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Recreational Vehicles and the Necessity of the Camco Gen-turi

The recreational vehicle forums are all reporting this morning that 5 adults in a travel trailer lost their lives this weekend in Clarksville, TN.  They apparently died from carbon monoxide poisoning due to generator in or near the travel trailer.  Authorities report the carbon monoxide fumes entered the RV through a small storage hatch that did not close properly.  It is unclear at this time whether the generator that caused the deaths belonged to the deceased or a nearby trailer.

Camco Gen-Turi installed on the Old Girl

I am a HUGE advocate of available preventive measures to lessen the chances of carbon monoxide poisoning.  The real skinny is that it is not that hard or costly to make sure carbon monoxide is not a threat to you or other occupants of your RV.  I have preached about it here and here.

Let me give you the straight dope on  carbon monoxide and scare the pants off of you.  Then I will tell you how I can sleep peacefully at night and never worry about CO poisoning.

Carbon monoxide will kill you and it will do it in short order.   It starves the brain of oxygen and carbon monoxide poisoning is the most common cause of  accidental poisoning deaths in the United States.  Along with the drowsiness it also causes mental confusion.  You could know something is awry but not realize your imminent death is at hand  — is that scary enough?  Pregnant women, babies, children and the elderly are more susceptible to carbon monoxide poisoning than a healthy adult.  Does that concern you?  You can prevent it people.

Carbon monoxide is produced when combustion of fossil fuels is not complete.  The raw fuel does not completely burn up in whatever appliance is consuming it and the byproduct is carbon monoxide.

Many people think carbon monoxide is heavier than air.  UNTRUE!  It is just ever so slightly lighter than air and is especially subject to heat updrafts and air currents.  Obviously it was drawn into the travel trailer in Clarksville via the storage hatch.

Many people believe propane fueled engines do not produce CO.  UNTRUE!  Propane engines are commonly used on warehouse forklifts, floor buffers and pressure washers that are often used indoors.  Propane fueled motors and appliances produce less carbon monoxide because the fuel is burned as a vapor.  The exhaust still contains carbon monoxide and a propane motor that is running too rich may produce as much or more carbon monoxide as its’ gasoline counterpart.

The venturi on the Camco Genturi

You most often hear about carbon monoxide deaths caused by recreational vehicle generators at events such as RV rallies, races and football games.  These events have two things in common  — Electric hookups are generally not available and they tend to pack the RVs together like sardines in a can.    That is a prescription for trouble.  If your generator is not a health threat,  your neighbors might be.  A  Camco 44461 RV Gen-Turi Generator Exhaust Venting System is quick and easy to set up and will get the exhaust fumes up above the roof line of your RV.  Many venues now require them on an RV running a generator.  I have been preaching the advantages and safety aspects of the Gen Turi for years now and you know what I hear most often?  ‘I always park where the wind blows the exhaust fumes away’   or ‘I have been Rving for years and never had a problem’ or ‘I can build one cheaper out of PVC pipe.‘   I call BS on all that!  UTTER BULLSHIT!  Are you going to set there and tell me for less than $150 bucks, you can’t  be bothered with solving the problem?  Or insuring your neighbors welfare?  Christ!  Folks will spend $100 grand on an RV and then many several thousand more on accessories like light doo-dads and carpet and outside TVs and stereos and the like and 105 bucks on Amazon for the Gen Turi  is too much? You can’t fix stupid.  I can’t say it any plainer than that.

The other thing that is a must have is a carbon monoxide detector — or even two to be extra safe.  There are many more sources of carbon monoxide in an RV than just a generator.  Anything that burns propane is a possible source.  Your stove, furnace and even your refrigerator could be possible culprits.  Most of us that fulltime  or boondock and worry about winter heat in an RV are familiar with the Mr. Heater MH9BX Buddy 4,000-9,000-BTU Indoor-Safe Portable Radiant Heater and even though it says it is ‘indoor safe’ you still have to take precautions that it is properly vented.  Remember– anything that burns propane is a source of carbon monoxide and it could kill you deader than a hammer.
This carbon monoxide detector is less than $40 — First Alert CO615 Carbon Monoxide Plug-In Alarm with Battery Backup and Digital Display— and don’t hang  it up on the wall and forget about it!  Carbon monoxide detectors with electronic sensors need to be replaced about every 3 years.  Write the purchase date on the inside of the battery compartment.  Just because the test button still works on the detector doesn’t mean it is still functional!

Many people brush off the initial symptoms of CO poisoning as nothing to worry about because it mimics flu symptoms.  Shortness of breath, mild nausea and a mild headache are the first signs of carbon monoxide poisoning.  Maybe those folks in Clarksville thought they were coming down with the flu and went to bed?  Or maybe they had a few too many beers and thought the drowsiness and mild confusion were just the alcohol buzz?  Bottom line. They went to sleep and never woke up.  The deaths were needless and tragic — and avoidable.

Think About It.

Camco 44461 RV Gen-Turi Generator Exhaust Venting System

First Alert CO615 Carbon Monoxide Plug-In Alarm with Battery Backup and Digital Display

Mr. Heater MH9BX Buddy 4,000-9,000-BTU Indoor-Safe Portable Radiant Heater


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