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What Is An RV Propane Detector & 5 Best Options For Your Camper

Keep yourself and your camper safe with an RV propane detector! Find out which detectors keep you secure, and learn how they protect you from dangerous propane leaks.

Knowing how to keep your RV safe is critical to having a great camping experience. 

Propane gas leaks can be dangerous for campers, so investing in an RV propane detector to protect you is worth considering. 

In this post, we’ll look at why propane detectors are essential, the top options on the market today, and how long they last. 

We’ll talk about why they’re important, how they keep you safe, and provide an overview of what to look for when buying one. 

Let’s get started!

What Is An RV Propane Detector cover

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At A Glance: 5 Best RV Propane Detector Options

bestMTI 20-441-WT 12V White Surface Mount Designer Series LP Gas Detector 1. Safe T Alert by MTI 20-441-WT 12V LP Gas Detector: Top Pick Overall
  • Includes mounting bracket
  • Power Supply and Current Draw: 75mA @ 12 vDC
  • Alarm Point:
PANGAEA Digital RV Propane Gas Detector with 85dB Loud Alarm, DC 12V, for Trailer, Motorhome, Motorcoach (Surface Mount - Black) 2. PANGAEA Digital RV Propane Gas Detector: Best Budget Pick
  • Budget friendly
  • Real time digital display
  • Sleek design
Natural Gas Detector and Propane Detector. Natural Gas Alarm and Monitor for Home, Kitchen, Camper, Trailer or RV. Plug-in Gas Leak Sensor for Explosive LPG, LNG, Methane & Butane Gases w Free EBOOK! 3. GasKnight Natural Gas Detector and Propane Detector: Best Value for Money
  • Plug & play
  • Wireless
  • Detects methan & propane
Y201 Propane and Natural Gas Leak Detector; Portable Gas Sniffer to Locate Gas Leaks of Combustible Gases Like Methane, LPG, LNG, Fuel, Sewer Gas; w/ Flexible Sensor Neck, Sound & LED Alarm, eBook 4. EG Propane and Natural Gas Leak Detector: Best Portable Gas Leak Detector
  • Portable
  • Adjustable sensitivity
  • Lifetime warranty
Kidde Nighthawk Carbon Monoxide Detector & Propane, Natural, & Explosive Gas Detector, AC-Plug-In with Battery Backup, Digital Display , White 5. Kidde Nighthawk Carbon Monoxide Detector & Propane, Natural, & Explosive Gas Detector: Best Carbon Monoxide & Propane Detector
  • CO and explosive gas alarm
  • Low battery warning feature
  • Three mounting options

What Is An RV Propane Detector?

An RV propane detector is a device that senses and monitors the propane levels in the air around your RV.

They’re designed to alert you when levels reach an unsafe level so that you can address the problem before it becomes dangerous.

Propane detectors come in different shapes and sizes and often feature a digital display and an audio alarm.

Some even have extra features, such as shutoff valves for extra protection. It’s best to research your options carefully before deciding which suits you.

Installing a propane detector in your RV can be a lifesaving measure.


  • helps protect against the dangerous effects of high propane levels, and
  • serves as a warning that something may be wrong with your system.

This allows you to quickly identify any gas leaks or other problems before they get out of hand.

Additionally, some models come with automatic shutoff valves that will shut off the propane gas supply in an emergency.

This extra layer of protection can save time when trying to address the problem and limit any potential damage.

Why Are Propane Leaks Dangerous For RVers?

RVers typically use a variety of propane-fueled appliances, such as:

  • range burners, stoves & ovens,
  • water heaters,
  • furnaces,
  • propane RV refrigerators, and
  • generators.

Since propane gas can be potentially dangerous if levels get too high, it’s important to protect yourself.

Propane is highly flammable and can cause an explosion in the right conditions.

Inhalation of propane gas can also lead to asphyxiation, damage your lungs, and other medical issues.

It can also result in disorientation and loss of consciousness, leading to further injury or death.

So it’s essential to have a good quality propane detector installed to avoid these dangerous consequences.

How Long Do RV Propane Detectors Last?

Although RV propane alarms can be reliable and effective, they do have a lifespan. 

Batteries should be checked regularly and replaced to ensure the detector is functioning correctly. 

While a battery test can confirm that an RV propane alarm is functioning, it doesn’t necessarily mean the sensor is working correctly.

