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Old 02-12-2017, 12:31 PM   #1
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Flag Poles

Just put up a 15 or 16' Flag pole attached to my ladder on my 5th wheel.Crazy question whats the chance that it could act as a lighting rod! This pole is aluminum the other one we had was some sort of acrylic material.
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Old 02-12-2017, 01:13 PM   #2
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I'd say it would probably act as a lightning rod. I am going to make one out of pvc pipe and attach it to rear hitch mounted holder.
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Old 02-12-2017, 01:57 PM   #3
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I would say lighting rod. Could add a grouning rod and a 6 gauge wire between the two to be safe.

I'd make a 12 to 16 inch rod, pound in as far as you can safely remove it. Aka, in sand down deep, in the woods just in as fast as you think you can get it back out. Add a gallon of water to the rod, to improve conductive.
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Old 02-12-2017, 11:48 PM   #4
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I'd suggest going one of two ways.

1 - Get rubber pads for under your stabilizers so that your entire RV is isolated from Ground. Add lightening suppression to your electrical connection on the RV. Then add in the heavy gauge wire and ground spike so that if it is struck by lightening that the path of least resistance limits the potential damage to your rig and occupants. Hoping of course that it doesn't opt to go through your power, water connection, or even the water on the outside of the RV as the lowest resistance path.

2 - Swap out the flag pole for something non-conductive. After considering the hassle of a "maybe" fix to have a lightening rod on your RV, trading the flag pole may not be as much hassle as it first seemed.
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Old 02-13-2017, 12:09 AM   #5
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Old 02-13-2017, 05:20 AM   #6
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I don't think the material the pole is made of is as important as the height. That is why trees are often struck.

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Old 02-13-2017, 05:29 AM   #7
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Your odds of being struck by lightning this year are 1 in 960,000. In your lifetime those odds drop to about 1 in 12,000. In the event of a potential lightening storm just take it down until the storm passes. Enjoy the storm.
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Old 02-13-2017, 06:51 AM   #8
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Unless you work at a power plant. Lol I've had multiple strike hits at the power plant. Had some scary stuff happen.
My current trade got a lighting hit. It hit a tree behind my trailer. It traveled down the tree into the roots. It blew the dirt out around the roots and peeled the bark off the tree. The bolt than traveled into the nearby power pedestal and into my trailer. It fried everything. Trailer was only a couple months old at the time. There was dirt and rocks on the roof of the 5th wheel from the roots blewing out. The scary part, we had just got inside the trailer when it hit. I'm sure we would of got hit with some residual. Man was it loud. The tree it hit was about 15' from the trailer. After that I got a whole trailer surge protector. My shore cord ends were burnt. Insurance paid to have everything repaired. It took out the AC board, furnace board, wall thermostat, converter/charger, water heater element, water heater 120v switch, water heater 120v thermostat, fridge board, tank monitor panel, shore cord, main breaker, lots of fuses and the LP detector. Fortunately I keep the TV unplugged when not being used. The microwave survived as the breaker was off.
It's a myth that lightning never strikes twice. It can and does.


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Old 02-13-2017, 07:01 AM   #9
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It's a myth that lightning never strikes twice. It can and does.
Your odds of being struck by lightning twice in your lifetime are 1 in 9 million, which is still a higher chance than winning the Powerball.
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Old 02-13-2017, 07:10 AM   #10
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Must not apply at power plants. I've had multiple strikes on the same equipment three years in a row.


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Old 02-13-2017, 07:30 AM   #11
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Must not apply at power plants. I've had multiple strikes on the same equipment three years in a row.
Those are national averages, like any statistics there are many factors that go into the numbers. I'm guessing if you live above the arctic circle you'd NEVER get struck by lightning.
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Old 02-13-2017, 07:43 AM   #12
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I play it safe. I live like the odds are low so I make sure I use plenty of surge protection and obey safe lightning guidelines. Bad enough getting strikes at work, but while I'm vacationing in my camper just sucks lol When you have stuff explode and burn up near you multiple times over a few years, you don't care what the odds are. Lol


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Old 02-13-2017, 07:48 AM   #13
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I play it safe. don't care what the odds are.
Don't misunderstand me; I'm all about playing it safe (I have surge protection) and I would DEF take down a flag pole in the event of a T-storm. I was just putting things in perspective.

BUT I don't think I'd wanna camp next to you...
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Old 02-13-2017, 08:29 AM   #14
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Your odds of being struck by lightning twice in your lifetime are 1 in 9 million, which is still a higher chance than winning the Powerball.


That is incorrect if you are talking about "you" and referring to the RV. Odds of people being struck by lightening and odds of objects being stuck by lightening are not the same. Lightening will look for the path of least resistance. That means shortest distance and through the most conducive materials. People are a lot more resistive than metal, and typically not the tallest thing around at 5'-6'. A 16' metal pole is much more conductive and is much more likely to be the tallest thing around.

Not that it's a sure thing it would get struck. But why chance it for the cost difference of a flag pole?


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Old 02-13-2017, 08:48 AM   #15
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That is incorrect...
It wouldn't be my 1st time
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Old 02-13-2017, 10:21 AM   #16
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Have seen many strikes. If there is a metal object in the sky - it will have a greater chance of taking the strike, instead of a tree. Choose a non-conductive pole and save the worry.
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Old 08-12-2017, 11:30 AM   #17
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Your odds of being struck by lightning this year are 1 in 960,000. In your lifetime those odds drop to about 1 in 12,000. In the event of a potential lightening storm just take it down until the storm passes. Enjoy the storm.
Just stay out of Orlando, Fl. High lightning strike potential here
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Old 08-12-2017, 12:24 PM   #18
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I'm thinking you're more likely to be hit by a tree limb falling down; campers aren't very strong!
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Old 08-12-2017, 08:09 PM   #19
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Well, yes, it would act as a lightning rod. I used to believe the 'highest and best conductor' thing until one hit next to our stick house.

We lived on side of hill (Approx 20deg slope). Driveway was next to an arroyo (ditch). Bottom of arroyo was about 30ft below the house. Trees were pinon, cedar, juniper and elm. Elm trees next to house were about 40ft tall. Pinons about 20ft. And top of ridge above house was about 300ft high. And, one of the houses on the ridge above us was home to a HAM operator (4 or 5 very large antenna).

No rain. Thunder in distance. Lightning struck a DEAD pinon tree that was in the bottom of the arroyo about 50ft from house 20 ft from my truck and car in driveway and 50 ft from my well pump house that had a 220V line running to the top of it. Top of tree was level with the surface of my driveway. Power company pole (with transformer) was about 100ft away, top was above the house (so about 20ft above the top of the dead tree). That tree was not wet and had not been rained on for weeks. It was one of the lowest and least conductive things in the area. Other trees, dead and alive were all around it, and taller.

Or the lady in this area who was killed in a crowded parking lot with street lights, cars and people all around.

Lightning strikes where it feels like and not much of a way to predict it. Most of us have a radio antenna that sticks up above our roofs by about 2ft. That will act like a lightning rod too.
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Old 08-13-2017, 07:08 AM   #20
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Definitely a lightning rod!...I purchased an adjustable 20' fiberglass pole from CW. The rod holder is mounted to my ladder. Simple to put up and it is non-conductive.
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