Lightning and rv's.... - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-15-2011, 07:51 PM   #1
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Lightning and rv's....

Here is a good article on what to do while camping and an electrical storm approaches.
http://www.setrekclub.com/Lightening%20&%20RV's.pdf
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Old 06-15-2011, 08:02 PM   #2
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Thanks for posting this, Jim. I didnt know I was suppose to retract the stablizers and unplug from shore power. I wonder how lightening "resistent" Fiberglass is compared to Aluminum if there is any difference?

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Here is a good article on what to do while camping and an electrical storm approaches.
http://www.setrekclub.com/Lightening%20&%20RV's.pdf
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Old 06-15-2011, 08:09 PM   #3
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I think we are worse off than if we were in an Airstream, supposedly the less metal the worse, like being in a coupe vs a convertible. May be better off in the cg rest room if possible.
But then again, the more I think about it, the metal will attract and fiberglass will not. Anyone else have any ideas on the subject?
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Old 06-15-2011, 09:43 PM   #4
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I was taught to get low to the ground because the taller tree's and bushes were more likely to take the strike. I don't know if this is true, but I still might trying parking next to a tall 5th wheel if lightning is around.
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Old 06-16-2011, 07:33 AM   #5
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I would think that all those water lines and all that electrical cable in the ground would make an RV park very attractive to lightning. I don't want our trailer to get zapped because their wiring got hit so I do disconnect from the campgroung facilities if a storm is booming real close.
OTOH, I don't think that a FG trailer is as attractive as a tin can and other than the noise, I have felt quite comfortable just being off the ground and snuggled in.
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Old 06-16-2011, 08:39 AM   #6
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I would think that all those water lines and all that electrical cable in the ground would make an RV park very attractive to lightning. I don't want our trailer to get zapped because their wiring got hit so I do disconnect from the campgroung facilities if a storm is booming real close.
OTOH, I don't think that a FG trailer is as attractive as a tin can and other than the noise, I have felt quite comfortable just being off the ground and snuggled in.
anything buried in the ground would be considered "grounded" and has little potential to carry charge over distance. it is the stuff overhead that I would be concerned about.

Glass is an insulator and plastic resins are also and would carry little influence from an ekectrical storm. even if the trailer was struck as long as you were not holding the taps or other electrical/metal appliances.

Now if you were ever hit by lightning get ready for teh most menacing thunder clap ever heard up to 140 decibels.
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Old 06-16-2011, 04:16 PM   #7
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I once saw a picture of the Empire State building showing a lighting strike going parallel to the building for a third of the way down before turning into the building. After seeing that I just figure if it is my time it is my time.

I don't do anything stupid but I don't cower in a corner either.

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Old 06-17-2011, 12:46 AM   #8
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Now if you were ever hit by lightning get ready for the most menacing thunder clap ever heard up to 140 decibels.
I can vouch for the truth in that.

When I was in grade school in the '60s, we were used to thunder-and-lightening storms. (I lived in Oneida, New York then.)
One evening we were in the kitchen when a storm came. Mom said get in the middle of the room and do not touch the sink (stainless steel) or counter (Formica with a stainless steel edge trim). We watched the storm through the window when lightning struck the Plum tree behind the garage; a separate building 50 feet from the main house, and split the tree in half.
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Old 06-17-2011, 11:22 AM   #9
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Good article. Thanks for posting.

I spent 35 years attempting to protect a Transmission/Distribution System from Mother Nature. I came to the conclusion that the only way to protect from lightning was to give it a better path to ground and get out of the way! This holds true for an RV.


It is my opinion that you are the safest in a car during a lightning storm as the car is a type of Faraday Cage which provides a path around the individual (skin effect).

In the 50's utilities used air gap arresters to protect distribution systems. If I remember correctly these were set based on a discharge voltage of 10,000 volts per inch. It requires much less voltage (120,000 volts per foot in dry air) to discharge into higher objects than those near the ground.

By retracting jacks and disconnecting power you are giving lightning a better path to ground than the RV. By disconnecting the power cord you will also eliminate over voltages that are induced by near by lightning strikes.

I have a greater concern about lightning damage at my house than in my fiberglass trailer as long as the trailer is not the highest object.
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