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Category: Safety on the Road

6 Case Studies in Preventing RV Fires

April 2, 2014 by · 3 Comments 

6 Case Studies in Preventing RV Fires

With an average of 3,100 RV fires each year, there is no shortage of news stories across the U.S. and Canada about devastating losses due to recreational vehicle fires. An portable heater left unattended was the cause of a fire that burned this Winnebago. (Credit: Bill Beezley/East Jefferson Fire-Rescue) These fires caused seven deaths, 62 injuries, and approximately $41 million in damages each year. These numbers reflect how important fire safety and fire prevention are to the RV lifestyle. Keep in mind a few safety precautions whenever you leave an RV for any amount of time. Make sure that space heaters are turned off at night and when leaving the RV. Do not leave cooking unattended for even the shortest period of time. Check smoke and carbon monoxide detectors monthly and replace batteries yearly. Following are recent reports on six RVs destroyed by fires that were caused by human carelessness. Washington: Heater Cause of RV Fire Peninsuladailynews.com reports that an old portable heater... [Read more...]

Space Heaters a Potential Cause of RV Fires

March 9, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Space Heaters a Potential Cause of RV Fires

Fire safety is essential when camping in your recreational vehicle. In earlier posts I reported on space heater fires that destroyed RVs and caused the death of its occupants—both human and canine. Following are recent reports on four RVs destroyed by fires that were caused by human carelessness. Ohio: Space Heater Cause of Camper Fire Mansfieldnewsjournal.com reports that a camper was destroyed in a fire caused by an electric space heater. A family of four was displaced after a fire consumed their Charles Mill Lake camper. Mark and Amy Snyder and their two children, Savannah, 10, and Taylor, 13, had been living in the camper for the past year. “We lost everything (in the fire),” Mark Snyder said. “But everybody made it out alive, and that’s all that matters.” The family’s two cats and a pet rabbit were killed in the fire, Mark said. The family dog survived. Ashland County’s Mifflin Township Fire Department responded to the camper fire just after midnight, chief JJ Bittinger... [Read more...]

Power of Preventative Maintenance: Tools and Resources for Your RV

February 21, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Power of Preventative Maintenance: Tools and Resources for Your RV

Your RV is your home, your vehicle, and a valuable investment; however, it can be very costly to repair if it is not properly maintained. Preventative maintenance can be the difference between arriving safely at your destination and a costly roadside problem. Pictured below is the beauty of Valley of Fire at Atatl Rock Campground. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved This is why preventive maintenance is so vital to the long-term health of your RV and to your overall ownership experience. There are two basic types of maintenance for your RV: preventive maintenance and scheduled maintenance. Often these two terms are used interchangeably. Preventive maintenance is maintenance you perform on your RV before a problem exists and consists of cleaning, inspecting, lubricating, adjusting, and servicing your RV. Preventive maintenance is really nothing more than common sense maintenance. It could be the difference between a safe and enjoyable trip and a costly disastrous one. Scheduled Maintenance or... [Read more...]

Fires Destroy 5 RVs, Pickup & Fatality

December 27, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Fires Destroy 5 RVs, Pickup & Fatality

Whether camping or just relaxing in your recreational vehicle, fire safety is essential. A build-up of propane inside a motorhome sparked an explosion at the Mississippi State Fairgrounds. (Courtesy: WLOX-TV) It is critical that every member of your party know what to do in a fire or other emergency. If you are one of the millions of RV enthusiasts who love to take to the road and explore the country, ensure your family’s safety while travelling in your RV. Recent media reports detail seven separate fires involving recreational vehicles. California: Unattended Cooking Fire Destroys RV & Pickup Santacruzsentinel.com reports that a cooking fire in an RV destroyed the RV and a Chevy pickup. A man was cooking in the RV but was outside the vehicle when the fire started said Zayante Fire Chief John Stipes. The man tried to extinguish it and was burned on his hand, firefighters said. He was not transported to a hospital. The fire spread to the Chevy and briefly threatened trees and a... [Read more...]

Why Purchase an RV Extended Service Plan?

December 15, 2013 by · 1 Comment 

I read an article in the Wall Street Journal recently about Mechanical-Breakdown Insurance (MBI). The gist of the article was do you purchase one of these policies, or do you skip it? If you are not familiar with mechanical-breakdown insurance it is insurance designed to protect you from costly vehicle repair bills after any factory warranties expire. The article I read was based on MBI for your automobile, but similar type plans are offered to protect RV owners. These plans are usually referred to as Extended Service Plans (ESP) or Extended Service Contracts. From an RV industry insider’s viewpoint I was interested in what the article had to say. I have always recommended that RV owners purchase a reputable extended service plan, considering a typical repair to an RV, say the refrigerator, can easily exceed $1,000. An important point mentioned in the Wall Street Journal article was that MBI and ESP’s are similar in terms of what they are intended to do, but there are differences the... [Read more...]

