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Overland

What to do when Ollie is on fire.

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The rule in fiberglass boats is that if you have a fire, you jump; i.e., don't try to fight the fire.  Yes, like the Ollie, boats come with little fire extinguishers, but really - just jump.  The fumes that come from burning plastic (i.e., fiberglass resin) are pretty nasty as they can cause a lung spasm that prevents you from inhaling.  That's not something you want.

 

The RVIA has some minimum flame spread requirements, though I believe that those only apply to the exposed surface of the materials.  So since the Ollie is RVIA certified, it's probably a safe bet that the surface gel coat throughout the inside contains a flame retardant of some sort.  But, what about the bare resin between the hulls where my electrical or furnace fire is going to start?  It would be nice to know if that material is also flame retardant or not since, in the unlikely event of a fire between the hulls, that knowledge would probably might make the difference between deciding to grab the fire extinguisher vs evacuating and watching Ollie burn.

 

To the laboratory!

 

To find out, I did some torture testing on one of the fiber granite samples that Oliver gave me.  I held a torch to the sample for 10 seconds and then removed it so see if the sample had caught fire and if the fire continued to burn on it's own or if it died out.  I did one test in the middle of the sample to test the gel coat surface, another on the edge of the sample to test the structural fiberglass within, and then a final surface test on the back side of the sample.

 

On the first surface test, the sample blistered badly and did catch fire (slightly - it sort of sizzled and popped), but as expected, the flame died quickly when I removed the torch.  Clearly, the gel coat contains a flame retardant of some sort, though the fumes were pretty nasty.  On the edge test, however, the underlying resin quickly caught fire, and after removing the torch, a good steady flame with thick black soot remained and I had to blow it out.  On the final surface test, the resin again caught fire, this time more of a steady flame than was produced on the gelcoat side, but as with the gelcoat side, the flame died after removing the torch.  That side smoked a good bit afterward until it cooled.

 

So if the fiber granite is any indication of the other fiberglass in the trailer, which I would think is safe to assume, then it would seem that Oliver does use a fire retardant resin for their gel coats but not in the structural fiberglass within. And it seems like they also do a coating on the inside surface that contains a flame retardant, though perhaps not as effective of one as they use in the gel coat.

 

Verdict - If I have a small cooking fire or something similar within the trailer, I'll likely reach for the extinguisher.  But if there's a fire within the hulls, then I guess it depends. If the fire is going strong enough to produce visible smoke in the cabin, then I would guess that the fire has already reached the inner core of the fiberglass and wouldn't easily be put out. In that case, we're getting out PDQ without a thought for saving the trailer.  (And then we'll stand well upwind of the fire.)  But if we were to catch a fire before the fiberglass began to burn, well I guess we might grab the extinguisher? It's hard to say - I'd have to call it when I see it, but I wouldn't hold a meeting to debate the question.

 

That's probably common sense anyway, so I doubt if this thread is revelatory.  But it is good to remind oneself occasionally not to mess about with things like this.

 

I'm thinking that a handful of the tiny Atom smoke detectors placed strategically inside the access hatches might be a Very Smart Thing.  I think you'd want to catch a fire between the hulls as quickly as possible and not wait until you get smoke inside the cabin. I'll probably ask Oliver to use one of those for the inside as well, since the one they use is so bonkers big.

 

Oh, Verdict #2: Don't put anything hot on the fiber granite.  It will leave a mark.

 

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Our victim test subject.

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Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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I hope the resins are fire retardant, but assuming that they are because of the fiber granite samples is a mistake. I would be astonished if they manufacture those panels. I am sure that someone there could get the vendor's MSDS info sheet if you asked.

 

Plus they might give us some info on their own fiberglass build standards, in terms of fire safety.

 

Hallmark truck campers have a very expensive Coosa option for the interior furniture. They definitely don't make it: ... http://coosacomposites.com

 

I would like to see the source info for the fancy Oliver countertops.....

 

Good thread, thanks for starting it.

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA


"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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Yes, I agree that it's hard to infer much from a single sample, though I do my best. They did at least imply to me that they make the fiber granite themselves, as they told me that they didn't have the moulds to make a different sized table. But that may have been a stretch - like you, I thought for sure they were outsourced. Still, it would have to meet the same standards regardless so there is likely some similarity between that and the hull materials. But if nothing else, I'll be less likely now to absent mindedly place a hot pan down on the countertop.


Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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To further your testing, simply request your cutouts from the build, you should have enough inner and outer shell pieces, some honeycomb reinforced some not, to create a more conclusive test result.

