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Author Topic: Prevost conversion burns near Mt Vernon,Texas Friday afternoon.  (Read 4759 times)
roadrunnertex
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« on: January 22, 2011, 08:13:20 AM »

http://www.kltv.com/global/story.asp?s=13887147

Sad to see a nice coach burn along side of the interstate.

jlv
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« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2011, 08:19:51 AM »

jlv, you must have some inside information.  The link does not have any significant information and I can't tell much from the photo.

Can you shed any light on the terrible situation.

Jim
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Jim Shepherd
Evergreen, CO
85 Eagle 10/Series 60/Eaton AutoShift 10 speed transmission
Somewhere between a tin tent and a finished product
Bus Project details: http://beltguy.com/Bus_Project/busproject.htm
Blog:  http://rvsafetyman.blogspot.com/
akbusguy2000
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« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2011, 09:01:01 AM »

tire fire

http://www.singingnews.com/Southern-Gospel-News/11644582/

tg
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« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2011, 09:06:28 AM »

  Is there some problem with Prevost? I am rather new to jumping into to buses, at least seriously looking at them as an RV, and have been seaching various web sites for over a year, craigs, etc., looking, learning. Prevosts seem a bit rarer, and a LOT more money, on average, from what I have seen, but just in the last week I have learned of three that suffered from fire damage. This one would make four. Is there some electrical issue??

  
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rv_safetyman
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« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2011, 09:40:10 AM »

Art (hope that is right - darn, I wish folks would put their name in their profile and/or signature), fire is always a possibility no matter what the situation (car/house/RV/bus).  

Oftentimes, the fires result from a problem caused by the owner.  We had a fire in the house that was a result (in part) for our kids putting dirty clothes too close to the furnace (am pretty sure we had a pressure regulator that was going bad at the same time).  However, there are also fires that are the result of a design problem.  For example, in the '70s they built houses with aluminum wiring throughout the house - lots of fires and lawsuits.  Today, there are a very large number of RV fires that are the result of a Norecold fridge problem:

http://www.norcoldrecall.com/

This is their second (at least) recall and there have been people killed from my understanding.  If you do a Google search on Norcold + fire, you will see a ton of lawyers wanting to represent you Roll Eyes

In the case of buses and most RVs, electrical fires are not a huge problem (with the exception of some high current 12V battery type cables).  Most of the fires that I know about (and I hear of most of them because of our business), are tire/brake, engine (lots of sources in that compartment), and generator (and, lately fride fires).  

For the most part, tire/brake fires can be avoided with good maintenance, proper driving, and closely watching tire pressure.  This particular fire was reportedly a tire fire (blowout).  Sometimes that just happens, but most of the time, it is the result of under-inflation or a tire that is "old".  There are lots of thoughts on what too old is, but Michelin has published a paper that says that truck/RV tires should be replaced if they are more than 10 years old.

Bottom line, I don't know of any bus, even our old units, that have any increased incident of fires.  That assumes that they were built and maintained properly - a huge assumption and an even larger discussion subject.  For example, one only has to read one of the many threads on electrical wiring to see some areas where folks have "done it their way" and their way may be considered "marginal" by technically competent folks.

Sorry, long post to a quick question.

Jim
« Last Edit: January 22, 2011, 09:53:24 AM by rv_safetyman » Logged

Jim Shepherd
Evergreen, CO
85 Eagle 10/Series 60/Eaton AutoShift 10 speed transmission
Somewhere between a tin tent and a finished product
Bus Project details: http://beltguy.com/Bus_Project/busproject.htm
Blog:  http://rvsafetyman.blogspot.com/
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« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2011, 10:11:19 AM »

Art (hope that is right - darn, I wish folks would put their name in their profile and/or signature), fire is always a possibility no matter what the situation (car/house/RV/bus). 

  Its Paul, no biggie Jim.

  I do appologise, not actually asking if it was a problem specific to Prevost, as much as some issue that could relate to any particular convertor or whatever. Just seemed odd, with all the MCI's around to see four toasted Prevost in such a short period. Interesting about the fridge. And that too, can lead to a particular builder who might use the same equipment in a build.

  Interesting as well, that instead of building these refrigerators better and more efficient, they figured out to do just the opposite. Like everything else we buy these days. Some old Dometics from the 60's are still working. I doubt many from the 90's still do. Had mine repaired 5 years ago after it blew.

  I once saw a big Bus type RV on a sales lot start smoking out the right front. The lot was closed and the camper was locked. The smoke increased, 911 was called, soon you could see flames by the bumper. Fire and Police showed up and blocked the highway, but the Firefighters wouldnt go near it, just sprayed down the units near it and let it burn. As sad as it was, it was facinating to watch. Once the fire broke through the floor and you could see the inside fill with smoke, from that poiint the entire rig was engulfed inflame in less than 5 minutes. Then the tires caught on fire and exploded. From when we first saw smoke, the rig was completely burned to the ground in less than 30 minutes.

