Hot water - Electric, Propane, or other?

I’m building out my van and I’m torn between an electric water heater (Bosch) or a propane tankless one (Thermomate). I’m curious what is everyone using for a hot water source for their van?

For me, if I go with the propane one, then I would need to keep taking the unit out of the van to use, but uses no power from my battery. Likewise with the Bosch, I can just run it from inside the van without a need for venting, but it’s a huge drain on my battery.

I don’t have hot water in my van. The only thing I really need hot water for is coffee, and I just boil that on my stove.

Are you going to have a shower on board that you’d like hot water for?

Yes, but not a full shower inside the van. I want to setup a shower hose for the back or the rear of the van.


@CrowdedVan We also do not a water heater in our van. When we have shore power, we have an induction cooktop that we use to heat water (fast!) for tea, soup, or oatmeal, or for washing dishes. When we do not have an electric hookup, we will use our propane two-burner stove for heating water if needed. I see you want your hot water heater for a shower, a luxury we don’t have!

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We too just boil water as needed. We do dishes about every 3 days (often just wipe and reuse), and shower about every 3-5 days. Baby wipes do the trick in between. We have a 3 liter pot and small kettle. With those we can heat plenty of water to shower and do dishes whenever and wherever we need to. We use propane exclusively (for cooking and heating) and spend about $100ish per year to refill tanks. We’ve been FTing for 8 years now, traveling all over the country.


I have a propane water heater. I didn’t use directions to connect. So easy and no problem. The package included every accessory and washing machine I needed. Got hot water in about 45 minutes, very happy with it.