 

Thanks for doing what you did, I've not a lot of experience with fiberglass and have read that it burns pretty eagerly, so learning that there might be some sort of retardant in their process is reassuring.


Randy


One Life Live It Enjoyably


2017 F350 6.7L SRW CC LB


2015 Oliver Elite II Hull #69

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OPEN.....DROP.....JUMP !!!!!

 

OPEN the escape hatch

 

DROP Bosker out the window

 

JUMP out after him

 

(assuming, of course, that we cannot simply walk out the front door)

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Pete & "Bosker".    TV -  '18 F150 Super-cab Fx4; RV  - "The Wonder Egg";   '08 Elite, Hull Number 014.


Travel blog of 1st 10 years' wanderings - http://www.peteandthewonderegg.blogspot.com


ABBCMBNBNLNSONPEQCSKYTALAKAZARCACOCTFLGAHIIDILINIAKSKYLAMEMDMAMIMNMSMOMTNENVNHNJNMNYNCNDOHOKORPAPRSCSDTNTXUTVTVAWAWVWIWYsm.jpg

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Randy, thanks for reminding me about asking for the cutouts. I remember reading about that many months ago but had completely forgotten. Those pieces could be quite useful, even apart from pyro testing.

 

Buzzy, yes those are the ones. They also make a version with a 10-year battery. I don't have any experience with them personally, but they get good reviews, look nice and are tiny enough to fit pretty much anywhere. I'm sure the one that Oliver supplies is good quality, but the Atoms seem a lot more attractive and I have to imagine they work just as well. Like the one Oliver supplies, they're photoelectric - I've read that the ones with the ionization sensor can set off false alarms when used in a small trailer, from cooking fumes and even from steam from the shower.

 

Pete, I like a guy who has his priorities straight. Pups first.

 

I think we'll need to do a practice drill getting out of that window.

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Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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I think we’ll need to do a practice drill getting out of that window.

 

Overland,

 

Perhaps they can hold a timed fire drill event at the upcoming Ollie rally, where the winner gets one of those fancy fire alarms with a ten year battery.  It would make for an interesting video!

 

Pete


Pete & "Bosker".    TV -  '18 F150 Super-cab Fx4; RV  - "The Wonder Egg";   '08 Elite, Hull Number 014.


Travel blog of 1st 10 years' wanderings - http://www.peteandthewonderegg.blogspot.com


ABBCMBNBNLNSONPEQCSKYTALAKAZARCACOCTFLGAHIIDILINIAKSKYLAMEMDMAMIMNMSMOMTNENVNHNJNMNYNCNDOHOKORPAPRSCSDTNTXUTVTVAWAWVWIWYsm.jpg

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<li style="text-align: left;">

I hope the resins are fire retardant, but assuming that they are because of the fiber granite samples is a mistake. I would be astonished if they manufacture those panels....I would like to see the source info for the fancy Oliver countertops….. Good thread, thanks for starting it. John Davies Spokane WA

Prepare to be astonished John, as Oliver does indeed make all of the fabric granite pieces in house and it is a pretty cool process to watch. In fact, there is very little, with the  obvious exception of the appliances, that Oliver does not make onsite.  Even the bathroom door is made right there in Hohenwald by those Oliver artisans.

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Steve, Tali and the dogs: Reacher, Lucy and Rocky plus our beloved Storm and Maggie (both waiting at the Rainbow Bridge) 2008 Legacy Elite I - Outlaw Oliver, HULL NUMBER: 0026 2014 Legacy Elite II - Outlaw Oliver, HULL NUMBER: 0050 2017 Silverado High Country 2500HD Diesel 4x4 

 

      ALAKAZARCACOCTDEFLGAIDILINIAKSKYLAMEMDMA       ABBCMBNSYTsm.jpg

 

 

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Ah, so what's all this then about them not being able to do colored Ollies?

 

I'll be getting a Dakota Black Elite II, thank you very much.


Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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Ah, so what’s all this then about them not being able to do colored Ollies? I’ll be getting a Dakota Black Elite II, thank you very much.

 

Overland,

 

While it is technically possible for OTT to produce a trailer of a different color (they did two of them back in "the early years") it is extremely cost prohibitive.  In order to prepare the pressure hoses and guns for a different color, they would first need to be totally rid of the previous color via a deep internal cleansing process which is very time consuming, involving huge labor costs.  And after the unique trailer was produced, the cleaning process for all of the hoses and guns would have to occur again in order to get ready for normal production.   I don't know the figures, but I daresay it would cause a prospective buyer to say "Ya know?  White ain't all that bad after all."

