Written by 5:53 pm RV Gear/Accessories

5 Best RV Fire Extinguishers: A Comprehensive Guide

Three RV Fire Extinguishers In A Line

When it comes to safety, fire extinguishers are some of the most important items to have in your RV. Fires are no joke, especially in an RV. Because of the confined spaces and materials used to build a camper, it’s a sobering reality that if a fire breaks out, it will spread rapidly.

Second only to prevention, fire extinguishers are your first line of defense against a fire. However, simply having a fire extinguisher isn’t enough.

It is also extremely important to know how to use them, where to store them in your rig, and what type of RV fire extinguisher is best for your needs.

Not all fire extinguishers are the same.

Just as there are different types of fires, there are also different types of fire extinguishers.

In this article we are taking a closer look at the best RV fire extinguishers and what you need to know to be prepared in case you find yourself face to face with a fire in your home on wheels.

Let’s jump in…

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Best RV Fire Extinguishers At A Glance

Best Overall Fire Extinguisher For RV – First Alert REC 5

Best Budget Friendly Fire Extinguisher – First Alert Kitchen 5

Best Compact Fire Extinguisher – First Alert EZ Fire Spray

Best Dry Chemical Fire Extinguisher – Kiddie Dry Chemical RV Fire Extinguisher

Best Rechargeable RV Fire Extinguisher – H3R Performance Fire Extinguisher

Honorable Mention – SecuCaptain Emergency Fire Blanket

Types Of Fire Extinguishers

Fire extinguishers are broken down, or classified, into five main types (A, B, C, D, and K). These classifications are based on what type of fire they are designed to put out.

Class A Fire Extinguishers

Class A fire extinguishers are made to put out fires that are created from basic combustible materials like wood or paper. Rubber and some plastics can also fall into this category. For RV use, this type of fire extinguisher wouldn’t be very beneficial since it is designed to only put out the most basic fires, like a campfire.

Class B Fire Extinguishers

Class B fire extinguishers are designed to extinguish flammable liquid fires, like oil, grease, and gasoline. This type of fire extinguisher is a great choice for motorhomes or to keep in your tow vehicle.

Class C Fire Extinguishers

Class C fire extinguishers are for putting out electrical fires. They contain an extinguishing agent that basically stops the conduction of electricity. As you can imagine, this type of fire extinguisher is extremely beneficial to RV owners, especially for a generator or battery compartment.

Class D Fire Extinguishers

Class D fire extinguishers are for fires involving flammable metals like magnesium and titanium. Unless you’re performing some serious science experiments at the campground, you would have no use for these in your RV.

Class K Fire Extinguishers

Class K fire extinguishers are primarily for kitchen fires that are caused by cooking oils, animal fats, and grease. Whether you primarily cook inside your rig or if you prefer to cook on the grill or outdoor kitchen, it’s not a bad idea to keep one of these handy.

Multiple Classification Fire Extinguishers

Fire extinguishers with multiple classifications are designed to put out different types of fires. For these types of fire extinguishers, the label will have something similar to A:B, B:C, or A:B:C.

Multiple class fire extinguishers will be labeled with the kinds of fires it will extinguish, and a diagonal line, or red “X” through the type of fire it shouldn’t be used for.

Type A Fire Extinguisher Label
Type A Fire Extinguisher Label
Type BC Fire Extinguisher Label
Type B:C Fire Extinguisher Label

5 Best RV Fire Extinguishers

When deciding which RV fire extinguishers to recommend, I based my decisions on personal use, market research, brand awareness, and customer reviews.

Best Overall Fire Extinguisher For RV – First Alert REC 5

First Alert REC 5 RV Fire Extinguisher

First Alert is one of the leading manufacturers of quality fire safety equipment, including fire extinguishers.

The First Alert REC 5 fire extinguisher is the what we currently have in our RV and thankfully, we have never had to use it.

It is a Class 5-B:C extinguisher that contains a sodium bicarbonate extinguishing agent. This fire extinguisher is a great overall choice for RVs because it is capable of putting out flammable liquid fires as well as energized electrical fires. Plus, weighing just over 4 pounds, you won’t have to worry overloading your rig.

