Lightning Strikes

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Lightning Strikes

Postby Ira » Thu Apr 06, 2006 10:58 am

With our many long PMs back and forth, my wife thinks Dale and I are having an affair. And although the idea is tempting, our discussions are STRICTLY tears.

And I came up with this idiotic notion today:

Based on where we live, is there any logic to installing some sort of lightning rod on our TDs? I don't know how many of you have witnessed major thunderstorms, been stuck out somewhere when one hits, but it is truly terrifying, and it happens OFTEN in Florida from spring through fall. (Remember the blimp that almost fell on my house!?)

It's not like a bolt hits "way over there." The bolts hit like 20 FEET over there. And there are a lot of them.

For some reason, in the middle of the state, like Disney, all of the buildings have rods on them. Down by me in South Florida, no.

I know there are issues like your tires are rubber, therefore in a ground hit, you're insulated. But your stabilizers aren't, and what if the TD itself is hit?

Or is this all just totally idiotic and should I just go back to shopping for galley Formica?
Here we go again!
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Postby halfdome, Danny » Thu Apr 06, 2006 11:14 am

Forget it, the worry will get you before lightning does. If you haven't won the lottery you probably won't get struck and if you do you'll go down in a blaze of glory :frightened: :lol: :lol: . Danny
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Postby Woody » Thu Apr 06, 2006 11:20 am

Ira
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Postby Sonetpro » Thu Apr 06, 2006 11:32 am

Ira, You just like to tempt the electricity thing. Don't you ?
And you and Dale? what goes in the PM Stays in the PM :rofl:
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Postby SteveH » Thu Apr 06, 2006 11:47 am

Ira,

How many commercially built RV's have you seen equipped with lightning rods? How many RV's have you seen, heard, or read about getting hit by lightning? :roll: Just my opinion, but you need to find something real to worry about. :)
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Postby Miriam C. » Thu Apr 06, 2006 12:11 pm

:o Ira, Dale, Didn't know guy could do the pm's thing. :lol:

Don't go there! If you do pm me. :whistle: :angel:

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Postby angib » Thu Apr 06, 2006 12:22 pm

Having watched a documentary where a regular car was driven through a full-scale lightning strike generator (Siemens in Germany have one), it seems all vehicle tyres are conductive at the kilovolt level.

So trailers with aluminum skins might make good conductors - but the occupants would be protected as they are in a Faraday cage. Ira's woody is a trickier call, but the main thing is that if there's a tree within any reasonable range, it's going to be the lightning conductor, not the trailer. Of course this is why buildings need lightning conductors - they're generally as tall or taller than trees.

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Postby GeorgeTelford » Thu Apr 06, 2006 12:27 pm

Hi Ira, all

Cars are safe because they pretty much form a faraday cage (the metal body) diverts the power around you, it is not because the tyres are rubber (tyres stop being an insulation material at the kind of voltage and current we are talking about here, they tend to melt and blow out if the vehicle is struck by lightning) Another example of the lack of normal insulation think tree's, wood is a great insulator against a few thousand volts, but when lightning hits a tree, it might as well be made of copper.

For an Idea of the power we are talking about here consider a spark Jump it takes aprox 5000 Volts to Jump 3mm, How high is the cloud ?

Clad in alloy sheet and you will have a farady cage, you have a chance of surviving.

Straight wooden teardrop? remember at this level of power you might as well lie down on a huge copper slab. Adding a Lighting rod to the tear would be suicidal, a lighting rod twice the height and a few feet away from the tear would add some protection.

I had some pictures of vehicles and people that had been hit, I cant find them at the moment.
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Postby owenmpk » Thu Apr 06, 2006 1:15 pm

GeorgeTelford wrote:Hi Ira, all

(tyres stop being an insulation material at the kind of voltage and current we are talking about here, they tend to melt and blow out if the vehicle is struck by lightning) .


My brothers car was struck on his way to work one morning and the car stopped running but started right back up. After work when went to his car, all 4 tires were flat.
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Postby rampage » Thu Apr 06, 2006 3:02 pm

Our weather man mentioned recently that Saturns and Mini-vans can be struck because of the dent proof material they are covered in. I dont see the logic but thats what he said.
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Postby GeorgeTelford » Thu Apr 06, 2006 3:06 pm

Hi Rampage

They have polymer roof instead of metal, ie if this material is not a conducter maybe the Faraday cage is compromised......
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Postby owenmpk » Thu Apr 06, 2006 3:30 pm

I have 2 Saturns, the hood, and roof are metal, the sides and trunk deck are polymer. (the trunk may also me now that I thinkg about it)
Some of the newer models are all metal.
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Postby mikeschn » Thu Apr 06, 2006 3:56 pm

GeorgeTelford wrote:I had some pictures of vehicles and people that had been hit, I cant find them at the moment.


If you find pictures of the vehicle that's been hit, I'd like to see it...

Mike...

P.S. Ira, if you are looking for something to worry about, how about trees?

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Oh, if trees don't scare you, then how about branches?

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Postby angib » Thu Apr 06, 2006 4:23 pm

The simulated lightning test I mentioned previously was done on a standard Yurpeen Ford, though they did use a diesel, just in case! Oh, and they used a rental car, so they put a roof rack on it to avoid paint damage to the roof!

The car was completely unharmed by the strikes, including the tyres, but the one strange result was that each time the car was hit, the rear screen wiper would give one wipe......

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Postby asianflava » Thu Apr 06, 2006 4:29 pm

Another reason not to buy cars that used to be rentals.
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