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Old 08-28-2007, 01:56 PM   #1
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I was approached by another rv'er whether the hyd.levelers should be placed on wood, or rubber /plastic blocks or directly on the ground/concrete. He asked because we are in a place that has severe lightning storms at times cloud to ground strikes.

I thought it would be best on wood blocks and not directly on the concrete. even though the coach is safe due to the rubber tires his thought was the strike could go up the jack and fry stuff.
kinda sounds logical.

any info, now I want to know too.

thanks
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Old 08-28-2007, 01:56 PM   #2
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I was approached by another rv'er whether the hyd.levelers should be placed on wood, or rubber /plastic blocks or directly on the ground/concrete. He asked because we are in a place that has severe lightning storms at times cloud to ground strikes.

I thought it would be best on wood blocks and not directly on the concrete. even though the coach is safe due to the rubber tires his thought was the strike could go up the jack and fry stuff.
kinda sounds logical.

any info, now I want to know too.

thanks
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Old 08-28-2007, 02:13 PM   #3
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If the lightening strike is that close wouldn't it just go up the shore power cable? I doubt having it on wood blocks would make any difference unless it was unplugged.
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Old 08-28-2007, 04:07 PM   #4
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I think a good surge protector is going to do more to prevent damage from a lightning strike than any amount of wood blocks under the jacks.
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Old 08-28-2007, 04:54 PM   #5
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A good surge protector will help alot against a spike in the power line caused by a lightning strike nearby. A direct hit from lightning is hard to protect against, your surge guard and electronics will probably be fried. Contrary to common belief, rubber tires do not protect you against a lightning strike. The reason you are safe in a car during a lightning storm is that if your vehicle is struck by lightning the electrical charge actually travels over the surface of your car to the ground. Thus you are safe inside the car as the charge goes around you in a hardtop but not with a convertible or on a motorcycle. Think about it, some lightning bolts travel miles through open air, and carry enough power to light up a city, is an inch thick piece of rubber going to stop all that energy? I don't think so!
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Old 08-28-2007, 05:34 PM   #6
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Having a surge protector is good advice. Unplugging the electrical cord and cable TV line is also good advice. The previous comments about not much is gong to stop a direct lightening hit are true. However, living in the lightening capital of the USA (or at least a close 2nd) I do believe having the jacks on wood does lessen the chance lightening will choose my coach to strike. When the jacks
are directly on the ground, the coach is grounded to earth ground. I choose not to put my jacks directly on the ground if I am in a lightening prone area.
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Old 08-29-2007, 12:30 AM   #7
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Antlerz, here is a discussion we had three years ago thunderstorms
I think I would still try to eliminate the chances of lightning strikes by following these guidelines.
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Old 08-29-2007, 01:20 AM   #8
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Whatever material you use once it gets damp or wet it becomes conductive. Even the sidewalls of your tires will conduct electricity when they are wet or rather the coating of water on your sidewalls. So even if you insulate your jack pads it won't make much of a difference once the tires get wet. Add the minimal air gap from the lowest hanging chassis member and all in all you probably are not going to make much of a difference using wood blocks as insulators under your jacks.

The only real benefit of the gesture would be on other members of your party seeing you make the attempt and easing their fears. Like putting a slide bolt on your childs closet door so a monster won't be able to pop out in the middle of the night while they are sleeping. Not much real value but it can make nights more peaceful.
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Old 08-29-2007, 03:47 AM   #9
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Consider this:

In every electrical device in your rig the return wire (the white one) is connected to a buss bar in your panel box which itself is connected to the buss bar in the power source via your shore power cable. Then, inside the power source's box, that return bar (where all the white wires are connected) is connected to a ground wire that leads to a metal rod driven into the earth's surface.

Also, inside your rig, your ground wire from all those electrical devices (usually the green one) is ultimately connected to that same ground rod via a similar connection through your shore power cable. Even though your return wire (white) and the grounds (usually green) in your rig aren't connected together in the rig, they ultimately are connected at the power source.

If your shore cable is connected you are grounded.
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Old 08-29-2007, 04:30 AM   #10
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Considering that lightning travels hundreds or even thousands of feet through the air, I'm not too sure that an inch or two of insulating blocks would make much difference.

However there is a comfort factor in various safety efforts that just give us peace of mind.

I should probably lower my flag pole in a storm instead of letting it stick up like a lightning rod.

Our cars and trucks being constructed of steel make excellent Faraday Cages, and it is this principal not rubber tires that provide lightning protection, but I don't know if there is enough metal used in the construction of a motorhome to provide similar protection.
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Old 08-29-2007, 05:42 AM   #11
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At the Newmar State of Fl Ralley, the Progressive rep stated not to use wood, use plastic under the levelers. Said the wood
does allow lightening thru, that is why I went to Sams and purchased two very large restaurant
cutting boards, and cut them in half, one for
each leveler. I take advise from a pro. And yes, I'm in the insurance business, and nothing
will help with a direct hit. I know cause the house was hit.

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Old 08-29-2007, 05:50 AM   #12
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">the Progressive rep stated not to use wood, use plastic under the levelers. Said the wood
does allow lightening thru </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Most of us have seen the way wood absorbs water, especially treated wood.
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Old 08-29-2007, 12:42 PM   #13
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Thanks to all who responded,
So I guess the best thing to do is pull the plug sorta speak before the storm gets too close.

I think the fear factor does go down when I tell the wife there is plastic under the wheels , it does help her feel more secure.
great thinking
As for being wet wood it makes sense that once the wood is soaked whats the use. however we have had many " dry" storms just the cloud to ground lightning and no rain just very dark clouds and rumble and flashes.

Next thing ..What is the best surge protector or as stated does it really do much good in a strike area?
again thanks

Craig
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Old 08-30-2007, 06:29 AM   #14
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Of course you realize the liklihood of injury from a lightning strike is prolly one MILLIONTH that of injury from an accident to/from wherever you extend the jacks.
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