Sunday, October 24, 2021

MENU

RVers buy motorhome for $1. Then they light it on fire!

Our friends Marc and Julie Bennett of RVlove.com have performed a wonderful service for RVers. They’ve produced a fascinating video that may help save many of them from the misfortune of watching their RV go up in flames.

The Bennetts conducted an experiment that we have never seen done before. They bought an RV for a dollar, and then lit it on fire.

They arranged to have the abandoned 1973 Winnebago Indian motorhome towed to a large dirt lot. The RV was in bad shape from years of neglect. The roof was partially caved in and the interior was a mess. They patched the RV up a bit so at a quick glance it might appear to be livable. They furnished it with many of the items RVers would normally carry with them – a closet filled with clothing, food items, linens, plastic water bottles and other items.

For the experiment they set up about a half dozen video cameras, three of them inside the RV. They were enclosed in shoebox-sized containers Marc and Julie hoped would save them from the flames and extreme heat. Outside, they placed other cameras to capture the fire from start to finish.

Then, after some setbacks, including waiting around on no-burn days due to wildfire danger, the time was right for the experiment.

Local firemen and a fire truck were enlisted to be on hand. When the moment arrived, a fireman set a simulated grease fire on the stovetop. He left the RV, slammed the door and quickly walked away. All cameras were rolling. Marc, Julie and other witnesses provided commentary on what happened next.

We once heard a fireman describe RVs as “perfect burning machines,” which is pretty much true. Think about your own RV and what it’s made of, and what’s inside, and you’ll understand why he would say that.

But for now, we urge you to watch the Bennetts’ video. And then, after reading this newsletter, inspect your fire extinguishers, check that your emergency exit works, and continue to read the many fire safety articles we publish at RVtravel.com.

Click the video below to play it.

And you might also want to check out the Bennetts’ new book RV Hacks, available at major bookstores and Amazon.com.

To learn more about how the Bennetts went about setting up and executing their experiment, click here. It was a long, challenging process.

##RVT1021

Comments

Subscribe
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

34 Comments
Newest
Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Uncle Swags
8 days ago

I was hoping they would pick the RV with the graffiti “This is Meth”.

Much more appropriate than poor Granma and Granpa’s RV. And the former owners would have been much more entertaining.

cee
13 days ago

Thanks Marc and Julie and all those involved. Awareness is important.

Merlin B.
14 days ago

Too much BS. 25 minutes wasted watching what could have been shown in 10. Don’t need your agonizing over local fire conditions, thrift shop clothes, and explodable shock absorbers. Get the RV, set it on fire, show the result. And the result was totally predictable: a pile of charred remains sitting on a vehicle chassis.

Cynthia Kane
15 days ago

No seat belt on the driver. Not a good thing

Susan Smith
15 days ago

Thank you for this very informative and well-done video on fire safety in RVs. As a side note: It didn’t hurt my feelings one bit that a good ole’ 1973 Winnebago Indian Brave RV, which would have been assembled in the factory of Winnegabo Industries in my hometown of Forest City. Iowa, was used in this demonstration fire.

Derek
15 days ago

Eye opening! Will be getting a couple more extinguishers. Thank you!

Bill
15 days ago

Would have been really great information to see the video from the cameras inside as well, as that is what the RVer would be experiencing during a fire.

Diane Mc
15 days ago
Reply to  Bill

Well, they did, at the beginning of the fire. You can watch as it starts with the stove and then things above & near. Within minutes you couldn’t see anything but black smoke, so even if they have other interior videos you probably can’t see anything and it doesn’t matter as everything was gone. Would like to know about the fire proof document holder though. I doubt it survived, but who knows.

Bonita
15 days ago
Reply to  Diane Mc

Regarding the document holder, check the video again, all the way through. At around 23:30, they bring out the fire-resistant envelope with their book in it.

Jack S
15 days ago
Reply to  Diane Mc

As a firefighter, I can tell you that is how it is. It’s not like TV and Movies. We use thermal cameras and feel to get around in fires.

cee
13 days ago
Reply to  Diane Mc

The fire proof document holder did survive; they showed it towards the end. It was a KeeQii Fireproof Bag,17 x 12 x 5 inch

Diane Mc
13 days ago
Reply to  cee

Guilty of fast forwarding, but thought I watched to the end. Thank you everyone who mentioned the bag. On Amazon, $30 for 2 sizes and they have others. Small price to pay to save important docs. Thanks again.

Edward
15 days ago

I’m wondering if Brian Laundrie’s body was in there. Now they will never find it.

