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Old 04-21-2012, 10:32 PM   #15
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...10. MYTH: Go near a tall pointy isolated object when thunderstorms threaten, to be within the 45° “cone of protection”

TRUTH: The “cone of protection” is a myth! While tall pointy isolated objects are statistically more likely to be struck by lightning, it’s not nearly reliable enough to rely on for safety. Lightning can still strike you near the tall object. Besides, the lightning electricity will likely spread out along the surface of the ground and can still kill you over 100 Ft from the “protecting” object. Also, if you are close to or touching the tall object, you can be electrocuted via side flash or contact voltage. NO PLACE OUTSIDE IS SAFE NEAR A THUNDERSTORM!

Distance and proper shelter is your best protection from lightning.
I can verify that with persoanal experience. Back when I was in High School, I had just finished delivering papers one morning when a thunderstorm hit. I was well underneath the roof of our patio (one that was under the main roof of the house with rooms of the house aroundit on three sides) when lightning stuck nearby. All I saw was a blinding flash (thank God I wasn't looking directly at it) and a simultaneous BOOM that almost knocked me off my feet. I figured it had hit the static line on the powerline in the alley behind the back yard and, while it scared the snot out of me, I figured no harm was done.

I found out later the lightning had struck a grapefruit tree in the back yard on the other side of the alley from us, a distance of maybe fifty or sixty feet from me. The tree was shorter than the roof of the house and was well within the so called cone of protection from the power line in the alley. Curiously enough, all the other trees in the neighbors' back yard were taller, as were our trees.
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Old 04-22-2012, 07:41 AM   #16
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Maybe we can get Driver to explain what happens when a motorhome gets struck by lightening. His was struck at the Winnebago Grand National Ralley a few years back. I can't remember if it happened before or after it feel off the blocks under the wheels.
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Old 04-22-2012, 09:09 AM   #17
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Lightening seeks a path to ground and will accept the best path. Having your MH sitting on the tires makes it less attractive than one on metal jacks but does not ensure against a strike.
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Old 04-22-2012, 02:00 PM   #18
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Just read this today. To protect from a lightning strike you need to pound a 5/8" or 1/2" diameter copper 10' rod into the ground with a pressure fitting that will connect to #6 copper wire then run the copper wire to the highest point on the MH (probably the dish). This will deter the energy to ground and protect your MH. If you had a strike with four wheels on the ground you will have an energized MH. Then when you step out you will be the ground and all the energy will go through you. Not a good site. Just a heads up.
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Old 04-23-2012, 07:41 AM   #19
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Lightning Strikes - Winnebago Steel Cab Shields Owners

IRV2/GNR Meet and Greet

Lightning Done Did Us In Again!

These is some of the posts that I have contributed to being related to lightning strikes.

According to Dale Sumner, whom I regard as the expert in all things electrical and RV, he taught that the RV should remain on the tires however insulating pads should always be placed under the jack pads.

An air gap is not going to help since a lightning strike will jump any air gap that you could devise in between the ground and a directly struck RV or vehicle.

In the absence of having insulating jack pads and considering that the RV is occupied and a thunderstorm warning has been issued, the expedient would be to simply suck up the jacks and stick out the storm.
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Old 04-23-2012, 10:07 AM   #20
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I've been using the portable surge guard since 2003 and it is now being used on our 2nd coach. I do use the lock box that Camping World sells for them.

Jon
Same here.
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Old 04-23-2012, 10:25 AM   #21
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According to Dale Sumner, whom I regard as the expert in all things electrical and RV, he taught that the RV should remain on the tires however insulating pads should always be placed under the jack pads.
Newbie question: What kind of insulating pads? Made of?
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Old 04-23-2012, 10:32 AM   #22
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I went to a commercial kitchen supply and bought 1" thick 18x18 acrylic cutting boards to place under the jacks.
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Old 04-23-2012, 10:35 AM   #23
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Thanks again Driver.
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Old 04-23-2012, 10:41 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by DriVer View Post
Lightning Strikes - Winnebago Steel Cab Shields Owners

IRV2/GNR Meet and Greet

Lightning Done Did Us In Again!

These is some of the posts that I have contributed to being related to lightning strikes.

According to Dale Sumner, whom I regard as the expert in all things electrical and RV, he taught that the RV should remain on the tires however insulating pads should always be placed under the jack pads.

An air gap is not going to help since a lightning strike will jump any air gap that you could devise in between the ground and a directly struck RV or vehicle.

