To run a food business in the United States, you are expected to have a reliable source of running hot water. In this line of business, hot water is needed during and after cooking to clean and sanitize utensils. Note that for a food truck, all the hot water needed will have to be produced right there in the truck, and the water system in any food truck produces hot water via a water heater.

The best water heaters to use in a food truck are the ones that are powerful enough to keep your water at the right temperature and compact enough to be portable. Most often, that makes it very daunting to find the right water heater for a functioning food truck.

Every food operation has its varying requirements in terms of size, the volume of hot water, or power source. To ensure you make the right choice, here are the top water heaters to choose for your food truck.

Best Hot Water Heater for Food Truck and Their Prices

  1. RecPro RV Tankless Propane Water Heater

This is a good option to consider for your food truck business. Note that this unit is compact and can easily fit into a small space, and it is renowned for its high flow rate of 2.6 gallons per minute, making it ideal for busy food trucks. Also, note that it comes with an adjustable temperature range of 100-180 degrees Fahrenheit, and it can be hooked up to either a 12 or 24-volt system.

This water heater also features a built-in thermostat and flame failure safety device. It also comes with a forced exhaust structure, and this simply entails that the heated air is forced out of the unit, limiting any moisture from building up and causing damage.

Price
  • $599.99 on Amazon
  1. EZ 101 Tankless Water Heater

This is a propane-powered portable water heater and the ignition comes from two D-cell batteries. To conserve them and the propane supply, the propane burns when a hot water faucet is turned on and stops once the faucet is turned off.

Also, note that it has a 20-minute timer that automatically turns off the heater to limit the possibility of carbon monoxide poisoning if it’s being used inside the food truck. Note that water flow and temperature are easily adjusted using three dials on the front of the unit and the on-demand heating entails the unit is susceptible to freezing in cold temperatures.

Price
  • $169.89 On Amazon
  1. Ridgeyard 3.2GPM LPG Propane Gas Water Heater

According to reviews, this is an easy-to-use, cost-effective, and simple solution to ensure hot water is on hand in your food truck. It comes with a simple box design that measures 13 3/8” x 23 ¼”, known to suitably fit in just about any truck or trailer. It can heat up to 3.2 gallons per minute, and it’s powered entirely by liquid propane.

In addition, this unit comes complete with simple battery ignition (two D cell batteries required), a stainless steel exterior, and an entire showerhead configuration. Also, note that the whole unit is controlled with three simple knobs and an LCD readout that states the current temperature inside the heater.

Price
  • $152.46 on Amazon
  1. Bosch Tronic 3000T Mini-Tank Water Heater

With a compact design and its ability to produce up to 3 gallons of hot water per hour, this electric mini-tank water heater is perfect for small food trucks or trailers. Also note that you can find this model in three compact sizes (2.5, 4, and 7 gallons), and they can easily fit under a sink, or in your food truck cabinet space.

It also comes with a glass-lined tank with a magnesium anode to protect against corrosion and a thermal cutoff switch for safety. Also note that this heater is Energy Star certified, and it guarantees that it meets the highest standards for energy efficiency.

Price
  • $222.42 on Amazon
  1. Camplux 5L 1.32 GPM Propane Tankless Hot Water Heater

Owing to its compact nature and an easy-to-use water heater that comes with bells and whistles, this is, without doubt, a top option to consider. With two exterior hoses, you can choose to mount them directly on your wall. One hose will have to be hooked up to a propane cylinder from a distance, and the other will have to be fixed to a showerhead configuration for easy use.

Also note that it features a collapsible top handle as well, and this guarantees that you can use it to move your water heater and then pack it away whenever you set up shop. A very unique and powerful water heater, it is controlled with two simple temperature knobs — one for hot water and one for cold.

Price
  • $159.99
  1. Ariston Andris 8 Gallon Tank Electric Unit

According to reports, this water heater can produce up to 8 gallons of hot water per hour, making it perfect for high-demand applications and big good trucks. This water heater also comes with an adjustable temperature range of 100-180 degrees Fahrenheit, and it features an external knob for temperature regulation.

It is also designed with a durable titanium glass-lined tank with an anode to protect against corrosion. You can choose to install it on a wall or let it sit on the floor, and this makes it a great option for tight spaces. Ariston’s Electric Mini Tank model is available in 3 different capacities – 2.5, 4, and 8 gallons.

Price
  • $209.99 on Amazon
  1. Camplux 10L 2.64 Tankless Hot Water Heater

This is one of the biggest units you can use in your food truck. It comes with a 10-liter capacity and produces water at 2.64 gallons per minute. When put together, this is an ultra-powerful water heater that you can use for just about any task.

It can easily be connected to your propane tank and the stainless steel exterior is known to protect it from rust and corrosion. Its flat profile makes it easy to install on the wall of your food truck and you can benefit from its two simple knobs used to control temperature. It gives you enough reserve of hot water for just about any task you would need.

