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Old 03-11-2010, 05:30 PM   #1
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RV fires

Realizing that the plural of anecdote is not data, it still seems to me that (across all brands) MH fires are far more common than trailer or TV fires. I've been pondering this and it has led me to wonder....

1) Is it really true that MH fires are more common or is that just selective memory on my part?

2) Given the relative rarity of car and truck fires, why are MH fires as prevalent as they seem to be?

3) How does the incidence of fire in 'streams compare to SOBs?

4) What are the most common causes of fire in an RV while it is under way?

5) What are the most common causes of fire in an RV while it is parked?

6) Is the distance between the hitch and the trailer sufficient to serve as a firebreak such that if the TV burns the trailer probably will not, and vice versa?

7) To what extent to various tire configurations, such as tandems and duals, contribute to the risk of a tire fire due to unrecognized deflation of one tire?
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Old 03-11-2010, 05:40 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jammer View Post
Realizing that the plural of anecdote is not data, it still seems to me that (across all brands) MH fires are far more common than trailer or TV fires. I've been pondering this and it has led me to wonder....

1) Is it really true that MH fires are more common or is that just selective memory on my part?

2) Given the relative rarity of car and truck fires, why are MH fires as prevalent as they seem to be?

3) How does the incidence of fire in 'streams compare to SOBs?

4) What are the most common causes of fire in an RV while it is under way?

5) What are the most common causes of fire in an RV while it is parked?

6) Is the distance between the hitch and the trailer sufficient to serve as a firebreak such that if the TV burns the trailer probably will not, and vice versa?

7) To what extent to various tire configurations, such as tandems and duals, contribute to the risk of a tire fire due to unrecognized deflation of one tire?
1. There are more RV fires than should be.

2. The MH engine compartment has usually a higher temperature than a car or truck. Higher temps mean shorter life for fuel lines, etc.

3. Airstream MH have had a very small amount of fires, in the engine compartment. Lack of good PM is the usual cause. They also have LPG fires, again,lack of good PM.

4. Engine fuel first, LPG second.

5. LPG leaks. Careless use of stove and/or oven.

6. Heck no.

7. Very very rare.

Some may say hogwash, insurance companies say different.

Andy

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Old 03-11-2010, 06:06 PM   #3
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Gas engines have a habit of heating up, and the flash point with a leak is right now, for one thing. Wiring and leaking propane lines can contribute to disaster, also. Quite honesty, I've seen more fires in TVs than I've seen in mo/hos. We talked to some some folks from Canada that had to watch their class A burn to the ground because the emergency brake locked-up and they were miles from any help. It's like sailing, you maintain your "boat" and put your trust in the wind.
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Old 03-11-2010, 06:12 PM   #4
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Although victim of an RV fire, I can't really answer any of your questions. My example happened while the trailer was parked and I was away with the tow vehicle.

The trailer was only 14 months old and we were camping in it while deer hunting with no electricity. The cause of the fire was never determined however I found out the Dometic refrigerator was recalled about four months after the fire.

Had the tow vehicle been parked anywhere near the trailer it would have burned as well. The fire burned so hot there was no evidence of glass, fiberglass siding or the aluminum stud wall structure.
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Old 03-11-2010, 07:27 PM   #5
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wow! i am not sure if i would have even taken photos...talk about a total loss. Wow!
I assume no one hurt and for that am thankful.
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Old 03-11-2010, 08:10 PM   #6
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Jeepers, no worrying about polishing that TT!

What was it, a 25-footer?
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Old 03-11-2010, 08:15 PM   #7
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wow! i am not sure if i would have even taken photos...talk about a total loss. Wow!
I assume no one hurt and for that am thankful.
Unfortunately, Steve's pet was in the trailer at the time of the fire.

Motor Home fires tend to be more spectacular, and more common, simply because they are bigger, and have more things that can cause a fire. Very few travel trailers have engines and running gear to contribute to the mix.
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Old 03-11-2010, 08:26 PM   #8
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... I've been pondering this and it has led me to wonder....
why wonder, SOME the information related to fires is available already, get on line a search for it.

the limitation being not all fires get reported or are severe enough to ring the bell and make newz...

a TINY bit of this is covered in this thread or the links inside here...

