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Old 02-06-2008, 10:12 PM   #1
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are the current designs and models safe?

i tried to think of a funny, cute, swanky, hipster title...

like one of my favorites...http://www.airforums.com/forums/f42/...ink-33277.html

but came up dry.

besides this is sort of an important issue, and the topic alone should attract enough attention,

without a kitschy lead in...

so, folks here we go with an attempt at a rational, reasoned exchange,

on an important topic...

are the current a/s floorplans, designs, models, building processes and over all execution SAFE?

or from another more extreme angle,

is a/s currently providing us with the safest travel trailers possible... at their price point

or in a less extreme vein...

what should we as buyers/owners EXPECT in terms of reasonable safety from the manufacturer?

thoughts ne1?

cheers
2air'

this is just the kick off post.

a search for threads containing 'safety' as a term yielded 100s...

limiting the search to threads with 'safety' in the title yielded 39...

http://www.airforums.com/forums/sear...earchid=960546

scattered in areas like lpgas, tires, brakes, restoration, first aid, mods, pets and so on....

it might be that we need a subforum specifically labeled "rv and travel safety"

i selected 'dollars and cents\buyer guidelines' for this thread because ultimately we voice our position...

with our buying power.
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Old 02-06-2008, 10:36 PM   #2
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OK, I'll bite. You had mentioned in my other thread about not recommending the front bed models. Are you having concerns about sleeping that close to the two rather large propane bottles sitting directly outside the window?

I can't think of a good reason why I couldn't leave the trailer in a hurry from either the front or the back, even in a FB floorplan.
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Old 02-06-2008, 10:43 PM   #3
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2 door model

I posted a random thought about the location of the "escape window" in the 25 FB SE - it's not at the head of the transverse queen bed, it's on the left side... a foot beyond the end of the bed. It's also a double window, a non-operating small one on the bottom, with the escape window on the top. I'm thinking DIVE from the foot of the bed... nope simpler to run to the door.

If I ever surrender to the idea of a 27 FB I'll see if the factory will make it a 2 door with the second door in place of the curbside window.

Paula

Oh, and I do keep a 2nd fire extinguisher in the bedroom.
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Old 02-06-2008, 10:44 PM   #4
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i'll continue now with some numbers and references...

boring to be sure and incomplete as all numbers are when painting a picture...

the data i can find suggests there are 20,000+ rv fires yearly.

many of these are moho fires, but surprisingly the majority are not 'moving fires'...

rather they are fires while parked, stopped or camping.

approximately 1/4th are related to 12 volt wiring and 12 systems.

and then amplified by lp gas.

sure the "code" requires that a fire extinguisher be included in the unit...

but how many folks know how to use it quickly?
or where it is located?
or where it is relative to potential fire starting points?
and so on...

additionally there are 'codes' for interior construction materials and surface materials...

like upholstery, curtains and wall treatments.

there are even codes for fuel systems, piping, wiring, appliances, windows, exits and so on...

so what exactly are these codes and where do they come from?

and for a/s buyers specifically it would be nice to know how well the folks in j/c apply the safety codes?

it would be great if those who know or have experience related to these safety codes,

for rv construction and systems would offer up some links or insights...

no doubt it's a little like home building or commercial building codes...

and subject to error, costs, lobby, and legal issues...

but still it would be useful to understand what WE AS OWNERS should expect ...

in terms of safety or safe design and building practices.

cheers
2air'
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Old 02-06-2008, 10:48 PM   #5
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RV Codes

I asked the question some time ago about what are the RV construction codes and how are they enforced. I was referred to the RVIA (Recreational Vehicle Industry Association). I called them and was told that there is no code only standards.

Bill
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Old 02-06-2008, 10:50 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Westfalia
Are you having concerns about sleeping that close to the two rather large propane bottles sitting directly outside the window?...
yes

along with the 12 volt power source and tv exhaust (yours or your neighbors)...

and limited options for egress.

cheers
2air'
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Old 02-06-2008, 10:53 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foiled Again
.. I'm thinking DIVE from the foot of the bed...

If I ever surrender to the idea of a 27 FB I'll see if the factory will make it a 2 door with the second door in place of the curbside window...
hi paula

right u are about the dive...

i've taken it!

and the notion of a 2nd door is a sooooo much better solution...

except 4 the undisclosed reasons WHY we are seeing rear door models REPLACE many/most of the current front door layouts...

cheers
2air'
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Old 02-06-2008, 10:55 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wkerfoot
I asked the question some time ago about what are the RV construction codes and how are they enforced. I was referred to the RVIA (Recreational Vehicle Industry Association). I called them and was told that there is no code only standards...Bill
hi bill

i don't know even the basic answer to this question, which is a very good one.

but will post what i've found and hope others can do the same.

cheers
2air'
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Old 02-06-2008, 11:01 PM   #9
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some of the basic information on safe building practices is here...

