CO Detector On Sale at Ace Hardware - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-11-2007, 10:38 AM   #1
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Don't know if this is nationwide or not, but a great price on a must-have piece of equipment if you've got a propane heater.
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Old 01-11-2007, 02:30 PM   #2
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Don't know if this is nationwide or not, but a great price on a must-have piece of equipment if you've got a propane heater.
OK, so here are two questions:

First, my Scamp has a furnace, meaning a device that pulls outside air in, mixes it with fuel, burns the fuel and heating flue channels through which the air inside the cabin is heated before the combustion gasses are vented back outside.

Given this kind of setup is a Carbon Monoxide (CO) detector even needed?

Second question: I'm considering getting a Portable Buddy catalytic propane heater ( http://www.mrheater.com/productdetails_ext...id=41&id=24 ) to keep us warm at night without the noise of the furnace fan. Catalytic heaters are supposed to emit very little CO gas. The "catalytic" process these heaters use is very similar to the process used automobile catalytic converters, which consume unburned hydrocarbons and reduce CO and NO2 emissions, and there's a Consumer Products Safety Comission report on them ( https://www.cpsc.gov/library/foia/foia05/os/CO03.pdf ) that suggests they're safe for use in an enclosed space as long as there is sufficient oxygen. (The Portable Buddy has an automatic cutoff for low oxygen.)

Carbon monoxide is a byproduct of incomplete combusion, common concerns where there is an open flame or internal combusion engine, but given how these two heaters work, is a CO detector neccecary?

--Peter
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Old 01-11-2007, 03:50 PM   #3
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Peter,
Do you use the propane cook top? If so you're creating CO inside and ventalation is a must. A CO detector could be a reminder to open a window when cooking. Just a thought.

As for the furnace noise. I've gotten pretty used to it, so I don't notice it coming on at night.
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Old 01-11-2007, 05:32 PM   #4
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Do you have a fridge that runs on propane? Is the seal between trailer interior and the back of the fridge( where the propane is consumed) in good condition? Something I never considered until it was mentioned on this forum recently. Since this seal could be difficult to check I wouldn't take the chance.
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Old 01-11-2007, 05:35 PM   #5
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Peter-I also have a furnace that uses outside air but mine is a convection heater (no fan.) I have a CO detector anyway. Why, the same reason I have car insurance, accidents can happen. The furnace can leak and the only way you will know it is the CO alarm goes off or you meet St. Peter and wonder how you got there. My friends tell me that I am a safety freak but I don't care. I don't worry about my equipment when I have my smoke & CO alarms in the trailer.
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Old 01-11-2007, 05:49 PM   #6
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Best 15 bucks (or 30 bucks) you'll ever spend, especially if you never need it!
Don't leave home without it (and a smoke detector).
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Old 01-11-2007, 06:22 PM   #7
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When your heat exchanger finally develops a crack or rust through (Rust through because rain got into the combustion chamber from outside) you have to ask yourself if the cost of the CO detector is worth being notified that you are being gassed to death and the same applies in your home. Any living area that is warmed by a current day combustion product should require a couple of these detectors.

It was on the news last month that a genius brought his Bar-B-Grill into the house to provide heat and it was burning charcoal. He didn't have to get up to add more fuel because what he started with was enough to kill him.

One just can not be to safe. Ground fault receptacles, Propane detectors, CO detectors, Smoke detectors, Heat detectors, Natural gas detectors and Big Dummy (BD) detectors should be mandated for all homes and campers where electricity and fuel are being used.

Unfortunately they havenít developed the BD detector yet, that is unless you ask your spouse.
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Old 01-12-2007, 11:36 AM   #8
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I just picked up one of these detectors and note that the instructions say it is specifically for residential use, and not for "RV, boat, airplanes, commercial buildings". Don't know why they say that other than they want to limit their liablity.

Any reason anyone can think of that a simple CO detector can't be used in an RV? Maybe "too" sensitive?

Oh, I see they do mention it's okay for mobile homes. Problem solved.
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Old 01-12-2007, 11:49 AM   #9
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I just picked up one of these detectors and note that the instructions say it is specifically for residential use, and not for "RV, boat, airplanes, commercial buildings". Don't know why they say that other than they want to limit their liablity.
I'm guessing because RV, boat, etc. units are more robust to accomodate the vibration, shock and temperature variations the mobile applications provide.

