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Don’t let your RV get blown over! Tips for getting ahead of the wind

It takes a lot of energy and attention to drive an RV safely, and even more so when it’s windy. Spring and fall seem to be the worst for prevailing winds to grab and push the RV. We look ahead to see what the predicted wind speeds and wind gusts will be like. This is something you should do too.

Hunkering down in the wind

I’m writing this in Colorado as we head towards Arizona, and the projected wind gusts will be more than 60 mph. Even my experienced and fearless RV-drivin’ husband wants to hunker down on those days. If wind can turn over a loaded semi-truck, we can only imagine what it could do to our 40-foot motorhome towing a car.

Using apps to get ahead of the wind

When our motorhome is hit by strong winds on the road, I check out the wind gusts on apps. There are some great applications available for smartphones and tablets to find current and upcoming wind. I use Windy.com, WindAlert, Windfinder and Windy.app. My first go-to is Windy.com, where I can see the projected wind and gust speeds for seven days. Using our trip planning websites along with a simple map app, I can more easily plan out the next few days traveling and, in this case, layovers.

Planning for driving in wind

Because the winds were so high, I literally made a chart of miles from where we are now to Albuquerque where the winds are still going to be high on Tuesday but not on Monday or Wednesday. This chart was a bit over the top as far as planning goes, but 61 mph gusts are over the top too!

We will start early, when it is usually calmer, and go as far as we can – calling ahead to campsites to check availability.

I haven’t looked at I-40 between Winslow, AZ, and Flagstaff, AZ, yet. That is a known area for tipping over large vehicles in the wind…

Related

Truckers tips for driving in the wind

##RVDT1707

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Steve
12 days ago

I was in Gallup in April a few years ago when Arizona closed I-40 at the AZ-NM border. Within a few hours, every motel, truck stop, parking lot was full. The RV parks were already full of construction workers, so no space there either. By the time I-40 reopened, trucks were parked on the shoulders for 15 miles east of town.

Stephen Graham
13 days ago

I’ve found myself in the wind, and pulled up under a freeway overpass. Or parked between two semi’s at a rest area. Or parked on the lee side of a hotel or other building. Because sometimes you just have to stop and wait it out…

Jeff Craig
13 days ago

I’ll have to check out these wind sites, but I have used the ‘Highway Weather’ app on several trips, including driving in 115F weather in Oklahoma with a bad AC! Had me leave at 0330 to avoid temps above 90F and had me leave Cheyenne two hours before we planned to to avoid high winds (a few years after we nearly got blown over).

Sonja Davis
13 days ago

Would you please take dealing with the wind to a whole ‘nother level: upgrades to the motorhome/trailer! I’m talking about addressing sway bars/shocks/if air bags are a good option. We just did a ‘whirlwind’ trip from Spokane, WA to St. Paul, MN and back within 10 days (just got married and went to MN to surprise my 85yr old mom!). We just got (new to us) a 2012 Mercedes Sprinter chassis, 24′ Forest River Solara. I never bargained for wind making me already want to throw in the towel on RV’ing! So super unnerving/scary/terrifying… If one doesn’t have the choice of taking a day off to let things blow over because we aren’t retired, don’t have the luxury of unlimited time; there’s gotta be add-ons to make the experience far less harrowing…

Jeff Craig
13 days ago
Reply to  Sonja Davis

Try having a 35ft Class A go up on the passenger side wheels! Happened to us about six years ago on I-80 near Rock Springs, WY. When we came back down on all six tires, we pulled over at the next exit and waited an hour for my heart to get below Warp Factor 3 and the wind gusts to die down below 40. One of my future upgrades is gonna be a suspension upgrade for my F53 chassis.

Sonja
11 days ago
Reply to  Jeff Craig

Jeff- don’t think I could’ve gotten back on the road after that!!! Sounds like a near- death experience to me…!!!

Diane Mc
14 days ago

”Drive Weather” is excellent. Put your route in and you can see weather, temps, wind for 7 days. Slide the bar on the bottom and you can move along your route to see how it changes. I’ll check out the others. Never can have too many when it comes to weather, especially high winds.

Dan Coffey
14 days ago

Thank you very much for the wind alert sites. We travel from AZ to ME and always alert to the wind in 40′ class A.

Marlene
14 days ago

I like the app Morecast shows winds along the route I am taking.

Ray
14 days ago

Another timely and excellent article. Thanks RVtravel.

ValC
14 days ago

Another area to be cautious of is US 95 between Henderson NV and Needles CA.

SANDRA S MCINTOSH
9 days ago
Reply to  ValC

Also between Las Vegas and Calif. seen many big rigs and rv on their sides or jack knifed..Many Years ago We ran in our first monsoon in Needles Calf. We were very lucky My husband ran into some native Americans . They came to our campsite and showed us the best way to park our RV into the wind. They also talked to our small kids and how to handle themselves if caught outside when the winds hit. Later when we got into Utah the kids got caught out walking our dogs. They got back to us after it passed safe and sound. They used the Indian ways. Some kids and adults were not so lucky and ended up in ER.