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Old 08-27-2012, 10:54 AM   #15
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Automatic Fire Suppression systems are used solely to give you additional precious time to get OUT safely!

There are many different places where fires can start on a RV. Engine, rear electrical run bay, front electrical run bay, inverter, transfer switch, main electrical panel, EMS panel, generator, Norcold or Dometic refrigerator, kitchen stove, diesel Aqua-Hot system, electric and LPG heaters, RV brakes, trailer or toad brakes, etc.

I currently have some of those places protected with AFFF Tanks, and Halon tanks depending on the location. Others, I use early detection smoke alarms.

Do NOT even think about attempting to put out any RV fires UNLESS you can catch it within the first 30 seconds or less of ignition. And make sure you are using a good sized portable FE such as a Cold Fire unit or an AFFF one. The 1-2-3 Chemical tanks that are normally supplied with the RV should be allocated solely for a camping fire or a BBQ only and that is if they work when you want them to.

Dr4Film ----- Richard
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Old 08-27-2012, 01:26 PM   #16
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It wasn't a m/h, but the same chassis as a Class C would be, a Ford E450.

Transmission was failing (convertor wouldn't lock up) and over heating (outside temp was 90+) and running down the highway loaded. The trans. fluid reached the boiling point, that made it blast up the fill tube and all over the scorching hot engine.

Once the hot oil hit the hot exhaust manifolds it was game over.

It went so fast it was all I could do to see my way to the shoulder of the highway for the smoke.
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Old 08-29-2012, 10:10 AM   #17
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Our fire started in our toad, 2004 GMC Denali XL going down the interstate. Attempted to disconnect the Denali but had one last pin and safety chain before the heat and smoke was too intense. I just spent over $10k in upgrades to our coach (99 American Eagle), new wood floors on 45; new valances, new curtains, new flat screen LED TVs, new chairs, new mattress, ect.

BIGGEST thing I learned from the experience, DO NOT LOCK your toad will towing, the time I lost (Dark at 10:30pm on I-70 attempting to avoid getting hit unlocking the vehicle) was the difference of me getting unhooked and allowing me to pull away.

Absolutely heartbreaking having to watch this unfold in front of me, watching the fiberglass end cap melting running down to the flames coming out of the Denali until they ignited and even with a Off Duty Overland Park, KS fire fighter with an awesome fire extinguisher assisting, we couldn't contain the fire long enough.
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Old 08-30-2012, 10:32 AM   #18
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Quote:
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Our fire started in our toad, 2004 GMC Denali XL going down the interstate.
So what caused the fire to start in your toad?

Flat tire?
Locked brakes?
Seized transmission?
Electrical connection?
Battery?

How far along had the fire progressed before you actually realized it? Did you see anything in the rear camera monitor to alert you of the fire?

Sorry for all of the questions. Just curious.

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Old 08-30-2012, 03:01 PM   #19
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Safeco, toad insurer hired a fire investigator. Never come to a conclusive conclusion, all the tires were up once I stopped. A passing motorist alerted us and when I looked in rear camera it looked like a safety chain sparking and bouncing, then sparking. I immediately pulled over. I later spoke with passing motorist as we made the news and the motorists son actually knew my son and through social media we tracked one another down. He was behind us and as soon as he saw the spark and smoke he pulled up along side of us and alerted us. So the vehicle was only smoking once I got out of the coach.

After seeing all 4 tires were up, I looked under the vehicle behind the front passenger tire and say a clearer looking liquid dripping and igniting at almost the ground, looked like a birthday candle flame. Insurance company thought maybe brakes, but at 10:30pm in March I don't know how I could have seen the liquid if it was brakes? I have wondered if fuel pump but every tech I have spoken with said no way? I always disconnected my battery on toad but I could have forgotten, but even if I had forgotten to disconnect battery tech's have said GM's fuel pump only comes on at the turn of iginition and at fire of engine.

There was an accident at our exact location according to the tow truck operator for the toad as when he heard the 911 call he was unloading the vehicle from previous accident at his tow yard 2 miles away. I also know once I did get home that night that my feet were black from the oil the fire department had washed off the road into the ditch where I pulled off. Fire Department, once 911 operator connected us, we had to call 3 times as the original operator told us to call back if we couldn't get unhooked and pull away stated they had just returned to their station when the call came in. I have wondered if I or someone else actually may have hit something in the road that went up under the toad and puncture something fuel related? I really wish I knew.

