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Old 09-06-2013, 05:41 PM   #1
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Camping with Poptop Up in Thunder Storm

Anyone have thoughts or experiences to share about sleeping in your penthouse when a thunder storm passes through?

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Old 09-06-2013, 06:15 PM   #2
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Re: Camping with Poptop Up in Thunder Storm

It's not the thunder; it's the lightning. Actually if you are not the tallest structure in the area I doubt your rig will be hit by lightning. But you never know.
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Old 09-06-2013, 08:25 PM   #3
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Re: Camping with Poptop Up in Thunder Storm

Personally I cannot wait for that experience. I love T storms. Grew up with them in the NY Finger Lakes and miss them here in Oregon. We had a great one here yesterday afternoon but I was at work not camping.
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Old 09-06-2013, 08:57 PM   #4
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Re: Camping with Poptop Up in Thunder Storm

Was in a really heavy T-storm in Acadia Nat Park (Maine) last summer, lasted an hour or so. No problems at all. It was our first time camping in our new-used van in the rain, so we were a bit worried, but it turned out fine.
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Old 09-06-2013, 09:43 PM   #5
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Re: Camping with Poptop Up in Thunder Storm

My concern is more from hail during a lightning storm. Damn solar panels! The problem with a strike is it's so unpredictable. Sometimes it's not the tallest stuff that gets hit. I don't know what causes the streamers that make the connection but it seems to be a roll of the dice. I was engulfed in a strike and although nobody could see me when it hit, I wasn't hurt. Over the years I've know a few others who weren't so lucky. Many variables out there. I know a guy that was hit in his van; it put a 2' hole in it, but never hurt him. Another friend was hit while working on a pole (over 6 mo. in hospital) and he had issues for about a year. It is spectacular though and I love being in it especially at high altitudes.
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Old 09-06-2013, 09:53 PM   #6
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Re: Camping with Poptop Up in Thunder Storm

Danger issues aside, just remember to let the PH canvas air dry if it gets wet.

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Old 09-06-2013, 11:25 PM   #7
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Re: Camping with Poptop Up in Thunder Storm

You should not have any issues if you are inside a vehicle. The car body acts like a Faraday cage and as long as you are not in contact with metal it will be terrifying, or exhilarating, depending on your age and perspective, but not likely to be dangerous. I would worry about the potential for wind damage if the storm is big enough to generate heavy lightning.
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Old 09-07-2013, 03:36 AM   #8
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Re: Camping with Poptop Up in Thunder Storm

Quote:
Originally Posted by witoke
You should not have any issues if you are inside a vehicle. The car body acts like a Faraday cage and as long as you are not in contact with metal it will be terrifying, or exhilarating, depending on your age and perspective, but not likely to be dangerous. I would worry about the potential for wind damage if the storm is big enough to generate heavy lightning.
What happens when the top of the Faraday cage is made of fiberglass and canvas?
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Old 09-07-2013, 07:58 AM   #9
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Re: Camping with Poptop Up in Thunder Storm

Not an SMB PH, but I know folks with a full-sized RV who parked on the side of the road in a massive storm and ended up with flats all around, supposedly through electrical current in the pavement passing into the steel belts in their tires. Don't know if continued driving would avoid the issue.

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Old 09-07-2013, 09:18 AM   #10
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Re: Camping with Poptop Up in Thunder Storm

I think being outside camping carries some risk. I think being inside a house carries some risk.

1. Tent camping in N.E. Iowa. Local creek turned into flooding river and we had to leave campground at 2am when river overflowed banks. I was SOUND asleep (as usual) and Jo was wide awake in storm (as usual) when it became time to abandon ship. She woke me up and the tent floor must have had 2 INCHES of water under it (but no leaks, amazing !!). Floor sure felt funny as I was waking up with Jo yelling "lets go - lets go!"

2. Canoe interior camping in Kilarney Prov. Pk. Lighting strike on tree 20 feet from our tent in the night. It was like a 1000 flash bulbs going off at once while my eyes were still closed and I thought I was a foot in the air and my ears were in overload. Jo had the same experience. Have NEVER gone from SOUND asleep to WIDE awake in such a short time. Visualized our canoe with a charred basketball size hole in it. Morning we saw the tree with its bark split open from top to bottom.

3. A house in our town suffered a lighting strike just a few years back. Lighting hit a front yard tree, traveled into the ground, followed the water pipe into the house, destroyed the fuse box, melted much of the home wiring, destroyed everything that was plugged into home wiring, started a significant fire in the front wall of the house.

So, I think you are "safe" in a tent, or a van, or a house, or walking across a street. Or lets say equally safe.
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