out the filter to prevent any water left inside from turning stagnant.

2. Culligan RVF-10 Exterior RV Drinking Water Filter
Pros
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to install and use
  • Does a great job of eliminating chlorine and keeps sediments from clogging the water lines
  • Cartridges are easily replaceable
Cons
  • Comes with a very short hose
  • Doesn’t have a mounting bracket
  • Plastic fittings tend to leak
  • Water pressure may cut down with certain systems

The RVF-10 model is designed with sturdy, slim housing and a GAC cartridge filtering system that gives you water that tastes better and a storage tank that stays cleaner.

By eliminating foul taste and odor, chlorine, and sediment, this water filter is ideal for RVs. It lasts up to 250 gallons or 3 months.

This filter comes with a hose connection kit and a spare model D-15 replacement cartridge.

3. Clearsource Premium RV Water Filter System
Pros
  • Produces clean water without bacteria growth
  • Comes with a handy built-in stand
  • Clears up sulfur taste and smell
  • Water pressure remains great
  • Easy set-up and take-down
  • Cartridge replacement is easy
Cons
  • Incoming hose fittings are fixed (stationary)
  • Pricey

This impressive, top quality Premium RV Water Filter System sends water through 2 5.0 micron filters. The sediment filter and the carbon block filter work together to eliminate chlorine, cysts, giardia, volatile organic compounds, and other impurities. Both filters are protected by 2 large filter canisters.

Although this is a dual filtering system, this water filter produces a high flow rate.

The system features stainless steel fittings and a powder-coated metal chassis which makes it easy to set up and keep standing.

4. Camco EVO Premium RV/Marine Water Filter (40631)
Pros
  • Affordable
  • Cartridges are replaceable
  • Quality product with great performance
  • Produces great, clear drinking water
  • CSA low lead content certified
Cons
  • Doesn’t eliminate chlorine and sulfur tastes and odors---only reduces
  • Connections can break if over-torqued
  • May need to consider a regulator to avoid springing leaks
  • Doesn’t come with a mounting bracket
  • One filter may not be enough for highly contaminated water

This water filter uses KDF and GAC technology to reduce sediment, bad tastes and odors caused by chlorine, aluminum, cadmium, heavy metals, hydrogen sulfide, iron, lead, and mercury; and controls bacteria levels.

Its 5 micron barrier results in fresh, clean, and great-tasting drinking water for one camping season.

The filter’s compatibility with any standard garden hose connection makes it easy to install.

Included in this filter system is filter housing, one extension hose, one replaceable filter cartridge, a cartridge wrench, and teflon tape which can be applied to fittings to eliminate any potential leaks.

5. Culligan RV-800 Exterior Pre-Tank RV Water Filter with Hose
Pros
  • Long-lasting
  • A great and affordable investment
  • Easily attaches to your water supply
  • Keeps water lines and tanks clean
  • Removes odors and tastes caused by sulfur and iron
  • Reduces calcium deposits
Cons
  • May reduce water pressure
  • Plastic threads may not seal well

Using the KDF process along with the GAC filter, the Culligan RV-800 water filter reduces bacteria, bad taste and odor, chlorine taste and odor, sediment, other contaminants, and turbidity.

The standard hose fittings and the included 12-inch connection hose make it easy to connect to your RV, motor home, trailer, or boat.

The RV-800 model has a high flow rate that can last up to 2,000 gallons which makes this a great choice for larger families or higher water demand.

For storage, it’s strongly advised to cover the filter with ends to keep the filter wet and contained.

Which Filter Do You Prefer?

If you don’t mind changing the entire filter every camping season, you may want to consider the Camco TastePURE Water Filter which does an excellent job of removing metallic and chlorinated tastes and odors from the water. 

If you don’t use extensive amounts of water and prefer to change only..

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My family and I absolutely love to hit the great outdoors after a long winter.

We’re ecstatic about our new addition: an outdoor shower!!!

Conveniently, we’ve set it up just outside our RV. The tankless water heater gives us the luxury to enjoy the summer sounds and a hot shower at the same time! 

In This Buyer’s Guide, I’ll Cover the following 5 Best RV Tankless Water Heaters 
Some Benefits of a Tankless Water Heater

A tankless water heater is an innovative way to save energy. It doesn’t use energy to keep water heated in a holding tank. Rather, these water heaters only heat water on demand--which means when the water is turned on.

