How strong of wind can a pop-up camper withstand?

In this blog post, we will answer the following question: How strong of wind can a pop-up camper withstand? We will discuss the maximum speed limit for towing a pop-up camper in strong winds and we will also share with you a few safety tips. 

How strong of wind can a pop-up camper withstand?

A pop-up camper can withstand strong wind and it is safe camping in one during strong wind storms. Towing a pop-up camper when the wind speed is over 40 mph, is something else, however. 

In truth, when towing a pop-up camper, even 30 mph wind speed could tip it over. This of course can happen for several reasons:

  • You have a high speed: From the moment you notice that the camper is rocking, it is important to reduce the speed at which you are circulating to avoid unexpected changes of direction.
  • You don’t have experience of driving in high winds: 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.
  • Your pop-up camper is not secured properly: Of course, this would cause even much higher problems than the pop-up camper tipping over!

Strong winds: general tips for safe driving in a pop-up camper

Of course, anyone who goes on a holiday hopes to find wonderful weather conditions during the trip: but this may not always be the case. On the contrary, in summer thunderstorms are not uncommon; and in autumn gusts of wind and leaves in the street are the norm.

You must be prepared for these situations, especially if you are still inexperienced driving the pop-up camper. The driver’s experience counts in bad weather and difficult driving conditions because a pop-up camper reacts differently to a car when it encounters rain, wind and strong gusts.

Strong winds can cause skidding because the centre of gravity of pop-up campers, motorhomes and caravans is relatively higher and the interior, with cabinets and berths, favours oscillations and rolling. In extreme cases, it can even lead to overturning.

But don’t worry: precautionary measures can be taken. Here are some tips that are valid for all types of bad weather.

  • Pay attention to the differences in size and weight of a camper compared to a car and take this into account in case of strong wind.
  • However, moderate your speed and be even more cautious.
  • Before leaving, take a safe driving course to gain sensitivity in driving a pop-up camper
  • Follow the evolution of the weather situation to be prepared for bad weather conditions. Listen to the weather reports on the radio or check your app before you leave.
  • Close the windows and dormers, also evaluate the situation of any shutters fixed externally.

Safe towing of a pop-up camper in heavy rain

  • Check the cleanliness of the wipers and the level of the washer fluid in the reservoir.
  • To set off on a slippery or muddy surface, it is possible to avoid the wheels from spinning by using non-slip mats or start-up mats, easily available in DIY centres or specialist dealers.
  • Check if the tire tread is deep enough to avoid aquaplaning.
  • To measure the depth of the tread there are special detectors, with mechanical or digital display, available in do-it-yourself department stores. Alternatively, if you are in a hurry, you can also use a two-franc coin. Insert the coin into the groove of the tire: if the Helvetia pedestal is not visible, the tread is about 4 mm deep and therefore sufficient. Measure the tread in several points, because the tire wear can be uneven. If in doubt, go to a workshop.
  • Try to prevent critical situations, such as rear-end collisions, by respecting the safety distance and using caution when driving. The braking distance of campers is certainly greater than that of cars and the situation further worsens in the event of wet or damp surfaces.
  • Practice emergency braking on a stretch of road that allows you to manoeuvre without risking. Or, even better, sign up for a specific safe driving course for motorhomes and campers.

Warning: in critical situations, don’t be afraid to break hard. According to a recent survey by AXA Accident and Prevention, 44% of motorists make the big mistake of braking too carefully, for fear of damaging the load, and avoid pressing hard and without hesitation on the pedal. In this way, one’s security is jeopardized by an unnecessary form of regard.

How to secure a pop-up camper in high winds?

There are several ways to secure your pop-up camper 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.

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 camper is essential to be able to enjoy our vacations with total peace of mind.

The bottom line

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.

If you are towing a pop-up camper in high winds, you must take precautions even more and reduce speed to a greater extent, thus preventing the vehicle from pulling it from destabilizing.

With larger campers, 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.

If you have any questions or comments on the content, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!

FAQ on How strong of wind can a pop-up camper withstand?

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.   

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.  

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