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Old 03-23-2016, 02:46 AM   #1
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Grim reminder

This past Sunday I was driving, travel trailer in tow heading north on I75 not too far north of the Florida - Georgia state line. We hit a little bit of traffic as I spotted some thick black smoke about 1/2 mile ahead. As we drove by there was a motor home engulfed in flames on the side of the road. Emergency vehicles were already on site trying to put the fire out. The whole mid to back end of the motor home and the front of what appeared to be a Jeep Cherokee tow vehicle were engulfed in flames. It looked like the driver was off on the side wearing an oxygen mask while being tended to by paramedics.

I've read the numerous debates online but felt better about when we were packing the RV to leave and my wife asked if we were going to turn on the refrigerator, I said no let's turn off the gas while traveling. Not sure what started this fire but we did have a neighbor that lives 5 houses down the street from us lose their class A motor home a few months ago to a faulty appliance while parked outside their house one night while preparing for a trip. Luckily the house did not catch on fire as that one burned down until pretty much the frame was left. They do go quickly once a fire starts.

Events like this have converted me to shutting off the propane as I travel. It also reminds me to test the smoke detector at the beginning of every trip.

I hope the occupants all got out ok. The RV is replaceable.
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Old 03-23-2016, 06:48 AM   #2
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It is a terrible thing to see a rv on fire. I have seen them also and always wondered what started it. I don't think I would get to drastic without doing some checking on the actual cause.

I venture most rv's you see on the road and all MH's have their fridges in operation. I know many who even run the furnace at times while underway. They are designed to work that way.

If you are concerned without cause, taking action would be the prudent thing to do for you. There is much to read on the subject.
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Old 03-23-2016, 07:49 AM   #3
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We have to park our TT on the street the night before we leave for a trip and have the fridge on propane - can't get close to our townhouse to hook up electric. And we always have it on propane underway. If everything is kept in good working order, I would say it is rare to have a problem... Like Norty said, they are designed to work that way.
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Old 03-23-2016, 09:05 AM   #4
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According to "Fire Safety by Mac McCoy"....

"Diesel pushers catch fire more often than other RVs. A tiny pinhole leak can cause a fire that may not be spotted quickly". Because of the distance from the cockpit to the engine compartment, and the restricted airflow to the diesel pusher, there can be a fire in the engine compartment before the occupants are aware of it.

When the engine is sitting in front of you, overheating and smoke are obvious very quickly.

Modern RV gas refrigerators are designed to be used while in motion, and have multiple safety devices engineered in (overheat shutdown, high gas volume shutdown, propane tank high-pressure relief valves, etc.) .

Most of us feel that using a device as designed is a safe and prudent thing to do.

JMHO
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Old 03-23-2016, 05:58 PM   #5
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All of the ppl that I know that have RV's travel with the gas fridge in operation. They are designed to be used that way.
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Old 03-23-2016, 06:01 PM   #6
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I'd rather it catch fire on the road while I am awake than at night when I am asleep. You run your propane fridge at night if you don't have hookups, don't you? Its kinda the same conditions at night time at the campground or during the day on the road...
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Old 04-05-2016, 04:27 PM   #7
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I have read that diesel pushers are more prone to catch fire due to the lack of cooling air getting to the engine resulting in extremely hot conditions in the engine bay.
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Old 04-05-2016, 06:00 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wyn View Post
I have read that diesel pushers are more prone to catch fire due to the lack of cooling air getting to the engine resulting in extremely hot conditions in the engine bay.
The only live RV fire I've seen on the road was a diesel pusher, with a fire in the rear. Can't say for a fact that they are more fire-prone, but that's my story.
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Old 04-05-2016, 06:31 PM   #9
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I have found that I keep a few ice packs in my freezer and before leaving, simply put some in the frig section and leave my ice container in the freezer. It's been "off" for 6-7 hrs and things are still frozen/cold. So my question is why leave it on? I don't have to worry about turning it off to gas up or to go through a tunnel. One less thing to think about. (I'm not a ten hr on the road person but if I were, I'd just turn it on when I stop for lunch)
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Old 04-05-2016, 08:15 PM   #10
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Propane...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vaneta View Post
I have found that I keep a few ice packs in my freezer and before leaving, simply put some in the frig section and leave my ice container in the freezer. It's been "off" for 6-7 hrs and things are still frozen/cold. So my question is why leave it on? I don't have to worry about turning it off to gas up or to go through a tunnel. One less thing to think about. (I'm not a ten hr on the road person but if I were, I'd just turn it on when I stop for lunch)
It's not the open flame that's not allowed in specific tunnels, it's any vehicle carrying propane. Before we got the Garmin RV GPS, we had to make some "back up and go around" detours where propane wasn't allowed... now the Garmin alerts us if there are propane restrictions on our proposed route.
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