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Old 08-31-2007, 06:04 AM   #15
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I have weather my fair share of storms in both RV's and boats. In my sailboat racing days, we took a direct hit to the mast. Fried all the electrical systems, and upon haveing the boat pulled, there tiney BB sized holes all throughout the fiberglass on the keel where the electricity exited the boat into the water. Luckily no one was hurt. I have been in severe weather in the 5th wheel where we took direct hits of 70 mph wind gusts broadside. It is tough to just pick up a 10K lb trialer and turn it into the wind It weatehred it just fine. A little side to side rocking, but never felt concerned about being knocked over. Of course I am used to spending days on end leaning at 30 degree angles during sailboat races.

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Old 08-31-2007, 01:28 PM   #16
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My rule of thumb for Thunderstorms with an RV:

DISCONNECT from shore power. Run your genny if ya got one, or just muscle through the night on battery power. There's been a couple posts of folks who stayed on Shore power and Lightning struck one of the hookup posts in the campground and fried most of their motorhomes electronics, so if the storms a coming, pull the plug and isolate yourself from the grid.

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Old 08-14-2010, 07:21 PM   #17
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Severe electricial storm

New RV'er just went through severe electricial and wind storm. My question: is it better to let jacks down and any procedure to avoid voltage problems? I had surge protector in line and didn't incur any problems that I am aware of as of now. All systems back up and running. Guard dog back out from under couch. Thanks.
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Old 08-14-2010, 07:52 PM   #18
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During electric storms it is best to leave the jacks down to act as a ground. I also have surge protection but if the lightening is bad I pull the plug at the campground post. Better to be safe than sorry.
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Old 08-15-2010, 12:14 AM   #19
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We had the tree directly behind our Excel 5r hit and we lost power but no damage. The guy next door had all of his lights come on. We bought the Beaver and lightning struck a distance away but reached out and touched us. We had to repair the inverter and some other systems. The unplugging of power at the post is best although we have a surge protector on the post for when we are away or asleep.
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Old 08-15-2010, 02:44 AM   #20
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I brought forward a thread from the past of this topic and merged to two together. It should be a good read for those wanting to know.
Mike, RVIA & RVSA Certified Master RV Technician
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Old 08-15-2010, 06:28 AM   #21
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It’s funny that this post would come up now after I recently experienced this type of situation at the Badlands NP in July while on our way taking the grandkids to visit Yellowstone. One evening between 9:30-10:30 p.m. while my wife and I were in bed watching TV she looked out the back window and hollered “Storm”. You could visually see the black and grey storm cell moving very fast straight towards the street side rear of our 07 Monaco Knight motor home. Since we were only dry camping, we had only 3-sides out and were not hooked to shore power. By the time we made it to the middle of the coach the storm was upon us. The coach started shaking violently from side to side. When we started to bring in the rear slides we could hear the wind extending the topper awnings. The street side rear awning topper started to make a funny noises when it was retracting, it seemed as though the awning was spinning freely. We finally got all the slides retracted but the side to side shaking was even more violent. I quickly started to lower the air in the air bags to try and dampen the side-to-side shuddering. It did make a huge improvement! We did have a concrete restroom about 150 feet from the coach but I did not want to take a chance trying to get the grandkids out in what I would estimate to be 80-90 knot winds. I lived in Florida for 5 years and I'm pretty good at guessing wind speeds. We then started to ride out the storm. After which seemed an eternity, 30-40 minutes, the winds started to subside and the storm was over. It was very dark now and we could only hope that all the people who were in tents and pop-ups made it safely to the shelter. I could see what was left of some of the tents that were close to us. Most had been completely destroyed or was hanging on barley by a piece of rope or stake. This was by far the worse storm we have ever experienced in our 7-8 years of RVing the last 5 years being full-timers. I watched while some people started to move back to their sites and talked with a couple of RVers that were close to our area. After checking the Internet to make sure there were no other approaching storms, we went to sleep. When we awoke in the morning you could see the devastation the storm made to the campers. Many of the pop-ups were severely damaged and all the tent people were sleeping in their cars. I looked the coach over and discovered that the street side rear topper awning was ripped completely. I also noticed that the street side front topper awning which we had never extended was ripped 7-feet from the front of the awning to the rear. It was never extended! Other than that, the coach was intact and appeared to be in good condition. I learned a lot that evening. If I were to experience this situation while in a campground, I would recommend the following practice. 1. Bring in the slides as fast as possible. If you can determine which slides are into the wind, bring them in first. 2. Bring up the jacks or stabilizers. Reduces your chance of an electrical strike. 3. Dump the air as much as possible. It really helped reduce the side-to-side swaying. 4. Disconnect from shore power. Even if you have a good surge protector. 5. Get to a safe shelter if you have time. If you have to stay in the coach, get to an area away from windows. 6. We had a weather radio but never thought about using it. I will in the future. I now know why they call it "The Bandlands" Hope this information is helpful!
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Old 08-18-2010, 09:26 AM   #22
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If there is a strong sidewind, a RV has a good chance to tip over.
I have seen loaded tractor trailers (60k lbs weight) tip over, specially
if you are going over a bridge.

