Spotted - Nest destroyed by fire - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-26-2019, 04:18 PM   #1
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Spotted - Nest destroyed by fire

As we drove West on I-90 heading in to Seattle we spotted a Nest being towed by a tow truck. Clearly there had been some kind of fire inside, the entire right rear corner of the Nest was burnt. I don't know the floor plan well enough to know if that might have been an appliance fire. I'm attaching two photos, not easy to take a good shot when driving along the freeway.

What a bummer to have your trailer ruined like that! Sympathies to the owners.
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20190826_150337.jpg   20190826_150728.jpg  

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Old 08-26-2019, 04:32 PM   #2
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Ouch. That's right next to the door.
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Old 08-26-2019, 05:19 PM   #3
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Fire is never good. A good reminder to check your fire extinguisher and have a plan if a fire should occur. This includes an understanding by all of the campers staying in the camper on how the emergency window works. Hopefully nobody got hurt in this incident.
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Old 08-27-2019, 02:49 AM   #4
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I would think that the trailer is a total loss, just looking at the outside pic with all the damage to the fiberglass the inside just from the heat and smoke damage probably ruined most of the interior.

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Old 08-27-2019, 06:27 AM   #5
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That corner is the toilet. Definitely no major appliances or LP lines in that area. It looks like a section of the shell was cut away, presumably to get at the source of the fire, which Iím going to guess involved electrical wiring between the outer shell and bath liner. The cut section extends from the burned up porch light (?) in the upper left down near the side marker light in the lower right.

Being a new design, I hope this will get a thorough post-mortem.
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Old 08-27-2019, 10:05 AM   #6
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Looks like a bathroom vent on top. Possibly a "hot-water-on-demand" water heater issue? I'm sure the inside was totally destroyed- smoke, water- what the fire didnt get.
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Old 08-27-2019, 02:06 PM   #7
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What is most surprising from a fire in a fiberglass structure is that the whole trailer was not destroyed.



Given its age it might also be an issue caused at the factory which means they might be held responsible. Quite the warranty repair!


From an article I saw on the internet they are being made in Jackson City Ohio.
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Old 08-27-2019, 02:42 PM   #8
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Iím suspecting a 12V fire, which can be low intensity if caught soon enough.

Warranty repair... I donít think so. Warranty replacement, maybe, depending on what investigators find.
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Old 08-27-2019, 04:17 PM   #9
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Total bummer for the owners. Hard to say but absent gas appliances or someone tossing a lit cigarette into a methane filled black water tank.... I'm with the folks that vote electrical.

If electrical it indicates a possible failure of the systems fuse/circuit breakers to deal with a short or excessive draw. I do recall a fellow who was shorting through the label on a can of paint. You got a poke from the metal frame with the current coming through the paint can. However because of the paper label in the circuit it wasn't enough of a draw to trip the breaker. The paper label was however scorched brown where the loose wire was against it.

I still like fuses for 12 volt the circuit breakers that cycle always seemed like they would allow a short to repeatedly cylcle from tripped to live.

Sister melted down a 12 volt light fixture from the wrong bulb. The one she installed put out a lot more light but ran considerably hotter than the stock one. Not LED but older 1157 style incandescent 12 volt. That sort of thing could happen, say leaving a 12 volt light on in the bathroom as a night light with an over powered replacement bulb. Same base not always same power.
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Old 08-27-2019, 06:32 PM   #10
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I have only owned 2 RVs but while renovating stuff on both of them I found a situation where the factory installers put a screw right into one of the wires. So I am not all that surprised to see a situation that looks like it was created by installers in the factory.

On my Sunrader a screw that secured the tail lights went right into a Romex cable that fortunately had never been in use, it was to supply electrical power to a roof AC unit but luckily that was an optional upgrade that was never installed.