 
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« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2011, 10:33:28 AM »

Paul, you mentioned Dometic.  They too, have the same problem and a major recall.  The Norcold just seems to get the most publicity.  The really frightening thing is that each time you see their recall, they seem to expand the models involved.  It almost looks like everything that they have made in last decade is toast.  Many folks think that their "fixes" are, at best, band-aids.  For the life of me, I don't know how they have survived.  They must have a huge insurance policy. 

I have been in contact with a fellow in Albuquerque, who was in his coach when the fridge fire started - no warning.  He said that a couple of folks came out to look at the coach (looked like it was repairable), and without any quibbling,  they told him to go out and buy an equivalent coach and they would pay for it!!!

When we went to the bus rally in Carthage MO this past October, several of us toured an amazing RV wrecking yard:

http://www.colawrvsalvage.com/AboutUs/tabid/59/Default.aspx

I walked through acres of RVs (mostly motorhomes) and was blown away at the percentage of units that were destroyed by fire.  Admittedly many were older units with front gas engines, but many were newer diesel pusher engine units. Of the newer units, I would say that many were engine fires.  Should have taken notes and lots of pictures.

Jim
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Jim Shepherd
Evergreen, CO
85 Eagle 10/Series 60/Eaton AutoShift 10 speed transmission
Somewhere between a tin tent and a finished product
Bus Project details: http://beltguy.com/Bus_Project/busproject.htm
Blog:  http://rvsafetyman.blogspot.com/
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« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2011, 11:27:11 AM »


I walked through acres of RVs (mostly motorhomes) and was blown away at the percentage of units that were destroyed by fire. Jim

  Not to discount the many possible faults RV's can have, including cheapo junk refrigerators, I am reminded of a conversation I had back about 1980 in a foreign car salvage yard I frequented. I was looking around and noted all the Jags, Porches, Alfas, Saabs, Volvos and Mercedes that were burned. The owner pointed out the difficult financial troubles that plauged the late 1970's of the Carter era. Cars had plummeted in value and with so many struggling or having lost their job, there was a giant spike in burned cars. Given the extreme financial mess of the last couple years, it wouldnt surprise me if there were some who could find no other way out.

  This is a good time to to remind all of us keep a watchful eye on our rigs and their various systems. With the materials used to build them, even a Bus conversion, a fire can spread very rapidly and quickly overwhelm any suppresion system. By the time you hear a smoke alarm you could be in very grave danger. Thinking about how you'll escape, and even more so, how you will get your loved ones out, should really be given some deep thought now, before it can happen. If your kids are sleeping up front, you and Mama in the back, and the fridge catches fire forcing you out your bedroom window, how will you get through the locked front door to save your kids???
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« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2011, 01:16:26 PM »

http://www.rvvideos.com/2008/07/your-new-car-or-rv-tires-could-kill-you.html
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« Reply #9 on: January 22, 2011, 04:41:03 PM »

Wow, what a hatchet job!!  Take a look at it again and you will note that their "experts" have a vested interest in legal action.

I spent all my working life in the rubber industry and it can tell you that there was some real crap in that segment.  Properly stored tire do not "dry out".  Made my skin crawl. 

I have served as an expert witness on some cases where the opposing side hired "experts" who were nothing more than blowhards.  I love to go up against these self appointed experts.

As you can tell, this video really upset me!!!

Jim

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Jim Shepherd
Evergreen, CO
85 Eagle 10/Series 60/Eaton AutoShift 10 speed transmission
Somewhere between a tin tent and a finished product
Bus Project details: http://beltguy.com/Bus_Project/busproject.htm
Blog:  http://rvsafetyman.blogspot.com/
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« Reply #10 on: January 23, 2011, 03:20:41 AM »

I read that water is the best thing to put out a tire fire. Does it make any sense to plumb a spray system of sorts to each wheel well? I have the floor removed from my MCI and had been thinking that water lines could be run to each wheel. At each wheel I could put a manual shutoff, leave them all open. In the event of a tire fire you would flip a switch that opened the line that fed this loop, then quickly shut the valves that you could reach to really soak the affected tire. Probably silly but something I had been thinking about. (Long winter in Maine) David
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« Reply #11 on: January 23, 2011, 05:01:13 AM »

 Jim are you saying that tires that have been stored out of sun are okay even if they are 12 years old?  I have no idea my self but most are saying that our bus tires should be replaced at 6-8 years by the date on them. Should that be 6 years from date put in use? Does sitting and not being driven shorten life of tires?   Rod
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« Reply #12 on: January 23, 2011, 10:23:05 AM »

Rod, storing tires in sunlight would really shorten the life.  Most tires are stored in a warehouse and that does not hurt the tire.  The big culprit is ozone and that comes from mother nature and electrical stuff. 

