How to Deal with Wind in an RV

By Samantha Lemna  | 
9/10/19, 9:32 AM
    

Class C motorhome parked in a well treed campsite. It is fall and the trees are red and yellow.

Most of the time, the wind isn’t too big of a deal in an RV. However, as wind gusts climb past 80 km/h or 100 km/h, the wind can pose serious problems for those in an RV, especially if you’re driving. We’ll walk you through how to deal with wind in an RV when you’re driving and when you’re parked, as well as what to do if you experience wind damage.

 

Driving with Wind in an RV

You’re more at risk from wind in an RV when you’re driving. The wind can cause trailer sway, push you out of your lane, contribute to a loss of control, and in the worst cases, cause your RV to flip. 

 

Here’s how to drive in winds with an RV:

  • Keep both hands on the wheel and have a firm grip - but don’t hold on too tightly, as you don’t want to jerk the wheel or over-correct. 
  • Slow down! 
  • Increase your following distance between your rig and the vehicle in front of you. 
  • Be prepared when an oncoming big vehicle passes, you go under an overpass, or hit a new treeline, as the wind can let up. 
  • Be prepared for stronger winds after a vehicle passes, you go over an overpass, or go through an exposed area.
  • Slow and steady corrections - don’t over-steer
  • Take breaks from driving. 
  • Fill up waste tanks to add weight.
  • If there are signs advising high winds or that restrict vehicles of a certain height, pay attention, because in an RV, that includes you.

 

As always, pull over if the going is too tough or you feel unsafe. Park your rig with the nose pointed in the direction of the wind to prevent the wind from hitting you on the broadside. 

 

If winds are over 80 km/h, you should pull over and wait for them to die down - or proceed slowly and with extreme caution. Wind affects RVs far more than your regular vehicle because of their size - not to mention, the added fuel consumption and stress while driving.

 

Always check the weather and consider postponing your departure if a wind advisory is in affect. 



Camping with Wind in an RV

If you’re stationary, you’re a lot safer in the wind. It takes a lot of wind power (at least 160 km/h) to flip a trailer, so this is less of a worry. That doesn’t mean that high winds can’t cause trouble, though. Here are some tips to help prevent damage and feel more stable in an RV with high winds:

  • Pull in your awnings and slide-out toppers
  • Retract slide-outs
  • Store or secure all outdoor furniture and items
  • Close all vents and windows
  • Park next to a wall or building - avoid parking under overhanging trees
  • Point the front of the RV into the direction of the oncoming wind
  • Hitch up if you’ve got a fifth wheel or bumper pull trailer
  • If you have them, release the RV air bags
  • Keep your stabilizing jacks down
  • Fill up the waste tanks
  • Use extreme caution when opening doors

 

The biggest hazard with an RV parked in high winds is the damage done to awnings. Loose items and trees can also strike your RV and cause damage, too.

 

Wind Damage to RV

If you have a separate RV policy or have added your RV onto your home insurance policy, wind damage is usually covered. However, some policies exclude wind damage to awnings, so be sure to check if yours includes awning protection. 

 

Keep in mind that if you have your RV added to your home insurance policy, you will need to make a claim on your home insurance. This can result in higher premiums. Often, this type of coverage is limited, which is why we recommend getting a separate RV insurance policy. It’s usually cheaper in the long run and generally offers more comprehensive protection for your RV. 

 

Some RV insurance policies also include emergency roadside assistance as well as emergency vacation expense to help reduce the financial burden if the wind does do damage or flip your RV. Talk to one of our insurance brokers for more details about RV insurance or get an RV insurance quote here.

 

RV and Wind FAQs

Will the wind flip an RV?

It’s a fairly common sight in southern Alberta to see eighteen-wheelers flipped or jackknifed due to extremely high winds - and the same can happen in your RV. Your RV is at a higher risk when you’re driving. If you’re stationary, it would take significant wind (over 160 km/h) to flip most rigs. 

 

Your flip risk depends on the wind speed, direction and duration, your RV’s weight and shape, and exposure. If you’re driving, you also have to consider your position in relation to the wind and your speed. 

 

Is it safe to drive in the wind?

Yes, although you should drive with caution and consider pulling over if you are struggling or the wind exceeds 80 km/h. 

Will the wind cause damage to my RV?

Wind can cause damage to your RV, mostly through projectiles and by wrecking your awning. It can also flip an RV in certain circumstances. 

 

Is wind damage covered by my insurance?

If you have added your RV to your home insurance or have a separate RV policy, then yes, your RV is likely protected from wind damage. However, some policies exclude awnings. 

 

Have any more questions about the wind and RVs? Leave them in the comments below!

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