RVing in the movies seems to be either a fairytale or a nightmare. Everything is rosy one minute and bleak the next.
When it comes to weather conditions in Michigan, this can be an accurate depiction and frequent occurrence. High winds, especially those coming off the big lakes, can have a big impact on your driving with an RV, whether it’s motorized or towed.
To stay safe on the road and at the campsite, there are a few simple things you can do. Just follow these three tips to stay safe.
The highest risk for flipping an RV is driving during times of high winds, especially those above 30 mph. It’s the combination of driving speed and wind speed that does the trick. If you find yourself in this situation during transit, then slow down, use manual control, and keep both hands on the wheel. Stay calm when you’re “hit” by side winds so that you can maintain control of the vehicle. Remember that an RV has a large, wide surface area, making it not particularly aerodynamic.
However, it’s best to avoid driving in this type of weather, which means it’s important to check the forecast – especially for wind advisories – along your entire expected route. There are several apps that can assist you with this, including Drive Weather App, among others.
On rare occasions, high winds can flip or tip over an RV when it’s stationary at the campsite. But they would have to be hurricane-force winds to do so, according to a study done by Kent State. Yet if you’re feeling anxious about the sound of the weather outside, you can take a few precautionary steps to anchor your RV more firmly. The most important thing you can do is position your RV correctly and position your RV’s nose into the wind.
Although many RVs come equipped with stabilizing jacks, wheel chocks, tire cradles, and mobile home anchors can be useful at such as time. You can hitch your RV to a vehicle or hookup for additional stability. If possible, park near a windbreak such as a building or natural wall. Yet, it’s important to avoid from being too near trees.
If conditions worsen or you feel that driving or camping is unsafe, then it’s time to seek shelter elsewhere. If you’re driving, pull off or pull over until conditions improve. If you’re camping, then leave the RV at the campsite and move to a safer location such as the office building, or even (gasp) a hotel until the weather literally blows over.