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Old 11-04-2020, 09:49 PM   #1
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Right rear taillight in flames

My wife and I was pulling our 2014 390FL out of storage for a short 4 day trip when the right taillight assembly burst into flames. Luckily we had a fully charged fire extinguisher to put the flames out.
Has anyone else experienced this issue?
The inside of the coach is smoke filled and smells like burning plastic.
We have full coverage insurance and a extended warranty policy where should we file a claim?
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Old 11-04-2020, 10:24 PM   #2
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If it were me, I would try extended warranty first,.


If they cover it, or enough of it, you won't have a claim on your insurance.


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Old 11-05-2020, 05:21 AM   #3
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I wonder what caused that? It would have to be some kind of dead short. But why the fuse did not blow before the fire started is beond me.

Please let us know what caused it. (maybe animals?)
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Old 11-05-2020, 07:58 AM   #4
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Animal nest in the tail light assembly maybe?
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Old 11-05-2020, 11:04 AM   #5
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Son of a gun- now something else to worry about!!!!
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Old 11-05-2020, 11:06 AM   #6
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So what caused it? Corroded terminals and high resistance creating heat?
Direct short with no fuse or circuit breaker?
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Old 11-05-2020, 01:05 PM   #7
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Corroded terminals and high resistance creating heat?
This would be my bet...

You would not believe the problems I have found created with shorted and corroded lighting on the outside of motorhomes and trailers...

never have I seen one go up in flames, but I suspect it is possible, especially if some insect nest was in there

we could all find corrosion issues on outside lighting if we looked
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Old 11-05-2020, 01:15 PM   #8
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Did you piss anyone off? I could think of many ways to use that light to trigger a fire. Just saying..........
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Old 11-05-2020, 02:04 PM   #9
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Lights look to be in great condition, no signs of birds or rodents. The fire started when backing out of my covered storage unit, lights turned on for maybe 3 minutes maximum.
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Old 11-05-2020, 03:37 PM   #10
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Sounds like back-up lite set it off.....
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Old 11-05-2020, 03:50 PM   #11
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These lights wouldn't happen to be LED's with built-in resistors, would they?

Just a thought.
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Old 11-05-2020, 10:53 PM   #12
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Insects can cause a fire without affecting a breaker. Ants, spiders or beetles can do it.
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Old 11-06-2020, 12:23 AM   #13
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Insects can cause a fire without affecting a breaker. Ants, spiders or beetles can do it.
Really....is that experience or conjecture?
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Old 11-06-2020, 05:58 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by koko 3052 View Post
Really....is that experience or conjecture?

Firebugs,............. you know arson-ants.
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Old 11-06-2020, 08:36 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by koko 3052 View Post
Really....is that experience or conjecture?
Before I start to get into this, I would like to ask any of the readers of the Forest River forums if they own one of those “fly paddle” things. You know, the one that looks like a tennis racquet that is strung with wire mesh instead of nylon twine. I think they use 2 AAA cells. You push a button that activates a LED to let you know it is active.... 2 AAA cells.... that is about 3 volts combined, right? Anybody??
Well, when you activate the contraption and wave it, it will eventually catch an insect. What happens to that insect? A little crackle and a spark? Smoke? Ever catch a stink bug with one and have it smolder?? Ever have a fly catch fire??
Anyways.... that is 3 volts DC....
Now, a question was asked. Here is the first part of the answer:
https://www.mistersparky.com/expert-...eally-can-hap/
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Old 11-06-2020, 08:48 PM   #16
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Quote:
Anyways.... that is 3 volts DC....
Now, a question was asked. Here is the first part of the answer:
those bug swatter things, take that 3 volts change it to AC from DC then up the voltage to 20-30 thousand volts using the enclosed circuitry in the swatter... hi-voltage but very low current, which is why tiny skeeters snap and pop, and flys smolder

I don't believe 12 VDC will cause any bugs to smolder or catch fire, but I suppose anything is possible given the right conditions...

I am thinking a paper wasp nest and a hi-resistance faulty connection that heated up till the nest caught on fire. Although the OP described a BIG fire and smoking plastic...
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Old 11-16-2020, 07:32 PM   #17
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I'll be interested to hear what caused that.

Bummer
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Old 11-16-2020, 08:00 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wdweldon View Post
My wife and I was pulling our 2014 390FL out of storage for a short 4 day trip when the right taillight assembly burst into flames. Luckily we had a fully charged fire extinguisher to put the flames out.
Has anyone else experienced this issue?
The inside of the coach is smoke filled and smells like burning plastic.
We have full coverage insurance and a extended warranty policy where should we file a claim?
I replaced all my incandescent bulbs with LED. I found that many of the fixtures were partially melted from the heat given off by the incandescent bulb. That might be what caused the fire. I suspect your extended warranty is the best place to start.
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Old 11-16-2020, 09:01 PM   #19
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Contrary to popular belief, LED's put out quite a bit of heat, not so much from the LED itself but from the drivers. Thats why most aftermarket LED headlight replacements have cooling fins or fans on them. If the tail lights are LED, and some bug nest or other flammable components got trapped inside the housing, the drivers could generate enough heat in 3 minutes to ignite it without tripping a breaker or blowing a fuse. Only way we will ever find out is after the light housing is inspected. I'm sure we would all like to know. Incandescent can do the same, but take longer than 3 minutes in most cases, the flammable would have to be right on the bulb itself.

I just replaced 6 of my shop florescent fixtures with LED tubes, which required removing the ballasts and all the wires, just wiring one end tombstones to 120v. It reduced 80 watts to 36 watts. I have one set on now for about 20 minutes and if you run your fingers over the top you can feel the heat they give off, and considering they are spaced about 3/8" or more apart, the heat is quite apparent, more so when packed tighter inside a tail light. Of course this is assuming they are LED.
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Old 11-16-2020, 09:47 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Bhrava View Post
Contrary to popular belief, LED's put out quite a bit of heat, not so much from the LED itself but from the drivers. Thats why most aftermarket LED headlight replacements have cooling fins or fans on them. If the tail lights are LED, and some bug nest or other flammable components got trapped inside the housing, the drivers could generate enough heat in 3 minutes to ignite it without tripping a breaker or blowing a fuse. Only way we will ever find out is after the light housing is inspected. I'm sure we would all like to know. Incandescent can do the same, but take longer than 3 minutes in most cases, the flammable would have to be right on the bulb itself.

I just replaced 6 of my shop florescent fixtures with LED tubes, which required removing the ballasts and all the wires, just wiring one end tombstones to 120v. It reduced 80 watts to 36 watts. I have one set on now for about 20 minutes and if you run your fingers over the top you can feel the heat they give off, and considering they are spaced about 3/8" or more apart, the heat is quite apparent, more so when packed tighter inside a tail light. Of course this is assuming they are LED.
I’m going to call BS to at least part of your theory. I have replaced incandescent headlights,
marker lights & tail lights with LED and none that I have used have had any “drivers”. I have read about “drivers” on headlights, but no experience there. None of my LED’s have ever gotten warm. Fact is, if you are in snow country to NOT put LED’s into tail lights as they become encapsulated in snow that does’t melt off making them much harder to see than regular incandescent lights.
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