Ever been on a road trip with your travel trailer and encountered sudden high winds? If so, you know how frightening and dangerous this can be. Your travel trailer can be easily flipped over by strong winds, putting you and your family at risk. So what should you do to keep your travel trailer safe in high winds?
Securing your travel trailer in high winds requires proper planning, the right equipment, and proper usage. From anchoring your RV to the ground to hitching it to your tow vehicle, we will cover all the key steps you can take to protect your trailer from the effects of high winds.
Additionally, we will provide information on what is considered a high wind and how you can prepare for high wind conditions. After reading this article, you will have the knowledge and confidence to keep your travel trailer safe and secure during high winds. So, let’s get started!
What Is Considered A High Wind?
High winds are generally defined as wind speeds that are strong enough to cause enough damage or disruption to outdoor objects, such as trees, buildings, or vehicles. The definition of high winds varies depending on the source and location, but wind highway speeds of 40 miles per hour or higher are generally considered high winds.
Fujita Scale: Tornado Wind Speeds For Overturning Stationary Vehicles
The Fujita Scale, usually known as the Fujita-Pearson Scale, is a system used to rate the intensity of tornadoes based on the damage they cause. The following table shows the tornado wind speeds that correspond to different ratings on the Fujita Scale, along with a description of the potential damage to stationary vehicles:
|Fujita Scale Rating||Wind Speed (mph)||Damage to Stationary Vehicles|
|F1||73-112||Moderate damage(Can drag vehicles off the road)|
|F2||113-157||Considerable damage(Vehicles can be toppled)|
|F4||207-260||Devastating damage(Vehicles can be thrown away)|
|F5||261-318||Incredible damage (Can throw vehicles up to 100 meters)|
It is important to note that the Fujita Scale does not take into account wind gusts or the duration of the wind, so it should not be used as a direct indicator of the wind speeds that could cause a travel trailer to flip.
However, it does provide a general sense of the potential wind speeds associated with tornadoes and other severe weather events, which can be useful for RVers when making decisions about safety during high winds.
What Is The Wind Tolerance Of A Travel Trailer?
Several factors can impact the wind tolerance of a travel trailer, including the size and shape of the trailer, the weight of the trailer, and the type of hitch used. Additionally, wind speed, direction, and duration can all play a role in determining wind tolerance.
Minimum Wind Speeds
The minimum wind speed required for a travel trailer varies depending on the make and model. Moving RVs can be affected by wind gusts even low up to 10 mph, making driving in strong oncoming wind challenging and potentially dangerous. However, while parked, most RVs are designed to withstand wind gusts of up to 75 mph without toppling over.
The wind tolerance can also depend on the level of exposure to the wind, the type of campsite, and the quality of the set-up. It is important to check the manufacturer’s guidelines for specific wind tolerance information and to take necessary precautions to secure the trailer in windy conditions. Failure to do so can damage the trailer or even cause it to become unattached and pose a safety hazard.
Wind Tolerance And RV Model
Different travel trailer models may have different wind tolerances depending on the trailer’s size, shape, and weight. If you’re searching for a new travel trailer, it’s important to research the wind tolerance of different models and choose one appropriate for your needs and the conditions you’ll be traveling in.
How To Improve Your Vehicle’s Wind Tolerance?
Improving a vehicle’s wind tolerance involves making modifications to increase its stability and reduce its susceptibility to being affected by strong winds. These steps and tools mentioned below will keep your trailer level and stable if properly used and followed.
Tires and Suspension
Ensure the tires are properly inflated and in good condition. Worn or under-inflated tires can reduce stability and make the vehicle more susceptible to being pushed around by strong winds. Upgrading to heavy-duty shock absorbers or installing airbags can help improve stability.
Pro Tip: Improving the suspension can increase stability and reduce the effects of crosswinds.
Adding weight to the vehicle, such as through a roof rack or extra cargo, can affect its balance and make it more susceptible to being pushed around by strong winds. Make sure weight is distributed evenly on the roof and within the vehicle.
