Explosion in our RV

Explosion in our RV

We had an explosion in our RV yesterday. Thankfully we were home when it happened and we were not driving. Actually being home didn’t really help. I think I would have noticed the oil puddle under the RV. It was also dripping down the side of the RV. Oil was both inside and outside the RV and on both sides of the basement door. Had we been gone we would have noticed the explosion right away because of the smell. It still smells from the explosion in our RV.

Tami was walking towards the bedroom when it happened. I thought that maybe one of our windows came crashing down (but they weren’t open). The entire RV shook from the explosion. It seemed like the entire wall moved. In fact, the entire wall moved it wasn’t just a feeling. Everyone and everything was just fine, other than being covered in oil. Not only that everything still works.

Two weeks ago

The story actually starts two weeks ago. For the first time in more than three years traveling more than 15,000 miles, Tami had to slam on the brakes aggressively (so far this hasn’t happened to me, but she drives more than I do). We were traveling at full speed (about 60mph) and rounded a corner only to find a red light. There were no warning signs or speed reductions before the light. The light had been red for a long time and there was quite a pack of cars all lined up at the light waiting for the green. We were on a country road and not in or near any city.

For the first time in nearly four years, the shifting items in the cabinet popped the door open and made the five-foot jump to the tile floor. A bottle of oil didn’t take the landing all that well and broke. So as Tami was driving, because there was no turn-off, I went back to clean up the mess. It took quite a few paper towels to clean up. Thankfully it was not too messy.

This slamming on the brakes lead directly to our explosion, but we didn’t know it at the time, nor did we know why something full of oil exploded a full two weeks later. During the cleanup, a smaller bottle of oil jumped out of the cabinet and hid waiting for its opportunity to make a mess all of its own.

Explosion in our RV slide

The small oil bottle chose to hide at the edge of the slide and we didn’t notice. Earlier yesterday we moved the slide in and out to do some maintenance on the water softener. Everything went fine and we pulled the slide back out, no problem. As we cycled the slide the small bottle worked its way into the only place it could really give us a startle and waited. More than two hours after we moved the slide, the bottle exploded and the slide moved ever so slightly further out. The slide crushed the bottle as Tami walked by. This is why the entire wall moved.


Since the bottle was completely hidden under the slide we didn’t have any idea what had happened. There was no evidence of the explosion in our RV on the inside. While looking for the cause I went outside. That is when I saw all the oil dripping off the side of the RV. Tami saw the oil and pronounced our slide our mechanism dead. It couldn’t be dead, this slide was 100% electric. The hydraulic slide (moved by fluid) was on the other side of the RV. It was then that Tami recognized the smell. Sesame seed oil!

Unicorn fishing boat. The guy on the left is the motor.
Unicorn fishing boat. The guy on the left is the motor. You have to be careful with your hooks on this boat.

In other news

The pictures were taken at Jordan Lake Recreation Area east of Raleigh. We were kayaking around the lake and managed to sneak up on this heron for a photo. It was a lot more difficult to shoot a picture of a heron than the turkey buzzards on the beach.


Since our last post in North Carolina, we crossed into Virginia. We are staying at Rudd’s Creek Recreation Area and it is very nice. Nice and hot. Nice and humid. Yesterday the heat “dome” that has been over the entire country broke and for us the weather was still plenty warm but not too hot. We even sat outside in the afternoon. We didn’t experience any record-setting days except for our own personal records. The mid-ninety-degree temperatures were only bad because of the high humidity.

New state on our map. Virginia
New state on our map. Virginia

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Links to places mentioned in this article.

Jordan Lake State Recreation Area

Rudd’s Creek Recreation Area

11 thoughts on “Explosion in our RV”

  1. Lynda and Steve

    After being genuinely worried about you two, we enjoyed your story as I read it out loud on our way back from Costco on a Sunday! We must be nutz.
    It’s hot and humid here today. As always – safe travels.

  2. Wow! Congrats on making it 3 years before your first hard stop. Glad it was sesame oil and not something more flammable!

  3. While this story isn’t exactly….you had me going as the story unfolded. I’m happy it was only a bottle of sesame seed oil. I’m in Tennessee now having been in my Sunseeker for exactly a week. My mind, nose, ears and all senses are hyper sensitive to everything surrounding the coach. Thanks for the update. Hope to connect further. David

  4. Had you practiced the Emergency Procedure for that one previously? Still remember vividly being in the Imperial Beach runway pattern at night in the H-3 when the transmission inspection door & work platform came loose and fell down with a significant bang that definitely woke us all up with a good WTF over! Glad everyone is OK. Keep truckin’ and puttin’ down the pages for that book. Best.

  5. Wow: an unsettling noise made a mess but didn’t hurt anyone. Nor anything (unless you omitted that from the story) save the sesame seed oil. On our most recent outing Mary forgot to re-pack the plates cupboard for travel. At the next stop, there were plates everywhere, and a shot glass got smashed. No dishes broken (melmac to the rescue), but it was a nice shot glass.

  6. I am always amazed we haven’t had any major stuff come crashing out of the cabinets. We’ve had a couple of those slam-on-the-brakes moments and it’s heart stopping each time, but we’ve never had any major damage. I can only imagine what a pain it would be to have oil in and under the slide. What a mess! I’m glad there wasn’t any significant damage. Hope you enjoy our “home” state!

  7. You are hilarious! You’re such a good writer and I love your stories and your information, that’s why I follow you. Keep it going!

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