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Old 07-23-2013, 05:47 AM   #15
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I agree with the others.

All bets are off regarding lightning strikes.

Anything can happen.
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Old 07-23-2013, 05:47 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Davdeb1 View Post
A few weeks ago we had a big storm up by the lake. Lightning was striking for hours, very close to us I might ad. My cable box, wireless router and printer went dead. My laptop was fine, even though they were all plugged into the surge protector that never tripped.

I'm sure lightning a struck the Cable lines somewhere close to us, since the cable truck was at my neighbors the next day also. My printer, router and cable box were all fried. Surge protectors can't protect everything.
Take a look at the coax coming into your home and make sure the cable company has it grounded. If not I think they owe you replacements for the damaged items. I was a telephone installer for a long time and saw the company buy new phones many times even when it looked like the power surge came in the house some other way, usually through the electric burning up only the phones that had a power cord. They shut up and paid up because it was much cheaper than the court battle.
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Old 07-23-2013, 06:02 PM   #17
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Lightening striking near can fry electronics even if they are power down and unplugged.. However nothing made by man is guaranteed to survive a direct hit. That said. I've seen it happen (Hardware survive a direct hit) but frankly the men who made it were surprised.
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Old 07-23-2013, 07:12 PM   #18
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I was at the 2008 Grand National Rally in Iowa at the Winnebago factory rally grounds. I believe there were 1750 coaches at that rally. I saw/heard the lightning strike about 500 ft away that was a direct hit to the cb antenna mounted on top of "driVers" (past iRV2 administrator) motorhome. Mike, Colleen, and the dog were all about 6 ft or closer to the cb radio that exploded in a ball of fire.
Here's the iRV2 thread that was going real time when it hit.

A few days later DriVer posted this thread with more feedback on the lightning impact.

On his way back home DriVer's engine or transmission control computer died. Being an electronic engineer, I was taught that voltage spikes (static discharge or lightning) can impregnate a transistor with a problem, and you never know when it will give birth.

The day after the strike, I was at the Winnie discount store and the guy in front of me was buying a new microwave. His coach was 3 rows away from DriVer and the only thing blown was his microwave. I always unplug from the pedestal when a big storm is approaching.....just to reduce the odds.

Happy Trails,
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Old 07-23-2013, 09:40 PM   #19
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They call me "Sparky!"

A brief flash and a semi-loud noise and it was over.

Our CB radio was on fire! Faced with making an instant decision, I hesitated for a moment however it was more important for me to remove the hazard from inside our coach. I disconnected the CB off of it's mount, unscrewed the coax and pulled the plug and threw the radio outside of out door.

Lightning had actually followed the CB cable from the antenna, down the left A pillar, under the dash and followed the cable down the firewall to the CB. I still have a burned trace where the lightning followed the cable on my firewall.

Exiting the rig, dozens of folks rushed over to see if we were still alive! I looked up on the roof and my CB antenna, a Fire Stick, was still smoking!

The list of items that were blown up as you will see in the links that Duner provided were somewhat arbitrary however we were not put out of commission. We were happy that we could stay for the balance of the GNR and get fixed up across the street.

The majority of the blown up equipment was changed by Winnebago. We suspected some damage to the chassis electronics but the coach was still running. On departure day, we left with everyone else. What had to be done to get the rig moving was to manually upshift through the gears. We did this for about 300 miles or so and we were able to get an older TCM that would match up with the calibration on our ECM and we were good to go.

All in all an adventure for a lifetime!
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Old 07-24-2013, 06:29 PM   #20
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A lighting strike does not have to hit an object to damage it when I was about 15 we were on a lacrosse field and lighting hit some 50 yards away the hole team ended up on the ground.
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Old 07-31-2013, 04:29 PM   #21
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Ok, tires are not insulators as many people think. For one thing they are usually steel belted or have some kind of conductor in them. The reason you don't get hit by lightning while driving, with your windows rolled up (This is very important), is because electricity takes the path of least resistance which is through the metal body, through the tires, to the ground. If your windows are rolled down, the lighting can come in and take you out, so always roll your windows up when driving in a lightning storm. The lighting probably came through your wiring and took out what was in the way.
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Old 07-31-2013, 04:55 PM   #22
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There is no rhyme or reason when it comes to lightning. Some strokes actually come from the ground and go up. Anything can happen.

