Best RV Propane Detector in 2021: Top 3 Models Reviewed

Propane leaks not only cost you money, but they can be life-threatening, as well.

This is why using a quality, reliable propane detector is extremely important and should not be overlooked.

In this guide, we review and compare three of the best RV propane detector models on the market today. Plus, give you tips on how to choose the best model and properly maintain it.

RV Propane Detector Comparison

DescriptionAwardPrice
Editor’s Choice MTI Industries 20-441-P Safe T Alert 20 Series Propane/LP Gas Alarm MTI Industries 20-441-P Safe T Alert 20 Series Propane/LP Gas AlarmBest OverallSEE PRICE »
MTI Industries 30-442-P Propane Gas Alarm MTI Industries 30-442-P Propane Gas AlarmBest ValueSEE PRICE »
Atwood LP Gas Alarm Atwood LP Gas AlarmHonorable MentionSEE PRICE »

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MTI Industries 20-441-P Safe T Alert 20 Series Propane/LP Gas Alarm

  • Best Overall

MTI Industries’ 20-441-P Safe T Alert 20 Series Propane and LP Gas Alarm wins the best overall spot in our round-up of the best RV propane detectors.

This rugged RV propane detector can handle all different types of campers and motorhomes including fifth wheels, hardshell campers, travel trailers, and so on.

The built-in advanced technology includes a rapid recovery sensor that resets when muted and reactivates if dangerous levels of propane remain in your vehicle.

This Safe-T-Alert RV propane gas detector features easy 12-volt installation and comes with a mounting bracket. And you can rest easy knowing it meets all RVIA and NFPA certification requirements.

Key Features

  • Convenient alarm mute button
  • Safe operating temperature of -40 to 158 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Alarm picks up <25% LEL of propane and methane
  • Rapid recovery sensor resets the unit when silenced
  • Unit is white for easy identification

Specifications

  • Brand: Safe T Alert
  • Power Supply: 12 volts, direct current
  • Dimensions: 3.5″W x 2.5″H x 1.25″D
  • Weight: 8 ounces
  • UL Listed: Yes
  • Warranty: 1-year limited
Pros
  • Included mounting bracket for easy installation
  • 12-volt installation – no missing or dead batteries to worry about
  • The minimalist display is easy to read
Cons
  • Some users report that the plastic cover has started coming off.
MTI Industries 20-441-P Safe T Alert 20 Series Propane/LP Gas Alarm

MTI Industries 20-441-P Safe T Alert 20 Series Propane/LP Gas Alarm

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MTI Industries Safe T Alert 30-442-P Propane Gas Alarm

  • Best Value

The winner for “best value” in our round-up of this year’s best RV propane gas detectors is MTI’s 30-442-P model.

For a few more dollars than the 20 series, you get the same reliable technology plus an innovative circuitry system designed to conserve energy, and a maintenance-free, self-cleaning sensor. Plus, it can be flush-mounted for a more professional look.

As a bonus, this unit will fit onto the mounting brackets for many other RV propane detectors.

Key Features

  • Designed for use in all types of RVs and campers
  • Unit designed with a flush mount for easy installation
  • Unit is white for easy identification
  • The alarm is 85 decibels in volume
  • UL/RVIA/NFPA certified

Specifications

  • Brand: Safe T Alert
  • Power Supply: 12 volts, direct current
  • Dimensions: 1 inch x 6.37 inches x 2.87 inches
  • Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • UL Listed: Yes
  • Warranty: 1-year limited
Pros
  • This unit is an ideal replacement for older RV propane detectors
  • Updated display and color is an improvement over older units
  • The unit will fit other manufacturers’ mounting brackets
  • Self-cleaning sensor
  • Can be flush mounted
Cons
  • Reports of units not going off when exposed to propane
  • Some customers received two-year-old units (most likely an issue with the Amazon seller, not the manufacturer)
MTI Industries 30-442-P Propane Gas Alarm

MTI Industries 30-442-P Propane Gas Alarm

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Atwood LP Gas Alarm

  • Honorable Mention

The last RV propane gas detector that made our list was Atwood’s LP Gas Alarm. This is another no-frills model with an easy-to-understand display and a loud alarm that will keep your family safe when camping.

The indicator light makes it super easy to understand the current state:

  • Green light blinks during normal operation
  • Red light flashes while the alarm is sounding
  • Red light blinks periodically if there is low power
  • Yellow light blinks if the unit requires maintenance

The unit also features a power conservation mode for when your RV power surges or dips.

