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Old 09-21-2009, 12:16 PM   #1
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Anyone Ever Start a Fire?????

Anyone ever start a fire from the sun reflecting off their trailer???

Last week when I was kneeling to polish, I felt burning on the back of my calf. It felt like I was touching a hot burner. Then, about an hour later, I smelled grass burning, and noticed a strip of bright light across the grass. I wet it down, and figured I'd keep a closer watch on things.

This morning, I parked my trailer, and was starting to clean it out, went in the house for about 45 minutes, and came out and found a kneeling pad next to the trailer that had become totally charred, and luckily didn't ignite.

What do you all do to protect from fire???
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Old 09-21-2009, 12:29 PM   #2
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Is the area focusing sunlight concave in shape? I'll start the chant, "Show us pictures!"

InsideOut posted once about seeing the polished inside of a door concentrate the sun when it was open.
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Old 09-21-2009, 12:45 PM   #3
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Doug at the Wilds rally this weekend scorched the grass with his polished open door. I'm sure it could ignite.
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Old 09-21-2009, 01:06 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CanoeStream View Post
Is the area focusing sunlight concave in shape? I'll start the chant, "Show us pictures!"

InsideOut posted once about seeing the polished inside of a door concentrate the sun when it was open.
It was definately the inside of my door which was causing it, and, yes it IS polished. It seemed to be coming from the bottom edge of the door.

And, yup, I need to figure out how to post pics. I'll see if I can re-create the situation on the next sunny morning. I closed the door as soon as I realized, and now the trailer is in partial shade.
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Old 09-21-2009, 01:08 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pinktrailer View Post
It was definately the inside of my door which was causing it, and, yes it IS polished. It seemed to be coming from the bottom edge of the door.

And, yup, I need to figure out how to post pics. I'll see if I can re-create the situation on the next sunny morning. I closed the door as soon as I realized, and now the trailer is in partial shade.
This is so cool! Your built in solar oven!
Bob
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Old 09-21-2009, 01:19 PM   #6
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This is so cool! Your built in solar oven!
Bob
All you would need is a big roll of saran wrap, install a rotissery instead of door handle put on the chicken sounds better than the old manifold meal.
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Old 09-21-2009, 01:28 PM   #7
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This is so cool! Your built in solar oven!
Bob
Well, Bob I'm glad you could make me laugh! (The thought of my trailer burning up doesn't make me real happy.)

I think when I take pictures on the next sunny day, I'll see how long it will take me to cook a couple of eggs!
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Old 09-21-2009, 02:04 PM   #8
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Quote:
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Well, Bob I'm glad you could make me laugh! (The thought of my trailer burning up doesn't make me real happy.)
Actually the door only gets direct sun when it's open ... (I know someone will point out sun coming in the window opposite the door when door closed) ... soooooo your trailer is OK ... you'll just set fire to someone else's trailer so no problem!
Bob
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Old 09-21-2009, 02:16 PM   #9
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Thumbs up Fried an egg...

Quote:
Originally Posted by CanoeStream View Post
InsideOut posted once about seeing the polished inside of a door concentrate the sun when it was open.
Quote:
Originally Posted by pinktrailer View Post
...I'll see how long it will take me to cook a couple of eggs!
I've done it! It's pretty funny to watch the expressions of the faces of people that asked what I was doing! I like to do this during Open Houses at Rallies - but usually have the awning up which helps prevent this from happening.



The large black strip is where the reflection melted our nylon carpet...

I also have made a snap on cover, from Sunbrella fabric that matches our awning, to shield the concave door when open. It can be seen here:



Shari
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Old 09-21-2009, 02:21 PM   #10
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How eggciting!

You guys should go to Oatman, AZ.
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Old 09-21-2009, 02:25 PM   #11
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You guys should go to Oatman, AZ.
Sounds like fun...with a population of 159, I wonder how they'd feel about an outsider pulling in for the challenge?

Gotta love those small towns...

Shari
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Old 09-21-2009, 02:39 PM   #12
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My reflection looks eggsactly like Shari's

Well, Shari, we ought to compete in that Egg Challenge next year! Ha Ha. My reflection looks "eggsactly" like yours! My ground cloth is painted canvas, so I don't have any burn spots. I guess that I will be very careful about leaving the door open when I don't have the awning up.

Where did you put the snaps for your door cover?
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Old 09-21-2009, 03:00 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pinktrailer View Post
Well, Shari, we ought to compete in that Egg Challenge next year! Ha Ha. My reflection looks "eggsactly" like yours! My ground cloth is painted canvas, so I don't have any burn spots. I guess that I will be very careful about leaving the door open when I don't have the awning up.
That sure would be fun...
Quote:
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Where did you put the snaps for your door cover?
There is enough room at the top & bottom edges (facing up & down, not out) on our door-within-a-door for them to fit there. I would imagine on some doors they would have to go on the face of the door at the corners or something...the inside of our main door is Zolatone'd so it's not a problem - when it's open, it covers the inner door with the screen and it's not polished.

That reminds me, I'm going to have to make a door cover for our Safari before next summer...we're going to have the same problem ~

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Old 09-21-2009, 03:29 PM   #14
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it hasn't started any fires but the unpolished trailer does brown the grass on the sunny side of the trailer, even in the winter in Miami.
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Old 09-21-2009, 04:24 PM   #15
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Anyone Ever Start a Fire?????

I haven't seen any fires, but have witnessed the holes burned in plastic ground mats of three different highly polished Vintage Airstreams. Two of them were witnessed on the same caravan . . . 1999 Wagon Wheels to Dayton, OH - - both Tom Howarth ('53 Flying Cloud) and Bill Scott ('61 Bambi) had holes burned in their ground covers during that caravan by their highly polished coaches. A few year later on another Wagon Wheels Caravan, Ed Emerick ('68 Sovereign) had the same thing happen. All three of these owners were recognized at one or more WBCCI International Rallys by the Vintage Airstream Club for the polish jobs on their coaches.

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Old 09-21-2009, 05:38 PM   #16
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Polished Airstream - Documented Fire Hazard

Complete with pictures -

See this thread:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f441...nks-16475.html

Post #214
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Old 09-21-2009, 06:11 PM   #17
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Dennis--I guess that I have to be really careful where I park it. Thanks for the pictures. My biggest problem seems to be with the door open. I have no problem with my '67, as the door is painted. I just have a general "dead grass" area about five feet out from the south side.
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Old 12-31-2012, 06:19 AM   #18
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Too funny.

(Yet more good reasons to never buy an ALCLAD-skinned TT)

.
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Old 12-31-2012, 10:19 AM   #19
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We spent the summer in a stand of pines near Flagstaff, AZ. Took 6 weeks to finish the intermediate (Nuvite C) polish job. In October we relocated in the lower desert. Any plastic that is left next to the AS (door mat, hose insulation, etc.) melts in the irregular parabolic patterns that are formed by the rivets and dents and that cast the focused sunlight downward. No fires but we did install a set of awnings to limit some of the damage.
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