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Old 03-07-2018, 04:49 PM   #1
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Are Airstreams more likely to be struck by lightning

Just wondering if they are more susceptible? I have no idea if aluminum even attracts lightning, any comments or thoughts would be appreciated.
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Old 03-07-2018, 05:28 PM   #2
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Just wondering if they are more susceptible? I have no idea if aluminum even attracts lightning, any comments or thoughts would be appreciated.
Lightning looks for a path to ground. The tires clearly isolate you from ground. The only path I can see is through the jack. I don't see any issues.
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Old 03-07-2018, 05:37 PM   #3
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If you are comparing to other brands I don't think there is much of difference in your chance of getting hit. The Airstream might be a little safer to be in due to the aluminum gage around you. In any case I would not want to be in any trailer struck by lightning.
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Old 03-07-2018, 05:38 PM   #4
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Aluminum is actually a pretty poor conductor of electricity compared to steel or copper.

A couple of tips when in a storm......get along side a taller SOB and let him take the strike.

Also if driving in tornado country take along a couple of chickens with you; when a tornado approaches, tie the chickens to your TV and trailer and ride out the storm. Why chickens you ask? When watching any twister movie, have you ever seen a chicken swept away, flying around? No, just semi's, cows, pigs, combines, tractors and pick up trucks; no chickens; they know something that scientists don't know.

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Old 03-07-2018, 05:43 PM   #5
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Hah!
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Old 03-07-2018, 06:02 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Isuzusweet View Post
Aluminum is actually a pretty poor conductor of electricity compared to steel or copper. -- snip -- Tony
I assume you are being a bit tongue in cheek as my teachers had a slightly different take on conductivity.


Material IACS (International Annealed Copper Standard)
Ranking Metal % Conductivity*
1 Silver (Pure) 105%
2 Copper 100%
3 Gold (Pure) 70%
4 Aluminum 61%
5 Brass 28%
6 Zinc 27%
7 Nickelb 22%
8 Iron (Pure) 17%
9 Tin 15%
10 Phosphor Bronze 15%
11 Steel (Stainless too) 3-15%
12 Lead (Pure) 7%
13 Nickel Alum Bronze 7%
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Old 03-07-2018, 06:16 PM   #7
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Struck by lightning no.
But because if their shiny appearance they are often shot by space aliens who think they are the craft from a competing colony of aliens.
Then they shoot first and ask questions later.
It would surprise you to see how closely the damage from a small photon torpeo resembles that of a lightning strike.
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Old 03-07-2018, 06:19 PM   #8
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Ah, now it makes sense...
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Old 03-08-2018, 04:24 AM   #9
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Thank you. I’ll have to get some chickens...and watch out for aliens.
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Old 03-08-2018, 05:59 AM   #10
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Three legged alien chckens. Put a boardor plastic leggo under your jack and stabs.
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Old 03-08-2018, 06:08 AM   #11
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I assume you are being a bit tongue in cheek as my teachers had a slightly different take on conductivity.
No mate, I was dead serious in my post.

Another serious suggestion would be to place a lightning post, (or a couple if trailer over 25'), on the roof with a grounding wire to a 5' steel pole that you drive at least 3' into the ground everywhere you stop to camp.

Tip to self: remove BEFORE setting off.

Cheers
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Old 03-08-2018, 06:14 AM   #12
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Lightning looks for a path to ground. The tires clearly isolate you from ground. The only path I can see is through the jack. I don't see any issues.
Getting away from the recent goofy answers (amusing as they are)…

The tongue jack, stabilizer jacks, shore power cable, water in your water hose, rainwater running down the tires, safety chains left hanging down to the ground, all can and will conduct a lightning strike to ground…

And even though the tires are made of a synthetic rubber compound, they are NOT insulators. Radial steel belts inside a tire conduct electricity, and the synthetic rubber is not enough insulation to keep a high-voltage lightning strike from going to ground right through the sidewalls. Pure natural rubber insulates. Synthetic rubber conducts, though not as well as metal, due to other compounds other than rubber that make up the formula.

Being inside a metal trailer is like being inside a Faraday cage. The lightning strike would be conducted along the outside of the trailer, and as long as you're completely inside the trailer and not touching the inner skin, you would not be harmed.

But that does not mean your expensive electronics would fare as well, since they're grounded to the trailer. Surge protectors don't protect against lightning strikes unless those strikes happen to hit the electrical service wires that lead to your trailer. A strike that hits your trailer directly would not be attenuated by the surge protector.

Your best bet, if you expect lightning to strike in your area, is to disconnect shore power and put away the cord, disconnect your municipal water hookup from the trailer, put down your antennas, and shut off any appliances that you can, except of course for a (portable, battery-operated) AM/FM radio or NOAA weather radio to monitor the weather. And stay inside (always assuming that tornado activity is not expected, in which case get yourself to a sturdy real building instead)…

As for parking next to a taller SOB, that only works if you park REALLY close. Tall objects provide protection in a 45° cone from the highest point, and if your trailer is even partially outside that cone, it's still vulnerable to lightning strikes.
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Old 03-08-2018, 09:47 AM   #13
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If you wait around the campfire long enough, someone will give up the good stuff. Thanks Pro.
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Old 03-08-2018, 10:12 AM   #14
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If you are standing in a puddle of water in flip flops, hanging on to the aluminum awning rail that you are trying to put up before it's ripped off (should have put it up when the clouds started blowing in), you quickly become the fastest way to ground. Ask how I know this......
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