What would be your recommendation for a bus with a 50 A service to protect the system from a nearby lightning strike, Dave?
Basically what Jack said... No kidding..
The problem with lightning is where the jolt comes from. A jolt can come from the EMP pulse which is picked up by wiring which would mean that even if you had protection on every wire you still could have damage to sensitive items.
Then you have those bouncing bolts that hit stuff and travel along fences, wires, trees and many things that you wouldn't expect with a huge fireworks display but little physical damage that are more like surface charges and dissipate quckly. Those are really scary but damage to electronics can happen if not immediately directly but on a delay of seconds or months. We called that cascade failure. Damage is not apparent but once the seed of failure is started stuff will just quit working later. ( The insurance companies hate these too! )
The greatest problems here are line surges and bad grounds, mixed up neutrals and ground-neutral bonds from the power companies.
Power companies don't run a neutral line all the way back to the generator plant. They depend on the static resistance of all of those ground rods on each power pole to make that part of the current loop. They say it adds up.....NOT!
So, Most of the standard APC and other good brands of outlet surge protectors do a pretty good job as long as you have the primary lines protected with surge suppressors rated not more than 3 times the line voltage. You local building codes may say to clamp at 6,000 volts on a 220 line.... For you RV or smaller more sensitive systems you need a much lower rated clamp voltage so that for the few fractions of a second that line voltage spikes the protector sacrifices itself by clamping down and basically shorting the line long enough fro the feed breaker to trip out and disconnect.
Having a Good chassis ground from your onboard power panel and a good ground on the box that you get power from is critical. If in doubt you might want to carry or install your own copper ground rod along side where you park. Probably should be at least 8 feet into the ground if possible.
Don't be fooled by hooking to water pipes and chain link fence posts or even that silly little #8 copper wire from your
power panel to a 1/2" ground rod....Just not enough
There are so many options for surge arrestors, supressors and things like that around that it makes the choice difficult.
I have used APC stuff for years It works and very rarely have I lost any computer to line surge with APC products.
For radio towers and computer rooms we used "PolyPhasor" protection stuff. Warning, If it says china on it be vary careful
unless the company is one that specializes in suppression technology. There are imitators and look-alikes but they are cheap
and don't work.
There are also things called "Static Dissipators" that are like the ones used on aircraft wings. Kind of like a carbon filament
shaft with a bushy brush end on it. These and variations of them are used on buildings around the perimeter of the rooflines
to disssipate the ground static charge before it can build enough energy to jump into the air. Might also look like a kind
of radial antenna on top of a cell tower, tv tower or even high tension pole.
Ok you think I am nutz now right? NOT !!! Most lightnening bolts jump from the ground into the air to meet the downward
bolt and make the connection. This as explained to me once was because of a ground charge that builds up in response
to a high energy charge being in proximity, The two charges must meet somewhere, Hence the static buildup.
If you dissipate the ground charge over a larger area you minimize the chances of a static build up and sudden discharge.( aircraft 101 )