View Full Version : Riding RV Brakes into Death Valley Proves Disastrous

The Newell
12-05-2012, 08:12 PM
Robert Gilchrist Huenemann, M.S.E.E., and his wife Holly of Hollister, California, came across the burntout shell of a motorhome at the entrance to the Stovepipe Wells Campground in Death Valley National Park in November and believed the expected cause of the disaster was worth sharing with other RV owners.

Huenemann said, "The park staff told us that the fire was caused by riding the brakes all the way down one of the passes into Death Valley. I am not sure which one, but both passes drop more than 4,000 feet in something like 20 miles. The grades approach 10 percent in places.

"We were told that no one was injured in the fire."
According to Huenemann, the pictures were taken by his wife on November 24 after the remains of the motorhome were loaded onto a truck. The fire apparently happened a day or two earlier.
Huenemann said, "I just hope that making the pictures available will get people to think about how they use their brakes. But I do not have very high hopes."

photos by:Holly Huenemann

article by: RV News Magazine | The Voice of the RV Industry (http://www.rvnews.com/anew.cfm?RecordID=2010)

12-16-2012, 04:21 PM
That was burnt to smithereens. Glad no one was hurt. Anyone know what kind of motorhome it was?

12-16-2012, 06:58 PM
There's the next big contest question. Correct answer should be a trip to Europe! What do you think Ken?

12-16-2012, 07:24 PM
Wow! This one really did get a little toasty. Didn't they have a Jake Brake? My goodness!

Larry, it looks like a Fleetwood product. Good Idea.

12-16-2012, 11:23 PM
Boy oh boy I would go along with the toasty part Brady. And to think some salvage guy will still buy it for the cores. Looks more like burnt scrap for the shredder.

Larry, I see you have your thinking cap on. You need to go over the other Wanderlodge I posted under "Buyer and Seller Exchange" and give a good gestimate of the high bid over on ebay. I knew a lot of us needed some schooling on the Bluebird Wanderlodge looks and values. We can throw down a prize or two on that challenge and the guesses that will count ends I believe tomorrow sometime...

12-17-2012, 02:44 AM
My wife and I both have went through a training on how to drive these large coaches. There is a such thing as stab breaking while using the exhaust brake that will generally prevent excess wear and tear or heat on coach brakes.

12-19-2012, 09:10 PM
There's the next big contest question. Correct answer should be a trip to Europe! What do you think Ken?

Great idea Larry! I copied the image to my computer so that I could blow it up. About all that I was able to discern for sure was it was a diesel pusher with the exhaust exiting on the drivers side, had full sized Alcoa wheels, no tag axle and was constructed with fiberglass. I'm thinking with the distinctive radius on the frame that's above the seats in front that someone should be able to guess the make and model. I'm also going to go out on a limb here and predict that it didn't have any slides. My guess, 36' 1997 Beaver Monterey.