Need a fire extinguisher for your motorhome, campervan or caravan? Not sure what the best type is, how to care for it or how to maintain it? Here’s everything you need to know about choosing the best van and motorhome fire extinguisher for you.
Don’t forget to grab your FREE motorhome maintenance checklist below
*We work hard to make this the best motorhome travel blog and road trip website possible, full of helpful content for you. The website is supported by our readers, so if you buy through links on this site we may earn a commission- at no extra cost to you. All opinions remain our own.
If you find this post useful, you can also treat us to a coffee – we promise to enjoy it while creating more useful content like this- we might even indulge in a biscuit (or two!)
JUMP AHEAD TO...
Motorhome Fire Extinguishers- the problem
Choosing a motorhome or campervan fire extinguisher can be difficult, especially for those of us not familiar with the different types of fire extinguishers and their uses.
Some of the most common problems and concerns people have when choosing a fire extinguisher for their van include:
- Lack of knowledge: Many people do not have enough knowledge about the different types of fire extinguishers available and which one is most appropriate for a motorhome or camper. This makes the entire process confusing and ultimately makes it difficult to choose (meaning we often put it off entirely!)
- Size and weight: Van owners are often concerned about their motorhome weight & payload, meaning they’re concerned about the size and weight of the fire extinguishers they’re adding.
- Cost: The cost of fire extinguishers can vary greatly, and some people may be reluctant to spend a lot of money on a fire extinguisher for their motorhome.
- Compatibility: As you may remember from school, not all fire extinguishers are suitable for use on all types of fires. Choosing a fire extinguisher that is not compatible with the type of fire which may occur in a motorhome could be ineffective or even dangerous.
- Maintenance: Some van owners may be concerned about the maintenance required for a fire extinguisher, such as refilling or replacing it after use or over time.
- Accessibility: The fire extinguisher needs to be easily accessible in case of an emergency. It should be placed in a visible and reachable location. BUT- do you put it near the door? Near your bed? Near the hob? With only one habitation exit in most vans, it can be tough to know where to put it!
- Legal requirements: Depending on the country you’re based in, there may be legal requirements for the type and size of fire extinguishers that need to be carried on a motorhome, which can add further complexity to the decision-making process.
Motorhome fire extinguishers- the differences
Watch this video to understand more about the different motorhome fire extinguisher options and how to use them properly!
We hope you found the video useful. If you did, we’d love it if you followed us on Youtube. New videos with tips for motorhoming and campervanning in the UK and Europe are released weekly.
Do I need a fire extinguisher in my motorhome?
At the moment, it is NOT a legal requirement to carry a fire extinguisher of any sort in your motorhome, campervan or caravan.
But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t carry one. If you think about all the different systems which you have in a motorhome, and the fact that they all get shaken around, which can cause loose wiring etc (which is how our motorhome fire occurred), a motorhome is one of the most important places to have a good fire extinguisher to hand!
What size fire extinguisher do I need for my van?
The short answer to this is- the size required to put a fire out!
Did you know that a traditional 1kg powder fire extinguisher only lasts for about 7 seconds?
Most small fires will take longer than this to put out!
NOTE: Do not tackle anything bigger than a waste paper bin sized fire. Get out and stay out!
The Scariest thing about traditional motorhome fire extinguishers…
Be honest, when was the last time you did any maintenance at all on your fire extinguisher?
I know I never did, other than to check the pressure was still in the green.
BUT- traditional fire extinguishers, especially dry powder extinguishers, ARE NOT DESIGNED TO BE BUMPED AROUND.
You know, like in a moving vehicle…
They’re also not designed to withstand huge temperatures ranges. Most motorhomes and campers in the UK regularly go from -5 ish to 30+ in any 6-month period.
So, what is the best fire extinguisher for a motorhome, campervan or caravan?
Scarily, the most common motorhome and campervan fire extinguisher (dry powder) is dangerous if used in small spaces- like a van!
It’s toxic, makes a mess and causes huge amounts of damage after the fire has been put out.
Thankfully, there’s a new kid on the market- and it’s pretty fricking awesome. Enter, the Fire Safety Stick.
Fire Safety Stick Review
I was gobsmacked when I first tried out the Fire Safety Stick. Here are some of the things I love about it:
- It’s smaller and lighter than a traditional fire extinguisher
- It lasts for 50 or 100 seconds, rather than just 7!
- It works on almost ALL types of fire (including most of the ones you’re likely to find in a motorhome)
- It NEVER needs maintenance, even after 15 years!
- It’s EASY to use. Even if you’ve never ever done it before. Watch the video of me using it for the first time here.
- Can be recycled after use
- Environmentally friendly, non-toxic and safe for humans and pets to breathe
Despite it being new technology, I’ve now removed the old traditional fire extinguisher from my motorhome and have replaced it with a fire safety stick. I feel far more confident about both my ability to use it if needed, and its likelihood of working!
Given that I live in my motorhome full-time, I have more faith in this than any other type of extinguisher I’ve used to help protect my home.
If you’d like to get one for your motorhome, campervan, caravan, car, boat, house, motorbike or anything else, you can get 10% off here using the code ‘KAT’.
Want more tips for motorhoming?
Here are some more ideas you might find useful:
- Essential Motorhome accessories every van should have
- Best Sat-nav for motorhomes or campervans
- Motorhome Security– tips for at home and on the road
- How to get Internet & wifi in a motorhome
- Europe- essential gear for travelling to Europe
- Best gift ideas for motorhome and campervan owners
Want FREE checklists, eBooks and additional tips to help? Visit our resource page
Kat never planned to buy a motorhome. She also never planned to quit her job as an air traffic controller, go touring around Europe in said motorhome, start one of the UK’s largest motorhome travel websites… or get a cocker spaniel.
If you’d like to connect with Kat, send her an email or follow her adventures on social media.