 

The capital investments of complete sets of hoses and guns for all potential customer color requests would not pay for itself due to the infrequent times they would be put into use.  If they sat around for a long time before use, they'd need to be cleaned too ensure a smooth application, without goofy glitches from dried debris in the lines.

 

Now, if some new owner wannabe said they would pony up $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ just to get a chartreuse trailer, OTT just may oblige them. Ya never know.

 

Pete


Pete & "Bosker".    TV -  '18 F150 Super-cab Fx4; RV  - "The Wonder Egg";   '08 Elite, Hull Number 014.


Travel blog of 1st 10 years' wanderings - http://www.peteandthewonderegg.blogspot.com


ABBCMBNBNLNSONPEQCSKYTALAKAZARCACOCTFLGAHIIDILINIAKSKYLAMEMDMAMIMNMSMOMTNENVNHNJNMNYNCNDOHOKORPAPRSCSDTNTXUTVTVAWAWVWIWYsm.jpg

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Yeah, I know. But a man can dream.

 

I do think that they'd get a batter reception if they did the interior in something other than stark white.

 

I saw both the red and black Ollies in person, hanging out in the factory parking lot. They were both painted, if I remember correctly. At least I think I saw paint on the weatherstripping around the windows and stuff like that.


Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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Yeah, I know. But a man can dream. I do think that they’d get a batter reception if they did the interior in something other than stark white.

 

You can always... Dream


Randy


One Life Live It Enjoyably


2017 F350 6.7L SRW CC LB


2015 Oliver Elite II Hull #69

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I liked the idea of having detectors in between the hulls, in case of smoldering, so I ordered the Atoms. I went with the non-ten year battery as those are sealed and non replaceable from what I saw.

 

Holy Smokes-these things are tiny...

 

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Thanks for the recommendation

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Randy


One Life Live It Enjoyably


2017 F350 6.7L SRW CC LB


2015 Oliver Elite II Hull #69

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Thanks for the link and the info. I, too, think they look cool.

 

Sherry


2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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Simple smell or see smoke get out. Burning fiberglass will take you out in seconds breathing it in.

 

get out first then decide the next step. Like another reply I don't think anyone has tried the emergency hatch maybe good idea.

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One more note trying the emergency window you may get hurt be careful not easy. In an emergency situation. It's better to get hurt gettin out then staying inside.

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Just saw this posted on airforums, looks very interesting, maybe installed under curb side bed. Has anyone seen anything on them?

 

https://proteng.com/rv_home/

 

That’s pretty cool, but I’d be a bit worried about it going off accidentally.  I’ve probably told this story, but I did in fact buy those little Atom smoke detectors above and I put a few between the hulls. Well, you guys know I like bumpy gravel roads and it turns out that the press-fit mounts for those alarms aren’t as tight as they seem.  So after one long gravel road, we pulled into a campsite at around 10pm, got out, and heard one of the alarms going off.  Both had been jiggled loose, but somehow one of them got bumped in a way that set it off.  You can imagine me at 10pm with my head in the hatches frantically trying to find, and then retrieve that little bugger.  Don’t be fooled by their size, they’re LOUD.  And then after finding it, I couldn’t get it to shut off, and ended up having to bash it with a rock (very satisfying).  The other little time bomb I didn’t find until half a year later, buried inside a nest of wires under the charger.

 

So, they’re great, but glue those suckers in tight.


Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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Another new fire extinguisher option is fire sticks - www.elementfire.com.  They’ve just become available in the US in the last year or so.  Expensive, but they’ll put out any fire, not damage wiring or anything, don’t have to be maintained, are super small, and last longer than other extinguishers.  I bought two and keep one in the truck and another in the trailer.

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Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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Another new fire extinguisher option are fire sticks – http://www.elementfire.com. They’ve just become available in the US in the last year or so. Expensive, but they’ll put out any fire, not damage wiring or anything, don’t have to be maintained, are super small, and last longer than other extinguishers. I bought two and keep one in the truck and another in the trailer.

 

Those are extremely cool, will you please start a new thread about them?

 

thanks.

 

John Davies

 

Spane WA


"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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I'm sure a practice fire drill at the rally, watching people jumping out the exit window would be entertaining.  But I don't think you should include throwing your dog out as well.  Also, the adrenaline involved in a real fire is not reproducible in a drill.  Great topic

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