By Russ and Tiña De Maris
When high winds cut a path through Wyoming, at least one RVer learned the hard way that RVs can sometimes do tricks — call it, “Roll over and play dead.” Not funny if it happens to you, so how do you prevent a freak wind from ruining your day?
First rule: Minimize exposure. The less “profile” you present to the wind, the better your rig will be able to handle the oncoming blast. We use our research travel trailer as an example. Our travel trailer is 7 feet high and 23 feet long, giving it 161 square feet of surface area when parked sideways to an oncoming wind. A few wind load calculations are eye-openers (see charts below).
An 80-mile-per-hour wind will probably give my little rig a bit of a pause to think about — far more than a rock-a-bye-baby situation. But simply parking with my 7-foot x 8-foot nose to the wind, check out the wind load difference.
With my nose to the wind, I can certainly sleep better.
Of course, we can’t always predict how strong or from which direction the winds will come. To that end, when parking your rig for a spell put out the stabilizers, giving you a more solid footprint against rocking. If you’re in an area prone to high winds, then think about putting down a few “mobile home anchors” and link them to your RV frame with an appropriate system that will allow you to quickly disconnect when it’s time to hit the road.
In our years of being on the road, we’ve been in some hairy situations where the rig has rocked plenty hard. We’ve personally never capsized, nor known anyone who has, and taking simple precautions can give you peace of mind.