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Old 08-20-2012, 09:24 AM   #1
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RV fires. Doesn't happen often, but does happen.

From our local newspaper:

"
RV fire on I-5 leaves wreckage

Medford couple aren't hurt, but their vehicle is destroyed in blaze




August 20, 2012

A Medford couple walked away uninjured from a car fire that destroyed their motor home Sunday afternoon on Interstate 5 near Gold Hill.
Joy Adreon, 85, said she and her husband, Leon, 86, heard a loud popping noise coming from the front of their vehicle while traveling southbound on I-5 around 3:30 p.m. They pulled over and noticed fire and smoke coming from underneath the 1988 motor home.
The fire spread from the front end of the motor home to the back, burning the front half of the vehicle, according to Jackson County Fire District No. 3 Battalion Chief Rod Edwards.
The fire also spread to a small area in a grassy field near the freeway. Edwards said crews contained the fire within minutes.
Edwards said the fire likely started in the transmission and quickly spread to the back of the vehicle.
Adreon said she and her husband were coming from a camping trip in Canyonville. The two have traveled across the United States in the motor home, which has about 94,000 miles on it, she said. "I'm crying inside right now," said Adreon, whose camera and purse were left inside the vehicle.
Two fire engines from Jackson County Fire District No. 3 and firefighters from the Oregon Department of Forestry responded to the fire.
One lane on I-5 southbound near milepost 40 was closed for more than an hour.
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Old 08-20-2012, 12:10 PM   #2
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That is a different one (Started in transmission)

I must admit, the last RV fire I saw was a Pick up with a TT.. The TT had exterior heat and smoke damage, Nothing a good bath would not cure.

The pick up... Was a very crispy critter

I did not stop since he was travling in convoy mode with another Pickup/TT RVer and he'd stopped with his buddy. Thus I did the approved thing and continued on down the road.
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Old 08-20-2012, 01:20 PM   #3
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Last week we have a camping friend's rig go up in flames, a 2006 class A. While traveling up a mountain side to Oak Glen campground in San Bernadino, CA. The couple was able to get out with their lives but that's about all, total loss. The rear end of their motor home caught fire from a rotted exhaust elbow that directed the exhaust out the side of the motor home. the hole in the elbow allowed hot exhaust to hit their rear bumper which is fiberglass and the rest is history.
I hope we can all learn from these incidents.
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Old 08-20-2012, 11:19 PM   #4
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Maintenance is key to be sure, but one also has to wonder if there are any changes that can be made to RV design and materials to make them a bit more fire retardant, especially as they are often a true "home on wheels".
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Old 08-20-2012, 11:28 PM   #5
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RV fires do not happen often? Percentage wise RV vs auto.....I'd bet RV is more
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Old 08-21-2012, 07:54 AM   #6
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"According to the latest national statistics, there were, on average, 3,100 RV fires each year from 2002 through 2005. These fires caused seven deaths, 62 injuries and approximately $41 million in damages in each of those years."




Source: Road Trip America.
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Old 08-21-2012, 08:04 AM   #7
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Is a fire starting in the transmission rare? Not sure I've ever seen that reported before.

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Old 08-21-2012, 08:16 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sc3283 View Post
RV fires do not happen often? Percentage wise RV vs auto.....I'd bet RV is more
No way! Car fires are as common as dirt. Did it every day for 30 years ; correction every 3rd day! Just ask any firefighter in a large city. Motorhomes are built alot like mobilehomes so dont fret too much and let the insurance co worry about it. Not being cynical just a realist. Also dont be a hero if you have a fire ; it can be easily replaced and even small fires usually total a vehicle.
As far as the transmission being the cause , uh oh yeah they used the swag method for determination! Hollywood has had a major impact on the american thinking about vehicle fires.
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Old 08-21-2012, 09:49 AM   #9
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I think its best to be prepared if you experience a fire in your RV, is to get out safely and don't try and 'save' it. Your only going to get hurt or burned. The fire extingishers onboard in RV's arent going to contain a RV fire because they are so flammable. Everything basically is covered by insurance with the exception of your lives. Dont try and be a hero, once everyone is out and safe your job is done. Losing everything is a hassle but losing your life isn't worth none of that.
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Old 08-21-2012, 10:27 AM   #10
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One thing I rarely see in a MH (or TT for that mater) is a good A-B-C fire extinguisher just inside the main door. If you have a minor fire (cooking as an example) it's close at hand, etc.

The one HUGE MISTAKE 95% of make is to mount these things 'right side up' rather than nozzle down. Even in you home the 'powder' inside will compact, ever so more so in a MH. You hit the handle and all you're going to get is 'propellent fizzle.'

NOT A GOOD THING!

The last 'tip' is to take the unit off the wrack and give it a good shake before you drive off and again when you get to your destination. For the record, even with the standard 2.5 pound units you can put out one hell of a fire if you know what you're doing. (Sweeping motion across the base of the fire. Drive the fire in front of you to avoid what's called 'flashback.')

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Old 08-21-2012, 01:12 PM   #11
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Anotherone...you'd be good in politics! Take my whole context...not just part of it so it fits your comments.
Of course auto fires are more than RV fires...there is 1 heck of a lot more autos on the roads....isn't there?
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Old 08-21-2012, 02:19 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DonDee View Post
"According to the latest national statistics, there were, on average, 3,100 RV fires each year from 2002 through 2005. These fires caused seven deaths, 62 injuries and approximately $41 million in damages in each of those years."

Source: Road Trip America.
But what's causing these fires? Smoking in bed? Fridges going up in flames? The hot water heaters?
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Old 08-23-2012, 11:09 PM   #13
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I can't say what all the causes of these fires,but from the folks I've talked to,amazing what you hear when you have the problem too, here is a short list;
1.Overheating in the summer,especially going up hills and in older gas rigs.
2.I have talked with several folks that have had new MHs bought for them by Norcold. 1 was on his way to the dealer to have the recall done and three had had it done and they still went. One of the couples had to go out the back window at 2:00AM.
3.a couple of other folks,me included,have had exhaust pipe burnouts where the rear cap melts down and catches fire. Man,you should have seen the flex pipe in mine when we got the flames and coals out.The hard foam insulation in the rear cap overheated from the exhaust hitting it and caught fire and lucklily we were right at an off ramp when it happened and were able to get safely off the freeway when the DW smelled the smoke.
4.1 fellow had a rear axle fire from an axle fluid leak and an overheated brake. After coming down a long hill,he smelled burning brakes and as he was walking back to check it he heard a whoosh and saw smoke and flame.Lost that one on the side of the road.
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Old 08-24-2012, 09:43 AM   #14
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The transmission causing a fire is a pretty common one in heavy pickups and RV's.

When the trans. starts slipping it can cause an immense amount of heat, when it hits the temperature where the trans. fluid boils it blows it up the dipstick tube with great force. In most cases that causes the nearly red-hot exhaust to get a shower of overheated fluid. That almost always causes it to burst into flames.

It happened to me on the highway with a rented cube van a number of years back, total loss, the ironic part was it happened within sight of a fire hall, but because the nearest on-ramp was some distance away the van was a goner before they could get to the scene.
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