Eccotemp L5 Tankless Water Heater – Review


Eccotemp L5 Tankless Water Heater – Review

The Eccotemp L5 Portable Tankless Water Heater is the perfect addition to our campervan Water System: crank up the heat up and enjoy! We think it often draws the line between taking a shower, or not taking a shower. We’ve been using our Eccotemp L5 full-time since June 2018, so we have a few things to review about it!


Eccotemp L5 Overview

Eccotemp L5 Tankless Water Heater On Demand, overview


How it works

The Eccotemp L5 is a tankless water heater, meaning there is no hot water tank; the water is heated instantly, on-demand. You could shower all day and never run out of hot water! (well, that’s until you run out of propane or water) This type of heater is not common in north-american homes (but we start seeing them more and more), but they’re quite common in Europe as it is more efficient than a “traditional” water heater with tank. Indeed, maintaining a tank of water at high-temperature all day is not efficient; moreover, the tank is often located far away from the appliance and there is considerable amount of energy lost through the pipes and water wasted waiting for the water to get hot.


Water Source

The heater is hooked to our pressurized water system ( Our system is similar to any RV: we have a 25 gallons fresh water tank and the Shurflo water pump create the pressure required to feed the appliances (sink, bike-wash & hot shower).

Our Water Diagram.


Energy Source

Our Propane Diagram.

The Eccotemp L5 uses propane as fuel. Here is our propane system van setup (



The gas and water (flow) can be adjusted to suits your preference. The temperature of the shower depends on the combination of the gas / water setting (and varies with temperature of water in the tank too!)… For example, more water (max) results in lower shower temperature as there is more water flowing through the heat exchanger at a given time.

Eccotemp L5 Tankless Water Heater On Demand, Rotary Knobs
Gas and Water Settings.


Taking a shower

Here’s the easy part: just… take a shower! The Eccotemp L5 detects water flow and ignite (and shutoff) automatically, neat!

To save water, we turn the water off during soaping/shampooing (a.k.a. “Military Shower”. According to Wikipedia it uses about 3 gallons of water -we confirm that!-, as opposed to 60 gallons for a normal 10 minutes shower!)



Before going any further, be aware that the manufacturer does not approve it for interior permanent installation. That’s why:

  1. We installed ours near the rear doors (so it’s fully vented and we don’t die from carbon monoxide poisoning…).
  2. We installed a valve for propane AND water (so we can shut it off after each use).
  3. We drain it after each use (per manual) OK we don’t actually do that…



What we Like

  • Inexpensive.
  • Can be integrated to our actual pressurized water system.
  • Can be adjusted from warm to HOT (it’s quite powerful at max setting).
  • Can be used without heating (cold showers)
  • Easy to operate (no need to hook the water and propane each time).


What we Don’t Like

  • We wish the water knob could be adjusted to a lower setting to save water (but we can “override” this by using the valve that we installed).
  • We wish the gas knob could be adjusted to a lower setting; when we “override” the water flow (with our own valve), the water gets a little too hot to our tastes (on hot summer days).
  • If it’s really windy, the flame will extinguish. It happened on 2 or 3 occasions during the summer. We just turn off / turn on the water and the flame ignite again.


Models & Where to Buy


Eccotemp L5:

We personally own this model:

Eccotemp L5
Eccotemp L5. Buy on Amazon.
Camplux 5L:

The Camplux is pretty much identical to the Eccotemp and also has excellent reviews:

Camplux 5L
Camplux 5L. Buy on Amazon.



What’s in the box:

Eccotemp L5 In The Box


There are 3 connections for the Eccotemp L5 (all of them are 1/2″ NPT male):

Eccotemp L5 Tankless Water Heater On Demand, connections
Two “D” batteries are located in the grey compartment (left). The batteries are only used to create the spark to ignite the flame, not to pump water; so they last a long time.

1. Cold Water Input

This is either connected to:

  1. the van/RV pressurized water system (;
  2. or the EccoFlo 12V water pump (if this is what you purchased);
  3. or the garden hose (by using the included adapter).

