Finding the best RV carbon monoxide detector doesn’t have to be a stressful or confusing process. But many buyers find themselves feeling this way when trying to buy one. You can blame this outcome on the large number of choices in today’s market.
We intend to make those feelings disappear by guiding you through this process. Our article will attempt to accomplish this task by tackling all the vital topics concerning these useful devices. These topics include diving into things like types, top brands, how these devices work, and much more.
Our article will even provide seven product reviews of models other rig owners consider the best available. You’ll be able to use this info to settle on what model suits your RV perfectly.It’ll make sure this process ends with you buying a product capable of meeting all your needs and wants.
In other words, those feelings of stress and confusion will soon become a sense of comfort and relaxation. It’s just a simple matter of trusting us and let the article provide everything needed to make a perfect final choice. So, let’s start this process and find you a device capable of offering the protection required to ensure your RV trips remain safe.
Best RV Carbon Monoxide Detector Reviews
Our product review section will offer seven reviews of devices held as the best within this market. These reviews will give you a better idea of what a top tier RV carbon monoxide detector looks like and offers a buyer. You’ll also get a little background info, which will help you grasp the more complex topics talked about later on.
1. MTI Industries 65-541-P-WT RV Carbon Monoxide Alarm
The first product is MTI Industries’ 65-541-P-WT RV Carbon Monoxide Alarm, which is ideally suited for working inside a rig. This model was actually designed for functioning inside many types of RVs.
These types include Class A motorhomes, Class B van campers, travel trailers, and much more. I don’t think there’s an RV out there that this product isn’t ideally suited to protect them against high CO levels. As a result, it’s among one of the most versatile models in today’s market.
I also can’t get enough of this product’s “Alarm Mute” feature. This aspect comes in handy because it keeps the alarm from making any noise when everything is safe and ventilated within your rig. Due to this, you shouldn’t have to worry about any false alarms.
This product comes with a rapid recovery sensor, which is another appealing trait. You should enjoy this feature because it’ll reset the device when it’s silenced. It’ll then only activate when dangerous levels of CO present themselves. Therefore, it’s another aspect that’ll prevent accidental alarms.
You should view this product’s install process to be easy enough, as well. This benefit was actually praised many times in the buyer reviews. Honestly, I don’t think even a person of my talents would have much of an issue getting it set up and working.
It also helps that this product doesn’t have any batteries in its 12-volt carbon monoxide detector design. This aspect means that you won’t have to worry about the batteries going missing or needing to be replaced. It’s an ideal situation for a person like me who’s always misplacing things.
2. Atwood RV Carbon Monoxide Detector
This Atwood carbon monoxide detector comes with many features that would appeal directly to an RV owner. For instance, you have to love this product’s durability as its design can ensure it will last up to seven years without issue.
It’s a level of longevity that most other models will have a hard time matching. Plus, it means you need to spend money on a replacement anytime soon. You can instead use this cash on something fun like something else related to your RV trips.
I also can’t say enough about this product’s digital readout display. This aspect will make keeping track of your rig’s CO levels much easier. In fact, you’ll never have to wonder where these levels are with this Atwood carbon monoxide alarm onboard your rig.
You should consider this product’s working process rather simple, as well. It has three indicator lights that will let you know what’s occurring with the device: a green blink means this device is working normally, red flashing indicates an active alarm, and a red blink suggests the product’s low on power.
Sounds simple enough, right? Well, it is, and it’s an aspect that continued to receive praise in the customer reviews. It seems people were more than happen with how uncomplicated it was compared to other models.
These same people were also more than thrilled with this Atwood carbon monoxide alarm’s ability to avoid random alerts. As you can imagine, these false alerts can be quite harsh and irritating. It’s always a good sign when a brand takes the time to limit them as this one did.
It doesn’t hurt that this model comes with a 7-year warranty, either. This feature should provide a great deal of protection and coverage against getting a faulty model. Atwood seems more than willing to honor this agreement, too, which isn’t always the case with other brands.
3. Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector
Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector is the first dual product on our list. You see, this product functions as both a smoke detector and a CO alarm. This aspect ensures it’ll be one of the more convenient options among the devices we review.
After all, this product working as both will help save you money by not having to buy a separate smoke detector. It sounds like a great deal, and the results in both areas are outstanding thanks to its many great features.
