Testing Emergency Exits: A Question

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Well-known member
May 31, 2012
I was reading about the recent tragic RV fire mentioned in another thread and followed the links posted. In this they implored us to test our fire escape windows to ensure they are not stuck closed.

This is a brilliant idea and I want to do it- but I have one concern. Our rear emergency exit window appears to possibly pop entirely out.  Should I have this checked somewhere that can re-install it? My RV-tolerating husband might just go off the deep end if a window is missing even temporarily.  ::)
Post a picture and someone should be able to tell you. Ours has 2 red levers on the bottom and it swings up and out. I'm going to add a pole by the bed so we can prop it open if we ever need to use it. I opened it up last month when I was on a cleaning frenzy and cleaned out the ledge....how in the world dog hair got in there, I don't know :) You should also go outside and stand by the window, reach your arms up to the bottom of the window and see how far you'd have to drop if you needed to climb out. If you have a toad, you should have a spare set of keys by the bed to grab those as you go out the window so you can move the toad away from the burning RV. Nice to have something to drive, eh? And insurance papers handy, too. In fact, you should have an emergency jump kit by the emergency exit that includes keys, insurance papers, ID, money, extra credit card, etc. Imagine that your coach just went up in flames and you're standing outside in your pj's with no money, no way to rent a hotel room, no clean undies !

We've threatened to have an emergency exit practice some year at Quartzsite but never have. I think we all got to giggling last time we pictured ourselves tossing the duvay out the window and climbing out backward. That and tossing the hairy kids out. Should Mike go out first so he can catch Gordon when I push him out the window, or should I go out first and catch 90 pounds of labrador?

There are several different fire exits on Motor homes depending on make and model

On my coach there are two levers, you turn them UP, push at the bottom and the window assembly swings out al-la doggie door.

On Detroit city buses (This system is also used on RV's) you grab a rail along the bottom (Inverted L shaped) pull it up and..  Same thing happens.

On some RVs there is a "Rip Cord" type thing, you pull it and it tears the blazes out of the gasket that holds the window in allowing the entire thing to pop out.. DO NOT TEST THIS.

You see, on mine you pull it shut turn the levers down and it's as good as new

Same with the system used on the bus

On the Rip-cord jobs.. One time only, you have to replace the gasket

I'm sure there are other systems too,, but if you think the whole thing will pop out and possibly break.. Make sure you know how to do it, but DO NOT TEST IT. till you have someone who knows tell you it is safe.
After reading the same article as Stella, I tried to use the exit window. It got easier after the third time,  I think a lot of people would have a problem getting out and really need to practice.  Our exit window was not latched, and came off going down the road.  Sealed it up with a half roll of duct tape, the replacement window was over $200.00.
John From Detroit said:
On some RVs there is a "Rip Cord" type thing, you pull it and it tears the blazes out of the gasket that holds the window in allowing the entire thing to pop out.. DO NOT TEST THIS.

Yep, this is mine.  Would tear out the gasket. 
There are too many different styles of exit windows to give a definitive answer. Many, perhaps most, are hinged but some do in fact come completely out, so don't try it unless (a) prepared to catch it and (b) are confident you could get it back in.
In our TT, the emergency exit window is straight across from the door.  I really don't see a scenerio where I would use the exit window instead of the door except for the door lock malfunctioning.  Door lock malfunctions do occur as I've seen on this forum.

Curious, on the windows that have the rip cord type device to escape, what keeps it from breaking from the fall and creating broken glass to jump down on?? Or does the window just swing out? I am am sure the design is intact but was wondering. Best!
Thanks for the responses- and the hilarious visual by Wendy of her catching the Labrador.

We have the two red handle type- and I am glad that article prompted me to look because one of the handles is very sun damaged and looks like it will break if pressure is applied. When we take our RV in for service I will have them check it and replace if necessary for me.  This is an area where saving pennies is not permitted.

Wendy's emergency kit idea is brilliant too- Mine will include a crowbar and small pick axe. Not just for a jammed window but because we might need to clear a path on the other side of the window depending on circumstances.

Sure hope to never need it but we will sleep better being prepared.
Gary RV Roamer said:
I don't get your point, Carson. If he could reach the emergency exit from the bedroom, he could also reach the door.

  My situation would assume something more sinister.  A fire at night while asleep may prevent him ever reaching the front door.
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