Wednesday, November 29, 2023


Winds blow over, shove motorhome across a highway (VIDEO)

A family that saved up eight years for the trip of a lifetime got more than they bargained for when winds blew their rental motorhome across a highway. Dash camera video from a rig not far behind the hapless Class C recorded it all.

Blown across two traffic lanes

Samantha Lewis was travelling on State Highway 80 near Canterbury, New Zealand. An unexpected gust caught the rig, smashed it on its side, and pushed it across two traffic lanes, while at least one car narrowly avoided mixing it up with the vacationing family.

“The kitchen fell over my children, and they were hanging in the campervan for two minutes. I am still in shock. I am starting to feel bumps and bruises. There is still a piece of glass in my leg,” Lewis told a New Zealand news outlet. “My daughter rolled over her younger brother. My one-year-old baby was stuck in his car seat. We were screaming ‘hold on, hold on’.”

Warning signs?

When winds picked up, many along the highway had pulled off the road. Lewis and the family were among them, but the wind played no favorites and shoved the motorhome across the highway.

Lewis bitterly complained that if authorities had posted a sign that large vehicles should avoid the highway, she’d never have driven on it. However, highway authorities told the media that the electronic information signs leading to the highway told a clear story. “All our available electronic boards on SH8 (leading into SH80 from Fairlie, Tekapo and Omarama) had Strong Winds/Take Extra Care from Monday morning.” The Lewises will never forget the occasion of strong winds that shoved a motorhome.


Russ and Tiña De Maris
Russ and Tiña De Maris
Russ and Tiña went from childhood tent camping to RVing in the 1980s when the ground got too hard. They've been tutored in the ways of RVing (and RV repair) by a series of rigs, from truck campers, to a fifth-wheel, and several travel trailers. In addition to writing scores of articles on RVing topics, they've also taught college classes for folks new to RVing. They authored the book, RV Boondocking Basics.



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Neal Davis (@guest_256216)
1 month ago

Wow! Parked makes that RV as resistant to wind as it gets. Scary. I guess I won’t be RVing in New Zealand until rentals come with hooks to lash them to the ground when parked in high winds. 😉

rvgrandma (@guest_255944)
1 month ago

I think next to semi trucks (one took out our passenger side mirror cause it crossed over in front of us before it was past us), wind is my other fear. Surprising and amazing this motorhome was blown over while stopped.

Drew (@guest_255886)
1 month ago

What an amazing sight!

J J (@guest_255875)
1 month ago

Am I imagining it or did the Class C hit the vehicle in front of them first? It looks like that vehicle moved right before the Class C topples. That could have helped imbalance the Class C a bit. I wonder what the wind speed was.

Bob P (@guest_255853)
1 month ago

Most 4 wheeler (cars) in the USA don’t pay attention to highway signs and I would surmise New Zealand drivers are not much different.

Bob M (@guest_255828)
1 month ago

Storms come on quick. Last year I hit I think what they call a down burst on Interstate 81 in NY with my 34’ TT. It came on quick with high winds and heavy rain all at once with no where to pull off. Seem like there was a foot of water on the road. Could only see about twelve feet in front for about a mile. Luckily I was going slow and was able to proceed very slowly. Fortunately no one had an accident.

Tommy Molnar (@guest_255876)
1 month ago
Reply to  Bob M

Ran into a similar incident while traveling through New Mexico a few years back. Out of virtually nowhere this horrendous rainstorm hit us and traffic came to an almost standstill. It only lasted about 10 minutes max. We could see the wall of downpouring water just appear in front of us.

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