A great example would be the product’s 85 dB alarm. This aspect ensures a person will know right away when something terrible occurs. It’ll provide a loud, clear warning to make sure you can take care of the potential issue quickly.
You also have to love this product’s dual high stability sensors. These sensors will help prevent any false positive from occurring when working as either a CO or smoke detector. In other words, this model will only sound its alarm when something is actually wrong.
The install process for this device isn’t anything to sneeze at either. It’s actually quite simple thanks to it being a battery operated device. You should be able to set it up without the help of an expert electrician, which is always a plus.
It’s an aspect that was backed up heavily in the buyer reviews. As for its warranty, this product comes with a 6-year policy. This amount of time should be more than enough to decide whether the product fits your needs or not.
But none of these aspects is the best thing about this device. This title goes to its price tag, which is one of the least expensive on the entire list. Given this info, bargain buyers reading this article should be paying close attention to this option.
4. First Alert BRK CO250 Carbon Monoxide Alarm
The First Alert BRK CO250 Carbon Monoxide Alarm is one of the most trusted alarms in today’s market. This status comes from its use of an electrochemical CO sensor, which is peerless when it comes to accuracy.
As a result, this product has gained a rep for being effective at avoiding false alarms. But this aspect isn’t the only area where the product excels. It also has a simple install process thanks to its coming with all the mounting hardware needed for the job.
This aspect was one people made a point to note in their buyer reviews. People were often shocked about how easy this model was to install compared to others. I’d imagine this product having a 9-volt battery power source helped move this task along faster, as well.
We should also mention this product is capable of working in many situations. These include in dorms, hospitals, motels, hotels, RV, and much more. In other words, anywhere a CO detector might be needed could benefit from this great device.
As for its alarm, this product will let out an 85 dB sound when it detects something is wrong with an area’s CO levels. There’s no reason to believe a person won’t be able to hear this noise wherever they’re located inside a rig.
Most people find its low profile design to be another appealing trait. This aspect will make sure it will blend right into your RV’s interior without a problem. It won’t be necessary to worry about it sticking out like a sore thumb inside the rig like some other models.
This product features a cheap price, too, which should intrigue any bargain buyers reading our article. Overall, it ends up being an incredibly useful, low maintenance device capable of meeting all a rig owner’s needs.
5. Kidde Battery Operated Carbon Monoxide Alarm
If you’re looking to buy a battery operated carbon monoxide detector for RV, this model should be on your list. It has many features that would lend itself useful to a rig owner. One of them would be its digital display.
As with some of our prior models, this device’s digital display will come in handy when trying to keep track of your RV’s CO levels. But this one is unique because it’ll update its reading every 15 seconds to ensure it stays extremely accurate.
This digital display isn’t just accurate, either, as it’s considered easy to read with it being rather large. It might not seem like a big deal, but many people praise this aspect in their buyer reviews. It’s a feature that makes the product much more convenient, which is always a plus.
I also really value this product’s ability to offer protection during power outages. Therefore, it’ll still work perfectly, even when the power on your rig might be malfunctioning. You can thank its battery power source for this great benefit.
This device happens to the least expensive option on our entire list, which is another intriguing benefit. You’d think it’d have a higher price tag with these features included, but Kidde managed to keep it low. I can’t thank them enough for it.
The product comes with three batteries included, as well. This means you don’t need to buy them separately. As someone who hates buying things separate from the main device, you can bet I was thrilled when reading this aspect.
Given all these features, it’s rather evident that this brand did everything in their power to check off the bases with this model. Kidde even made sure to offer a 5-year warranty with it. What more could a rig owner possibly want in CO detector?
6. Kidde Hardwire Carbon Monoxide Detector Alarm
The second Kidde product on our list is Kidde’s Hardwire Carbon Monoxide Detector Alarm, which is an intriguing option for many reasons. For instance, the product’s battery pull tab that’ll help keep the battery fresh and reduce the time it takes to replace them.
You should also like this device’s alkaline battery backup to ensure it can work even when there’s a power failure. As a result, you’ll never face a time where you aren’t aware of any issues with your rig’s CO levels.
I found this product’s snap-on harness to be another exciting aspect. This feature will ensure the device’s install process goes much quicker and smoother. Honestly, anything piece of equipment capable of making these tasks simpler is a win in my book.
