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Old 09-20-2008, 04:41 PM   #1
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Heard on the news this morning and saw a clip on the local tv channel.

There was a motor home class A on 295 exit #15 in Maine that caught on fire. The news said that it looked like it was from an electrical problem. Someone caught a photo of the coach engulfed with flames getting off the exit. Occupants were safe but looks like a total loss to me. We saw the rescue team throwing the mattress out the window.

Really feel sorry for those folks.

Happymi
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Old 09-20-2008, 04:41 PM   #2
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Heard on the news this morning and saw a clip on the local tv channel.

There was a motor home class A on 295 exit #15 in Maine that caught on fire. The news said that it looked like it was from an electrical problem. Someone caught a photo of the coach engulfed with flames getting off the exit. Occupants were safe but looks like a total loss to me. We saw the rescue team throwing the mattress out the window.

Really feel sorry for those folks.

Happymi
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Old 09-20-2008, 08:42 PM   #3
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Somewhere in these forums, there are movies of RV's burning up on the side of the road. What is the main cause for those fires? What can be done to prevent them? What preventative maintenace needs to be done to keep it from happening?
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Old 09-21-2008, 02:37 AM   #4
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GraciesMom,

Cause -
I have read that the cause of most of the fires for the vehicles burning on the side of the road is usually related to their brakes. It seems that the calipers get stuck in a semi-braking position. Driving with the brakes in a semi-braking position makes the brake disc hot. Once the disc gets hot enough it doesn't take much of an accelerant, like brake fluid to start things off.

Prevention - make certain you get your brakes checked on a regular basis.

PM - same as prevention. Having a few extra fire extinguishers may also help. I think I heard that a lot of water is usually required to knock this type of fire down due to the residual heat.
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Old 09-21-2008, 07:58 AM   #5
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by randco:
GraciesMom,

Cause -
I have read that the cause of most of the fires for the vehicles burning on the side of the road is usually related to their brakes. It seems that the calipers get stuck in a semi-braking position. Driving with the brakes in a semi-braking position makes the brake disc hot. Once the disc gets hot enough it doesn't take much of an accelerant, like brake fluid to start things off.

Prevention - make certain you get your brakes checked on a regular basis.

PM - same as prevention. Having a few extra fire extinguishers may also help. I think I heard that a lot of water is usually required to knock this type of fire down due to the residual heat. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

That is how I lost my previous coach. Dry powder does nothing to cool things down and the residual heat in the iron castings kept causing it to re-ignite.

Preventitive care and keeping everything clean is the best cure. It realy bothers me that on mine I had paid to have the wheel bearings and brake calipers lubed so this should not have happened.
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Old 09-21-2008, 09:25 AM   #6
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I have two fire extinguishers on board and one in the storage compartment underneath. I read an article about how you can use your outdoor shower and the water in your fresh water tank if necessary to put out a fire as well. But from the videos I've seen and the things I've read, they go up SO FAST. Well, there's another thing to put on my TO DO BEFORE I LEAVE LIST. It's getting longer than I am tall!!
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Old 09-22-2008, 01:16 AM   #7
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by GraciesMom:
I have two fire extinguishers on board and one in the storage compartment underneath. I read an article about how you can use your outdoor shower and the water in your fresh water tank if necessary to put out a fire as well. But from the videos I've seen and the things I've read, they go up SO FAST. Well, there's another thing to put on my TO DO BEFORE I LEAVE LIST. It's getting longer than I am tall!!
</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I have thought of that however the hose is pretty short on the outside shower and the spray is not very strong. Most fires would require a way to spray the water into a space such as up into an engine, generator, water heater, refridgerator compartment etc. A bucket of water would not have worked on my fire either.

It was frustrating as I had over 100 gallons in the fresh water tank at the time.

Be mindfull that on a front engine coach you should not step on the dog house when exiting the front during what could potentially be an engine bay fire. You could fall through into the flames if you do.

Keep it clean and free of oil buildup. Take care of the small oil leaks quickly and do not tolerate even the most semingly minor gasoline seepage. Wires, tape, insulation and so forth should not be left dangling near any heat producing or moving parts either.

Keeping it neat is always a good idea as long as you don't, in your efforts to neaten things up, tie off to a heat producing or moving part.

The event, once it gets going, moves along quickly. I had about a minute to react before it got beyound your capacity to fight with a limited water supply or hand held extinguishers and did not have time to start rigging up hoses to the outside shower or water tank. A few wet foam extinguishers may have helped in my case as they are forcefull and immediatly ready for use once in hand.
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Old 09-22-2008, 09:07 AM   #8
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I believe that I read on the Trailer Life forum that some of the posters there had actually hard piped waterlines into the wheelwells to provide water to the brakes and tires. I am not sure about the engine compartment. I suppose it would be possible with copper tubing.
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Old 09-22-2008, 10:50 AM   #9
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When I was driving an 18 wheeler, part of our training was to always stop every 150 miles or so and feel the hubs, wheels, etc. to see if they were overheating. And if they were, to wait until they had cooled down before continuing on and to stop and get the problem checked as soon as possible. Good advice for RV'ers as well, I'd say.
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Old 09-22-2008, 07:15 PM   #10
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The vast majority of RV fires are MH's, of those most are engine compartment fires. for more information visit Mac the Fire Guy. He has replied to this subject here in the past if you wish to search.
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Old 09-23-2008, 01:24 AM   #11
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by GraciesMom:
When I was driving an 18 wheeler, part of our training was to always stop every 150 miles or so and feel the hubs, wheels, etc. to see if they were overheating. And if they were, to wait until they had cooled down before continuing on and to stop and get the problem checked as soon as possible. Good advice for RV'ers as well, I'd say. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I had about 125 miles to go to get to a 150 mile stop. Our plan was to stop at 50 to do a walk around as this was our first long drive of the season however we only made it half way there.

Still a good rule to follow. Also be aware and if anything seems off or dosn't smell right, stop and check.

It was the dog that alerted the four of us that there was a problem. So don't travel alone or leave the pets behind a dog or cat could be a life saver and alert you to potential problems well before you would notice them yourself.
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Old 09-23-2008, 12:53 PM   #12
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You could always put in a auto fire suppression system. They aren't that expensive considering the cost of a coach.
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Old 09-24-2008, 11:24 AM   #13
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the copper lines brought back memories. when i first started driving logging truck we had gas engines and no engine brakes so every logging truck had a water tank and the water went down rubber hoses to a copper hose that was fastened to axle and the end of it was flattened so as to cool the brake drums. without the water and high useage you would have a brake fire which was very hard to put out the other side was you would lose your brakes and have a runaway.
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