A bolt hit an aluminum storm window when I was a kid, jumped into the house electrical system and actually blew plugs out of the wall sockets and fried a bunch of stuff.

They say you are safe in a car, but I have seen photos where car tires have burst into flame after a hit. It is crazy stuff.

BTW you can buy surge protesters with cable (and phone) outlet protectors too.
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Old 08-01-2013, 07:26 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wjell View Post
Some strokes actually come from the ground and go up.
I always thought that was an urban legend but it turns out I was wrong.
Quote:
Does lightning strike from the sky down, or the ground up?The answer is both. Cloud-to-ground lightning comes from the sky down, but the part you see comes from the ground up. A typical cloud-to-ground flash lowers a path of negative electricity (that we cannot see) towards the ground in a series of spurts. Objects on the ground generally have a positive charge. Since opposites attract, an upward streamer is sent out from the object about to be struck. When these two paths meet, a return stroke zips back up to the sky. It is the return stroke that produces the visible flash, but it all happens so fast - in about one-millionth of a second - so the human eye doesn't see the actual formation of the stroke.
Source NSSL: Severe Weather 101: Lightning FAQ
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Old 08-01-2013, 09:10 AM   #24
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I had a 50A hard wired Surge Guard at the time and it was destroyed because the lightning came from upstream and terminated at the pedestal. The 2P-50A circuit breaker in the pedestal had tripped.

The path of least resistance was therefore a copper path back to ground.

Since you guys were speaking about tires, they are not insulators but resistors. Tires are made using carbon compounds. Although it is difficult, it's not unlikely for lightning to travel either across the outside surface or through the tire material especially when wet.

Yet another point of contact with an electrical ground that I am reminded of is where the jacks come into contact with the ground. This is a direct point of contact. Electricity can go bi-directionally through the jacks and the best strategy here is to use a plastic jack pad which adds a layer of insulation.

If you are parking for the long term, it is also recommended to place plastic cutting boards under your tires. These can be inexpensively obtained at a flea market for instance. Make sure that none of the tire is hanging over the edge as it will damage the belt.
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Old 08-01-2013, 09:16 AM   #25
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^^ and the falling doughnut always lands on the frosting.

...the likelihood of which is directly proportional to the cost of the rug.
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Old 08-01-2013, 01:57 PM   #26
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Why would you not want to put a lightning rod on your RV. If it hit the coach would the energy not go directly though to the jacks and into the soil if you tied the rods directly to the jack stands? Would the events of a strike effect a Prevost or Newell with their metal skins come out better after a strike? With a fiberglass coach I assume one would need to add metal rails on the top and run a heavy gauge wire down to the jacks so you wouldn't have to worry about set up every time you park. I know breakers are near worthless under a direct lightning strike but it seems it is all we got.
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Old 08-01-2013, 07:38 PM   #27
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Still wondering about getting struck by a falling donut - being a retired LEO I know a lot about donuts. Never been hit with one falling I guess.
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Old 08-01-2013, 08:30 PM   #28
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As a retired Electric power engineer I can add a few thoughts to the discussion
(1) The surge protectors that we plug our power cords into are designed to protect us from disturbances that originate within the power system. These can range from normal switching of power system devices to failures of on- line equipment. Many of the protectors also will check for voltages which fall outside of acceptable ranges. ( 2 ) Lightning however is a whole different ball game. Its power is unpredictable and immense. It can flow from sky to ground, or ground to sky. The best thing you can do is try to increase your odds with common sense. You don't want to be the highest point in an area, you don't want to be under a tree that is the highest spot in the area, or that can do you a lot of hurt if it falls. And you don't want to be playing that popular game, waving a conductive rod around in the air hitting a little white ball. And yes, if you go to the trouble of disconnecting the electric cord during a storm ( which is a good idea by the way ) you should disconnect the TV cable as well. ( in much of the country the TV cable is on the electric poles right below the power wires.)
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