View Full Version : This is One Serious RV Fire Issue

10-01-2012, 03:16 AM
This was posted on the Wanderlodge forum;

Slim Summerville lost his 1999 LXI last night to a fire in N. E. Fla. Outside of Daytona. It started by he thinks the refrigerator. 3 am sound asleep the fire alarm went off he got out with his wallet and his dog. Orene was in Nashville at the time she’s OK but everyone is shook up. Everyone is OK Slim asked me to post this.
Slims computer melted to the dinner table and his cell phone has no charger so he needs it for family matters. If he needs help he will ask, so for the moment we need to let him chill out.

This is a good "heads up" and we should all look at the maintenance with our Refrigerators. Now I am not even going to imply that this was the case but it would not hurt any to get a look.
My Owner's Manual is not with me but I do remember to check the Burner and Clean it when the Flame isn't good. We should also ensure that the Flue is clear and there isn't allot of Dust in the area. Our Washer & Dryer is right next to the Refer so I have been alert to lint and dust.
At any rate it is a great time to look at fire and other hazards!

Cheri Smith
10-01-2012, 03:26 AM
Man oh man! That is a bad fire, glad to hear no one was hurt!

10-01-2012, 03:36 AM
That is one crazy deal! Sure glad Slim and his dog got out without harm and pray everything works out against the loss.

My sister and her husband lost one about a year ago but it started in the engine compartment, they replaced it with a fifth wheel

Thanks Steve for sharing and congrats on the "1000"

10-01-2012, 03:49 AM
It doesn't take much and it's burnt to a crisp! Thank God he was able to get himself and his pup out safely. "Things and stuff" are replaceable but a life is not. Thanks for the heads up Steve and Tricia.

10-01-2012, 03:55 AM
Man oh man! That is a bad fire, glad to hear no one was hurt!

X2 Most importantly no one was hurt.

Randy J
10-01-2012, 03:57 AM
That was a major fire! Sorry for their loss. I'd be pretty shaken up to! Hope they get taken care of alright. And get a replacement when they are ready.

10-01-2012, 04:01 AM
That's awful news! Sending prayers and positive thoughts to Slim and Orene. It's important to make sure our smoke alarms are working.

10-01-2012, 04:18 AM
It is very important our smoke/fire alarms are working. Glad we have this section on the forum to keep each other in the know. Fire safety has been something we have been discussing here on the forum lately with the fire extinguishers and knowing how to use them.

Fires are a serious concern as they can start from a lot of different things and we should always be prepared. Like others said glad he was able to get out of there safely!

10-01-2012, 01:08 PM
I've been following this post on the WL forum and Slim got out with his wallet and dog, wearing only his underwear. So obviously he only had seconds to get out! Haven't heard if he went through the window or was able to get out of the front door. I guess the moral of this story is if awakened by the fire alarms GET OUT FIRST! Grab an extinguisher if you can, but get out.

10-01-2012, 02:30 PM
Dang! Sure glad the ole boy got out safely and with the pooch too. Not sure how much exposed wood and other materials this particular Wanderlodge had but a lot of Rvs can go up in smoke really fast leaving minimal chance to get things under control. Where was he parked?

10-01-2012, 05:15 PM
Its good to know what to do and it's good it's been discussed here. From the sounds of it good thing he got out! Always get to safety first!! It was probably past the point of even trying to extinguish it out. I wonder how fast the fire department got to the scene?

Raymond N Priscilla Miller
10-01-2012, 07:11 PM
Oh wow! that's amazing news he got out safely! It always hits home when we see something like this, we are full timers and to loose our home to a fire would really be horrible. I hope they are able to replace what they lost. Any type of disaster is devastating, our thoughts and prayers go out to these folks!

10-01-2012, 07:29 PM
This should be a reminder to all of us to make sure our systems are in order. What about our escape information, is it to escape out a window or the door? If it's a window, how are we going to manage it?

10-02-2012, 02:21 AM
Ran across information regarding RV refrigerator fires
and alternatives in 110V. The insider awareness of
the potential fire hazard is what caught my attention
and hope the information is useful and instructive for
the safety of your family and motor coach.


Date: July 15, 2010

To Our Valued Customers & Friends,

For over a decade, Norcold and Dometic RV Absorption Refrigerators, have been burning down travel trailers, motorhomes and buses. Since fire is indiscriminate, damage is often not limited to the RV. The flames also destroy everything surrounding your RV; garages, homes, automobiles, collectibles and life itself. Although both manufactures have taken steps to prevent these mishaps, fires still occur on a very regular basis.

On July 14, 2010 a 2005 Newmar Essex, a very expensive motorhome, burned on my lot. Fortunately quick response from my neighbor, who noticed the smoke, saved an entire row of motorhomes from being destroyed until the fire department arrived. Inevitably I, along with everyone else who has ever touched this motorhome, will be sued by the customers’s insurance company. Years of expensive litigation will follow even though it is clear-cut that failure of the Norcold refrigerator was the direct cause of the blaze that totally destroyed the coach and this is the process every time someone’s coach burns due to a refrigerator fire, tying you up in court for months if not years before they ultimately settle out of court.

In lieu of these rolling hydrogen bombs, I personally recommend that you allow us to remove your absorption type refrigerator, dispose of it properly and replace it with a conventional household 110 volt refrigerator. Some of the advantages associated with these are, much lower purchase price, little or no maintenance, elimination of the fire hazard associated with absorption refrigerators, no propane consumption, more consistent control of refrigerator and freezer temperatures, FROST FREE, no need to be precise when leveling your coach, and a larger capacity in the same amount of space. A 1,000 watt inverter will easily power it with power to spare for television, satellite systems, etc. while traveling and once you plug in, and drawing only between 4 and 7 amps, the new refrigerator will easily run on available campground power.

To this end, I have decided that until the RV absorption refrigerator manufacturers correct this dangerous condition, we will no longer sell, install, or repair these units. I apologize for the inconvenience that this change in policy will cause you but I am compelled to protect your RV, your safety and absolutely must limit my business’ exposure to this on-going liability. Some of you may choose not to convert to a conventional refrigerator and I understand this just make sure your refrigerator is turned off before leaving your coach for repairs.

Billy Thibodeaux's Premiere RV, Inc. (http://www.billyt.com/refrigeratorreplacements.html)

This RV repair center recommended the Samsung R197 110V refrigerator. It draws 400 Watts AC but only when the compressor is on and the door is open. Since the interior illumination is L.E.D. I would think that most of that would be compressor. If your room is limited, check out the Whirlpool 9.6 cu/ft model. It will directly replace the Norcold 682/841.


Newell Forum member, Encantotom did a low cost conversion to an all
electric Whirlpool 110V refrigerator in his 1990 Newell:

"The best all-electric refrigerator that I have found to replace a typical RV unit (over and under doors, 60” tall and 24” wide) is the Whirlpool 9.7 CuFt Top Mount Refrigerator, Model ETOMSRXTQ. It comes in white, black, and silver colors, and is usually less than $400.00. (You can find them at Lowes (store or on-line) – they deliver and will take away the old RV refrigerator, too.) And you only have to make minor modifications to the cabinet the refrigerator fits into."

Here is the link describing the installation:

Changing from Dometic RV Fridge to Household 110v Fridge



10-02-2012, 11:42 PM
Oh dear that was a bad fire. Glad those folks are okay!

10-03-2012, 12:15 AM
Dang, that sucks! :(