When you are living in a van, the space is confined, and it is important to keep yourself safe from carbon monoxide and natural gases, especially when you have heaters, a fridge, and a cooker that uses propane. Good ventilation is required, but more importantly, you should have campervan carbon monoxide detectors installed since your life could literally depend on it. There are plenty on the market, and they have their own pros and cons, so it is important to know what exactly you are looking for.
Google Nest Protect: The Top One Choice for CO Detectors
The Google Nest Protect combines smoke and carbon monoxide detector, which is great for your safety in your campervan. It speaks up in a friendly voice to give you a warning when there is smoke or carbon monoxide detected in your van. The Split Spectrum Sensor feature looks fast-burning and smoldering, and it will tell you where the danger is in your van.
You can get alerts on your phone, so you know something is wrong even when you are away from your home. All you have to do is install a free app. The Google Nest Protect also comes with an App Silence, so you can silence the smoke alarm with your phone in the Nest app even if there is only a little smoke.
The Google Nest Protect has its light turned off, but the Pathlight can light your way when you walk underneath it. The only thing about this detector is that you can’t change the batteries, so you will need to replace the whole unit once it expires.
The Google Nest Protect is available on Amazon for $115.89.
MTI Industries CO Alarm: 12 Volt Carbon Monoxide Detector
If you are looking for a 12-volt carbon monoxide detector, the MTI Industries CO Alarm is the perfect choice for you. It works as a van smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector at the same time. The sensors can detect natural gas and any gas leaks that may happen in your van. With this detector, you can rest assured that your campervan will be safe at all times.
Also, it provides the highest quality in detecting smoke and CO with little to no false alarm. Another thing that makes the MTI Industries CO Alarm great is it’s durable and can withstand cold temperatures, unlike other detectors on the market. It is made with solid materials and can also stand the rugged environment of a campervan. This alarm is perfect for those who love to camp out and travel, even during the winter season.
The MTI Industries CO Alarm will work efficiently for as long as you have a 12-volt power source. It means that you don’t have to buy batteries or regular replacements, with just a simple installation. All you have to do is screw it in and connect it to the 12-volt power source.
Thanks to the 12-volt design, you don’t need to worry about buying battery packs which will cost extra money every six months. It features technological advances in the device so you can guarantee that it performs at the top standard in any situation.
The MTI Industries CO Alarm is also certified by RVIA/NFPA, so you can rest assured that this detector is safe to use. One of the best features that it offers is the ‘Alarm Mute’ button. It is an important addition since it will make sure that the alert system will not make a sound when your van is well-ventilated and secure. There are plenty of detectors that have false alarms, so with this feature, it can be prevented.
The only downside to this detector is it needs to be flushed against a wall of your van.
When you purchase the MTI Industries CO Alarm, it comes with a mounting bracket. You can purchase this detector on Amazon for $57.02.
First Alert BRK Carbon Monoxide Alarm: Inexpensive and Effective Device
The First Alert BRK Carbon Monoxide Alarm is great for campervan owners who are looking for an effective and inexpensive device. It is a battery-operated carbon monoxide detector that matches the effectiveness of great rivals at a lower cost. Thanks to its remarkable effects and low price, it is the best deal that you can get on the market.
The qualities that this detector has shouldn’t be overlooked. The hinged cover allows an easier installment of the equipment and battery replacement than other variants. There is another attribute that will draw your interest as it comes with a silence feature.
The silence feature will make sure that any undesired alerts won’t happen like once the batteries need to be replaced, are silenced. The entire structural quality will amaze you since this device has been tested extensively in the harshest conditions to work.
The lifespan of the First Alert BRK Carbon Monoxide Alarm is ten years, and it will provide you with a sensor that doesn’t need to be replaced shortly. You should know how to change the battery in your van’s carbon monoxide detector for the efficient monitoring that you need.
The First Alert BRK Carbon Monoxide Alarm comes with an 85 decibels alarm noise to notify you if there is carbon monoxide detected on your van.
