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WARNING - Hot Water Tank Fire - in Jayco 27BH - bad design? - TAKE PRECAUTIONS

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WARNING - Hot Water Tank Fire - in Jayco 27BH - bad design? - TAKE PRECAUTIONS

Post  CarsonS on Fri Aug 10, 2012 3:46 pm

Last week my 2003 Jayco 27BH started on fire! It was at luch time and smoke started to come up under by daughter's bunk. We ran out opended the storage compartment to discover flames. We yanked everything out and got the fire out quickly. A few things melted but everyone was safe. From what I can tell the electrical connection that runs to the back of the heater shorted out starting the fire. The breaker tripped but not soon enough. In this trailer the hot water tank is in a storage compartment beneath the lower bunk. In my trailer there was nothing dividing the tank and the wire at the back from the rest of the storrage area.

I called Jayco and said that I felt that this was a safety concern. They had two basic responses. 1. The trailer was built to the safety codes of the time and 2. I should have used common sense and not put anything in this compartment that would come into contact with the back of the heater. Man this last statement pissed me off! By this logic this compratment should not have ANYTHING in it as items will shift in travel. The last I heard Jayco is "investigating". I have heard that some other companies have warning lables saying that you should not store anyting in with the hot water tank - these are designs where the tank is in its own space - there is no such warning on my trailer.

Yes I should either have put up my own barrier or not put anyting in this compartment but I didn't know better at the time. I trusted that the Jayco product I was using in the way that it was apparently intended to be used was safe. Not a good assumption.

I feel myself to be very very lucky. If we had not been at the trailer it would have burned. If the fire would have happened at night with my daughter sleeping 6" away....

I want to warn everyone with this trialer design that they need to put up a barrier between the tank and the rest of the storrage. Aslo we will never leave our heater on at night again - either on gas or electric (it was on electric when the fire started). We are also going to shut the breaker off at night - just to make sure. All of this we will be doing on a new - not a Jayco - trailer. My wife rightly refuses to ever let the kids sleep in the old one again.

I have asked Jayco to put out this warning themselves as they would be able to contact all old customers and dealers - they may very well still do this but I don't want to wait. It happened to me, it can happen again. Please be careful and take the needed precautions.

Also if you have a Jayco 27BH please let me know the year of your trailer and if it has a barrier that came with it from the factory. I question if my trailer should have had a barrier and was just not put in. I looked very carefuly, it definately did not have one in that was removed.

Here are some pics. Let me know if you have any questions. Please pass this along to anyone with this trailer design.

Last edited by CarsonS on Fri Aug 10, 2012 3:48 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : trying to ad pics)


Number of posts : 2
Current Rig : 28 BH Bullet
Registration date : 2012-08-10

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Jayco's response

Post  CarsonS on Fri Aug 10, 2012 5:28 pm

Thought you might be interested in Jayco's finding of their investigation into my fire. Jayco says the trailer didn't have and didn't need a barrier between the hot water tank and the rest of the storage compartment as there was some sort of plastic juction box hoding the wire onto the back (apparently it burned up in the fire). Newer trailers of this model have a small barrier because now there are copper pipes back there - the new barrier is not intended to protect the connection at the back of the heater because to Jayco it doens't need protecting. Jayco said my case does not warrent a recall of this design nor does Jayco feel that it even warrents them to warn those with this model of the potential danger. Doesn't that just give you the warm fuzzies! I am very glad that my new trailer is not a Jayco.
Have a good rest of the summer.


Number of posts : 2
Current Rig : 28 BH Bullet
Registration date : 2012-08-10

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