Driving An RV In High Winds

High winds and the damage they can cause are frightening enough; but experiencing severe winds while driving an RV is even more alarming.

High winds can damage an RV, blow it over, and cause fatal injuries to driver and passengers. While responsible RV owners always check weather conditions before traveling, windy weather can be unpredictable and can surprise you with a sudden change in direction or unusually strong gusts.

Take extra precautions for tight spots, slow down as you drive, steer clear of others on the road, and know when to sit it out can help you confidently navigate the potential dangers of driving your RVing in high winds.

Always check weather conditions prior to travel and of necessary, delay departure. Strong, gusty winds are common across southern New Mexico and West Texas. Pictured above Sunny Acres RV Park in Las Cruces, New Mexico. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Always check weather conditions prior to travel and if necessary, delay departure. Strong, gusty winds are common across southern New Mexico and West Texas. Pictured above Sunny Acres RV Park in Las Cruces, New Mexico. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Check Weather Conditions Prior To Travel: Delay Departure

Always check weather conditions prior to travel and if necessary, delay departure. Don’t rely on a single source of information, such as a weather app. Have multiple ways of receiving weather information, especially when weather turns potentially dangerous. Be aware of good weather websites. Tuning into a local television station for live weather updates is critical.

Own a NOAA Weather Radio. Weather radios are designed to audibly alert you to local weather risks, but they require that you input the NOAA county code.

Driving Through High Winds: Slow Down

Driving an RV through severe winds can leave you feeling out of control. This feeling is not misplaced as high winds can push your vehicle off course. A quick course correction is not recommended since it tends to take you just as rapidly in the opposite direction.

Slowing down is the only way to avoid losing control of your vehicle when driving during strong gusty winds. You cannot outrun the storm, no matter how skilled a driver you are, so stay safe by slowing down and taking it easy.

Blowing sand often accompanies strong winds and reduces visibility. Pictured above Monahans Sandhills State Park in Texas. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Blowing sand often accompanies strong winds and reduces visibility. Pictured above Monahans Sandhills State Park in Texas. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

If after slowing down you still don’t feel comfortably in control of your RV, then find a safe place to pull off the road. Be sure to take corners especially slow. When driving slow, do like the long-distance truck drivers and use your four-way flashers.

Sharing The Road: Keep Your Distance

You understand the importance of slowing down and driving cautiously in high winds, but other drivers may not clue in. The best way to share the road with others in windy conditions is to keep your distance.

Even smaller vehicles can be potentially blown into your lane or directly into your RV. Trailers, campers, boats, and other towables are even more difficult to control during strong winds since they have no power source of their own.

Feeling Overwhelmed: Take a Break

You RV because it’s an enjoyable activity. Don’t let the stress of driving in high winds ruin your good time. Rather than white knuckling your way through, pull over and take time to regain your composure and reassess weather conditions.

Snow and blowing winds often create blizzard conditions. Waiting it out at Pony Express RV Resort in Salt Lake City, Utah. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Snow and blowing winds often create blizzard conditions. Waiting it out at Pony Express RV Resort in Salt Lake City, Utah. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Arriving at your destination in good time is all well and good, but your safety and the safety of your traveling companions is much more important. If you feel yourself getting overwhelmed driving through high winds, don’t hesitate to pull over and take time to shake off the stress of driving during poor weather conditions.

When In Doubt: Wait It Out

There is no shame in avoiding high winds by stopping at a safe place to wait out the weather. Taking personal responsibility and knowing when to sit it out are the best ways to stay safe.

Eventually the wind will die down or the storm will pass, and you’ll be back on the road having fun again.

Only you can make the decision to slow down or stop due to high winds; be sure to follow your instincts and err on the side of caution. Take it easy, slow down, and put your safety ahead of your schedule.

And we arrived safely again. Campin at Ivy Acres RV Park near Greenville, South Carolina. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

And we arrived safely again. Campin at Ivy Acres RV Park near Greenville, South Carolina. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Remember, Safety First, and Happy RVing!

Worth Pondering…

Take your time.

Slow down.

Live.

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