Fire in Trailer - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-17-2006, 08:38 AM   #1
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I was looking on Woodalls and there were several scary fire stories and advice on getting out. Realized i had not seen anything like that in the egg forums. Has that never happened, or what? Are we safer with an egg? interesting proposal there.
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Old 11-17-2006, 09:04 AM   #2
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I was looking on Woodalls and there were several scary fire stories and advice on getting out. Realized i had not seen anything like that in the egg forums. Has that never happened, or what? Are we safer with an egg? interesting proposal there.
Hi: "Eggs" never seemed to cook right in a fire...Always better in a pan!!! I am sure there are some scary fire stories out there...Maybe we are just too sophisticated to relate them!!! Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
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Old 11-17-2006, 09:42 AM   #3
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Hi: "Eggs" never seemed to cook right in a fire...Always better in a pan!!! I am sure there are some scary fire stories out there...Maybe we are just too sophisticated to relate them!!! Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
Maybe egg folks are smarter/faster than the other folks and nothing drastic happens to our eggs! (BTW: love yur tire saying! Too clever!!!)
I'm really nervous about fire and pay attention to exit ideas, etc. Noticed last rv expo that several models had back escape hatches or two doors. Also, no open flames of any kind in our egg. our rule.--well, except the cook top. (sure would like to swap it for electric) Anybody else out there with fire stories, advice???
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Old 11-17-2006, 10:34 AM   #4
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We had one member who has had a FIRE in their Casita. It was caused by a propane heater (I think).

His post may have been PH (preHack).

Maybe they will give us the details.
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Old 11-17-2006, 12:00 PM   #5
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Mike,
Do you remember if that might have been a factory installed heater or an after market portable one? Don
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Old 11-17-2006, 12:21 PM   #6
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Mike,
Do you remember if that might have been a factory installed heater or an after market portable one? Don
After Market Portable.
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Old 11-17-2006, 07:39 PM   #7
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I was looking on Woodalls and there were several scary fire stories and advice on getting out. Realized i had not seen anything like that in the egg forums. Has that never happened, or what? Are we safer with an egg? interesting proposal there.
Your question brought up a memory of a very frightining experience when my boys were little.
We were camping at Burney Falls Ca. in November and the night time temps were about 25 degrees. I had a catalytic heater that was built in to the camper. One of my boys must have knocked his pillow off the bed and it ended up near the heater and started smoking.
If I had not had a smoke detector we probably all would have died from smoke inhalation.
After the camper aired out and the scare was over the worst part was yet to come. Have you ever tried to sleep with 3 little boys with you in the same bed? Not possible!

John
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Old 11-17-2006, 07:50 PM   #8
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I had a candle burning on the kitchen counter in my Burro once.

Until I noticed how the underside of my cabinets and side walls were getting black.

OOPS. Nothing burned, and with a Burro, it wasn't hard to wipe down, but I had to put up with the smell of 409 in an enclosed space for several days.

Liz had a good laff at it tho.
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Old 11-17-2006, 08:21 PM   #9
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Noticed last rv expo that several models had back escape hatches or two doors.
My 1978 Fiber Stream has the side window farthest from the entry door (opposite side of trailer) labeled [b]EXIT. I would be hard pressed to crawl through it.

Aren't the Scamp oversized roof vents considered "Emergency exits"?
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Old 11-17-2006, 08:31 PM   #10
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My 1978 Fiber Stream has the side window farthest from the entry door (opposite side of trailer) labeled [b]EXIT. I would be hard pressed to crawl through it.

Aren't the Scamp oversized roof vents considered "Emergency exits"?
I think all trailers, and MHs, have to have egress windows or vents, just like houses.
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Old 11-17-2006, 08:40 PM   #11
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Frederick,
You're right. In a Scamp the roof vent is the emergency exit. I'm just trying to figure out how I would go about boosting myself up through the roof in an emergency! Of course, a fire would probably be all the inspiration I would need!
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Old 11-18-2006, 07:05 AM   #12
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After I got my ample bottom up through the roof vent, I can see the whole roof collapsing from the weight...that would put out a fire I don't have a fire story, but one time my daughter was locked inside the trailer when the cylinder spun in the door lock. Since there's no way to unlock the Scamp door handle from the inside, if she and I had both been inside the only way we would have had to get out would have been through the roof vent. For those that replace the passive roof vent with a "fan" style need to rethink about how to get out in a case similar to what my daughter experienced. I suppose you could always break a window out, but the egress vents are designed for escape with minimal damage to the vent or trailer.
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Old 11-18-2006, 08:00 AM   #13
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Many years ago in about 1980 (actually while I had my first FGRV, a '78 Scamp 13) I was camped in the Anza Borrego State Park near Borrego Springs CA. I could see a huge column of smoke rising a mile or so away from us in the open area to the south of the campground. I jumped into my Jeep and headed over there to find a stickie motorhome completely engulfed in flames. From the time the fire started until it was smoking hulk took about four minutes.

The woman had been cooking breakfast and caught the bacon grease in the pan on fire. Rather than taking a lid and smothering it, she tried to carry it outside spilling flaming grease through the motorhome as she went. She was burned (fortunately not badly) and everyone else got out. It was totally engulfed in two minutes and had burned to the frame in about four, which was about how long it took me to realize what was going on and drive over to them.

Fire and RVs don't mix very well.