Improving the aerodynamics of the vehicle can reduce wind resistance and make it more stable in strong winds. This can be done by installing a roof spoiler, lowering the vehicle, or adding side skirts.
How Do You Secure An RV In A Hurricane?
Hurricane season can be nerve-wracking for RV owners, but with the right preparation, it’s possible to keep your RV secure and safe during a storm. Securing an RV during a hurricane involves more than just tying it down or parking it. It requires proper equipment, preparation, and an understanding of the risks involved. Let’s have a look at how we can do it.
Anchoring Of RV To The Ground
Anchoring your RV to the ground is critical in ensuring its safety during a hurricane. There are several options for anchoring an RV, including an RV anchor kit, ground anchors, and sandbags. The most popular method of anchoring an RV is using the RV anchor kit. Let’s see how you can install it.
Steps To Install An Anchor Kit
- Choose a suitable location for the anchor, typically on a concrete or masonry surface
- Mark the center of the anchor on the surface with a pencil or marker
- Make a pilot hole at the marked center using a hammer and masonry drill bit
- Clean the hole thoroughly with a brush to remove any dust or flying debris
- Insert the anchor sleeve into the hole, ensuring it is level and secure
- Mix the epoxy according to the manufacturer’s instructions, and pour it into the anchor sleeve
- Let the epoxy set for the recommended time
- Once the epoxy has been set, insert the anchor bolt into the sleeve
- Use a wrench to tighten the nuts onto the anchor bolt, securing it to the surface
- Attach the desired item (e.g., shelving, hooks, etc.) to the anchor using screws or bolts
Check Out HURRICANE IN OUR RV | (Full-time RV life):
Sand Anchors And Sandbags
Designed for use in sandy soil, sand RV anchors have a large helix that helps keep the RV stable in shifting sands. They work by penetrating into the sand and providing a secure point of attachment. Sandbags can be placed under the tires of the RV to provide additional weight and stability. They work by adding weight and friction to the RV.
Ground Anchors And Crushed Stone
Heavy-duty anchors are buried underground to provide stability for the RV. They work by being buried deep into the ground, providing a secure and stable attachment point. Similar to sandbags, crushed stone can be used to add weight and stability to the RV. It provides additional weight to the RV, reducing its tendency to move.
Some RV owners use the tires of the RV itself as anchors, choking them with blocks or other materials to prevent movement. It creates friction between the tires and the ground, reducing the ability of the RV to move.
Hitched To Your Tow Vehicle
Hitching your RV to your tow vehicle can also help to secure it during a hurricane. It will keep the RV stable and prevent it from being blown away. Ensure the hitch is properly tightened, and consider using a weight-distributing hitch to help distribute the weight evenly.
Close All Hatches And Windows
Closing all hatches and windows can help to reduce the risk of damage to your RV during a hurricane. It will prevent wind and rain from entering the RV and help keep it as secure as possible.
Orient The Front of Your RV Towards The Wind Direction
Orienting the front of your RV towards the wind direction can help to reduce the risk of it being flipped or damaged. It will help the RV withstand the wind force of the wind and reduce the risk of damage to the sides and rear of the RV.
Use Of Strap Kits
Using a strap kit to secure your RV can help to reduce the risk of damage during a hurricane. Strap kits typically include several straps attached to the RV and then anchored to the ground, helping keep the RV in place. Use a RV hurricane strap kit appropriate for your RV, and make sure it is properly installed and tightened.
Securing an RV during a hurricane requires a combination of proper equipment, preparation, and understanding of the risks involved. Practicing these techniques will save you from any damage physically or financially.
How To Secure Travel Trailer In High Winds While Driving?
Extremely high winds can pose a significant risk to those driving a travel trailer, but with the right precautions and measures, it is possible to navigate these conditions safely. Let’s have a look at these precautions and measures.
Drive At A Safe Speed
High winds can make it difficult to control your vehicle and trailer, so it’s important to reduce your speed. It will give you more time to react to sudden wind gusts and help minimize the risk of losing control. Remember to always drive at a speed that is appropriate for the conditions.
