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Old 03-21-2005, 09:22 PM   #6
40,000 mile TC user
Junior Member
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 10

Actually, The safety aspect was one of the reasons I bought a Truck based RV. There was no way that I would want to be sitting 3 ft. behind the bumper with nothing between me and the accident like most Class A pushers. Much better to have 4,000 lbs. of engine and other structure... before an accident gets to me. Since I drove 30-40,000 miles a year, driving saftey was important to me.

As far as parked saftey is concerned, I had been hooked up at the campground for 3 days when the fire hit. Engine was cold, I was plugged in to a 50 AMP outlet. I had (4) 30 Gal. propane bottles 3 Full with valves closed, and one open 1/2 full. I also had 120 Gals. of Diesel fuel. Everything in the coach was off when I left at 8:30 AM, at 11:00 AM the fire started. Smoke was seen coming out the bathroom vent. A retired Fire Fighter was walking his dog near my coach, and smelled smoke. He tried to knock on the coach door, but it was locked. The passenger truck door was left unlocked, and when he opened it, the flames spilled out. You can see this in the pictures.
The diesel fuel didn't burn or leak.
The propane cylinders all vented as they are designed to do.
The rest you can see burned. It burned so hot that the glass melted. Coins that were in the ashtray melted. The heat went up fuel and gas were below so they were OK.
Everything was damaged by smoke and water. If more things had been in Ziplock bags and Rubbermaid containers they would have been saved from water damage.

Things I would do different.

First of all buy a coach that is really built by someone that knows what they are doing. By this I mean, a company with drawings of what they are building. Most mass produced units need to do this, many limited production coaches don't.

Kingsley could never deliver a schematic of how my coach was wired. They said, we think this is how it was done...
They had NO Load analysis on the circuits. By this I mean they did not have a list of expected loads, wire size calculations or anything to know that the wires that they were using would be adequate for the wiring layout that they chose.

To this day, I bet if every Kingsley customer asks for a schematic, none will get one, at least none will get one that actually matches what is in their coach. This is insane.

Another area that is lacking, is in workmanship. Simple things like stripping wires. If you have a 12 AWG wire that is made up of 15 strands, and during the stripping process, 3 strands are broken off. This is a 20% reduction in current carrying capacity!!! Your 10 amp rated circuit just went down to 8 amps. A more insideious problem are the conductors that are just knicked when stripping. With the vibration that these vehicles see, these will break over time, reducing the current carrying capacity even more.

Sharp edges are an even bigger problem. They can cut through the insulation and leave a short circuit.

Many wires in Kingsleys are run OK and insulated properly maybe most. But unless ALL of them are, you can have VERY serious problems. It isn't the strong links in the chain that get you in trouble, but the weak ones that will screw you.

I have seen at Kingsley holes drilled in a 1" square steel tube used as a wall stud which were not deburred that just had a piece of electrical tape wrapped around the wire to "protect" it from chafing at the razor sharp burrs in the tube???

I have seen 3 or 4 wires hooked up end to end, just because they were short of wire and needed a longer piece.

I have seen wires that were too short "stretched" to fit by running them diagonally across an open space rather than getting a longer piece.

I have seen screws driven through wires in walls, cielings and floors because nobody knew where the wires were running...

I have seen wiring fuse boxes hidden under false closet floors that nobody would ever know about, making it just about impossible to trace down a problem.

Other companies may have problems too, It is just that I know these problems from the Kingsley I had and the 8 or 9 that I have been through.

Other things I have learned:
Have an emergency exit in EVERY room.
Have a smoke detector in every room and closet. At $10 each, times 7 or 8 not very expensive.
AGREED VALUE insurance. Don't let depreciation get you.

I hope this helps. I have a background in Avionics and aircraft wiring, so some of these concepts are second nature to me, but you can not be too careful.
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