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Old 05-18-2015, 01:28 PM   #11
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OK, I'm scared enough. Who sells 1/10" copper screening? Gonna need just over 1,400 sqft.
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Old 05-18-2015, 03:15 PM   #12
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Not to be argumentative, but...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mustang65 View Post
...

Oh, as far as a generator goes if it is metal cased and sitting on the ground the TT/RV is also grounded... not good during the electrical storm.
Why?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mustang65 View Post
... Just my thoughts,
Don
Please explain.

The PDF you highlighted has some good information, but much of it is opinion and backed by shallow "facts".

Eg. - If tires are not any good as protection, why bother to lift your stabilizing jacks?

He mentions insulating space, but with the tongue jack still resting on a support of some sort, what does lifting the stabilizing jacks really do? The tongue jack is likely in closest proximity to ground.

I can give my opinions too.

There are reasons that lightning reacts as it does, but there are no rules.

I was moored to a dock at Burnt Store Marina off Charlotte Harbor when one of the typically impressive lightning storms came in off the bay. As I was installing the hatch board (a type of boat door) I saw the mast of a boat just 120 - 150 feet away across the basin get struck by lightning. There was a big shower of sparks that cascaded onto the deck of that boat. My buddy in our boat with me claimed that he felt a surge of voltage. He was further forward in the boat so closer to our boat aluminum mast. I didn't notice anything like that.

Anyway, the next morning I walked around the docks over to the boat that I saw hit. All the instruments and antenna were mostly gone gone off the top of the mast. There were little burn marks all over the fiberglass deck from the shower of sparks which I observed the night before.

I have witnessed two other lightning strikes other than the Burnt Store Marina strike. As with the Burnt Store boat, each and every boat which I've seen struck was in a group of other sailboats. In each case the boat that was hit was by far not the tallest mast in the group. Who knows why the taller masts weren't hit? Who knows why the shorter ones were in the path? "... ,but there are no rules."

A structure being grounded is not necessarily a bad thing. Sailboat masts are most all electrically bonded and grounded to metal that is in contact with the water. A sailboat mast sticks up one heck of a lot higher than your RV. If masts being bonded was a bad thing the practice would have been changed.

Statistically there is a real danger in remaining connected to the power pedestal (grid) during a lightning storm.

Statistically the chances of your disconnected RV actually being struck by lightning are so small as to not be of concern to a reasonable person. That is true whether your leveling jacks are up or down. I submit that you likely place yourself in more danger while cranking up the jacks than by leaving them alone. Lightning storms usually include wind. You're more likely to be hit by a falling tree limb or other debris than your RV is likely to get hit by lightning with jacks down.

Sorry to go on.

vic
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Old 05-18-2015, 08:36 PM   #13
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The paper on Lightning is just to make individuals aware of how lightning works and how it can affect you, your family and your TT. There is no sure fire solution to avoiding a lightning strike, but you can take some preventative measures to reduce your electrical footprint.

The best description I can give is, by removing the shore power, and eliminating any direct TT metal (power cords, stabilizers, tongue jacks) from directly contacting the ground the TT sits on, you have essentially changed your trailer from looking like a large grounding rod waiting to draw a lightning bolt to something more neutral. It becomes electrically more neutral, but that is not to say that the TT is not going to be in the line of fire. It lessens the chance of drawing a lightning strike (to what degree that is an unknown), and that is the name of the game.

Lightning that strikes the tree or ground a short distance from you or the TT will electrify the ground around you/TT, if your TT is not in contact with the ground (other than it tires) the TT is pretty much insulated from it.

So, granted there is no cure for lightning strikes, but I would much rather attempt to lessen the odds of drawing a lightning strike. I live 200 yards from the gulf and when the summer sea breezes (from the Gulf and Atlantic Ocean) collide, we have one heck of a lightning show each day. And yes if you are close enough to the lightning strike you do hear a sizzle, in my 18 years down here I have stupidly uncounted them. The dogs hightailed it toward the house before I realized what was going to happen. They know!

