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Old 11-05-2013, 04:35 PM   #1
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Fire in electrical compartment

I had a fire in my electrical compartment today. The 50-AMP cord melted and there is smoke damage into the coach.

I used a 30-AMP adapter to hook-up at the KOA Harpers Ferry, WV. I was there for 3 nights with no issues. I have a surge guard installed inside the electrical compartment.

I unhooked at the KOA this morning. Apart from the cord feeling warm, there was no damage to it when I put it into the compartment. When I got propane, I noticed a burning odor but thought it might be the propane or the diesel engine smelling after being cold and not run for 3 days.

I drove about 100 miles to Centreville, VA. When I opened the electrical compartment to hookup, the cord was melted and there was smoke damage. It is a sooty mess.

I called my insurance company to file a claim. My comprehensive deductible is $1000.

I have a few questions:

1) Has this happened to anyone else?

2) Does anyone know what might have caused a fire?

3) Is there any particular damage I should look for after a fire in the electrical compartment? I want to make sure that all damage is accounted for in the event that the damages exceed $1000.

Thank you for your help.

Liz
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Old 11-05-2013, 04:39 PM   #2
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Wow. It hasn't happened to me and I don't recall ever reading about anything quite like this.

Sure glad you're all right. As you know, it could have been a lot worse.

Best of luck.

Rick
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Old 11-05-2013, 04:44 PM   #3
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Cords don't just melt sitting in the storage compartment. Were you running the generator at the time? The transfer switches in these things have been known to catch fire. Could have started while plugged in and just kept smoldering?
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Old 11-05-2013, 04:44 PM   #4
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Sounds like it may have happened while you were traveling, maybe? Did you run your generator while traveling? If so, it could be a faulty transfer switch causing power to transmitted back into the shore power cord. Just a wild guess. When everything is repaired, I would test all circuits under all conditions including generator.
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Old 11-05-2013, 04:45 PM   #5
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A surge guard in the coach will protect the coach but will not protect the power cord from a problem with the CG connection.
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Old 11-05-2013, 04:48 PM   #6
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No, the generator was not running.
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Old 11-05-2013, 04:49 PM   #7
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Should I notify the KOA?
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Old 11-05-2013, 04:59 PM   #8
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Was the 30 amp adapter still connected to the power cord. You said the cord felt warm, was the adapter warm as well? Have you tried running the generator after the fire. I don't know what could have caused this either but the adapter could have been the culprit.
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Old 11-05-2013, 05:03 PM   #9
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I think that I removed the adapter before stowing the cord but I'm not sure.

No, I have not run the generator since the fire. Is it safe to?

Also, will the heating work without electricity?

Thank you.

Liz
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Old 11-05-2013, 05:08 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LizCarmel View Post
I think that I removed the adapter before stowing the cord but I'm not sure.

No, I have not run the generator since the fire. Is it safe to?

Also, will the heating work without electricity?

Thank you.

Liz
I would not run the generator until you have this checked out by a service shop. I would not run the heating either or anything else just to be safe. With smoke damage in the coach I would suggest that you stay somewhere else until this can be repaired.
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Old 11-05-2013, 05:14 PM   #11
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Thanks. There wasn't much smoke damage apart from residue on the bathroom floor.

I will not run the generator or the heat.

Luckily it's not too cold. I'll stay the night and figure out what to do tomorrow.

Thank you.

Liz
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Old 11-05-2013, 05:23 PM   #12
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I had a similar problem with a 50 amp cord on a 5th wheel. While hooked up to shore power, either the neutral or ground line came loose (don't remember which) and married up with one of the hot lines. Bottom line was 180 on one line and 60 on the other...fried some stuff, but no fire.
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Old 11-05-2013, 05:27 PM   #13
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Hi Liz,
Sorry this happened.
Are you familiar with the Centreville, Va area? The closest Newmar dealer is Beckleys RV, in Thurmont, MD. Takes me about an hour to get to Beckleys from Centreville. In Manassas, Va -- about 15 minutes from Centreville west on I-66 is Reines RV, they are a Winnebago and Tiffin dealer. Also in Manassas is Restless Wheels. If you are heading South on I-95 McGeorges, RV is just North of Richmond in Ashland. Also in Ashland is RV Service of Virginia.

Mike
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Old 11-05-2013, 05:32 PM   #14
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Thanks Mike.

Restless Wheels can get me in on Friday. I've been to Reines before and would prefer to go elsewhere.

I'll see what RW says.

I have friends in the area. I'll probably pack up and move in with them tomorrow.
Liz
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