*This article was originally published in early 2022.
Last weekend, I published an article on the best wind apps that are particularly helpful to RVers. Our readers had some of their favorites, too, and shared them with us.
Several readers wrote us about the Drive Weather app. If so many RVers recommend this app, we thought you should know about it.
Diane Mc. commented, “Drive Weather is my favorite. Gives you seven days of information and will show different routes. Everything from the wind, to temps, type of weather: rain, snow, thunderstorms, fog, hail, freezing fog/rain, smoke, haze, dust/sand, funnel cloud as well as blue skies, overcast and in between. And depending on which of these, the app will tell you if it’s definite, likely, chance, light, moderate, or heavy. Some of this is free, some is under the $9.99/yr. subscription. Well worth 10 bucks. Has helped us many times.”
Pat L. agrees. “Drive Weather works wonderfully for wind, precipitation, and temperature over your whole intended driving route and it will also show how it changes over the next few days. Very useful.”
I decided to heed their advice and download Drive Weather. After using the free edition, I decided to try the $9.99-a-year version. Wow! I am impressed. Instead of having to search for place after place, I could do a route and see the weather, temp and wind day by day, hour by hour. Nice!
Lee E. suggests PredictWind. PredictWind shows marine and land weather forecasts globally.
Add these tips to your wind arsenal as well:
- If driving in the wind, slow down until you feel comfortable. Know that others (particularly truckers) may not like your slower speed, so try and stay above the minimum speed and make sure you move over to let others pass.
- Anticipate wind breaks under bridges and trees, and be prepared to respond accordingly.
- Stop and wait it out!
Parking or camping
- When parking, try to have the wind at your back, not directly on the side.
- Pull in your RV’s slides on the windy side to avoid tearing the slide topper and reduce RV rocking. You may need to bring in all slides for safety.
- If dusty, close the windows! It is amazing the amount of dirt the wind can drive through screens.
- Watch the weather reports and always know where the closest shelter is. Here’s a list of RV parks with storm shelters.
- Have a NOAA emergency weather radio handy. These radios also have a solar charger with a USB jack, a LED flashlight, an earbud jack, and an SOS alert. They’re good to have!
Use these handy wind apps and tips on your next windy day!
“so try and stay above the minimum speed”. What exactly would that be? I haven’t seen a minimum speed sign since the 50’s. I think that was in Wisconsin.
Minnesota was posted 40 mph minimum on interstates. Not sure they still do or not!
Wind, waves, and tides is my favorite weather forecaster. I started using it during my sailing years and reference it daily, especially the day before driving to see what the anticipated wind will be on our route
The wind function for the Drive Weather app only works on Android if you pay for the $9.99 subscription. Still looks like a pretty neat app.
To Tom H-
As far as closing the slides, it definately helps if you have slide toppers. Those things act as a sail to rock the rig. They also make a lot of unnerving noise and risk being damaged in high winds. Keeping them in reduces the surface area for the wind to grab. They say the best thing to do is add water (weight) and get “skinny” which means bringing your slides in.
They must have opened it up to Apple products too. I downloaded it to my iPhone and iPad.
Good article and a subject that affects all of us. One thing that seems to be wrong is placing your back to the wind. I like to park where I am facing the wind head on. Motor homes are designed to go down the road at 70mph. The front of the motorhome or travel trailer is generally more aero-dynamic than the rear, in fact, the rear often is a square sail like surface which acts as a solid obstruction.
My motor home has been in 100+mph winds in hurricane Irma and very gusty winds in western Nebraska and west Texas with us having to bring the slides in. High winds are one of the greatest dangers we as RVers face. Stay safe.
I don’t know that I understand or agree with “bring the slides in”. It seems that keeping them out helps to spread things out for balance, similar to a high-wire walker using a pole. If you’ve ever seen this in action, like at a circus, you’ll note that it is much easier to retain balance when you have something like a pole to help spread the weight out from side to side. I’m not a physics major, it just seems to make sense that the wider the weight is spread, the better. The slide out on one side can counterbalance the weight on the other side and, overall, it would seem that it would be more stable and harder for the wind to tip the unit over.
No, the corner where the slide meets the side wall catches the wind and leads to greater buffeting. We have been in extremely windy conditions many times, and the rocking is always lessened when we bring in the slides.
The more surface the wind has to blow against, the easier it is for the wind to move the object. Example: Hold a spatula flat side to a fan, feel the pressure. Now turn the side toward the fan and notice the difference. If you park the end of your trailer to the wind there is less surface. Slides out creates more surface. If you have slide toppers they act the same as your awning only on a smaller scale, not to mention the risk of damage to the material they are made from. I hope this is helpful. Happy Trails
In my sailing days of large sailboats, when higher winds came about we always reduced sail area before we actually needed to. Relate that to the square footage your RV exposure during higher winds. A few years ago we were in a pop up tornado that hit us from the rear of the motorhome. We pulled in the slides which help the rocking and rolling.