There are summer seasons down here when we go through 10 or more power transformers, and a zillion of those cartridge fuses on the poles which are 100 and 150 feet from my house. Really hate it when they blow in the middle of the night, I jump ready to yell incoming.

All I can say is take what you want out of the document but just be careful...

Just my thoughts,

Don

Florida lightning facts

On average, 73 people are killed each year by lightning in the U.S. About nine are killed in Florida on average each year.
Florida tops the national list for lightning deaths with 468 deaths between 1959 and 2013. No other state even comes close. Texas was second with 216.
Of those struck between 2006 and 2012, 82 percent were men.
Since 2006, 64 percent of lightning deaths nationwide (238) occurred when people were participating in leisure activities such as fishing, camping, boating, soccer and golf.
Florida averages about 1.4 million lightning strikes a year. Nationwide, it's more than 22 million strikes.
Lightning can generate heat up to 60,000 degrees Fahrenheit and several million volts of electricity.
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Old 05-18-2015, 09:25 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mustang65 View Post
The paper on Lightning is just to make individuals aware of how lightning works and how it can affect you, your family and your TT. There is no sure fire solution to avoiding a lightning strike, but you can take some preventative measures to reduce your electrical footprint.

The best description I can give is, by removing the shore power, and eliminating any direct TT metal (power cords, stabilizers, tongue jacks) from directly contacting the ground the TT sits on, you have essentially changed your trailer from looking like a large grounding rod waiting to draw a lightning bolt to something more neutral. It becomes electrically more neutral, but that is not to say that the TT is not going to be in the line of fire. It lessens the chance of drawing a lightning strike (to what degree that is an unknown), and that is the name of the game.

Lightning that strikes the tree or ground a short distance from you or the TT will electrify the ground around you/TT, if your TT is not in contact with the ground (other than it tires) the TT is pretty much insulated from it.

So, granted there is no cure for lightning strikes, but I would much rather attempt to lessen the odds of drawing a lightning strike. I live 200 yards from the gulf and when the summer sea breezes (from the Gulf and Atlantic Ocean) collide, we have one heck of a lightning show each day. And yes if you are close enough to the lightning strike you do hear a sizzle, in my 18 years down here I have stupidly uncounted them. The dogs hightailed it toward the house before I realized what was going to happen. They know!

There are summer seasons down here when we go through 10 or more power transformers, and a zillion of those cartridge fuses on the poles which are 100 and 150 feet from my house. Really hate it when they blow in the middle of the night, I jump ready to yell incoming.

All I can say is take what you want out of the document but just be careful...

Just my thoughts,

Don

Florida lightning facts

On average, 73 people are killed each year by lightning in the U.S. About nine are killed in Florida on average each year.
Florida tops the national list for lightning deaths with 468 deaths between 1959 and 2013. No other state even comes close. Texas was second with 216.
Of those struck between 2006 and 2012, 82 percent were men.
Since 2006, 64 percent of lightning deaths nationwide (238) occurred when people were participating in leisure activities such as fishing, camping, boating, soccer and golf.
Florida averages about 1.4 million lightning strikes a year. Nationwide, it's more than 22 million strikes.
Lightning can generate heat up to 60,000 degrees Fahrenheit and several million volts of electricity.
Interesting comments, but very little that is documented or directly applies to a real life RV situation. "Camping" doesn't mean "Camping while in an RV vehicle". Many campers are struck while next to trees or in other unprotected camping situations.

First. I have said right along to completely disconnect your RV during a lightning storm.

The only true fact as I see it is that completely disconnecting your RV from the pedestal/grid is the single most effective thing that will work to improve your situation while camping during a lightning storm.

There is no study which has been revealed to show that raising the trailer jack pads will work to greatly help your safety. Nor have I seen any study as to leaving them down making it more risky. It is theory.

I don't like what amounts to scare tactics convincing people that they must do this or that to their RV in preparation for a statistically unlikely situation of a close proximity lightning strike. Following the general guidelines for lightning safety will give you more bang for your buck.

