View Full Version : 5 found dead in an RV at charity event, possible CO poisioning from generator use.

09-18-2011, 10:29 PM

If you don't have an operating CO detector in your RV you have no business using a generator. Same goes for boats (one of the leading causes of recreational boating death).

Even with a CO detector you should be aware of your surroundings.

Twice this month after using the generator overnight the co detector went off in the morning. Well after we were up in and in and out of the trailer.

The first time the trailer was on a hill and the off door side was close enough to the ground that the generator exhaust burned the grass. This hill we were parked parallel to was steep enough that just 20 feet away it was 10 feet higher the the trailer.
The front of the trailer was only about 12" above the ground if that. The front landing gear was only extended about 4" or so.
I'm sure adequate air clearance (in boating we call it "air draft") was a root cause to the CO buildup.

The second time, this past weekend we had completely different conditions. Parked level on a parking lot. The off door side was right next to the curb and grass. This was also a hill but instead, dropped off very quickly to a retention pond.
Still to just slight air movement against the trailer kept the genny fumes near the coach.
Plenty of air draft this time.

I believe the fumes were entering the trailer from the living room slide area. The Cyclone generator exhaust is centered between the bedroom and living room slides.

Point is, you can not take gasoline or propane powered generators for granted. If you are using them for your trailer you should have a window open.

I have considered one of those generator exhaust extensions that route the exhaust to the roof line.
My first thoughts though are to extend the exhaust to the rear of the trailer, out under and past the ramp

Remember, CO is odorless, colorless and tasteless.

09-18-2011, 11:10 PM
How right you are... When we were in Cherry Hill Campground in Maryland (close to Washington DC) they had an electric outage. We started up the generators ( 2- 2000 Hondas) and I put them to close to the front of the trailer (it was raining). About 1am in the morning the alarm went off. I moved the Generators out to the side of the trailer under some trees. Live and learn to keep living.

Good information... Thanks for postin..


09-19-2011, 10:06 AM
Very good reminder and safety message.

Thanks for the link on the Gen-Turi.


09-20-2011, 11:45 AM
Home Carbon Monoxide detectors are now LEGALLY required in all housing in California. No grandfather clauses.

09-20-2011, 12:26 PM
I was on the fence about getting a extension for the tail pipe - I'm not on the fence anymore .... Thanks for reminding me that Safety is worth every penny...


09-20-2011, 12:26 PM
We often go to local Bluegrass and music weekends and we are parked in 20 x 40 lots. The rule is and absolutly, all gensets have to be off at 10 PM. And we play til 2 am. This helps in preventing the possible danger. I have seen the Security Personel advise some campers to keep the the gensets down due to to much use. Its only fair to the patrons to use care in all instances. Any larger Genset have the exhaust extensions