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Old 11-20-2012, 06:51 PM   #1
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After a motorhome fire

Today our 07 GS Sun Voyager caught on fire today, and is pretty much a lost cause. The roof melted, everything that I can see from peeking my head in looks like charcoal. I'm guessing it's going to be a total loss.

Anyone been through this before that can give any advice? My insurance agent has been really helpful sounding so far, but I've heard a lot of horror stories about total loss claims and RVs before.


As a side note, if you fail to put out an RV fire after the first fire extinguisher, don't go back in with a second. I am still coughing up half a lung right now. :(
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Old 11-20-2012, 07:48 PM   #2
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papaw.1

I HAVE NOT EXPEREINCED ANYTHING LIKE THIS BUT, JUST WANTED TO SAY I AM VERY SORRY FOR YOUR LOSE AND I HOPE YOU GET EVERYTHING STRAIGHTEN OUT. GOOD LUCK AND GOD SPEED
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Old 11-20-2012, 09:02 PM   #3
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Thanks I really appreciate it. I'm really lucky that this happened while parked at the house rather than on a trip somewhere, so I'm not scrambling for somewhere to live and having half my worldly belongings inside when it was burning.

My insurance company says they'll probably not be able to do much until next week, so for now I sit and glare at it out my window.
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Old 11-20-2012, 09:27 PM   #4
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I'm sorry that you had to go through such a devastating event. I keep my extinguisher next to the door to remind me where to go in case of a fire.
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Old 11-20-2012, 09:27 PM   #5
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Sorry to hear of your loss! I hope you get a quick and fair settlement. Please keep us posted. My advice would be to make a list of belongings in the coach and try and put a replacement cost on them. I would also research the cost of replacing the coach so you will know whether they are being fair. Good luck.
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Old 11-20-2012, 09:36 PM   #6
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I'm sorry that you had to go through such a devastating event. I keep my extinguisher next to the door to remind me where to go in case of a fire.
The scary part (for me anyway) was that the extinguisher by the door wasn't enough. I saw a small amount of smoke coming from the bedroom in the rear. I walk back and see what appeared to be a small fire. I go grab the fire extinguisher by the door, fully discharge it, and a few seconds later i saw more flames. I ran outside, and called 911.

I live in a rural area so I wasn't expecting them to get here very quickly. I realized I had another fire extinguisher near by, so I grabbed it, went back inside. The smoke was so thick I didn't get two steps into it before I thought my throat was burning, so I ran out of there. I was totally unprepared for how powerful that was, even with holding my breath it was just insanely painful.

Anyway, next time I'm getting a far larger extinguisher than the tiny travel sized one that was factory installed. I'm pretty sure if it had been big enough to have made a second squirt from a closer distance this would have ended differently.
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Old 11-20-2012, 09:47 PM   #7
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Toasty,

There is nothing that anyone of us can do or say other than we are very happy that there was no loss of life but also, so very sorry for the loss of your coach and possessions.

Not too many people actually have to deal with a MH fire and its repercussions nor do I ever want to even think about it.

I have a fire suppression system on my Cummins engine. I also HAD a Halon fire suppression system in the rear of my NotSocold Norcold. That is now in the Aqua-Hot diesel Webasto burner area as we now have a residential fridge in the coach. I also have a variety of Cold Fire extinguishers located all over the coach with the biggest one next to the front door. They are used to allow a few more minutes to safely and quickly egress out of harms way. The burning coach is up to the professionals with proper equipment to put out the fire.

At this moment, do you or anyone else have any clue as to what may have started the fire? Since I have lived in a coach for over 10 years now and have been full-timing in my Monaco for 9 of those years I am always leery and cautious about possible fires. Whatever I or someone else can learn from incidents like this is always very helpful.

Good luck with your recovery and resolution.

Dr4Film ----- Richard
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Old 11-20-2012, 09:55 PM   #8
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2 ideas:

Do not do anything to disturb the RV as it now sits. They will want to examine it closely to rule out fraud.

Start researching the true retail value of your rig so that you will know if they make a fair offer. You are not bound to accept an offer that you feel is unfair.
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Old 11-20-2012, 10:01 PM   #9
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At this moment, do you or anyone else have any clue as to what may have started the fire? Since I have lived in a coach for over 10 years now and have been full-timing in my Monaco for 9 of those years I am always leery and cautious about possible fires. Whatever I or someone else can learn from incidents like this is always very helpful.
It appears to have been electrical. I just pulled it out of storage today, and the coach batteries were totally dead. After about 45 minutes of driving with the generator on, they'd recharged enough so the lights were working but they were still dim and flickery. When I got to my house, I plugged it in to AC expecting the voltage to jump up and the lights to be bright again. This didn't happen. I checked the voltage at the batteries, and it was about 11.3V. I then discovered that the 60A DC breaker for the charger had popped. I thought this was possibly because the batteries were totally dead, so I double checked everything, reset the breaker, and it looked good. The voltage came back up to 13.something and the interior lighting looked normal. The fire started a few minutes after that. The battery charger in this model is in the rear bedroom, near where the fire was visible. The light switch for the bedroom was also on fire when i came in, which I can't explain unless the voltage output was seriously wrong.

I was so focused on watching the batteries to make sure they weren't boiling or hissing (bad experience in the past with trying to charge totally dead batteries) that I didn't even think to keep checking the charger. I assumed it was okay, and I was only dealing with really dead batteries that just drew too much current trying to bring them up from zero.

For the curious, a few pictures I snapped while waiting:

Smoke then Fire then Aftermath
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Old 11-20-2012, 10:04 PM   #10
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2 ideas:

Do not do anything to disturb the RV as it now sits. They will want to examine it closely to rule out fraud.

Start researching the true retail value of your rig so that you will know if they make a fair offer. You are not bound to accept an offer that you feel is unfair.
When I called my insurance agent, he suggested waiting until it was safe then trying to find anything undamaged and pull it out before the elements took their toll. One of the people from the fire department said to absolutely not go back in there, because the insurance company can later claim you "disturbed" things. So I'm not touching it. The floor doesn't look stable anyway, so I'm staying out.

I'm hopeful the insurance company is going to play fairly, but I've read too many bad stories to know what to expect now.

Thanks so much for your words of wisdom guys.
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Old 11-20-2012, 10:21 PM   #11
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One thing I wonder since it was in Storage if something was eating on your wiring and some wires were touching. Our Campground we frequent has a big problem with squirrels eating the wiring. I worked in Construction and we had trouble with that too on equipment. Just a thought. Also my take on RV fires unless your trying save lives, don't put yourself in danger it's just not worth it. RV's burn so hot and fast your not going to put it out. Do photo inventory of your RV and all its belongings , load on CD and keep one at home and give your insurance another copy to keep in your file, it will make life that much easier when something like this happens.
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Old 11-20-2012, 10:34 PM   #12
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I would start making a list of things that were in your motor home of value so that they maybe replaced also. As a volunteer firefighter I have been on several RV fires and they do get hot.

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Old 11-20-2012, 10:46 PM   #13
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Sorry to hear of your loss! I hope you get a quick and fair settlement. Please keep us posted. My advice would be to make a list of belongings in the coach and try and put a replacement cost on them. I would also research the cost of replacing the coach so you will know whether they are being fair. Good luck.
X2 on this, the more you can do before the adjuster involvement, the faster things will happen once they have initiated the process. Try not to touch anything to affect the investigation.

I looked at the photos you posted. All I can say is WOW!
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Old 11-20-2012, 11:38 PM   #14
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Pretty scary!! I'd like to know how you make out with your insurance company and who they are.

I'd be astounded if it isn't totaled.

Keep us posted.
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