Hi Everyone. Well, after 15 years the RV-Dreams Community Forum is coming to an end. Since it began in August 2005, we've had 58 Million page views, 124,000 posts, and we've spent about $15,000 to keep this valuable resource for RVers free and open. But since we are now off the road and have settled down for the next chapter of our lives, we are taking the Forum down effective June 30, 2021. It has been a tough decision, but it is now time.


We want to thank all of our members for their participation and input over the years, and we want to especially thank those that have acted as Moderators for us during our amazing journey living and traveling in our RV and growing the RV-Dreams Family. We will be forever proud to have been founders of this Forum and to have been supported by such a wonderful community. Thank you all!!

Members Login
Username 
 
Password 
    Remember Me  
Post Info TOPIC: A Near Disaster


RV-Dreams Family Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 90
Date:
A Near Disaster


A couple of days ago we had a fire in the Suburban Hot Water Heater in our 2012 NH ! I was at my workamping position and Anne was just getting ready to leave for some errands when she heard some odd cracking/popping noise from under the kitchen sink area (location of water heater). When she looked over she thought she saw smoke seeping out and when she opened the doors the whole coach filled with that acrid smell of an electrical fire. Fast thinking, she grabbed the fire extinguisher and ran next door to our neighbor who ran over to the exterior location and saw flames and smoke shooting out. He was able to pull the cover and put the fire out in short order. Had Anne left just a few moments earlier this disaster could have had a much more disastrous outcome. Fire in an RV is a really scary, dangerous situation!!!

The fire originated behind the plastic cover where the T-Stat/high limit switches are located. All the wiring in there was completely burned as was the cover. I contacted Suburban and not surprising they said they have no history or reported fires in that unit. The rep didn't even ask if everyone or everything was okay.   

While we're not happy with having to buy a new heater we're thrilled that that's all we have to deal with. 

My question: Do you leave your hot water on "all the time" or do you turn it off in the non use hours?

Be safe out there. Take a few minutes to contemplate what you would do in a fire emergency and reflect on all that you would have to go through to recover from that type of disaster. MAKE A PLAN AND PUT IT INTO PRACTICE. 

 



__________________

Mike + Anne
Partners in Fun!

 

If Your Dreams Don't Scare You...They're  Not BIG Enough!!!!

2012 New Horizons F35RLTSS
2014 F450 Hauler Bed



RV-Dreams Family Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 1337
Date:

Very Scary Glad it wasn't as bad as it could have been.

Our Suburban is twenty years old. We use it mostly on electric and leave it on while setup in a RV spot. Now I'm going to rethink how we use it.

__________________

"Small House, Big Yard "

"May the FOREST be with you"
Alfa See-Ya 5'er and 2007 Kodiak C4500 Monroe



RV-Dreams Family Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 1661
Date:

Whew, glad it wasn't worse. Thanks for sharing and we'll heed all recommendations.        



__________________

Brian, Cindi & Josie (our fur baby)
2017 RAM 3500 Laramie 4x4 CCLB, CTD, Aisin, B&W hitch, dually
2020 Keystone Montana Legacy 3813MS w/FBP ,
MORryde 8k IS, Kodiak disc brakes, no solar  YET!



RV-Dreams Family Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 461
Date:

We almost always use our water heater on electric and turn it off when not in use. We have once or twice forgotten to turn it off when out....always concerned when we realize our mistake. Glad your situation was better than it could have been.

__________________


RV-Dreams Family Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 2950
Date:

My first question would be after asking that you are alright and glad it was caught.......were you operating on 12 volts/Propane or using 110/electric hot water........the brand of the heater is not as important as the method..... this would help others understand what to look for and maintain to prevent it from happening



__________________

 1998 ...Harney Renegade DP  class A

rers1@mail.com

 

My Service dog and life partner " Nikki"......Klee Kia Miniature Husky....(she Runs the ship!!)

We are not lost in the Woods.....Just Extreme boondocking!!!!!!