Note (on the picture below) that we installed a water valve (see on eBay) right before the cold water input. This allows us to shut the system off AND to control the water flow. Yes, a water valve is mandatory! Without a valve, water is free to flow; don’t just count on the ON/OFF switch of the shower head as it works but it’s not really reliable…

Note that we didn’t use sealant or Teflon tape here, as there is a rubber washer in the fitting.

We used PEX tubing all over our water system and it’s alllll detailed here:


2. Hot Water Output

Just connect the included shower head to this!

No sealant or Teflon tape is necessary, as there is a rubber washer in the fitting.


3. Propane Input

The Eccotemp comes with a “1/2″ NPT to 3/8″ Male Flare” adapter, but we discarded it to minimize the number of connections (less connections = less leak potential). We used this gas ball valve (Buy on Amazon) with yellow gas Teflon tape (Buy on Amazon).

Note: Do NOT use white Teflon tape! It’s meant for water connection and it will leak gas. Make sure to use the thicker yellow tape approved for gas.




The Eccotemp L5 is a low pressure gas appliance (pressure: 11 W.C.), it means there must be a regulator between the propane tank and the water heater. You can either:

  1. Hook it directly to a propane tank (BBQ style) by using the included hose+regulator assembly;
  2. Hook it to your actual van / RV propane system like we did (on the low pressure side):


Shower Head

The shower head is held by a neat little suction cup bracket (Buy on Amazon):Showerhead Bracket Holder with Suction Cup


When not in use, the shower head is stored using a Quick Fist Clamp mini (Buy on Amazon):

Eccotemp L5 Camper Van Conversion Hot Shower



Like any water appliance, don’t EVER let the Eccotemp freeze. Freezing water expands and internal components (fittings, pipes, etc) will crack and damage the unit permanently. Prior freezing season, drain water from the Eccotemp using the drain valve.



We’ve been using the Eccotemp L5 since June 2018 without issue. We’ll let you know if something happens! Subscribe to our Mailing List to be notified.



Before using the Eccotemp L5, we used the Mr Heater BOSS. We had absolutely no issue with it, but it’s more bulky and we didn’t need the portability of the Mr Heater:






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DISCLOSURE: This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click a product link and buy anything from the merchant (Amazon, eBay, etc), we will receive a commission fee. The price you pay remains the same, affiliate link or not.



38 thoughts on “Eccotemp L5 Tankless Water Heater – Review”

  1. How how does the air exhaust get with this? I’m considering putting one in a similar area to your design but it would be under the bed slightly more and I’m worried that having the mattress ~10 inches above the top of this could melt or heat up the mattress too much during use. Can you give me an idea of how hot the unit and surrounding air gets?

  2. Hi there!

    I am planning to install a full shower inside my van. I noticed your comment that you placed this system at the rear of the van for ventilation purposes. I am wondering if it would be possible to keep this system at the rear of the van and then run a long supply line to the shower? Or would this be too far for the water to travel and still maintain it’s temperature? OR, would it be possible to mount this unit inside the shower itself (or somewhere in the van closer to the shower?

    Thanks for all you do! Just recently purchased the builders package and I’m learning a lot!

    – Ben

    • Wouldn’t recommend it. The temperature change with pressure, so water will cycle from warm to burning hot (or cool to warm, depending on your settings) as the foot pump doesn’t provide a constant pressure.

  3. Did you consider a heat exchanger with your vehicle’s engine coolant system? ( i think this could be added to your superb articles, and this usually lost source of energy could be considered for other means. )

    Vechicles use a common heat exchanger which is run in-line with the engine’s coolant lines to provide air heating. Now, you can use tie into this hot coolant line with an additional heat exchanger to provide hot water, at the cost of fittings, hoses, and a cheap heat exchanger plate.
    Obviously, for morning showers this requires heating up the engine.

    This company used to sell a kit (as an example) But it’s just a small heat exchanger.

