7 Best Camping Water Heater for Comfortable Showers

If you are in a hurry I recommend the Camplux Pro Tankless Propane Water Heater as the best camping water heater for its strong water pressure and quick heating abilities.

Going camping is a great way to escape the hustle and bustle of city life and enjoy some peace and quiet in nature. One thing that can make your camping experience even better is a hot shower. If you’re looking for the best camping water heater, you’ve come to the right place.

Learn more about the best camping water heaters and what to look for when buying one for your trip.

Man taking shower outside his van

Choosing A Camping Water Heater

Portable water heaters for camping showers can come in a number of different shapes and sizes but it’s really the heating source and power that makes them different.

Here are some key considerations to keep in mind while you’re browsing the list of best portable water heaters.

Type of Portable Water Heater

Man using camping shower with child

All of the hot water heaters on this list are going to be tankless.

That means you won’t have a big water tank that’s connected to the device where you’ll be sourcing your water from.

This makes it a little more difficult to find a fresh water source you can use but it means your portable tankless water heater is going to be much more portable for camping.

Size of Your Camping Water Heater

When looking through the portable tankless water heaters on this list you’ll notice a range in sizes.

Most are going to be pretty tiny and only include a small, compact rectangular device that hangs from a wall or post.

These are perfect for camping because they provide great water temperature and they’re the most portable water heaters around.

The only knock is that you’ll have to hang it from something or attach it to a wall or post in order to use it.

There is a more square portable camping shower that has a box design that sits all on its own without the need for any additional support.

These are going to be slightly bigger and less portable but you don’t have to mess with hanging up your portable heater or attaching it with screws to something.

Check the Power Source

For being so small, the hot water shower devices on this list are pretty technical in their design.

The smaller devices you’ll see that require hanging will all be powered by batteries.

As you can imagine this is ideal for camping because you can get a great water flow without needing to connect to electricity.

The only problem is always needing to keep up with fresh batteries for every trip.

There’s only one water heating system on this list that uses actual electricity but it does come with multiple adapters that can plug into electrical outlets or your car’s outlet.

Check the Heat Source

Fire coming out of water heater

Propane water heaters are tried and true in the outdoors and every single item on this list will be powered by propane.

That doesn’t mean that they are all going to be created equal though.

Most of the smaller heaters are going to require big propane tanks that are about 20lbs each. This will keep your hot water flowing all trip long but it’ll be a pain to haul around your site.

There are a couple of options that only use the smaller propane tanks but these are usually bigger machines that take up a bit more space when packing.

Look for the BTU Rating

BTU stands for British Thermal Unit and it’s a way of measuring the power output of your portable tankless water heater.

The higher the BTU rating, the more powerful the machine is going to be and the better flow rate you’re going to have.

It’ll heat water at a much faster rate but it’ll also have a higher gas consumption from your propane tank as your heating water.

Look for The Gallons Per Minute (GPM)

Gallons per minute, or GPM, is going to be a good way of measuring the flow rate for your portable tankless water heater.

The higher the number the more powerful your shower hose is going to pump out warm water.

You can find some heaters on this list that’ll feel like your shower at home but the’ll suck up your battery juice much faster.

Safety Features Are Key

Man with safety helmet and vest

The best heaters are going to be a flame failure device which means they will automatically shut off the gas if it senses there is no more fire going on your burner.

There are other safety features too though like anti-freezing protection, dry combustion protection, low water protection, and high water flow protection.

Each of these features helps save your device from burning out or producing too strong of a flow.

Camplux Pro Tankless Propane Water Heater

When you need a consistent, reliable, portable water heater for your next camping trip the Camplux Pro is the way to go.

With 1.58 gallons of water per minute you won’t have to worry about low pressure taking you half an hour to wash out some shampoo.

The Camplux portable propane water heater can hook up to a 20lb tank so you’ll get the same water temperature you’re used to at home .

It’s got a ton of safety features too like flame failure protection, overheat protection, anti-freeze protection, and even dry combustion protection.

The maximum power output is 41,000 BTU/hr so you’ll get an instant hot water shower without waiting forever for things to heat up.

It comes with its own shower head and gas regulator but you’ll need to buy your own propane gas tank.

With easy-to-use hot and cold knobs and C-cell batteries keeping it running, the Camplux is the perfect portable water heater to keep your camping trips comfortable in the outdoors.

Pros
  • Quick 1.58 gallons per minute of hot water
  • Strong 110 PSI of water pressure
  • Safety-flame failure protection
  • 41,000 BTU/hour
Cons
  • More complicated setup

GASLAND Tankless Water Heater

The Gasland tankless water heater isn’t far behind our top spot and even has a few features that the Camplux doesn’t have.

For starters, you’ll get a convenient viewing window into the gas burner flames so you can always know if it’s running or not.

Since it’s a flame failure device you won’t have to worry about it too much and you’ll get overheating protection and anti-freeze protection.

You’ll still get the 1.58 gallons per minute (GPM) water pressure and 41,000 BTU/hr so your hot water flow will be instant.

There are three knobs on the front panel that controls hot, cold, and energy-efficient water flow and there’s an LED display letting you know exactly what temperature you’re at.