Key Features

  • Detects levels as low as 2,000 ppm
  • Unit has a one-press test and mute button
  • Yellow indicator light indicates end-of-life
  • Unit is lightweight and compact
  • Unit is easy to install  
  • Power conservation mode 

Specifications

  • Brand: Atwood
  • Power Supply: 12-volt, direct current
  • Dimensions: 3-7/8″ long x 3-1/4″ wide
  • Weight: 5.9 ounces
  • UL Listed: Yes
  • Warranty: 2-year limited
Pros
  • The compact unit is easy to install
  • Unit is bright and easy to interpret
  • Good replacement for older units
  • Power conservation mode
Cons
  • Some users complain small unit is flimsy
Atwood LP Gas Alarm

Atwood LP Gas Alarm

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What to Look for When Buying an RV Propane Detector

If you’re shopping around for the best RV propane detector to keep your family safe while out on the road, then there are quite a few things for you to consider.

There are several different models of RV propane detectors out there, each with different features, so we’ve put this section together to give you some idea of what all those important features and measurements mean.

Safety Certifications

To keep your family safe, you want an RV propane gas detector that qualifies for as many safety certifications as possible. All of the RV propane gas detectors that made our list are UL certified.

While the UL (Underwriter Laboratories) certification is essential, a quality RV propane gas detector will also meet the RVIA and NFPA requirements.

End of Life

Most RV propane gas detectors have a lifespan of five to seven years. If an RV propane gas detector is older than this, you should consider the unit unreliable and replace the defective unit as soon as possible.

When you’re purchasing an RV propane gas detector, consult the instructions and find the date of manufacture for your RV propane gas detector. The date is usually stamped on the detector itself. We recommend checking this date before buying to ensure it still has plenty of life left.

Alarm Decibels

In many ways, this is the essential feature to consider when you’re shopping around for the best RV propane detector. For your family’s safety, an RV propane detector should have an alarm tone that is loud enough to wake up and alert everyone in the RV.

When you’re trying to get a sense of how loud your RV propane detector is, remember that the best RV propane detectors have an alarm tone of at least 80 decibels, which is the same noise level as a power lawnmower or a noisy restaurant. In the interest of safety, remember that anything over 85 decibels is dangerous to your hearing.

Indicator Lights

When you’re purchasing an RV propane detector, make sure you are buying a unit with indicator lights visible while also providing clear visual proof that the propane detector unit is powered on and functioning correctly. Typically, a propane detector will have a green indicator light for regular operation and a red indicator light for a problem.

And choose an RV propane detector with an end-of-life notification that will tell you when your RV propane detector has reached the end of its lifespan and needs a replacement.

Multiple Gas Leak Detection

Traveling in an RV, the other potentially dangerous gas you’re going to encounter is carbon monoxide. If you already have a separate carbon monoxide detector then you are fine. But, they do make dual detectors that can detect both LP gas and carbon monoxide.

MTI Industries Safe-T-Alert 35 Series Dual LP/CO Alarm

MTI Industries Safe-T-Alert 35 Series Dual LP/CO Alarm

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Warranty

Another factor that you should consider when you’re looking for the best RV propane detector for your family is the type of warranty offered by the manufacturer.

When it comes to RV propane detectors, most manufacturers offer a basic warranty covering problems for up to 2 years, while other manufacturers offer immediate refunds for defective units.

In Summary

When you’re looking for the best RV propane detector to keep your family safe while you’re traveling the country in your motorhome, remember that you’re going to rely on this device to ensure your family’s safety for years to come.

To summarize, find a unit that meets the following criteria:

  • Choose a detector from a manufacturer you can trust. MTI Industries and Atwood are two of the most reliable and trusted brands on the market today. They both meet all of the essential certifications and requirements (UL, RVIA, and NFPA).
  • Choose an RV propane detector that is easy to understand and interpret. The detector should have clear indicator lights (preferably red and green) that let you know the unit functions correctly.
  • The alarm decibels should be loud enough for you and any other vehicle inhabitants to clearly hear. 80 to 85 decibels is the sweet spot.
  • Make sure your RV propane detector also has a clear end-of-life alert, so you know when to replace the unit. At the very least it should have a date stamped on the unit.
  • A solid warranty, of at least 1-year, will indicate the manufacturer stands behind their product.
  • Optional: Choose a unit that can detect multiple gasses, such as propane and carbon monoxide. 

FAQs

We’ve put together this FAQ list that covers the questions we hear most often. Feel free to contact us if you have any general RV propane detector questions.

What Is the Best Propane Gas Detector? 

The MTI Industries 20-441-P Safe T Alert 20 Series Propane/LP Gas Alarm is the best overall detector in our opinion. We felt it is the best overall unit because it is reliable, easy to read, and easy to install for a price that is hard to beat.

