How to Switch RV Water Heater From Propane to Electric

Regarding RVs, one of the most important decisions you’ll make is what type of water heater to use. Either electricity or propane can power Rv water heaters. If you are using a propane-powered water heater, it may be time to switch to an electric one.

This blog post will walk you through how to switch an RV water heater from propane to electric. Keep in mind that not all Rvs are the same so some steps may vary depending on your specific model. Make sure to consult your owner’s manual before proceeding.

How to Switch RV Water Heater From Propane to Electric

What Is an Rv Water Heater Electric Conversion Kit?

An Rv water heater electric conversion kit is a set of instructions and components that allow you to switch your RV’s water heater from propane to electric. The kit will typically include a new heating element, an electrical cord, wiring, and installation instructions. This Kit can be found online or at most RV dealerships.

Why Switch From Propane to Electric?

There are a few reasons why you might want to switch your RV’s water heater from propane to electric. Perhaps you’re no longer using propane as your main fuel source, or maybe you find that electricity is more efficient and less expensive to operate.

Either way, making the switch is relatively simple and can be done in a few hours. Switching from propane to electric may also be necessary if your RV is not equipped with a propane tank. It will help you understand a few things before making the switch.

Rv Is Not Equipped With a Propane Tank

6 Benefits of Switching Propane to Electric Water Heater:

1. Reduce Cost Rate:

If you have ever owned or used a propane-powered RV, you know that propane is not cheap. It’s one of the most expensive ways to fuel your RV. Where you live, propane can cost up to $4.00 per gallon.

On the other hand, electricity is much cheaper. The average cost of electricity in the United States is about $0.12 per kWh. That means it would cost you less than $1.50 to heat the same amount of water with electricity that it would with propane.

2. Increased Efficiency:

Electricity is also more efficient than propane when it comes to heating water. Propane must be converted into heat energy, which can be lost in the process. Electric water heaters are 100% efficient, meaning all the energy goes into heating the water. If you have an RV with a propane water heater, you’re likely losing about 30% of the heat energy due to inefficiency.

3. More Reliable:

Electricity is also more reliable than propane. If you’ve ever had your RV’s propane tank run dry in the middle of a shower, you know how frustrating it can be. With an electric water heater, you’ll never have to worry about running out of propane in the middle of a shower!

Tank Run Dry in the Middle of a Shower

4. Save On RV Space and Reduce Weight:

Another big advantage of electric water heaters is that they are much smaller and lighter than propane water heaters. This can be a big advantage if you have a small RV or are trying to save space. Electric water heaters also tend to be more compact, so they take up less space in your RV. And because they’re lighter, they can also save you money on RV registration and insurance.

5. Get Hot Water Faster:

Electric water heaters generally heat water faster than propane water heaters. So if you’re in a hurry for a hot shower, you won’t have to wait as long if you switch to an electric model. When the hot water is ready, you can simply turn on the electric switch to start using it.

6. Save Money on Fuel:

Electricity is generally cheaper than propane, so you may save money on fuel costs by switching your RV water heater to electric. If your RV water heater is propane-powered, you’ll need to purchase and store propane tanks, which can be expensive and inconvenient.

Purchase and Store Propane Tanks

Tools and Materials Needed:

  • Screwdriver
  • Socket wrench
  • Pliers
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Wire cutters/strippers
  • Double-sided tape
  • Electrical tape

Step by Step Guide: How to Switch Rv Water Heater From Propane to Electric

Step 1: Locate the Water Heater in Your Rv. 

The first step is to locate the water heater in your RV. This can typically be found towards the back of the RV, near the bathroom. Once you’ve located the water heater, you’ll need to remove the access panel to get to the internal components. You will find the gas control valve, thermostat, and heating element there.

Step 2: Shut Off the Gas Supply to the Water Heater.

The next step is shutting off the water heater’s gas supply. This can be done by turning the knob on the gas control valve to the “off” position. Once the gas is shut off, you can remove the entire gas control valve assembly.

Step 3: Remove the Old Heating Element and Thermostat

You can now remove the old heating element and thermostat with the gas supply shut off. Be sure to disconnect any wires or hoses attached to these components before removing them. If you have difficulty removing the old heating element, you may need to use a socket wrench.

Step 4: Turn Off RV Water and Propane Tank

The next step is to turn off the RV’s water supply and disconnect the propane tank. This will ensure that no gas or water flows through the system while you’re working on it. If the water heater is connected to city water, you must turn off the water at the campground’s main supply.

Turn Off the Water

Step 5: Install the New Heating Element

Now it’s time to install the new heating element with your electric conversion kit. First, locate the electrical connection point on the new heating element and attach the wires. Make sure the wires are snug and secure. Next, use pliers to twist the heating element into the water heater.

Step 6: Reconnect RV Water and Propane Tank

You can turn the RV’s water supply back on and reconnect the propane tank. Once the water is turned on, check all connections to ensure they are secure. You may need to use an adjustable wrench to tighten the connections.

Step 7: Install Thermostat on the Water Tank

Now you can install the new thermostat with your electric conversion kit. First, the new thermostat must be mounted on the water heater’s tank. You can use double-sided tape or electrical tape to secure it in place. Then, connect the thermostat to the wires that run from the heating element.

Step 8: Convert Gas Control Valve to Electric

The next step is to convert the gas control valve to electric. First, remove the knob from the gas control valve. Then, use a drill to make a hole in the center of the valve. Next, take a piece of electrical tape and wrap it around the end of the drill bit. This will prevent the drill bit from slipping. Finally, insert the drill bit into the hole and turn it to the right to loosen the valve.

Step 9: Remove Gas Control Valve

Once the gas control valve is loosened, you can remove it from the water heater. Be sure to disconnect any hoses or wires attached to the valve. You may need to use a screwdriver to remove the screws that hold the valve.

Hold the Valve

Step 10: Test the New Heating Element

To test the new heating element, turn on the water heater and let it run for a few minutes. Then, check for any leaks around the connections. If everything is working properly, you should see hot water from your RV faucets.

Congratulations! You have successfully converted your RV’s water heater from propane to electric. This conversion will save you money on propane and is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint.

Some Additional Tips & Advice

Here we have given some tips on how to switch RV water heater from propane to electric.

  1. Make sure you understand all the steps before starting the conversion. Having a friend or family member help you with the conversion can be very helpful.
  2. Follow all safety precautions when working with propane and electricity.
  3. When converting from propane to electric, you must purchase an electric water heater element and install it in your RV.
  4. Be sure to check with local building codes before starting any work on your RV.
  5. When working with the RV water heater, consult the owner’s manual for your specific model.
  6. Be sure to test the new heating element before using it. Check for any leaks around the connections.
  7. Keep the RV ventilated when using the new electric heating element. This will prevent any fumes from building up inside the RV.

With these helpful tips in mind, you should be able to easily convert your RV’s water heater from propane to electric. Be sure to take all safety precautions and follow all local building codes during the process.


If you’re looking for a way to switch your RV water heater from propane to electric, we’ve outlined the process. It’s not as difficult as it may seem and can be completed in just a few steps. Hopefully, this information on how to switch RV water heater from propane to electric will help make your decision easier when upgrading your RV’s amenities.

Be sure to follow the instructions carefully to avoid any potential damage and enjoy hot showers on the road! We have outlined the process for you in this blog post and some tips to make the switch go smoothly. Have any questions? Let us know in the comments below!

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