Thunderstorms

Jim

Ringleader
Jul 19, 2007
29,139
84,858
Sutton on Sea
Funster No
1
MH
C Class Diesel RV
Exp
Since 1990
This was covered on Motorhomefacts a while ago, but I can't find it, not being a member I can't search.

Thunderstorms

I am aware that the safest place you can get to if you are caught outside in a thunderstorm is in a motorcar. I also understand that this has nothing to do with the rubber tyres but more about being in a metal cage that surrounds you.

Now, can I say the same about motorhomes, (panel vans excepted) I would think not, they are not made of metal, they are tall, often have aerials on the roof, so technically, would you be safer outside your motorhome in a violent storm?
 

Road Runner

Free Member
Jul 26, 2007
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Since before Motorhomefun
Thunderstorms
I am aware that the safest place you can get to if you are caught outside in a thunderstorm is in a motorcar. I also understand that this has nothing to do with the rubber tyres but more about being in a metal cage that surrounds you.

Now, can I say the same about motorhomes, (panel vanes excepted) I would think not, they are not made of metal, they are tall, often have aerials on the roof, so technically, would you be safer outside your motorhome in a violent storm?

Is this your excuse to go fulltiming?:winky:or not to?.if but, no but..............
 
Last edited:
L

Lindy-C

Deleted User
You mean this Jim?????????????

By far the most useful input came from Chris - G2EWS, I am sure he won't mind my cutting and pasting his info here :winky:



The important thing to remember with lightning or surges caused by lightning (or electric supply) is they are looking for one thing - the best possible earth they can find!

That is why buildings have lightning conductors. So the strike can hit the conductor and run straight to an earth pit, which will if installed correctly be the best earth available.

We are one of the largest independent suppliers of lightning and surge protection equipment to the UK water industry and it still amazes me that some engineers miss this point.

With regards to MH's and caravans then the only real worry is a direct hit, which as has been pointed out is very rare and is still unlikely to cause a problem as the skin effect will come into play and take the strike to earth.

If you want to protect your valuable electronic equipment when you are in a storm then all you need is a good lightning protection device going to the best earth. As an example some of you are aware that we sell radio communication equipment to Water Companies that is used to take reservoir level information to nearby pumping stations. We need to look at three possible entries for lightning and surge:

1. Aerial
2. Power source/supply
3. Externally connected devices, typically a unit that is put in the reservoir to determine the depth (for those technically minded this is a transducer)

That is not the end of it however! Each protection unit which creates a short to earth once the surge gets to a certain level must have it's earthing point at exactly the same electrical level as the other two!

We where involved with the supply of a lot of protection equipment for a site on Bodmin Moor. When there was a storm and all the kit blew up, we where blamed. Further investigation showed they had not protected one aerial! It was enough!

Finally by way of example as to the best earth:

We where asked to protect a bunker for the MOD. Investigation showed there was no earth available! Simple we drove a stake through the concrete wall and even though it was not a perfect earth, it was the best available in the bunker so would be where any strike or surge would ultimately be looking for.

Regards

Chris
 
OP
Jim

Jim

Ringleader
Jul 19, 2007
29,139
84,858
Sutton on Sea
Funster No
1
MH
C Class Diesel RV
Exp
Since 1990
Good stuff, but what was the conclusion? In a thunderstorm are you safer inside or outside a coachbuilt motorhome. Anyone have a theory on this one?

And if you stay in do you drop your sat dish and Ariel and raise the metal steadies?
 

Road Runner

Free Member
Jul 26, 2007
1,405
1,458
Europe
Funster No
16
MH
yes
Exp
Since before Motorhomefun
On thinking about this the largest bang we have ever experienced was in Germany while caravaning and came almost of out the blue and did the 240 volt side of my fridge element and then only operated on gas and had 5 more expencive weeks on campingas 907s when the Calor run out:cry:

Made the German guy opposite send his outside dinner table flying and he had spent ages preparing it for the family meal :roflmto::roflmto:
 
L

Lindy-C

Deleted User
Good stuff, but what was the conclusion? In a thunderstorm are you safer inside or outside a coachbuilt motorhome. Anyone have a theory on this one?

And if you stay in do you drop your sat dish and Ariel and raise the metal steadies?

I didn't read all 4 pages of the thread I have to admit......I shall go back and take another peek whilst dinner is burning :Blush:
 

Digger Driver

Free Member
Oct 4, 2007
578
2
Lancashire
Funster No
541
MH
C Class
Exp
1
I would think you are much safer inside because you are not earthed therefore it will not seek you!
I would switch all the electrics off and unplug your valuable electrics though! (this would include your TV and Satelite aerial cables!):thumb:
 
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