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, it 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 heaters. They are efficient, reliable, and much more environmentally friendly than electric ones. They can also help you save some money.
Listed below are the best propane water heater for off-grid cabins that one can get.
| 6.6 gallons per minute
19,500 - 140,000 BTU
|6.7 x 13.8 x 20.3 inches||
| 4.8 gallons per minute
25,000 - 74,500 BTU
|4.0 x 15.0 x 24.0 inches||
| 6.6 gallons per minute
|13.9 x 8.8 x 23.6 inches||
| 9.8 gallons per minute
|9.4 x 18.3 x 24.4 inches||
EZ Ultra HE
| 3.4 gallons per minute
|27 x 14.5 x 6.5 inches||
5 Best Propane Water Heater for Off-Grid Cabins
Takagi T-KJr2-IN-NG Indoor Tankless – The Best for Off-Grid Cabins
Takagi T-KJr2-IN-NG is our top 1 pick for more than one reason. This propane heater is Energy Star certified. It uses natural gas instead of regular gas. It 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 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 model is ideal for off-grid cabins. According to many positive Amazon reviews, this cabin heater can easily provide for over 5 adults.
Takagi T-KJr2-IN-NG is also very 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 heater for small cabin.
- Uses natural gas
- It’s light and small
- It’s environmentally friendly
Eccotemp FVI-12-LP High Capacity Propane Tankless – The Cheapest Option
This indoor modern-looking 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 model we mentioned before, Eccotemp FVI-12-LP is a small propane 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!
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.
- Small and light
- Very energy-efficient
- 24/7 technical support
- It doesn’t have a roof exhaust facility
- It has some minor leakage issues
Rinnai V65IP 6.6 GPM Indoor Low NOx Tankless Propane – The Safest Choice
Rinnai is one of the best and oldest manufacturer to date. 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 system, for sure. This heater is easy to install; it’s compact and efficient. It has basically everything a cabin owner would want.
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 model 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.
- Easy to install and maintain
- Lacks digital preferences
- The temperature is pre-set
Noritz NRC98-DVLP Indoor Direct Vent 9.8-GPM Propane Condensing Tankless Water Heater – Pricey, but Powerful
We have another Energy Star certified heater here. This model is a condensing type heater, which is what makes it so 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 unit 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, this is definitely the way to go.
- Direct ignition
- Remote control
- Flame sensors
- Overheat, freeze and lightning prevention
EZ Ultra HE Propane (LPG) Condensing Tankless Water Heater – The Newest in Condensing Technology
This ‘on demand’ propane 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 one.
The technology used allow 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.
- Latest technology
- Automatic ignition
- Flame sensors
- Overheat, freeze and lightning prevention
Now I’d like to share with you a some useful knowledge when buying one.
When it comes to off-grid cabins, it’s very important to find one 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.
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 one for yourself or family.
Having said that, I want to explain the different types available 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. They are also called ‘on demand’. That is the difference between those and conventional storage, which heat the water up and store it in a limited size tank.
After the hot water has been used up, the conventional storage one 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 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 heaters around the cabin.
Other types include heat pump (hybrid), solar and condensing. I will talk about condensing ones a bit later.
I did mention this in the beginning briefly, but I do want to talk more about it. All the heaters in the list above are propane tankless heater. There’s more than a few reasons for this.
When it comes to off-grid cabins, propane 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, they are actually much cleaner and harmless to health than other types. They burn environmentally friendly fuel, which is considered to be ‘green.’
Also, these 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 models.
Propane 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 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.
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.