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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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  #11  
Old 11-05-2009
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Old Hardware Old Hardware is offline
1987 FC35 "Traveller"
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 51
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Yikes!!!, Sorry to hear about the fire Randy, such a shame, such a mess.

Brings back memories of what happened to me a few years ago. I had filled the Ford pickup with diesel, maybe 36 gallons or more. I had stopped the truck in the driveway, about 5 feet from the house when I came home about 4 hours earlier.

I was at the computer when I heard a starter turning over and over and over. Not me?, I am at the computer. This continued for at least a minute and I thought to myself, "that fool is going to burn out a starter".

Finally the persistent grinding of the starter got the best of me so I went for a "look see". As I opened the back door the sound was louder, whaaaa!!!!

As I went out the gate turning the corner, IT WAS MY TRUCK!!!! Windshield broken with wipers goiing full blast, smoke coming out of the back of the hood, inside, awful.

I took a deep breath, popped the hood, went inside the garage got my huge bolt cutters and extinguisher, that was the only way to shut down the power, two batteries, clip.*they bitched about me cutting that $140 harness, I said it was a speed wrench.

Don't recall when the fire department was called but they were on the scene fast, ambulance too, NO helicopter.

The problem was a phenolic piece under the dash, a switch that is actuated by a rod when the key is turned, that over time broke down causing a low resistance path to ground.

It was a recall later. Ford spent over $7500 fixing that truck, new wiring, new paint, a lot new but I could still smell that fire smell for months. I kept dryer Bounty towels stuffed under the seat to help camoflage the bad oder. Afterwards I wished many times that it had been totalled, maybe a few minutes to soon with the bolt cutters.

Sure do hate it for you both.
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87 FC35 "Traveller"
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  #12  
Old 11-05-2009
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Stick Miller Stick Miller is offline
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Location: Americus
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Default So sorry

Randy - we have never met, although we've talked on the phone a couple of times. I want to tell you how sorry I am that you have suffered this loss, but glad that no one was hurt.

I am convinced that this group is very much like a family or a church support group. They are there when you need them. They won't let you down.

Although I'm still looking, and I don't own one of these magnificient beasts yet, I appreciate what this group means to one another.
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'84 1/2 PT36 - "Past Tents"
Americus, Georgia
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  #13  
Old 11-05-2009
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Ridgefield
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Wow! That's really sad... Glad it wasn't worse -- but surely this is bad enough. Financially, it's a killer, 'cause if we care about our 'birds, we've probably over-invested as it is. The soft market doesn't help at all.

Do check with a 'fire clean up service' -- your insurance company may be able to suggest one -- as, depending on the smoke damage, it _might_ be repairable. A $90,000 claim as a total loss leaves some considerable room for renovation. (But it might be 'the next guy's bargain' too...)

Now to the speculation.

Fire originating in the generator radiator compartment.
From what you describe, I take it that the generator was off.
So that leaves the primary suspect to the battery cables serving the generator starter circuits that pass through the radiator compartment. As I recall, the forward bulkhead had a number of things mounted on it -- and I presume that includes some relays, etc.
Stuck relay, perhaps?

It would be nice to figure this out -- while it might be a unique incident to your coach (we may never know) -- it's also possible that there's a potential fault that affects all the pusher models with a similar generator/battery layout.

You have my best wishes for good luck with the insurance carrier and all the bureaucratic hassle that follows such an incident.
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(former) 95 WBDA 42'
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Ridgefield, WA
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  #14  
Old 11-05-2009
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To aide in our research Carol Dupree has provided us some picture. I will post them in several increments. Please take a careful look and as stated before......all comments are valid and all thoughts are encouraged.
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  #15  
Old 11-05-2009
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Old Hardware Old Hardware is offline
1987 FC35 "Traveller"
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 51
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Point well taken Rob. Inspection to determine the cause of this disaster could save another headache, heartache, and money on a similar coach.

From my previous post I would suspect anywhere the 12 volts, high amperage circuit that would not trip or reset.

As in the Ford truck, a phenolic insulator was to blame. A high resistance path to ground starts the process. This decreases in resistance resulting in more and more current flowing through the fracture. As carbon builds, so does the amperage, so does the heat, till a point where combustion results.

I wish my neighbor and buddy Bryan was nearby. A former arson investigator for the Greenville County Sherriff's Department and insurancee fraud investigator, he could sniff it out with his experience.
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  #16  
Old 11-05-2009
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Rob Robinson Rob Robinson is offline
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Default Dupree Fire

Second set of photos
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  #17  
Old 11-05-2009
davidmbrady
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That's crazy Randy. I'm speechless. Very glad to hear that no one was hurt.
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  #18  
Old 11-05-2009
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Old Hardware Old Hardware is offline
1987 FC35 "Traveller"
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 51
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Look at the wire how it is burned coming out to the left, center of 3 battery supplies to the left on a post, top right side of picture 07.(Rob's post) Seemed that cable got the hotest, burned first. Wonder where that goes?
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87 FC35 "Traveller"
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  #19  
Old 11-05-2009
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Randy,
What a shame this happened to you.

Whatever the root cause was, it gives me the incentive to really do a massive inspection of the wiring on my coach. In particular the wires that move with the slide.

I have often thought about an automatic extinguisher system in the refrigerator compartment, but the gennie compartment wasn't on my list.
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86 PT-36 Golden Memories
83FC35 SB $IXTEEN TON$ SOLD
78 FC 33 Happinest (Sold)
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  #20  
Old 11-05-2009
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Default Dupree Fire

Third set of pics
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