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Old 06-22-2013, 07:20 PM   #1
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One less Vectra...Motor Home Fire

We came across this late this afternoon....

Highway 103 reopened after motorhome fire | The Chronicle Herald

Although I never got to talk to the owners I heard from a couple bystanders that the fire started in the fridge area....so we know what that is all about Thanks God no one was injured. Looks to be around a '94.
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Old 06-22-2013, 11:48 PM   #2
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The fact that someone had the time to put out a hiway warning triangle sparks my interest in the event.
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Old 06-23-2013, 04:58 AM   #3
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Quote:
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The fact that someone had the time to put out a hiway warning triangle sparks my interest in the event.
Interesting observation John
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Old 06-25-2013, 07:26 AM   #4
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Lately, I've been running my fridge off of the inverter while traveling...this post makes me think that I've finally made a RIGHT choice in my life...!
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Old 06-26-2013, 12:23 PM   #5
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For the newbies, what's the deal with the refrigerator? Thanks!
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Old 06-26-2013, 12:44 PM   #6
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that warning triangle could have been put there afterwards as it is very close to the fire eh?
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Old 06-26-2013, 12:58 PM   #7
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allison8648: there are many posts about catastrophic refer failures in the archives...search refrigerator fires, Norcold, etc.
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Old 06-26-2013, 01:13 PM   #8
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Quote:
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For the newbies, what's the deal with the refrigerator? Thanks!
Most are operated on LP gas, at least when traveling. Then on 120v when camping or when shore power is available, but that is up to the individual. RV fires are not that uncommon and most are caused by the fridge running on gas vs on electric.
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Old 06-26-2013, 02:20 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clyon51

Most are operated on LP gas, at least when traveling. Then on 120v when camping or when shore power is available, but that is up to the individual. RV fires are not that uncommon and most are caused by the fridge running on gas vs on electric.
Absorption refrigerators use ammonia and hydrogen in the cooling unit. A small leak in the cooling unit caused by a ruptured tube, corrosion, broken weld, etc will emit a highly flammable gas into the refrigerator compartment. An open flame such as the refrigerators LP gas burner tube can ignite this gas and a resulting fire can occur.

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Old 06-26-2013, 02:42 PM   #10
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http://cjbfire.com/RVRef-Fires.pdf
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Old 06-26-2013, 03:00 PM   #11
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It was a fire. Cause TBD. It could have been the refer. It could have been a propane leak. It could have been.....

Nobody knows.

On my rig the refer, furnace, water heater are all placed in line, vertical.

If my rig burned there, many would say "refer".
But mine is well after the build dates of the recall models, and is not even one of the recall models.

Just sayin.....
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Old 06-26-2013, 03:05 PM   #12
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Wow, that is scary and sad. Makes me very happy we went with a residential fridge in our Vectra. Just because the fire started in the fridge area doesn't mean the fridge was the cause but history speaks for itself.

I would guess any of the responders could have put out the triangle. I know if it was my rig, I would be looking to get out and the safety triangle would be the last thing on my mind.
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Old 06-26-2013, 04:50 PM   #13
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While I have no idea how the triangle got placed, I would bet that it was not the FD. Typical FD response is to pull up within a safe distance using the truck to block, then deploy the hoses, yada, yada, yada. If FD were to deploy the triangle, behind their truck would have been the better place... at least until they clear the scene.
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Old 06-26-2013, 05:33 PM   #14
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Hope all is well for the owners of this coach... We pray they will recover in time and not let this totally end their future travels over the open roads. If you have a unit deemed for recall, please see an authorized repair shop ASAP... Our Norcold had a recall notice, (something regarding possible overheating), which was accomplished ASAP... Our Prayers...
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Old 06-26-2013, 06:03 PM   #15
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This topic raises a question in my mind. What is expected the life span of when of these refrigerators? I mean, if you wait until it develops a leak and you happen to be on running on gas then you are too late, right? It's concerning mainly because mine is now 13 years old.
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Old 06-26-2013, 06:17 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GaDawgFan View Post
This topic raises a question in my mind. What is expected the life span of when of these refrigerators? I mean, if you wait until it develops a leak and you happen to be on running on gas then you are too late, right? It's concerning mainly because mine is now 13 years old.
Well, nobody seems to know how old it must be to fail, or how many have failed, or how many will fail, or how many fires there have been.

But they do know the cause of the fire before the authorities do.
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Old 06-26-2013, 06:25 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GaDawgFan View Post
This topic raises a question in my mind. What is expected the life span of when of these refrigerators? I mean, if you wait until it develops a leak and you happen to be on running on gas then you are too late, right? It's concerning mainly because mine is now 13 years old.
Our Dometic was around 8 years old when the recall shut off was triggered. I replaced the cooling unit with an Amish unit. Now I find that the door gaskets are no longer made so when it totally lets go (it's torn now) I'll have to replace the whole unit. May or may not go to a compressor type unit.
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Old 06-26-2013, 06:50 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GaDawgFan View Post
This topic raises a question in my mind. What is expected the life span of when of these refrigerators? I mean, if you wait until it develops a leak and you happen to be on running on gas then you are too late, right? It's concerning mainly because mine is now 13 years old.
It's hard to say. We sold our old MH after 20 years, still had the original refer in it. Our current MH, the refer failed after 6 years, just put in a new one.
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Old 06-27-2013, 08:08 AM   #19
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We had an old class c that was 20 years old that caught fire via the Norcold fridge. It was on LP but no leak from coils and was easily put out, but destroyed and replaced. Our present fridge is a Dometic and now 15 years old. It still runs great only on #2 (-10 / +33) and no worries at this point.
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Old 06-29-2013, 07:04 AM   #20
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Road Rangers usually get there first and will secure the area as will good samaritans.

When my 95 Vectra went up in flames due to a front wheel fire from a faulty brake caliper that happened on the interstate the road rangers got there first and we had a lot of trouble keeping bystanders a safe distance from the coach. It had 120 lbs of propane and 80 gallons of gasoline in it.

I shut down the propane after the family and pets were in the clear. Too bad the ladies didn't grab their purses when the exited the coach as they did not fully comprehend what on fire in a gasoline powered coach meant.
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