August 3, 2014—It could happen to o you...to us...or to anyone. It DID happen to Jim’s daughter-in-law.
Teresa was anticipating a great vacation with her two kids. (Marshall is working overseas.) They planned to drive up to Kentucky to spend some time with her family and enjoy the cooler weather in the Midwest. This was not the first time she has ventured out in the motorhome by herself; she has successfully driven it (and her Wrangler toad) several times.
For this trip, she stowed clothes, food, and gear into the motorhome; hitched up the Wrangler; gassed up both vehicles; checked all systems; put the cats and kids on board; and fired up the engine.
A few miles (literally) down the road, disaster happened. The Wrangler caught fire and the fire quickly spread to the motorhome. Both are total wrecks. Fortunately, everyone (including the cats) got out and no one was hurt.
Teresa reported that the fire department responded quickly, but not fast enough to save the vehicles. The Jeep, incidentally, was a new 2013. It didn’t have too many miles on it. The motorhome was a 2007 gas driven, 38-foot RV that slept six. It contained not only their clothes but all types of duplicate small appliances and kitchenware, such as mixer, rice cooker, pots and pans, storage equipment, etc.
Cause of the fire? Still unknown.
We had a similar (but far less devastating) incident the first time we towed our car. Jim had hooked up the car (our old HHR) in the RV storage lot and towed it about five miles. We were turning the corner on Beach Blvd. to Hodges (about two miles from our house), when someone yelled that we had lost a hubcap from the car. Jim pulled over and we discovered that the brakes had locked up and we had essentially dragged the car for about five miles. No fire, but we had to replace two tires and redo the master brakes and brake shoes, if I recall correctly. Not inexpensive, but at least we did not have a fire.
To make sure that never happens again, every time we hook up the car, after checking to make sure all the lights work properly, I watch the wheels turn as Jim pulls forward several yards. We’ve had no problems since that first time.
We are glad Teresa and the kids and cats are OK. In my opinion, she’s a brave lady even to drive the RV herself. Now she can add to that bravery as having survived an RV fire that could have been disastrous.
Until next time,
Your Reluctant Rover,