Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 09-07-2013, 11:13 AM   #11
Senior Member
 
Viejo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Arcata, CA
Posts: 617
Re: Camping with Poptop Up in Thunder Storm

I agree with Witoke. Being up on insulating rubber tires makes you unlikely to be struck in the first place and if you are, the Faraday effect should protect you. It would probably toast your wiring, ECU and anything else connected to the electric system but as long as you're not sleeping under an electric blanket you're probably safe.

Anyone have any practical experience to counter all this informed speculation?
__________________

__________________
2002 E350 7.3 PSD
Quigley 4x4, EB50 floorplan
Viejo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2013, 01:50 PM   #12
Site Team
 
Ford_6L_E350's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Washington - Ridgefield
Posts: 4,725
Re: Camping with Poptop Up in Thunder Storm

My biggest concern with a thunderstorm is the wind gusting over 50mph. After it rocks the van a few times, I will wait for a lull and drop the top and sleep down for the night. With the top down the wind doesn't move the van nearly as much, and it is much quieter so I can sleep.

Mike
__________________

__________________
SOLD04 EB350 Custom Floorplan
6.0 PSD 4.10 Posi
Salem Kroger coil spring 4wd
SMB Trailer w/AT Air Suspension
Alaska to Key West, Labrador and more
130685 miles 16.65 mpg average

Prostate cancer survivor. viewtopic.php?f=8&t=11099
2015 VW GTI
Leaving CA for WA
Ford_6L_E350 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2013, 04:42 PM   #13
Site Team
 
daveb's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Turlock Ca
Posts: 9,407
Garage
Re: Camping with Poptop Up in Thunder Storm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Viejo
I agree with Witoke. Being up on insulating rubber tires makes you unlikely to be struck in the first place and if you are, the Faraday effect should protect you. It would probably toast your wiring, ECU and anything else connected to the electric system but as long as you're not sleeping under an electric blanket you're probably safe.

Anyone have any practical experience to counter all this informed speculation?
If you don't mind the possibility of your faraday cage being blown to bits. With many strikes, the amount of potential destroys things. Each strike seems to have its own signature.



I've seen the tops of pole blown apart and other times have a difficult time seeing where it hit. A hard strike can be quite powerful.
If a high voltage power line falls on a vehicle it is true that in most cases you're best off staying in the vehicle but tires aren't pure insulators any more and potential will pass through them to ground. Unlike a power line, at least lightning is short term in duration so if it does blow your tires out the chance of them catching fire is low. I agree you probably won't be electrocuted by lightning unless it finds a way to pass through you which is possible. Step potential is a problem with high voltage and lightning. Potential does not take the best path to ground, it takes multiple paths to ground.
__________________
2006 Ford 6.0PSD EB-50/E-PH SMB 4X4 Rock Crawler Trailer

Sportsmobile 4X4 Adventures..........On and off road adventures
daveb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2013, 09:53 PM   #14
Senior Member
 
joey2cool's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Pacific Northwest
Posts: 378
Re: Camping with Poptop Up in Thunder Storm

Keep those thoughts rolling. I'm still pondering what I might do when it sounds like a storm is coming my way, but I'm not likely to stay up in the penthouse while the van rumbles from the noise. The idea of a flash flood is also worrisome as the lightening gives way to a lot of rain.

Apparently fiberglass is not a good conductor, so it is possible a strike would just as easily blow a hole in the thing. Portland motorcycle rider just got his plastic helmut blasted by lightening and his hair singed.

Then there are those metal lift tubes that seem too close for comfort. Climbing downstairs to wait it out might not be such a bad idea. Might leave the top up if it's warm and humid, don't know.

Good thing it passes quickly with the wind. Won't be comfortable with big trees near by either.

I understand one of the most common injuries caused by lightening is hearing loss.

I do like to watch a spectacular lightening storm, especially at a far distance when it lights up a big mountain range. Life is good.
__________________
2010 Ford E250 5.4L V8 Gas 2WD
SMB Mod RB36 w/PH Prop Stove & Furn Frig 10G Wtr Elect
Silver Bullet
joey2cool is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-2013, 03:09 AM   #15
Senior Member
 
jage's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Franktown, CO
Posts: 7,560
Re: Camping with Poptop Up in Thunder Storm

Quote:
Originally Posted by joey2cool
The idea of a flash flood is also worrisome as the lightening gives way to a lot of rain.
Now that, you shouldn't be parked there in the first place. You might not even hear the storm that causes the flood, much less have any time to get down from the PH and move the van.
__________________
and then
everything changed
jage is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-2013, 08:58 AM   #16
Senior Member
 
86Scotty's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: TN
Posts: 6,524
Re: Camping with Poptop Up in Thunder Storm

I'm with Larrie, nothing like a good night time storm in my opinion. The only thing better than being camping is being in an old cabin/house with a tin roof. Nothing better for sleeping than rain on a tin roof.
On lightning, when your time is up it's up IMO! I just hope I should be lucky enough to be camping, sleeping off a few brews and an evening by the fire. I don't worry too much about the van roof/canvas, etc. because a good storm always tells me if there's a leak I need to fix.

