Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless gas which at high levels can cause serious illness and death.  The CO detector is an important safety component in your unit that needs to be checked for operation regularly.  CO detectors are always mounted close to floor level as it is heavier than air. Below we will take you through checking a CO Detector.

Testing your CO Detector


Step 1Operation and testing

  • CO Detectors need 12 volts to operate, and they receive that power from your RV battery or convertor.  Without this, the safety device will not operate.   This detector also often bypasses the battery disconnect so it will still operate if the disconnect is turned off.
  • This should be checked for proper operation on a monthly basis.   A test button will be located on the device and should be pushed down, a high-pitched alarm will begin to emit confirming that the alarm is operational.

Step 2: Expiration

  • Some units will have a replace by date printed on the front of the cover.  This would be the expiration date for that device and needs to be changed out at that point.

  • If there is no date on the outside, you will have to remove the device and check on the back of it for another date.
  • There will always be a date labeled on the device.  That day may be an expiration or a “made on” date.  CO detectors generally have a life of 5-7 years.  If it has a “made on” date that is what you would add to it in order to decide the expiration.Screen Shot 2023-02-02 at 8.44.44 AM.png

Step 3: Alarms

  • If the Alarm on the device is constantly chirping and you are certain there is no gas leak.  It could be a false indicator.  It’s suggested to have the unit leak tested by a certified facility to ensure there is no danger.  If no leaks this would conclude that you likely have a faulty device.
  • If the 12-volt power gets low, it will also give a constant chirp indicating low voltage.  To remedy this, charge the battery or plug in the RV.

For a better understanding of your CO detector, check out this video: 

This content is not a legal standard or regulation, and does not create any new legal obligation.  It is advisory in nature, informational in content, and is intended to assist and educate consumers in the use and enjoyment of their recreational vehicles.  Great American RV Superstores does not hereby make any warranty, express or implied, and does not assume any liability with respect to the use of, or damages resulting from the use of any information, method or process included in this content.