Friday, January 04, 2013

A Sobering Reminder


Wesley Chapel, Florida (high 0, low 54)

I’m a little behind on blogging it would appear. 

We decided to head over to Hillsborough River State Park for a New Years day hike.

The weather was perfect, but the hike was mediocre. We did a 3.4 mile loop, with some of it  along the river.  We saw very little wildlife and nothing else of much interest.  There are quite a few trails in this park, so I guess next time we’ll go a different trail.  Oh well, at least we got some exercise.



On the way home, we decided to go by and check out this motor home fire that we had heard about.

burned motorhome

We heard this motor home fire started at the refrigerator.  I don’t know if that’s a fact or not and you really couldn’t tell since it was so completely destroyed.

burned motorhome

It’s a sobering reminder that these rv’s we live in are just big ole match boxes.  We heard the the people here escaped without injury.  I hope that included any animals they may have had.

This got us to thinking….again.

Norcold and Dometic rv refrigerators are known to catch fire.  Unfortunately, that is what we have.  When Lazy Days replaced the Norcold in the coach when we bought it, I sure wish we would have thought to have them upgrade it to a residential refrigerator.  We would sure like one, but the cost is not in our budget.  The cost of the refrigerator isn’t too bad, but the installation would be expensive I’m sure.

A lot of people are also replacing the cooling units in their Norcolds or Dometic refrigerators with the Amish cooling units.  They are made better and are not known to cause fires. We’re just reading about these but from what I gather, you don’t replace the entire refrigerator, just the cooling unit, which means you don’t have to take the old unit out through a window.

This might be an option for us.  Seeing that destroyed motor home, really got our attention.


We decided that at the very least, we will order an automatic fire extinguisher that will deploy when the temperature behind the refrigerator gets up to 165 degrees.  You mount them in the outside refrigerator compartment. 

here is a link for ordering them. There is a special today of $170 including shipping.  They can be put in the engine or generator compartment as well.  Probably not a bad thing to have in any rv.

Check out my <a href="">BLOG</a> and my <a href="">GALLERY</a>.

here is another link from Mac the Fire Guy. He also sells both automatic and regular fire extinguishers.   He is well known to many RVers and gives talks and demos at a lot of rv shows and rallies. 

We have 4 of his fire extinguishers.  He recommends all rv’s have 5.  One by the front door, one in the bedroom, kitchen, down in the basement, and one in the toad.

Do you have enough fire extinguishers in your rv?   Do you know how to use them?  Do you know where they are?  Have you checked them lately to make sure they are still good?  Do you know how to use them?  

Are your extinguishers adequate, or is it one of those tiny ones that come standard in all motor homes?

Mac also has an interesting video showing the best way to escape through your escape windows.


Evidently, I don’t remember how to insert this you tube video into my blog, so please take the time and click on the link above.  It’s well worth watching!

It shows the difficulties you may have escaping your rv windows and what to do about them.

Have you ever opened your escape windows to make sure they aren’t stuck shut?   Have you tested your emergency windows….ever?   I understand many of them become stuck shut over time and that’s not something you want to find out when there is a fire and you have seconds to escape.

How will you get out of the window?  Head first?  Feet first?   How will you keep from killing yourself when you jump out of the window?   Do you you know how sharp the edge of the window is?  How will you get out without scraping up your body?    Do you even fit through the window


Well, enough safety for one day.

That fire certainly got our attention.

Be safe….and go check your fire extinguishers!


  1. You are right on target with your advice. I've seen a couple of burned out RVs, too and have rehearsed what I'd do if mine went up.

    I also keep my keys, phone and wallet right by the front door in case we had to bail out, I could grab them. I have all our important papers in a fireproof safe, too. You can't be too careful.

  2. Great advice. Every chance we get, we go to Mac's class just as a reminder. And we have all five extinguishers.

  3. That's some scary stuff. I think far too many people, RVers in particular, get way too complacent when it comes to fires. You don't get left with much when it's all over.
    A reminder once in a while is a good thing.

  4. A sobering reminder indeed. Thanks for the tips, I'll check those out today for sure.

  5. Great information Karen. Thanks a lot!

  6. Thanks for the safety focus. It is very easy to become complacent. Judy opens the emergency exit windows monthly.

  7. We just had our Norcold replaced with a residential unit. The cost of the installation was $1380. We had it done in Las Vegas at Apache RV. So far, we are very happy with the new Whirlpool refrigerator! Dave made a youtube of the whole process:

  8. Thanks for the info. We just watched the link...opened the window...found a Macadoodle and will practice when the rains stop!!!

    We also have a fireproof safe and store keys, wallets and phone near the exit window.

  9. Thank you Karen for an important blog. We have fire extinguishers but I didn't know about the automatic one for behind the fridge. Something worth having for sure.

  10. When we do get to living in the Alpha full time, we will be going from a house with seven exits to a coach with just one plus the window. That does scare me some nights.

  11. Good blog and good reminders about the fire extinguishers.

  12. Thanks for reminding us all of how vulnerable we are.

  13. A safety reminder is a good reminder. We've got fire extinguishers sprinkled around the RV and one in the toad. Need to test the escape ladder we bought to hang out the window soon.


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