It doesn’t hurt matters that this product comes with a detailed instruction guide, either. The directions inside this guide received a lot of compliments in the buyer reviews. And since people tend only to criticize this aspect, these directions must be very helpful.
As with many other options on this list, the Kidde Hardwire Carbon Monoxide Detector Alarm has protective measures against false alarms. This model’s protection is a sealed cover, which will help reduce the sensor’s contact with potential contaminants before install.
If a false alarm does occur, you’ll be happy to know this comes with a test and reset button. You can just press it, and the loud alarm will stop from causing you a migraine. A simple way to help prevent an annoying nuisance from continuing.
It would be best if you didn’t sleep on this product coming from an American brand. This aspect means the product want through a large number of tests before heading out onto the market. As a result, you can feel safe about using this product inside your rig. Some other countries don’t subscribe to the same rules when making these devices.
7. First Alert SCO5CN Smoke Detector and Carbon Monoxide Detector Alarm
This final product is another dual option capable of acting like both a smoke and carbon monoxide detector. This multi-purpose role is made possible by the device, including dual sensors to detect both these potential issues.
Aside from its effectiveness in serving these dual roles, the product produces a loud 85 dB alarm when one of the sensors does get triggered. There’s no reason to believe this alarm won’t be loud enough based on the many positive buyer reviews.
You must also enjoy this product being another battery operated unit. As with our other similar models, you can expect the install process to be quick and painless. It shouldn’t even require the assistance of an expert, which is always great.
This product features an easy using process, as well. You can easily control the alarm with the device’s single test and silence button that showcases this ease of use. The product having an easy-access battery drawer only further proves this claim.
In fact, the battery drawer allows you to change the device’s battery without removing it from the ceiling. It doesn’t get much more convenient than a feature like this one. The product’s 7-year warranty was another appealing trait for reasons we talked about at length in other reviews.
You also have the choice of buying this product in a 4-pack, which could be a great deal for bulk buyers. If you’re looking to buy more than one CO detector, I don’t see how this deal wouldn’t be near the top of your preferred list.
I didn’t even mention that this product’s price tag is rather low, as well. Honestly, it has all the makings for the perfect bargain or bulk buy. It even comes with the two required AA batteries included increasing its appeal further.
RV Carbon Monoxide Detector Buyer’s Guide
The process of selecting the right RV carbon monoxide detector will depend on you knowing a great deal about these devices. This particular section will help you gain the required info to make a good final decision. It’ll end up being a vital resource during your search.
Things to know before buying carbon monoxide detector
Choosing the right CO detector will come down to a lot of moving parts. This section will examine each of them with great detail to ensure you pick the perfect option for your rig. It’ll end up being a great resource to follow during for your entire search.
Stand Alone or Combination Device
CO detectors will come either as stand alone options or be combo models capable of detecting smoke, as well. As a result, anyone looking to buy a CO detector device will have to decide which option works best for them.
This decision will end up depending on each person’s budget and needs. We should also mention that combo models won’t have digital readouts. This aspect comes from them being mounted on your rig’s ceiling.
But even without digital readouts, combo models could be a good option because they do two tasks in a simple package. Either option could be a useful product when used in the right situation. It becomes a matter of liking when making this choice.
Wired, Battery Operated, or Plug-In Model
You’ll also have to choose what power source suits your preferences. CO detectors will have many options when it comes to this aspect: plug-in, battery operated, hardwired, or even models using a combo of both battery and plug-in power supply.
People who get a hardwired unit will love them because you don’t have to worry about replacing the batteries. These devices usually will have a battery backup when the power goes out, as well. But most people will need an expert to install them, which can be pricey.
Meanwhile, battery operated and plug-in models offer more placing options inside your rig. You also don’t have to worry about these devices being protected when the power goes out. It’s a handy and user-friendly option that many people find very useful.
If you do want a battery operated option, please make sure to look for one with a lifespan of around ten years. This aspect will ensure you’re protected from high CO levels for a longer period of time.
Many people find CO detectors with digital displays to be much handier than other types. This aspect ensures a person can see the exact CO levels inside their rig at all times. It’ll also make sure you can see the history of your CO levels since the device was last reset.
