Suburban RV Water Heater Review

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Suburban RV water heater appliances available on the North American market can be found in three different types and sizes; from 4 to 16 gallons. All models are easy to install and can fit in almost any recreational vehicle (RV).

Based on your RV design, your motor home requirements and personal preference, you can buy Suburban water heaters that are high recovery using propane gas, units that are combination gas/electric and models that are utilizing coach engine heat, called also motor aid models.

The Main Parts

Suburban water heater tanks with a capacity of 4 and 6 gallons are with standard-mount doors, while flush-mount doors are available for all Suburban water heaters. Gas units are using either pilot light or direct spark ignition.

An ignition system with direct spark ignition is good for places and seasons with bad weather so you can control the heater and heating process with a remote switch from inside of the RV.

On pilot light models there is reignitor so you don't have to relight the pilot when it is extinguished or when the gas supply is turned off.

One of the main Suburban RV water heater benefits is their longer performance life mostly thanks to the two protective parts and systems. One is the anode rod that almost neutralizes the aggressive water action on the metal tank, providing a cathodic protection. The anode rode should only be removed for inspection or draining and replaced when worn-out.

Note: Replace the anode rod once a year, or when 3/4 of the rod's weight is gone, so you can keep the heater performance efficient.

The other protective element is porcelain lining, corrosion resistant material, so heated water cannot drastically harm your RV heating unit.

Note: Suburban manufacturer offers three-year warranty, but to prolong the unit life, proper maintenance is recommended.


All Suburban water heaters with tank sizes from 6 to 16 gallons, are fast recovery units with 12,000 BTU gas input and providing high 10.2 gallons per hour recovery, which means more hot water for you with less "cold sandwiches". And with a specially designed insulation jacket, more heat remains used and less heat loss.

To get even faster recovery rate, your RV water heater can utilize both electric heating element and gas burner at the same time.

Small in size Suburban RV water heater can be installed very easily. It is convenient to use, operate and maintain. Even if you have RV heating unit from other manufacturer installed, like Atwood, it can be replaced, and with Suburban accessories the installation is a snap.

Even being sold exclusively through local motor-coach dealers - Suburban doesn't sold them directly to consumers, you can still buy Suburban water heater online, like Amazon.

The price for 10 gallon tank size and 12,000 BTU, Suburban RV water heater is around $340.

For Suburban RV water heater troubleshooting, problems and repairs, we recommend using this repair guide, manufacturer's user guide, or call Suburban technical support for details.

(Photo courtesy of Atwood)