It is a type of combustion which occurs by self-heating (increase in temperature due to exothermic internal reactions), followed by thermal runaway (self heating which rapidly accelerates to high temperatures) and finally, autoignition.
Can a motorhome experience spontaneous combustion?
Looks that way.
An owner of a 20-year old Newmar Dutch Star posted the remains of his coach after it had caught fire sometime during the evening on Mother’s Day.
Here is a photo of what a 2000 Newmar Dutch Star should look like:
The owner took this shot just as the liquid propane tank exploded:
Coaches do catch fire. And when they do, they are typically a complete write-off.
No cause for this particular fire has been identified. It started at the front of the coach.
Perhaps the Automatic Transfer Switch (ATS)?
Wheelingit had this post about an ATS that nearly caused a fire. Well worth the read especially if you are running an older coach.
It all started with an electrical burning smell which, as those of you who have ever experienced it know, is a rather distinctive odor. It’s a sign that something is seriously wrong with your electrical system. Either wires are loose or wires are bare, or wires that are not supposed to touch are touching, or the system is being overloaded, and/or something is melting/burning. Either way it’s one of the scariest things you can experience in an RV and it’s not something you want to mess with. Electrical fires TRAVEL and they travel FAST, and it doesn’t take long after one starts before your entire coach is a goner.
Coaches require frequent inspection and continuous maintenance. Especially as they age.