Question about electrical storms - Fiberglass RV
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Old 04-06-2018, 08:22 PM   #1
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Question about electrical storms

Hi
I am WAY behind and trying to catch up reading the forums before airing out the camper for this season. Up to this point I have been doing lots of weekend trips in my 19' Scamp but I am retiring July 31 and am planning my first long trip.

I just read an older post linking to an article about how fiberglass campers on wooden frames are unsafe in an electrical storm. The article talks about metal cars forming a Faraday box that protects the occupants and says that fiberglass over an aluminum frame would also be protective. According to the video on the Scamp website, there is some wooden framing but also layers of foil that are part of the insulation. I guess that I am just thinking wishful but I am not looking forward to waking from a sound sleep to dash through heavy rain from my camper to the truck.

Guess I better keep a good rain jacket by the door. The post on pack rats was pretty discouraging, too. Any thoughts?
Somewhat less than intrepid Jean
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Old 04-06-2018, 08:32 PM   #2
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I have not ever heard of anyone being struck by lightening in a fiberglass rv. I have heard of people being struck while in tents.
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Old 04-06-2018, 10:46 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Weavery View Post
Hi
I am WAY behind and trying to catch up reading the forums before airing out the camper for this season. Up to this point I have been doing lots of weekend trips in my 19' Scamp but I am retiring July 31 and am planning my first long trip.

I just read an older post linking to an article about how fiberglass campers on wooden frames are unsafe in an electrical storm. The article talks about metal cars forming a Faraday box that protects the occupants and says that fiberglass over an aluminum frame would also be protective. According to the video on the Scamp website, there is some wooden framing but also layers of foil that are part of the insulation. I guess that I am just thinking wishful but I am not looking forward to waking from a sound sleep to dash through heavy rain from my camper to the truck.

Guess I better keep a good rain jacket by the door. The post on pack rats was pretty discouraging, too. Any thoughts?
Somewhat less than intrepid Jean
Sorry, but I think you have much greater chance of winning the lottery than getting struck by lightning. So why worry about it?
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Old 04-07-2018, 12:29 AM   #4
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Sorry, but I think you have much greater chance of winning the lottery than getting struck by lightning. So why worry about it?
I've no worries about getting struck by lightning either, but just to be clear, you actually have about a 4 times greater chance of getting struck by lightning than winning the lottery.
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Old 04-07-2018, 12:36 AM   #5
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MMM, getting hit with lightening or winning the lottery, both have crummy outcomes for most.
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Old 04-07-2018, 05:12 AM   #6
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For the record, you are better off in your car than your molded fiberglass trailer. You can decide based on the situation what to do with than information.

Being struck by a falling tree or branch during a storm is far more likely. Might be worth taking some preventive action on that count if you're vulnerable and it can be done safely.
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Old 04-07-2018, 06:12 AM   #7
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Your biggest lightening risk in a camper is a nearby strike that travels along or overloads the electrical system, so unplugging form shore power is a reasonable precaution.
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Old 04-07-2018, 06:49 AM   #8
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Old 04-07-2018, 06:52 AM   #9
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At Bolerama a couple of years ago a couple in there brand new trillium sidekick Parked about 20 feet from a large tree under clear sunny sky’s with a chance of thunderstorms. To plug in to shore power they had to run their power cord across the base of a large tree, needless to say a thunderstorm popped out of nowhere and a lightning bolt hit the tree ,travelled down through their cord shredding it and travelled into the trailers wiring systems blowing out the converter ,inverter and the tv. Fortunately they were out sightseeing and not in or near the trailer at the time as the outcome could of been much worse. Lesson learned is not to have your cord near a tree or even unplug during a storm.
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Old 04-07-2018, 12:30 PM   #10
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Smile Got it

I will
a) set up my phone for weather alerts
b) unplug my trailer before bed
c) keep a raincoat by the door and spare pillow in the truck
d) not waste money on the lottery

Talking with you guys is always a clarifying experience.
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Old 04-07-2018, 02:10 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Weavery View Post
I will
a) set up my phone for weather alerts
b) unplug my trailer before bed
c) keep a raincoat by the door and spare pillow in the truck
d) not waste money on the lottery

Talking with you guys is always a clarifying experience.
I agree at least with "D"!...Don't like the numbers racket or the criminal types who run it!
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Old 04-07-2018, 04:20 PM   #12
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IWe have a radio that picks up the NOAA weather broadcasts. On more than one occasion we have been glad we had it. On the east coast, hurricanes are a concern. We've been chased out of the Outer Banks on two occasions. In the mid west tornados are the concern. Any potential severe weather gets reported, typically by county, so it's good to have an atlas that lists counties.

