Pop up warning

Aug 1, 2018
15
Ok. So I just got a pop up that had a fire. A relatively small one all things considered. I was told it started because the owner didn't turn power off to the WH or furnace or fridge and left the propane on. They think the pilot light blew out when it was driving then must've auto lit since those appliances were on.

Can this happen? Is this a realistic scenario? What are the dangers of not turning everything off when breaking down camp? I'm new to this and don't want to have history repeat itself.

Thanks!

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Sjm9911

Super Active Member
May 31, 2018
11,441
Nj
The cause is whatever is at the lowest part in that corner cabinite.in the first photo. Whether it was propane related or not, I can't tell from these pic. Did this happen when they were pulling it? I thought most campers had a cut off switch to prevent stuff like that. More information is needed and pics.
 
Aug 1, 2018
15
The cause is whatever is at the lowest part in that corner cabinite.in the first photo. Whether it was propane related or not, I can't tell from these pic. Did this happen when they were pulling it? I thought most campers had a cut off switch to prevent stuff like that. More information is needed and pics.

Unfortunately I simply don't exactly know as I'm the 2nd owner since the fire. The person I got it from bought it to fix it but never did so he just wanted rid of it and I bought it from him. All we have is speculation as to how it started.

And yes...I do know it happened as they were driving. I think...lol
 

Sjm9911

Super Active Member
May 31, 2018
11,441
Nj
To be honest if they were driving and a draft blew out the pilot light, chances are the propane would get pulled out with that same draft.so it wouldent build up inside. Then in would need an ignition point, so other stuff had to be on. Propane is heavier then air. So it would go to a low spot. Not impossable , just not liekly. What is in the cabinite?
 

Sjm9911

Super Active Member
May 31, 2018
11,441
Nj
If that's the hot water heater, they could have ran it dry and left the propane on. Just a guess.
 

nineoaks2004

Every meal is a picnic and every Day is a holiday
Oct 15, 2006
8,242
Dukes, Fl
Really hard to say what caused the fire, I always turn my LP off when traveling, I have seen several that caught fire usually a propane leak and then (on the old type HW heater or reefer)
the pilot light stayed lit and finally the gas built up and there was a fire. If on the road 110 v. would not be available, but a shorted 12 v could arc and cause a fire also. Good Luck with the repairs and Happy Camping
 

PopUpSteve

Administrator
Staff member
Gold Supporting Member
Dec 22, 2002
20,651
Southeastern PA
Like on those TV shows that go over why a plane crashed or a building collapsed, you sometimes need a trifecta of things to go wrong for a disaster to happen. Well, here you go!

You can fix up the camper and give it new life. But as for the original owner to whom this disaster fell, well as they say, you can't fix stupid.
 

tfischer

A bad day camping beats a good day at the office
I don't have a WH, but I can tell you for a fact that my furnace isn't hooked to the galley kill switch, so if I left it on, chances are bad things would happen as when the sink is in travel mode it's about 6" away from it, and we also store stuff there frequently. I will frequently turn on the heater very briefly to purge air from the propane lines while the trailer is collapsed... I turn it on, wait for hot air out of the exhaust port (15-20 seconds) and turn it right back off.
 
Aug 1, 2018
15
I've been debating about what to do in regards to the furnace, WH and fridge. I honestly could say I don't really need any of them. I likely won't need a furnace since I have no interest in camping in the cold. A WH would be nice but it's not a necessity. And I've considered either replacing the fridge with a like model or simply getting a powered cooler or 110v dorm fridge. But again...it's not necessary. Honestly...I'd like to just turn that spot into more seating.

My plan is to repair the wiring so I can run lights and outlets. Repair plumbing to the sink. And make sure all the propane lines are properly capped and leak free. I'd like to use the stove or outside grill hookup so fixing the propane is a must. I'll probably take it over to Camping world or one of our other repair places to make sure the propane is done right.
 

Orchid

Sharp Shootin' Grandma
May 8, 2011
5,819
Florida by way of WV and MD
That one pic looked like it still had smoke pouring out of it! :shocked: Took me a few to realize it was insulation sticking to the wall above. I was thinking putting the fire out would be a great start. [;)][:P]
 

Orchid

Sharp Shootin' Grandma
May 8, 2011
5,819
Florida by way of WV and MD
This is a video of a RV graveyard with a bunch of burned up RV's

Interesting video! I used to run propane on the road all the time, for the fridge. Now I have removed all propane and we are 100% electric. Pre-cooled and pre-frozen food stay fine in the fridge and freezer that I get going a day in advance.

I would love to find an RV graveyard that had more vintage RVs in it. I could spend days in one of those.
 
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jnc

Welcome from New Hampshire
Oct 1, 2014
3,933
South Central New Hampshire
The fridge in my pup was to low to the floor so I never used it. Pulled it out and making a built in cooler. We only use propane for heating & cooking. Most of our cooking is done outside with the exception of Coffee and maybe a light breakfast.
 

Orchid

Sharp Shootin' Grandma
May 8, 2011
5,819
Florida by way of WV and MD
The fridge in my pup was to low to the floor so I never used it. Pulled it out and making a built in cooler. We only use propane for heating & cooking. Most of our cooking is done outside with the exception of Coffee and maybe a light breakfast.

I agree that it's too low to the floor, so we put a dorm freezer there. We needed lots of freezer space. We put a dorm fridge on a counter, since it is accessed more often. We do cook in the pup, or I should say "heat up" as we have a microwave and toaster oven.

We use the coleman stove at the picnic table and cook on the fire as well. Currently trying to talk DH out of dragging along this Coleman Roadtrip grill every time. It's heavy and takes up too much space.
 

Sjm9911

Super Active Member
May 31, 2018
11,441
Nj
I got a tiny outside grill, propane , works for me.

I still don't think the fire thing is that common. Propane tanks do leak but the results of them are worse then those trailers. Here is some NFPA tips on safety fro food truck vendors. These are more apt to happen because of frequent use, and greased build up on the hood system etc. And even with this coming out and being more of a problum then campers, you don't see a lot of food truck fires. But when they do go, they usually go up big. https://foodtrucktrainingcertification.com/articles/food-safety-news/food-truck-fire-safety/
 

emoney

Super Active Member
Jul 7, 2018
880
In the pics it does look like it started in the furnace. Is the Converter above it? Regardless, I shut off the LP on the road. For me it’s math; statistics prove its gonna happen to someone and my luck always leans toward it being me, lol
 




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