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Old 11-21-2012, 12:55 AM   #15
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If you are forced to go aboard and claim anything, make sure to wear your clothes that are disposable. The smoke smell will saturate your clothing and sometimes materials don't forgive that stench of burned Rv again. Good advice from FD. Stay out and let the insurance group do its probings. You are alive, and the fire didn't destroy other buildings or other RV's in area, so your blessed there. Sad to hear of this, hope you get good settlement over it.
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Old 11-21-2012, 01:40 AM   #16
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We had one on the road this spring.The DW smelled smoke and I got it off the freeway onto an offramp that just happened to be there.Ran back to the bedroom and saw a bit of smoke, grabbed an extinguisher and ran outside to the rear of the coach.I saw smoke coming from the camera and started up the ladder and then saw it coming from the tail-light and engine vent. ooppss.Dropped down and opened the rear cover and there were little orange flames burning on the foam insulation.I hit it with a full bottle and then got another one from the front and hit it again.That put the flames out,but there was still orange coals on the foam,so all I could find was a bunch of 409 and rainex and that did the trick. It turned out that the flex pipe on the exhaust had burned thru and all that heat had started the insulation on fire.Another minute or so and she would have gone completely.
Even though I have talked with several folks that say to just get the hell out and don't worry about it,you really don't and try to put it out anyway.
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Old 11-21-2012, 02:05 AM   #17
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Absolutely delighted none of your family or pets were in it. There isn't a thing in my house or RV that can't be replaced. They make 'em, they make everything. I say get the dog out and roast a weenie.

I realize I'm a bit extreme on that, but in reality stuff is stuff, and while there is some with sentimental value, it pales in comparison to the hound nuzzling up for a rub-down.

Sorry for the loss, you'll enjoy your new stuff all the more next summer.
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Old 11-21-2012, 05:34 AM   #18
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Fires are my biggest fear. We have the 4 cats and getting them all out before the RV was totally engulfed in flame and smoke would be impossible. Burning to death is a horrible way to die.

I'm glad no one was hurt and the fire didn't spread to other buildings or a nearby wooded area.
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Old 11-21-2012, 07:29 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigdog View Post
We had one on the road this spring.The DW smelled smoke and I got it off the freeway onto an offramp that just happened to be there.Ran back to the bedroom and saw a bit of smoke, grabbed an extinguisher and ran outside to the rear of the coach.I saw smoke coming from the camera and started up the ladder and then saw it coming from the tail-light and engine vent. ooppss.Dropped down and opened the rear cover and there were little orange flames burning on the foam insulation.I hit it with a full bottle and then got another one from the front and hit it again.That put the flames out,but there was still orange coals on the foam,so all I could find was a bunch of 409 and rainex and that did the trick. It turned out that the flex pipe on the exhaust had burned thru and all that heat had started the insulation on fire.Another minute or so and she would have gone completely.
Even though I have talked with several folks that say to just get the hell out and don't worry about it,you really don't and try to put it out anyway.
I carry five full size extinguishers spread around the coach just for this reason. All bays are left unlocked while moving and the extinguishers are on both sides with two mounted at the front door.
The RVIA approved tiny extinguisher that comes with an RV is inadequate to say the least.
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Old 11-21-2012, 07:54 AM   #20
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Sorry to hear about this....
hard to replace the memories of an rv that has been with you for that long....

This is a good reminder for the rest of us to take a moment to familiarize everyone with how to get out of a burning rv.... and where the tools to fight a fire are....


Also, open all compartments (organize them ) then video everything !!!

put a couple of copies in different places AND off site to trigger a reminder to you if you ever have to go through this ....

and repeat it every so often.... cuz we always collect more stuff !
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Old 11-21-2012, 08:23 AM   #21
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DO NOT Stay and FIGHT

