Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 09-12-2002, 11:23 PM   #1
hex
 
hex's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 222
Lightbulb SAFETY : >>>>Lightning Strikes<<<<

Holy Mackeral Saphire! What's the story on being inside your Airstream in an electrical storm?

Lightning! I mean.

Has anyone any scary stories?

I mean if I was curled up against the outside wall in one of those minature twin beds in a rear bath model, or just happened to be turning off the kitchen faucet...yall get my drift. How safe are we?
__________________

__________________
hex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-2002, 01:44 AM   #2
Rivet Master
 
53flyingcloud's Avatar
 
1984 29' Sovereign
Savannah , Missouri
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 3,457
Images: 17
Blog Entries: 1
One that was

Hex,
Maybe that's the answer to why my A/S has a grounding post mounted on the rear bumper ???
It originally came from Texas....
actually, if you have a isolation transformer feed for your shore power, you should be just fine...
__________________

__________________
WBCCI 5292 AIR 807
NEU #64
New England Unit
53flyingcloud is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-2002, 07:04 AM   #3
Still Working
 
smily's Avatar
 
1994 36' Classic 36
North Charleston , South Carolina
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 1,651
Images: 19
Yikes!

I am an industrial electrician and I have implemented many types of lightning protection.

Do not fall into a sense of security by the old myth "The tires will insulate you from ground"

This is complete bunk!

Lightning is many thousands of volts that can travel many miles with absolutely no conductor other than air and or rain.

an 10 inch rubber tire will provide little or no insulation between 250,000 volts and ground.

A ground wire will provide some benefit but remember we are talking about a current that well exceeds a typical ground conductor of #6 AWG.

Many precautions can be taken but the truth is that lightning is a devastating beast and when the big man wants to hit you with lightning it will happen.

There are many stories and lore of the effects of lightning, from lightning melting brass beds to traveling along the ground from the shoreline of a body of water.

I have literally seen a Suburban truck pulling a aluminum pontoon boat down the highway and get struck by lightning. The result was burn marks on the roof of the vehicle and complete destruction of the wiring harnesses in the tow vehicle and the light harness to the Pontoon boat.

Moral of the story is: Pray to God you never have to deal with the possible effects of lightning.

Safety measure would be vacate metallic structures and find lowest location that you can.

Smily
__________________
smily is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-26-2002, 10:29 AM   #4
hex
 
hex's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 222
Arrow Need much more input!

Smily wrote;
Quote:
Safety measure would be vacate metallic structures and find lowest location that you can.
OK so where do you go to? Your truck? I doubt that many Wallyites ever get out of a warm bed and go spread out in a "dry" creekbed in a downpour.

Actually I bet most of yall just hunker down and stay inside the trailer.

How unsafe is ~~that~~??

This question deserves ~~More~~ discussion, I think!

Also what is an ~~isolation transformer feed~~?

Are any aware of injuries or death to Airstream users due to lightning striking the trailer?
__________________
hex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-26-2002, 11:44 AM   #5
uwe
418
 
uwe's Avatar
 
2007 25' Safari FB SE
1958 22' Flying Cloud
1974 29' Ambassador
Yucca Valley , California
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: 1963 26' Overlander
Posts: 4,767
Images: 41
Send a message via Skype™ to uwe
Galvanic cage??

I heard that a safe place to be is inside a vehicle, because of the galvanic cage effect. I have no clue what this really means. Anyone heard of this? I'll do a search.
__________________
Uwe
www.area63productions.com
uwe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-26-2002, 11:57 AM   #6
Still Working
 
smily's Avatar
 
1994 36' Classic 36
North Charleston , South Carolina
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 1,651
Images: 19
Humor

I will humor you and point out that the recommendation was simply a safety measure should one not feel safe in his or her ALUMINUM, CONDUCTIVE Airstream.

The odds are in your favor as far being struck by lightning but if you must have the scientific theory behind it here it is in laymens terms.

