Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector - Fiberglass RV
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Old 06-14-2018, 08:03 AM   #1
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Name: Huck
Trailer: ParkLiner
Virginia
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Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector

Just walked by my trailer, which is sitting in the back yard, and the detector was beeping. It hadn't been beeping that long because I walked by an hour earlier and it wasn't beeping. I got my key, opened the door, and within a couple of minutes it stopped. No noticeable smoke.

It did this about a year ago. Same scenario - open the door and after a couple minutes it stops. The propane detector is a different device and is not beeping.

Any ideas? Could humidity cause it to think it was smoke?


ETA: Just checked Internet!
Quote:
High humidity in the air can set off smoke alarms. The density of the moisture particles in the air trigger the alarm. The device has no way of distinguishing between light smoke particles and heavy moisture content.
lennoxpros (Requires membership, but quote was available through search)
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Old 06-14-2018, 08:12 AM   #2
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How old is the detector? False alarms are one indication of an aging detector. Mine said extreme temperatures shorten the life span, so I remove them between trips.

When our home detectors were about 8 years old we started getting an increasing number of false alarms. Replaced them all, and all is quiet.
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Old 06-14-2018, 08:16 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
How old is the detector? False alarms are one indication of an aging detector. Mine said extreme temperatures shorten the life span, so I remove them between trips.

When our home detectors were about 8 years old we started getting an increasing number of false alarms. Replaced them all, and all is quiet.
Less than 2 years old on a 10 year detector.
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Old 06-14-2018, 08:19 AM   #4
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Is your trailer hooked up to shore power when you park it, and is your converter breaker on? If not, your trailer's battery may be discharging, which will often cause this condition as well.

I'd start troubleshooting it by putting a multi-meter (on DC Voltage Setting,) and check the power feed (hot) wire connected to the detector coming from the Trailer's battery/converter to the trailer's ground, to be sure you are reading above 12+ volts. It sounds like it may be low voltage from the 12v system, which can also cause the detector to beep.

Depending on your specific type/brand of smoke detector, some are just hard-wired only, but most have a back-up 9 Volt battery as well. If yours has a battery, that could also be dying and should be replaced if there is one.

Just a few things to check first.
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Old 06-14-2018, 08:21 AM   #5
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It's a self contained unit with a 10 year battery.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Casita Greg View Post
Is your trailer hooked up to shore power when you park it, and is your converter breaker on?

I'd start troubleshooting it by putting a multi-meter (on DC Voltage Setting,) and check the power feed (hot)wire connected to the detector coming from the Trailer's battery/converter to the trailer's ground. It sounds like it may be low voltage from the 12v system, which can also cause the detector to beep.

Depending on your specific type/brand of smoke detector, some are just hard-wired only, but most have a back-up 9 Volt battery as well. If yours has a battery, that could also be dying and should be replaced if there is one.

Just a few things to check first.
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Old 06-14-2018, 08:25 AM   #6
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Then I would check to see that it is clean, (i.e.no dirt/dust/cobwebs, etc.) in it. There's always the possibility that it could be a defective unit. A few of them do fail for no good reason from time to time.
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Old 06-14-2018, 09:05 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Casita Greg View Post
Then I would check to see that it is clean, (i.e.no dirt/dust/cobwebs, etc.) in it. There's always the possibility that it could be a defective unit. A few of them do fail for no good reason from time to time.
Why would it stop after opening the door?
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Old 06-14-2018, 10:25 AM   #8
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Name: Wayne & Barbara
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I have added a battery disconnect switch to our Parkliner.
The battery ran down last winter, cold weather froze the battery.
I suspect the smoke alarm and LP Gas detectors caused a slow drain on the battery. Now we can feel assured that the battery will hold its charge while on the storage slab.
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Old 06-14-2018, 10:31 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayne Collins View Post
I have added a battery disconnect switch to our Parkliner.
The battery ran down last winter, cold weather froze the battery.
I suspect the smoke alarm and LP Gas detectors caused a slow drain on the battery. Now we can feel assured that the battery will hold its charge while on the storage slab.
Unless they changed it, the smoke detector is not connected to the 12v system. The original had a 9 volt battery. I replaced it with a unit that has a 10 year battery.


The propane detector is run on the 12v system.
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Old 06-14-2018, 12:10 PM   #10
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I believe original poster is referring to a newer self-contaned battery unit, two years old.

If someone here knows answer, great. If not I'd check Kidde sites or their customer service. If not Kidde, then whatever maker. Good luck.
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Old 06-14-2018, 12:39 PM   #11
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Is your battery inside the trailer? Is it on a charger?

