Why Does My RV Propane Detector Keep Going Off?

An alarm sound in your RV is never a good sign. It probably means the propane tank is leaking. But you don’t smell propane. What could be the reason? After all, propane has a distinct smell, and you can sense it from a few yards away.

So why are you witnessing a constant beeping sound in your RV even when the propane tank isn’t leaking?

It could be a false alarm, but even if that is the case you should take all the safety precautions.

  • Open up all the windows.
  • Check the stove and close any open burners.
  • Inspect the pipes leading from the tank to the stove.
  • Wait for a few minutes and ensure there are no further leaks before lighting a fire.

The alarm sound is still there, so what now? It turns out that other things can trigger the propane detector. You might not leak propane, and the alarm still goes off!

Let’s look at the reasons and solutions for such a unique issue.

Why Does The RV Propane Detector Keep Going Off?

The alarm sounds, and the first thing you do is cut off the propane supply to the RV. The sound doesn’t subside, and you can still hear the alarm, meaning something else is the issue. There is no need to worry because there are several other reasons that a propane detector can start beeping.

But before you move on to any other solution, you must thoroughly ensure that propane is not the root cause. You can call a professional to do an RV inspection, which is an expensive ordeal. Alternatively, you can check the entire vehicle yourself, but that is a time-consuming task. What do you do? Well, that depends on your motivation and resources.

No matter what you decide, you must ensure that propane is not the issue and then, move on to other solutions. You don’t want an accident, especially involving a propane tank, as such incidents are often deadly.

Other Reasons to Trigger a Propane Alarm

Interestingly, other materials can set off a propane detector. Several of these are household items you use daily in your house and naturally in an RV. Here is a list of things that can trigger a propane detector.

Household Chemicals

  • Air Freshener
  • Hair Spray
  • Spray-on Sunscreen
  • Cooking Sprays
  • Abrasive Cleaning Chemicals

It is important to note that not all hair sprays or sunscreens, or air fresheners would cause an alarm. But some can, because of the chemicals involved in making the products. So, keep a notebook nearby when you use such chemicals/products in your RV. If they trigger the propane detector, write down the name of the product on the piece of paper and stick it to the fridge or a commonplace. As a result, whenever there is a false alarm, you and other RV inhabitants would know the cause.

The propane detector is not immune to dirt or dust deposits. A lot of them can develop inside the detector and hamper its performance. Therefore, you must make a schedule and regularly clean the propane detector.
Sometimes, the culprit is an old and worn-out propane detector that doesn’t work properly. When the machine starts to beep even when there is no propane or chemical leak you must look at a replacement.

Most propane gas detectors last for a maximum of seven years. You shouldn’t exceed that time frame and replace the alarm when it is due. If you knowingly delay the replacement, you could have the issues we talked about above.  

Propane Detector Maintenance

The LP leak detector must be checked once a week and cleaned after every off-season. The following steps ensure that the propane detector is healthy and working optimally.

  • Inspect the indicator light found at the front of the sensor and ensure it is green every time.
  • Use a vacuum cleaner at its lowest setting and brush away all the dust and debris accumulated on the sensor.
  • Take a clean damp cloth to clean the front of the detector and dab it afterward with a clean and dry piece of cloth.

Note: Do not use ethanol or other chemicals to clean; otherwise, the alarm could activate.

RV Propane Detector Replacement

If the LP leak detector is malfunctioning, you have tried all the hacks, and it is still not working properly, it is time to replace the old one with a brand new detector.

These steps should help you install the new sensor.
Switch off the Power
You can cut off the power supply to the detector by removing the relevant fuse. If you don’t, there is a chance of injury or electrocution.
Remove the Detector
The propane detector is attached using two simple screws. Once you undo the screws, cut the two wires that connect the detector to the RV.
Strip New Wires
Remove the rubber shielding from the wire ends so that you can easily connect the two with the new propane detector.
Attach the New Component
Match the two wires from the detector and the RV circuit and connect them properly. You must ensure the connection is secure, or the detector could stop working.
Connect the Fuse
Now you can reattach the fuse and send power back to the circuit. Your propane detector should work flawlessly.
Test the Component
You would need to leak a bit of propane from the tank for the testing procedure. You can open the stove and leak the gas from there. Afterward, press the test button found on the propane detector and see if it goes off.


A standard LP leak detector costs $50-$70.


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Ever since I was a kid, I've been fascinated by travel. I inherited this passion from my parents. Since my college years and to this day, I have had a passion for traveling in a motorhome. I am here to share my experiences with you.

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