Large diesel 45' MHs and large fifth wheels are most prone to this, with the MH
having some advantage over 5er due to its weight.
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Old 08-18-2010, 06:18 PM   #23
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Went through a T-storm @ Rock Springs, WY in July. No wind, but lots of noise and rain. We watched the clouds etc. Live in Nebraska...so we are used to watching storms. Dogs didn't like it much...ended up under the covers on the bed. I always worry, but have been checking each camp site for a storm shelter. kkd
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Old 08-18-2010, 07:08 PM   #24
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When such a storm comes while we are traveling our goal is to get off the road and to turn the REAR of the motorhome into the wind as that is the thin profile end that is not 50% glass.

When in an RV park, we bring slides in and TV antenna and sat dish down both to prevent damage and to get a slightly lower target for lightning. We have sometimes pulled the power plug from the shore power outlet.

But when we were damaged by lightning there was no warning at all ...very light mist after some previous rain when "KABOOM!!!" ...we saw what looked like Roman Candles outside the window at the edge of the RV park. Lightning had hit the CATV feeder box. It went through the ground into the electrical system. Some power boxes on our row literally exploded into pieces. It took a couple of weeks and several visits to the local dealership to sort out the damage. It fried our SurgeGuard, transfer switch, and inverter, and melted about 1 inch of one power leg of the 50a shore cord right at the RV end. We had some minor damage inside ...had to replace a GFCI outlet, 12v radio, and computer printer, and had a TV with minor repairs. The CATV inlet to the coach still has burn marks on it where the coax connection goes over the connector.
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Old 08-18-2010, 07:35 PM   #25
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I keep reading about the value of the rubber tires as insulators in a lightening bolt

That bolt of lightening has passed through thousands of feet of air, you think a little rubber spacer of what. perhaps 4-6 inches is even going to matter?

The key thing.. DO NOT BE THE TALLEST THING AROUND. and it helps if you are not too close to what is.

I have been within 20 yards of a lightening strike, and later 50 yards.

but the rubber on the roof, or in the tires really does not make much difference.

What will. in some cases is the metal "Cage" but not all motor homes have that.

Just remember.. Your odds of getting hit by lightening... Way better than winning the lotto.
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Old 08-19-2010, 10:33 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by RV Wizard View Post
...I was, at the age of 13, indirectly hit standing under a tree that was struck by lightening...
RV Wizard
That explains a lot! (couldn't resist)

Great thread. Perhaps it should be resurrected every spring as a warning for the newer Rver's who don't think about a storm until they are in one.
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Old 08-19-2010, 10:54 AM   #27
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We just lost one of the slide toppers during a storm. We waited too long before pulling the slides in. Next time we won't take the chance and we'll pull the slides in as soon as we know of a storm. Joe
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Old 08-19-2010, 11:50 AM   #28
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We were ready for bed in the Wally World lot when a BIG storm hit in Owatonna MN on the Fourth of July weekend. This was our first experience in a thunderstorm while in a Class A. We turned on the weather radio (we've since purchased an automatic alert weather radio to get an earlier warning) and heard about the possibility of tornados in the area . I'd heard the advise of parking into the wind so I made sure the back end was facing the storm. Things were rocking and rolling and the grandkids were certainly scared to death.
I looked across the parking lot and found only a few brave souls were still in the lot. Looking across the street at Cabela's, it seemed that the RV population was increasing rapidly. I figured there MUST be some reason that they were all packing in so close so I decided to join them. I quickly realized that other RV's make for a good windbreak IF you are lucky enough to be on the inside of the circled wagons! It certainly calmed down the grandkids with the rocking reduced.
I didn't tell them that trailer parks seem to be natural magnets for tornados, only because we were in a motorhome and not a trailer park. Hey, it worked for me!

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