Atwood RV Water Heaters
Review and Buying Tips

Atwood RV water heaters are a well-known brand for water heating in recreational and mobile vehicles. Atwood offers appliances that are reliable, lightweight, easy to install, simple to repair, fuel-efficient and economical.

Type review

Atwood RV water heater

Atwood water heaters are available in sizes of 6 and 10 gallons. They are further divided into gas-powered models using electronic, pilot, and pilot relight ignition and combination models with the gas/electric/engine coolant heat exchanger.

Atwood's electric water heaters are designed to use 120V from the electrical grid or generator and one 1400-watt heating element (screw-in or bolt-on type) for water heating. 

Some models are also equipped with heat exchangers that use the "already lost" heat from the engine coolant, and such heating is combined with electric and/or propane gas heating for better performance and efficiency. It is great to see that hot water is ready even before you arrive at the destination.

Propane gas water heaters

Electronic ignition in propane gas models allows you to turn the water heater ON conveniently by simply flipping the switch from inside the RV.

In the case of the pilot relight water heater, you will light the fire once, so even if the wind extinguishes the flame, it automatically relights itself.

Atwood RV water heaters with the pilot ignition require a standing pilot to lit it manually when the destination is reached. Once lit, it takes approximately half an hour to heat and before hot water becomes available.

All gas-powered models must transfer the products of combustion out and get the fresh in from outside the RV.

Available models

Models GCH6A-10E and GCH10A-4E are coming with the capacity of 6 and 10 gallons and are designed for heating by combining all three options; propane gas, electricity, and heat engine coolant.

Models GC6AA-10E and GC10A-4E come with 6 and 10-gallon tank capacities, and they use propane gas and electricity for water heating.

Models G6A-8E, GH6-8E, and G6A-7 are all 6-gallon models powered by LP gas only, while the model GC6AA-8 is a combination of LP gas and electricity. The G6A-7P is a 6-gallon model that uses LP gas for water heating and is the only model with the relight option.

Models G10-3E and G10-2 are 10-gallon models that use LP, while GC10A-2 combines both gas and electricity.


All Atwood hot water heaters are designed to provide efficient water heating and enough hot water for your comfortable shower or cleaning the dishes while camping and traveling.

Atwood RV heaters are installed from the outside and accessible through the exterior door, making the repair convenient and fast.

Atwood RV water heaters are safe to use, as they are equipped with many protective features, such as the high-temperature limit switch, TPR valve, thermostat, and sealed combustion chamber.

When comparing Atwood models with other manufacturers, such as Suburban; Atwood is lighter, as it uses the aluminum-clad tank vs. steel tank on other heaters, and such cladding eliminates the need for the anode rod and stinky water problem.

Before installing a water heater, it is recommended to test it on the floor to make sure that it works properly. The unit is mounted flush into the RV sidewall for easy access from the outside, and with the matching access door, it will ensure an attractive exterior as the painted door nicely blends in the RV color.

Tip: If you would like to go tankless, check out Girard heaters, they provide hot water in continuous supply and on-demand.


Atwood Company is located at 1120 N. Main St. Elkhart, IN 46514, US, and if you need customer or technical support, call them on 800-546-8759.