We’re sure you’ve seen the videos of RVs flipping over in the wind. They aren’t just clickbait.
When it comes to safety in an RV, knowing about the wind is more than just a factoid. It could save you money.
Batten down the hatches and join us as we sail through the facts about securing your rig during high winds.
How Much Wind Does It Take to Flip an RV?
The short answer to our question is yes. The wind can and will flip your RV if the conditions are right. RVs can handle gusts better from the front and back than from the side.
Depending on where you park, the broadside of your rig may take the brunt of a windstorm. This is when you need to worry.
The Camp Addict website shared a study where scientists calculated the wind speeds required to flip an RV. At 53 mph, an unloaded 18-wheeler will roll over. Your 30-foot motorhome? Gusts of 65 mph could very well have you on your side.
The size and type of RV you have will determine which course of action is best for the situation. The bigger the rig, the better off you’ll be on breezy days.
When driving your motorhome, even ten mph winds can affect your ability to drive safely. Anything higher than 30 mph should have you looking for a sheltered spot to pull over. An RV flipped over from winds on the road can be deadly.
If you embark into uncertain weather, the following information will help you navigate safely down the road.
How Do I Keep My RV from Flipping in High Winds?
Experienced RVers have several strategies for surviving high winds. Some are common sense, while others are design features. And, of course, some have come through trial and expensive error.
Let’s look at ways to combat high winds in an RV and prevent potentially flipping over on the road.
Get Off the Road
When the wind speeds start getting above ten mph, you’ll most likely notice a difference while driving. Keeping your rig under control gets noticeably more difficult the more significant the gusts become. Higher than 15 to 20 mph, you should start looking for an exit.
Getting off the road isn’t the only thing to consider. You need to find the right spot to park to protect yourself.
Find a hill, building, or other large structure to shield you from the highest winds. However, don’t park next to a tree because they can cause costly damage to your roof.
Parking your rig out of the wind is one step you can take but make sure to position it correctly. Aerodynamically designed, most RVs can withstand gusts from the front.
Using a weather app like Windy can help determine which direction the wind is blowing. Use this information to park your rig to face into the current as much as possible. If nothing else, this will at least give you the best chance to survive upright.
Once you’re off the road and positioned adequately into the wind, keep your slides in. Slideouts increase your RV’s surface area, something you’re trying to minimize. Once the wind dies down, you can let them all hang out.
Stabilizers and Wheel Chocks
Level and stabilize your rig when parked, and you’ll be able to sleep easier in the wind. Stabilizers can eliminate side-to-side movement in your vehicle due to heavy gusts.
Putting down wheel chocks can reduce or stop forward and backward movement in the same way. If your rig uses airbags, you can also let some air out to bring the motorhome closer to the ground.
Pro Tip: We compared which RV Wheel Chocks Are Decent, Better and The Best.
For very high winds, add anchor straps to keep all your RV wheels on the ground and avoid flipping. In hurricane-prone areas, you may even have concrete pilings that you can attach the straps to.
Augers that twist into the ground are another option if you don’t have something more secure for connecting the straps. Anchor straps are fairly inexpensive and easy to deploy in windy conditions.
Remove Awning If Possible
Many RVs come with attached awnings to create more outdoor space. That awning you love in the sun can quickly be murdered in windy conditions. Parts could break off and potentially damage your rig or harm someone standing near it.
If you know high winds are in the forecast, roll up the awning before they hit. This way, you’ll protect your investment and your loved ones in one step.
Additional Tips for Weathering the Storm
We’ve got some other tips for weathering the storm you won’t want to forget. Unplug your electronics, so they don’t get blown out by a power surge. Filling up your freshwater tank can also add extra weight to your rig.
Make sure your generator has plenty of fuel in case you need emergency power. And be sure to secure any belongings so nothing gets thrown around if things get rocky.
Know Before You Go: Make sure you know what weather is and isn’t safe to drive in. Find out Is It too Windy to Drive Your RV?
How Can I Tell If High Winds Are Coming?
The best protection is prevention, and information is your friend here. Weather apps and websites have up-to-date information to help you prepare for upcoming windy conditions.
The Windy app offers detailed maps and wind speed streams. You can even see patterns that develop over days to assist in planning accordingly. The National Weather Service website also has excellent information and radar that help keep you informed.
Set up your alerts before heading out on the road to get timely information. We recommend setting up notifications for wind, rain, tornado warnings, hurricanes, and lightning. This way, you’ll hopefully have the best information at your fingertips.
Before you set up camp and get your outdoor space set up, check your alerts, so you don’t have a cookout ruined.
A Little Preparation Goes a Long Way
We all want to feel safe and protected when the wind is howling. With the proper preventative steps in place, you’ll feel prepared when the wind tries to flip your RV.
Before you travel, pack those anchor straps and check the apps so you’ll be ready to tackle gusty situations.
Have you experienced high winds in your RV? Share your story in the comments!
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