Progressive was our coach insurer, their line of questioning was all around whether we intentionally set it. I had just put over $10k in upgrades 10 days before and coach was paid for, I asked adjuster how he proposed at 65 mph 3+ hours from my originating spot I started my toad on fire going down I-70? One of the worst experiences of my life, but no one was hurt thankfully, including the stupid motorists who went through the media to avoid the fiery debris in the express lane of I-70 that exploded off the toad prior to fire department showing up. We are truly lucky but out a lot of money for the experience.
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Old 08-30-2012, 07:33 PM   #20
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I put smoke alarms in all of my compartments that contain electrical. Plus I have the halon system in the reefer compartment and the engine compartment. Anyone who visits overnight gets the fire escape/safety talk before they go to bed.
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Old 08-30-2012, 08:44 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigd9
The fire in our coach (1997 Fleetwood Discovery) started in the general area of the refrigerator and/or the breaker box/transfer switch area. The coach was fully loaded in prepration for a early departure where we were taking her to West Virgina for a snow skiing trip. It took 13 minutes for the fire department to arrive at our rural location. The time between the first picture and the next one is 13 minutes. I had a neighbor come over to help fight the fire but when I explained there was 100 gallons of diesel fuel tank almost directly below the fire, and even worst a 60 gallon propane tank right there he still tried to drag a hose to it. Then one of the tires blew sending chunks of flaming burning rubber 75 feet to strike the house, he dropped the hose. Shortly after that the propane tank blew the valve sending a flame of fire 53 feet scorching the lawn, he bugged out saying that thing is ready to blow!
Wow!
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Old 08-31-2012, 11:16 AM   #22
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I put smoke alarms in all of my compartments that contain electrical. Plus I have the halon system in the reefer compartment and the engine compartment. Anyone who visits overnight gets the fire escape/safety talk before they go to bed.
Lukeaa,

You have done well with adding the smoke alarms in the electrical bays. I did the same. When I had the Norcold aka NotSoCold, I also had the Halon tank with the head next to the 120 VAC heaters.

However, you are wasting your money with the Halon in the engine compartment. It won't do any good there as there is TOO much air space around the engine and the compartment is WAY too large for the Halon to remove ALL of the oxygen in order to snuff out the fire. Halon is not a good system to be used with any FUEL fire. You need to remove the Halon Tank and install it someplace else in an enclosed area where it can do some good.

The engine compartment can ONLY be protected with a properly sized tank of AFFF, Aqueous Film Forming Foam. It is designed for fuel systems and engine compartments.

Dr4Film ----- Richard
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Old 08-31-2012, 11:54 AM   #23
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Richard,
Who sells the AFFF system?

Luke
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Old 08-31-2012, 01:12 PM   #24
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In January 2009, we departed San Antonio heading west on I-10. We left about 4AM in the morning and were well into the Texas Hill Country by just before dawn when we had a problem. I had a T-shirt I used to check fluids tucked away in the rear engine compartment, and the rag worked loose and fell down on the hot exhaust pipe just inside the rear cap. I saw the resultant fire in the rear view camera and pulled over immediately. By the time I got to the rear of the rig, there were flames 3' high from the exhaust area both inside and outside the rear cap. I ran forward and got the rig fire extinguisher, hit the flames with it and they immediately extinguished. Result: No wires burned, no major RV fire, and the paint WASN'T EVEN DISCOLORED. You can bet I got the extinguisher recharged at the next stop, even though I had 2 additional extinguishers in the rig. Did learn a valuable lesson though. DON'T KEEP LOOSE OILY RAGS IN THE ENGINE COMPARTMENT. Even after you get one (or more) extinguishers, make sure you check it regularly. Pressure should be in the green, pin in and safetied with the correct seal, and the powder inside agitated. Shaking or turning the extinguisher over and hitting it with a rubber hammer or piece of wood will keep the powder loose and flowing when you need it. Commercial establishments need to do and document this check monthly, so it's just a good thing to do. If you have any question on how to check it, take it to the nearest fire department and they'll show you how to do it. I keep two 5ABC's and one 10lb CO2. The choice is yours, but they work when taken care of and used.
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Old 08-31-2012, 01:46 PM   #25
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I'm always amazed at the knowledge contained here. You guys rock.
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Old 08-31-2012, 02:11 PM   #26
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I have a friend who just had a fire on top of the engine. It was a 1999 Winnebago Ford V10 Motorhome with 90k on it. The facts are weak but they believe the spark plug threads leaked and eventually blew through igniting the fuel rail and destroying the wire harness and intake system. They were able to put the fire out and save the Motorhome.
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Old 09-01-2012, 09:42 AM   #27
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Quote:
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Richard,
Who sells the AFFF system?

Luke
I purchased mine from Fire Fight in Florida.

Fire Fight Supplemental Halon Fire Suppression Systems

For the size of my engine and compartment, I chose the SS-200-R4 - Remote Single Head.

I also chose to put the chemical FE that came with the coach in my Pace cargo trailer. I purchased a portable Cold-Fire system with four handheld units place around the inside of the coach and car. The largest one is at the front door. These do not need to be kicked like the chemical ones do just to keep them useful.

Dr4Film ----- Richard
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Old 09-01-2012, 01:06 PM   #28
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We had a diesel rig, had gen worked on when they slid gen back crimped the 12 volt wire
Three days latter the wire shorted out end of story
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