at what speed wind should I be concerned?

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bigtexan99

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Are there any guidelines on wind speeds for 5th wheel or other trailers?  The tv news said today a wind storm was heading to the Seattle area and winds would be 45mph plus.

I'm not in Seattle, but it got me to thinking.  If the weatherman said a strong wind was a coming, what steps would I do to prepare, and at what wind speed do I get in the truck and leave the 5th wheel.

Obviously, I would pull in the slides and awnings.  But at what speed, assuming worst case and broadside wind, do these things tip over?

Thx!
 

Karl

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I don't know that you can quantify something like that. There are too many variables like center of gravity, total weight, etc. I would be more concerned about a report that said something like "winds gusting from 40-65 mph" That might get the rig to rocking enough to be trouble.
 

John From Detroit

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There are too many factors to even list them all.  Wind speed is one factor, the ground you are parked on is another How big is your rig, how full are the tanks (And where are they located,  Are you "Set up" (Jacks down) or in "Road mode" (Jacks up) and is it fully exposed to the wind.  Design of the trailer (IE: Airstreem v/s box)  and more.  There is no one speed at which it will roll over and play dead.

So the most important thing becomes this:  How good is your insurance?
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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But at what speed, assuming worst case and broadside wind, do these things tip over?

Probably 100+ mph, though it can get pretty uncomfortable well before that. We had a memorable evening several years ago on the Clarks Fork River where howling winds really rocked us for an hour or two, but I don't think we ever got close to tipping. Certainly the wheels never lifted off the ground.

But driving down the road, it can become difficult to keep the trailer in your lane at wind speeds above 35-50 mph, depending on all those factors mentioned above. Gusts are harder than steady winds, since you merely steer into a steady wind while a gust can suddenly push you over several feet.

So you probably want to get off the road when high winds are forecast - or at least in the wind shadow of a hill, bridge, barn, etc.
 

Jim Godward

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Living in windy country has made a believer out of me.  If the wind is behind you there isn't too much of a proble up to about 45 or so.  The problem is that there are few straight east west raods in the mountains and foothills.  The problem comes when a 4o+ wind catches you from the side.  If you are going slow, you may ride through it but the faster you go, like normal highway speeds, the more effect the wind has and you may not stay in your lane, on the road, etc.  Worst case, you may tip over.  This happens frequently around here.  The best advice I can give is if you have to travel in high winds, above about 35 mph, fill your tanks, all of them, grey, black & fresh water, propane, diesel or gas and take care.  drive as fast as is comfortable but be ready for the side gusts and slow when it makes you feel like control is a problme.  If you are too nervous, i/e/, white knuckles etc., get off the road and find a sheltered place to park.

This last week we have heard about several trucks and 2 RVs being tipped over.  Both RVs were new and being delivered to a dealer someplace out west, i.e., the were empty!!  Several cars were also pushed ito the ditch and all this was on dry pavement.  The freeway around Livingston MT, was closed and traffic was routed through town because of the winds, they were crosswise to the road which is on a plateau and very exposed.

I'm talking winds of 40 to 60 mph and we are at ~5000 feet so wind pressure is not like at sea level either. 

If you are in an exposed position and the winds get above 60 or so and especially in the range of 75 to 80, you could be tipped over while parked.  We were in a park in Las Vegas in "95 where 4 MHs in a row of about 15 were tipped over of at least partially as some hit the neighbor and did not go all the way over.

Drive carefully,
 

Ron

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We had a memorable evening several years ago on the Clarks Fork River where howling winds really rocked us for an hour or two, but I don't think we ever got close to tipping.

I remember that event.  Although John M, Fitzgeralds, and us were parked parallel to the mouth of the canyon while you guys were perpendicular to the canyon.  Still have some great memories of that adventure. 

 

Gottasmilealot

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Every rig and storm is different. We get hammered by thunderstorms and storm fronts that blow through with force, but generally are short duration. In that situation, pull your rig in next to the leeward side of a building and wait it out if possible. Shopping centers are good for this because the paving usually goes right up to them in the sides and rear. I learned this from an Amish man in Lancaster, PA, when hit by a horrendous thunderstorm one night.  The guy took his horse and buggy behind a shopping center and nosed the horse into an ell of the building to keep the horse from panicking until the storm blew through.  You won't stay dry, but you'll be buffered by the building from the wind.  If no shelter is available, I'd orient the rig tail-first into the wind to reduce the square footage of area subject to the direct winds, and to protect the windshield from being hit by flying debris.  Better to lose a back window than a windshield.  Set your jacks to add stability. Stopping under an overpass gives some shelter.  Driving away from a 45 mile-an-hour storm at 60 miles an hour is a good idea, but somehow the storms usually win.  If all else fails, park it, put your insurance policy in your pocket, and seek shelter in a building. Go eat dinner in a restaurant until it's over. 

I don't know what to tell you about being in a campground other than to say that I wouldn't hesitate to take the rig for a ride to get it, and me, to a safer place temporarily if the need arises.

This raises a good question.  In the midwest, where tornado activity is common, do campgrounds have storm shelters?  Just curious. I've not been to the midwest areas.
 

caltex

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Keith, this spring we were at a campground in Oklahoma City watching TV when a picture of a tornado came on the screen.  Turns out that it was 30 miles west of us moving due east. Needless to say, we immediately got out of the motorhome and headed for the showers.  There was no specific shelter, but the showers looked sturdy. The campground manager went around telling everyone that the shower/pool building was the best place around for shelter.

Fortunately, the tornado lifted as it got to us so there was not any damage. Growing up in Oklahoma, I spent a lot of time in the cellar waiting for the storm to pass.  I wouldn't want to be in an RV when a tornado hit it.

 

Daisy

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Gottasmilealot said:
This raises a good question.  In the midwest, where tornado activity is common, do campgrounds have storm shelters?  Just curious. I've not been to the midwest areas.

We've been in two near misses.  One in Wisc. and we had no idea what the load siren was about, since we weren't warned about sirens when we checked in, and no one came to tell us.  The weather did not look that stormy.  Having lived in the east so long we weren't aware that meant head for shelter.  Growing up in the mid-west, that was not yet a happening to our neighborhood and we were too far from town to hear the only firestation siren.  Anyway, we found out after, that it was a tornado warning and that we were supposed to go to the office/pool building.  Which, in my estimation, didn't look too sturdy in itself.  It touched down about ten miles from us but less than a mile from our daughter's house.  No damage done to her.

The other was at a COE campground in AL?, I think, on a lake and we were warned at check-in that tornadoes were predicted and to head to the restrooms/showers upon hearing the siren which were a stone block building.  I've seen those things torn apart by tornadoes, so it make one wonder WHERE IS A SAFE PLACE TO GO?????

Daisy
 
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