Use Proper Towing Equipment
To ensure your travel trailer stays secure while driving RV in high winds, it’s important to use the proper towing equipment. It includes a weight-distributing hitch, sway control, and trailer brakes. Ensure these components are properly adjusted and tightened and that your trailer is level and stable. Here is a list of some of the best towing equipment.
Avoid Overloading Your Trailer
Overloading your trailer can make it more prone to tipping, especially in strong winds. Ensure you carry only items your trailer is designed to handle and that the weight is evenly distributed. It will help to reduce wind resistance and improve stability.
Keep Your Trailer As Close As Possible
It’s important to keep your travel trailer as close to your vehicle as possible, especially in high winds. It will reduce your trailer’s wind resistance and help keep it stable. Ensure the trailer is hitched securely to your vehicle and that all safety chains and electrical connections are properly connected.
Avoid Sudden Braking Or Turning
Sudden braking or turning can cause your trailer to sway, which can be dangerous in high winds. Always brake, turn slowly and smoothly, and avoid sudden changes in speed or direction. It will help to maintain stability and reduce the risk of losing control.
Driving a travel trailer in high winds can be a challenging experience, but necessary precautions and cautious driving techniques can save you. Always prioritize safety when driving with a travel trailer, and be prepared for unexpected weather conditions. Remember to regularly inspect your towing equipment and make necessary adjustments to ensure it is properly working.
Tips For RVers To Ensure Safety During Strong Winds
Strong winds can ruin your RV trip if you are not well-equipped and prepared. These tips are going to help you prepare in the best possible way. These tips will ensure you and your vehicle are safe and save you from any potential trouble.
Properly Secure The RV
Before leaving your journey, ensure that the RV is properly secured. It means checking the stability jacks, chocks, and leveling blocks to ensure they are properly positioned and tightened. Keep all doors, windows, and hatches closed tightly and secure all loose items inside the RV.
Choose Your Campsite Wisely
When selecting a campsite, look for a spot sheltered from strong winds. Avoid camping near trees, large rocks, or other obstacles that could act as windbreakers. If possible, park your RV with the front facing the wind, as this is the strongest part of the RV and will better withstand strong winds.
Use Awnings Wisely
If your RV has an awning, retract it during strong winds. Awnings can act like sails and increase the wind resistance of your RV, making it more prone to tipping. If you must have an awning extended, make sure it is properly secured.
Take Action During High Winds
If you find yourself in an RV during high winds, it’s important to take action. Stay inside, and avoid using the bathroom or any other facility that requires you to open a door. Additionally, turn off the propane supply to avoid any potential gas leaks.
Follow Manufacturer Guidelines
Finally, always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for your RV. They will have specific information about handling strong winds and other extreme weather conditions. By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your RV remains stable and secure during strong winds and that you and your family stay safe.
Following these tips, RVers can reduce the risk of damage or injury during strong winds. However, exercising caution is always important, as high winds can be unpredictable and dangerous. If you feel that it’s not safe to continue your journey, it’s best to stop and wait for the winds to die.
How much wind does it take to flip a Travel Trailer?
The amount of wind needed to flip a travel trailer depends on various factors, such as the size, weight, and design of the trailer, as well as its stability and wind resistance. Generally, strong winds with minimum gusts of 53 mph can flip an unhitched travel trailer.
How do I know if my Travel Trailer is secure enough for high wind conditions?
You should inspect the anchoring system to determine if your travel trailer is secure enough for high wind conditions. You should also check that the tires are properly inflated and choked. Remember to assess the weight and stability of the trailer to make any necessary adjustments. Consider consulting a professional or the manufacturer for the best advice.
The Bottom Line
Securing a travel trailer requires preparation and the right techniques. You must be well aware of your travel trailer’s wind tolerance. Make necessary arrangements in advance to increase stability. Take note of the weather in advance before starting your journey. However, we suggest not traveling and risking your safety in windy situations.
Our advice is always to be prepared for unexpected weather conditions and to take the necessary steps to secure your travel trailer before hitting the road. By following these tips and using the right techniques, you can ensure the safety of your travel trailer and enjoy a worry-free road trip.