Roger
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Old 11-18-2006, 01:34 PM   #14
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The emergency exit in my Boler B1700RGH is the rear window. It's just an ordinary round-cornered horizontal slider, like three other windows in the trailer, but it is the one which is wide enough that one is supposed to be able to climb out of it.

I suppose it is larger than the roof vents (which have 14" square body openings, and less usable space due to their frames), but I don't look forward to the idea of trying to get through it. If I were trapped inside during a fire by a failed door latch, I would certainly just kick the door open.

My wife is concerned by the fire hazard of a trailer design which includes plastic foam insulation with only a thin vinyl skin over it (as this one does); however, few RVs have particularly fire-resistant construction. I suppose a fiberglass-insulated Airstream (complete with exposed aluminum interior) would be an obvious exception, but even those have wood cabinets and floors.
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Old 11-18-2006, 03:07 PM   #15
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Quote:
My 1978 Fiber Stream has the side window farthest from the entry door (opposite side of trailer) labeled [b]EXIT.
Quote:
The emergency exit in my Boler B1700RGH is the rear window. [b]It's just an ordinary round-cornered horizontal slider, like three other windows in the trailer, but it is the one which is wide enough that one is supposed to be able to climb out of it.
My screens slide open, just like the openable panel of the glass. The clear (un-obstructed) opening measures 22" wide by 18" high. The entire window is 48" wide by 18" high.
I cannot picture myself climbing out of that window.
After much thought, the only effective way to get out through it would be to dive head first. The 5' drop from the window to the ground has me concerned, though.
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Old 11-18-2006, 03:48 PM   #16
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I think everyone's best protection is a smoke alarm, coupled with a Carbon Monoxide alarm. They're very sensitive. I just got one yesterday- battery operated and - checking out the furnace it started screaming DANGER, CARBON MONOXIDE!! - a pretty sound clue I need to get out and have my heater checked. I think the pilot goes out and the sensor doesn't close off the propane (just guessing).

One of the things that bothered me about our new Burro was the back window was stuck shut. It was the first thing I fixed. The opening isn't too big, but propelled by a little fear and I believe I could jump right through!!

A small fire extinguisher and a reliable flashlight will round out my emergency preparedness - plus a small medical kit.

Happy Trails, Christi
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Old 11-18-2006, 04:38 PM   #17
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One of the reasons I got rid of my Scamp was that escape hatch in the roof. NO WAY is this ole woman going to crawl through a roof to get out. A child could not get out that way either. I wonder why Scamp doesn't use an escape window. I think it would make way more sense. I will definatley be able to get out of my Casita a lot easier than my old Scamp and I feel more safe knowing I have a window to crawl out of.
I do have both the carbon monoxide and the smoke detectors installed. I am paranoid of the furnace and water heater, and anything with gas or electric in. I would rather be oversafe than not safe enough.
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Old 11-18-2006, 06:03 PM   #18
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Some very good and sound advice on this thread. One thing I can share is that 20 years ago, hubby and I had a house fire in our brand new home. Bozo plumber didn't tighten the connection to the hot water heater and 3 months after moving in, the house burned down (kids were at school and we were at work thank God). What the fire and smoke didn't take, the water from the fire trucks finished off! Anyway, we learned that the hot water heater is the single biggest danger in a home. I would have thought the cook stove or heater any day.

When you consider how small these campers are and how fast a fire could spread, your talking minutes maybe even seconds to get out! Thats why detecting the smoke or fumes before the actual flame starts is critical. You can bet that we will have every kind of detector in our camper along with fire extinguishers the very weekend that we bring Dumplin' home (Dec. 15th). You just can't be too careful.

Happy (and safe) Trails Ya'll
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Old 11-18-2006, 07:41 PM   #19
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It's possible to replace the fixed or sliding rear window of many brands, including Scamp, with a window that has an exit built into it -- Likely not inexpensive, but likely less expensive than changing brands (I believe Scamp, Casita and just about every RV manf use Hehr windows) -- Might even get one with some crankouts instead of sliders, which can be left open in rain and don't need the weep holes occasionally cleaned (8751-2).

Buccaneer/Hehr Windows

On my Scamp (91S13), the fire extinguisher was mounted to the rear of the closet -- I moved it to beside the door, where home extinguishers should also be kept -- You want to be moving towards the extinguisher AND the exit so you still have choices regarding personal safety and fighting the fire (of course, if you have bailed out of the exit, you have already made a choice).

One thing regarding the roof exit -- If the hatch was raised to any extent for ventilation, the exit part won't fully open without either lowering the hatch or forcing the mechanism to break or bend.
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Old 11-19-2006, 11:09 AM   #20
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... - checking out the furnace it started screaming DANGER, CARBON MONOXIDE!! - a pretty sound clue I need to get out and have my heater checked. I think the pilot goes out and the sensor doesn't close off the propane (just guessing)...
It's worth checking to see if the valve works properly; however, leaving propane running without a pilot flame should produce a propane warning, not a carbon monoxide warning. Leaking propane is a fire hazard, while carbon monoxide is a health hazard. I don't know how well these detectors distinguish the two.

Carbon monoxide (CO) is the product of incomplete combustion; it should go outside with a vented design. If a vented furnace is putting CO into the interior of the trailer, the heat exchanger may be cracked or otherwise failed. That's certainly something to check for.

CO - like the rest of the combustion exhaust - is delivered directly into the interior with an unvented heater. That may be one reason why these heaters are usually a catalytic design: the catalyst promotes complete combustion, minimizing CO production.
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