RV-Dreams Family Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 90
Date:

Lucky Mike,

Great point, guess I should have included more details.

We are parked on site for three months. We have been here since December 2 2015. We are on 50 AMP service and were using electric cycle at the time of the fire. We do leave our system "on at all times" unless we are planning to be away for more than a day then we will turn it off upon our return. No previous problems. I am also concerned that the breaker for the heater NEVER tripped. 



-- Edited by Team Murc on Friday 12th of February 2016 10:23:36 AM

__________________

Mike + Anne
Partners in Fun!

 

If Your Dreams Don't Scare You...They're  Not BIG Enough!!!!

2012 New Horizons F35RLTSS
2014 F450 Hauler Bed



RV-Dreams Family Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 2950
Date:

that what I was thinking.......I've seen it happen several times with the 110 element on.....the high limit T-stat is dislodged from the surfacemount and puts the wires into an overheat like a toaster grabbing the ground thru- the hose simuliar to a hot skin condition on the coach....the wires then act like a toaster and catch.....electricity like water will flow in the weakest and easiest path .......so the breaker does not see it..the breaker only sees overload or excessive power draw there was no back up of power because the water in the tank became part of the loop and carried it away from the coach.........I think you would find that the element was not wired into the GFI circuit correctly or at all



-- Edited by Lucky Mike on Friday 12th of February 2016 02:08:02 PM

__________________

 1998 ...Harney Renegade DP  class A

rers1@mail.com

 

My Service dog and life partner " Nikki"......Klee Kia Miniature Husky....(she Runs the ship!!)

We are not lost in the Woods.....Just Extreme boondocking!!!!!!



RV-Dreams Family Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 64
Date:

Team Murc,

For your own safety's sake I would also replace that breaker. What is fifteen bucks apx versus another possible fire?

John


__________________

Because You only live once

Only the Journey matters

Not the Destinations!



RV-Dreams Family Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 199
Date:

John U wrote:

Team Murc,

For your own safety's sake I would also replace that breaker. What is fifteen bucks apx versus another possible fire?

John


its not the breaker. breaker only pops when draw overcomes the breaker rating.thats why electrical fires will and can and do happen.  wires arch and cause a fire

but unless it archs to ground, breaker wont trip.  an example of what iam saying try this one day  have a load on a switch/plug  and take the black wire off and touch the

connections manually with the black wire  and see the spark. Keep doing this and the breaker wont blow but if in a flammable material area it could cause a fire to start



__________________


RV-Dreams Family Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 851
Date:

I'm seeing more and more arc fault breakers in boxes. I should have looked in some of the coaches at the Houston RV show this past weekend, but didn't think of it (and the coaches were pretty crowded anyway). I wonder if that would help in a situation like this. Our water heater is propane-only, and I think is original 1993. I'm thinking about replacing it with an electric-gas model. I'll ask at Foretravel when I'm there in a month.

__________________

David, kb0zke

1993 Foretravel U300 40'

Build number 4371

For sale



RV-Dreams Family Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 1248
Date:

I have electric/propane and it never occurred to me that I needed to turn it off. How long does the water stay hot in it, and how long does it take to heat up again? (I have no clue what kind of heater or the capacity, so I'm sure it will be difficult to answer that question, unless you have a similar make/model -- Terry??)

__________________

Cheryl B. in her new RV

(well, not new any more! Full timing since 6/25/14)

2008 DRV MS 36TKBS3 (the CoW: Castle on Wheels), 2005 Ford F550 hauler (the Bull)

My blog is http://mitcheryl-rv-journey.blogspot.com/

My business: www.AZAdminSolutions.com



RV-Dreams Family Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 488
Date:

We stay in spot months at a time due to my work schedule. We use gas. It heats up so much quicker.

__________________

2003 Teton Grand Freedon  2006 Mobile Suites 32TK3 SOLD     2006 Freightliner Century 120 with Detroit 14L singled, ultrashift,  hauling a 2016 Smart Passion



RV-Dreams Family Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 56
Date:

Scary, and I am thankful that it wasn't much worse. Do most people have any type of fire alarms in their RV set up?

