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Old 03-09-2013, 05:08 PM   #1
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Emergency Exit

On our new Thor Challenger, the back window in the bedroom pushes out and up as an emergency exit. Problem is a 6 foot drop to the ground. I seem to recall reading about a horizontal extension to the ladder that would provide a step which would let us then step over to the ladder to get down. Does anyone know where something like this might be purchased, or is it a custom made addition? I'm also wondering about the feasibility of installing gas props on the window to hold it open. Any thoughts there?
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Old 03-09-2013, 06:58 PM   #2
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Have you considered something like this? As for holding up the window you could just use a piece of wood cut to the right length. Hopefully you won't ever have to use the window to escape.



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Old 03-09-2013, 07:03 PM   #3
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Here's a thread explaining what I did.
Fire Escape Hint
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Old 03-09-2013, 08:54 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clifftall View Post
Here's a thread explaining what I did.
Fire Escape Hint
Cliff
Thanks Cliff, that gets us out of the window, but there's still the 6 foot drop to consider. This coach has no rear bumper so there's no step on the way down. I think the folding steps might be a viable solution if they will store under the bed.
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Old 03-09-2013, 10:25 PM   #5
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There was a recent article in FMCA magazine wherin this guy purchased a two story flexible ladder made by Kidde that explained what he did and how. I bought one from Amazon and followed his detailed instructions and it turned out just great. Hope we never have to use it but since we have a Norcold fridge and at least an 8 foot drop out the bedroom window this thing should save a bunch of grief and panic. He used a 24" prop stored along with the ladder. By the way, the modified escape ladder when cut to fit your heighth is a very small package and easy to handle.
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Old 03-09-2013, 10:39 PM   #6
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I know it's a pretty good drop but if I'm trapped in the bedroom with the fridge blazin' away I'll go out that window the quickest way possible.
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Old 03-09-2013, 10:55 PM   #7
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When we bought our coach, I asked the dealer if we could push out the emergency exit window to see how it worked. He warned us that they will often fall out to the ground and crash, so we didn't try it out. I can't imagine jumping six feet down into a pile of broken glass...but they said you could throw your bedspread out to cover it and jump down onto that.
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Old 03-10-2013, 12:07 AM   #8
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If you ever attend a RV Rally and "MAC the Fire Guy" My Business - Home is there I encourage you to attend one of his seminars and visit his entire website as it may save your life.
To prevent injury while exiting through a window, I suggest you place a blanket or spread on the edge so not to hurt your hands or stomach. Pillows can be thrown out soften the ground. If your not alone, the stronger spouse can kneel and hold a sheet or blanket and lower everyone down to the ground.
http://macthefireguy.com/videos
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Old 03-10-2013, 05:58 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by bdickson View Post

Thanks Cliff, that gets us out of the window, but there's still the 6 foot drop to consider. This coach has no rear bumper so there's no step on the way down. I think the folding steps might be a viable solution if they will store under the bed.
I've been told that when it happens ( fire ) there isn't time to think. You need to get you and your loved ones out that window. Broken legs heal . Mac the fire guy said a picnic table positioned outside that window each night would be ideal but how many will do it ? Another idea would be to have a rope secured inside and coiled up ready to be thrown out the window , which can assist in lowering you down.
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Old 03-10-2013, 03:04 PM   #10
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I've always wondered how hard or unsightly would it be just to use bolt on step rails on the outside of the coach. The kind of bars that are about 1 foot long, bolt on on each side, and stand off about 6 inches to a foot. One over the top of the window to help in getting out, then about four or five going down the side. They wouldn't have to go all the way down either... just enough to take the height out of the drop.
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Old 03-11-2013, 04:32 AM   #11
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FWIW, I second the idea of attending a seminar by Mac-the-Fire-Guy if you can. VERY informative. You can ask him about how to ease the descent from the back window--I'm sure he'd have some good ideas. After we took his seminar at the FMCA Indianapolis rally, we immediately went back and practiced a couple exits through the rear window of our ACE 30.1. No kidding. Not pretty, but Mac impressed us that the worst time to learn how to get out of an RV quickly is when it's on fire. Incidentally, we were able to step down onto the tow bar, so the drop wasn't as far as it otherwise would have been. Also, something to prop open the window would have been nice, but we got out without it. And, a blanket over the frame would have made things more comfortable, but it was tolerable without it.

Without a tow bar to step down onto, a folding ladder or something might be a good idea, but I tend to agree that if the MH is on fire, a short drop (even with a hard landing) may be the least of your worries.

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Old 03-11-2013, 09:42 AM   #12
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It's a good idea to open the emergency exit window at least once a year to make sure the seals don't become stuck. That would also be a good time to see if the window will fall away from the frame when it is opened. (Have someone outside to catch the window just in case)

If your going to use some kind of window prop, ladder/rope escape device or bedspread to pad the window frame I suggest you practice using the following method. Stand as far away from the window as you can, close your eyes, hold your breath for one full minute, have someone spin you around at least three times, then without opening your eyes or breathing see if you can find the emergency exit, find your window prop, open the exit, prop it open, deploy your ladder/rope, put the bed spread over the window frame and crawl out the window. All without opening your eyes or breathing. Although this will not be as disorienting as trying to escape from a room filled with smoke in the middle of the night it will give you some idea of what to expect.

After you try this I bet you'll make it a point to check that smoke detector. It also might be cheap insurance to install an automatic fire suppression system behind your fridge like this:

Fire Fight Products supplemental fire systems

There are many companies that sell similar systems, I'm not associated with any of them. I'm just a former firefighter.
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Old 03-11-2013, 10:54 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by bdickson View Post

Thanks Cliff, that gets us out of the window, but there's still the 6 foot drop to consider. This coach has no rear bumper so there's no step on the way down. I think the folding steps might be a viable solution if they will store under the bed.
Just thinking....if you ease out the window and let yourself down with your arms you should touch the ground.
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Old 03-11-2013, 11:07 AM   #14
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This thread reminded me that this is one VERY important thing I have not taken care of after buying the MH! Even though the bedroom window is only about 7' above the ground I think that an escape ladder would make the exit process a lot simpler and safer. It sure beats a broken leg or hip. At our age we're not as agile or tough as we once were, so I think it will be a good investment.

I too like to support the mom & pop companies when I can. I read about Kidde ripping off the folks at X-IT but I also read where the courts awarded X-IT a HUGE settlement. The X-IT version is $80 and the Kidde is $29.97 at Lowes. Now that we're retired we have to watch the expenses and that's a BIG difference in price, so I'm gonna stop by Lowes tomorrow and check out the Kidde. If it looks like good quality I plan to get it.

I read the reviews where everyone is screaming about the statements by Kidde saying the ladder is for one use only. It's obvious to me that this is strictly a liability thing. Once you deploy the ladder they have no way to know that you will get it folded back up properly for the next use.
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