Battery power and the dreaded CO alarm

anda5678

Member
Jun 21, 2022
10
Utah
Hey all, long time lurker but first time poster here! I’ve got a 2004 fleetwood yuma PUP and I’m hopeful that someone can help me out.

Background info: I’ve removed all gas components to the camper. There’s no stove, no heater, and the fridge is disconnected. There is no propane tank attached.

Problem: I’m having trouble with my battery operation. I just got a new 12v to solely power the sink so we can wash up inside. I don’t use the lights or anything else, just the sink. Invariably, around 5am on the second night out, the CO alarm triggers. Needless to say, this isn’t ideal. I have no concerns of actual CO in the camper because there just isn’t a source. Any ideas about why this is happening? I thought perhaps that the battery was dying and this was someone’s grand idea for the battery’s final functionality before death, but today I re-hooked up the battery and it’s working just fine.

Please share your wisdom :)
 

Anthony Hitchings

Super Active Member
Silver Supporting Member
Mar 2, 2019
3,739
Oakland, California
The Propane alarm has a 5 year timer for its internal battery (or functionality?), not sure about a CO alarm. We have had poor luck with our smoke alarm chirping, possibly becasue we cook inside the camper.
 

anda5678

Member
Jun 21, 2022
10
Utah
Did this happen more than once, also on the second night at 5 AM?
It’s always the second night and always in the middle of the night sometime. Probably between 3-5am I’d guess. Never during the daylight hours of course. It’s happened a total of 3 times. The first time was on its maiden trip out about 4 years ago. The husband tinkered with things after that trip and made sure it was fully charged before the next trip and it happened again. I then got fed up and said forget it, it’s not that important so I never hooked it up again. This year I bought a new battery right before heading out thinking maybe the old one just wasn’t holding a charge anymore or something and here we are.
 

Dingit

Super Active Member
Mar 8, 2017
2,062
Hm. Do you have a dog?


And it's definitely a CO detector, not propane? Probably worth replacing it, whatever it is. They don't have long lives.
 

anda5678

Member
Jun 21, 2022
10
Utah
Hm. Do you have a dog?


And it's definitely a CO detector, not propane? Probably worth replacing it, whatever it is. They don't have long lives.
I do have a dog!

And you know what, it is a propane detector, not CO. I always just assumed, but you’re right. It’s a CCI LP gas leak detector. I have no propane attached to the camper at all, so I’m confident there’s not actual gas that it’s detecting.
 

Sjm9911

Super Active Member
May 31, 2018
11,947
Nj
The battery could be low and the detector is chirping to remind you of that. How is it going off? Full alarm? If so it may be bad, they only last 7 to 10 years. On the rear of the detector will be an date. See how old it is.
 

Dingit

Super Active Member
Mar 8, 2017
2,062
Does the dog sleep near it?

(And might as well yank it if it's propane unless you think someone will sneaky dump propane into your popup. :))
 

anda5678

Member
Jun 21, 2022
10
Utah
Does the dog sleep near it?

(And might as well yank it if it's propane unless you think someone will sneaky dump propane into your popup. :))
Lol these are my thoughts exactly.

Thanks so much for your help! I had no idea the detectors had such a short lifespan. I’ve had the camper for 5 years and I’m sure it’s previous owners did no upkeep for it. I’ll probably just detach it and call it good since there’s no risk of gas leaks of any kind. :)

Oh, and I got a good laugh about the dog sleeping on the floor…… she’s a diva and shared my bed!
 

Anthony Hitchings

Super Active Member
Silver Supporting Member
Mar 2, 2019
3,739
Oakland, California
I just ordered this - its a direct replacement in the same cutout, because our existing detector turns 5 years old this year, and I do not want to deal with it chirping

PANGAEA Digital RV Propane Gas Detector with 85dB Loud Alarm, DC 12V, for Trailer, Motorhome, Motorcoach (Flush Mount - White)


 

Snow

Super Active Member
Jul 19, 2007
12,156
Ontario
Also note that those hard wired propane detectors gets charged off of either the power center or the trailers battery.. and the propane detector will draw down the trailer battery fairly quickly (not as fast as the furnace or fridge) over time, when the supply voltage gets too low, the alarm will sound.
 

anda5678

Member
Jun 21, 2022
10
Utah
I just ordered this - its a direct replacement in the same cutout, because our existing detector turns 5 years old this year, and I do not want to deal with it chirping

PANGAEA Digital RV Propane Gas Detector with 85dB Loud Alarm, DC 12V, for Trailer, Motorhome, Motorcoach (Flush Mount - White)



Thanks!!!
 

anda5678

Member
Jun 21, 2022
10
Utah
Also note that those hard wired propane detectors gets charged off of either the power center or the trailers battery.. and the propane detector will draw down the trailer battery fairly quickly (not as fast as the furnace or fridge) over time, when the supply voltage gets too low, the alarm will sound.
Good to know. I dismantled the front plate and it is indeed the original detector from 2004 😂 I need wire cutters and tape to cap off the exposed wires, which I do not have in the mountains, but will get this taken care of when I get home!
 

anda5678

Member
Jun 21, 2022
10
Utah
The battery could be low and the detector is chirping to remind you of that. How is it going off? Full alarm? If so it may be bad, they only last 7 to 10 years. On the rear of the detector will be an date. See how old it is.
I think the issue is that the detector is just too old. From 2004. The battery is still fine for sink use. I suspect the higher humidity levels inside the camper at night might be setting it off and perhaps that’s why it only happens at night and not the daytime. Just going to unhook the battery at night until I get home and can detach and replace the detector :)
 

Dingit

Super Active Member
Mar 8, 2017
2,062
Last time I took my dog in my truck camper, he set off the detector on two consecutive nights. We can't get him into the camper now. And we don't want him in the camper.
 

anda5678

Member
Jun 21, 2022
10
Utah
Last time I took my dog in my truck camper, he set off the detector on two consecutive nights. We can't get him into the camper now. And we don't want him in the camper.
This is hilarious. That alarm shrieks into your soul… poor doggo! 😂
 




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