RVers Die of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning in 2 Separate Incidents

November 10, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

RVers Die of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning in 2 Separate Incidents

A 75-year-old Pennsylvania man and a Colorado high school student died of carbon monoxide gas poisoning in two separate incidents. 75-year-old Pennsylvania Man Dies from Carbon Monoxide A 75-year-old Windber, Pennsylvania, man died as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning while at the Allegany County Fairgrounds and his 76-year-old-wife was taken to a hospital in Cumberland reportedly in critical condition. The couple started a gas generator only several feet from the rear of their 1989 Coachman recreational vehicle shortly before going to sleep, according to an Associated Press report. The generator’s exhaust was pointed toward the vehicle and fumes entered, causing the carbon monoxide exposure. The next morning a passerby entered the vehicle and discovered the couple. Members of the Cumberland Fire Department administered first aid and William Miller was pronounced dead at the scene. His wife was taken to Western Maryland Regional Medical Center by Cresaptown Volunteer Fire Department... [Read more...]

Deer Crashes Through RV & Charges Sherriff

November 6, 2013 by · 1 Comment 

Deer Crashes Through RV & Charges Sherriff

A deer smashed through the front of a travel trailer wall after being hit last weekend in south-central Utah on state Route 89. Deer found in camper after crashing through the camper’s wall. (Photo courtesy of the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office) Expecting to find a dead animal inside the camper trailer, a responding officer opened the side door and got charged by a seemingly unharmed, three point buck, reports Dixie Press Online. At approximately 3 p.m., Sunday, a woman reported to the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office that she hit something on SR-89 near mile post 134. Division of Wildlife Resources Conservation Officer Micah Evans arrived on the scene and noticed that trailer had a large hole in the front of it, with no blood around it. After opening the door and expecting to find a dead animal inside, he snapped a picture of the unscathed deer. The flash spooked the deer and caused it to charge him. Evans jumped out of the way as the buck leapt from the trailer and bounded over... [Read more...]

Working Carbon Monoxide Detectors Can Save Lives

October 18, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Working Carbon Monoxide Detectors Can Save Lives

In an earlier post I reported that five people died in their sleep from carbon monoxide poisoning inside a rented camper at a bike rally in Clarksville, Tennessee. Investigators said the victims appeared to have been overcome by carbon monoxide fumes that leaked into the camper from a generator. The RV’s carbon monoxide detector, which could have prevented the deaths, was found to have no batteries. I further reported on a bill that required working carbon monoxide detectors in leased recreational vehicles in Tennessee. The bill also holds RV rental companies responsible if they fail to document and test the CO detectors in their leased vehicles. It is important to note that this law only applies to rentals. It is still imperative that personal RV owners stay diligent in testing and changing the batteries of the carbon monoxide detectors in their own recreational vehicles. Carbon monoxide (CO), often called “the silent killer,” is an odorless, colorless gas that is toxic and the... [Read more...]

Buying insurance off Kijiji or Craigslist

October 12, 2013 by · 1 Comment 

Buying insurance off Kijiji or Craigslist

In an earlier post I reported that an Air Force veteran was scammed when purchasing a motorhome off Craiglist. Aviva Canada, one of the country’s leading providers of home, auto, recreational vehicle, group, and business insurance, is warning Canadians about the risks of insurance deals that seem too good to be true. In cooperation with the Toronto Police Service, Aviva Canada released details of a recent insurance scam that has left individuals without auto insurance coverage and cost them hundreds and, in some cases, thousands of dollars, according to an Aviva Canada news release. “With the anonymity and ease of classified websites, we have seen a sharp increase in the amount of fake motor vehicle liability insurance cards, also known as pink slips, being sold online,” said James Russell, Chief Underwriting Officer for Aviva Canada. “Consumers need to be aware that some individuals have made a business out of defrauding others and use this type of scam as a regular... [Read more...]

She Ran Calling ‘Wildfire’

September 14, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

She Ran Calling ‘Wildfire’

A classic 70’s tune gave us the lyrics, “She ran calling ‘Wildfire’…..” Then a love song, but today, possibly the beginnings of a disaster. With rainfall low, and temperatures and winds high, wildfires are currently raging across the West from Montana to Colorado and California and heavily taxing first responder assets. Many families travel in their recreational vehicles to get away from the city and into remote areas of the wilderness. The serene environment is therapeutic to most, and can be an effective stress reliever. However, it is important to remember that during the summer and autumn months, as foliage begins to dry out, the landscape becomes extremely susceptible to wildfires. A wildfire (also known as brushfire or forest fire) is basically an uncontrolled fire that typically occurs in remote areas. Depending on wind conditions, these fires can travel over forty miles in a day, taking down timber like it’s made of cardboard. However, wildfires will consume not... [Read more...]

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