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Old 08-01-2013, 07:56 PM   #29
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A proper lightning rod has a copper pipe or rod driven about 6-8 ft. into the ground to disperse the strike. Your jack pads would not be a very efficient ground, (even all 4 of them) in addition you could blow the wiring of the limiting switches, the piston seals, or even 'cook' the hydraulic oil of the jack system. A lightning strike near an RV doesn't have to travel in the shore cord. The sharp rise and fall of electricity generates a pulse of electrical energy in EVERY electric wire in your coach in the same way a collapsing electric field in an ignition coils generates 40,000 volts for spark plugs. If your home or RV is struck or even near a strike, there is little you can do but check your insurance coverage.

In the more impulsive years of my college I was a waterfront director of a YMCA camp. A sudden storm blew through and overturned our sailboats. I and another lifeguard swam out to rescue the stuff that was floating out of the swamped sailboats. (ironically, they were Lightning Class boats) Suddenly as we swam around the stainless steel rigging grabbing life jackets, buckets, sails, etc. I got a 'prickly' feeling and my hair started to 'move.' I shouted to the other fellow to dive for the bottom and witnesses on shore saw lightning strike the rigging and flow into the lake. We surfaced seconds later and safely got to shore, having only seen the flash of light from below but felt none of the electricity. I've not messed with lightning since.


Bob & Donna
'98 Gulf Stream Sun Voyager DP being pushed by a '00 Beetle TDI
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Old 08-02-2013, 09:02 AM   #30
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Bobb.25's comments were spot on. Electricity flowing through wires is one thing and we can take some precautions and use things like the surge Protectors. Lightening is different. It's potential is incredible and because it is so great it's eventual flow can only be determined by two things: It's voltage and where is the path of least resistance to ground. Since we can't predict or determine the voltage potential at any given instant of a lightening strike its eventual path to ground WILL be determined when it finally reaches ground. There is nothing and I mean nothing that can stop the strike. If the lightening can travel through the air from the sky down and from the ground up to a cloud nothing will stop it's path. It's path is governed by laws of physics. It can and will travel through ground water, down tires, through trees, across roofs, and anywhere it can to get to a ground potential.

Realistically all we can do is make ourselves less of a target.


TeJay (Tim) Auto Instructor 35 yrs (4-yrs USAF) Liz: RN/ WBGO 2014 Vista 30T/ F-53/ CHF/5-Star/Koni/Centramatics * Bella- Golden/Cocker mix & Louie-The cat / All Retired
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Old 08-02-2013, 09:08 AM   #31
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Read about Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) and you will see how components can get damaged without a direct hit. Electromagnetic pulse - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 08-03-2013, 05:28 AM   #32
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Working as a phone man for 32 years, 25 of them outside on phone lines I have seen many instances of lightning damage. Some of them scary. At one house I was at that took a strike I found the wire from the pole hanging limp. This was because the metal in it had vaporized. It was just a string of plastic. Another the inside wire was in the same condition, the only phone fried and the jack melted. The inside equipment is lightning protected so how could this happen? The answer turned out to be that the owner was having work done on the chimney. There was metal scaffolding next to it and close to the phone line grounding. Lighting struck the scaffold and traveled backwards through the lightning protection much like it could through your jacks.

So I guess that I agree with lightning strikes all bets are off. Just try to use common sense and do what you can to protect yourself and your MH.
Mark & Nancy
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Old 08-03-2013, 09:44 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by HD4Mark View Post
Working as a phone man for 32 years, 25 of them outside on phone lines I have seen many instances of lightning damage. Some of them scary. ......
I love these 1st hand stories. About 25 yrs of my career was designing equipment for telephone exchanges.

In the '70's our service manager was in a main switching center in Tampa, Florida when the building took a direct hit. Now the phone company invests a lot of resources to keep the lightning out or at least to a minimum. In those days the equip needed a lot of 48 v dc power and at the top of the bays were copper bars about 1/2 in thick and 4-6 wide...and a second bar for ground . After the strike, the copper bolts that connect all 48v copper bars had carbon soot on them. We had 3 bays of equipment with maybe 50 circuit paks and it took many days to replace all the blown stuff.

On sad note, two Europeans were killed at an overlook on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon just the other day. Helen and I were at the same point in June. I do remember warning signs posted about lightning hazard at many locations.

Bill (Dune'r) & Helen
Last of the Chieftains, 2004 39T, W22, Banks Headers, Koni's, Safe-T-Plus, SMI brake
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Old 08-03-2013, 10:13 AM   #34
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Presently we are on a trawler ( for sale to buy RV). When you live on a boat and are on anchor, you can be the highest point for miles. I have a 1/2 inch copper rod mounted on my highest point, and a 25' welding cable with a 14" copper plate on which I hang over the side, when stormy. Tried to talk a friend into the same system, but he didn't like the looks of it on his much newer/expensive boat. At a dock in the Bahamas three weeks ago, a big sport fish boat took a direct hit. My friend was two open slips away. The sport fish fried everything. No electronics, engine, generator, etc. Was towed to the states $$$$$$$. Friend just got the splash-over. Lost some electronic, one engine ECM, and his confidence. After much time (adjuster and flown in mech), he called off vacation and came home. Wife so scared the boat is for sale. The boat directly across from the sport fish, with a similar protection system to mine had no damage. Don't think a lightning rod would be best for MH, but I like the cutting board idea.
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Old 08-03-2013, 10:33 AM   #35
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Lightening is absolutely unpredictable. I have told this before.

A friend of mine, HAM radio operator, lived in Noxapater MS. He had a 100 foot antenna tower. His HAM equipment was in his basement. It was against one of the short walls on the end. All of his antenna feeds came in at that end. Along one long wall was a work bench with electrical plugs necessary for testing. In the middle of the basement floor was a stand alone 4 X 4 wooden bench. It was used only to dismantle equipment for repair/testing and then move the guts of the equipment to the work bench against the wall.

He had dismantled a radio when his wife called from upstairs and said she was ready to go into town. When they came back lightening had struck his tower, traveled down the line, burnt out one resister in his ham radio, and in the middle of that room, with nothing hooked to the table and the radio he had taken the case off of, looked like an arc welder had come right through the middle of it. Evidence was it jumped to an electrical socket on the wall and damaged the refrigerator in the kitchen, upstairs.

I have had some long discussions with engineers on the value of grounding an antenna. If lightening takes a direct path to ground, then why would you want to ground something and make what you are trying to protect a path? Just sayin'some food for thought.

Wayne MSGT USMC (Ret) & Earlene (CinCHouse)
2008 Winnebago Destination 39W
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