The REC 5 comes with everything you need to mount the unit anywhere in your rig and the secure bracket means it will stay in place while you are traveling.

What I find the most beneficial about this fire extinguisher is the easy-to-read gauge that is waterproof and color coded so you can easily tell if it is fully charged. In addition, the metal pull pin prevents any accidental discharge.

Best Budget Friendly Fire Extinguisher – First Alert Kitchen 5

First Alert Kitchen 5 Fire Extinguisher

Another product from First Alert is the Kitchen 5 fire extinguisher. This model is for those looking for a durable and reliable unit that won’t break the bank.

Like the First Alert mentioned above, this fire extinguisher is a Class 5-B:C and it is small enough to fit in most RV storage compartments, galley kitchens, and outdoor kitchens. Heck, you might even want to keep one nearby when you’re showing off your cooking skills on the grill.

Instead of a color-coded gauge, it has a small push button for checking the pressure of the unit.

The pull pin is metal and corrosion free which adds peace of mind and prevents the fire extinguisher from being accidentally discharged.

What I like most about this RV fire extinguisher is the 10-year warranty. Since it is recommended to replace these single use models every 10 years, you can rest assured that if there are any defects, First Alert will replace the unit during that time.

Best Compact Fire Extinguisher – First Alert EZ Fire Spray

First Alert EZ Fire Spray

If you’re looking for something that is extremely easy to use and is compact enough to fit anywhere in your RV, take a look at the First Alert EZ Fire Spray. It only weighs 18 ounces and measures in at 2 inches round by just over 9 inches tall.

The First Alert EZ Aerosol Spray is more than capable of fighting most small fires like paper, wood, grease, and even energized electrical fires.

With a total of 32 seconds of discharge, this compact fire extinguisher sprays longer than most units and its compact size makes an ideal choice for keeping anywhere in your RV, including the kitchen cabinets.

The can sprays wider than most traditional fire extinguishers and the agent used in the canister is made of a biodegradable formula that won’t damage any surfaces or appliances.

Backed by a 5-year warranty, you and your family will have the peace of mind knowing that if something happens, you will be covered.

Keep in mind, however, that since there is no pin to pull before discharging the unit, it is a good idea to keep these away from children. The last thing you want is for them to practice their graffiti skills with one of these spray cans.

Best Dry Chemical Fire Extinguisher – Kiddie Dry Chemical RV Fire Extinguisher

Kiddie Dry Chemical Fire Extinguisher ABC

Another very popular name in fire safety equipment is Kiddie. In fact, they are the most installed devices in the United States.

The Kiddie Dry Chemical RV Fire Extinguisher is rated to fight a wide range of fires including wood, paper, flammable liquids and electrical fires.

In addition, it is UL rated 1-A:10-B:C unit meaning the multi-purpose extinguishing agent is equivalent to 1.25 gallons of water and can handle a fire up to 10 square feet.

The color-coded pressure gauge is extremely easy to read so you can tell if the fire extinguisher is charged with just a glance.

Another great feature of this fire extinguisher is the fully painted, corrosion free, lightweight aluminum canister.

Plus, the handle is made of a high-quality nylon that makes it less likely to slip out of your hands while you’re using it.

Out of the box you will get the Kiddie ABC Dry Chemical Fire Extinguisher and mounting bracket, and the unit is backed by a 6-year warranty.

Best Rechargeable RV Fire Extinguisher – H3R Performance Fire Extinguisher

H3R Performance RV Fire Extinguisher

Wrapping up our list of best RV fire extinguishers is the H3R Performance. This rechargeable unit is rated for Class A, B, and C fires and has a range of up to 18 feet. With that kind of range you can stand at a safe distance while putting out a fire.

This unit is on the high end of list as far as price, but it is the most versatile unit mentioned.

Not only is this extinguisher lightweight and easy to use, but it is also constructed of high-quality steel and features an all-metal valve for extreme durability.

This rechargeable fire extinguisher comes with a wall mounting bracket for hanging the unit in your RV or outdoor kitchen area.

If you carry a Polaris or Can-Am in your toy hauler, seat mount and roll bar mounts are also available.