Price
  • $299.99 on Amazon
  1. Stiebel Eltron Tempra 15 Plus Electric Tankless Heater

According to reports, this water heater comes with a flow rate of 1.5 gallons per minute, and this makes it perfect for light-duty applications. It also comes with a temperature range of 95-165 degrees Fahrenheit and features a digital thermostat for accurate temperature control.

Note that it is very compact, measuring just 7.8 x 6.3 x 3.2 inches, and will only take up minimal space. It features an Advanced Flow Control feature, and this maintains the desired water temperature even when the flow rate changes. It also comes with a built-in self-diagnostic system and is ETL listed for safety. In addition, it has a preset memory feature, which will most definitely save your favorite water temperatures for easy recall.

Price
  • $649.00 on Amazon
  1. Ecosmart Eco 11 Electric Tankless Water Heater

One benefit of this water heater is that it will consistently produce hot water when you need it and will never run out. It also comes with a continuously monitored water temperature and controlled flow rates to guarantee efficiency and consistent performance within 1 degree of the selected temperature.

EcoSmart tankless electric water heaters are 90% smaller than traditional tank heaters and can easily be installed on walls or at the point of use. Also, note that these water heaters are 99% thermal energy efficient and will only heat water when called, unlike a tank heater that maintains water temperature even when not being used.

Price
  • $303.69 on Amazon
  1. Ariston Aures Slim-Multi 10.5 kW

This unique tankless water heater boasts of a six-year warranty against leaks and a two-year parts warranty. Also note that it has low, medium, and high settings, and you can easily adjust it to use the minimum amount of energy to efficiently cater to your water heating needs. Even with its small size (it’s less than one foot wide and 3.5 inches deep), this tankless water heater has a flow rate of more than two gallons per minute.

Price
  • $229 on Amazon

Different Types of Mobile Water Heater for Food Truck

Unless you only sell prepackaged food and beverages, hot running water is very necessary. There are different types of mobile water heaters to choose from. These options include;

  1. Electric water heaters

Just as the name implies, these water heaters are powered by electricity from the grid. To cater to your hot water needs, these water heaters need a reliable power source, therefore if you don’t have an outlet you can plug the truck into; you may have to consider getting a generator.

You can also decide to install solar panels to power the water tank. There is a vast range of electric water heaters to choose from, and they tend to be cheaper than gas-powered heaters.

  1. Gas water heaters

These water heaters do not need electricity, as they are powered by propane tanks. When using these water heaters, note that you have to budget for the cost of the propane tanks and fill-ups. According to reports, propane water heaters tend to be more expensive to install, but they can also be more efficient.

They are also known to produce more heat than electric ones, so you can use a smaller heater to produce the same amount of hot water. Have in mind that a gas water heater will lighten the electrical load on your generator but you will need a vent outside the truck to channel out the dangerous carbon monoxide fumes being generated.

  1. Tankless water heaters

These water heaters do not have a tank to store water as normal water heaters do. Tankless water heaters tend to heat the water on demand as it goes through the unit. There are known to be more efficient when it comes to heating heat water, as there is no energy wasted heating water that is not being used.

Howbeit, they can be more expensive to install, and they will always warrant more maintenance than storage tank heaters. During the frosty winter months, these water heaters will also need some extra care and attention, as they can freeze if precautions aren’t taken.

  1. Storage Tank Water Heaters

Unlike tankless water heaters, these traditional water heaters have a tank that stores hot water until it is required. Have in mind that this is the most common type of water heater, and it is less expensive than tankless heaters. Howbeit, note that they are not as efficient as tankless water heaters, and they tend to be more prone to corrosion.

Factors to Consider Before Buying a Food Truck Water Heater

There are numerous factors to consider when choosing a water heater for your food truck. To ensure you make the right choice, here are the most important factors to consider:

  • Tank or tankless: Do you want a traditional water heater or would you prefer a tankless water heater
  • Capacity: What amount of hot water can the heater produce at once
  • Flow rate: What amount of water can the heater produce in a given amount of time
  • Temperature range: What are the maximum and minimum temperatures the heater can produce
  • Size: How much space do you have in your food truck for the heater
  • Electric or propane: You’ll also need to decide what type of water heater you want
  • The layout of your truck: It is also important that you consider the layout of your truck or trailer
  • Your budget: How much do you have to invest in a new water heater.

Tank vs Tankless Water Heater:Which is Best for Food Truck

You should consider using a tankless water heater for your food truck, and this decision is backed by the numerous benefits it offers over a tank water heater. Tankless water heaters, just as it was noted above, don’t have a tank to store water as tank water heaters.

They are known to work by heating the water on demand as it passes through the unit. Aside from being a more efficient way to heat water, they also help you save energy and space. In addition, they are less prone to corrosion, unlike a tank water heater.

Tankless water heaters are also known to need less maintenance but will have to be properly cleaned and serviced regularly. They can also last 10-15 years, or even up to 20 years if properly maintained.

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