34 RV Tips To Save Your RV (And Yourself) From A Fire

Here’s an incredibly informative and useful article regarding RV safety and the tips that every RV owner should keep in mind while taking care of their vehicle.

If you Google different RV disasters, you will find numerous results. Many RV fires take place in the US every day. Most people are unaware of how the vehicle catches fire, but in the majority of the cases, the disaster was preventable.

According to calculated figures, 6300 RV fires take place annually. The least damage a fire can cause is to cancel the planned camping trip, but the worst can be unimaginable. Some disasters can lead to financial losses and pose serious life threats.

One of the primary reasons why RVs are destroyed in the US is because of catching fire. As mentioned above, they are entirely preventable. This Fifth Wheel St article discusses in detail the precautionary measures that people should take to protect their vehicle.

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1. A pinhole-size leak in a radiator or heater hose can spray antifreeze on hot engine parts. Antifreeze contains ethylene glycol concentrate and water. When the water boils off, the remaining ethylene glycol can self-ignite at 782 degrees F. During your monthly fire inspection, check all hoses for firmness, clamp tightness, and signs of leaking.

2. Rubber fuel lines are commonly used to connect metal lines to the electronic fuel injection system, or to the carburetor in older coaches. Check all the lines and connections between the fuel tank and the engine on a monthly basis. If there is any sign of a leak, have the lines replaced and the entire system inspected by a qualified mechanic as soon as possible.

3. A hard-working engine manifold can get as hot as 900 degrees F. The heavy insulation in the compartment reflects the heat back to the top of the engine, and a fire can easily break out. Inspect your radiator and have any problems repaired by a qualified person as soon as possible.

4. Grease, oil, and road dust build up on the engine and transmission, making them run hotter. The grime itself usually doesn’t burn, but if combined with a fuel leak or short-circuited wire, a fire could start. Keep your coach’s underpinnings clean, and it will run cooler, more economically, and longer.

5. A dragging brake can create enough friction to ignite a tire or brake fluid. Some of the worst fires are those caused when one tire of a dual or tandem pair goes flat, scuffs, and ignites long before the driver feels any change in handling. At each stop, give tires at least an eyeball check. When tires are cool, tap your duals with a club and listen for a difference in sound from one tire to the next. You can often tell if one is going soft.

6. Spontaneous combustion can occur in damp charcoal. Buy charcoal fresh, keep it dry, and store it in a covered metal container. Rags soiled with auto wax or cleaners that contain petroleum products or other oil-based cleaning materials can also spontaneously combust if disposed of in a combustible container. Put dirty cleaning rags in a metal container with a lid. [FWS recommends using only disposable shop paper towels and discarding them in an outside container.]

7. A hot exhaust pipe or catalytic converter can ignite dry grass.

8. Driving with propane on can add to the danger if you are involved in an accident or have a fire. Most refrigerators will keep food cold or frozen for eight hours without running while you travel. Shut the propane off at the tank [to prevent a potential fuel source to an unintended fire or spark].

9. If you store your coach, be sure to check the flue before starting your refrigerator on propane. Birds and inspects can build nests and clog the flue, causing a fire or excess carbon monoxide to enter your coach.

10. Batteries produce explosive gases. Keep flame, cigarettes, and sparks away. Be sure your battery compartment is properly vented. Keep vent caps tight and level. Check your battery monthly. Replace swollen batteries immediately. Use extreme care when handling batteries—they can explode. [FWS recommends storing all small batteries in fitted plastic containers so they are not loosely moving about. Loose batteries, especially button type batteries, can inter-connect and create a fire.]

Read More: 34 RV Fire Facts That Can Save Your Life