RV Catches Fire on Freeway After Hitting Semi Tire

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An RV on fire on the freeway
Source: Reddit/VdomanFla

Traveling the open roads can be incredibly dangerous, especially in an RV. You never know what the road will throw at you during your adventures.

Recently, one RVer was on his way to New Orleans and experienced a nightmarish situation. Luckily, he acted quickly and is making the best of the situation.

Today, we’re sharing this Redditor’s encounter and providing safety tips for your future travels. Let’s dive in and help you avoid a future nightmare!

Redditor’s RV Bursts Into Flames While Driving

One Redditor, Vdoman, shared a recent horrific ordeal in his post “Supposed to be in New Orleans right now.” However, while he, his wife, and their pets were traveling west on Interstate 10, west of Mobile, their RV caught fire.

They watched from a safe distance as their rig and their future adventures went up in flames.

It only took a few minutes for the entire rig to be consumed by flames and black smoke to start billowing into the air.

How Did the Fire Start?

The Redditor shared that while they were traveling on I-10 heading to New Orleans, they came across an object in the road. The object was a wheel that had fallen off a semi at some point. 

The driver feared he would flip the RV onto its side if he tried to swerve around the wheel quickly. The safest option was to drive over the tire, which got stuck under his rig.

Unfortunately, the wheel ended up puncturing the RV’s gas tank. As you can imagine, the sparks quickly ignited the gasoline as it leaked from the tank. This accelerated the flames and seriousness of the issue.

Strangers Come to the Rescue

The Redditor shared that a driver two cars behind them stopped to offer assistance. He and his wife were blown away at the generosity of strangers who came to their rescue. 

The strangers invited the couple back to their home to wait for their family to arrive. His brother-in-law drove seven hours each way to come to pick them up.

RV Is Totaled, But All Are Safe

While he, his wife, and their pets safely escaped, their RV was completely totaled.

The couple lost nearly everything inside the rig, including their phones and credit cards. Ultimately, everything they lost is replaceable, but that doesn’t make it sting any less.

The last we heard, the couple is waiting to hear back from insurance to see how they’ll resolve the situation.

 Depending on the insurance company, this could be a quick and easy process or a long and frustrating one that requires legal action.

A totaled RV after being on fire on the freeway
Source: Source: Reddit/VdomanFla

Are RV Fires Common?

The exact number of RV fires each year is not publicly available.

However, data from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) indicates that recreational vehicles, including travel trailers and motorhomes, accounted for an estimated 4,400 structure fires per year in the United States from 2014 to 2018.

RV fires are not common, but they can happen due to various factors such as electrical malfunctions, propane leaks, or cooking accidents. However, accidents from traveling can also cause RV fires. 

You may hit a tire like this family, experience mechanical issues in your motorhome, or get in an accident while driving. Always use caution when traveling with your RV and when stationary.

What Are Common Causes of RV Fires?

While RV fires may not be common occurrences, there are a few common reasons why they occur. The most common causes involve electrical malfunction, propane leaks, cooking accidents, engine problems, and battery issues. 

It’s important to inspect and maintain your RV regularly, follow manufacturer recommendations, and practice proper safety precautions to reduce the risk of RV fires.

RV Fire Safety Tips

We want you to stay safe while you enjoy your RV. Here are a handful of tips that you should follow to maximize your safety during your adventures.

Check Your Fire Extinguishers and Smoke Detectors Regularly

Having safety devices like fire extinguishers and smoke detectors isn’t enough. You need to ensure that you know how to use them and that they function correctly. 

The last thing you want to discover during an emergency is that your safety equipment isn’t working. We recommend that you check these safety devices at the start and end of each camping season. 

Replace the smoke detector batteries and ensure your fire extinguisher is properly pressurized. If you do, you can have confidence they’ll save the day if you need to use them.

An RVer checking their fire extinguisher

Keep Up Your Maintenance

The owner’s manual that came with your rig will likely contain a list of recommended maintenance items from the manufacturer.

However, if you want your rig to last as long as possible and be safe, don’t treat these as “recommendations.” 