For van lifers who live in California, you should find another option since this product can’t be shipped in that area. No matter how good of a deal this is for bargain buyers, they can’t buy it if they are located in California for some reason. Also, unlike the other detectors on this list, it doesn’t detect gas leaks.
The First Alert BRK Carbon Monoxide Alarm is available on Amazon for $19.88 for one pack and $79.80 for four-packs.
Kiddie AC Carbon Monoxide Detector: Connected to a DC
The Kiddie AC Carbon Monoxide Detector is different from the others on this list as it needs to be connected to a DC for you to use in a long-term operation. You may think that the installation may be a pain, but it comes with a wall socket, so what you need to do is plug it directly into the wall or through a cable. No need to drill or screw to install this detector.
The Kiddie AC Carbon Monoxide Detector has a nine-volt battery connection just in case you run out of power. You can rest assured that you will always be protected, no matter what. This unit doesn’t only detect monoxide, but it also detects all hydrocarbon gases.
These gases are from the propane that you use in your campervan. It can also detect grease and methane, which means the alarm can go off quite often. The alarm is loud enough to wake you up from a heavy sleep. If you want to turn it off or test the unit, all you have to do is press the ‘test/reset button.’
There is also another button that will tell you the maximum carbon monoxide level readout since the last time that you had checked. The life span of this detector is seven years, but there are times that it only makes it to four. The Kiddie AC Carbon Monoxide Detector is UL Certified with a ten-year limited warranty.
The Kiddie AC Carbon Monoxide Detector is available on Amazon for $40.50.
X-sense Carbon Monoxide Alarm: Affordable Battery-Powered Detector
When you are looking for a budget-friendly and battery-operated detector, the X-sense Carbon Monoxide Alarm is the best choice for you. It comes with the screws and mounting brackets that you will need during the installation process. All you have to do is drill some holes in your campervan and screw the unit in.
The X-sense Carbon Monoxide Alarm is a battery-powered CO detector that comes with a sealed lithium battery that is meant to last for as long as ten years as advertised. It will make life a lot easier as you don’t have to swap out the batteries at all. In plenty of cases, the batteries last at least five years but others have found them to last less than a year.
With the X-sense Carbon Monoxide Alarm, it can detect both smoke and carbon monoxide. It also has a digital readout of both the carbon monoxide levels as well as the battery life. With this feature, you always know where you are at.
It also comes with an indicator light that will change color based on the situation. Green means it is good, yellow means a fault, while red goes with the loud alarm. You will find the test or reset button for checking if it works and turning it off when there are false alarms.
False alarms on the X-sense Carbon Monoxide Alarm are uncommon, which is great. However, it can go off in the kitchen when you are frying steaks.
This detector is pretty simple to install since it doesn’t require any rewiring. It is easy to mount on any wall or ceiling in your campervan as well. The manufacturer offers a 60-day money-back guarantee, five-year warranty, and lifetime customer support.
The X-sense Carbon Monoxide Alarm is available on Amazon for $33.99 for one pack and $152.99 for five packs.
FD Carbon Monoxide Detector: Sensitive to Carbon Monoxide Detection
The FD Carbon Monoxide Detector is designed to be very sensitive to carbon monoxide detection. It sounds an alarm at 9 PPM and 25 PPM, rather than 70 PPM like other normal CO detectors. It will allow you a bit of time to react before the levels get too high for your health, and this would be at 100PPM.
However, you are most likely to have to reset the FD Carbon Monoxide Detector more often, which can be a pain since you have to remove the batteries every time. Unlike the other detectors on the market, the FD Carbon Monoxide Detector can be mounted anywhere and comes with an adhesive patch. All you have to do is stick it anywhere you want in your campervan.
Just like the X-sense, it also has an LCD screen where it shows both battery life and carbon monoxide levels, so you always know where you are at. You will also know when the levels get too high since the alarm will go off through vibration and a flashing red light.
