Nothing gets the blood pumping quite like the idea of sitting out a hurricane in an RV. So when the weather turned for the worse, these YouTubers had to make some hard choices.
If you’re planning on traveling during hurricane season, you’ll need to be ready with a plan. Know when it’s safe to buckle down and when you should consider bugging out.
So, how did the pros handle the weather? We’ll discover what happened and explore some safety tips to help you weather the storm.
Let’s hit it!
Wayward Waggs Leave Their RV Behind For Safety With Family
Popular RV enthusiasts took to their YouTube channel to document their experience with Hurricane Nicole. The Category 1 storm arrived at the tail end of November 2022. With predicted wind gusts of between 75 and 95 mph, the couple decided it was time to go.
With winds already gusting above 30 mph, the Wayward Waggs felt it was safer to leave their towable RV behind and take shelter with a nearby relative. So they shut off their connections, packed the essentials, and headed out to weather the storm indoors. Luckily, they had a portable tank for their pet lizard.
Once the storm passed, they returned to their rig to assess the damage. Other than some minor damage to their waste hose, the RV was unscathed. But the couple was relieved they left when they saw how close their home came to falling off the stabilizers.
What Is a Hurricane?
Hurricanes are tropical cyclones that form in the Atlantic with wind speeds of at least 74 mph. At their most intense, winds can exceed 157 miles per hour. They also bring heavy rain and storm surges that can flood coastal areas suddenly.
Hurricanes have three distinct parts. The eye of the storm, which is calm, is surrounded by the eyewall, where the winds and rains are strongest. Rain bands then spin off from the center and create the storm’s size.
Hurricanes affect coastal areas the worst, but hurricane-force winds can travel as far as 150 miles inland. The storms can wreak havoc on your travels if you aren’t expecting them.
Pro Tip: Wind speeds picking up? Find out Can the Wind Flip an RV?
Is It Safe To Be In an RV During a Hurricane?
RVs are high-profile vehicles. If you’ve ever driven down the freeway on a windy day, you’ve felt the difference it can make. Most motorhomes can handle driving in winds of up to 53 mph without toppling. However, controlling your vehicle at high speeds can be challenging, even when wind gusts are only ten mph.
If you’re driving in windy conditions, it’s worth pulling over. If possible, park your vehicle with the front facing the wind. When standing stationary, RVs can handle winds between 75 and 100 mph before flipping over, depending on the size. But, of course, there’s more to worry about than toppling over. Powerful gusts can also shoot debris through the sides of your rig.
Hurricanes are unpredictable. They can sometimes spawn tornados that chart their own course. The heavy rainfall they create is equally dangerous. Even if the wind isn’t strong enough, you may get trapped by floodwaters. In most cases, it’s better to seek shelter while you can than to risk getting stuck in a storm.
When there’s a tropical storm in the forecast, you’ll want to prepare before you have to make a hard decision. This is especially important if you don’t have a way to leave your RV behind as the Waggs did.
Planning Ahead For a Hurricane in Your RV
If you’re planning on traveling through the storm season, make your bug-out list now. Make a plan for possible places to evacuate near your destination, and avoid parking in flood-prone areas.
Have a list of essentials packed and ready to go, including first aid items and an emergency radio. Think safety first. Don’t worry about your mementos. Always travel with extra snacks and water in case you get stuck in a flood.
Also, check your fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. Lightning during a hurricane can cause a fire, so you’ll need to have a fire extinguisher charged and ready.
Write down everything you need to do to prepare your RV for a hurricane in the event you have to evacuate. That includes shutting off all the power and turning off all the gas valves. Unplug any electronics you plan to leave behind. Pull your slides in to reduce the surface area that the wind can hit. Stow your awning and park away from trees or anything else the wind can bring down.
As the Waggs learned, it’s a good idea to disconnect the water lines while you batten down the hatches. Bring anchor straps and use them to help tie down the vehicle if you can. If you have the time, consider topping off all your tanks to leave the RV heavier to resist wind.
Of course, protecting your investment is less important than getting out safely. So, when it’s time to evacuate, plan your route carefully. And make sure you know an alternative path if the GPS goes out. Never drive into water that’s covering the roadway. It’s not worth the risk.
Pro Tip: If you lose power because of bad weather, you’ll appreciate having one of these 5 Best 50 Amp Generators For Hurricane Backup.
Where Do Hurricanes Occur Most in the US?
Most hurricanes hit the US on the South East and Mid-Atlantic coasts. However, they also make landfall through the Gulf Coast and can strike as far North as Maine. Still, Florida and Texas are the states that see the most tropical cyclones, where over 60% of hurricanes make landfall. These storms are also the most likely to be severe.
Louisiana and the Carolinas are also areas of concern. But wherever you plan to head on the Atlantic coast, there’s a risk. Luckily, meteorologists can track storms well in advance, so you’ll generally have plenty of warning. However, tropical cyclones can change course, so keep your eye on the weather.
Hurricane season starts June 1 and goes through the end of November. Still, they can and have formed at other times of the year. So you should always be aware of the weather when camping near the coast.
Better To Be Safe Than Sorry
When you put a lot of love into your motorhome, leaving it behind in an emergency situation can be hard. Luckily for the Waggs, their RV lasted through the hurricane with minimal damage while they were safe and dry with family.
But that doesn’t mean you should take the risk if you can avoid it. Check the weather throughout your vacation, so you’re not surprised. No matter what, make sure you have a hurricane plan ready before you hit the coast. That includes leaving your RV behind if it’s the best way to get out safely.
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