The AS is made of Aluminum, a very good conductor, a much better conductor than the human body. There for should one be within his or her AS and the AS is struck by lightning, the elctrical current will seek the shortest and and best condutive path to ground and or ground to positive.

(Technical side note, Lightning is the neutralization of two opposite charges, Ionized particles neutralizing)


The lightning will more than likely travel down the outer shell of the AS and continue to ground via the jack post or levelers if they should be in contact with the ground. It may even jump the small distance from the wheel, (metal rim), to ground. See above.

There may be collateral damge to other parts of the AS and even surrounding areas,(the human body possibly),

I too would opt for staying within my trusty AS and hope that it is indeed a better conductor than myself and most importantly get on the hot-line with the big man and put in a few important words before the line is cut.

Smily
__________________
smily is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-26-2002, 12:43 PM   #7
uwe
418
 
uwe's Avatar
 
2007 25' Safari FB SE
1958 22' Flying Cloud
1974 29' Ambassador
Yucca Valley , California
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: 1963 26' Overlander
Posts: 4,767
Images: 41
Send a message via Skype™ to uwe
Humor this

http://www.lightningsafety.com/nlsi_...ngeffects.html

There are actually a bunch of sites that deal with lightning safety. I just put in lightning and safety in a search engine.
The text confirms what Smily wrote. Providing the least possible resistance for the currrent is the general idea, I guess.

But, it's like Smily says, if the big man has plans for you, then none of it matters.
__________________
Uwe
www.area63productions.com
uwe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-26-2002, 05:22 PM   #8
hex
 
hex's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 222
Arrow Scary

As one who enjoys a little humor, I must say I find very little in this subject.


from 5.1.1 of Uwe's above link;
Quote:
"A risk management approach to lightning safety must assume the AFS* will be struck by lightning. Now what? By adopting a judicious combination of lightning protection subsystems, we can attempt to mitigate lightning’s consequences. Since each AFS is unique, as is each lightning flash, the lightning safety engineer must apply site-specific designs. Application of subsystem approaches for air terminals, conductors, bonding and shielding, earth electrodes, surge protection devices/transient limiters, etc. will depend on geographic location and risk to the AFS. Good guidance is found in reputable codes and standards such as IEEE 142, and 1100, Air Force 32-1064, NASA E-0012E, FAA 019c, Army 385-64, Navy OP5, German DIN 57185, South African SABS 03-1985, UK MOD ESTC No. 7, and the IEC 61024 venue."
(emphasis added by Hex)

* Let us assume the AFS is our Airstream Trailer.


Since the inner and outer skin are both fastened to the same ribbing, I presume that the whole "cage" + total skin (out & inside), if struck will conduct the charge. I also assume that it is very easy in some models, to be in contact with the inside skin while sleeping in the bunk or side full bed,as well as in other situations of habitating the trailer.

Even if the tounge jack or the stabilizing outriggers (or even if we drove a copper bar into the ground and connected to trailer each nite) carried the charge away and into the ground. What would happen to the poor schmuck (probably me ) that was sleeping against the vinyl covered aluminum inner wall?

Now Smily are you in or out? Your 1st post says you'd vacate trailer , your 2nd says you'd stay and pray. which one is the joke?

Also why do I suspect Wally was too busy planning his next trek thru the Sudan to bother hiring a lightning safety engineer? However he did come from the aircraft industry. I know that lightning hits aircraft, which after all are not grounded, and the crew and passengers seem to survive. Perhaps it is the gavanic cage thing, surely in military planes I have been on, the floor is metal and connected directly to the outer skin of the fuselage. So I still don't get it! Are we safe or not?
__________________
hex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-26-2002, 05:37 PM   #9
Rivet Master
 
davidz71's Avatar
 
1986 25' Sovereign
Southern Middle , Tennessee
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 3,149
Images: 23
A good friend of mine was awakened early in the morning to a thunderous crash and shaking of his house. He looked out the window and saw the gutter outside his second floor bedroom window hanging down. He looked in dismay at his fullsize Chevy Blazer which had its windshield busted out. Further investigation showed a burning hole through the carpet of the vehicle and a hole through the floorboard of the vehicle so that you could see the ground below. I still do not see how this could have happened but strange things happen with weather.
__________________
Craig