If you have a gas water heater instead of an electrical heater, you can save extensively on your heating bill. Additionally, these little units are highly efficient with their propane usage.

A portable tankless water heater has a unique compact design which uses considerably less storage space than a conventional hot water tank.

How to Choose a Tankless Water Heater

When choosing a tankless water heater that’s right for you, you’ll want to consider a few things.

First, determine how much GPM your shower or other points of use produce. If you wish to send water to multiple points of use, calculate the total amount of GPM needed to supply your water outlets.

For example, if you wish to supply only the shower with hot water and it uses 2 GPM, then look for a unit that produces a minimum of 2 GPM.

Secondly, subtract the temperature of the groundwater at your location and the desired water temperature. Typically, a comfortable shower temperature is at 120 degrees F. If the groundwater is at 62 degrees F, your water heater should be able to warm up water with a temperature rise of 58 degrees F.

Review the GPM guide and groundwater temperature map here.

What you may not know is that your tankless water heater heats water according to the flow rate. If you live in a climate with groundwater of cooler temperatures, you’ll need a larger unit water heater with a greater flow rate in order for it to produce your desired temperatures. 

How to Properly Set Up a Portable Water Heater

Manufacturers advise consumers to hire professionals to install their newly-purchased water heater. If the unit isn’t set up properly, the escaping gas leaks can cause severe damage to the unit or even alarmingly catch on fire.

If your jurisdiction allows for homeowners to set up their own water heaters and you do decide to install it yourself, be sure to follow the manual’s set-up instructions very carefully.

Installing a New Girard Tankless Instant RV Hot Water Heater - YouTube

Here are a few tips that can make the installation process more secure:

            1) Rather than using your hands to tighten the gas connection, use a torque wrench

            2) Use teflon tape to snugly fit around all gas connections

            3) Do the Gas Leak Test--Spray soapy water around all gas connections. If it bubbles when the gas is turned on, then                      there’s a gas leak and connections need to be made airtight

See video below for a visual of the Gas Leak Test. 

Testing for Gas Leaks - Soapy Water Test - YouTube
Can You Install a Portable Water Heater Indoors?

Since many users prefer the convenience of having the unit installed indoors, this is a frequently asked question.

Yes, it’s possible to install inside IF it’s vented properly.

Since portable water heaters are manufactured for outdoor use, no ventilation is required when set up outside. 

Propane water heaters emit carbon monoxide and thus cause concern for the safety of humans and animals. Manufacturers advise to install a flue pipe or a duct to ensure proper ventilation and a safe indoor environment. 

And with newer designs of ventilation ducts, you don’t have to sacrifice beauty for safety.

You can lear more facts about venting tankless water heaters here.

Consider These Quirks When Setting Up and Using Your Tankless Water Heater

Since the portable gas tankless water heater has a little ignition flame, you will want to set up your water heater out of direct wind or even away from drafts. Some units are more particular than others; but in general, these need to be set up free of wind exposure to prevent the flame from extinguishing.  

These little units can get severely hot. It’s advised to install a protective metal heat shield on the mounting wall to prevent any danger of fire.

The exhaust is very hot. Refrain from placing any items directly on top of the unit.

When using or storing in freezing temperatures, drain the unit completely to avoid damage caused by freezing and cracking.

Consider removing the batteries for storage or travelling to ensure extra safety.

Here are our picks for the top 5 Best RV Tankless Water Heaters
1. Eccotemp L10 2.6 GPM Portable Tankless Water Heater
Pros
  • Highly energy-efficient
  • Long-lasting and tough
  • Produces almost instantaneous and unlimited hot water
  • Warms up cold water very quickly
  • Uses very little propane gas
  • Comes with useful hardware
Cons
  • Design at the bottom makes connecting the fittings difficult
  • Some units have an inconsistent hot and cold water flow
  • May need to constantly adjust water flow to adjust temperatures
  • The 1-yr warranty may or may not be honoured

The Eccotemp L10 portable water heater is a light unit that’s easy to carry and mount to a wall. It produces 2.6 GPM of very hot water at 20-80 PSI. It can achieve temperatures from 50--140 degrees F.

