RVs, especially motorhomes, should be equipped with a carbon monoxide detector; carbon monoxide (CO) could seep into your motorhome from the exhaust pipe or the generator.
Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Here are the common symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning you need to know:
- Loss of muscle coordination
- Loss of consciousness
- Nausea and vomiting
- Rapid heartbeat
- Chest pain
- Low blood pressure
- Shortness of breath
Often, your pets will exhibit symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning before you do. Your pets may become weak and unresponsive. If you hear the carbon monoxide detector beeping, take immediate action. The more you breathe in carbon monoxide, the more likely there will be serious health effects, leading to long-term brain damage, heart damage, and even death. It not uncommon to think you may have the flu when your life is actually in danger. Also be aware that carbon monoxide poisoning can affect every person, as well as your animals.
The Sounds Your Carbon Monoxide Detector Makes
Most carbon monoxide detectors make a variety of sounds including chirps and beeps. The beeps are for alerting you when there are unsafe CO levels, and this usually sounds like four beeps. This 4-beep pattern will be continuous until the CO drops to a safe level, or until you press the mute button. If you hear this sound, don’t ignore it. Turn off the generator if you are running it, and open the windows. If you are driving, pull over as soon as you can, and open the windows to air out the inside.
The chirping sounds are used if there is a problem with the detector. This is most likely a low battery, or it could be your alarm is malfunctioning. Change the battery, and if this does not stop the chirping, then you’ll need to replace the carbon monoxide detector. Be careful that you don’t misinterpret the real alarm for carbon monoxide with a low battery alert.
Once your motorhome is aired out, it’s a good idea to get it checked out at an RV repair shop to find out what is going wrong. The exhaust from both your engine and your generator should not be finding it’s way into the interior of your RV. The solution to the problem could be as simple as keeping the windows near the generator exhaust closed when it’s running. Furthermore, you should keep the windows closed when you’re driving, not only to keep out engine exhaust but to also keep things from blowing around inside while you drive.