Best Propane Water Heater for Off-Grid Cabins

So, now that you’ve built your off-grid cabin and furnished it, it’s time to think about the amenities you want to have. And I’m pretty sure that hot water is one of those! Whether it’s taking a shower or washing dishes, hot water is certainly necessary wherever one may go.

In order to have an off-grid hot water system in your cabin, you need to purchase a water heater, obviously. In my opinion, the best way to go is propane water heaters. They are efficient, reliable, and much more environmentally friendly than electric water heaters. They can also help you save some money.

Listed below are the best propane tankless water heaters that one can get.

I want to start with number 5 and work my way up to Takagi T-KJr2-IN-NG, which is our number one pick as the best propane water heater for off-grid cabins.

Features Specifications Rating

Takagi T-KJr2-IN-NG
6.6 gallons per minute
19,500 - 140,000 BTU
6.7 x 13.8 x 20.3 inches
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Eccotemp FVI-12-LP
4.8 gallons per minute
25,000 - 74,500 BTU
4.0 x 15.0 x 24.0 inches
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Rinnai V65IP
6.6 gallons per minute
150,000 BTU
13.9 x 8.8 x 23.6 inches
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Noritz NRC98-DV-LP
9.8 gallons per minute
180,000 BTU
9.4 x 18.3 x 24.4 inches
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EZ Ultra HE
3.4 gallons per minute
70,000 BTU
27 x 14.5 x 6.5 inches
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5 Best Propane Water Heater for Off-Grid Cabins

Takagi T-KJr2-IN-NG Indoor Tankless Water Heater – The Best Propane Water Heater for Off-Grid Cabins

best propane water heater for off grid cabinTakagi T-KJr2-IN-NG is our top 1 pick for more than one reason. This propane tankless water heater is Energy Star certified. It uses natural gas instead of regular gas. Natural gas dissipates in the air instead of gathering on the ground, so there’s no need for gas detectors. That is Takagi’s biggest advantage over other cabin tankless water heaters on this list.

Another very important factor when choosing the right propane appliances for the cabin is their size. Takagi T-KJr2-IN-NG is very small and light, weighing only 38 pounds. But that doesn’t stop it from being very powerful. That’s why this water heater is ideal for off-grid cabins. According to many positive Amazon reviews, this cabin tankless water heater can easily provide hot water for over 5 adults.

Takagi T-KJr2-IN-NG is also very energy efficient and environmentally friendly. Besides that, it’s one of the cheapest ones, too. Its average price is around $500. So, basically, this product takes the lead when it comes to both quality and pricing. That is why we chose it as the best propane water heater for off-grid cabins.

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Pros

  • Uses natural gas
  • It’s light and small
  • It’s environmentally friendly

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Cons

  • None

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Eccotemp FVI-12-LP High Capacity Propane Tankless Water Heater – The Cheapest Option

This indoor modern-looking water heater is the most economical option because of two reasons. The first is its low cost and the second is its very low energy use. So, you will save money when purchasing it, but you will also find it very energy efficient. Eccotemp FVI-12-LP uses only a bit over 2 watts for a shower!

When I said ‘modern-looking,’ I referred to its sleek design and the digital thermostat with temperature display. Similar to the Takagi water heater we mentioned before, Eccotemp FVI-12-LP is a small propane water heater that was designed for off-grid cabins and vacation homes. The Eccotemp is actually a bit lighter than the Takagi, weighing only 33 lbs!

FVI12 WHOLE HOME TANKLESS WATER HEATER OVERVIEW

Eccotemp FVI12-LP has a horizontal stainless steel vent. Another great thing about it is that it has manual temperature and flow controls.

Eccotemp also has a 24/7 technical support, which is quite handy.

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Pros

  • It’s small and light
  • It’s economical
  • It’s very energy-efficient
  • 24/7 technical support

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Cons

  • It doesn’t have a roof exhaust facility
  • It has some minor leakage issues

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Rinnai V65IP 6.6 GPM Indoor Low NOx Tankless Propane Water Heater – The Safest Choice

Rinnai is one of the best and oldest water heater manufacturers ever. Now, consumers turn to Rinnai instantly when buying a water heater because it’s guaranteed to be good. Rinnai has certainly made a name for itself when it comes to water heaters and became a safe choice for many consumers.

Well, Rinnai V65ip is no different. It’s a reliable off-grid hot water system, for sure. This tankless water heater for cabins is easy to install; it’s compact and energy efficient. Everything a cabin owner wants from a water heater, basically.

Rinnai V65ip provides up to 6.6 gallons per minute. That is more than enough for a two bedroom apartment, in my opinion.

The only thing that I can hold against this water heater is that it has a pre-set temperature that cannot be changed. However, this doesn’t bother most people, at all. It’s not necessarily a bad thing; I just wanted to be objective, that’s all.

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Pros

  • It’s reliable
  • It’s compact
  • It’s easy to install and maintain

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Cons

  • It lacks digital preferences
  • The temperature is pre-set

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Noritz NRC98-DVLP Indoor Direct Vent 9.8-GPM Propane Condensing Tankless Water Heater – Pricey, but Powerful

We have another Energy Star certified water heater here. This model is a condensing water heater, which is what makes it so energy efficient. Noritz is a relatively new, but fast-growing company that specializes in these kinds of environmentally friendly products. Noritz NRC98-DVLP is their newest product from the ecoTOUGH series – series based on green technology.

