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Old 11-11-2015, 04:02 PM   #1
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New Topic: The Bedroom 'Escape' Window...

Ok boys & girls... let's talk about something new today.

So the temps here in western Arizona have finally subsided from the 100+ degree daytime highs of last month, to very comfortable levels (if sometimes not downright chilly morning temps). This is especially welcome for my wallet, because the electric bills from running all 3 AC units nearly all day, every day, were getting expensive.

Thankfully, I can now simply open the windows & screen doors... and with the daily 15-20 kt winds we get here in this valley, the place stays nice & cool. And that's what brings me to the subject at hand...

During the process of opening said windows... which had not been opened since last March... I found that I had to exert a lot of pressure just to get them to open. During the summer, the glass had 'welded' itself to the seals... and they really did not want to come loose. But finally they all gave way... except for the main bedroom 'escape' window. That sucker would not budge! I even went a got a hammer to tap the extension rod... and is still wouldn't open.

After leaving it in the unlatched position all day, I guess it finally 'relaxed' enough, and opening it later that evening was relatively easy. But that got me thinking...

What if the rig had caught fire one night... and I'd have had to open that window & get my fat ass through the thing? I'd have either had to break said window, or be trapped.

So just something to think about... you may wanna occasionally open yours to ensure that the thing will open if you need it to!

Moving on... it also got me thinking about what happens if I were to really have to use it? I mean... for one, the half window escape is a relatively small opening to get ones self out of. Not a lot of room to wiggle through, especially if you were in a somewhat desperate situation.




The other thing is... once one exits the rig there, it's not a short hop to the ground below, especially considering that you'd probably be exiting head first. Breaking a limb or landing square on your noggin is a real possibility!




So now I'm trying to think of a way to make that exit a bit easier if necessary. Something that could be deployed fast & easy (remember, your rig is probably on fire) to make the egress easier.

My first thought is a throw-down rope ladder like the kind they sell for 2-story homes... but they're bulky to store... and again, I don't think going out feet-first is really an option.

A bigger, oversized escape window... the size of the full window... would be a great option, but I don't know if anyone makes them, or if they could retro-fitted to fit the ones we already have.

So I'm curious what other think. Has anyone else thought about this before? Has anyone ever seen other rigs with better setups? Or am I overthinking this thing way too much? Just get the hell out any way possible, and worry about cuts, bruises, and breakages later.

Comments & opinions welcome...
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Old 11-11-2015, 09:38 PM   #2
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I've thought about this also. Our TT is not a 5th wheel, but the window does seem to be pretty high from the ground, especially as you say, if you are going head-first. I'd like to see an assist bar at the top, to hang from as you went out feet-first. But don't think there's enough structure there to handle the weight of a full-sized adult. Maybe some drills, and teach your family to toss out soft stuff like pillows, bedding, and clothes, to make the landing easier?
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Old 11-11-2015, 09:46 PM   #3
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... AND the one for the top bunk is even higher!

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Old 11-11-2015, 11:11 PM   #4
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New Topic: The Bedroom 'Escape' Window...

I've certainly thought about it. Wondering about how you would go out head or feet first. It's a long way down particularly if you chose head first. I think it is close to worthless. I can't imagine in an emergency trying to go out feet first. The Window really needs to be larger window and a provision for some step situation. Wonder if a larger window could be installed. Trying go out feet first is going to be nearly impossible for a lot of us. My wife thinks I should practice going out head first!! Just don't understand
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Old 11-12-2015, 07:29 AM   #5
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My thought is that as with most things on our rigs, they met the minimum requirement to have egress routes.
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Old 11-12-2015, 09:16 AM   #6
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I think Don hit the nail on the head...the requirement probably states to have a certain number of egress points for size of the trailer...however, I bet there is nothing in the requirement that states it has to be useable. This is something I have learned working the requirements desk (my current job)...you better get your words right, because the contractors are going to give you exactly what you asked for...

With all that said, I would rather have an egress point to the roof, I can stand on the bed and get out much quicker....heck, even have a rope style ladder of some sorts already installed in place and deploys when needed. Once on the roof, I can gracefully jump to the ground and pick which bones I want to break, rather than them deciding that it is going to be my neck.
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Old 11-12-2015, 06:16 PM   #7
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I agree about the requirements part... I've never had any doubt about that. The topic of how best to modify and/or improve it was the thing I was going for.

I like the idea of a roof hatch! That has potential, but... of course... means cutting yet another hole in the roof, and then trying to frame a watertight door into it. Something to think about if I ever have a custom made coach, but probably not feasible to retrofit into our current rigs.

Best idea my thinking has come up with so far is...

1) Retrofit the other side of my current bedroom window... making both sides of it an escape window:



It appears the only requirement would be to replace the opening 'scissor-type' mechanism with the push-out rod. A simple bolt-on/bolt-off modification... thereby making both sides able to open fully, making a much larger 'hatch'. True, the center bracing would still be there... but I'm betting a swift kick or 2 from me sitting on the bed would knock that right out. If not that, then maybe keep one of those orange plastic sledge mallets from harbor Freight nearby to knock it out.

2) Speaking of things to keep by the bed, next would be a throw-down ladder. They're only about $40 or so over a Lowes. With the larger area to exit from, I could probably climb down the ladder. Both the mallet & ladder could be easily stored in the cabinet beside the bed. The biggest issue I see with the ladder though, is it recommends a window sill of 6-inches minimum thickness... but I'm thinking I could modify and/or rebend the hooks to make it work.