When I was running our test lab at Gates, a mechanic came to me and said that he have found a belt on the roof of the factory and would it like to see it.  We used to pull belts out of manufacturing (very fresh) to use on our equipment.  The date code on the belt suggested it had been on the roof for 16 years!!!  It happened to be a size we could dyno test, so we ran it and it ran as good as the other belts.

On another thread, there was mention of running the tires.  There is some truth to that.  All rubber product, especially tires have an anti-oxidant compound that "bleeds" out as the tire is fatigued (run).  It is designed to do that to protect the tire from ozone degradation.  That is one of the reasons my blood boiled when I watched that "scare tactic" video.  They talked about the tire "drying out".  The only time that would be true is if it were stored in the sun for very long periods of time. 

That video was so wrong on so many fronts, that it just does not deserve my time to debate it.

The debate about manufacture date vs date of installation is a tough one.  First, if they are not tires you installed, you have no idea how long they were on vs when they were made.  There, you have to go by the code date.  All products go through several layers of warehousing.  At Gates we warehoused them first in our warehouse, then sent them to a master distributor and then to the dealer (and maybe one or two more steps in between).  Lots of opportunity for "slippage" in terms of getting the product to the customer.  Bottom line, my personal practice will be to replace them about 8 years from my installation date -  if inspections don't reveal problems.

I will give you an example of what a huge problem "distribution can be.  Farmers use a hose for transferring anhydrous ammonia (a high pressure gaseous material used for fertilizer).  If the hose fails in a confined area, a person in that area will die almost instantly.   The industry always had several lawsuits going on at any given time.  RMA and the industry developed a code date system and made it "mandatory" to replace the hose after a certain period of time (don't recall how long, but something like 5 years).  Gates did a study and found that the various levels of distribution, could easily eat up over half the time, and our dealers could be stuck with hose they could not sell.  We finally exited the business.

There are a ton of government funded studies performed by various universities.  Their universal finding is that the major cause of tire failure (between 80% and 95%) is under-inflation.  It has been a while since I looked at these studies, but I don't think that age was any significant factor.

When you pick away at various tire related threads in RV forums, you will see a significant number of tire failures on fairly new tires.  Hard to tell what the cause was (I suspect under-inflation or road debris/curb damage).  However, I suspect that some of them were defective tires from the factory - it happens. 

The one thing I am very concerned about is tire quality from the manufacturer.  This is more of a problem with car tires, but there are some really terrible quality rubber products coming in from off-shore.  I did some consulting in China in 2006 (belts) and I was blown away at how archaic their technology (materials and processes) was and that they had almost zero quality conscientiousness, let alone a QC program. 

Please do not misunderstand what I am saying.  You simply can't run tires forever.  That is not what I am saying.  I think that the Michelin paper should be the guideline for responsible practice.

Sorry for my longer than normal rambling - can you tell that is video really pi**ed me off??? Angry

Jim

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Jim Shepherd
Evergreen, CO
85 Eagle 10/Series 60/Eaton AutoShift 10 speed transmission
Somewhere between a tin tent and a finished product
Bus Project details: http://beltguy.com/Bus_Project/busproject.htm
Blog:  http://rvsafetyman.blogspot.com/
John316
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« Reply #13 on: January 23, 2011, 06:36:09 PM »

I read that water is the best thing to put out a tire fire. Does it make any sense to plumb a spray system of sorts to each wheel well?/////snip////// David

Actually David, there is something better.

Jim (RV safetyman) sells cold fire, fire extinguishers. We have a very large one mounted up front in the cabin of our bus. I have seen video's, and Jim has also done research. With that extinguisher, I feel like we have the best chance of fighting a tire fire, of just about anything. We have another smaller extinguisher mounted in the bedroom in the back.

That Cold fire stuff is so easy to use. And it also offers such peace of mind. If we have a tire fire, I feel like we have some chance now.

HTH

God bless,

John
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« Reply #14 on: January 24, 2011, 12:56:08 PM »

Most fire depts will let fiberglass burn it self out water is a waste of time unless it is caught early,we saw a new H-45 burn last night at Avondale AZ wasn't a conversion but a seated bus they stood there and let in burn all the people were safe.
Not starting a debate but the Fire Captain told me burning was less toxic than trying to water down the blaze with all the different materials on the bus this is the second time I saw a fire dept let a bus burn it's self out



good luck
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