NFPA

apparently we can purchase the 2008 edition of their 'standard on recreational vehicles'...

NFPA 1192: Standard on Recreational Vehicles

haven't done this yet, but i have been reading from the free online 2005 version...

which is listed as a link near the bottom of the page.

cheers
2air'
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Old 02-06-2008, 11:08 PM   #10
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Maybe a Diesel Powered Trailer is not such a bad idea after all. Diesel is far less flammable than propane, and would tend to smolder or sustain a small flame rather then produce a large fireball.

Sleeping materials aside, if you have an International or Safari SE model, you are probably safer with the aluminum walls rather than the fabric fuzzy coating that is standard in the Safari and Classic lines. No carpet (or less carpet for the SE models) probably helps keep a flame from spreading quickly.

Knowing how to properly use a fire extinguisher is a must. I for one have never shot off an extinguisher, but plan to do so soon after talking to a fire marshall a couple of days again during a kids visit to the local fire station. Having a second extinguisher installed in the front bedroom is a great idea. Paula, where do you keep yours? I would image that mounting it on the bulkhead/shower wall near the exit window would make the most sense. If Airstream planned ahead, they could have this recessed into the wall and have the shower pan re-moulded to account for this.
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Old 02-06-2008, 11:16 PM   #11
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Another thought, except for dead shorts, how often do lead acid batteries burst into flame? Not very often as far as I know. Maybe moving the batteries to an inside location is a better ideas, maybe under the bed in a FB model, with appropriate venting, of course.

Maybe also add a LPG detector to the bedroom.
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Old 02-06-2008, 11:48 PM   #12
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u could be right about interior wall materials westie...

the mouse fur is a polypropylene fiber and treated to 'not support' combustion...

i think.

i've got a link to that material somewhere and will find it again soon.

had my unit built without carpet but i'm not sure this matters much IF lp gas/tanks are part of the fire issue.

the big issue imo is safe and multiple and easy to use egress...

since ANY sustained interior fire is gonna produce smoke/fumes that we don't wanna inhale for long.

my interest in the floor plan issue and knowing your exits and having an exit plan started long ago.

when a rented moving van caught fire, with me in it.

it was magnified a few years ago and prompted this thread...

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f161...ted-17997.html

the folks trapped inside that unit didn't know how to use the escape window...

and waited until fire/rescue arrived, so they could guide them out the window....

waiting would not be an option with a fire...

so develop an exit plan, and practice the exit process, and think about it when looking at other units...

just like considering any other 'system' on the trailer...

cheers
2air's
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Old 02-06-2008, 11:59 PM   #13
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Hey 2air'
Thanks for another informative and necessary thread.
Do you have any AS specific stats in regards to fire and the current FB design? (in a previous thread you stated "new crop of FB ASs"
While camping in a "full hookup situation" would it be safer to turn off the LP at bedtime and use a portable heater for heat? (would this be even more dangerous?)
What safety measures can you recommend we do to make our new 2008 27FB CCD as safe as possible?
For starters I'm gonna buy three new fire extinguishers tomorrow (the one that came with our trailer seems a bit skimpy) one for the bedroom, one for the kitchen area and one to be kept in my truck. What's the best extinguisher to buy?
I'm looking forward to more info from this thread.
Dennis
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Old 02-07-2008, 12:05 AM   #14
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5 months ago i experienced a little 12 volt fire...

i had just returned to the trailer with a full 40 lb lp tank,

and after remounting the tank and attaching the fittings, i slipped on the tank cover, and spun down the wingnut.

at this time i reached inside the cover for the sensor wiring and felt a little tingle in my skin...

at the same instant i smelled the acrid fumes of an electrical fire...

quickly i took a step back, only 2 see flames at the base of the tank cover.

somehow i spun the wingnut off and ejected the tank cover over a shoulder, in about 2 nanoseconds...

and the fire stopped.

then i quickly turned OFF both tanks, pulled the 110 umbilical, ran inside and disconnected the 12 volt system...

again in about one tick.

at this point i walked 100 feet away from the trailer and remained till my pulse rate was something less than 300bpm...

the 'cause' of the fire was the factory placement of the 12v jack wire (not grounded, just a HOT WIRE)...

directly UNDER the tank cover lip resting position...

obviously the lower tank cover lip, had worn through the wire casing.

not an IF but a WHEN it terms of this happening.

it was and will absolutely happen with the current wiring layout.

and given we romove and replace the tank cover many times; each with the opportunity to pinch this wire.

see pics...

this event further prompted me to explore some of the basic issues related to trailer safety and design/build/floorplan issues...

cheers
2air'
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