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Protecting Your RV Against Wind Storms

Holy tornado, Batman! While finding yourself in a tornado while RVing is pretty rare, getting caught in a wind storm while camping is a lot more common! What can be done to prepare against wind, and what should you do once the gusts move in? Here are some immensely useful tips for protecting your RV against wind storms so that you can avoid costly damage and stay out of danger's path! Gillette's Interstate RV has the finest selection of RVs for sale in mid-Michigan and the knowhow on how to keep them protected so you can camp safely!

Preventative Measures
There are a few things you can do when you first set up your campsite to help reduce the effects of wind on your RV! First, position your RV for optimal protection against the wind. If you park your RV longways against the wind, the chances of it tipping over drastically increase! Instead, park your RV with either the front or back facing the wind. If you're camping in a towable model, park the front toward the wind as front caps are aerodynamically designed to fight wind resistance! For motorhomes, it may be better to park with the rear of the unit to the wind to avoid damage to the windshield.
Once you've parked, make sure that your RV is properly and securely leveled. If you have an automatic leveling system, you may not have to worry as much, but if you're stabilizing it manually, ensure that your RV is level and that the jacks are secure. An uneven RV will be more likely to rock and tip when wind gusts hit it! Also, if you know that your RV doesn't handle strong winds well, request a site that offers more shelter from the wind if at all possible. Anything near a building is preferable!

At The First Sign Of Wind
A good rule of thumb when it comes to wind and your RV is that it's better to act early than wait until it's too late! It's important to act fast once you notice the wind starting to pick up in order to avoid damage to your RV. The first thing you should do is retract your awning since even a weak gust of wind can catch it, resulting in some pretty expensive wreckage! Also, close roof vents and windows to help prevent wind resistance. If the wind gets really strong, go ahead and bring your slide outs in too, as they can catch the wind and cause rocking (and can even get damaged).Next, be sure to secure and/or put away any loose equipment at your campsite, such as patio furniture, string lights, planters, and more. If the winds are strong enough, any item can be damaging if they hit your RV or vehicle! It is also necessary to properly put out your campfire when the winds start to pick up so that sparks and embers aren't blown away and start a fire! If you really must have a campfire when the wind picks up, use a firebox for a more contained fire.If you are camping with a tent or canopy at your site, it's important to keep a close eye on it during high winds. Canopies should just be taken down altogether, as they don't have sides and will catch the wind as easily, if not more so, than awnings. For tents, make sure it is properly and securely reinforced when you set it up. When the wind starts to pick up, make sure that you check the reinforcements regularly to ensure that they're holding, and if you're concerned that they won't, add more. If you have your doubts on whether your tent can withstand the wind, take it down once it starts to get windy to avoid catastrophe altogether! Heavy items, even humans, are sometimes not enough to keep tents from flying way in the breeze!

Towing an RV In the Wind
Securing your campsite isn't the only time you should worry about protecting your RV from the wind. Towing your RV in windy conditions can be quite the risky endeavor, so you'll want to assess the situation and do what you feel is right! Not only will you have to worry about damage to your RV and tow vehicle, but you'll want to keep in mind the safety of all those driving around you too.The best practice is to refrain from traveling during periods of high wind altogether to avoid potential dangers. Pull off the road wherever it may be convenient, preferably near a building that can shield you from the wind! Even if you can't find as much shelter as you'd like, simply getting off the road will help, as a moving RV is more susceptible to damage that a stationary one. Wind can cause your RV to blow around into nearby traffic, or cause you to lose control as you attempt to correct your path from powerful gusts. In more extreme cases, your RV could even tip over, which is a devastating accident you'll want to avoid at all costs! If you frequently drive through windier areas, have an anti-sway bar or steering stabilizer installed for extra reinforcement against the wind while towing.

Other Wind Tips
Use tie downs. There's some debate as to whether this is a good way to prevent wind damage, although some seasonal and full-time campgrounds require it! If you're at a permanent campsite, install permanent tie-down hooks on your RV pad, and use tie downs over the top of your RV for added protection against wind.
Add a skirt. This isn't completely necessary, but adding a skirt to the bottom of your RV can really help to keep wind from getting caught underneath your RV. Skirts are also great for protecting your holding tanks, especially from the snow in the winter!
Keep holding tanks fuller. It sounds kind of iffy, but leaving your holding tanks on the fuller side will give your RV more weight to help protect it from tipping over. This is more practical if you're leaving your RV for the season in a warm climate, like Florida. Don't leave your tanks full in freezing weather, or else you'll damage your tanks and water lines when the water freezes!
Be careful when going in and out of your RV. Be sure to brace yourself and be ready for wind gusts when you open your RV's door! The wind could catch the door just right, pulling it out of your grip and potentially cause it to hit the side of your RV and damage the siding. You may also get hurt if the door pulls your arm, or may even cause you to fall if you're caught off guard.
Reschedule your trip. If it's possible and you're willing to do so, try to reschedule your trip if you know that adverse weather and high winds are in the forecast. It is always better to be safe than sorry, so choosing not to travel during periods of high wind could save you a huge headache and potentially a lot of money!

Did you find these tips on protecting your RV against wind storms helpful, or are we just shouting to the wind? Thinking ahead and acting fast will make all the difference when the gusts blow in. Just remember that you and your family's safety is the most important thing, so get to a permanent building if conditions get too bad! Here at Gillette's, we're a Michigan RV dealer that knows just how blustery the winds can get! That's why we offer incredible GAP coverage and extended warranties that will help to keep you covered in events like wind storms so you can travel with peace of mind! We also feature awesome sales with deep discounts pretty much every time the wind blows, so come on down to take a look and get a great deal! Have any other wind storm tips for fellow RVers? Leave your advice in the comments below!

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