__________________


RV-Dreams Family Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 3719
Date:

cherylbrv wrote:

I have electric/propane and it never occurred to me that I needed to turn it off. How long does the water stay hot in it, and how long does it take to heat up again? (I have no clue what kind of heater or the capacity, so I'm sure it will be difficult to answer that question, unless you have a similar make/model -- Terry??)


 My experience with both Atwood and Suburban 10 gallon hot water heaters is 2-1/2 to 3 hours on electric to heat up and around 30 to 45 minutes on propane to heat up.  



__________________

Bill Joyce,
40' 2004 Dutch Star DP towing an AWD 2020 Ford Escape Hybrid
Journal at http://www.sacnoth.com
Full-timing since July 2003



Host

Status: Offline
Posts: 1224
Date:

When we had our Atwood 12-gallon water heater, we always left our water heater turned off until we needed to heat water.  Linda was paranoid about having a heat source turned on when it wasn't needed, and based on your experience, perhaps that paranoia was founded.

Of course, we now have the Truma AquaGo instant water heater which we leave on the ECO mode.  It's propane only and, in that mode, it only fires when we turn on the hot water.

Cheryl, when we had our Atwood 12-gallon, it took about 40 minutes to heat up on electric and 20 - 30 minutes on propane.  In ours, the water stayed hot for at least an hour or two, longer depending on the outside temperature. 

 

rodeojoe, smoke detectors, propane leak detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, fire exit windows, and at least one fire extinguisher are required in all RVs.  I would recommend at least two smoke detectors and multiple fire extinguishers (bedroom, kitchen, outside compartments, tow vehicle or towed vehicle).  Some even install aftermarket fire suppression systems in engine compartments of motorhomes and behind their propane/electric refrigerators.



__________________


RV-Dreams Family Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 813
Date:

Ours is pretty much always on unless we're traveling or boondocking. We do run it on electric unless we're boondocking or the groundwater supply temp is really low…then we have to turn the gas on to have hot water.

 



__________________


RV-Dreams Family Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 813
Date:

cherylbrv wrote:

I have electric/propane and it never occurred to me that I needed to turn it off. How long does the water stay hot in it, and how long does it take to heat up again? (I have no clue what kind of heater or the capacity, so I'm sure it will be difficult to answer that question, unless you have a similar make/model -- Terry??)


 Stays warm for probably 12-24 hours depending on outside temperature and takes maybe 20 minutes to warm back up.



__________________


RV-Dreams Family Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 5395
Date:

cherylbrv wrote:

I have electric/propane and it never occurred to me that I needed to turn it off. How long does the water stay hot in it, and how long does it take to heat up again? (I have no clue what kind of heater or the capacity, so I'm sure it will be difficult to answer that question, unless you have a similar make/model -- Terry??)


Cheryl,

I just looked at a copy of the 2008 DRV brochure and according to it, your DRV has a Suburban 12 gallon hot water heater.  In our case, we tend to use the electric side of our hot water heater and have been for almost 5 years while living full time in our DRV.  About the only time that I've turned off the heater is when we know we will be gone from our RV for more than a day or two.

I may be wrong in my philosophy, but I don't care to keep turning off the hot water heater so much.  After all, there is a tendency for electrical components to "go out" right after a surge of electricity from turning on a switch.  As an example, in our Mobile Suites, we finally had one of the little lights burn out that are in either the bathroom or as the step light at the stairs into the bedroom/bathroom area.  We've left those lights on 24/7, 365 days a year since we moved into it in April or May of 2011.

Terry



__________________

Terry and Jo

2010 Mobile Suites 38TKSB3
2008 Ford F450
2019 Ford Expedition Max as Tag-along or Scout

Our photos on Smugmug

Page 1 of 1  sorted by
Quick Reply

Please log in to post quick replies.

Tweet this page Post to Digg Post to Del.icio.us