When lightning is striking all around, do you think your RV, riding atop rubber tires, will protect you from being struck? Well, hate to spoil your confidence, but they won’t. The fact is, in some RVs you will be heavily protected, but in others you might as well just stand outside. Learn more from RV electricity expert Mike Sokol in this two-minute segment of Ask the RV Expert, then read safety tips from Mike below.
From Mike Sokol:
So here’s the takeaway from my video. Standing on something insulated, or the rubber tires of your car or RV, won’t protect you from harm if your RV sustains a direct lightning hit. What tends to protect you inside of a metal car or RV (or other metal box) is something called the Faraday Cage Effect, which is basically the magnetic shell that forms around the metal body of the vehicle when an electric field contacts it, and which bends lightning around the outside of your car or RV, not letting it pass through to the inside of the vehicle where you happen to be sitting. But this Faraday Cage Effect doesn’t occur with an all-fiberglass or fabric (tent) RV, so don’t even think about riding out a lightning storm in one of those.
In the final analysis, while the safest place to be in a lightning storm is in a permanent structure like a club house at a campground, you may not have access to one if you’re boondocking due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In that case it’s best to unplug your RV shore power cord from any external power source (such as a portable generator), and ride out the storm in your fully metal-skinned RV, or your tow vehicle if you have an all fiberglass or pop-up tent RV.
Let’s play safe out there. —Mike
Mike Sokol is an electrical and professional sound expert with 50+ 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.
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