In the absence of having insulating jack pads and considering that the RV is occupied and a thunderstorm warning has been issued, the expedient would be to simply suck up the jacks and stick out the storm.
While I really appreciate all of the answers and ensuing discussion, this is the bottom line of what I was pondering that provoked me to create the OP. Thanks!!!
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Old 04-23-2012, 04:12 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by DriVer View Post
Lightning Strikes - Winnebago Steel Cab Shields Owners

IRV2/GNR Meet and Greet

Lightning Done Did Us In Again!

These is some of the posts that I have contributed to being related to lightning strikes.

According to Dale Sumner, whom I regard as the expert in all things electrical and RV, he taught that the RV should remain on the tires however insulating pads should always be placed under the jack pads.

An air gap is not going to help since a lightning strike will jump any air gap that you could devise in between the ground and a directly struck RV or vehicle.

In the absence of having insulating jack pads and considering that the RV is occupied and a thunderstorm warning has been issued, the expedient would be to simply suck up the jacks and stick out the storm.
I have seen 12kv and 69kv rated porcelain insulators flashed over, and even blown through, by lightning hits (I used to work for an electric utility). Believe me, no pad you put under a jack will withstand a lightning strike or even reduce your chance of a direct hit (aircraft get hit all the time and they are nowhere near grounded). Even if a pad could withstand a direct hit, the lightning would just jump past it like it wasn't even there.

Just put down your jacks (pads are good only to prevent rust and sinking into the ground), use a good EMS on the shore line to protect your electrical system from surges and spikes from hits elsewhere on the grid (the shore line ground will also quickly bleed off any static buildup), and just don't worry about it. Nothing will protect your rig in the event of a direct hit and the chance of a direct hit happening is lower than getting bit by a rattler.
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Old 04-23-2012, 04:49 PM   #26
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Nothing will protect your rig in the event of a direct hit and the chance of a direct hit happening is lower than getting bit by a rattler.
Just call us snake bit. (That said, we probably will be struck by lightning again rather than win the Mega Bucks) We were out in the middle of a field with 1,400 other rigs and a 200 foot tall church steeple not 100 yards away.

Nothing will stave off a direct lightning strike but we have survived one. In regard to insulated jack pads, I "never" argue with Dale but knowing what I have personally witnessed in regard to lightning, there's just too much energy there. Anything that we as humans can devise to mitigate a lightning strike on a recreational vehicle is at best wishful thinking and the results fate. Being prepared as best as you can be using a quality EMS and jack pads is just about as proactive as you can be.

Going forward; I'm not going to loose any sleep in regard to stressing out about being struck by lightning.
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Old 04-24-2012, 05:05 AM   #27
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While direct hits are always a concern, discounting some of the precautions are not good. I know that strikes can dissipate through the ground, and ideas like lifting the jacks and insulated pads just seem like a good precaution... at least to me. I would think if one was on the outer edge of that last bit of energy being dissipated, that raised jacks or insulated pads would make the difference between nothing and some blown/fried electronics. I can still remember a news story about 7 or 8 years back where some guys were playing soccer on a field when lightning apparently sturck nearby (I believe it was somewhere overseas). While you didn't see the lightning strike, you did see 5 or 6 of the player just drop to the gound. Again, thanks to all for the answers.
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Old 04-24-2012, 10:44 AM   #28
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Rubber tires have nothing to do with it. Air is a better insulator than rubber and the lightning just crossed a mile of that to hit the vehicle.

You're safer in a vehicle because of the metal frame conducting the electricity around you. Don't touch the edges of the vehicle.
I often read even so called experts (Perhaps they are Ex-Spurts) yammering about how the rubber in the tires protects you bla bla bla.

Well, don't believe them Beleive what is quoted above... He is correct.

In fact you are safer if the rig is grounded (Which by the way it is, but no where near well enough, if you are parked in a campground)

Remember this: If you take a direct hit the only thing that will protect you is your brain.. As stated in the quoted text avoid metal, Imagine a steel I-Beam on end, or even a Gold bar (Gold is the best conductor of electricity) and you touch it at two points, (Hands and feet) the difference in those two points when lightening strikes is going to be bad for you. So avoid metal, The metal "Cage" may protect you.

Same if a power line falls on your car.. Now in this case the rubber tires MAY help, after all it's only a relative few thousand volts. IN this case so long as there is no fire or other hazard that demands an immed exit from the car,, Simply avoid metal till rescue says it's OK to exit.

If you MUST exit, "Bunny hop" that is keep your feet together and hop hop hop away from the car.. WELL away. But if possible (no fire) wait for rescue.
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