Campers aren’t just for summertime enjoyment; they’re for year-round use. Fitted with propane-operated heaters, you can continue taking your RV out on the open road even when the weather starts to turn cool. While you need the camper to stay warm for comfort, you need to be safe about it. Here are some tips to help you heat the trailer without worrying about carbon monoxide poisoning.
Invest in a CO2 detector
Newer campers come with smoke alarms and CO2 detectors. Check the systems at least once a year to ensure that the batteries are still good and they are working. You should also check the system before departing for a camping trip in chilly weather. If you have an older camper, invest in a CO2 detector that you can mount on the wall near the sleeping area. RV safety advocates warn that 500 people die every year inside RVs as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning, but a detector will eliminate the danger.
Don’t Park Too Close
Campers that are parked in close proximity to each other are at a higher risk of CO2 poisoning. When the campers are crowded in together, the carbon monoxide from one camper’s generator can seep into the camper next to it and poison the occupants. It’s always safer to camp where you will have more space between the RVs. It might mean doing a little more driving, but it’s better to be safe.
Safe Use of Portable Heaters
If your furnace is not working in the camper, you may be considering using portable heaters until you get it fixed. This can be done, but you should take great care if you choose this option. Electric heaters are safe and efficient, but you should take great care when placing them. Make sure that they are not near any curtains, furnishings or other flammable items. Keep them out of traffic areas to avoid having them knocked over.
Know the Symptoms
It’s important to know what the symptoms are of carbon monoxide poisoning. This silent killer is so effective because many people simply fall asleep without noticing the symptoms and then expire in their sleep. The initial symptoms include headache, weakness, vomiting, nausea, dizziness, chest pain and confusion. If you suddenly start feeling incredibly, bone-numbingly tired without a good reason, then carbon monoxide could be the culprit.
Your camper can be a great source of pleasure when the temperature starts to drop and the leaves are turning. Take a road trip up north to watch the leaves change, or head to the sunny south to enjoy some sunshine and warmer weather for a while. Take care when using any propane appliances in your camper to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Detectors are incredibly affordable, and they can save your life.
If you even suspect CO2 poisoning, you should get out into fresh air as quickly as possible. Shut down the furnace on your way out if possible. Once you are outside, see if your symptoms start to clear up with the fresh air.