This liquid propane tankless water heater is a bit heavier than most on this list, but it’s very small in size. Besides that, Noritz NRC98-DVLP has a lot of great special features such as flame sensors, and overheat and freeze prevention device. If this wasn’t enough, it has lightning protection as well.

Noritz NRC98-DVLP has a remote control thermostat that makes it easy to manipulate. Also, it has a direct ignition, which is much more advanced than the conventional ignition that most of the heaters have.

So, if you don’t mind spending a bit more on a tankless water heater for cabin, this is definitely the way to go.

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Pros

  • It has direct ignition
  • It has a remote control
  • It’s energy-efficient
  • It has flame sensors
  • It has overheat, freeze and lightning prevention

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Cons

  • It’s expensive

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EZ Ultra HE Propane (LPG) Condensing Tankless Water Heater – The Newest in Condensing Technology

This ‘on demand’ propane water heater for cabins is the newest addition from the company called EZ Tankless. They specialize in these ‘on demand’ (tankless) water heaters. However, this is their first propane condensing water heater.

The technology used for this water heater allows both horizontal and vertical venting. This feature is very useful, if not crucial, for some consumers. It pumps around 3.4 gallons per minute, which is not that much compared to Noritz’s 9.8 GPM. However, this doesn’t pose a problem at all, it seems.

The latest technology behind this product is outstanding. It has a digital remote control and thermostat with key-touch settings. Also, because of its simplistic and elegant design, it’s very easy to use for everyone. Another great feature is it’s ‘no pilot light.’ This automatic ignition system helps you reduce energy usage by a lot.

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Pros

  • It’s the latest technology
  • It has automatic ignition
  • It’s energy-efficient
  • It has flame sensors
  • It has overheat, freeze and lightning prevention

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Cons

  • None

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Buying Guide

Now I’d like to share with you a bit of knowledge regarding the water heaters. You may find this useful when buying one.

When it comes to off-grid cabins, it’s very important to find a water heater that will both fit in size and fit the budget. No matter if you have a family of 5 or it’s just you by yourself in the cabin, hot water is highly necessary. And the water heater in your cabin should be able to meet these demands.

It’s up to you to decide what your priorities are – whether you want to save money, have the latest technology or just be sure it’s not going to break. These are all factors that you need to take into consideration before actually buying a water heater.

Having said that, I want to explain what different types of water heaters do and which ones are actually convenient for cabins and vacation homes.

Tankless vs. Conventional

You may have noticed that this article mentions tankless water heaters quite often. Tankless water heaters, also called ‘on demand’ or instantaneous water heaters heat water… well, on demand. That is the difference between those and conventional storage water heaters, which heat the water up and store it in a limited size tank.

After the hot water has been used up, the conventional storage water heater takes time to fill up again. Otherwise, the water is cold. Tankless heaters, however, don’t have that issue and consumers don’t have to worry about cold showers if they own a tankless. That alone makes the vacation more enjoyable if you ask me!

Besides that, tankless water heaters are way more energy and cost-efficient. You only pay for what you use.

The only issue with tankless water heaters is that they can sometimes have a low flow. That means that you can’t shower while someone’s washing the dishes, or the washing machine is running. But, that is easily solvable by installing a few additional tankless water heaters around the cabin.

Other types of water heaters include heat pump (hybrid), solar and condensing water heaters. I will talk about condensing ones a bit later.

Why Propane?

I did mention this in the beginning briefly, but I do want to talk more about it. All the water heaters in the list above are propane tankless water heaters. There’s more than a few reasons for this.

When it comes to off-grid cabins, propane water heaters are the best, if not the only option. This kind of heater does not receive gas from the pre-installed pipes. Instead, your storage tank gets filled up by a propane truck when it runs out of gas. That is quite convenient when your vacation house is remote.

Just make sure you are careful with propane tanks since they can be dangerous if mistreated. You should monitor gas pressure on the lot regularly.

Other than this, propane water heaters are actually much cleaner and harmless to health than other types of water heaters. They burn environmentally friendly fuel, which is considered to be ‘green.’

Also, these water heaters take much less time to heat the water up than the electric ones, so they are cost-efficient, too. They are both hotter and faster when it comes to heat, compared to electric water heaters.

Propane water heaters are also safe and reliable. They don’t interrupt the power supply, either. That is yet another advantage over the electric heaters.

Condensing Water Heaters

We also mentioned these in the list, so I might as well talk about them, too.

Condensing water heaters are used only for gas heating. These took the best of both worlds. They utilize the conventional storage-like tanks whilst also utilizing the gas exhausts. Instead of letting them flow out, the condensing tank catches them and uses them to heat the water inside. They can also have great capacity, over 55 gallons.

The newest technology has brought condensing tankless water heaters, which have the convenience of exhaust trapping but don’t have a room-consuming tank. That’s why they are the latest go-to option for cabin owners.


Conclusion

I would like to go back and discuss our top 1 pick as the best propane water heater for off-grid cabins again. The winner is, of course, Takagi’s tankless water heater.

Aside from its dominantly positive reviews on almost every website, Takagi certainly has a lot to offer. Its pricing is good, so you don’t have to spend a fortune on it.

It’s also very light and small in size, so you also do not have to worry about how and where you’re going to install it.

And last, but certainly not least, is its use of natural gas. It’s the biggest advantage that this cabin tankless water heater has over its competitors. This way, you can be both economical and environmentally friendly.

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