If a fire breaks out in an RV, it can take only minutes before flames engulf the entire rig. These heartbreaking RV situations typically result in the total loss of the vehicle and its contents. Sadly, Andrew Steele documented the tragic loss of his Newell Coach on his YouTube channel RVing with Andrew Steele.
Today, we’re looking at this disastrous situation that is every RVer’s nightmare. We’ll also share a few tips on how to stay safe while RVing.
RV Youtuber’s Newell Coach Catches Fire While Driving
Andrew was traveling in his Newell Coach along I-10 just outside of San Antonio. He began to smell something that he described as “nachos burning.”
His girlfriend began looking around the kitchen but couldn’t find anything and noticed the smell emanating from the front of the rig. When Andrew turned the air conditioner on, a small amount of smoke came out of the vent.
Luckily, they could exit the highway at a nearby rest stop. The couple ran from the RV with their pets, a laptop, a camera, and the clothes on their back.
Andrew left the RV so fast that he was wearing two right shoes. The fire spread throughout the rig so quickly that they couldn’t return for any other possessions.
Who Is RVing With Andrew Steele?
Andrew Steele was introduced to the RVing lifestyle as an auto detailer years ago. He would wash and wax some incredibly gorgeous rigs, and many of his customers would share the stories of their adventures.
He packed up his things and headed to South Dakota because of the stories he had heard from his clients. After the apartment he rented flooded, he purchased an Airstream to tow behind his cargo van. This forced him to embrace the nomadic RV lifestyle and hit the road.
Steele shares video tours of luxury motorhomes and tips to make the RV life easier for others. He has gained quite a reputation in the RV community and has grown his channel to 150,000+ subscribers. He travels the country with his girlfriend, Shea, and their two dogs.
Watch these RV YouTubers purposefully set an RV on fire to demonstrate how quickly the flames spread.
What Items Survived the Newell RV Fire?
In the aftermath video, Andrew and Shea walk through the rig after the fire. The couple lost many of their important documents, electronics, and clothes. However, they salvaged some things from the fire.
The firefighters saved some photo albums, keepsakes, and the contents of their under storage compartments. Shea had a lot of cash from selling furniture before getting back on the road, and their bank gave them the information to have it replaced.
What Lessons Did Andrew Steele Learn From the RV Fire?
The couple learned that these fires aren’t as rare as you might think. They state that they learned that RV fires happen every day and that many RVers aren’t prepared for them. These situations could happen to any RVer in any type of rig.
They share that people should regularly check their smoke detectors and have access to a fire extinguisher. The couple plans on purchasing additional fire extinguishers for any future rigs. Additionally, they want to have a to-go bag packed and in an accessible location for any future emergencies.
Are Newell RVs a Good Brand?
Despite this tragedy, Newell RVs have a reputation for being some of the best RVs in the industry. They’re well-built, incredibly luxurious, and can even tow up to 25,000 lbs.
Despite having some of the most usable and liveable space, you can even have your Newell RV custom-built for your specific needs.
Newell has been building RVs for more than 50 years. They pride themselves in not only innovation but superior customer service. If Andrew and Shea’s experience shows us anything about Newell, they care for their customers.
Multiple representatives from Newell have spoken with Andrew and Shea, and the company delivered a temporary van to them within 24 hours. They were able to finish their move from Texas to Florida thanks to Newell Coach and many other friends and partners.
What Is the Most Common Causes of RV Fires?
Unintentional actions would include fires as a result of meal preparation and cooking. RVers must be extremely careful when using propane or oils with an open flame.
The USFA also states that 28% of RV fires start in the engine, running gear, or wheel area. This could be due to lack of maintenance on the engine, failure to keep wheel bearings packed, or a blown tire.
Doing preventative maintenance on your RV can save you from experiencing a devastating fire.
How to Protect Your RV from Fire
The first step to protecting your RV from a fire is by having the appropriate safety mechanisms and ensuring they function. You should check your fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, and carbon monoxide detectors every couple of months. This will only take a couple of seconds but could potentially save your life and help protect your RV.
You should also use a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) on all your tires. This safety device can help you keep an eye on any changes in tire pressure and alert you at the first signs of a tire blowout. Tires can generate heat and ignite if things don’t function correctly.
Invest in a fireproof safe for carrying essential documents and cash. These safes can be expensive and heavy but will protect your valuables.
How Common Are RV Fires?
Over 2,000 RV fires happen each year and are one of the leading causes of RV loss. This is largely because RVs use lightweight wood and other flammable materials in construction.
If an RV catches fire in a campground, it can easily damage surrounding RVs. It can also cause wildfires. However, if you take a few safety precautions, you can stay safe during your adventures.
Andrew and Shea have used this tragedy to help educate others about staying safe and taking important precautions while traveling.
The couple isn’t letting this massive setback prevent them from continuing their nomadic adventures. They’ve even started hinting at their next rig so they can continue making memories.
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