Monday, April 20, 2015

Where there's smoke, there's fire......

I will honestly admit that my biggest fear about living in an RV is fire.  Although a fairly small incident, that fear was realized for us today.

Several weeks ago the circuit breaker for the microwave/convection oven in our rolling home tripped to the off position and couldn't be reset.  Thinking at the time that we might have a problem with the oven, I moved the power cord to a different outlet in the kitchen.  The oven worked just fine.

Since the problem occurred on a dedicated circuit, I thought that the issue would probably be easy to resolve.  Well, not so fast Bubba.

Nothing seemed to remedy the problem, so I purchased a new circuit breaker.  It wasn't the breaker.

It was time to call out Dandy Don, the local RV repair dude.  All kidding aside, he is a very experienced fellow.  Don arrived this morning and proceeded to systematically check out each and every ac branch in our rig.

He immediately found four loose neutral connections at the main box, but continued his search, knowing very well that these problems tend to cascade within an electrical system.  He managed to isolate the problem to the single line for the oven and checked out the possibility that someone put a screw into the power line when constructing the trailer.

He found nothing else that caused any concern and reconnected the power for final check out.  Well, after about a minute the breaker tripped again.  It was at that point that we all began to smell burning plastic.  Don saw a little smoke coming from a low wall junction box under the kitchen sink and I went outside to look under the long slide on the utility side of our trailer.

Dense black smoke and flames were rolling out from under the kitchen slide...looks like we found the short circuit!  The fire was still small and easily extinguished, having burned only the plastic junction box, rubber boot and some undercoat material on the bottom of the slide.

Don picked up a few repair items at the local hardware store and made the final repair quickly.  A final system check gave us confidence that all was well...finally.

Left as it was, this could have been a real disaster when we began travels late next week.  The hard short circuit and fire was caused when Don moved the ac line from the power outlet to the junction box.  Movement of our RV our even putting the slide in or out could very well have caused that fire down the road when we weren't keeping a close eye on everything.  This was a timely repair for sure.

As noted, we are making preparations for upcoming travel.  Although our destination is only 300 miles up the road from Port Orford, we are looking forward to getting back under way.  For a number of reasons we have stayed in one location for a year, and it's time to move on for a while.

Juanita has been storing away inside items while I proceeded to rearrange and store everything in our three basement areas.  I pulled out the ground rod for our ham radio system today and stored the Traeger wood pellet grill in a space provided by park owners Tim and Cindy.  The Green Mountain Davy Crockett pellet grill will accompany us on our journey.

I have also been making exterior cosmetic repairs, with some success in places and not so much in others.  Most of the vinyl decals on our rig are beginning to fade, split and peel and will need to be removed soon.  I plan to begin that process after we return to Port Orford in several months.  Needless to say, I am not looking forward to that particular exercise.

Because of our busy schedule I haven't had an opportunity to put together photographs or videos.  Hopefully I will have plenty of time for that after we arrive in Long Beach, WA.

If events provide additional fodder for the blog, you will hear from us before we head north.  If not, we'll see y'all down the road........................................


  1. That's putting it mildly Rod...........

  2. Somebody or something is watching over you. I'd still be shaking at the thought of what could have happened when you were least prepared for it.

  3. Gulp! A pucker factor moment for sure considering what could have happened.

    1. Dennis...there is always some degree of pucker factor when around RV's. Murphy's Law seems to apply more often than not...keeps things interesting. :-)

  4. That kind of interesting I can live without!

  5. Scary moments Gordon, thanks for sharing. Enjoy your summer travels.