Most models have a life expectancy of 5 – 7 years, regardless of operating conditions. 

After this time, it is vital to replace the detector as performance may start to decrease. 

Therefore, it is essential to take additional steps to ensure your RV propane alarm is in good working order and provides accurate readings.

A great way to test the alarm is to expose the detector to propane gas intentionally. Do this safely, with all doors and windows open, and only for a few seconds.

5 Best RV Propane Detectors

Top Pick Overall: Safe T Alert by MTI 20-441-WT 12V LP Gas Detector

Best Budget Pick: PANGAEA Digital RV Propane Gas Detector

Best Value for Money: GasKnight Natural Gas Detector and Propane Detector

Best Portable Gas Leak Detector: EG Propane and Natural Gas Leak Detector

Best Carbon Monoxide & Propane Detector: Kidde Nighthawk Carbon Monoxide Detector & Propane, Natural, & Explosive Gas Detector

How To Choose The Right RV Propane Gas Detector

RV owners looking for the best propane detector should consider a few important factors to make the right choice.

First, consider what type of detector is best for your needs: handheld, hardwired, or plug-in varieties have advantages and associated price tags.

Second, ease of installation and configuration is essential. Choose an easy-to-install detector so you don’t run into any problems.

Finally, think about how much value you’re getting from the features included in each option.

More expensive options tend to have more advanced features, but you’ll want to be sure only those features that are a priority for you are included so as not to drive up the cost unnecessarily.

How To Prevent A Propane Leak In An RV Camper

To ensure your camper remains safe from propane leaks, should follow these helpful tips:

  • Make sure all propane tanks and cylinders are certified and up to date.
  • Ensure that all gas tanks and cylinders are stored upright at all times.
  • Look for any signs of damage or deterioration on hoses, pipes, and connections, such as cracking or wear.
  • Install a reliable propane alarm and regularly test for potential gas leaks.

What To Do If Your RV Propane Detector Goes Off

RV propane detectors are designed to sense even trace amounts of gas, so it’s best to get everyone out of the camper as quickly as possible.

Open windows and doors on the way out to help disperse any leaking gas.

Isolate the propane tanks to stop the gas flow.

With the gas isolated and increased fresh air, the alarm should stop after a few minutes.

A portable propane gas detector can help you narrow down the source of any propane leak.

If there is no sign of gas present or if the level detected is determined to be safe, then it might have just been a false alarm.

Check all your propane appliances, especially the stove. It’s pretty common for a stove knob to be left on, and that can easily cause the propane alarm to trigger.

If necessary, call your local fire department for assistance in detecting potential danger.

Once everything is safe, you can turn the propane tanks back on. However, if the alarm goes off again, switch everything off and get your RV checked by a professional.

Finally, once everything is deemed safe, you should refer back to RV manufacturer guidelines and ensure that all necessary steps are taken for proper maintenance in the future.

Note: only propane-certified personnel should do any repair work to propane tanks or systems.

Will A Carbon Monoxide Detector Detect Propane Gas

Carbon monoxide and propane detectors are both specific sensors that detect and alert for different gases.

Carbon monoxide detectors are designed to detect CO gas, which can be fatal in high concentrations and can provide an audible alarm when it is detected.

On the other hand, a propane alarm is designed to detect propane gas and provides an audible alarm when it is detected.

Installing the correct detector for your needs is important as they do not offer protection against the other gas.

CO gas alarms and propane gas detectors are often combined and used in RVs due to the confined space of the living area.

The Kidde Nighthawk Carbon Monoxide Detector & Propane, Natural, & Explosive Gas Detector is our favorite combined detector.

However, if you’d prefer a separate alarm, look at our post about the best RV carbon monoxide alarms.

Read More About RV Propane Appliances

In Conclusion

Installing an RV propane detector is a key safety measure for any RV owner, and should be done in accordance with the manufacturer’s guidelines.

The device can detect even trace levels of gas, giving you an early warning system that can help avoid potentially dangerous situations.

Furthermore, regular maintenance and inspection of all propane systems is essential to ensure proper functioning of your system.

Proper handling procedures should be followed when performing any repair work, and only qualified personnel should ever handle such components.

By taking all these measures and following manufacturer guidelines, RV owners can have peace of mind knowing that they are properly protected in the event of a propane leak.