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View Full Version : A Public Service Announcement for Campers


Cindy F
12-24-2008, 12:40 AM
This will be my 9th Christmas without my mom and stepfather, they died in an accident in their 5th wheel-- in my aunt's driveway. So this public service announcement is in their memory.

Please, never operate a gas burning appliance, including generators, without two carbon monoxide detectors (http://chemistry.about.com/od/howthingswork/a/codetectors.htm) (one as a "fail safe" backup) and adequate ventilation.

Know the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning (http://www.carbon-monoxide-poisoning.com/symptoms.html) and remember "When in doubt, get out". Carbon Monoxide is known as the silent killer for a reason-it's colorless and odorless, generally speaking...you get very sleepy and will not think clearly due to the oxygen deprivation.

Please use every bit of caution you can when using generators and other gas burning appliances- you do not want your family to receive that phone call; the pain is unimaginable, please don't risk putting them through that.

Just wanted to get the word out.

This is for you mom, I miss you. :sad1:

stacktester
12-24-2008, 04:35 AM
Thanks for the heads up Cindy. Sorry to hear that something like that happening. I have an external genny and I never have liked the one's under your camper.

4mickey2
12-24-2008, 06:42 AM
sorry to hear about your mom and step dad. we try to use all the precautions we can. thanks for the heads up....:flower3:

JPG
12-24-2008, 07:22 AM
Such great advice and a reminder to us all!

Thank you Cindy and may you and your family have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!

ftwildernessguy
12-24-2008, 07:37 AM
In addition - maintain your lp gas appliances - check pilots if there are any, keep vents clear and check for the critters like wasps who like to plug up heater vents with nests. Always crack a vent or window when using lp appliances in the rv.

Cindy F
12-24-2008, 08:27 AM
Thanks y'all! I know it's a Debbie Downer post, especially before Christmas BUT, I'd rather bring folks down a bit for a few moments that might save someone's life....than to not say anything and risk it happening to someone else.

Merry Christmas and a happy Fort Wilderness to us all ~grin~ What are the odds that Disney might give us all a week of free camping as a Christmas present?
BAHAHAHA, that was funny wasn't it? Disney and "free" in the same sentence.

PS: FortWildernessGuy, thanks for the info-being a new adult camper, I didn't even think about any of that. Who knows, you might have saved us with your info!

BradyBz12
12-24-2008, 09:33 AM
Thanks y'all! I know it's a Debbie Downer post, especially before Christmas BUT, I'd rather bring folks down a bit for a few moments that might save someone's life....than to not say anything and risk it happening to someone else.

It's actually really important info., and thank you for posting.

Best wishes for a safe and happy holiday season for all! :hug:

LONE-STAR
12-24-2008, 10:29 AM
Thats a good reminder thank you. Sorry for your loss

TxTink :)
12-24-2008, 11:49 AM
Thank you :flower3:

njcamper95
12-27-2008, 10:14 AM
We always leave a vent open this also helps when you travel from warmer to colder and vise versa we went down to disney in the winter once with a closed up camper the temp change made a lot of moisture all over everything since then we added a max air to our vents and leave the one over our shower open and has been fine this would be good for a vent for the carbon monoxide also something to thing about !!!!
Sorry for your loss

Shan-man
12-27-2008, 04:36 PM
Actually, carbon monoxide is heavier than air so it pools in the floor of the rv, and roof vents can do little to evacuate it. A detector is your best line of defense and in the event of a detection, getting out of the rv and leaving the door open is the best way to remove the carbon monoxide. Also, in an RV the bed is usually lower than a typical home bed, so mounting the detector lower in an RV makes good sense too. The idea of a redundant back-up detector is a good idea, or at the very least a check of a solitary unit before each trip.

ftwildernessguy
12-28-2008, 06:39 AM
Actually, carbon monoxide is heavier than air so it pools in the floor of the rv, and roof vents can do little to evacuate it. A detector is your best line of defense and in the event of a detection, getting out of the rv and leaving the door open is the best way to remove the carbon monoxide. Also, in an RV the bed is usually lower than a typical home bed, so mounting the detector lower in an RV makes good sense too. The idea of a redundant back-up detector is a good idea, or at the very least a check of a solitary unit before each trip.

