The Best Fire Extinguishers for Carrying in Your RV

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Tom Davidock

Tom has been working in the outdoor recreation and environmental fields for over 25 years and writing about for the past 15. Whether it's camping, or RVing, Tom provides first-hand kneowldge of the information outdoor enthusiests need to enjoy adventures on the road. Tom has had his content featured in industry-leading news publications including RV Business, RV News, and Tom is also the author of "Used RV: The Complete Guide for Buying a Used RV."

Recreational vehicle fires can pose a significant risk to RV owners. Having the best RV fire extinguisher on board is not just good practice; it’s essential for your safety and peace of mind. This guide aims to help RV owners choose the most effective fire extinguisher, tailored for the unique challenges of mobile home fires. If you’re looking for a quick answer, your best bet is to buy an ABC-rated extinguisher from a company certified by the National Fire Protection Association. We have some great suggestions listed below.

Different Types of Fire Extinguishers
There are several different types of fire extinguishers, each designed for specific kinds of fires. The most versatile and recommended for RV use are dry chemical extinguishers, especially ABC-rated models. These extinguishers can efficiently handle common RV fires, including those involving flammable liquids, electrical equipment, and combustible materials. The Letters stand for different types of combustible substances, which the extinguishers are rated to handle.

RatingType of FireDescription
AOrdinary CombustiblesSuitable for fires involving materials like wood, paper, cloth, trash, and plastics. These are common in most household and office settings.
BFlammable Liquids and GasesEffective on fires involving flammable liquids such as gasoline, oil, grease, and paints, as well as flammable gases. These are common in garages and kitchens.
CElectrical EquipmentDesigned for fires involving electrical equipment and tools like appliances, wiring, circuit breakers, and outlets. These extinguishers are non-conductive.

Key Features to Look For in Portable Fire Extinguishers

Selecting the best fire extinguisher for your RV means considering size, weight, and ease of use. A compact extinguisher is ideal for small spaces in RVs. Look for features like a clear pressure gauge, metal pull pin, safety seal, and an expiration date to ensure long-term reliability. The First Alert Fire Extinguisher is a popular choice among RV owners for its portability and effectiveness.

Top Picks for RV Fire Extinguishers

These models are praised for their effectiveness in extinguishing small fires, including grease fires and electrical fires, common in RVs. Scroll down to the bottom of the article for more details on each of these models.

05/23/2024 01:26 pm GMT

Installation and Accessibility in Recreational Vehicles

Install your fire extinguisher in an accessible area, like the kitchen area or near the exit. Ensure it’s securely mounted to avoid accidental discharge, and check regularly for ease of access, especially in the event of a fire. It’s always a good idea to have multiple extinguishers located in areas where you need them. I suggest having one near the kitchen, one stored outside in the storage compartment on the far side of the RV, and one in your tow vehicle.

Training and Preparedness for RV Fire Safety

Knowing how to use your fire extinguisher is crucial. Local fire departments often provide training using the acronym PASS (Pull, Aim, Squeeze, Sweep). Also, equip your RV with smoke detectors and a carbon monoxide detector for added safety.

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Understanding the Different Types of Fires in RVs

RVs, much like any home, are susceptible to various types of fires. Understanding these different types is crucial for selecting the right fire extinguisher and for effective fire safety practices. Here are the most common types of fires that RV owners might face:

  1. Electrical Fires: These are among the most common in RVs due to the complex electrical systems they contain. Electrical fires can be caused by faulty wiring, overloaded circuits, or malfunctioning appliances. These fires can be particularly dangerous because they often occur within the walls or in areas not immediately visible.
  2. Cooking Fires: The kitchen area in an RV is a common site for fires. Cooking fires can occur from overheated oil, unattended stoves, or flammable materials left too close to the heat source. These fires often start suddenly and can spread quickly due to the confined space.
  3. Flammable Liquids: RVs often carry flammable liquids like gasoline, propane, or cleaning agents. Leaks or improper storage of these substances can lead to fires, especially if they come into contact with an ignition source.
  4. Engine Compartment Fires: The engine of an RV is another potential fire source. Overheating, oil leaks, or mechanical failures can ignite a fire in the engine compartment while driving or even when stationary.
  5. Heating Equipment Fires: Portable heaters, central heating systems, and even water heaters in RVs can be sources of fire if they malfunction or are used improperly.
  6. Smoking-Related Fires: Accidental fires can occur from smoking materials, especially if smoking occurs inside the RV. Embers or ashes can easily ignite upholstery, bedding, or other flammable materials.
  7. Campfire Sparks: For RVs parked near campfires, there’s a risk of sparks or embers being carried by the wind and igniting parts of the RV, especially if parked too close to the fire. This type of fire can be sudden and catch RV owners off guard, particularly in dry conditions.
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To effectively respond to these different types of fires, RV owners should have a versatile fire extinguisher, ideally an ABC-rated dry chemical extinguisher. This type of extinguisher can handle fires involving ordinary combustibles (Class A), flammable liquids (Class B), and electrical equipment (Class C), covering most scenarios you might encounter in an RV.