Keeping up on the maintenance of your RV is essential, and some things need to be done more frequently than others.

Take the time before any trip to inspect your RV. This is a great opportunity to look for any potential maintenance you’ll need to do or address any issues. Pay specific attention to your tires and brakes, as they can generate tremendous heat and cause fires.

Don’t delay addressing any necessary repairs, especially if they involve your electrical system. You could have a loose wire or connection somewhere in your system that could turn into a serious situation in the blink of an eye.

Keep in Mind: One of our major concerns before we hit the road was RV safety. Feel safe on the road with these Practical RV Safety Products!

Store Valuables in Fireproof Safe

You never know if or when a fire will occur. If you travel with valuables, invest in a fireproof safe.

RV fires typically destroy all the contents of an RV. Protect items like Social Security cards, birth certificates, marriage licenses, and other important documents. 

Don’t forget hard drives, SD cards, or electronics. Insurance policies often won’t cover these items unless you have the right policy. You could find yourself having to rebuy thousands of dollars in electronics. 

A fireproof safe in an RV

Know How to Use Emergency Exits

RVs typically have emergency exits in the bedroom spaces. These exits help people make a quick escape should a fire or other serious situation occur. Take time to familiarize yourself and anyone in your RV with how to use them.

You don’t want to try to open them for the first time during a tense situation. When possible, we recommend opening and closing these windows regularly. This can help avoid potential sticking due to humidity or debris bonding the rubber seals together.

Keep in Mind: Every RVer should know how to use their RV Emergency Exit Window! How prepared are you for an emergency?

Take Action Immediately

If you want any chance of saving anything in your rig, you don’t want to wait until you see flames. If you smell or see smoke, take action. Every second counts in these situations. 

Grab what you can and get out of your rig as fast as possible. While it may be tempting, you shouldn’t return to your rig once you’ve made a safe escape.

Additionally, it’s a good idea to alert others in the area. If you’re in a crowded campground, you have a good chance that your RV fire could easily spread to your neighbors.

Giving them a heads-up can allow them to pack up and move their rig quickly. If they can’t move, they’ll appreciate the extra time to remove any valuables inside their RV.

An RVer checking their smoke alarm

Don’t Let an RV Fire Ruin Your Future Adventures

It’s crucial to take preventative measures to avoid RV fires and ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. However, this Redditor has evidence that RV fires can happen in the blink of an eye. 

Take the time to do regular maintenance, use appliances appropriately, and have working safety devices. You want to do all you can to avoid a fire ruining your future RVing adventures.

And when you can’t avoid it, make quick decisions to help get everyone out safely.

Have you had an RV fire drill?

  1. Interesting because I came thru that area 2 years ago for the first time traveling from Ocala, Fl to Spokane and marveled at how ridden the sides of the highway were with trash and tires. Dirtiest highway I had ever experienced, but found the people to be extreamly nice.

  2. Two comments; 1) this incident and my wife’s (running over road debris on highway destroyed two Michelin tires. One punctured, the 2nd (unknown at the time) busted the radial belts. A bumpy ride clued me in that another tire was shot). Such road debris, particularly metal, are so common. I see a need to re-visit the old style steam locomotive Cow-Catcher device for the front of the vehicle. Low to the ground, blast the debris off to the side or at least allow tire to slow and clear it from in front of you Safely. 2) Fire Suppression Systems; once again I see the need for installed fire suppressions systems. An added expense; absolutely! Peace of mind that at the Pull of. Pin, while exiting the vehicle, a foam or dry powder suppression system could keep such devastating disasters from getting this bad. AND, I’d bet with an industry push Insurance rates could be brought down. I Need to Start two aftermarket businesses…..

  3. We had an RV fire due to arson..somebody barricaded us in the RV and set us ablaze while camping …
    Your vehicle insurance will cover rv
    Home insurance will cover contents (list everything tv stove clothes bedding bikes pet stuff. Toilet paper food electronics .etc etc ,stinky slinky , jacks, pillows , turd toter, everything

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