The idea of cracking a vent or a window is not to evacuate the CO, but to allow a source of fresh air in.

homebrew2
12-28-2008, 12:18 PM
Actually, carbon monoxide is heavier than air so it pools in the floor of the rv, and roof vents can do little to evacuate it. A detector is your best line of defense and in the event of a detection, getting out of the rv and leaving the door open is the best way to remove the carbon monoxide. Also, in an RV the bed is usually lower than a typical home bed, so mounting the detector lower in an RV makes good sense too. The idea of a redundant back-up detector is a good idea, or at the very least a check of a solitary unit before each trip.

Shan....I think you're thinking of Propane, as the "heavier than air" thing for CO
is not accurate. According to NFPA standards CO detectors can be placed on
walls, ceilings, or any where else specified by the manufacturer. Propane detectors, on the other hand, should be placed near the floor.

Cindy F
12-28-2008, 04:15 PM
More info (http://www.cdc.gov/nasd/docs/d000701-d000800/d000766/d000766.html)


CO AND CAMPING-TRAILERS

Pickup campers and travel trailers have largely replaced the tent and bedroll for campers. monoxide, the silent killer, is one of the major hazards of mechanized camping.

Headache and drowsiness may occur in mild cases, while prolonged exposure can cause nausea, vomiting, heart flutter, extreme sleepiness and shortness of breath, which can be followed by unconsciousness and death. If the equipment is faulty, liquid petroleum fuel provides a major hazard from fire or explosion. In a camping situation, the exposure could easily exceed eight hours, and continued exposure to CO as low as 25 parts per million could cause non-fatal poisoning. Remember, carbon monoxide cannot be seen, tasted or smelled.

.....the level in the RV where my mother and stepfather died, 3 hours after the generator shut off (after running out of gas) was 900 million parts. It builds very quickly in campers and remains static without ventilation-theirs was a triple slide out 5th wheel but still considered a very small space in regards to CO. Remember, if you are running your A/C on generator power and the generator is near any type of unsealed seam of your camper, it can get in. My family may not have died if it hadn't been for the A/C creating a suction and drawing the CO in from the understorage compartment. Yes, some of it would have seeped in but maybe not enough to kill them...

PRECAUTIONS FOR CAMPERS

Have the liquefied petroleum gas or heating system checked thoroughly prior to each camping season and once or twice a season after traveling long distances. Gas line fittings sometimes loosen.
Adjust range, oven, lamp and heater flames at the start of each camping trip. A yellow flame indicates improper adjustment and a possibility of excessive carbon monoxide.
Do not use the oven as a source of heat. Most camper ovens do not have an exterior vent.
Liquefied petroleum gas is heavier than air, and if there is a leak in the system, a flash fire could occur from flame or spark near the floor.
Provide adequate cross ventilation. Don't rely only on roof vents.
Install a fire extinguisher, and be sure everyone knows how to use it.

FIRST AID FOR CO POISONING

Prevention is always the best way, to deal with accidents, but sometimes then, happen despite the best efforts to foresee all possibilities. When they do occur, knowing what to do and acting quickly can save a life. This is especially true in cases of acute CO poisoning because time is of the utmost importance. These are the steps to take:


Remove the victim to fresh air immediately,.
If he is not breathing, or is breathing irregularly, start mouth-to-mouth resuscitation at once. Breathe for the victim at the rate of one breath every three seconds.
Have someone call for help immediately. (DO NOT leave the victim.) Call:

Fire Department
Police Department
Family Doctor

Keep the victim warm. Mouth-to-mouth resuscitation should be continued until the victim starts to breathe normally. If resuscitation is stopped, watch the victim for a relapse.
Give the victim nothing to eat or drink.
When emergency equipment and personnel arrive, let them take over.
Take the victim to the hospital.