Edward
15 days ago

“It’s some of the worst stuff I’ve seen in 30 years,” said one longtime RV dealer. “It’s horrendous inside and out. But we have no recourse but to put it on the lot and try to sell it. You take what you can get, and you move on.” Straight from the newsletter. This is your audience.

Irv
15 days ago

The important part starts happening at the 17 min mark.

Cindy
15 days ago

This was really well done. Thank you for doing it!

Ran
15 days ago

The moral of the story is true. However, it breaks my heart to see that RARE CLASSIC Motorhome set on fire!….

Leslie Berg
15 days ago
Reply to  Ran

Me too. But they noted the Winnebago was so badly neglected the roof was partially caved in and interior exposed. So any restoration would have been a major effort and expense. Winnie bravely (she’s an Indian) sacrificed herself for science.

John Goodell
15 days ago

Great video, great effort, greatly educational. This really shows how an RV goes up really fast. Considering the ability of the camper with a hand-held fire extinguisher, the speed of the fire, the availability of emergency exits, and the response time of the fire department, this really shows how life threatening the fire is. Number one, get your family out. If you can’t put it out within seconds, it will be hopeless and you need to bail out.

Robin Pack
15 days ago

kinda Mythbusters take, lol…anything to promote safety is a huge eye opening plus! thanks for doing this, hopefully folks walk away with some tips from it like checking and cleaning out those compartments, stop daisy chaining/over loading power strips, not running cords under carpet, etc.

Edward
15 days ago

You really should be ashamed of yourselves. Too much time on your hands. That thick black smoke is great for global warming aka climate change. You guys need to find another hobby.

The Lazy Q
15 days ago
Reply to  Edward

Ashamed….I think not.

Scenarios like this are great for awareness on just how quickly fires spread and this without any other fuel on board to accelerate flames and cause explosions, this shows just how quickly your rig goes up in smoke and just may help to save your life one day. Another great fact is Realistic training for emergency personnel, one day they just may save your life.

Paul Michael
15 days ago
Reply to  Edward

Lol…You’re joking right?

G13
15 days ago
Reply to  Edward

They have nothing to “be ashamed of”, simply sharing very vital and informative safety precautions. You “need to find another hobby” instead of shaming the Bennett’s. Always someone in the crowd, lol.

Edward
15 days ago
Reply to  G13

It’s not to shame them. I agree RV buyers are not the sharpest knives in the drawer and would need to be informed of this “experiment”. Obviously you should have fire extinguishers and be extremely careful, particularly in wooded campsites. It’s a stunt. Regardless, that thick black smoke is disgusting. However someone will find a way to argue that point too.

Bulldog
15 days ago
Reply to  Edward

Global warming/climate change? Question 1. How many Ice Ages has the Earth experienced? Question 2. How many of them were caused by, or remedied by, the actions of Man? Question 3. What is the definition of the words “Natural and Cyclical?”

Diane Mc
15 days ago
Reply to  Edward

One fire, to help educate. China & India everyday.

Mike Albert
15 days ago
Reply to  Edward

Edward and other naysayers,
I was a volunteer firefighter for many years and then a captain of heavy rescue. I also teach first aid/cpr and conduct AED training. Currently I am a member of CERT in my community.
The black thick smoke that you are suspicious about is what firefighters potentially face everyday. It is toxic and life endangering. That’s why we train and drill and do it again at least weekly. The ONLY way to learn how to fight a fire is by actually doing it in a “controlled” environment. That’s why the author said they had to wait for non burn days.
It’s easy to “read” that if you step in front of a moving truck, it will hurt, But to experience it….
take care and be safe!

Jack S
15 days ago
Reply to  Edward

If the education it provides prevents just 2 fires, the environment is ahead.

Susan Banks
15 days ago

Thanks, I learned a lot, adding foam to my supplies by the door. I am in trouble, as we would not fit our the designated emergency window, but we could fit out another one in the same area.

Rj Nevins
15 days ago

Not a realistic way of starting a fire, how many times have you heard of that happening in an RV. not many. Granted if there is a fire it’s going to burn pretty quick. But the actual statistics of how many fires have been in RVs is not many.

Dr4Film
15 days ago
Reply to  Rj Nevins

You should take a walk through the many RV Junkyards located around this country and you would change your mind about how many of those are there due to a fire. You’d be surprised!

Bart
15 days ago
Reply to  Rj Nevins

A stunt to save lives. After my years in the Navy and learning to fight fires, this was an eye opener.

A valuable tool for every RV owner to learn from!

David carlson
15 days ago
Reply to  Rj Nevins

this was very realistic, most RV fire start in the kitchen because of unattended cooking. They heated cooking oil to it’s combustion point. also people tend to have other combustible items too near to the stove that could contribute fuel load or an ignition source.