I recently found out that my carbon monoxide detector, in my kitchen, is sensitive to the hydrogen that was given off from charging my batteries in the basement.
http://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/f...gen-84748.html
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Old 06-14-2018, 01:02 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by David Tilston View Post
Is your battery inside the trailer? Is it on a charger?

I recently found out that my carbon monoxide detector, in my kitchen, is sensitive to the hydrogen that was given off from charging my batteries in the basement.
http://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/f...gen-84748.html
Batteries are outside. I'm pretty sure it was humidity that set it off.

Just checked reviews and lots of people reporting false alarms. Some think it is dust or humidity caused.
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Old 06-14-2018, 02:23 PM   #13
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Our propane / CO2 alarm states on the cover that the alarm should be replaced at 60 months . At 61 months we started getting intermittent alarms . Called the alarm manufacturer , explained the problem and was told to replace the alarm .
Seems to have solved the problem
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Old 06-14-2018, 02:34 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
Our propane / CO2 alarm states on the cover that the alarm should be replaced at 60 months . .
Yes many of the alarms made now start beeping to let you know when they have reached end of life. The beeping is usually a little different, but if you dont read the manual to discern the difference its easy to mistake it for a false alarm. But as OP said a few times, it was no where near end of life.

If you think it is humidity then measure the humidity when it alarms vs when it does not. And bring the alarm in your house for a week or two and see it it still "alarms."

From https://www.protectyourhome.com/blog...s-off-randomly

Common causes of false alarms from smoke detectors:
  • Smoke from burnt food or cooking
  • Fireplace smoke or outdoor campfires blowing indoors
  • Steam from cooking food
  • Shower steam
  • High humidity
  • Water leaks
  • Malfunction
  • Batteries need changing
  • Excessive dust
  • Debris on sensors
  • Chemicals
  • Bugs / Insects
  • End of life
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Old 06-14-2018, 06:00 PM   #15
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i had to replace the ~ 4 year old propane detector in our Escape, it kept going off randomly. new one hasn't gone off yet.
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Old 06-15-2018, 05:32 AM   #16
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Since this is a self-contained detector, not hard-wired, there is a simple way to determine if the fault is the environment (humidity, perhaps) or a fault in the detector itself. Remove it from the trailer and keep it on the house for a while.

If it keeps alarming, then it's the detector- contaminated or defective. If it doesn't, then work on reducing humidity in the trailer or just leave it in the house until you're headed out on a trip.

I keep mine inside, as said, because extreme heat and cold in the trailer while in storage reduce the detector's service life.
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Old 06-15-2018, 05:50 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
Since this is a self-contained detector, not hard-wired, there is a simple way to determine if the fault is the environment (humidity, perhaps) or a fault in the detector itself. Remove it from the trailer and keep it on the house for a while.

If it keeps alarming, then it's the detector- contaminated or defective. If it doesn't, then work on reducing humidity in the trailer or just leave it in the house until you're headed out on a trip.

I keep mine inside, as said, because extreme heat and cold in the trailer while in storage reduce the detector's service life.
It stopped within minutes of opening the trailer door and hasn't gone off again since then. I did open a window slightly.
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Old 06-15-2018, 06:19 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Huck View Post
It stopped within minutes of opening the trailer door and hasn't gone off again since then. I did open a window slightly.
I dont know where or how you store the camper but you likely want more than slight ventilation. As the temperature drops at night, the relative humidity goes up. If the camper is closed up, then the relative humidity inside will be higher than the relative humidity outside. That is when condensation often occurs leading to mold and mildew problems. Ventilating the camper will at least keep the relative humidity closer to the outdoor level instead of higher than it. Of course if you use a dehumidifier, that is different.

Was it by chance early morning when the detector was beeping?
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Old 06-15-2018, 08:40 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by gordon2 View Post
I dont know where or how you store the camper but you likely want more than slight ventilation. As the temperature drops at night, the relative humidity goes up. If the camper is closed up, then the relative humidity inside will be higher than the relative humidity outside. That is when condensation often occurs leading to mold and mildew problems. Ventilating the camper will at least keep the relative humidity closer to the outdoor level instead of higher than it. Of course if you use a dehumidifier, that is different.

Was it by chance early morning when the detector was beeping?
Right when it started to get hot, about 10 am.
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Old 06-15-2018, 10:30 AM   #20
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Name: Bob
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Georgia
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I experienced the same thing this morning in Atlanta. Was in a rush, so just took it off the wall and removed the batteries. Did notice that the damp-rid hanger bag looked full. I had not previously changed the batteries (I've had the trailer less than a year) and battery change is going on the every-spring list.
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