I agree that everyone should follow the general practices put forth as relates to lightning safety. I don't agree that RV's are susceptible to lightning to the point that special measures are worth the effort because it will likely do little or nothing to improve the safety.

This is a well populated board with many experienced campers. It would be interesting to hear from those who have knowledge of RV lightning related incidents for RV's THAT ARE NOT CONNECTED TO THE POWER PEDESTAL/GRID. If that reveals a high number of incidents then there is no reason to listen to me.

The 24/7 media creates enough angst in the world. I see no reason to add to the onslaught.

FWIW. vic
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Old 05-18-2015, 09:41 PM   #15
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Old 05-19-2015, 04:25 AM   #16
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Since I use wood blocks under my leveling stabilizing jacks, I guess that helps.

I had my TV hit by lightning under a small oak tree about 12' high in my driveway (which is 15' from my 2 story house ) that was completely unaffected. The truck looked unaffected, and I had no idea, until I tried to drive it. The battery was nearly kaput but cranked the engine, and then it did run but every idiot light on the dash came on and engine died a short time later. Turns out the battery, alternator, body control computer, abs computer, ECU, radio, blinker, etc were fried. Nearly $10k in parts to repair!

My daughter was just camping with scouts (primitive) this weekend and ran into storms that were heavy. She said lightning seemed to be close by but they were not scared, but the two closest vehicles had dead batteries and when tested were not able to hold a charge and needed replacing! I'm glad it didn't' hit her tent!

My BIL had a tree hit outside his house and the heavy strike vaporized some of the sap and the tree partially split open. He also lost every bit of electronic gear in his house despite any protection he had - and as a total geek with more than 1 computer network and tons of other stuff that was saying something!

I don't fear lightning, I do try to avoid it, but I am in awe of its power.

A lightning risk detector at a pool we go to in IL goes off way before you see visible signs of risk, perhaps I may look into one of those. I spend time at kids sports on open fields and yes, we live near the Gulf as well in S. Houston.

The OP has some crazy storms with that level of transformer and fuse replacement! Have they considered underground wires? seems like it would pay off.
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Old 05-19-2015, 06:47 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VicS1950 View Post
...snip

The 24/7 media creates enough angst in the world. I see no reason to add to the onslaught.
That's one statement where you'll get no argument from me. I watched the "news" last night for the first time in a very long time and I couldn't believe how they report things (complete with the music score in the background). Unreal....
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Old 05-19-2015, 08:13 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirkdaddy View Post
...

My daughter was just camping with scouts (primitive) this weekend and ran into storms that were heavy. She said lightning seemed to be close by but they were not scared, but the two closest vehicles had dead batteries and when tested were not able to hold a charge and needed replacing! I'm glad it didn't' hit her tent!

...
Another possibility unrelated to lightning.

Did they use those vehicles to charge cell phones, Ipads, or maybe camping related electronic devices? Many vehicle chargers are horribly inefficient as some rely upon what comes down to a simple voltage divider. They can easily kill a vehicle starting battery over a W/E of being used as a charging power source. Most continue to draw power even after the device is fully charged. Many adapters pull continuous current while just plugged in whether the device is connected or not.

We learned that from experience at a regatta. Killed two vehicle batteries over the W/E just charging phones. Ipads in particular are real power hogs as compared to many other rechargeable personal devices.

vic
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Old 05-19-2015, 01:29 PM   #19
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Well I can ask but seems coincidental. Many cars have a switched outlet, which is a pain when you want power.I wasn't there with them, but both cars were in the same big puddle she said, and both batteries wouldn't take a charge when the store tried to charge them. Of course it was women and Walmart doesn't mind selling batteries, so you never know, but given what happened to my truck I can believe it.
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Old 05-19-2015, 01:31 PM   #20
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Vic I am playing with two solar cells that put out about 1.5 amps @ 17volts to charge battery when just doing short term boon docking. Might help you out, they have some flexible ones that are very light and durable, you do need a diode to keep them from reversing when sun is not shining.
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