Additionally, it’s a good idea to supplement your fire safety equipment with items like a fire blanket, which can be particularly effective for smothering small cooking fires, and to ensure that smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are in place and functioning correctly. Regular maintenance and awareness of fire risks are key to preventing these types of fires in your RV.

Best RV Fire Extinguisher Details

Amerex B417T, 2.5 Pound
$58.00 ($1.45 / Ounce)

The Amerex B417T Fire Extinguisher is a highly reliable and robust safety tool, ideal for use in recreational vehicles (RVs) due to its rugged design and user-friendly features.

  1. Durability and Reliability: The extinguisher comes with a six-year warranty, emphasizing its long-term reliability. It is constructed with dependable drawn steel cylinders and features an all-metal valve construction, ensuring it withstands the rigors of RV travel.
  2. High-Quality Materials: The B417T is available in two versions: one with a chrome-plated brass valve body and another with an anodized aluminum valve body. Both versions have stainless steel handles and levers, ensuring durability and resistance to corrosion.
  3. Temperature Range: It is designed to operate in a wide temperature range, from -65°F to 120°F, making it suitable for various climates and environments that RVs might encounter.
  4. Maintenance and Service: This fire extinguisher is user-friendly, being easy and economical to maintain and service. This aspect is particularly important for RV owners who may be in remote locations and need to ensure their safety equipment is always in optimal condition.
  5. Accessibility Features: It includes a large loop pull pin, which enhances ease of use, especially in emergency situations. The inclusion of bar-coded and bilingual labels makes the extinguisher accessible and easy to understand for a wide range of users.
  6. Extras: The package includes a 12" x 4" Fire Extinguisher Sticker Sign and a 4" x 2.5" Inspection Tag - Blank. These extras aid in compliance and readiness, ensuring the extinguisher is easily identifiable, and its maintenance record is kept up to date.

Summary of User Reviews:

  1. Long-Term Reliability: A user praised the Amerex 10 for its long-term reliability, having used it for over 20 years, particularly on a boat.
  2. Value for Money: Several reviewers highlighted the great quality and price of the extinguisher, appreciating its affordability and effectiveness.
  3. Appropriate Size and Weight: Customers found the size and weight of the extinguisher to be suitable for different needs, including use in vintage cars and as a lightweight yet adequate safety option.
  4. Performance and Specifications: A detailed review mentioned the thorough research done before purchasing the extinguisher, particularly for use in a racing sports car team. The user was pleased with its performance, especially for BC fires, and found its price reasonable compared to more advanced units.
  5. Professional Presentation and Usability: Another reviewer focused on the professional appearance and usability of the extinguisher. They appreciated the absence of plastic parts, the secure wall hanger, and the clear instructions. They also highlighted the importance of regular inspections and the capability for refilling.

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05/23/2024 01:36 pm GMT
First Alert REC5 Recreation Fire Extinguisher, UL Rated 5-B:C, White, 1-Pack
$32.99 $22.48

The First Alert Rec5 Fire Extinguisher is a rechargeable, recreational fire extinguisher specifically designed to meet the safety needs of RVs and other travel vehicles. It is UL-rated 5-B: C, indicating its effectiveness against flammable liquid and electrical fires, which are common in travel environments.

  1. Durable Construction: The extinguisher features a robust metal head, ensuring longevity and reliability in various conditions encountered during travel.
  2. Extinguishing Agent: It utilizes sodium bicarbonate as the extinguishing agent, which is particularly effective against fires caused by flammable liquids like gasoline, grease, oil, and paints, as well as electrical fires.
  3. Secure Placement: A bracket is included with the extinguisher, providing a secure and accessible mounting option. This is crucial for ensuring the extinguisher remains in place and is readily available in case of an emergency.
  4. Safety Features: The metal pull pin comes with a safety seal, which not only helps prevent accidental discharge but also acts as a deterrent against tampering.
  5. User-Friendly Design: The extinguisher boasts a corrosion-resistant, color-coded metal gauge that is easy to read. This is complemented by a waterproof label that provides simple instructions, enhancing the ease of use during stressful situations.
  6. Versatility: While designed for recreational vehicles, its compact size and effectiveness make it suitable for various environments, including small residential spaces and vehicles.