AIR #0078
'01 2500hd ext. cab, 8.1 litre gas, 5 sp. Allison auto
3.73 rear end
Mag-Hytec rear diff cover
Amsoil Dual by-pass oil filtration system
Amsoil synthetics all around
265 watt AM Solar, Inc. system
davidz71 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-26-2002, 08:13 PM   #10
Just a member
 
thenewkid64's Avatar
 
1978 28' Argosy 28
Tampa Bay , Florida
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 4,539
Images: 21
Send a message via AIM to thenewkid64 Send a message via Yahoo to thenewkid64 Send a message via Skype™ to thenewkid64
I may be wrong, but my understanding of lightning is that it will take the easiest path to ground.

If you have your tailer "grounded" with the tounge jack and levelers as well as grounded through the connection to shore power and your TV antenna is up does the tv antenna act like the old fashioned, mis-named lightning rods?

My understanding is that the lighting rods do not attract the lightning but actually help to repel it because they are discharging positive ions in the form of static electricity that is present on the ground. This is a very small amount of output, but it can be enough to cause lightning to look elsewhere to go to ground.

That being said, if you take a direct hit on the trailer I would be worried more about the alumimum being set on fire than the electricity issue. Burning Alumimum is VERY difficult to put out! I think I would rather go quick than roast. What a morbid though, yuck.

Persuasions, more science, corrections??
__________________
Brett G
WBCCI #5501 AIR # 49
-------------------------
1978 Argosy 28 foot Motorhome

Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something. -- Plato


thenewkid64 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-26-2002, 08:21 PM   #11
uwe
418
 
uwe's Avatar
 
2007 25' Safari FB SE
1958 22' Flying Cloud
1974 29' Ambassador
Yucca Valley , California
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: 1963 26' Overlander
Posts: 4,767
Images: 41
Send a message via Skype™ to uwe
read on

Hex,
I understand your fear and concern, and you're right - not much humor in it.
If you use the link and read on, then it will say that the current from lightning will look for the easiest way to earth/ground, and will find it and go through it regardless of the resistance of the connection. It is a very mightyly powerful electrical discharge reaching in excess of 1 Million volts and 50kA.
So, if you have the jacks down, the tongue is grounded, and you have an additional well earthed ground spike, then chances are that the damage will be minimal, and you won't get hurt. Extreme currents will flow, and probably things will get ugly somewhere under the trailer.
If the lightning bolt has to travel through moist air to get to earth/ground, then that's a resistance that's probably megaohms, which means the lightning bolt will cause heat and destruction if it has to pass through it once your trailer gets hit.
This might have been the case with Davidz's friend's truck.
So the best you can do, if you're worried that lightning will strike, is earth your trailer very well, and sleep tight. Everything else is out of your control. I am not sure if there is a definite answer whether or not you're safer inside or outside, because there are so many important factors that would change the outcome.
__________________
Uwe
www.area63productions.com
uwe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-27-2002, 07:02 AM   #12
Still Working
 
smily's Avatar
 
1994 36' Classic 36
North Charleston , South Carolina
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 1,651
Images: 19
As I said before,

Quote:
"Safety measure would be vacate metallic structures and find lowest location that you can".

In my first post, I did not say what I would do. I merely pointed out that this was a safety measure.

My decision would be based upon my surroundings.
I have literally boated to the shore during an electrical storm due to the fact that there were no trees around me and I certainly was the highest, eleveted, conductive, element, in my surroundings. I opted for locating my self nearer but not next to some trees on the bank. The idea was to try to find a conductive path that was better than my body.

