The Sittsers' Westfalia Web Page
Propane, CO, and Smoke Detectors

My propane detector is a "Safe-T-Alert", made by MTI Industries. I chose it because it had the lowest power consumption of anything I found. It's available from Camping World ( for about $40.

All the propane detectors I found are 12V wire-in - I couldn't find any battery-powered ones (which I would have preferred).

Camping World carries another brand or two as well. The VW EuroVan comes standard with a model 7700 detector from CCI Controls, Southgate, CA, (800) 521-5228. Another manufacturer is Atwood ( There are also models available that will automatically shut off the gas when they detect a leak (expensive and more work to install, of course).

I also put in smoke and CO detectors, on the right rear piller by the rear hatch. RV-approved smoke detectors are pretty easy to find; RV-approved CO detectors are somewhat rarer. I got the same one as is used in the EuroVan - the COSTAR, from Quantum Group, San Diego, CA, (800) 432-5599. It's also available from Camping World, though it may be somewhat cheaper direct from Quantum Group. I've also seen it recently in hardware stores, cheaper and under another brand name - might have been Nighthawk - but clearly the same unit, and confirmed to be RV-approved when I called the distributer. (I was looking for one for someone else at the time.)

It took me a while to figure out where to mount the propane detector - I got a surface mount, because I didn't want to cut huge holes in the furniture. (The case is about 5 x 3 x 1.5") I ended up putting it at an angle between the driver's seat belt buckle and the parking brake. That worked out well - it's out of the way there (it sticks out no further than the brake), it's in a good spot to detect gas (low and near the appliances), and it was easy to wire in (through the seat belt buzzer wire hole to the "power in" lead on the fridge relay).

I put a little hidden cut-off switch on it in case I ever wanted to store the van and keep it from draining the battery (which it would do in about a month), but that was probably overkill, considering that the clock, radio, etc. would do the same thing (which I didn't think about at the time).

While I'm driving, I occasionally reach down and press the test button just to hear it beep. Why this amuses me I have no idea.

Carolyn and Kevin. Behind them on the left of the picture you can see the smoke detector and CO detector on the wall, and (in the center) the wide-angle Fresnel lens on the back window.
Here's the propane detector, tucked between the seatbelt and the parking brake by the driver's seat.