The Gasland is a portable hot water heater that hooks up to a 20lb propane tank and it comes with its own shower head so you’ll be ready to go when you open the package.

Pros
  • Strong 110 PSI of water pressure
  • 41,000 BTU/hr
  • 1.58 gallons per minute of hot water
Cons
  • Confusing water temp controls

Camplux 5L Outdoor Portable Water Heater

Camplux specializes in portable propane water heaters so it’s no real surprise to see them again on this list.

Comparable to the top spot on this list, the 5L model has all the same great features as the top spot except not quite as much water pressure.

You’ll get 1.32 gallons per minute and 28,000 BTU/hr so it’s not quite as powerful as the pro model but you should have no problem getting an instant hot water shower when you need it.

The 5L still has all the safety features to keep your shower comfortable like anti-freezing protection, maximum temperature overheating protection, and limited flow rate for low water and high water pressure.

The Camplux takes D cell batteries in order to get cooking and you’ll get the quick connect shower head attachment for a fast setup.

If you’re looking for the best portable water heater that is also a little more affordable the Camplux 5L should check off all your boxes.

Pros
  • 1.32 gallons per minutes of hot water
  • Strong 110 PSI of water pressure
  • Automatic shut off safety feature
Cons
  • Has some design problems

Foruee Portable Propane Tankless Water Heater

The Foruee promotes itself as a multi-use tankless water heater and it has all the literal hardware to back it up.

Not only does it come with a 3 mode shower head but you’ll also get a gas regulator, wrench, garden hose adapter, washers, anchors, and a fitting kit all included.

It’s the kind of adaptable portable water heater you’ll be able to use for a camp shower or for washing dishes after a camp dinner.

You should be able to get instant hot running water with the 1.32 gallons per minute and 34,000 BTU/hr.

All the safety features are in place for you to get a safe temperature range and you’ll want to hook it up to a 20lb propane gas tank to get it started.

When you need a portable hot water shower while camping but you also want a steady water heater for other activities, the Foruee is the best out there.

Marey Portable Propane Gas Tankless Water Heater

It’s hard to understand exactly why the Marey Portable Hot Water Heater has one of the highest price tags on this list but there’s no denying it’s high-quality build.

You’ll get a slightly higher GPM at 1.4 and a pretty solid 35,000 BTU/hr compared to some of the others but everything else is pretty standard.

It does come with a ton of hardware just like the Foruee so you can really use this tankless water heater for a number of different applications.

You don’t have a cold water and hot water knob but instead, you’ll get a water knob and a gas knob to control the heat that way.

There isn’t a lot of information about the safety features but you do get a gas regulator that hooks up to a propane tank and a shower head.

The Marey doesn’t have as many bells and whistles as some of the other portable water heaters on this list but you will get a perfect hot shower while camping when you need it.

Hike Crew Portable Propane Water Heater & Shower Pump

Up until now, every device on this list has been a tankless water heater with an extremely compact design, but Hike Crew built something a little different.

Their hot water heater is built like a big box that stands on its own so you don’t need to attach it to anything.

You’ll still need a small propane tank that attaches at the back and you won’t be able to run this one on batteries.

Instead, it has three different adapters you can use to power the portable outdoor water heater using an electrical outlet, or your car adapter.

You won’t get as much water pressure and there is only one knob that controls the water temperature so there isn’t as much control over your portable propane water heater as the others on this list.

There is, however, a nice spigot that folds into the back of the hot water heater you can use for wash dishes or clean your hands.

The Hike Crew is good for campers that have a little more space in their car and want something simple and easy to use.

Mr. Heater Basecamp Battery Operated Shower

The Mr. Heater is more of an emergency portable water heater than anything else.

You’ll only get 12,000 BTU/hr so you’re not going to have hot water like you’d have at your home.

It does have an electronic pulse ignition button that produces an instant supply of hot water so you don’t have to wait for it to warm up.

It has the same box design as the Hike Crew and you’ll get an included shower spout but you’ll still need the liquid propane tank to keep you water running warm.

What’s nice about the Mr. Heater is that it’s a much better portable hot water shower compared to the others that require you to set up on a pole or flat wall.

If you value a portable water heater over it being ridiculously hot and powerful, the Mr. Heater brand has built a great option.

FAQ

Is there a battery-operated water heater?

There are a few different battery-operated water heaters on the market and they work better for camping or outdoor use because they don’t require any electricity. Different brands will require different types of batteries.

How do I build a hot water camping system?

You can build your own hot water camping system by buying a number of different parts that are all interconnected to produce hot water. You will need a heating source, tubing, a spout, and other pieces of hardware in order to put everything together.

How long does it take for a camping water heater to heat up?

Most hot water heaters that include a propane tank should have an instantaneous hot water supply. If the water heater does not have a propane tank it could take several hours for the water to heat up on it’s own using the sun’s UV rays.

The Best Portable Water Heaters

I recommend the Camplux Pro Portable Tankless Water Heater as the best hot water heater to use while camping. It has great pressure and enough BTUs to produce endless hot water during your camping trips. It’s super easy to use and comes with all the necessary items to get setup right when you get to the site.

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