It is a physical fact that one is safer in a low elevation than being in an elevated enviroment during an electrical storm.

The point here is that the current WILL find the path of least resistance.

I merely stated that I know that the Aluminum trailer is a good conductor especially when grounded. A much better conductor than myself. Therefore the AS is the least resistive path. If I were concerned for my safety, the minimal that I would do is NOT TOUCH THE SKIN OF THE TRAILER. The floor is made of wood so I would stay in the middle of the floor and pray to god!


Very Respectfully,
Smily
__________________
smily is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2002, 02:03 PM   #13
Rivet Master
 
canny_banjo_man's Avatar
 
Yorkshire , England
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 685
Images: 23
Rig out...

Hi Smily....
...Nothin 2do with being in an A/S...but a few years ago, the good Lord must have been upset with me, 'cos he sent a !!ZZZ!!...a big one, it melted my CB antena from 21 feet to quarter of an ounce, the scaffold pole was almost buckled in half, and pulled off it's mounting, no sign of the coax at all...only a charred connector hanging from the interior wall...
Now I don't know much about ELECTRIC, you see, Gas I can hear & smell...WATER I can hear & see...but 'ole Man Electric...well You can't see it, you can't always hear it...but upon my word, you sure CAN feel it...lmao...
All have a good day now...Chris.....
__________________
It's NICE 2B Important...but it's more Important 2B NICE...Chris.....
canny_banjo_man is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-16-2002, 01:23 AM   #14
hex
 
hex's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 222
Lightbulb Faraday Cages and Exploding Tanks

Uwe in an above post you mention a "galvanic cage".
I think what you were thinking about is a "Faraday Cage". Faraday was the guy who invented something electrical and important, maybe the joy buzzer Actually I think it was the generator.


One definition of Faraday Cage is at http://scienceworld.wolfram.com/phys...radayCage.html

Note: Faraday is often spelled Farraday.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


The following is something I came across in my research.


Quote:
Unlucky Strike

Experts have always said an automobile is one of the safest places to be during an electrical storm, but when lightning struck a parked car at the Black Coaches Association Bowl in Blacksburg, Va., on Aug. 27, the vehicle exploded. What happened?
“Nothing is perfectly safe,” says Jim St. John, a research scientist with Georgia Tech’s School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, but being in a car during an electrical storm is still one of the safest places to be.
Because a car is made of metal, it can attract lightning — and a secondary charge could ignite fuel fumes in a nearly empty fuel tank. That is possibly what happened at the BCA Bowl, St. John says. But the shell of the car still serves as protection for its occupants.
“The metal body of the car works like a Farraday cage,” St. John explains, referring to Michael Farraday, the 19th-century experimental scientist who invented the generator.
Farraday created a metal cage that he would stand in to prove that an electrical charge running through the cage would not harm him. “The current runs around the body of the car and the tires afford some protection as well. What you don’t want to be is something that is going to be part of the current path.”
Or drive around in an electrical storm with a nearly empty fuel tank.
In this case, officials decided to call off the preseason game that pitted Georgia Tech against Virginia Tech.

©2000 Georgia Tech Alumni Association
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This brings up a couple more concerns;

The gas tanks on the aluminum skinned Motorhomes.
The propane tanks on all our RVs.

There's just never enough to think about is there???
__________________

__________________
hex is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
RV safety education foundation 83Excella Link Archive 5 10-15-2004 06:44 PM
Safety Chain Restraint Navigator On The Road... 3 02-28-2004 11:20 AM
Safety chains: A message from Airstream Rog0525 Hitches, Couplers & Balls 0 05-02-2003 07:14 PM
Safety chain femuse Hitches, Couplers & Balls 4 04-19-2003 09:26 AM
Safety Tow Chains pap Hitches, Couplers & Balls 4 04-11-2003 11:16 AM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:28 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.