Coronavirus help and support for our insurance customers

Caravan Gas and Carbon Monoxide Safety Checks

Learn how to carry out basic gas safety checks on your caravan and why they're important. This video and guide includes tips and advice on maintaining your caravan's gas safety system and detecting a gas leak in your caravan.

Why is caravan gas safety so important?

Gas systems in caravans can be a great help on holidays, cooking your food and keeping you warm. However, it is vital that your gas systems are maintained carefully in order to prevent them from being dangerous, or even fatal.

Caravans have a mobile gas system, meaning that the gas tank serves multiple different appliances which can increase the risk of potential gas leaks. It is vital that you service any gas appliances regularly to check for any damage to valves or the appliances themselves.

It is also important that you ensure your caravan is well-ventilated. It is now mandatory for caravans to have ventilation panels fitted, which are designed to allow a constant flow of air into the caravan and allow fumes to exit the caravan. These may seem unnecessary and it may be tempting, especially in windy conditions, to block them up. However, they are crucial to the ventilation of the caravan, so you must keep them open.

How can I test for carbon monoxide in my caravan?

Carbon monoxide in caravans is especially dangerous as not only are there certain appliances that could produce carbon monoxide, like a gas heater or petrol-powered generator, but the space inside caravans can often be limited, potentially causing higher concentrations if a CO leak occurred.

It is now mandatory to have a carbon monoxide tester in caravans as well as a smoke alarm. When buying a caravan, whether from a private seller or from a dealer it is worth checking that they are both fitted. If there isn't a carbon monoxide tester fitted, it is certainly worth investing in one, as they can save lives. What’s more, if you don’t have a carbon monoxide tester and something happens you may not be covered on your caravan insurance.

How often should you have your caravan serviced?

It is recommended that you take your caravan to a dealer annually to have a thorough and comprehensive service. This will include a gas check in which they will monitor the way the flame burns (which can be a sign of a leak or problem with a valve), where the carbon monoxide is going and whether the flues are behaving as they should. It is really worth investing in this type of service at least once a year to ensure that everything is functioning properly.

What basic caravan gas system checks should you do?

There are a number of basic checks you can do between annual services at a caravan dealer in order to help you spot any problems.

  • Visual checks - Simply look at the pipes, the joints and the valves. It is also important you look at the connection between the regulator and the gas bottle. Bending the rubber tubing and applying a little pressure can reveal any cracks which will need replacing.
  • Tubing check - If you think you are using gas more quickly than you should be you can check by turning the gas on, getting a cup of soapy water and applying it to the joints in the caravan. If you have a gas leak, then bubbles will form and you need to get your caravan booked for a service.

How do you tell if your caravan gas isn't burning properly?

Check your caravan hob

The simplest way to check whether your caravan gas is burning as it should be is to look at the flame on the hob. A healthy flame should be a large blue flame, whereas a yellow flame would suggest that it's not burning properly and could potentially be leaking carbon monoxide. If you notice a yellow flame it's worth getting the gas system checked by an expert to be on the safe side.

Check your fridge isn't leaking

The only way you can really check a gas fridge yourself is to check the vent on the outside of your caravan. If you notice a black mark, which would suggest a build-up of carbon, it may be a sign that the gas isn't burning properly, and you should get it checked out.

Ensuring that your caravan gas system works well is not only good practice, it is vital to ensure the safety of you and your family. If you have any doubts about your caravan gas system, it is worth checking with an expert - better to be safe than sorry.

Caravan insurance from Towergate

One of the most important things before you set off on your caravan holiday is to ensure you are covered by the right insurance.

Find out about our touring caravan insurance online or call us on 0344 892 1413 to speak to a specialist adviser.

About the author

Adam Summersby, caravan insurance articles author

Adam Summersby is a respected leader with 11 years’ varied experience in niche personal and commercial lines insurance, including caravan, site operators and excess reimbursement, with proficiency in leadership, sales and account management.


This is a marketing article by Towergate Insurance.

Related Articles

Touring Caravan Buyers Guide Banner

Touring Caravan Insurance Buyer's Guide

If you're a little confused about touring caravan insurance, read our helpful guide on understanding what it's all about and how to get the best value from your insurance.

View article
Caravan Burried In Snow Thumb

Winter Touring Tips

The cold weather can take its toll on your caravan and leave it prone to cracked taps, split pipes and even damage to the water systems. The best way to avoid this sort of...

View article
Vineyards In UK

Ten of the Best Vineyards to Visit in the UK

You don’t have to go abroad to visit an established vineyard producing quality wine - you can tantalise your taste buds right here in the UK. Nestled in the stunning English...

View article
Wheel Lock

A Guide to Caravan Security Devices

Caravans have long been rich picking for thieves, but using readily available caravan security devices can help to reduce the chances of your holiday plans being ruined by...

View article
Caravan Young People Thumb

Caravanning for Young People

It’s easy to think of caravan holidays as a family affair or something that older people enjoy – but caravans are as much for the young as they are for the old. We look at...

View article
Tourers At Sandy Balls

How to Find Out the Value of Your Touring Caravan

Insurance doesn't need to be confusing. Here’s our guide to finding the market value of your caravan for insurance purposes or if you’re looking to sell.

View article
Guide to Caravan Towing 1

A Guide to Caravan Towing

There are a lot of benefits to owning a caravan and the freedom it gives you is something that keeps people caravanning for many years. Before you start towing your caravan,...

View article
Caravan Innovations

Guide to Caravan Accessories, Gadgets and Innovations

Kitting your caravan out with the latest gadgets and accessories can make a great holiday even better. We have put together a guide of the must-have items which will be most...

View article