As far as lightning goes, we took a direct hit a few years ago here at the house, so I take it more serious than most here.
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Old 04-07-2018, 07:30 PM   #13
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IWe have a radio that picks up the NOAA weather broadcasts. On more than one occasion we have been glad we had it. On the east coast, hurricanes are a concern. We've been chased out of the Outer Banks on two occasions. In the mid west tornados are the concern. Any potential severe weather gets reported, typically by county, so it's good to have an atlas that lists counties.

As far as lightning goes, we took a direct hit a few years ago here at the house, so I take it more serious than most here.
I know several folks who have suffered lightning strikes on their homes over the last decade with real damage as a result.
I had a direct hit about 30+ years ago with only the loss of the antenna coax and booster.
I blame cable TV for the recent home damage.
Why?...
My 40ft antenna tower (plus 3ft in the ground) took the hit and saved my house, now all the TV towers are gone.
Maybe we should go back to lightning rods?
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Old 04-07-2018, 07:38 PM   #14
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Being struck by a falling tree or branch during a storm is far more likely.
You said it Jon. Falling trees represent a real risk. Over on the Escape forum a fellow 19 owner posted a photo of his rig after a storm blew a rather large pine tree down on top of it. Not a pretty sight. Luckily, it was parked at his house and they weren't inside.Click image for larger version

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Old 04-07-2018, 07:42 PM   #15
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You said it Jon. Falling trees represent a real risk. Over on the Escape forum a fellow 19 owner posted a photo of his rig after a storm blew a rather large pine tree down on top of it. Not a pretty sight. Luckily, it was parked at his house and they weren't inside.Attachment 117531
It's just a scratch. it'll polish out. lol
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Old 04-07-2018, 11:47 PM   #16
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Mmm, I'm one of three (that I know of) in my small high school class who have been struck by lightening, and we're all alive, as is my husband (and the cat lived a long life after that as well). While I would never wish to go through that again, bad outcomes are not a foregone conclusion.
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Old 04-08-2018, 12:21 AM   #17
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Hi

I just read an older post linking to an article about how fiberglass campers on wooden frames are unsafe in an electrical storm. The article talks about metal cars forming a Faraday box that protects the occupants and says that fiberglass over an aluminum frame would also be protective. According to the video on the Scamp website, there is some wooden framing but also layers of foil that are part of the insulation. I guess that I am just thinking wishful but I am not looking forward to waking from a sound sleep to dash through heavy rain from my camper to the truck.
You might be mixing up wooden frame with wooden floor. I know of no trailers that have wood frames. I also can't imagine foil being an affective lightening barrier.

I hope you aren't really thinking you have to run to the truck every time it starts to rain. No sense in going at all if you can't be in the rain.

I suppose, if you are really worried, you could set up a lightening rod on top of the trailer that is connected down to a ground rod that you pound in at your campsite. It might be just connected to the steel frame which has steel leveling jacks pushing against the ground with metal feet. The frame is also grounded to the tow vehicle through the hitch.
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Old 04-08-2018, 11:26 AM   #18
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We camped at the Sequoia national Park this summer. Unknown to us at the time there is a beetle that is destroying the trees there and some of the large trees in the campgrounds are falling down. One large tree fell down two weeks before we got there. We saw it laying across the road. When we went back to our campsite we noticed several trees around our newly purchased ESCAPE Trailer were marked with blue paint. I found out they were marked to be cut down because they had been diseased From the Beetles. We were glad to be leaving that place even though it had been beautiful at one time now there are so many trees that are dying. Add two years before that two tent campers had been crushed to death Just north of there in Yosemite.
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Old 04-09-2018, 04:45 PM   #19
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Mmm, I'm one of three (that I know of) in my small high school class who have been struck by lightening, and we're all alive, as is my husband (and the cat lived a long life after that as well). While I would never wish to go through that again, bad outcomes are not a foregone conclusion.
Let me know what trailer and license plate number you get so I can make sure I don't camp next to you!
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Old 04-11-2018, 07:14 PM   #20
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You don't believe that lightening never strikes twice, or you assume that to be true and that the trailer next to mine is the one which will be struck?
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