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Old 11-13-2015, 01:39 AM   #8
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While a roof hatch is a viable exit route for some emergencies, it wouldn't be the best/preferred for a fire. In fact you'd want just the opposite as toxic smoke and flames as well as the heat will most likely be worse at the ceiling. Not to mention the chimney effect of opening a new hole in the roof. Before cutting a new hole in the roof, I would investigate a floor level trap door allowing exit through the basement area. A swift kick on the storage area doors will easily defeat those latches. At least you'd be closer to the ground on exit.
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Old 11-13-2015, 02:05 AM   #9
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I always figured once the adrenaline got flowing it wouldn't hurt so bad to fall out of the window. Similar to being caught on a ladder by red wasps, the quickest way down is to fall off.
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Old 11-13-2015, 02:44 AM   #10
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joebedford, which model do you have?
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Old 11-13-2015, 04:52 AM   #11
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ATCguy

Do you use any thing on the weatherstip to protect it from UV and prevent it from drying out.

Rubber weather stipping dries out faster than tires do and in the process it makes a preety good adhesive.

Back in the '70s we had some label printing machines that required daily cleaning and lubricating, the product used was liquid silicone. The rep that was setting them up told us use to the silicone to clean and protect the plastic, he also told us it was great for the weather stripping on our fleet ( probably got a bonus for selling the silicone).

We used it until the machines were finally replaced by computerized equipement. I managed to aquire a 4 oz bottle from the rep for my own use. That 4 oz bottle lasted my about five years.

Now I use 303 2-3 times a year on all weather stripping and a plus for us that are about to go into deep freeze, no frozen weather stripping to rip when you yank on the door.

If my camper is burning down I wouldn't even worry if the window was open or not I'd be out the window. Of course it's not a problem when you have a TT with a door in the bedroom.
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Old 11-13-2015, 09:21 AM   #12
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In all honesty, I imagine that if my trailer was on fire...I have these pictures in my mind of a Christmas tree...the whole thing would be gone in a matter of a few minutes. I can only hope that the fire is not near the front, as we have two propane missiles sitting below the bedroom nightstand a waiting for a ballistic launch.

I do chuckle at the little extinguisher at the front door. I did add one in the curb side propane closet, but that is mainly for me to get to easily if we are ytaveling and I see a situation where the need for an extinguisher occurs.

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Old 11-13-2015, 10:35 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by calewjohnson View Post
In all honesty, I imagine that if my trailer was on fire...I have these pictures in my mind of a Christmas tree...the whole thing would be gone in a matter of a few minutes. I can only hope that the fire is not near the front, as we have two propane missiles sitting below the bedroom nightstand a waiting for a ballistic launch.

I do chuckle at the little extinguisher at the front door. I did add one in the curb side propane closet, but that is mainly for me to get to easily if we are ytaveling and I see a situation where the need for an extinguisher occurs.

Cale
Probably meets the National Fire Code, so that's all you get.

Might be a good ideal to add one to your bedroom, it'll be a good tool to bust out the window if your camper is on fire.

The 5er we saw on our way to Haines AK this past summer was set up at the side of a little creek, beautiful spot. On our way home it was still there, or what remained of it, that sucker burnt up damn hot, there wasn't but a pile of ashes left and the superstruckure was a great sagging mass of melted aluminum.

Fire my 4 girls (DW and 3 dogs out the door, then me), There's nothing in our camper that would make me try and fight a fire. The only thing that isn't covered by insurance is any cash we have in the safe and our camper policy has a new for old clause that runs for ten years.
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Old 11-13-2015, 12:12 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by hddecker View Post
Probably meets the National Fire Code, so that's all you get.

Might be a good ideal to add one to your bedroom, it'll be a good tool to bust out the window if your camper is on fire.

The 5er we saw on our way to Haines AK this past summer was set up at the side of a little creek, beautiful spot. On our way home it was still there, or what remained of it, that sucker burnt up damn hot, there wasn't but a pile of ashes left and the superstruckure was a great sagging mass of melted aluminum.

Fire my 4 girls (DW and 3 dogs out the door, then me), There's nothing in our camper that would make me try and fight a fire. The only thing that isn't covered by insurance is any cash we have in the safe and our camper policy has a new for old clause that runs for ten years.
I like to operate much more efficiently (time is everything in a fire situation), throw the wife through (or out, your choice) the window...two birds, one stone.


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Old 11-13-2015, 12:38 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by calewjohnson View Post
I like to operate much more efficiently (time is everything in a fire situation), throw the wife through (or out, your choice) the window...two birds, one stone.


Cale
Cale,

Your brave, but after DW popped me in the nose, I picked myself up off the floor dusted myself off, set my broken nose and said "yes dear anything you say". So it would be her that throws me through the window.

I finally knew that them little whiffs of smoke comin' out her ears meant. Run like HELL!

Thank god I learned that in year two or else I never would have survived the next forty-three.

Jim
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Old 06-29-2016, 06:19 PM   #16
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Just a suggestion for the people who only sleep in the front of your 5th wheel, When its bed time I pull my truck up beside my bedroom window so the roof of the truck is right below my bed room window so when I throw my wife out, she doesn't have far to fall. Most of the camping spots I've been able to do this but not in all situations.

just passing on something we do
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Old 06-29-2016, 06:46 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Alaskan View Post
Just a suggestion for the people who only sleep in the front of your 5th wheel, When its bed time I pull my truck up beside my bedroom window so the roof of the truck is right below my bed room window so when I throw my wife out, she doesn't have far to fall. Most of the camping spots I've been able to do this but not in all situations.

just passing on something we do
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And with her out the window first it makes a much softer landing for you.
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Old 06-29-2016, 07:27 PM   #18
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Ok, i just about spit my drink all over the computer

Good one!!

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Old 06-29-2016, 07:38 PM   #19
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Safety first I always say.
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Old 06-29-2016, 08:01 PM   #20
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