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f353...afe-39545.html

my reading suggests ELECTRICAL issues are the common source point for many PARKED trailer fires.

even if the fire eventually includes the lp systems.

and on mohos it's the doghouse or exhaust system or electrical as the primary.

but common or "more common" are meaningless phrase ez ...

fires/NUMBER of mohos or fires/trailers OUT THERE in a given year is the relevant way to frame prevalence or rate of occurrences.

the absolute # of 'steams in existence compared to ALL mohos or ALL tow-ables is SO SMALL...

that 'stream fires will NEVER be considered common.

again it is absolute # of fires relative to absolute # of rvs in use or existence that is the key to understanding common-ness...

and other that pondering and wondering is there an ISSUE behind the string of questions?

cheers
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Old 03-11-2010, 09:20 PM   #9
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and other that pondering and wondering is there an ISSUE behind the string of questions?
An old acquaintance's house recently burned to the ground, so fire is on my mind (no one was hurt).

For my stick home I am considering discontinuing my fire insurance and using the savings to pay for sprinklers. The rationale being that the probability of the sprinklers failing to prevent a sizable loss is less than the probability of the insurance adjuster finding some excuse not to pay the claim in the event of a fire. Insurance is no longer the service-oriented business it once was, and residential fire sprinklers have an excellent (albeit limited) track record.

The analysis behind this has led me to a great deal of wondering and pondering.
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Old 03-11-2010, 09:27 PM   #10
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An old acquaintance's house recently burned to the ground, so fire is on my mind (no one was hurt).

For my stick home I am considering discontinuing my fire insurance and using the savings to pay for sprinklers...
gotcha

4 months past a friend in flo' had a total loss fire.

the fire crew managed to safe the dogs, but nothing else.

they are now rebuilding with sprinklers.

in fact the architect (also a friend) doing the design/build encourages ALL his client/houses include sprinklers...
___________

DROPPING the coverage may not be possible unless the home is free of any mortgage...

but it's an interesting idea.

cheers
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Old 03-11-2010, 09:39 PM   #11
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Unfortunately, Steve's pet was in the trailer at the time of the fire.

Motor Home fires tend to be more spectacular, and more common, simply because they are bigger, and have more things that can cause a fire. Very few travel trailers have engines and running gear to contribute to the mix.

First and Formost, Steve, My heart breaks for your loss.

This makes me leary about leaving my boxer in there for any amount of time alone.

Again, breaks my heart Steve.


Shane
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Old 03-11-2010, 09:42 PM   #12
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Although victim of an RV fire, I can't really answer any of your questions. My example happened while the trailer was parked and I was away with the tow vehicle.

The trailer was only 14 months old and we were camping in it while deer hunting with no electricity. The cause of the fire was never determined however I found out the Dometic refrigerator was recalled about four months after the fire.

Had the tow vehicle been parked anywhere near the trailer it would have burned as well. The fire burned so hot there was no evidence of glass, fiberglass siding or the aluminum stud wall structure.
I'm Suprised the propane bottles are still there. One looks almost untouched.

Also see you got a deer.

Was it an airstream in the photos?

Again, sorry for the loss.

Shane
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Old 03-11-2010, 09:50 PM   #13
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...This makes me leary about leaving my boxer in there for any amount of time alone...
there are many risks to critters LEFT in the rv...

best to do THAT rarely and carefully...

the a/c in my stream FAILED, leaking rv gas/stuff INTO the stream and the temp climbed to HOT b4 i returned...

others have experienced POWER outages while hooked up in rv parks and so on...

all the sad stories and warnings are below...

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f239...ets-24608.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f239...arm-13308.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f239...ase-12630.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f239...ogs-34831.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f239...-do-40507.html

cheers
2air'
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Old 03-11-2010, 10:03 PM   #14
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I think there is considerable misunderstanding out there on what does and does not constitute a hazard. I've seen couches and mattresses burn and they are considerably more frightening than a propane tank or a battery. If you have batteries under your gaucho then the greatest fire hazard you're sitting on is still the cushion. With the modern acme threaded propane connectors, the connector will melt and the valve close before the hose burns enough to leak, and the copper piping will withstand most fires.

I've never seen a battery explosion though I've seen the aftermath firsthand and it almost always results from trying to charge a frozen battery. It's the wiring, not the battery, that poses a hazard.

It seems to me that lack of careful attention to fusing is the greatest safety shortcoming in most RV wiring with lack of protection of wires from mechanical damage being a close second. Ideally from a safety standpoint any 12 volt wire should be tightly fused at its source before it passes through any bulkhead, wall, or other potential source of mechanical damage. Tightly fused meaning with as small as a fuse as will not produce nuisance failures.

It seems to me that with a noncombustible wall and ceiling/roof Airstream would have an inherent advantage in fire safety.
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