Summary of User Reviews:

  1. Compact Size and Portability: Many reviewers appreciated the extinguisher's compact size, making it easy to fit in various vehicle storage compartments like under seats or in trunks. Its small profile was also deemed suitable for apartments.
  2. Utility and Compliance: Customers found the extinguisher to be an essential safety item, with one user mentioning its compliance with boat safety requirements. The extinguisher's B-C rating, suitable for liquid and electrical fires, was specifically noted in several reviews.
  3. Ease of Installation and Use: Users commented on the ease of installation and the convenience of having the extinguisher readily accessible in a vehicle. However, one reviewer suggested considering mounting options before purchase, as some vehicles might not have a convenient mounting spot.
  4. Satisfaction with Delivery and Description Accuracy: Users were satisfied with the fast delivery and found the product to match its description accurately.

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05/23/2024 01:46 pm GMT
Kidde Fire Extinguisher for Home, 1-A:10-B:C
$36.99 $30.05

Kidde Fire Extinguisher for Home Use Overview

The Kidde Fire Extinguisher for Home Use is a versatile and reliable safety tool, particularly well-suited for use in recreational vehicles (RVs) due to its design and features tailored to combat common types of fires.

  1. Fire Class Suitability: This extinguisher is designed to fight basic fires common in residential settings, such as those involving trash, wood, paper (Class A), flammable liquids and gases (Class B), and electrical equipment (Class C). This range makes it ideal for RVs, where such fires could occur.
  2. Durable Construction: The extinguisher features a lightweight aluminum cylinder with durable, all-metal construction. This ensures it can withstand the varied conditions encountered in RV travel.
  3. User-Friendly Design: It comes with a tough aluminum valve assembly and an easy-to-pull safety pin, enhancing its usability in emergency situations.
  4. Pressure Gauge: The inclusion of an easy-to-read pressure gauge allows users to quickly ascertain if the extinguisher is charged and ready for use, a crucial feature for maintaining safety standards in an RV.
  5. Resistance Features: The extinguisher is equipped with a rust and impact-resistant painted steel handle, adding to its durability and ensuring longevity.
  6. Mounting and Storage: A UL-approved strap bracket is included, facilitating safe and easy mounting and storage within an RV, a crucial aspect considering the limited space and the need for quick accessibility.
  7. Clear Instructions: The front of the extinguisher features a clear instruction label, ensuring ease of use even for those who may not be familiar with fire extinguisher operation.
  8. Warranty and Certification: The extinguisher is UL-listed and comes with a 6-year limited manufacturer's warranty, underscoring its quality and reliability.

Summary of User Reviews:

  1. Affordability and Value: Multiple users expressed satisfaction with the low price, considering it a great value for the product. The affordability aspect was emphasized in several reviews.
  2. Compact and Versatile: The small size of the extinguishers was frequently mentioned, with users finding them perfect for various spaces like kitchens, bathrooms, and patios. One reviewer specifically noted their suitability for boats as well as homes, appreciating their portability.
  3. Ease of Installation: Several reviews highlighted the ease of mounting the extinguisher, with one user mentioning the inclusion of a bracket for this purpose. Another reviewer, though, mentioned the mount feeling a bit flimsy.
  4. Peace of Mind: The peace of mind provided by having a reliable fire extinguisher at hand was a common theme. Users expressed a sense of security knowing they have the extinguishers ready in case of an emergency.
  5. Quality Feel: The extinguishers were described as looking and feeling like quality material. Users were hopeful about their effectiveness, although many had not yet had the opportunity to use them.

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05/23/2024 01:26 pm GMT

Final Thoughts

Choosing the best RV fire extinguisher requires understanding the different types of fire extinguishers and their suitability for various fires. By selecting the right type, RV owners can ensure greater control and safety in the event of a fire emergency.

For more information on RV fire safety and useful tips that can save your property and life, check out the following information from the U.S. Fire Administration:  Recreational Vehicle Fire Safety

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