RVing in heavy winds is a unique and often terrifying experience. When you are driving, it can feel incredibly unsafe, because it is unsafe. 18-wheelers that are dead-heading (driving with an empty trailer) have been known to be blown over in high winds without their cargo to provide some weight. The same goes for RVs.
So, how do you deal with high winds when you are traveling and camping in an RV?
When it comes to driving in high winds, try to avoid extreme winds if possible. Anything over 80 km/hr and you are at risk for flipping. Truck campers are especially vulnerable to high winds and can take the towing vehicle with them when they flip. Even less aggressive winds can create dangerous instability or even push you into traffic; so be prepared to turn back if necessary. If you must keep travelling, consider filling up your water and waste tanks to give your rig more stability.
If you find yourself in a windstorm, pull over when you can safely do so and make sure your unit is parked with the front of the RV facing into the wind. The most dangerous way to park in high winds is broadside, giving the gusts extra surface area to exert pressure on.
While parked, high winds can be equally unnerving. Although a stationary RV is considerably safer from the force of the wind as one that is driving, it can still feel as if the world is coming to an end: especially if you are trying to sleep. If you find yourself in a windstorm while camping in an RV, there are a few things you can do to make the experience a bit more stable:
- If possible, park next to a wall or building, and park into the wind. Do not park under a tree. Tree branches can easily break off in the wind and do serious damage.
- If applicable, stay hitched to your vehicle. This adds extra weight and stability to the unit.
- Bring slides in, close vents and windows, and put your stabilizing jacks down.
- Be especially careful opening doors and getting in and out of your RV. Not only does the wind have the potential to take the door, but also it can kick up a lot of debris that can injure you.
We often think of wind as a simple annoyance, but it can be incredibly dangerous. With these tips, we hope you stay as safe as possible, in whatever conditions you encounter.