Free 7 Day Trial RV GPS App RV Trip Planner Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Free 7 Day Trial ×


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 04-09-2021, 12:19 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
SpoonLady's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2019
Location: Wichita KS
Posts: 17
Year: 2000
Chassis: Chevy
Angry I Had a fire in my bus.

So, I've got a 2000 GMC Express bus (van), diesel - 4 windows - small. It runs great, except...

After not having driven it for about 3 weeks, the fuse box above the driver seat caught fire. Everything within that contained space was lit aflame, and the entire bus smells like burnt wires and is covered with soot. The fuse box that does to the actual motor is ok, and I honestly think If I stuck the batteries back in it would start, but I took them out for safety.

I'm not an electrician. I don't know where to start. I'm in Wichita, Kansas now and I would love any kind of advice. I know that many folks just take out that fuse box...

please advise.

link to video of damage: https://www.instagram.com/p/CMsnqhahsfL/
SpoonLady is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2021, 12:26 PM   #2
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: May 2018
Location: topeka kansas
Posts: 869
Year: 1954
Coachwork: wayne
Chassis: old f500- new 2005 f-450
Engine: cummins 12 valve
Rated Cap: 20? five rows of 4?
Spoon lady

I am in Topeka. Would you please telephone me. I could write for a couple of hours. And give you the same information in 30 minutes.

William 785 207 7600
magnakansas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2021, 12:28 PM   #3
Mini-Skoolie
 
SpoonLady's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2019
Location: Wichita KS
Posts: 17
Year: 2000
Chassis: Chevy
Quote:
Originally Posted by magnakansas View Post
I am in Topeka. Would you please telephone me. I could write for a couple of hours. And give you the same information in 30 minutes.

William 785 207 7600
Yes, this evening when I'm home! I appreciate it very much.
I feel very confused right now.
Abby

Link to video of damage: https://www.instagram.com/p/CMsnqhahsfL/
SpoonLady is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2021, 03:16 PM   #4
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 1,111
Year: 1990
Coachwork: Thomas 4 window w/lift
Chassis: G30~Chevy cutaway
Engine: 5.7/350 Chevy Vortec
Rated Cap: Just me and my "stuff"?
Wow, that is crazy. Electrical gremlins can appear out of nowhere, and leave lasting scars.
Hopefully the toasty wiring was nothing too important?

Post close up pics if you can and might be able to tell where the main power lead to the affected fuse box comes in. Then you can disconnect it. Hopefully it's not burnt too badly?
peteg59 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2021, 05:08 PM   #5
Bus Crazy
 
kazetsukai's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Windham NH
Posts: 1,292
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Amtran
Chassis: International RE
Engine: International T444e
Rated Cap: 76
Hmm. I wonder if it is possible to determine the origin of the fire, sounds like an unprotected run went red hot and then lit up some flammable material up there. That origin needs to be addressed, and the damage assessed.



I'd be happy to help however I'm a little far away in KY.
kazetsukai is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2021, 05:28 PM   #6
Bus Crazy
 
Jolly Roger bus 223's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Swansboro,NC
Posts: 1,635
Year: 86
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Ford B700
Engine: 8.2
Rated Cap: 60 bodies
what bus body?
my 2004 chevy 3500 with the collins body.
that is mainly the power connections for the underskirt condensor and other accessories which i can verify what tomorrow.
i have cleaned that area up some but most wires are still connected.
Jolly Roger bus 223 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2021, 09:23 PM   #7
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Orange County, CA
Posts: 1,005
Year: 1990
Coachwork: integral
Chassis: Crown Supercoach II (rear engine)
Engine: Detroit 6V92TAC, DDEC 2, Jake brake, Allison HT740
Rated Cap: 37,400 lbs GVWR
Rodents chewing wires is very possible. A few years ago at work one of our old pickup trucks had been parked for several minutes when it burst in flames and burnt to a crisp - very dramatic! Our fire chief determined that a battery cable had been chewed by some little critter. This is why I always open the hood of my car when dry-camping in the desert, then the rats there don't crawl up onto the warm engine - they prefer dark spaces. Some vehicles' wiring now use soy-based insulation, especially tasty to hungry squirrels.

I hope you have a fire extinguisher or two in your bus, and a smoke alarm. I suggest you check every inch of your bus's wiring with a fine toothcomb to make sure no other wiring is damaged. Also, are all the fuses the correct amperage, or has someone used a wrong fuse somewhere? Fuses protect the wiring, not the loads, and need to be sized according to each wire's ampacity.

John
Iceni John is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2021, 10:47 PM   #8
Bus Nut
 
Simplicity's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: Auburn, WA
Posts: 526
Year: 2000
Coachwork: IC / Amtran
Chassis: 3000 / 33' Flat Nose
Engine: IC T444E / Allison MT643
Rated Cap: 72 Kids / 48 Adults
Sorry to hear about your fire. I know this must be really unsettling. I want to echo discovering why this happened so you can address the issue, inspecting as much of the electrical as you can, smoke detectors, extinguishers and a battery disconnect switch for both your starter and house batteries for when you are not using the bus.

Per the soot in the bus, I had a small stove top fire in my trailer. I used a soft brush to knock down the soot onto the floor then swept it up. Any remaining came off pretty easily with hot soapy water or cleaning spray solution.

This too shall pass...be safe.
__________________
Steve
Simplicity is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-10-2021, 11:19 AM   #9
Bus Nut
 
Phatman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Brazoria County, Texas
Posts: 727
Year: 1997
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 32 Passenger
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpoonLady View Post
So, I've got a 2000 GMC Express bus (van), diesel - 4 windows - small. It runs great, except...

