ACCC warns of dangerous RV water heaters

Recalled units could emit deadly carbon monoxide gas.
A motorhome on the open road.

Australia’s consumer watchdog has warned owners of recreational vehicles (RVs) with Suburban-branded water heaters that the units can be dangerous.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) said the dual fuel gas/electric water heaters fitted to caravan, motor home or horse campers should have them inspected before hitting the road.

The consumer advocate said more than 50% of the units could emit deadly odourless carbon monoxide if used in gas mode. 

Carbon monoxide poisoning can cause death and short-term exposure can cause serious long-term injuries.

The ACCC said there were more than 8,300 consumers who have not registered their water heaters for a free inspection,” an ACCC media release said.

As the risk of failure is so high, the ACCC is concerned that these owners are not aware of the recall and may use their caravan, motor home or horse campers these holidays without checking if they are safe.

“Consumers should not use the affected water heaters in gas mode under any circumstances, even if they have a carbon monoxide detector,” ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said.

“It’s very important to check your recreational vehicle, horse camper or caravan’s water heater as soon as possible as there is a significant risk of injury or death from this product.”

Carbon monoxide is invisible, has no smell, is lethal and cannot be detected. 

It is also highly flammable and can explode on contact with a spark or flame.

The water heaters were supplied between 1 May 2018 and 25 September 2019, either new with the vehicle by retailers nationally, or purchased separately online and installed later.

Consumers can check if their heater is affected by opening the exterior access door to the hot water service and reading the model and serial number located on the right-hand side.

They should then enter the serial number on the Coast to Coast website.

If you have an affected water heater, contact Coast to Coast Caravan and Leisure on (02) 9645 7685 or email who will arrange for a licensed gas fitter to inspect it free of charge. 

Owners will not have to cover any costs related to the supply and installation of the new water heater.

Owners who have difficulties obtaining a timely remedy should contact Coast to Coast Caravan and Leisure, their state or territory gas regulator or complete an ACCC online report.

Coast to Coast Caravan and Leisure notified a recall for Suburban dual-fuelled Water Heaters on 15 November 2019 due to this deadly hazard. Retailers throughout Australia sold 18,139 of the heaters.

There are 9,600 recalled units still to be inspected. Of these, 1,241 were registered to be inspected and 8,359 are not registered for inspection.

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The information in this article has been prepared for general information purposes only and is not intended as legal advice or specific advice to any particular person. Any advice contained in the document is general advice, not intended as legal advice or professional advice and does not take into account any person’s particular circumstances. Before acting on anything based on this advice you should consider its appropriateness to you, having regard to your objectives and needs.