If you are a heavy sleeper, then it might not wake you up, and it is better used on the dash whenever you are driving. You can also place it by your bed when you are sleeping so that you can wake up when it detects carbon monoxide detection.
The FD Carbon Monoxide Detector is a bit expensive, but if you need something that is super sensitive as well as portable, then it is not a bad option to choose.
The FD Carbon Monoxide Detector is available on Amazon for $99.85, and it comes with a one-year warranty.
Things to Look for In a Campervan Carbon Monoxide Detector
There are different important factors to consider when it comes to shopping for your carbon monoxide detector. You want to make sure that you will get the best for your safety in your campervan. The factors that you should consider are how the unit is powered, how sensitive it is, and if it also has a smoke alarm that goes with the carbon monoxide detector.
Power Source: What You Should Know About Them
There are two types of detectors that you can choose from when it comes to the power source. They are battery-powered or direct current, which have their own disadvantages and advantages.
Units with battery-powered units are easier to install since you don’t have to worry about wiring, and you can mount them anywhere without you worrying about adding a power source to your campervan. However, you do have to deal with changing the batteries every time they run out, and it will add an extra cost to your budget.
On the other hand, DC-powered units are great since there is no need to worry about changing the batteries, but the installation can be a bit tricky when the units need to be wired. Some detectors come with a plug socket, so the installation can be simple since all you have to do is plug it in. However, it will limit the location where you can put the detector.
Make Sure to Get the Right Sensitivity Levels
Usually, most carbon monoxide detectors sound alarmed at 70PPM, and carbon monoxide levels only become harmful when it is around 100PPM. The sensitivity of your carbon monoxide detectors should be between 9PPM to 100PPM, but the recommended PPM is 60 to 70.
It is best to check the sensitivity levels of the carbon monoxide detectors before you buy a particular unit so that it matches your expectations. Your detectors should be placed in every part of your van so that the carbon monoxide isn’t left undetected.
Display and Also Detects Smoke
It can be hard to get a van carbon monoxide detector that detects smoke as well. It is like killing two birds with one stone which will make things a bit easier and safer, and it will also save you some cash in the process. There are plenty of detectors that I have listed above that come with both smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
There are also some units that come with an LCD display that will show you the level of carbon monoxide around it. It comes in handy since you can monitor the levels and maybe catch a rise early, and then you can just shut off the source. However, the displays do make the units a bit pricier than the ones that don’t have them.
Now, you may not be carefully monitoring the sensor on your campervan all day long, but it is always nice to know. If your budget permits, it would be best for you to get a unit with a display.
Installment Process: Easy or Hard?
Another thing that you need to think about before you go out and buy your carbon monoxide detector is the installation process. You have to make sure that it is not complicated to install and all the parts are included when it arrives. Also, it is a big plus if the unit comes with all of the mounting brackets and other accessories that you need to have a seamless installation process.
Frequently Asked Questions You Should Know
Is Carbon Monoxide Detector Needed in My Campervan? Yes, every campervan should have a detector. Carbon monoxide comes from exhaust leaks that originate in your vehicle’s engine or generator. Vans tend to spew harsh chemical compounds silently, and it can be bad for your health.
Where to Place the Carbon Monoxide Detector in My Campervan? These detectors should be installed in a central location in your campervan. It should be about five feet from the floor because the chemical compound will rise with the temperature in the air within your van.
Also, you need to make sure the unit is close to your sleeping area so that you can hear the alarm if it detects odorless and colorless gas. Doing this will make you aware of the carbon monoxide levels and gas leaks in your van.
How to Stop My Carbon Monoxide Detector from Beeping? Now, a carbon monoxide detector will constantly beep when it is running out of battery. Charging or replacing the battery can be one of the solutions to get rid of the annoying beeping sound.
If you have done this and it is still beeping, consider replacing the unit with a new model since it might be malfunctioning. Make sure that you search for specific methods on how to change the battery of your carbon monoxide detector, especially for the model you have chosen.