Way cool video Dave!

__________________
98 Silver E350 V10 home build
Rusty the Rusty 95 SMB (sold)
Tryptovan the blue CCV van (sold)
Vans flip flops
86Scotty is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-2013, 10:06 AM   #17
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 524
Re: Camping with Poptop Up in Thunder Storm

Jage, just saw your question about the pop top being fiberglass. I've not been struck in my van so can't speak from direct experience but I have seen a few fiberglass sail boats that have been hit. I would think it would still behave the same way. Almost any strike will have the power to just arc across gaps, including from the bottom of the car body to ground, rubber insulating tyres or not, but it is much more likely to follow a surface on it's way down.

Mind you, as a sailor I have done a fair bit of reading about lightning and the best way to deal with it. As far as I can tell, there is no 'best way', at least that anyone has been able to discern. Should you ground the boat? Doesn't seem to decrease the strike frequency or the damage, whether the boats made of a conductive material or not. Should you have a lightning rod? Again, doesn't seem to make any difference. What about the 'dissipators"? (They look like a cat tail that has been stuck in an outlet and are supposed to dissipate the ground charge being built up before a strike). As far as anyone can tell they don't change any of the important parameters either. But one thing that is known is that storing your electronics in a metal box, like an oven is the best way to protect them. Kinda like being inside a van...

So to paraphrase John Augustus Shedd, (http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/John_Augustus_Shedd)

Van's in garages are safe, but that's not what vans are made for...
witoke is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-2013, 12:05 PM   #18
Site Team
 
Ford_6L_E350's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Washington - Ridgefield
Posts: 4,725
Re: Camping with Poptop Up in Thunder Storm

There isn't a good insulator for lightning - I mean the stuff travels through the air for 1000's of feet. Do you think a few inches of rubber/fiberglass will make a difference?

Your best hope to be shorter than the surrounding trees and or buildings. Usually lightning hits taller structures. Usually.

Mike
__________________
SOLD04 EB350 Custom Floorplan
6.0 PSD 4.10 Posi
Salem Kroger coil spring 4wd
SMB Trailer w/AT Air Suspension
Alaska to Key West, Labrador and more
130685 miles 16.65 mpg average

Prostate cancer survivor. viewtopic.php?f=8&t=11099
2015 VW GTI
Leaving CA for WA
Ford_6L_E350 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-2013, 12:44 PM   #19
Site Team
 
daveb's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Turlock Ca
Posts: 9,407
Garage
Re: Camping with Poptop Up in Thunder Storm

Quote:
Originally Posted by 86Scotty
I'm with Larrie, nothing like a good night time storm in my opinion. The only thing better than being camping is being in an old cabin/house with a tin roof. Nothing better for sleeping than rain on a tin roof.
On lightning, when your time is up it's up IMO! I just hope I should be lucky enough to be camping, sleeping off a few brews and an evening by the fire. I don't worry too much about the van roof/canvas, etc. because a good storm always tells me if there's a leak I need to fix.

Way cool video Dave!

I'm the same way. I love being around a thunderstorm. Myself, in tornado prone areas, I might have a different opinion because they go hand in hand. So does the wind, hail, and possible flooding. You have to take in all the possibilities for sure. Featureless flat ground or rolling hills are also not a good place to be if you're in the middle of it. I do think about what would be damaged as well as possibly being stranded in the backcountry. I don't chase thunderstorms but if the forecast is for them in the Sierra's, I do try to head to the hills.

I would say that you're better off in the van than next to it or anything else that happens to be lucky to get hit such as a tree. If you get caught in a thunderstorm, it's best to avoid step potential; avoid cross currents and paths to ground. While on ground, crouch with your feet as close together as possible to avoid step potential. BTW they have some data that points to the streamers that cause the strike in the first place don't need to emanate from the tallest structure around. So like Eric points out, if it's your time Fortunately height does play a factor in it.
In one call I responded to, the lightning hit the pole, ran down to the service, followed it across the road where it went underground and to the house. It energized the homes stucco wire and any thing outside the house attached to it had a burn marks around it. It blew up the natural gas pipes, blew out some of the windows, blew the phone off the wall, but the strangest outcome was that inside the house it blew the nails out of the sheet rock. Looked like somebody let loose with a machine gun inside the house. Needless to say all of their electronics were toast. The original strike was over 200' away.
__________________
2006 Ford 6.0PSD EB-50/E-PH SMB 4X4 Rock Crawler Trailer

Sportsmobile 4X4 Adventures..........On and off road adventures
daveb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-2013, 07:27 PM   #20
Senior Member
 
86Scotty's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: TN
Posts: 6,524
Re: Camping with Poptop Up in Thunder Storm

That's creepy stuff..................
__________________

__________________
98 Silver E350 V10 home build
Rusty the Rusty 95 SMB (sold)
Tryptovan the blue CCV van (sold)
Vans flip flops
86Scotty is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:01 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.