MTI Industries 20-441-P Safe T Alert 20 Series Propane/LP Gas Alarm

MTI Industries 20-441-P Safe T Alert 20 Series Propane/LP Gas Alarm

Price:
Buy Now on Amazon

Clicking this link to make a purchase may earn us a commission at no additional cost to you.

Where Do You Mount a Propane Detector in an RV?

When mounting an RV propane detector, place the unit between ¼ of a foot to ½ of a foot from the floor of your RV. Remember that propane is heavier than air, so it’s better to mount an RV propane detector closer to the ground so that the unit can pick up propane fumes in your RV as quickly as possible.

How Long Do RV Propane Detectors Last?

Most RV propane gas detectors have a shelf life of five to seven years before replacement is necessary. The date should be stamped on the unit itself.

When you’re shopping around for the best RV propane detector, make sure you purchase a unit with an end-of-life alert that will tell you when it’s time for you to replace your detector.

When you’re setting up your RV propane detector, make sure you read the manufacturer’s instructions so that you know exactly what your model’s end-of-life alert sounds like. It’s also a good idea to make sure you know exactly how to replace your unit once it’s started emitting an end-of-life alert.

How Do You Test an RV Propane Alarm?

To test your RV propane alarm, follow these step-by-step instructions:

  1. Check the Expiration Date: Consult the manufacturer’s instructions for the unit’s expiration date (or look on the unit itself); if the unit is past the manufacturer-listed expiration date, it’s best to replace it.
  2. Power Up the Unit: Power up the RV propane detector. Most RV propane detectors will flash green for two minutes while they’re in the process of powering on.
  3. Use the Test Button: Press your RV propane detector’s test button. Most RV propane detectors have a one-press test function that will go through all the alarm’s different electrical parts. If you own an RV propane detector that’s equipped with a one-press test function, consult the manual beforehand so that you know the correct way to run a test on your RV propane detector and can correctly interpret the test results.
  4. Test Propane Gas Sensor: Some models require you to use actual propane or butane gas to test the gas sensor. Consult the manufacturer’s directions to see if this step is necessary.

Keep in mind, these are general directions for testing a propane detector. Refer to your model’s owner’s manual for specific instructions. And check out our guide on how to test an RV propane detector for more important information.

Why Does My RV Propane Detector Keep Going Off?

If your RV propane detector goes off, turn off the propane supply and open the windows in the vehicle.

If the alarm tone stops a few minutes after you’ve disconnected your RV from the propane source, this means that your RV likely has a propane leak that needs to be identified ASAP.

However, false alarms do happen, and if your RV propane detector is going off when there are no gas leaks, there a few other things that could cause a false alarm.

Chemicals in Your RV

Sometimes, other chemicals such as cleaning products or hair-styling products can set off your RV’s propane detector. Certain hair sprays, oven cleaners, household cleaners, spray-on sunscreens, Febreze, and dog or human flatulence can set off an RV propane detector. Mount your RV propane detector where household chemicals won’t set it off.

Expired Detector

If your RV propane detector is going off and you can’t find a propane leak or any other discernible reason for the alarm to sound, this might mean that your RV propane detector has reached the end of its shelf life. If the sensor is between five and seven years old, replace it.

Dirty Detector

A dusty or improperly maintained RV propane detector can result in a false alarm. Avoid false alarms; clean your RV propane detector at least once a week with a damp cloth or paper towel, and then dry with a soft towel. Make cleaning your propane detector a regular part of your RVs maintenance plan.

Check out our guide titled RV Propane Detector Keeps Going off? Do This! for more tips to troubleshoot why your alarm is continually going off.

What Do All of the Different Safety Certifications Mean?

When looking for a high-quality RV propane detector, you’re going to read a lot about the different safety certifications associated with these devices. There are three essential certifications to look for when you’re looking for an RV propane detector, and we’ve provided a brief explanation of what these certifications mean.

UL Certification

At some point, you’ve probably noticed the small “UL” logo on your RV propane detector, or your fridge, or your stereo, or even your children’s toys. That UL stands for Underwriter Laboratories. Underwriter Laboratories is a privately-owned corporation that has made a name for itself testing and verifying the safety of millions of household products you use every day.

RVIA

The Recreational Vehicle Industry Association issues the RVIA Certification. When you see an RV propane detector with an RVIA certification, it means that the unit passes the RVIA’s rigorous safety protocols and is safe to use by industry experts. The RVIA works with RV manufacturers to keep travelers safe on America’s highways.

NFPA

The National Fire Protection Association issues the NFPA Certification. The NFPA is a professional organization that develops codes and compliance protocols to ensure that buildings and products are safe from fire and electrical issues. The NFPA has created thousands of certifications on countless products to keep consumers safe.

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