Fire escape From RVs -- Again

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Larry N.

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May 26, 2010
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Westminster, Colorado
Most motorhomes have a window exit for a fire exit, but fortunately my Ventana (and many other Newmars) has an actual door to escape from the bathroom (rear), rather than a window, but it is 6 feet or so off the ground, with no stairs. A year ago, or so, I was at an RV show and saw that the newer Ventanas (this brochure, p. 19) have a ladder built in to the door. I also saw a collapsible ladder there and intended to get one, but kept forgetting. Today, in the big tent at Q, I saw one of those collapsible ladders (picture here), so I got one.

I just got through testing it, and it is simple to open the door, set the ladder feet out of the door, hold the top and let it drop to the ground, which extends it. Then it was simple to climb down safely. As a bonus, the 12 ft unit I got will also let me get to the roof of the coach, but the escape was why I got it, and it will normally remain next to that door.

That's one worry off my mind.
 

Gizmo100

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NICE...Thought about getting one to use around the house. But I've got 6 ladders........ but nothing that light and easy to store :-\
 

John From Detroit

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Apr 12, 2005
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Davison Michigan
I have one of those as well. CAUTION if they do not FULLY extend.. they can let you down  HARD. Mine has yet to do that but I always make sure it is full length.

My escape windows are "Ideal height' for 6'3" me to roll out and drop down like I .. Well without issue. Have done it a few times.
 

ZinLuvR

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Jan 23, 2018
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Colville, WA
I have thought about this quite a bit.  We have the escape window, and as far as I'm concerned it means dying in the fire or from the fall from a broken neck coming out of the window.  To make matters worse, if that is possible, there are things in front of the window.  Has anyone seen a good escape plan for having a window?  Also, the escape is on the roadside of the coach, what if you roll, end up on the roadside of the coach and a fire breaks out?  Hopefully the coach front door didn't twist in the crash and now won't open.  Maybe carry a small sledge hammer to break out the windshield maybe, of luck being what it is, you probably couldn't find the hammer when you need it.  Maybe a guy could invent an escape chute like they have on airplanes, a fire starts and sets off a chain of events, the window blows out and the chutet inflates and you slide to safety.  ???
 

grashley

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Western Kentucky
As I understand, the escape windows are designed for emergency escape routes, such as a fire.  My FW has two - one in the bedroom and one over the dining table.  They are designed for use when parked.

Used properly, open the window and slide out feet first.  Lay a blanket or pillow over the threshold if desired.  Even if the window is 8 ft off the ground, when you go out feet first and hold onto the window ledge with your hands, even 5 foot tall people are only a foot or so off the ground.  Not a big fall!

TEST OPEN THESE WINDOWS ANNUALLY !!
 

Gizmo100

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grashley said:
TEST OPEN THESE WINDOWS ANNUALLY !!

Very GOOD Advise...When we bought the TT the service tech that did our walk though told me to never open the window...It was a fire escape only. ::)

Well after a little research I found out otherwise... :)
 

Senator

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Jun 14, 2014
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244
Location
Eagan, MN
Make sure your smoke detectors work, and are less than 7 years old.  That will give you the best chance of an escape.
 

IBTripping

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Sep 19, 2018
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Location
Virginia
Nice ladder. So much more compact than the ones I've seen previously. Good insurance and I hope you never need to use it for an emergency escape.

 

Old_Crow

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Nov 20, 2016
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Tom's Place, California
Apparently someone who hosts for the same company I work for was injured when one of these ladders collapsed this past season.  We were asked not to use those ladders when working on company time. 
I'm big enough that I wouldn't trust them anyway, especially after watching some guy that was parked near me use his to climb to the roof of his RV.  Boy, do they flex a lot when fully extended.
I carry a 16' extension ladder strapped to the OEM ladder on the back of the coach(which I won't use either).
 

NY_Dutch

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Nov 22, 2010
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Where our wheels take us!
Our coach has one designated emergency window in the bedroom, and two windows in the living/dining area that also open far enough to be used as exits. We also have a drivers door in addition to the standard entry door, so it's unlikely we would be trapped by fire or a rollover. I have tested using the bedroom exit window, and while it's not the easiest, I'm well aware that fire is a powerful motivator and we will make it out if needed. As said, the drop to the ground is not that great when you go out feet first.
 

Larry N.

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May 26, 2010
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Westminster, Colorado
We were asked not to use those ladders when working on company time.
I'm big enough that I wouldn't trust them anyway, especially after watching some guy that was parked near me use his to climb to the roof of his RV.  Boy, do they flex a lot when fully extended.
One of my major concerns has been that DW is no longer very agile, and the chance of collapse, when weighed against the alternative in an emergency, is not a "big deal." When I did my testing, even DW could deploy it just fine, and she'd have little chance of exiting the way some folks have described above, the "hanging by hands then dropping a foot or two." So this improves her chances (by a large amount) of getting out uninjured.

As to flexing a lot, when I climbed to the top I didn't notice any more flex than in an extension ladder that I normally use at home.

Anyhoo, it's an alternative that may work for some folks needs.
 

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