What is the best battery-operated RV propane detector?

In this article, we will discuss battery-operated RV propane detectors, but also about other RV safety detectors and essential equipment. 

Is there a battery operated RV propane detector?

Yes, there are many battery-operated RV propane detectors. In fact, most of them are battery-operated, and here is our recommended list: 

  • Kidde AC Plug-in Carbon Monoxide and Explosive Gas Detector Alarm
  • MTI Industries 30-442-P-BR Safe T Alert 30 Series RV Propane Alarm
  • GEARDON Plug-in Home Natural Gas/Methane/Propane Alarm
  • EG Air Y201 Propane and Natural Gas Leak Detector
  • CAZONER Propane/Natural Gas Detector
  • Kidde KN-COPP-B-LPM Carbon Monoxide Alarm with Digital Display
  • FIRST ALERT Carbon Monoxide Detector Alarm.

You will find a propane gas detector at the bottom of one of the walls, usually in the main space, near the refrigerator. It is usually powered by your vehicle’s 12-volt system, but can also be battery-operated just like the models above.

The detector will beep if propane gas is detected in the air. The detector is located near the ground, simply because propane is heavier than air. This position then allows it to quickly detect leaks.

As with other detectors, you must press the “TEST” button every month to make sure it is still functional. Some detectors have a green indicator light that is constantly on to indicate that it is on. The use of an aerosol product such as hair spray or room fragrance may set off the detector alarm.

What if the RV propane detector beeps regularly?

The propane gas detector still rings approximately every minute. This detector is always installed at floor level and is connected to the 12V electricity of the trailer.

This detector signal indicates that the trailer battery level is low.

Simply recharge the battery by connecting the trailer to 120V or connect the trailer to the towing vehicle equipped with a 12V connection that charges the battery.

If you have no power source to recharge the battery and you no longer want to hear the detector signal. Disconnect the black or red wire from the battery. Making sure the end of the wire does not touch the metal. You can also disconnect the fuse from the detector.

RV propane tank safety and inspections

Since we are talking about RV propane detectors, we must also talk about RV propane tank safety and inspections. First, your tanks must be strong enough to hold the pressure required to keep propane in a liquid state. Dents, rust, scratches, gouges, and weakened valve connectors can be potential points for propane leaks under pressure.

Accordingly, you should have your tanks inspected periodically by a propane gas supplier licensed by the Railroad Commission. Some RV dealers have their supplier inspected where they have their tanks filled, but some RV dealers are also qualified to perform tank inspection and inspect the entire propane system of your RV. 

Second, pay attention to the pressure gauge. Your pressure gauge indicates how full your tank is: 1/4, 1/2, or 3/4 full. Because variations in temperature affect pressure as tank volume changes, these readings can be slightly inaccurate. 

The imprecision increases as the volume decreases. You will develop an idea of ​​how long your propane will last after using a few tanks. This will also depend on whether you use your propane to heat your water only, or also to power your refrigerator, heater, and stove.

Third, don’t ignore the Overfill Protection Device (OPD). OPD is required on all propane tanks up to 40 pound capacity in tanks manufactured after September 1998. There is conflicting information that says tanks manufactured before that date, particularly horizontal ASME tanks, were protected by the link. Previous NFPA. 

However, a Foremost Insurance article states that old cylinders can no longer be refilled without installing an OPD. Some providers will not fill these tanks. See the NFPA site for current regulations.

Fourth, know the connectors. There are a number of connections and accessories that attach to your propane tank and propane system inside your RV. These should be reviewed periodically. Annual inspections are recommended, especially for your RV system. Some tank inspections are valid for five years.

Lastly, don’t ignore the tank colour. The colour of the propane tank may seem like nothing more than a cosmetic concern or an incidental choice of the manufacturer, but the colour is important. Light colours reflect heat, dark colours absorb heat, and you want your tanks to reflect heat. 

More RV safety detectors and equipment

Recreational vehicles are equipped with several detectors. Knowing them is handy, as you will be able to act faster if there is a signal.

RV Smoke detector

First, as with houses, they are equipped with a smoke detector. They are located on the ceiling of the vehicle and operate using a 9-volt battery. The detector will emit an audible signal if there is smoke. As in homes, the smoke detector is usually located near the main bed or the master bedroom.

The smoke detector should be tested monthly using the “TEST” button. An audible signal will indicate that the detector is functional. It is recommended that the detector’s AA batteries be changed at changes of time, just as with home detectors.

RV carbon monoxide detector

Second, they have a carbon monoxide detector. It is located at the top of a bedroom wall and works with AA batteries. The detector will beep if it detects an emission of carbon monoxide. It is recommended to press the “TEST” button on the detector approximately every month. The red light should come on to indicate that the detector is still working. A green indicator light also lights up intermittently to indicate that the batteries are still charged.

Some detector models combine both carbon monoxide detection and propane gas detection. If this is the case with your trailer or motorhome, the detector will be powered by the 12V electrical circuit of your RV.

RV fire extinguisher

The fire extinguisher is usually stored in a kitchen cabinet. There are extinguishers with or without gauge.

Extinguishers without a gauge can be tested by pressing the button on top of the pin. If the button on the pin goes up by itself, the extinguisher is still functional. Always make sure the pin is securely in place before testing, otherwise, the extinguisher will empty. For extinguishers with gauge, make sure the gauge indicator points in the green section.

The bottom line

Every RV must have a working propane leak detector placed inside the RV. Propane gas can leak from stoves, heaters, refrigerators, or water heaters. It can leak from any connector in the propane system and can leak from any breaks in the lines that feed these devices. 

If you smell propane, or if your propane leak detector alarms, get out of the motorhome immediately. Do not turn any electrical device on or off and avoid causing sparks. 

Once you are at a safe distance from your RV, call a propane service professional and, if necessary, alert your neighbours whose RVs may be at risk in the event of a fire.

If you have any tips, comments or questions about how RV propane detectors work, please let us know.

FAQ on Battery operated RV propane detectors

Is there a battery operated propane detector?

Yes, there are plenty of battery-operated propane detectors. Some of the popular models are from Kidde, First Alert and Geardon. 

How long do RV LP gas detectors last?

RV LP detectors should last between 5 and 7 years. Most LP gas detectors have the expiration date printed on the front. Don’t ignore it!

Does a carbon monoxide detector detect propane?

No, a carbon monoxide detector cannot detect propane, but CO.  Every RV must have a working propane leak detector placed inside the RV!

What kind of detector do I need for propane?

For propane, you will need a propane detector. You can get one that can detect both carbon monoxide and propane. 


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