Truck Camper Magazine Blog

Must Read LP and CO Detector Feedback

The article, “Replacing RV LP, CO, and Smoke Detectors” generated a strong response from our readership, and some very valuable feedback that everyone should read.  We have also linked to this feedback at the top of the original article.

“Great article Gordon!  Thanks to your timely heads-up, checking expiry dates for my RV’s carbon monoxide, propane and smoke alarms, I found the CO and LP alarms had expired.

Interestingly enough, the MTI #65-541 CO alarm originally installed in my 2009 truck camper (bought new) had an expiration date of 2010 stamped on it.  If the five year life span of this unit suggested by MTI holds true, the camper manufacturer must have had it on the shelf since 2005 at the manufacturing facility before it was installed in our camper.

Anyway, I’m going to replace both the CO and the LP units with like models (starting with the full expiration date range available of course).  I have a little ways to go before the expiration on our smoke alarm.  I will replace the battery and test it before our next adventure.

Based on my experience, even owners of new campers should check the expiration dates on their factory installed alarms for peace of mind.  There’s no gray area here, not when it comes to possible life or death.  Best Regards.” – John Payne

Editor’s Note: Excellent point, John.  It’s also likely that detectors sit at MTI before they are shipped to a distributor, at the distributor before they are shipped to the camper manufacturer, at the manufacturer before they are installed into a unit, in the unit before they are shipped to a dealer, and on the dealer lot before they are purchased by a consumer.  I agree that everyone should check their detectors, even owners of brand new campers.  Thank you for sending this in.

“Keep in mind that pushing the button on the smoke alarm only tests the alarm,  need to put some smoke to fully test.” – Hudson Sturm, NRVIA, Inspection Connection

MTI Industries / Safe-T-Alert Responded to Hudson:

“Yes, pushing the test button only tests the electronics of the smoke alarm or LP gas detector or CO alarm.  There are cans of smoke to test smoke alarms, cans of CO to test CO alarms, and you can use a unlit butane lighter to test a gas detector.” – David S. Buddingh, MTI Industries, Inc., Safe-T-Alert

“Just so you know the RV Detectors article was timely and helpful to me.” – Don Walker, Owner, Summer Breeze RV Park

“Great article about CO detectors and LP detectors.  I just ordered a set for my 2007 Northern Lite.  This article was an excellent reminder for me (for my camper and my house detectors) and I’m sure this simple safety fix is overlooked by many.  Keep up the great work.  I’m confident this one will save lives.” – John and Anne Marie Cotton

“This is a fun and useful article.  Thanks for doing this.  I usually have a few calls a day about detectors, so this article will come in handy.  It will feel good to tell people to look up TCM’s detector article.  It also shows that we aren’t making the manufactured dates up.  Love this!” – Matt Ward, Hallmark Manufacturing

From TCM’s Facebook Page:

“If I replace my existing and out of date CO and LP monitors with a combined unit, where should it be mounted?  Also, I’d be interested to know how or why the monitors have the limited life-span.  What is it that fails or deteriorates?  Thanks for the great article.” – John Irvine

MTI Industries / Safe-T-Alert Responded to John:

“Place the new CO and LP dual alarm where the old LP alarm was installed.  CO is close to the same weight as air, so it mixes rapidly.  CO alarms can be mounted at any height.  Go to, and scroll down to the CO alarm height answer link.

CO alarms and LP alarms are now required to have an end of life signal built into them.  The CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) spearheaded the effort to add this requirement to CO alarms in the early 2000s.  It is now also required in LP gas detectors and will be added to smoke alarms in the next few years.

The reason for the (limited life-span) requirement is sensor life.  Unlike televisions, safety alarms work twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.  Electronics/sensors may wear out and should be updated to the latest safety standards.” – David S. Buddingh, MTI Industries, Inc. / Safe-T-Alert

“Great article about replacing the detectors in our campers!  This is something I keep forgetting to do, and will do ASAP.  It made me realize that even I can do this by myself.  Thanks for a very informative article, Angela and Gordon!” – Cheryl Lane

“Thanks for the article, “Safety First: Three Detectors”.  Last Saturday I ordered two new CO and LP detectors for my 2000 Thor Hurricane motorhome.  My 2011 Lance 1050S will be up for replacement soon.  Today I saw your article and I read all the way to the bottom.  Rebate offer!  Thanks!

By the way, when I was checking the detectors, I pulled the smoke detector down and the original nine volt battery was still wrapped in plastic and had never been activated.  I ordered two new smoke detectors also.

It is interesting to know that the 15 year old LP detector was still working.  The built-in LP gas tank had a very small leak and would set the alarm off.  I replaced the leaking LP regulator and all is good.  I am still replacing the 15 year old LP detector with the combo CO and LP detector.

Great articles on TCM.  Keep up the good work.” – Jim B.

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