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Old 10-02-2010, 08:07 PM   #1
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This is what happens when mice chew your wiring

One of my campers came pounding on my door Thursday night at about 11:45PM. He told me to call the fire department because a trailer was on fire. I called 911 and evacuated everyone from the area and cut the power to the park. The fire trucks within 10 mins. Excellent timing for a volunteer force considering we are 5 mins away from the hall. The trailer was fully engulfed as soon as I saw it. They had it out within 15 mins but it was a total loss. The fire chief determined it was a short in the power converter most likely caused by rodents chewing through the wiring. The pictures speak for themselves. Luckily no one was in the trailer at the time and no other trailers were damaged just a neighbouring shed and some trees. I'm posting this as a warning to all to be vigilant and regularily inspect your trailer for signs of damage or infestation.
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Old 10-02-2010, 08:20 PM   #2
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I'm gonna have to think about this a bit.
I really feel sorry for those folks.
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Old 10-02-2010, 08:36 PM   #3
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Yeah.. me too. Good thing they were not home at the time.. On the other hand maybe he could have put it out. Hard to say. We all worry about this type of thing.
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Old 10-02-2010, 08:48 PM   #4
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Make one want to test the smoke alarms before starting trip.
Did they show the rodent chewed wires? or just sermise it?
Wish they would not use soy based oil in wire covers, rodents chewed up the sparkplug wires and vacuum lines, but you never know what else as they can do the damage in an unseen area.
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Old 10-02-2010, 08:59 PM   #5
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I know for a fact that those critters can do 750 dollars worth of damage to a Ford Powerstroke electrical system overnight....plus the tow .
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Old 10-02-2010, 09:07 PM   #6
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I know for a fact that those critters can do 750 dollars worth of damage to a Ford Powerstroke electrical system overnight....plus the tow .
mmm.. bio-diesel
smells like french fries
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Old 10-02-2010, 09:15 PM   #7
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We have a Honda CRV which sat in the drive for a couple of weeks last year last winter without being driven. Imagine our surprise when upon opening up the glove box for a napkin, we find that most of the paper in the box had been shredded by an obvious rodent resident. How it got into the glove box (and out of the car) is still a mystery to me. Obviously I consider a car a lot tighter than my trailer.

The pictures of this fire and being caused by a rodent aren't surprising.

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Old 10-02-2010, 09:49 PM   #8
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There was evidence of a nest on top of the converter which was located just below the fridge. Both appliances created a warm spot for the mice to habitat in. There was definate evidence of the wiring being shorted out. BTW this damage was to the 12VDC wires. The smoke alarm was installed and working at the time. However this model of trailer had no emergency exit window in the bedroom. The fridge was located right across from the entry door. Sures makes you think about an alternate exit from the sleeping area once you look at the bed platform in the bedroom. The mattress frame was pulled out by the fire department. I didn't post a picture of the matress frame but it was covered in molten globs of aluminum from the roof which totally melted from the heat. The trailer owner had patio lights located about 20' away from the trailer and they all melted from the radiant heat. This is very scary that 12VDC could do all this.
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Old 10-02-2010, 10:22 PM   #9
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Just trying to get this straight my head. Mice chewed wires, trailer started on fire. Ok what happened here. I've had mice chew wires in my boat and truck and I've yet to have a fire, explain. Also were any mice killed in the destruction.

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Old 10-02-2010, 10:27 PM   #10
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It sounds like the owner didn't have a fuse immediately after the connection from the battery. I don't know what the usual wiring diagram looks like for a 12 volt system but I imagine this trailers power converter was connected directly to the battery with no fuse in between.
If it were the AC voltage circuits that were damaged I would like to think a breaker would have tripped and kept that from happening.

I have seen a main engine harness on a garage kept 2004 F-150 stripped of almost all its insulation by a rat. Which resulted in the main 100 amp fuse blowing and causing a no start. Owner thought the battery was dead.
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Old 10-02-2010, 10:42 PM   #11
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Hanko was your boat or car plugged into 110VAC when the mice chewed the wires? Were the circuits live when they chewed the wires? Did the mice build a nest right on top of the spot where they chewd the wires? More than likely the nest caught fire which then spread to the cabinet and lit the fridge on fire which then ruptured the propane and then really fuelled the fire. There may have been mice killed in the destruction but in all that mess afterward no skeletal evidence could be found. Lets hope the little bast**ds were killed.

nt106 yes the ac breaker at the pole did trip and the trailer's powercord and the receptacle were undamaged by the fire.
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Old 10-03-2010, 08:04 AM   #12
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any chance the fridge started the fire? was it one of the recalled units?
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