Glad to hear you and yours are OK as stated posessions can be replaced. Living things can not. Please take this from a profesinoal that fights fires for a living. DO NOT STAY AND FIGHT. Unless your loved ones are in danger. Get everyone out to safety then call 911. Not only are car and bus fires fast moving and hot buning they contain all kinds of poisionous gases. You saw this trying to go in the second time. If you had inhaled a bad gas or even the heat it can burn your lungs on the inside and make you loses contiousness. I am glad you are safe as well as your loved ones and sorry for your loss. But please always be safe with fire and if you sense danger investigate and if it is dangerous get out.
Hope all turns out well for you and you get what you are entiteled to from your insurance.
TO ALL BE SAFE AND KEEP RV'ING
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Old 11-21-2012, 08:45 AM   #22
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Sorry to hear about the fire. I have been in the Fire Service for 20+ years. I have seen many people die trying to save their stuff. Glad you faired well. The adjuster, hopefully, will take care of your belongings. Glad y'all are safe.
On a side note, please shake up your fire extinguishers quarterly. Vibration makes the powder settle and it will become rock hard. It doesn't matter if you are moving or not, the vibration from traffic going by, the general gravity thing, etc causes settlement. I have been in churches and had to use a rubber hammer to "gently tap"(frail the hell out of) the device.
Most of the "kitchen extinguishers" just add enough air to the fire to double in size. A fire doubles in size every minute.
Be safe, good luck and safe travels.
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Old 11-21-2012, 10:22 AM   #23
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Toasty,

Thanks for your evaluation of what might have happened. It certainly does appear to have something dealing with the charger/inverter and/or the batteries since they were fully discharged.

In hindsight when batteries are fully discharged it is far better to remove them and charge each one separately. Then have each one evaluated as to its condition. When house batteries or chassis batteries have been completely drained, they may have been damaged to the point that they cannot be revived again. It's possible that one or all of the batteries had shorted which may have caused the fire.

As a side note, Mac The Fire Guy who attends RV shows and does seminars states a couple of interesting points about MH fires. Once a fire has been started it only takes roughly 4.5 minutes to totally destroy the vehicle. There are so many components and materials that are used inside a MH, most of which are highly flammable. The second point is that the typical ABC chemical fire extinguishers supplied by the MH manufacturers are only good for BBQ use because of what a previous poster stated, they caked up at the bottom and are useless when needed. Plus they will totally ruin all electrical wiring that it comes in contact with along with ruining other stuff when in fact you are attempting to save it. Mac TFG recommends using either Cold Fire units or ones that have AFFF inside, Aqueous Film Forming Foam.

Here is a good explanation of AFFF along with videos.

All About AFFF Fire Extinguishers

Good luck with the insurance company and thank God everyone is safe.

Dr4Film ----- Richard
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Old 11-21-2012, 11:04 AM   #24
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So sorry about your about the loss of your coach. This is very scary stuff and could happen to any of us. We are very glad you were able to get out and no one was hurt.
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Old 11-21-2012, 11:58 AM   #25
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Wow, sure makes a person think alright. Glad to hear nobody was injured or worse.
I carry an extinguisher only because I hope it will give us time to get the H$%^ of of there. I use the rule of thumb with a fire.
"If I hold my thumb up and can still see fire, I'm too close"

Good luck with your insurance company. This is one of those times you hope your insurance company choice was the right one.
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Old 11-25-2012, 09:03 AM   #26
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I always think of the 60+ gallons of fuel and the LP tanks...... If mine ever catches on fire, I believe (hope) I'll get WAY back and wait for the pros to take action. Just think of those fire fighters... An LP tank will create quite the explosion. Those are brave guys and gals who fight fires.
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Old 11-28-2012, 01:13 PM   #27
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Quick update for those who are curious...

My insurance company sent an inspector/adjustor out to look at things, and made the (easy) determination that it was indeed a total loss. They're sending a towing company here later in the week to try to figure out how to move it while the slideouts are out - one of them appears to have fallen out of it's "track" and I don't think it's going back in. The leveling jacks are also down, which is going to be an additional challenge for them.

They're hauling it about 50 miles from here to a storage yard, then they're calling in a fire investigator to confirm where the fire started and double check to make sure i wasn't dousing it in gasoline or something.

They've been pretty helpful so far; making sure i wasn't stranded somewhere and needed a hotel or rental car, and keeping me updated about once a day on the progress of things.
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Old 11-28-2012, 01:44 PM   #28
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Quick update for those who are curious...

My insurance company sent an inspector/adjustor out to look at things, and made the (easy) determination that it was indeed a total loss. They're sending a towing company here later in the week to try to figure out how to move it while the slideouts are out - one of them appears to have fallen out of it's "track" and I don't think it's going back in. The leveling jacks are also down, which is going to be an additional challenge for them.

They're hauling it about 50 miles from here to a storage yard, then they're calling in a fire investigator to confirm where the fire started and double check to make sure i wasn't dousing it in gasoline or something.

They've been pretty helpful so far; making sure i wasn't stranded somewhere and needed a hotel or rental car, and keeping me updated about once a day on the progress of things.
Glad to hear things are progressing to your satisfaction. Keep us posted.
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