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Old 05-11-2015, 09:38 PM   #1
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I learned something new: CO detector

Camping out last weekend in our 2010 Jayco 1007, it was chilly so we ran the heater despite we were on battery power alone. I'd charged the battery before the trip plus it wasn't that cold, so I was fairly confident we could have heat at least 1 of the 2 nights. First night, no problem. Second night, all well til the CO alarm woke us up. Flashing red/green LEDs and beep every 30 sec. I thought maybe it was just that we had the table bed set up and some stuff jammed into the space below it where the detector is and it wasn't getting enough air, so I switched off the heat, cleared some space and in a couple minutes the alarm stopped and the LED went back to green. Back to sleep. Little while later, same thing. So we gave up and turned off the heat for the night. Great I thought, we have a combustion problem and now I gotta go get expensive diagnostics and repair. There was some text on the face of the alarm about low voltage but without the manual (I have it somewhere but middle of the night without glasses, forget it) it didn't make much sense to me; after all it's a CO detector, right, not a battery monitor. Next (last) day we were running the water pump and a light, and the alarm went off again. Without the heater having been on at all.

Aha! I'm pretty ignorant about electricity but I can put 2+2 together, so now I know the thing has the dual purpose of warning you when your battery voltage is getting too low, presumably for safe operation of the heater. Even though the lights and pump seemed normal, trial and error showed it had to be low voltage. Good to know. Just one of those many things about trailering you learn the hard way.

I also learned last year -- also the hard way, of course -- that the CO detector has a finite life, after which it starts beeping to tell you it's no longer functional. That of course happened in the middle of the night too. Since there's no shutoff switch, I ended up pulling it out and cutting the wires so we could get sleep. I asked the dealer about it later and he said yeah, those things are a real pain. Of course they can save your life, but I wish we'd known more about how they really work and what else they're for. At least I know now when to replace it.
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Old 05-11-2015, 09:42 PM   #2
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They're very sensitive, too! Don't put your dog's bed near it!

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Old 05-11-2015, 11:01 PM   #3
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We had a similar experience at 5am the morning we were leaving so we just packed up and left in the dark. We now take at least one of our generators to charge the batteries during the day.
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Old 05-12-2015, 09:09 AM   #4
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They're very sensitive, too! Don't put your dog's bed near it!

Murff
??? That's where my dog's bed goes! Granted, he doesn't sleep there the whole night (he's a wanderer) but nothing has happened so far...

I may have to consider finding him another place!
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Old 05-12-2015, 09:19 AM   #5
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I once worked for a company whose offices/warehouse were located within a self-store. Quite often I could hear the beeping "low battery" warning of the CO detector coming from the RVs parked in the outdoor storage area.
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Old 05-12-2015, 09:38 AM   #6
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??? That's where my dog's bed goes! Granted, he doesn't sleep there the whole night (he's a wanderer) but nothing has happened so far...

I may have to consider finding him another place!
I was referring to "dog gas", Bob. The CO detector can detect a dog fart.

Mine did.

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Old 05-12-2015, 09:40 AM   #7
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I was referring to "dog gas", Bob. The CO detector can detect a dog fart.

Mine did.

Murff
That's what I was afraid of! LOL!
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Old 05-12-2015, 09:54 AM   #8
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Aerosol hair spray and deodorant will also set them off.
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Old 05-12-2015, 09:58 AM   #9
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That is why I disconnect the battery whenever I put the RV in storage. The CO detector will cause the battery to discharge and will start beeping when the voltage gets low. And being its in storage who is going to hear it.
I would do the same thing even if I had it parked in the driveway in-between trips unless I was plugged into shore power.
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Old 05-12-2015, 10:37 AM   #10
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Funny? how those things always go off at 3 - 5 a.m.! I'm sure mine was at the end of its life. Kept going off - even when propane was shut down. Tried vacuuming it, blowing air on it. Finally pulled it. Have to call Jayco to get a replacement under warranty . . . one of these days.
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