After not having driven it for about 3 weeks, the fuse box above the driver seat caught fire. Everything within that contained space was lit aflame, and the entire bus smells like burnt wires and is covered with soot. The fuse box that does to the actual motor is ok, and I honestly think If I stuck the batteries back in it would start, but I took them out for safety.

I'm not an electrician. I don't know where to start. I'm in Wichita, Kansas now and I would love any kind of advice. I know that many folks just take out that fuse box...

please advise.

link to video of damage: https://www.instagram.com/p/CMsnqhahsfL/
It doesn’t look like you can make anything out of the fuse box now, but a good possibility that the wrong size of fuse may have been on the circuit. Wished you were closer, I could check it out for you.

Bobby

PS. Love your music !!
Phatman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-2021, 12:45 AM   #10
Almost There
 
Tejon7's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2020
Location: Missoula, MT
Posts: 93
Year: 1990
Coachwork: Crown
Chassis: Supercoach
Engine: Detroit 6-71TA, Roadranger 10 sp.
Rated Cap: 90 gum-chewing demons
I'm sorry to hear about the fire! That's a scary situation and must be really unnerving.

If the smoke smell persists after you clean up, you may want to look into ozone. That's what restoration companies use to remove smoke smell (or any other smell, for that matter). My brief stint in the restoration business left me pretty impressed with ozone's deodorizing power. I have no personal experience with the small, inexpensive ozone generators on Amazon, but they have pretty good reviews.
Tejon7 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-2021, 06:55 AM   #11
Mini-Skoolie
 
LoveandRage's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Georgia
Posts: 41
Year: 2007
Coachwork: Midbus
Chassis: Chevy Express G3500
Engine: 6.0 V8
Rated Cap: 12+2WC
It seems to me that if the damage is minimal and contained to that area of the electrical system over the driver, that it should be perfectly recoverable. We actually purchased a bus knowing it had once had a small electrical fire. But it was shortly after it had been built and had been in service for 12 years since the fire so it didnít seem like an issue. When we were recently removing excess wiring - including that over-the-driver fuse box - we discovered where the fire had been - a couple of remaining electrical lines we pulled out of the wall still had soot on them all these years later.

If my shortie is anything like yours, that fuse box has very little in it that is actually being used. We gutted ours and moved the couple of remaining wires and one relay to a wall behind the driverís seat. So you may get lucky in that there is little in that box that you actually need to fix.

Good luck with the smoke damage!
__________________
Build Thread: https://www.skoolie.net/forums/f27/the-great-ok-bus-part-deux-35142.html
LoveandRage is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-2021, 01:53 PM   #12
Bus Crazy
 
Jolly Roger bus 223's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Swansboro,NC
Posts: 1,635
Year: 86
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Ford B700
Engine: 8.2
Rated Cap: 60 bodies
for mine 04 chevy 3500 midbus body all of the main wiring works the underskirt condensor for the A/C. including the dash A/C.
i have that area completely opened up and any extra stuff deleted right now.
text me with with skoolie like skoolie/jake. and i can give you pics.
new phone so i lost all of my delete pics but i can show you where i am at now including the entire area of your problem.
910-581-7210
going to go take pictures now so that i have them again
Jolly Roger bus 223 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-2021, 02:58 PM   #13
Bus Crazy
 
Jolly Roger bus 223's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Swansboro,NC
Posts: 1,635
Year: 86
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Ford B700
Engine: 8.2
Rated Cap: 60 bodies
fire in my bus

this is my bus and what i have 04 chevy 3500 midbus body
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_2844.jpg (224.5 KB, 8 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_2845.jpg (225.3 KB, 7 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_2846.jpg (209.5 KB, 7 views)
Jolly Roger bus 223 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-2021, 03:09 PM   #14
Bus Crazy
 
Jolly Roger bus 223's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Swansboro,NC
Posts: 1,635
Year: 86
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Ford B700
Engine: 8.2
Rated Cap: 60 bodies
more pics but just now learning how to post them?
Jolly Roger bus 223 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-14-2021, 07:31 PM   #15
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Mt Vernon, WA
Posts: 473
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Bluebird, Collins
Chassis: G30 Bluebird Microbird, E350 Shuttle Bus
Engine: 1995 Chevrolet 350, 1992 Ford 460
Insurance refused to insure my bus for the previous owner because it had a fire. Thatís how I got it super cheap and it turned out to work fine with only a couple little wiring gremlins. I would suggest to NOT volunteer that there was a fire to your insurance.
Doktari is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-14-2021, 08:46 PM   #16
Bus Geek
 
o1marc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Dawsonville, Ga.
Posts: 9,663
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Genesis
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466/3060
Rated Cap: 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Iceni John View Post
Rodents chewing wires is very possible. A few years ago at work one of our old pickup trucks had been parked for several minutes when it burst in flames and burnt to a crisp - very dramatic! Our fire chief determined that a battery cable had been chewed by some little critter. This is why I always open the hood of my car when dry-camping in the desert, then the rats there don't crawl up onto the warm engine - they prefer dark spaces. Some vehicles' wiring now use soy-based insulation, especially tasty to hungry squirrels.

I hope you have a fire extinguisher or two in your bus, and a smoke alarm. I suggest you check every inch of your bus's wiring with a fine toothcomb to make sure no other wiring is damaged. Also, are all the fuses the correct amperage, or has someone used a wrong fuse somewhere? Fuses protect the wiring, not the loads, and need to be sized according to each wire's ampacity.

John
My brother lived in Palmdale, Ca., they have a massive squirrel issue. They got in my brothers Ferrari and ate the wiring harness. Rendered the car worthless.
__________________
I Thank God That He Gifted Me with Common Sense
o1marc is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
electric issue

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:24 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
×