By Mike Sokol
Welcome to my J.A.M. (Just Ask Mike) Session, a weekly column where I answer your basic electrical questions. If you’re a newbie who’s never plugged in a shore power cord (or ask – what’s a shore power cord?), or wonder why your daughter’s hair dryer keeps tripping the circuit breaker, this column is for you. Send your questions to Mike Sokol at mike (at) noshockzone.org with the subject line – JAM
Dear Mike (aka J.A.M.),
During severe weather should we unplug from campground power even if we have an EMS Surge Protector? Hope this answer is available later as I am headed for shelter. —Nancy Hillstromb, posted on the RV Electricity Facebook Group
As I’ve written many times, it’s always best to unplug your RV from shore power BEFORE a severe storm hits. But please don’t do this in the middle of a severe storm as it’s dangerous out there.
While a Surge Protector should be able to prevent pretty significant lightning strikes in the area from entering your RV as a voltage surge and burning up electronics, nothing can totally protect your RV’s electrical system from a direct strike. And if it’s a very severe storm with high winds, you should also consider seeking shelter in a permanent structure at the campground rather than riding it out in your RV.
If you’ve seen any pictures showing the aftermath of tornado winds, you’ll note that even semi-trucks can be tossed around like so many Matchbox toys. It’s also a good idea not to make camp under any large trees, since a tree or even a tree branch falling onto your RV during a storm can be life threatening.
For a more in-depth explanation of how to stay safe in an electrical storm, please read my previous articles on lightning safety HERE.
To follow along on social media and get a more immediate response to your questions, please join my Facebook RV Electricity group HERE.
OK, everyone. Remember that electricity is a useful and powerful force, so we all need to pay attention to safety precautions while using it.
Let’s play safe out there….
Mike Sokol is an electrical and professional sound expert with 40+ years in the industry. His excellent book RV Electrical Safety is available at Amazon.com. For more info on Mike’s qualifications as an electrical expert, click here.