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Catastrophes, Fires, Flood, Accidents, etc... Post those photos, videos and articles about the above topics right here of both 'Birds and other RV's to share and compare with the group.

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  #21  
Old 11-07-2009
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Randy Dupree Randy Dupree is offline
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John has been a great help in posting pics and keeping you guys in the loop.
Dealing with the insurance and fire inspectors has been full time,so far.
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2000 LXI 43
Bainbridge,Ga.
Archer Fl.
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  #22  
Old 11-07-2009
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Fire and other sudden emergencies need to be prepared for. Fire extinguishers must be placed so you can get to them easily. The bedroom is the first place one should be located. A flashlight should be located where you can easily find it in the dark.

Fire prevention should be an on-going process for all of us. I know in the FC's there are little electric freeze heaters in at least two locations. Dust and other combustable materials should be cleared from the area around these units regularly. Upgrading the heaters to more modern units might be advisable. The old wire heaters that were wrapped around the pipes are notorious for melting down; Disconnect them.

It would also seem prudent to thoroughly inspect all high current wiring and look carefully at any points that would subject the insulation to abrasion.

I know that I don't know every wear point for the heavy, un-fused DC cables in my coach. I plan to make a special effort to learn the routing and inspect each cable in the future.

On my old coach, a 1978, I discovered the insulation was almost gone where the main battery cable passed through the frame. I was just looking for loose connections when I made the discovery.
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  #23  
Old 11-07-2009
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A couple of things on my bird.
Last summer I stopped at Ralph's place in Duncan Ok. to get some stuff done. I got maybe a mile out of town when I noticed the gauges shorting out and coming back on line.
I stopped the bus on the side of the road, opened the engine compartment and saw sparks coming from the main battery wires going behind the engine heat shield. Turns out the bat. wires were routed behind this heat shield and rubbing on the edge of the shield and started shorting out. Pulled them away and fixed the problem. The routing of the wires was the problem. Had been that way from the factory.
Second, I have installed in the fridge compartment a fire extinguisher that will automatically pop off when the temp gets to 165 degrees. Has some sort of wax piece that melts and sets off the extinguisher.
Gonna get two more for the engine compartment, same type only bigger. Can mount them on the door.
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  #24  
Old 11-07-2009
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This year at the Quartzite rally Lucas Willemse is going to speak about fusing DC circuits and demo his application of 800amp fuses. His entire bird is fused and this is the way to go as far as I'm concerned. Automatic fire extinguishers are a good idea but I think I want to nip the problem before things get hot enough to light off an fire suppression system. JMHO
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  #25  
Old 11-07-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Robinson View Post
This year at the Quartzite rally Lucas Willemse is going to speak about fusing DC circuits and demo his application of 800amp fuses. His entire bird is fused and this is the way to go as far as I'm concerned. Automatic fire extinguishers are a good idea but I think I want to nip the problem before things get hot enough to light off an fire suppression system. JMHO
Ummmm, question from an inquirying mind - fusing DC circuits? Please explain.

TIA,
Liz
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  #26  
Old 11-07-2009
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My '97 does not have battery shut off-switches. I intend to add three, but need to find some that can handle the current. I remember some posts talking about welded contacts in switches that were too small for the application. Anybody?

This would be a good time to look at fuses for those battery cables. However, what can start a fire may not be enough current to blow a fuse big enough to handle the regular load. Anybody? Grasping at straws here, but certainly see the need.
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  #27  
Old 11-07-2009
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Default Fire Safety

The points everyone has made are all good valid points. As an old firefighter lets all remember a couple of things. Fire extinguishers are great, however as someone has already pointed out, CALL 911, don't be a hero because you can knock down a fire and think you have it out and the it will come back twice as big. As a rule of thumb a fire will double in size every minute as long as it has fuel and oxygen. Learn how to use the extinguisher for something like a kitchen fire or a small fire.

Another point, smoke detectors are cheap. Get a couple and place inside and make sure they work and put a couple in the compartments below the floor.

Plan how to get out, what is wrong with have a small pick ax somewhere next to the bed. In a panic with smoke you may not be able to open that emergency window, KNOCK IT OUT....use the drapes, blankets or whatever to wrap up with stay low and GET OUT. Do not say inside and fight the fire. I have seen too many in my career that stood up fast, took in smoke and superheated gases and never knew what hit them.

Check your fire extinguishers and that point has been posted. Remember there is nothing in the coach worth loosing your life over. Get youself and your pets out and call 911.
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  #28  
Old 11-07-2009
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Default What did we learn from Randy's Barbecued 'Bird?

800 Amp fuses??

What is he trying to protect?

Fuses, circuit breakers and any protective device is an inherent design of any circuit.
There are things like overfusing, underfusing, sizing them should be done so it protects both the wires and equipment.

As Ron stated, even the switches should be properly rated for what you have, otherwise you might get welded contacts. When purchasing equipment one has to look at the rating duty, continous, intermittent etc.

Not sure in Randy's case, but if one of the main cables chaffed through, maybe a fuse might have helped, maybe not.
Was the short solid to ground or loose to ground. A 200 hundred amp short to ground would heat up the cables in due time, and melt them as well, the fuses would not do any good.

Hopefully, Randy in due time will be able to shed some more light on the subject and possible causes.

What I plan to do, is to make sure I don't have any chaffed cables, if it looks like a place where it could get chaffed, add some protection either by adding some insulation or putting another piece of rubber in that area.

Good luck to all, and if anyone finds anything, please let us know.
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  #29  
Old 11-07-2009
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Randy Dupree Randy Dupree is offline
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in case you guys missed this.
After i smelled the smoke I heard the smoke alarm in the coach go off,thats when i got my butt in gear and and put the fire out before it burned the house down.

smoke alarms,and lots of them are needed,even in the bays.
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Archer Fl.
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  #30  
Old 11-08-2009
ejallison1 ejallison1 is offline
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Randy, sorry to hear the loss of your bus and glad no one was injured. As you know I experienced the same thing in 2008 with my 85 PT 40-I was just sick. Still have the carcass out behind the barn and will eventually get it canibalised.
John's impression of the sturdiness, even in a fire, I found true as well. Everything in the basement and the engine compartment was unscathed. I was stupid and tried going in twice to find the source (IMHO-frig) of the smoke-best advice is get the h out. Local fire chief said fumes from RV fires are very toxic. Have been making a list of things to do to try to prevent fire in new bus. Hope, John puts together a section on fire safety tips. Have really appreciated this forum and the knowledge/experience that is shared.
1. Window breaking device
2. Several small fire extinguishers-outside ones in a bay that isn't locked.
3. Unplug heat tapes
4. Unplug heat pads for holding tanks.
5. Inspect all the freeze heaters-those plastic jobs need to go-and ? replace the thermostats for the others.
6. Track down battery cables and inspect. -including gen slide
7. Inspect and clean the four electric 1500 watt heaters.
8. add more smkoke alarms.
9. Add battery shut off switch.
10. Make sure frig isn't on recall list.
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