Honorable Mention – SecuCaptain Emergency Fire Blanket

H3R Performance RV Fire Extinguisher

I know…this article is about RV fire extinguishers. However, I thought I would give an honorable mention to a different type of fire extinguisher, a fire blanket.

This fire blanket from SecuCaptain unfolds into a 40” X 40” fire fighting machine.

If you would rather not fill your RV with the traditional fire extinguishing agents, then this emergency fire blanket makes a great choice.

What I think is the most impressive feature of this fire blanket is there is no expiration date or lifespan. What that means is you won’t be replacing it every 10 years like the traditional fire extinguishers listed above.

In addition to it’s compact packaging, the blanket is constructed from two layers of flame-retardant fiberglass fabric with an additional layer of fire-retardant film inside.

Rechargeable vs. Single Use RV Fire Extinguishers

When deciding on what fire extinguisher works best for your needs, something else to consider is the differences between rechargeable and single-use fire extinguishers.

As the name implies, a single-use extinguisher is intended to be used one time. If it is ever discharged, even partially, it should be replaced immediately.

On the other hand, a rechargeable fire extinguisher can be refilled after it has been used. Of course, you will have to pay a fee when having it refilled.

According to firstalert.com, single use fire extinguishers should be replaced every 10 years, while rechargeable fire extinguishers should be inspected and serviced every 6 years.

What Size Fire Extinguisher Do I Need?

In addition to the class of fire a fire extinguisher is designed for, Class A and B fire extinguishers may also have a number that looks something like: 2A:10B:C

The numbers represent how much fire extinguishing agent is available. For Class A, the number represents 1 ¼ gallons of water. In the above example, this means that the fire extinguisher has the equivalent of 2.5 gallons of water.

The number before the B rating is the approximate square footage the fire extinguisher can handle. The number 10 means that there is enough extinguishing agent to put out a fire that is 10 square feet.

Of course, there is no way to predict how big of a fire you might possibly have. In that case, if space allows, I recommend going with a larger capacity fire extinguisher.

It’s better to have it and not need it than it is to need it and not have it.

Where Should I Keep Fire Extinguishers In My RV?

The National Fire Protection Association requires that all RVs have at least one Type B:C fire extinguisher mounted at the entrance/exit to the coach.

For smaller campers, this may be adequate because the sleeping area, the kitchen, and the main living area are combined into one room.

However, for larger fifth wheels and motorhomes, having only one fire extinguisher at the door just isn’t enough.

For safety purposes, you should have fire extinguishers at multiple locations inside and outside of your rig. Should you encounter a fire, you want to be sure you are prepared for any situation.

The following are some suggestions to consider where to store an RV fire extinguisher.

  • Indoor And Outdoor Kitchens
  • Sleeping Areas
  • Entrance/Exit Doors
  • In Your Tow Vehicle (or motorhome cockpit)
  • In An Unlocked Basement Storage Compartment

How To Use A Fire Extinguisher

Throughout my 25-year career as an electrician and later working at a chemical plant, annual fire extinguisher training was a must.

In every training session I attended, the instructors would not only teach the basics of fire extinguishers, but they would also teach the class to use the acronym P.A.S.S. when learning how to properly use one.

It’s a simple acronym to remember and it has worked for me for several years.

  • P – The very first step in using a fire extinguisher is to PULL the safety pin. This frees the handle and allows you to discharge the extinguisher.
  • A – Next, AIM at the base of the fire. Spraying the flames of a fire doesn’t accomplish anything, except waste the extinguishing agent.
  • S – Once you have the safety pin removed and you are aiming at the base of the fire, you will want to SQUEEZE the handle, releasing the extinguishing agent.
  • S – Finally, you will SWEEP from side-to-side until the fire is completely out.

Always follow the manufacturers suggestions on what distance you should stay away from the fire. Too close and you risk injuring yourself, too far away and you won’t be able to reach the fire.

Final Thoughts

RV fires can happen at any moment. They spread fast and can endanger the lives of your family if you’re not prepared. Remember, a fire extinguisher is your first line of defense against a fire. Depending on the size of your RV, it’s wise to strategically place fire extinguishers throughout your rig.

As the old adage goes, it’s better to have them and not need them than it is to need them and not have them…

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Last modified: December 24, 2023
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