Can wind tip over a travel trailer? (A safety guide)

In this blog post, we will discuss: Can wind tip over a travel trailer?

Can wind tip over a travel trailer?

Yes, wind as low as 10mph could tip over a travel trailer. It is recommended to avoid towing a travel trailer in winds that exceed 50mph, as it can pose a real danger for yourself and other drivers. But as long as you are prepared, you can safely tow your travel trailer.   

Here are some precautions to consider if towing a travel trailer in high winds:

  • Reduce the speed: From the moment you notice that the car is rocking, it is important to reduce the speed at which you are circulating to avoid unexpected changes of direction, that the car loses grip and thus, control the rocking that may occur.
  • Grip the steering wheel firmly: The first changes when there is wind are noticeable in the direction, so it will be necessary to put both hands on the steering wheel to be able to correct the trajectory within the lane more easily.
  • Truck Caution: Wind and trucks on the same road can be one of the most dangerous situations. This type of vehicle acts as a screen against the wind, especially if it is lateral. If overtaking, the change in the wind that you can receive can cause destabilization and change of trajectory.

If you face a situation like this, try to overtake it with total caution and with a not too high-speed difference.

  • Watch out for trailers and heavy vehicles: Are you one of those who drive with a trailer attached to the car? In this case, you must take precautions even more and reduce speed to a greater extent, thus preventing the vehicle from pulling it from destabilizing.

With large trailers, it is best to cancel the trip and wait for the wind to calm down. The greater the volume of the towed vehicle, the more the effect of the wind will be noticeable.

  • Use low gears: This way you will be able to raise the engine revolution and have reserve power to face strong gusts of wind.
  • Increase the safety distance: Leave more space between your vehicle and those around you to avoid any unforeseen event or a swing caused by the effect of the wind.
  • Drive in the centre lane: Only if you consider it necessary can you drive in the centre lane to avoid unexpected gusts of wind that could send you to the ditch or the opposite lane.

Wind danger levels for travel trailers

The wind is a movement of air through the atmosphere, mostly horizontally. It is caused by a difference in atmospheric pressure between masses of air of different temperatures. Air from a mass with higher pressure (anticyclone) moves toward the mass with lower pressure (depression) until atmospheric pressure is balanced. In Switzerland, the most frequent winds are the west wind, the north wind and the foehn.

Danger level 1 (no danger or low danger). Wind warnings are only issued for degrees 2 – 5.

Danger level 2 (limited danger). Possible consequences:

  • Low-level turbulence disrupting light aviation
  • Choppy swell on the lakes
  • Reversal of poorly or unsecured objects
  • Falling small branches.

Danger level 3 (marked danger). Possible consequences:

  • Broken branches or a few trees were blown over by the wind
  • Some damaged roofs
  • Overturning of large objects fixed lightly (e.g. tents, scaffolding)
  • Disturbances to road, rail, lake or river traffic as well as air traffic
  • Possible stopping of ski lifts and funiculars.

Other questions you may be interested in

Can a Suburban tow a travel trailer?

Do aluminum trailers crack?

Can you go faster than 55 with a UHaul trailer?

Danger level 4 (high danger). Possible consequences:

  • Falling trees
  • Damage to some buildings and roofs
  • Disturbances or restrictions on road, rail, lake or river traffic and air traffic
  • Drive for large, well-secured objects (e.g. tents, scaffolding) as well as loose objects such as garden furniture, etc.
  • Electricity and/or telephone cuts.

Danger level 5 (very high danger). Possible consequences:

  • Falling trees (isolated trees, groups of trees or in the forest) as well as electricity pylons
  • Serious damage to buildings
  • Disruption or paralysis of road, rail, lake or river traffic and air traffic
  • Oversize (empty) vehicles overturning
  • Overturning of large, well-secured objects (e.g. tents, scaffolding) as well as loose objects such as garden furniture, etc.
  • Big waves that can flood the shores of lakes
  • Power and/or phone outages affecting many areas for a long time.

How to identify strong winds while towing a travel trailer

The windsock warns users of the possibility of strong side winds in the area. This long sleeve in red and white fabrics attached to a pole allows drivers to show drivers the strength and direction of the wind in real-time. Thanks to this information, the driver can adapt his driving, and thus anticipate any deviations in the direction of his car.

The strong crosswind risk sign is shown as a triangle with a white background with red outlines. In the centre of this panel is a windsock, also red. The purpose of this sign is to inform users that the area is regularly exposed to strong winds. So even if they cannot know the direction and speed of the wind, motorists can still adapt their driving accordingly so as not to have unpleasant surprises.

We hope you have noted all of these tips and safety precautions before you hit the road when the wind blows.

Never tow a travel trailer in high winds

The wind is one of the great enemies of travel trailer routes and you have to know very well what to do to be able to complete your journey safely;

  • If the wind comes from the side, we must firmly hold the steering wheel and reduce speed to avoid possible overturning. The longer the car and caravan are set, the more we will notice its strength.
  •  Faced with a headwind, we must not forget that the resistance presented by our car added to that of the caravan is great, so you have to drive slowly and firmly.
  • If the wind comes from behind, we must reduce the speed as much as possible to prevent the caravan from rocking and overturning.
  • The experts in driving with caravans point out that in general in a windy situation it is necessary to follow certain guidelines;
  • Although it is a necessary recommendation before embarking on any journey, it is important to check the wheels’ condition, their pressure, and the brakes’ condition to drive as safely as possible.

Apart from all these tips, if necessary, better stop and wait for the wind to subside or in any case, change direction or its strength to be able to drive better.

Do you have any suggestions for safely towing in high winds? Let us know!

FAQ on Can wind tip over a travel trailer?

How to drive with a lot of wind?

Here are some safe driving tips for windy conditions:

  • Determine the direction of the wind.
  • Check the tires. 
  • Know your vehicle well. 
  • Keep your hands behind the wheel. 
  • Reduce speed.
  • Drive in the middle of the lane.
  • Avoid overtaking.

Are 40mph winds dangerous?

40 mph is not considered very dangerous winds, however, you must be careful while driving, because it can be strong enough to break trees, to damage power lines and small structures.

Can a caravan be blown over in the wind?

Yes, a caravan can be blown over in high winds. If necessary, better stop and wait for the wind to subside or in any case, change direction or its strength to be able to drive better.

Can you tow a caravan in 40mph winds?

The short answer is yes; you can tow a caravan in 40mph winds. The general rule is to avoid towing a caravan/trailer in winds that exceed 50mph, as it can pose a real danger for yourself and other drivers.  

References