On my Traiswest Campster the wiring for the tail lights on the right side was routed under the threshold for the door. When the metal threshold was installed one of the screws for it went right into a tail light wire. It must have created an issue that made those tail lights not function as a previous owner had rewired them. I found that damaged wire when I removed the door frame so I could repair other damage.
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Old 08-28-2019, 07:17 AM   #11
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Doesn't look too bad. A little Bondo and spray on a bit of gel coat and you will never know there was an issue!
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Old 08-28-2019, 08:54 AM   #12
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Spotted - Nest destroyed by fire

But a large section of the shell is missing! Right on the corner, too, with a lot of sharp detailing in the mold. Both upper and lower halves are damaged. Total loss.
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Old 08-28-2019, 09:46 PM   #13
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Looks nesty... I mean, nasty. (Maybe both.)
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Old 08-28-2019, 10:07 PM   #14
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But a large section of the shell is missing! Right on the corner, too, with a lot of sharp detailing in the mold. Both upper and lower halves are damaged. Total loss.
I think the loss will depend on the interior damage. When my Casita got crunched by a tree, they removed a 55 gal drum of fiberglass from the roof and recreated it just like new. Cost was about 10 grand including rebuilding some of the interior cabinets and part of the bathroom.
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Old 08-28-2019, 11:21 PM   #15
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But a large section of the shell is missing! Right on the corner, too, with a lot of sharp detailing in the mold. Both upper and lower halves are damaged. Total loss.
The best approach would be to have the factory make up just that area in the original mold and then the person doing the repair would trim it to size to fit as well as trimming the damaged area to match the patch and then glass it into place. But you would end up needing to do a lot of delicate gel coat work to blend it in seamlessly.


It is not impossible to repair that trailer shell but it will take a lot of labor time. You do have to know what it will take and the easiest way to go about it and of course posses some serious skills with tools as well as vast amounts of patience for details.
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Old 08-29-2019, 04:06 AM   #16
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It's total loss, trust me. An Airstream dealer couldn't repair it in a year and that's if they worked on it everyday, they can't repair three of four small items in a month on an Airstream, I have friends who can testify to that.

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Old 08-29-2019, 06:44 AM   #17
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Spotted - Nest destroyed by fire

I did not mean to say It couldnít be repaired. But for purposes of warranty or insurance, it is a total loss and should be replaced or paid out. If I had just paid $45K for this trailer, I would not accept a repair of this magnitude.

Sure- sold as salvage for a fraction of its original value, it could be repaired. If I were Airstream Iím not sure Iíd want to let that happen.

I agree a dealer would not be able to do it. It would have to be the factory, a fiberglass specialty shop, or a skilled hobbyist.
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Old 08-29-2019, 07:23 AM   #18
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If the fire were a result of workmanship faults from the factory I would hope that this trailer has already been replace and I would have hoped that if I were Airstream a tarp would have been put over the carcass.
Not good advertising to drag this thing over the road.

My guess is that Airstream will rue the day that they bought this design as things that they never thought of with a fiberglass chassis come to light.
Like the Base Camp the Nest is very expensive and a niche market.
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Old 08-29-2019, 07:56 PM   #19
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It's total loss, trust me. An Airstream dealer couldn't repair it in a year and that's if they worked on it everyday, they can't repair three of four small items in a month on an Airstream, I have friends who can testify to that.

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It would not even begin to be cost effective for the factory to repair it. They won't have an available crew setup for that kind of total makeover work. In these smaller factories they have just enough staff to keep the production line moving and very few extra staff for repair or restoration. The warranty and repair work is scheduled far ahead of time in the limited number of available appointments. That is why it takes a long time to get warranty work done.

It is not like it is at a huge company such as Boeing where they have a whole division of people who belong to an "aircraft on ground" crew that travel everywhere in the world to do onsite repairs.

No doubt about it the insurance company would have no choice but to declare it as a total loss as there are no replacement parts available.

But most likely given its age it is still under warranty coverage for factory defects. It that means total replacement then that is what will happen... sooner or later after an appropriate investigation as to the cause.
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Old 08-29-2019, 09:20 PM   #20
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Quote:
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My guess is that Airstream will rue the day that they bought this design as things that they never thought of with a fiberglass chassis come to light.
Airstream modified the design with a full steel heavy frame underneath. It weighs close to 5,000 pounds (dry); approaching twice what a comparable sized Casita weighs.
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