Monday, November 28, 2011

Carbon Monoxide and RV's

backroads information-carbon monoxide and rv's

We have previously covered carbon monoxide detectors and the importance of using them while camping in an RV.

This past week while camping on the Snake River I plugged in the digital readout carbon monoxide detector and was curious to see what effect the various gas appliances would have on CO build-up.  This was the prime suspect.

We have used this in the tent trailer.  Which gets plenty of air flow.  Not quite like the 5th wheel which has hard sides everywhere!!  Anyway, we plugged in the propane heater and then plugged in the CO detector.  It did not move for hours.  When we started using this appliance, the CO detector started moving slowly.

That was a surprise.  After a few hours of cooking dinner and heating strictly with the propane heater this is what the CO meter showed.

Well within the safe range.  It was an interesting project.  I now feel better about using the propane heater within the 5th wheel.  However, everytime I use it the digital CO meter will be running.  Somehow I still do not trust gas appliances so will continue to sleep with none of them running and a CO meter for additional safety.  Oh, I also keep the window cracked at night.  Paranoid?  Nah, just safety conscious.

I lined up my digital CO meters in the garage to see if they were reading in the same ballpark.  I started up the Honda Pilot and watched the meters do nothing for several minutes.  I was convinced  that I had several, not just one bad meter.  I then noticed the gas generator and fired it up.  All the CO readouts immediately started rising!!  And in a short while were well above the danger zone.

So NEVER use a generator in a confined space!!

A digital CO detector.  Do not camp in an RV without one!!

Here is the link to our discussion on CO detectors:  Carbon Monoxide and Camping.


Chris and Caron said...

Remember also that CO is accumulative. So even though it is within the safe range, prolonged exposure at 13ppm will build up in your system and kill you, eventually.

Vladimir Steblina said...

Good point.

The CO meter instructions talked about the various alarm functions. So many hours at 50 ppm will trigger an alarm and I believe 300 ppm will trigger an immediate alarm. I believe it was preset for three alarms at various CO and time combinations.

I really do not know the accumulative safe levels and go with the levels specified by the CO meters.

However, I do not sleep with ANY gas appliances working and always crack a window in the bedroom.

Having lived in the Northwest for the past 30 years in all electric houses I would really prefer seeing a big fat ZERO on the CO meter.