Along those lines, I wonder what indication these units give to indicate they're working. In other words, how can you tell if one these expires? I'm thinking that going on the cheap is ok as long as I can tell when it dies.
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Old 01-12-2007, 01:04 PM   #10
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It has a test button, along with a light that indicates when the detector needs to be replaced. The instructions say using the test button is the only way to test it. They specifically say using car exhaust to test it may damage the unit. I assume the detector CO element may lose its sensitivity if overwhelmed by CO.
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Old 01-12-2007, 03:05 PM   #11
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Guys,

Pay between 30 to $40 and get a unit that runs on 9volt battery and had a digital LCD readout. It solves the worry problem.

I have 2 in our 3 story house and 1 in the camper. I also have 1 of those cheep models in the basement of the house.
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Old 01-12-2007, 04:17 PM   #12
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Here's the one that on my list of need to buy items.
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Old 01-12-2007, 07:16 PM   #13
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Bryon,

That is the model (2ea) that I have in the house and (1ea) in the camper. Exactly the same and the name on ours is Knighthawk, a division of KIDDE.

Got ours at Home Depot and have seen them for sale at either Sam's club or BJ's Warehouse. Less than $40 US and sometimes you will find a real deal at the whosale clubs.

It might pay to shop around because when you purchase from a camper and/or boat store, it seams they always want more $$.
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Old 01-12-2007, 11:49 PM   #14
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Bryon,

That is the model (2ea) that I have in the house and (1ea) in the camper. Exactly the same and the name on ours is Knighthawk, a division of KIDDE.

Got ours at Home Depot and have seen them for sale at either Sam's club or BJ's Warehouse. Less than $40 US and sometimes you will find a real deal at the whosale clubs.

It might pay to shop around because when you purchase from a camper and/or boat store, it seams they always want more $$.

Thanks, I've been trying find out where to purchase it.
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Old 01-13-2007, 01:28 AM   #15
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Every season you hear about someone taking their Bar-B-Q grill indoors or running a generator inside the house. If having one of those on for a short time inside a normal size house is enough to kill you, it wouldn't take long to die in a camper.

Remember its important to have a carbon monoxide detector in your home too because you have a furnace, stove and possibly other mechanisms that could produce it. (Also three years ago, an acquaintance of my family pulled into his garage, accidentally left the engine running on his car and went into the house. The little trap door to the attic in the garage was open and the fumes went into the house and sadly he and his parents died. A detector would have saved them.)

Better to spend the money for all the detectors mentioned in this thread and be safe.

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Old 01-13-2007, 07:37 PM   #16
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Here're some 'facts' gleaned from my own experience and from reading other RV groups:

1. The Buddy Heater is NOT catalytic; not to say it isn't safe, but it's not catalytic despite how Camping World continues to list it (Don't take my word for this, call Mr Heater and ask them) -- The ODS system used on many non-Cat vent-free heaters will shut the thing down long before O2 levels drop anywhere near dangerous levels. Also, last time I looked, not all Olympian heaters are catalytic.

2. The most tech-inclined guy I know is currently an over-the-road trucker (and RVer), sleeps in his cab bunk and heats it with a Coleman Black Cat -- He has rigorously tested it with an O2 meter and pronounces it safe, just as Coleman says, with the appropriate ventilation specified by Coleman.

3. Same guy uses a NiteHawk CO monitor because it also gives out the actual CO reading, esp when using LP rangetop.

4. Reportedly, the CO monitors for home and RV differ in the level at which they alarm; ostensibly so fire departments don't respond to false alarms -- Given that a home has more volume and the alarm threshold may be set higher, these factors may or may not offset each other (hence my friend's preference for a monitor that reports actual levels) when used in RV.

5. RV furnaces of age and rough use, the heat exchange kind, have been known to leak between the combustion and clean air chambers, plus there is always a possibility of exhaust air leaking back into the RV with prevailing wind conditions and air leakage of door and window seals.

6. Having a way to shut off the CO monitor is a good thing, esp if you have a generator, because the generator or a nearby idling automotive engine will indeed produce alarmingly high CO levels (Pun intended )
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