This benefit is crucial because it can alert you to any low or slow leaks that could end up being costly over a long period. It’ll provide this info without ever sounding an alarm. However, anyone looking to buy combo options that offer both a CO and smoke detector won’t have this benefit in their models.
As with most products, the cost of these devices will differ from product to product. This reality makes having a budget a vital part of choosing one. Your budget should account for everything you want and need in the perfect option.
For example, a person who wants a model with an electrochemical sensor will have to adjust their budget ranges based on the higher prices of these models. It’s the only way to ensure your budget remains realistic and a useful tool.
A realistic budget will then have no trouble ensuring this entire process becomes a breeze. It’ll help reduce the number of choices to a more manageable amount. As a result, any feelings of being confused will soon disappear.
The best RV CO alarm or detector will have a heightened sensitivity when it comes to detecting CO levels. As you know, these levels are measured in ppm or parts per million. Many models will have the ability to measure levels at the lowest of 30-40 ppm.
In most cases, devices are made to trigger their alarms when levels reach 70 ppm or higher. A model with these features should have no issues protecting your rig. It should be adequate enough to ensure your rig gets the protection it needs.
But if you do need a model with much higher sensitivity, we suggest looking to buy a unit that can detect CO levels as low as ten ppm. A person who has an LP burning stove might want to look into these models.
Most buyers don’t seem to understand that the sensors in these units aren’t going to last forever. In fact, these sensors can pick up a lot of wear and tear over the years. You can expect them to last anywhere from five to 10 years, depending on the make, model, and brand.
We suggest buying an option capable of lasting closer to 10 years rather than five. This action will ensure you can worry less about replacing the unit. You can instead sit back and enjoy the protection it provides inside your RV.
Ease of Install
You’re going to want a model with an easy install process. If possible, it would be a great idea to buy an option that can be easily installed by you. This action would save you the hassle of paying an expert to install it.
An excellent way to examine this area is by reading each product’s buyer reviews. These resources should have long talks about this process being a hassle or not. You can then quickly decide whether it’s something you feel comfortable doing.
Some brands will also put the install directions right in each product’s description. You can use these to help examine the setting up process for each model. It’ll end up having a massive impact on how satisfied a customer feels with their final choice.
What are the different types of carbon monoxide detectors for RV?
Before buying an RV CO detector, you must know the common types out there in today’s market. This section will discuss the four most popular kinds to ensure you what one fits your rig.
Our first type of CO detector is the biomimetic sensor. These devices will detect CO levels with a gel chemical or combined liquid that changes colors. You can expect these models to last about three years, depending on the model and brand.
Overall, it’s a useful option that can offer a little longevity. If you’re looking for a quick and simple model, these devices could be an option worth buying.
Metal Oxide Semiconductor
CO detectors based on metal oxide semiconductors are made with wired circuits. These circuits can detect many levels of CO. A rig owner with a model-based around these sensors can expect them to last up to 10 years.
As a result, these models tend to be a little more durable than our previous type. People looking to buy a device capable of offering good results and won’t need a replacement for years should consider getting them.
CO detectors with an electrochemical sensor tend to be thought of as the best in today’s market for RV owners. These devices work by generating current, which is capable of detecting many CO levels.
You’ll also be happy to know that these devices will have a longer lifespan than our prior two types. However, these great benefits and results make them usually have the highest price tag among any CO detector.
If you’re looking for the best and money is no object, these devices would be the right option without question. It’ll provide protection and safety against CO to ensure your RV’s always safe from this toxic gas.
Our last type is CO detectors made with optochemical sensors. These devices happen to be the cheapest options available in today’s market. The reason for their low price tag is these models only detect the presence of CO and don’t trigger an alarm.
A detector with an optochemical sensor will instead use a pad, which changes color after it detects CO is present. But since these devices can’t watch different CO levels in your rig, it only offers a limited amount of protection.
Why do I need a carbon monoxide detector for RV?
Some people underrate the value of CO detectors onboard their RVs. But what people don’t realize is that many sources of CO are common in rigs, such as an LP-burning stove, a generator’s exhaust, and a motorhome’s exhaust.
Each of these sources can put your family at risk of CO poisoning when left unchecked. This issue is actually a lot more common than people realize. For instance, the CDC reported that over 15,000 people are treated for non-fire related CO poisoning every year.
