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Old 08-09-2014, 12:03 PM   #15
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I would look at high temp alarms with an audible system as you will not have to watch a monitor to reap the benefits if the unwanted should happen.

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Old 08-09-2014, 04:17 PM   #16
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Some of the comments remind me of a story many years ago. A guy really broke his back building his house out of bricks while his buddies threw together houses of sticks and straw in an hour. They just sat around laughing at the guy building the house of bricks while they enjoyed themselves. And until there was trouble the houses of sticks and straw worked out just fine; no problems. YMMV

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Old 08-09-2014, 05:23 PM   #17
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Road wind in the engine compartment and back of refer may dissipate any smoke until it is fully involved. At that point, what will you do? Stop, get out, run. In the mean time, if you just installed a fire suppression system, it may stop the fire quicker than you can by watching a monitor.
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Old 08-09-2014, 05:39 PM   #18
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I would get an ulcer if I worried about all the things that could go wrong.
You forgot the nitroglycerin pill to put under your tongue when all the alarms go off.
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Old 08-09-2014, 05:40 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Bigd9 View Post
Our rig. Fully loaded and ready to leave for a trip that day. Pictures are 16 minutes apart! Fire started in the area of the Dometic refrigerator and the electrical switching compartment.

If you smell smoke, or alarms go off, GET OUT! You don't have much time.
Thank you Bigd9 for the testimony. This is such a very important subject. RV manufacturers do NOT equip our units with the best smoke detectors for monetary reasons. It is paramount to install dual photoelectric and ionization smoke sensing units in order to have the most escape time available.
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Old 08-09-2014, 06:16 PM   #20
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it's interesting to read all the posts, some demonstrated unique wisdom, i appreciate all .

using interconnected smoke detectors is a viable and inexpensive solution for fire detection, in addition to video set up. home depot has it for $33 a piece.

a better one, as terry735001 and bcooke suggested, using high temp alarm. it will alert before the fire starts (only then the smoke detectors could work), so from timing point of view, this is the way to go. but it seems there is no such a system with wireless and interconnection in the marketplace. honeywell has the detector it can be added to a home security system, don't think i will go that far. need more homework on this.

the fire suppression system - this is a good one. but without a second monitoring system, it has one problem - think about a scenario - while you are driving on highway, and the fridge starts a fire. your system sets off and put out the most fire but not complete. since it has no communication with you, you don't know what's happening and you continue to drive... now you know what is going to happen. i tend to believe as a standalone system, it will not be enough.

now the video system - i thought it over, i will take pasdad1's advice to set it up this way:
1) one camera in engine bay
2) one camera at behind fridge
3) one camera at below the chassis, pointing from front to rear.
4) the last one - make it a dash cam. it will point to front. i will set up the monitor to record this channel (only) and cycle/overwrite the video to memory. the purpose of this is for front rear-ending accident - sometimes idiots saw a gap between you and your front car and suddenly move in right in front of you. in case it's too close and you can't stop your rig, this recording will protect you.

overall, i think video + another system (either high temp alarm, or chained smoke alarm, or fire suppression system) will make it bullet proof.

ps, i bought a halotron fire extinguisher 5 lbs by amerex.
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Old 08-09-2014, 06:22 PM   #21
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My best advise is to make sure your insurance is paid up, use smoke detectors and if there are any signs of smoke or fire grab your loved ones (including pets) and run. Everything can be replaced excepted the living souls in that coach.
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Old 08-09-2014, 06:35 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by CountryFit View Post
the fire suppression system - this is a good one. but without a second monitoring system, it has one problem - think about a scenario - while you are driving on highway, and the fridge starts a fire. your system sets off and put out the most fire but not complete. since it has no communication with you, you don't know what's happening and you continue to drive... now you know what is going to happen. i tend to believe as a standalone system, it will not be enough.
You can rig an auto extinguisher to activate an alarm when the extinguisher discharges.
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Old 08-09-2014, 06:49 PM   #23
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Camera will not last in an engine bay at 266 degrees, I would mount one where the radiator fan exhausts (side or rear) that's where smoke will be.

we have 24-36 cameras in each of our stores for theft etc.

No one watches them after a very short while, I don't think they will offer the protection you're looking for.

The high temp alarms are my choice.

Not sure if engine fires are that common to worry about,

but I will say the first thing I did when I got this coach was put the NeverCold on Craigs list for $100, bought a residential fridge.
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Old 08-09-2014, 06:50 PM   #24
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Old 08-09-2014, 08:00 PM   #25
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Camera to watch the engine compartment is unnecessary you will see smoke in your rear view camera when going down the road. My bus developed a leak in one of the high pressure injector lines and I was squirting diesel all over the engine and the exhaust. I saw the smoke from that pretty quickly. Luckily the engine did not catch fire from it. But I did see the smoke in the rear view camera.
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Old 08-09-2014, 10:58 PM   #26
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I think the concept is to be alerted if there is a problem. In flight fire is my biggest concern, motorhome no so much, but escape can be a challenge in a motorhome and many are equipped with refrigeration that is known to catch fire.

I don't think I would want to fly or drive with cameras in the engine area, there are more important tasks at hand. So I would look at managing the exception not the normal running conditions. Heat sensors, smoke alarms or IR cameras filtered to the wavelength of flame might be a better answer. Some might think overkill, but that is for you to decide. There have been times that I would not fly, others would, I'm still here writing this.

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Old 08-10-2014, 05:26 AM   #27
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Someone has to be putting this kind of stuff in a book. It would be some great reading.
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Old 08-10-2014, 08:07 AM   #28
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What are the weakest spots catching fire on class A?

Interesting topic. I agree that based on actual use, the live feed of the cameras will probably be of less value unless you happen to be watching the monitor at the exact moment but I appreciate the idea. If there is a means to have a DVR in the rig and somehow keep it from being destroyed in a fire, in the rare case that you have a fire the industry (and us) would learn a lot about how these really start and improve upon the design. An infrared (FLIR) would be especially fascinating and software could be set to alarm if temp reaches something higher than expected in a portion of the video frame, much as I set part of the frame for motion recording on the cameras at our home.

Ignore the naysayers that badmouth your willingness to try this. If you have some sort of fire suppression in the area in question we would also learn the flaws in those systems as well if a fire starts.

The suggestion if you don't boondock to remove the absorption fridge and install a residential version is an added measure of safety to reduce one of the fire risks.

Seems that: engine compartment, generator, fridge area are good locations. Footage of vehicles around you (rear, front, side) recorded on DVR would be fascinating for accident investigation and after-trip observation of scenery as well as how other drivers behave when following and passing an RV. People use GoPros for point of view footage - why not on an RV too. .

PS - I'd love to see Mythbusters do an episode on RV fires. They've done it on many other residential ones, so it's not a stretch to take on RVs.

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