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11 Critical Tips on How to Detect Carbon Monoxide in Your RV

•, By Mike Wendland

Carbon monoxide is an invisible, odorless gas that you don't expect to encounter when traveling the great outdoors. However, some of your RV appliances emit carbon monoxide, which can be dangerous to your health. It's important to be aware of the risks of carbon monoxide poisoning and how to prevent it while enjoying your RV.

There are fewer topics more important than how to detect carbon monoxide in your RV. So pardon me for this just-the-facts article.

With so many newbies embracing the RV Lifestyle these days, we need to talk about this.  Besides, even longtime RVers need to refresh themselves on how to detect carbon monoxide in your RV and making sure all our CO emitting appliances are well maintained.

Dangers of Carbon Monoxide

Jennifer and I took the RV out one weekend and heard an incessant beeping in the middle of the night. I had immediately assumed it was the smoke detector, but it wasn't the source. It took me a few minutes (perhaps in my sleepy haze) to realize it must be the carbon monoxide detector.

Thankfully, the beeping was just a warning that the CO detector's battery was low. If it had been a warning for CO saturation, my sleepy haze could have actually been a sign of carbon monoxide poisoning.  

According to the CDC, approximately 50,000 people end up in the emergency room each year due to accidental CO poisoning. Worse, at least 430 people die.  CO poisoning is a serious risk, especially where any fuel-burning machines or appliances exist. As we all know, an RV itself is a fuel-burning machine with plenty of fuel-burning accessories in and around it!