In some cases, it can even become more severe as over 500 people die from these conditions every year. These tragic stats only make it clear that anyone with an RV should invest in a top tier CO detector.
It’s the only way to ensure you don’t become apart of these scary stats. You should just bite the bullet and spend a little extra on a model capable of offering useful results.
RV Carbon Monoxide Detector FAQs
What is an RV carbon monoxide detector?
The first thing to understand about RV carbon monoxide detectors is what these devices are fighting against. You see, these products are made to detect something called carbon monoxide (CO), which is an odorless and invisible toxin.
As you might know, this toxin is released from devices inside your rig’s kitchen and HVAC units. Having a CO detector installed will help you avoid breathing in these dangerous gases and keep you healthy.
We should also note that models with electrochemical sensing tech will alert you when an excess of CO exists inside your rig. It’s capable of doing this task through its ability to sense changes in electrical currents when they come across carbon dioxide.
This event will then set off an alarm within the detector and alert you. It’s remarkably similar to what you encounter with a smoke detector. In any case, it’s rather clear that these devices are a must inside an enclosed space like an RV.
It’s one of the most useful ways to ensure everyone stays healthy and happy onboard your rig. But you must pick a top tier model to make sure it’ll work correctly when it’s required. The rest of our article will help you achieve this task.
How does it work?
Some people might assume RV CO detectors are complex pieces of equipment to understand. But this actually isn’t the case. These devices are designed as a plastic chamber, which is usually around three inches in diameter.
This chamber will have parts in it that’ll work together to alert people inside an RV when CO is detected. These parts can differ depending on the model and brand, but the general elements are usually the following:
- A plastic detection chamber housing the device’s CO gas sensor
- LEDs (light-emitting diodes) use lights to ensure a person knows when the device is working correctly. It’ll also alert you when the battery needs replacing. Some models might even have an LCD (liquid crystal display) panel, which will show a readout of your rig’s CO levels.
- A silicon microchip capable of sending an electronic charge to other parts within the detector. In other words, it acts like the boss and tells every other parts what to do. This clip will also be fused to a copper-wired, electronic circuit panel. The panel will be the base for this device.
- You’ll also have a test and reset button, which will keep you updated on whether the alarm’s working..
- It will have wires connecting your rig’s electrical system or contain a battery capable of providing its power.
As for what this device does with these parts, it measures and identifies CO gas concentration inside your rig’s air in parts per million (ppm). These devices will be calibrated to detect CO concentrations based on UL (Underwriters Laboratories) safety standards.
If the detector does sense dangerous CO levels, it will send an electronic pulse to the device’s alarm. The higher this level happens to be, the faster your device’s signal will trigger. For instance, your device’s alarm will respond to CO levels of about 70ppm in an hour.
A rig with CO above 400 ppm can expect the device’s alarm to trigger in less than four minutes. The signal itself will be a sound of about 85 dB (decibels), which is about as loud as a lawnmower. But it still will be enough to startle a person.
Once you hear this alarm, it will become clear that getting out of your rig would be a wise move. High levels of CO aren’t something to mess around with, and these alarms should be taken very seriously. Do yourself a favor and invest in a CO detector capable of keeping you safe.
What are the most trusted RV carbon monoxide detector brands?
Finding a trusted or respected brand to buy from should be a top priority for any buyer. We already provide a starting point by offering a few of them in our product review section. Each of these companies has proven to provide great CO detectors time and time again.
We thought selecting our two favorites among this group and telling you a bit about them could offer some insight. These two brands, First Alert and Kidde, have proven to separate themselves from the pack with relative ease when it comes to making these products.
What makes these two brands different? Let’s look into their background and see what makes them so unique. This info will help you determine what to expect from a top tier RV CO detector brand.
First Alert has become a manufacturer in most markets concerning RV safety. It’s no different when it comes to CO detectors, as their innovative designs have made quite an impact on buyers. You aren’t going to find models more capable of tracking CO levels than ones made by this brand.
Honestly, there’s nothing about products from this brand that hasn’t been well crafted. They’re always ahead of the curve, and it’s what makes them such a force in this market. It also doesn’t hurt matters that First Alert is known for providing top tier client service.
Kidde happens to be the largest manufacturer of fire safety products in our world. You don’t gain this status by being creating lackluster or faulty devices. As a result, you can expect CO detectors from this company to more than meet your needs.