Disclaimer and Reproduction Information: Information in NASD does not represent NIOSH policy. Information included in NASD appears by permission of the author and/or copyright holder. More

NASD Review: 04/2002

This document is MT 8315 , a series of the Montana State University Extension. Publication date: February 1983.

Roy Linn, Energy Specialist. Montana State University Extension, Bozeman, Montana 59717.

kimluvswdw
12-28-2008, 04:36 PM
This is a very good thread. Our carbon monoxide detector went off while we were sleeping in our motorhome last year. It scared the crud out me, but I was thankful we had one.

Cindy F
03-02-2009, 12:11 AM
Just bumping this because I saw a generator thread. Thank you for bearing with me, I felt I had to bump it.

eagles
03-02-2009, 05:47 AM
thank you for sharing this. i am so very sorry for your loss.

Stitch76
03-02-2009, 06:02 AM
I too am sorry for your loss, but thanks for the info.
Me and my DH just bought a 5th wheel and we are new to all of the care and maintainance that goes along with it. (We were always tent campers up till now). We will keep all this info in mind, and make sure to install a carbon monoxide detector. Ours has smoke detectors, but it doesn't have carbon monoxide detectors. Who knows, with sharing your story the life you saved might have been mine, or my DH, or most importantly DD (9), DD (7), DS (2).
Thank you!

Cindy F
03-02-2009, 10:19 AM
Thanks to you both. Stitch, that would be a great tribute to my mom's memory. Camp safe! :flower3:

BibbidyBobbidyBoo
03-04-2009, 02:03 AM
Actually, carbon monoxide is heavier than air so it pools in the floor of the rv, and roof vents can do little to evacuate it. A detector is your best line of defense and in the event of a detection, getting out of the rv and leaving the door open is the best way to remove the carbon monoxide. Also, in an RV the bed is usually lower than a typical home bed, so mounting the detector lower in an RV makes good sense too. The idea of a redundant back-up detector is a good idea, or at the very least a check of a solitary unit before each trip.


So THAT'S why ours are so low to the floor? I wondered why they were down there but figured there was a reason....

thanks for the reminder to check that it's functioning properly before our upcoming trip. I'm so sorry for your loss, Cindy. :(

bookwormde
03-04-2009, 04:48 AM
CO mixes efficiently with air so it is everywhere.

From a long time firefighter-rescue volunteer, these are some of the saddest calls we go on, so this is good advice for homes, cabins and campers.

bookwormde

Total Joker
11-02-2010, 10:48 PM
BUMP! From a new camper...

rebelstand
11-03-2010, 07:26 AM
We have both a CO detector and a propane detector in our trailer.... our kids have been informed of what to do if the alarms go off...

retired and happy
11-03-2010, 08:09 AM
Bought a CO detector. Studied the problem of where to mount it from the instruction sheets...windows, doors, high, low, vents.... Couldn't decide where to put it where 12 vdc would be readily available. Put it back in the box and put it in a cabinet. It does NO good there. Will install it before our next trip.

Judy in Texas
11-03-2010, 08:15 AM
We replaced the batteries in the carbon monoxide detector last weekend. We replace the batteries in the in-house smoke detectors when the time changes in the spring and fall; but, we had never changed the carbon monoxide detector batteries. We need to put it on the same timetable as the smoke detectors.

Thanks for the reminder.

doombuqqy
11-03-2010, 10:13 PM
Thank you soooooo much for posting and bumping this thread, we actually had issues when we arrived the detector went off at 230am ( we opened the windows and vents til it went off) and at 530 AM it went off again, I had an excruciating headache :sick:when I woke up and kept it all day long. I feel extremely lucky so please pay attention. We were exhausted it was a long stressful trip. I am so sorry for your loss but hopefully alot of good will come sharing your story, God bless you and your family.

storyteller
11-05-2010, 05:12 PM
Good advice, from everone...:thumbsup2