The time for RV summer vacations is underway, and with long drives looming, our Dallas Fort Worth drivers are preparing their RVs with various safety measures. This includes our DFW drivers cleaning their RV, checking tires and engines, as well as repairing any dents. What many DFW drives overlook, however, is the danger of carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide poisoning is a serious threat for RV drivers, and we wanted to provide all of our Dallas Fort Worth with facts and advice on how to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
What is Carbon Monoxide?
Carbon monoxide is an odorless, tasteless, and colorless gas that is produced by sources such as gasoline engines, diesel engines, and propane fueled appliances. Expose to carbon monoxide is fatal. And this fatal threat is not idle, as carbon monoxide is the number one cause of poisoning deaths each year.
Many RV drivers seem to believe they are not in danger of dying from carbon monoxide poisoning; however, this is also not the case. Carbon monoxide poisoning in an RV usually occurs from:
- Exhaust leaks from a vehicle engine or a generator
- Improper use of portable gas powered heaters
- Someone else’s vehicle or generator when camping in close quarters
- Malfunctioning or unvented LP gas appliances
Most RVs come with carbon monoxide detectors; however, even if your RV has a detector, they should be checked frequently. If your RV doesn’t have a carbon monoxide detector you need to purchase a battery operated carbon monoxide detector designed for use in RVs. Test the carbon monoxide detector every time you use the RV, and replace the batteries when you change clocks for daylight savings time.
Along with testing your detectors frequently, you should also:
- Inspect the generator exhaust system before using the generator, every time
- Avoid leaving windows down and roof vents open when in close proximity to vehicle and/or generator exhaust
- Follow all directions and safety cautions and warnings when operating gas powered heaters
- If you use a portable generator direct the exhaust away from the camping area
- Never use the range burners or oven to heat the RV!
- When cooking with the range burners use the range fan and always leave a window cracked open for fresh air and ventilation
- Inspect your RV’s chassis and generator exhaust system regularly, at least before each outing and after bottoming out or any other incident that could cause damage
- Inspect the RV for openings in the floor or sidewalls. If you locate a hole, seal it with a silicone adhesive or have it repaired before using your generator again
- Inspect windows, door seals, and weather strips to ensure that they are sealing properly
- Park your RV so that the exhaust may easily dissipate away from the vehicle. Do not park next to high grass or weeds, snow banks, buildings, or other obstructions that might prevent exhaust gases from dissipating
Carbon Monoxide Symptoms
Hopefully following the previously mentioned tips and regularly checking your carbon monoxide detectors will allow you to avoid facing the danger of carbon monoxide poisoning. But, a worst-case scenario can still occur. If you are exposed to carbon monoxide, you will experience the following symptoms:
- Muscular twitching
- Intense headache
- Throbbing in the temples
- Weakness and sleepiness
- Inability to think coherently
If you are feeling any of these symptoms, don’t be foolish enough to ignore the symptoms. Go outside for fresh air and check your detectors to make sure they are operating correctly.
If you have any questions regarding carbon monoxide detection for your RV, do not hesitate to visit Coach Specialists of Texas in Mansfield and Plano. Make an appointment today and take advantage of our special deals!