In this short guide, we will explain: How do I secure my RV in high winds? We will discuss the dangers of using an RV in high winds, and how to drive safely no matter the weather.
How do I secure my RV in high winds?
There are several ways to secure your RV in high winds. Just follow these tips:
- Close the roof hatch, windows and zippers – In the event of strong gusts of wind, avoid damage by closing the roof hatches and the windows of the RV. With moderate wind, you can still leave it ajar. With a tent/awning, it is important to close the zippers properly so that the wind cannot hit from below.
- Store your stuff – The wind can sometimes cause things to disappear on the campsite. Store your light belongings, such as linen, bath towels, inflatable mattresses and inflatable swimming pools in the tent or caravan.
This prevents your belongings from being stolen throughout the campsite. Do this also if you are leaving the campsite for a day. If suddenly the weather is bad, you don’t have to worry about your things going missing.
- Determine the direction of the wind – Knowing where the wind is blowing will help you prevent your reactions in time. To orient yourself, it is imperative to refer to the signs on the side of the road. On top of that, your vehicle is the primary wind speedometer. If you have more difficulty moving forward, it means the wind is blowing in the face. If, on the contrary, you go more lightly, it means that the wind is blowing in the back.
- Check the tires – To compensate for the lack of traction, it is essential that your tires are in perfect condition, both wear and pressure. This is especially important if windy and stormy episodes are common in your area. If you need to change them, you can buy tires online without having to go to the garage.
- Know your vehicle well – The vehicles most sensitive to side wind gusts are those with a higher body and larger side area. RVs are more difficult to control due to their size and higher centre of gravity. If this is your case, it is important to be extra vigilant.
- Keep your hands on the wheel – In windy conditions, never take your hands off the wheel. You can’t trust that feeling of control of the vehicle that you can have. The wind is not constant, it comes and goes, so you can never be overconfident in your ability to drive in the wind. On the other hand, the movements should not be too sudden, try to counter the pressure of the wind by gently turning the steering wheel.
- Reduce the speed – Remember that when the wind hits, it is important to reduce speed so that the vehicle has a better grip on the road. It is therefore necessary to shift to a lower gear for better control of the vehicle.
- Drive in the middle of the lane – To avoid any risk of collusion with the opposite lane or of leaving the road in the event of a sudden gust of wind, it is advisable to avoid the ends of the lane. If you are on a national or a departmental, more narrow, you must be extra vigilant.
- Avoid overtaking – Of course, try to avoid overtaking if possible. If the wind is blowing in the face, you will – lose speed and have no time to pass. If it is coming from the side, you could get too close to the vehicle beside you or the other vehicle shielding and you may have difficulty returning to the road after the wind returns.
The dangers of driving an RV in high winds
Before going out, always check your tires’ condition and check the pressure recommended by the manufacturer. This simple review will allow a better adherence of your motorhome to the asphalt and will avoid any scare.
In strong wind situations, overtaking can pose a risk, and even an inadvisable manoeuvre, if the vehicle to be overtaken, is a heavy vehicle.
If the wind blows from the left, the movements of the steering wheel to the right to try to counteract the force of the wind will have to be stopped gently when overtaking, since the truck to overtake will function as a screen, which will protect us from the wind while the overtaking manoeuvre lasts.
Suppose these steering corrections are maintained to the right. In that case, the steering could lead us violently towards the truck when the wind resistance ceases thanks to the momentary wind protection provided by the truck to overtake.
Similarly, sudden exposure to the gust of wind once the heavy vehicle to be overtaken has passed, can cause our vehicle to overturn. In any case, you must hold the steering wheel firmly, and even be prepared, if necessary, to turn the steering wheel slightly towards the vehicle to be overtaken when we overtake it, in order to counteract the force of the wind that we will meet again more than predictably.
Above all, the best precautionary measure to take is to adjust the speed of our vehicle until we perceive a better grip of the tires on the asphalt.
If the wind blows in our favour, we will have to control the speedometer more assiduously, since it is more than likely that thanks to the help of the wind we will exceed the allowed speed limits. In these cases, it is recommended to use a lower gear (higher engine rpm improves grip on a trajectory) or to a lesser extent, continuous and smooth braking.
If, on the other hand, the wind is against us, this will mean higher consumption of our vehicle due to greater resistance, also knowing that a motorhome is not a vehicle with optimal aerodynamics. In this situation, hold the steering wheel firmly and avoid searching manoeuvres, adjusting your speed at all times.
Of course, to improve the vehicle’s aerodynamics, remember to keep windows, skylights and doors tightly closed.
A poor speed adjustment to the strong wind is usually the perfect combination to overturn our vehicle, especially in curves, where the centrifugal force added to that of the wind can be fatal. At this point, it should be remembered that correct load distribution is very important.
Another dangerous situation would be the exit of a tunnel or circulating in viaducts, where we can suddenly find strong gusts of wind.
It is more than recommended, if you drive a motorhome or caravan, to plan your route well according to the weather forecast, and even modify it towards more sheltered secondary roads that are not so exposed to gusts of wind.
Finally, pay special attention to plastics or other objects that are blown by the wind and possible landslides or falling trees on the road.
We recommend that you take these tips into account as soon as you perceive strong gusts of wind. Remember that we are here to advise you and good insurance for your motorhome is essential to be able to enjoy our vacations with total peace of mind.
Please let us know if you have more questions or comments on the content.
FAQ on How do I secure my RV in high winds?
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.
Are static caravans safe in strong winds?
Static caravans are relatively safe in strong winds, however, everything on the surface (such as satellite dishes or roof lights) may be easily blown in the wind.