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IMPORTANT FOR MOTORHOMERS

BEWARE OF STOWAWAYS
Tourists in Greece have been warned about an unwelcome surprise that may await them.  According to the Germany embassy in Athens, there have been a number of reports of homeward-bound tourists giving a lift to a hitchhiker or finding a stowaway in their caravan or motorcaravan who turn out to be illegal immigrants trying to get into Italy. If you are found harbouring a stowaway, be prepared for the worst because both Greece and Italy now meet out severe penalties and heavy fines.
  • Do not offer a lift or allow any hitchhikers or strangers inside your vehicle.
  • Should you decide to do so, demand to see their passport or identity card.
  • Always park your vehicle in an open space, preferably a guarded parking lot, and make sure you lock all doors.
  • Check your vehicle for stowaways before you leave Greece.
  • If you are taking a ferry, be on the alert and keep your eyes open because there are always illegal immigrants looking for a convenient vehicle to board, especially in the ports of Patras and Igoumenitsa.

Source : Kampeertoerist

PROTECTION FROM THUNDERSTORMS
Do caravans or motorhomes have the same properties as a Faraday cage? A car with its enclosed metal body operates like a Faraday cage and is a relatively safe place to be if lightning strikes.  An electric field can however build up in a motorhome or caravan because it has a discontinuous metal skin, given that its floor is made of wood.  In the least harmful scenario all that happens is that one’s hair stands on end. There is no point simply fixing metal plates underneath because, to be fully effective, a Faraday cage must have a metal grid or mesh fitted on to the floor that is attached to the cladding and the chassis.

A lightning flash will then be conducted to earth through the vehicle’s tyres. The tyres may however suffer damage because of the high electromagnetic charge exerted on the rubber and this can happen with car tyres too. One should always be vigilant if a storm is approaching and the best idea is simply to move out of harm’s way. The sound velocity of a clap of thunder is 330m per second.  If there are ten seconds between a lightning flash and a thunder clap, the storm is 3.3 kms away. If the time lapse is less, one should immediately seek shelter in a solid building and keep all doors and windows firmly shut.  One must never underestimate the danger of a lightning strike and the burn marks that we see on tent pegs and guy ropes are a constant reminder of the fact.
Source: DCC