  4. How much propane does the eccotemp use? I was going to get the mr buddy heated shower and then we changed our water storage to a 25 gallon fixed tank system that would be a pain to get the mr buddy into every time. I was wondering if it is possible to set the eccotemp up with a 1 pound propane tank with an adapter. We have a camp stove that uses the same and want to try and keep things easier. No space for doing a big LP gas box. Space is a premium with a family of 6! Thanks for your reply on this and the time you spent writing all this up!

  5. Awesome! First of all – I LOVE all your write-ups. I plan on using your Propane and Water designs (and will use your Amazon links). Thank you so much! These are incredible. Would you consider splitting off the hot water with a line back to a sink? (knowing you would need to leave the rear door open to use it) What are the pros/cons you would see doing this?

    • CONS: lot’s of wasted water (because of the pipe length); hard to get the right temperature for small amount of hot water.
      For the sink, I think we would go for a small water heater with tank (but haven’t really research that, sorry…).

      Have a good one!

      • I actually did this, to reduce the wasted water I added a reticulation solenoid valve near the sink that reroutes the hot water line back to the cold water intake. I put a switch next to my water pump switch to open the valve. This way I can just let the water ciculated through the loop and water heater for 10-15 seconds until it gets hot and the only water that I waste is the ammount in the line between the valve and the faucet (about 3 ft in my design).

  6. Bonjour, Toujours intéressant de vous lire. Je prévois acheter aussi le EccoTemp L5 ou L10 et je sais que l’utilisation à l’intérieur n’est pas recommandé ., mais si on ferme le propane et l’eau, est ce que ça élimine la possibilité de combustion de gaz. Et évidemment en installant une sortie extérieur pour le gaz??

    • L’utilisation à l’intérieur est proscrit par le manufacturier, mais plusieurs personnes le font. C’est donc à votre risque. En plus des valves que vous avez mentionné, il faut bien ventiler l’intérieur PENDANT l’utilisation pour faire sortir le CO2 (la combustion produit du CO2).

      Au plaisir,

  7. Yes, the shower head can be changed out; I have done that. The supplied one is a typical RV unit with a useless cutoff valve and cheap plastic hose connection parts. They are very fragile and split easily (mine did almost immediately).
    As mentioned, the water supply valve doesn’t go low enough and mine eventually quit working altogether. I agree that at low water flows the gas adjustment is too high and the water uncomfortably hot.
    The drain doesn’t fully drain the unit. I drained the unit with the drain valve and put it away in the barn for the winter. It froze and split the heat exchange coils in 3 places. I had to take the shower apart and solder the splits shut but now it works fine again. Store it inside if there is a chance for a hard freeze wherever it is.

  8. Salut, j’adore votre site. Je regarde pour le Eccotemp L5 Portable Tankless moi aussi, mais j’aimerais savoir si il peut fonctionner avec les petites bonbonne de 1 lbs(les bonbonne de propane verte)

  9. So, I’m really leaning toward getting this unit but I’m concerned that it might not work well at altitude. I’m in CO, around ~5000 ft most of the time, but I do go up to higher elevations frequently. Have you noticed any problems with your unit working above 5000′ elevation? I’m also curious how much heat comes off the top. How much head room do you need to not light anything on fire?

    • Hi Mike,
      – We honestly haven’t use the unit at high altitude yet; here is what I found on Eccotemp support page ( “While it has been field tested up to 5,500 feet, we only recommend using it below elevations of 4,000-5,500 feet.”. It will be interesting to see how it performs at high altitudes…

      – There is moderate heat coming off the top; I would say that 8-12in clearance should be OK (and the unit should be installed in a vented area, not into an enclosed space).

      Have a good one!

    • @Mike Minson, I know it has been a while, but did you ever end up using this unit in CO? I am also in colorado and curious if this is the unit I should go for.


      Thanks for the review!

      • We use this same unit on our tear drop (thinking of a van build) and I can assure you — the ecotemp works great here (We’re in CO) — even at 11,000 feet it still burns solid.


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