This heater easily connects to any standard garden hose with an included garden hose adaptor and the  ½ in npt to ¾ in garden hose fitting. It’s also compatible with a 12V water pump.

It features a chrome shower head and stainless steel hose which is perfect for hosing down your pets or setting up your outdoor shower.

This unit has a safety feature that automatically shuts off when used longer than 20 minutes or tilted more than 45 degrees.

It comes with a long LP gas regulator and hose which connects to any standard 20 lb liquid propane tank. Being powered by 2 “D” cell batteries makes this an excellent choice for any off-grid needs.

2. Portable Propane Tankless Water Heater - EZ 202
Pros
  • Very hardy water heater
  • Delivers a fair amount of GPM
  • Functions at a low PSI level
  • Doesn’t have a pilot light
Cons
  • Fittings aren’t standard to American fittings, making set-up frustrating

This tankless water heater is lighter than the Eccotemp’s water heater. Weighing only 15 pounds, it’s easily portable and easy to install and use.

Its 3.2 GPM makes this unit a favourable choice for anywhere that hot water is needed. Whether it be at campsites or your barns, this unit is activated at a low pressure of 2.9 PSI with a rise of 45 degrees F.

You can connect this water heater easily to a standard garden hose.

It uses 2 “D” cell batteries to power the unit, making this a great choice for saving energy or using it in off-grid settings. These batteries are the power source of the ignition--no pilot light is needed.

3. Camp Chef HWD5 Triton Water Heater
Pros
  • Reliable, safe, and long-lasting
  • Inexpensive
  • Produces extremely hot water--could possibly make a hot beverage with it
  • Great for a single shower or sink set-up
  • Safety feature turns unit off after 30 minutes of use
  • Excellent customer service
  • 1 Year Warranty
Cons
  • Temperatures can only be adjusted by the heater
  • Battery case is poorly designed and causes batteries to short
  • May need to adjust the clips in the battery compartment for better contact
  • Stand and hose connector is not the best quality

A fabulous choice for any hot water needs, the Camp Chef Triton produces nearly instant hot water at a rate of 1.5 GPM and a comfortable setting of 25-30 PSI. Its maximum PSI is at 80.

This water heater functions great with both a garden hose and a water pump.

This unit’s unique feature of self-standing capability makes this an optimal choice for use quite literally anywhere. It includes brackets for you to hang on a wall if you choose to mount it. The carrying handles neatly tuck away for compact storage.

The shower head features 4 settings (off, mist, shower, and jet) which is perfect for your outdoor shower at a pool or beach. An 8 ft water hose and a brass garden hose connector is included.

When the water is turned on, 2 “D” cell batteries automatically ignite the burner. A regulator hose for a bulk propane tank is included.

4. Marey Power Gas 10L 3.1 GPM Propane Gas Tankless Water Heater
Pros
  • Can easily run 2 showers or fill a hot tub with hot water
  • Can get very hot
  • Batteries last long
Cons
  • Installation can be a hassle
  • Poor battery compartment design
  • Poorly designed flow rate setting doesn’t heat water at 2.0 GPM or more

This rust-proof tankless water heater is easy to install. It produces 3.1 GPM and can be used for multiple points of use. This is an on-demand water heater that can function at low levels of PSI. It has a 5-year warranty.

It features temperature knobs that give you the luxury to control the water temperatures.

Highly efficient and economical, this unit can save you up to 60% on your electricity bills. If you’re in an area with frequent power outages, this water heater may be a great choice for you since it doesn’t need any electrical connections.

One unfortunate part of some of these tankless water heaters in this model is that it’s slightly contradictory of itself. It needs a fair amount of water flow to ignite the on-demand heating cycle. However, the flow rate setting forces you to run the water at 1.0 GPM to produce heated water. Even at this setting, you can be suddenly blasted with cold water because the heater doesn’t recognize the need to heat water above 2.0 GPM.

This unit is made cheaply but performs fairly well. If you need a quick solution, this may be for you.

5. Camplux 5L 1.32 GPM Outdoor Portable Propane Tankless Water Heater
Pros
  • Userfriendly
  • Very efficient
  • Doesn’t use much propane
  • Great..
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