It would be best if you didn’t overlook this brand being based in America, either. This aspect means that their products go through a lot of testing before heading out onto the market. Due to this, you can feel safe using their products inside your rig.
How to install and use?
Installing an camping carbon monoxide detector doesn’t have to be a tricky process. In most cases, it follows these six steps:
Step 1: Determine the Size RV CO Detector Needed
We suggest people with larger RVs, such as class A motorhome, to buy a 12-volt CO detector. Smaller rig owners with RVs like a campervan should look to get a 9-volt model.
Step 2: Pick a Proper Location for Your New CO Detector
Most people find the best place for these devices is within your rig’s central area. It should be about five feet from your RV’s floor and closest to where people sleep aboard the rig. The reason behind this placement is CO will rise slowly as the room warms up. But it can also stay close to your rig’s floor when it’s in a cool, cramped space.
Step 3: Attaching Your CO Detector
You’ll want to check the wall’s location and ensure you won’t be drilling through pipes or walls. As you can imagine, this situation would cause a bunch of issues. Proceed to drill two holes equal to the size of the smallest screws and connect your CO detector. You can then put in the batteries and test it to ensure you know what its alarm sounds like when triggered.
Step 4: Testing Your CO Detector
It would help if you examined your detector to make sure its red warning light is flashing every 30 seconds. If this red light proceeds to go out, you must change its battery. People who buy a digital readout model can also test it with a burning incense or wand.
This action will confirm whether the device’s reading the carbon monoxide’s presence. The incense or wand should be held up to the device within six inches of it. If the process works, you should see it register on the device’s digital meter.
What is the Warranty?
The warranties for CO detectors will vary drastically from product to product. You’ll come across options with a 3-year, 5-year, and 10-year policies. It’ll end up depending on your chosen option’s model and brand.
You’ll even find options with no warranty at all. We suggest staying away from these products unless the model comes with many great reviews. It’s always a great idea to ensure you have some coverage against receiving a lousy or faulty product.
We should also mention that some brands will use these pledges as a selling point without having the intention of honoring them. As a result, you’ll want to do your best and avoid buying from these brands.
A great way to avoid them would be through reading each product’s buyer reviews. These resources should have long talks about each brand’s customer service. You can then decide whether they’re trustworthy or not.
Where to Buy?
The best place to get your new CO detector would be through using Amazon, which will have the biggest selection and best deals. Honestly, it doesn’t get better in today’s buyer market then using their website.
Amazon even has the largest number of buyer reviews, which is another reason buying from them is often a good idea. But even these benefits doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t at least search through what other sites and stores have to offer.
For instance, a site like etrailer or Camping World should have decent selection and prices. Their prices will sometimes venture below Amazon’s during a sale period. As a result, comparing costs between these sites becomes a sensible step in this process.
It ends up being the only to ensure you don’t end up paying more than required for your perfect option. After all, there’s no worse feeling than missing out on a deal. It’s best to make sure this never happens and research at least a couple of sites before making a final choice.
You’ll also find options available at different retail stores like Home Depot, Lowe’s, and Wal-Mart. Each of these places will have a large selection to choose from and should be a good option for anyone who enjoys real-life shopping.
However, the prices at these places will be much more costly than you’d find at Amazon or Camping World. As a result, people looking to get the best deal possible should stick with online shopping. But these people would be missing out on the great face to face customer service available at these stores.
In the end, choosing the right seller will depend on your shopping likings. It’s about realizing what you value during the buying process and picking a place capable of offering it. In my case, I value the lowest prices possible, which means sticking with online stores and sites.
Our article should have provided some insight into what the best RV carbon monoxide detector is for your situation. We hope using this info will ensure picking the right option becomes a simple and rewarding process. It’s just a simple matter of applying what you’ve learned into your search.
After applying the info and finding your perfect option, it will ensure you remain aware of any CO related issues. It’ll provide a great deal of comfort and peace of mind about making sure your RV trips remain entirely safe.
So please, use our article to ensure your search ends with a smile on your face. We just want to make sure everyone’s RV trips are as safe as possible. This article is our way of trying to keep all rig owners safe on their travels.
If you come across any more questions or issues, don’t hesitate to post them in our comment section. We’ll make sure to answer them as quickly as possible.