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Old 10-22-2014, 08:50 AM   #1
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Watch out for lightning!

Hi all!

...and what about lightning safety? I mean just frequent in summertime wide campground, not only overseas. Living in Italy sometimes I get it next my house, no real problem inside except great noise. I wonder if AS's aluminium structure is a sort of lightning buster! Is there real danger? Or we stay in a sort of Faraday's gate?

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Old 10-22-2014, 09:04 AM   #2
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It is a suitable Faraday protected shell. We have BIG lightning here in Texas...I stay inside and worry about hail.
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Old 10-22-2014, 09:06 AM   #3
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As long as you're entirely inside you're probably safe, just like with an automobile. Electricity follows EVERY path to ground that's available, with the current inversely proportional to the resistance of each path. A parked trailer is grounded to earth through the tongue jack and stabilizers, and as long as you're not also grounding the trailer to earth with your body…

By the way, within the United States (since you mentioned Italy) the lightning capital is south Florida, with more lightning strikes per year than anywhere else.
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Old 10-22-2014, 12:15 PM   #4
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I don't know about others. But I use a wood block under the tongue jack as well as the stabilizers. Not much protection there.
If you are connected to shore power. The trailer is grounded. But the small wire (#6) would likely vaporize with a direct hit.



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Old 10-22-2014, 12:20 PM   #5
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I don't know about others. But I use a wood block under the tongue jack as well as the stabilizers. Not much protection there.
Wet wood is an excellent conductor.
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Old 10-22-2014, 12:21 PM   #6
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I thought the "you are safe in a care" business was a myth? Googly time


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Old 10-22-2014, 12:24 PM   #7
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Oh never mind - mostly true - but not because the tires

As such perhaps the tongue jack on ground is not a problem?

http://www.weather.com/news/tornado-...s-car-20140625


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Old 10-22-2014, 01:36 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TG Twinkie View Post
..... If you are connected to shore power. The trailer is grounded. But the small wire (#6) would likely vaporize with a direct hit.
I hardly trust the power posts at the campground to provide decent power let alone an adequate ground.
That being said and old Airstreamer once told me to leave one stabilizer jack down on the dirt for a good ground.
I suspect it was prudent before grounded outlets and GFCIs when a bad circuit could make the skin “tingle”.
Still seems like a good idea though.

Tom
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Old 10-22-2014, 11:21 PM   #9
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Grounding .... if we use the little plastic blocks under the stabilizers, then, no... they are bad for 'grounding'...

I went to HD and, in their 'scrap' area found some 3/4'x 1'x4' plywood boards. They cut into 4 fairly equal pieces easily. A 'stack' of them will allow you to 'adjust' to your camping site... more or fewer... easily They are also great for jacking the trailer if you NEED to on side of the road for flat repair...they are also NOT slippery like the little plastic wafers.

The cost of the wood is sufficient you can replace as they become unusable.

Another good choice is 4x4 cut into 1' lengths. You can place them next to each other and 'glue' together with Construction Adhesive. Just clamp to let them cure before use.

You can also from your 'safety chains' onto the ground... any place to give more 'contact' area for the electricity to find it's way to earth..
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Old 10-23-2014, 06:40 PM   #10
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I usually let my tow chains fall to the ground when I unhitch. It seems that the chains would be as good a ground path as any, maybe better.
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Old 10-23-2014, 07:15 PM   #11
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After living on sailboats for a number of years and getting direct strikes 3 times I can attest that no matter what precaucations you take if you get hit it will hurt grounded or not. Electronics will fry at the very least. Has anyone got real first person experience with a direct lighting strike in an Airstream? Not Internet myths or rumors.
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Old 10-23-2014, 07:24 PM   #12
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If the cables going to the computer external stuff are not RF shielded, then they serve as an antenna for the RF signals in the lightening with disastrous results. I had unshielded four conductor wires going out to terminals (RS-232 serial cables) like VT-100s and when the office building looked like an ice cream cone with the white lightening sheet covering it, all kinds of things died (not on the power cords though)
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Old 10-23-2014, 08:14 PM   #13
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I'd be curious to hear Andy's thoughts on this issue?


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Old 10-23-2014, 08:44 PM   #14
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I don't think it would be a good idea taking a shower during a electrical storm.
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