On Fire

Knee deep in a major livestream Christmas production project. Since returning to Canada, I have recorded, mixed and produced over 100 songs. In the old days, that pace would be comparable to producing an album a month.

A few months back I was asked to do all of the audio production for another project. It seemed like a good idea at the time.

My estimate going into November for this Christmas project was 175 – 200 hours. It looks like it will be closer to 250 hours when all is said and done.

I’ve become a full-time session player, audio engineer and mixer in my retirement. Spending 12-14 hours a day most days of the week to get this work done in time.

It keeps me very busy during a season where I know many of my fellow Canadian RVers are struggling with being locked up in their temporary lodgings for the winter. For many of us in the RV lifestyle, travel keeps us busy. And now, for many of us in the RV lifestyle in Canada, travel during the pandemic in the winter is no longer an option.


Different reality.

Lots of RVers are travelling down there. Reading through my social media feeds on the RV lifestyle it looks as though the pandemic has had almost no effect on RV travel in the states.

More and more posts on people buying expensive motorhomes for the first time.

And some of them find out the hard way that motorhomes are not like cars.

Coaches can and do catch fire. A couple from Wyoming found this out the hard way with a fire putting a dramatic end to an exciting new adventure. The event happened on December 4th. Brand new rig. Not sure if it was their first trip out or not. They were towing a Ford Raptor. The Raptor caught fire, probably due to a faulty towing configuration. This was a picture someone captured as the fire spread.

And the aftermath.

Not much left of the Raptor. The coach is likely a write-off as well.

A 2020 Dutch Star 4369 and a 2020 Ford Raptor are no more.

The couple and their dog, thankfully, were unharmed. Their new rig and their new lifestyle up in smoke.

Probable cause of the fire? The transmission on the Ford Raptor was likely not set for four-down travel.

Why do I think that was the cause?

Take a look at this video showing a user how to set their Ford Raptor to flat tow behind a motorcoach. What a ridiculous process!

It is somewhat easier to set four-down travel in our Lincoln. However, I keep a checklist in the car and I always follow it carefully. And I am always keeping an eye out for high tire temperature readings and any signs of smoke from the rear of the coach.

This is our checklist. I’m too old to remember all of the various steps and any oversight in setting the proper towing configuration could lead to a fire.

2 replies
  1. Jim Johnson
    Jim Johnson says:

    Jim Johnson here down at Myakka.
    I have been following your posts and although you are not down here with us, we are glad to hear you all are doing well.
    As you may recall, we have a 2016 Dutchstar and I think I have an Oasis Pump that is acting up. I was wondering if you can recall where you purchased the replacement pump? I plan on trying to find one this week if possible.

    Thank you

    • Richard
      Richard says:

      Hi Jim,

      Great to hear from you. We miss all of our friends at Myakka!

      I had to replace all three pumps in our coach. I ordered the pumps directly from ITR. Here is a link to their website: https://itrheat.com/products/rv-trailer-mobile-heating-system/

      And a link to their contact page to call them about placing an order: https://itrheat.com/contact/

      They charge a fairly steep price for the pumps. Around $300. Not very happy with them as they had found out that the pumps they were using were not up to spec and then switched to a new pump supplier. Did not issue any form of recall. The pumps became a profit centre as they will fail, often in the first few years, and I could only source them from ITR at the time.

      Here is a post I wrote up on switching the pump: https://rvcastaways.com/2019/02/04/bad-pump-bad-service/

      Easy enough job to do it yourself. Takes a bit of time to empty the bay, remove covers, clamp hoses, remove and replace the defective pump and secure connections. Each time I did this I found that there would be some loss of fluid. And the location is a bit of a pain.

      But at least we restored heat and hot water. The new design pumps seem to be far more robust.


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