Grounding camper to protect from lightening

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John From Detroit

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Davison Michigan
There are lightning strikes and there are Static Discharges.

NOTHING, and I mean NOTHING will protect you from a lightening strike save a taller something that shadows you and takes the hit for you and even then you are going to have serious damage.. Examples would be trees or lamp poles.

Static discharge (A way less powerful version of a lightening strike) is covered by the ground wire on your power link if it's proper

But nothing, and I mean nothing you can do will protect you if you are the tallest object around, from a lightening strike.
 

WILDinTHEwoods

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Cannonfalls Campground, Minnesota
We have the campsite at the top of the hill.  There are large trees across the street.  The problem is that winter here is too long, we have a new camper on order, and I am slowly going insane waiting for the camper to come in and waiting for April 14 when the campground opens.
 

King

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MA
As I have been led to understand, the "cone of protection" as it's called is very small, and only extends outward from a tall object as far as a 45 degree angle from it's highest point.  The lightning protection I have seen here in New England has sharpened rods along the highest points of a building with heavy copper wire to rods driven 4 or 5 feet into the ground.  They are supposed to slowly discharge the increasing charge before it is strong enough to strike.  I own a 25 foot sailboat and was concerned about lightning.  I connected copper braid from the keel to the mast and each of the standing rigging.  She was sitting at the dock 3 weeks later when she was hit.  There was no structural damage, but the marine radio and digital depth finder and the light bulbs on the mast were history.  In the 10 years since, it has not been hit again.
Art
 

John From Detroit

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King I think the cone of protection is a bit larger than that (I seem to remember the base diamater being 3 times the height of the cone as measured from the top of your position)

We had an antenna tower take a direct hit where I used to work.. The amazing thing is what was not damaged.  It is a very well hardened tower installed by folks who have the same training I did in Lightening protection... Alas, that was more than a few years ago so my memory is a bit... Well... Rusted on that subject.
 

NCHornet

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Jan 30, 2007
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I agree nothing will protect against a direct strike, but the first time out with my Surge Guard unit we were at Myrtle beach and lightinging hit a tree 6ft from our trailer. The Surge Guard saved my TT but I did loose my TV and radio when the surge came through the coaxile line for the cable. All the connections were welded together all the way to the TV and radio. The four folks parked down the row from us all lost everything and had to go home the next day. One guy had a mobile RV tech come out and his estimate was 4 grand, needless to say they went home. I never hook up to any power without using the Surge Guard unit, it protects from high voltage and low voltage as well.
 

Karl

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Elkhart Lake, WI for the summer. Work at Road Amer
I was thinking of attaching a ground wire to the antenna base and running it down to grounding rod in the ground that's next to the shore power box.
What antenna base are you talking about - batwing, dish... what? What King said:
The lightning protection I have seen here in New England has sharpened rods along the highest points of a building with heavy copper wire to rods driven 4 or 5 feet into the ground.  They are supposed to slowly discharge the increasing charge before it is strong enough to strike.
is exactly correct. The rod must be sharp at its' tip, and the ground rod must be several feet into (preferably) moist earth. Merely connecting the ground wire to the base on an antenna without the sharp tip to dissipate the charge would only make matters worse - it allows the charge to build up; an invitation for a lightning strike!
 
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