Fires and Motorhomes

In the news recently there have been two stories concerning motorhome drivers whose vehicles caught fire whilst on the road; however each story comes from very different parts of the world. The first is more local, as it concerns a couple that took their new motorhome for a test ride along the M62 between Leeds and Saddleworth Moor. The couple, who have not yet been named, thought it would be a good idea to do a practice run in their motorhome to Leeds and back before they went on an official holiday, and it’s a good thing they did.

At around 8:20pm on Thursday 28th February, the driver noticed flames coming through the dashboard whilst on the motorway, so he promptly pulled over to the hard shoulder and called 999. Discussing the fire, Watch Commander Jimmy Johnstone from Elland Fire Station said: “The man and his partner were taking a Renault camper van for a test drive.”

“He had taken it up to Saddleworth and was on his way back to Leeds when he noticed smoke coming through the dashboard and eventually flames. He managed to get on to the hard shoulder from where then he called 999.” Luckily for the owner, fire crews from Huddersfield and Brighouse got to the scene quickly and managed to put the fire out within minutes.

However, one motorhome owner from New Zealand was not as lucky when a fire in his motorhome destroyed the entire living area behind the double cab. On the way home from a trip to Wanganui in the South-West of New Zealand, a driver following the motorhome noticed the fire and began flashing his headlights in order to alert the family.

The owner of the motorhome, Mr Bishop, said: “When we realised something was wrong, we had to carry on down the other side [to Turakina] before we had room to pull off to the side of the highway. We’ve only been away in the van a couple of times. We had planned a longer holiday, and that was to happen in about three weeks’ time.” Luckily, Mr Bishop and his entire family were all unharmed, including the family cat that they recently acquired. “That’s one of the reasons we bought a double-cab, because we didn’t want the kids riding in the back.”

Fortunately, it is not common for fires to start whilst driving in your motorhome, however if you ever do experience a fire you must pull over and call 999 as quickly as possible. Any damage will be covered in your motorhome insurance, so make sure you stay safe and keep away from the vehicle until the fire has been put out.