Carbon Monoxide Detectors for Cars, Trucks, and RVs

Gasoline and diesel engines produce a lot of carbon monoxide (CO). If you should happen to suffer from carbon monoxide poisoning while driving, the consequences could be catastrophic.  The danger extends beyond actual driving.  Many people have been poisoned by CO while sitting in or sleeping in a car or truck while it was idling.  This usually occurs in a garage, even one with the door open.  It can also occur outside when the engine is running.  Truckers often spend time in truck stops among many trucks with idling engines.

For all of these reasons, we strongly recommend that you monitor the carbon monoxide level in your vehicle. To do this, you will need a portable carbon monoxide detector for your car, truck or RV.  While there are many of these on the market, we have two that we recommend. These are a little more expensive than the UL detectors we offer, but they are of higher quality.  They offer more features and are designed and built to withstand the additional wear and tear from being portable. They are both instrument-grade devices at prices far less than comparable products. Pick the one you like best and use it every time you are in a vehicle.


 Sensorcon CO InspectorSensorcon CO Inspector

This rugged little unit is slightly larger than the Pocket CO, but it brings other features that the first one lacks. It quickly responds to changing CO levels and will read ambient CO from 0 to 1999 ppm. The electronics inside are waterproof and dustproof (although the sensor is not), and it is built in the USA. It is so fast and accurate that we use it as a reference for testing other detectors.  It operates in a very wide environmental range, making it the most versatile carbon monoxide detector we sell.

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Pocket CO DetectorPocket CO with keys

This tiny, portable low-level carbon monoxide detector is a serious entry into the market. Its small size and weight make it ideal for use in travel – driving, flying, going anywhere. It can be attached to a set of keys or clipped on your clothing. Despite its name, it is not designed to be used in your pocket. It needs to be exposed to the air you breathe to work as intended. It does need to be calibrated once per year, or returned to the factory for a full refurbishment. A handy, unobtrusive, vigilant device that works well.

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Why You Need A CO Detector for your Car, Truck, or RV

The engine in your vehicle is one of the biggest generators of CO, particularly if you have an older car or truck without a catalytic converter. Usually, the CO goes out the tail pipe or up the exhaust stack, but if the exhaust system becomes damaged, the CO can end up in the cab. And, once it starts coming in, it keeps coming in, and the CO level will continue to rise. Early warning is important, so you want a carbon monoxide detector that will display low levels and alarm you when the level becomes unsafe.

The detectors we recommend above will warn you in plenty of time to take action. If you ever experience increasing levels of carbon monoxide while driving, you should open the windows and ventilate the vehicle. If the level stays constant or declines, you are probably safe to drive the vehicle to a repair station, but if the CO levels continue to increase, you are probably better off parking the vehicle and getting out. You should probably have the vehicle towed to a repair station rather than chancing additional exposure.