First thing first, it’s not easy to tell how much wind an RV can withstand. There are many factors involved such as RV design and structure. However, you can have the RV customized to a certain standard capable of holding out to a strong wind.
Nevertheless, keep abreast of weather conditions before hitting the road. In that way, you can plan the journey and be safe.
Can High Winds Flip Over Your RV?
It takes a big storm to successfully flip over an RV. So, your rig is perfectly safe with just high winds. Although there are cases of flipped RVs due to high winds but it’s rare.
When you’re driving on a highway and the front of your RV is battered by high winds, it creates high pressure that turns to force – also referred to as wind load. RVs can withstand a certain amount of wind load. So, you can drive a straight line on a highway without worrying too much.
The wind becomes a problem if it blows sideways on a vehicle in motion which leads to trailer sway. Sideways winds can wreak havoc on a stationary RV as it ruins awnings, slide-out toppers, and tosses furniture – it can wreak havoc in your RV! Unfortunately, it’s hard to predict how high winds can affect a stationary RV.
Flipped RV due to high winds rarely happens. Still, high winds can flip over an RV depending on a few factors such as wind gust, wind direction, exposure, the vehicle’s shape, weight, and so on. But, there are also things that you can do to minimize the impact of wind on your RV such as pointing the front of the RV towards the wind direction.
The good news is… it is unlikely for an RV to be upset by a wind of less than 115 mph (if stationary). If you’re traveling and the wind is pretty strong, don’t be afraid to pull over and secure your RV. Practice safety at all times!
How Much Wind Does It Take To Flip an RV?
If you’re traveling on an RV on the highway with a wind storm of 30-50 mph, there is a big possibility your RV may flip over. It is strongly advised that you should pull over for safety until the wind calms. You need to understand your vehicle’s threshold and yours, as well.
Fortunately, RVs can withstand stronger wind intensity when it’s stationary than in motion. A stationary RV can withstand winds up to 100 mph without overturning. But, that depends on several factors such as weight distribution in the RV, how the vehicle is secured, and its surroundings.
In some cases, an RV may flip with winds in as little as 10 miles an hour breeze – at 20 mph the effect on the RV even increases. And winds that are close to 30 mph may not be safe for RVs traveling at a highway speed, especially when it has sustained wind gusts.
However, sustained winds are not common; it is usually associated with weather patterns. The best thing to do is wait it out inside your RV until it is safe to hit the road. Or re-route the trip to a slower highway or secondary road for safety!
So, how much wind does it take to flip an RV? “It depends and there is no specific answer.” There are factors at play such as RV design, weight distribution, surroundings, wind direction, and wind gustiness.
On the other hand, it is best to wait it out until the wind normalizes. Wait inside the RV and take your time. In that way, your RV is safe as well as YOU.
What Wind Speed is Dangerous for Travel Trailers?
Even the most experienced RVers think that driving the vehicle in windy conditions is unsafe and dangerous. It is dangerous to drive in the rain and snow – even more dangerous driving in windy conditions as you can’t see the wind blowing. So, what wind speed is dangerous for travel trailers?
Any wind that exceeds 50 mph is considered dangerous to your RV. It can flip over the vehicle and destroy the awnings and slide-out topper – a 60 mph wind speed is enough to overturn a moving RV. Another danger of winds when driving a motorhome when a travel trailer is being towed – there is a big possibility the vehicle may swerve uncontrollably which can lead to accidents.
The swerving of the towed travel trailer (due to crosswinds, side winds, or winds blowing either side of the vehicle) can add force to the wind which can tip over the vehicle. And that teaches people not to disregard wind speed when driving an RV. It does not only affect you, but also other drivers on the road.
However, straight on wind presents a different issue. Your RV will feel bumpy – also known as bucking. Nevertheless, it is safer than side winds, but RVers shouldn’t take it lightly as it also involves risks.
So, if you want to avoid the dangers of high wind speed to your travel, consider 50 mph as your threshold. Wind speed that is more than 50 mph is a threat to you and your RV.
You should also remember that if the wind is causing you to lose control of your RV, you should pull over and wait it out. Besides, it’s not worth it traveling if your safety is at risk. So, know the wind forecast before hitting the road to avoid windy conditions.
How Much Wind Can An RV Awning Withstand?
It feels good to hang out in an RV with awnings that protect you from a sudden rainstorm and intense sun. On the other hand, the wind is worrying at times as strong winds could damage your beautiful awning.
So….how much wind is too much for an RV awning?
Oops… it’s time to roll out your awnings if the wind outside exceeds 20 to 25 mph and it is consistent. Otherwise, the wind can destroy the awning fabric or it could fly away clearing off the RV. There are many types of RV awnings; wind speed that one can take may not have a similar effect to the other.
For example, basic awnings made of fabric need more care because it is susceptible to tearing apart. So, rolling out the awnings if the wind is close to reaching 20 to 25 mph is a good idea to avoid damage – even self-supported awnings cannot withstand strong winds.
There are three types of RV awnings and each one of them shows resistance to wind at a different level. The supported awning has the highest wind resistance as they’re fine for wind up to 20 mph. If you support it with a weather kit, it can withstand 26 to 32 mph. Check your RV awning rating to find out how much wind it can withstand.
The maximum wind speed an RV awning can withstand depends on the fabric’s width and breadth. Higher width and breadth equal to low wind rating, depending on the wind measure that you take to keep the awning in place.
On a side note, some veteran campers use 22 mph as the breaking point – 50 to 60% of RVers agreed. But, it’s a vague conclusion as there are different types of awnings out that can withstand up to 25 mph. Therefore, some digging is suggested to find out the real figure.
How To Secure an RV in High Winds?
High winds are one of the biggest problems RVers face while on the road. RVs can flip which destroys awnings, slideout toppers, and tosses furniture. However, there are ways to minimize the impact of high winds on your RV such as:
Stop driving. Pullover right away if you can’t control your RV – this will happen if the vehicle is being battered by high winds. Park the RV safely and point the nose of the vehicle towards the oncoming wind.
Securing the Anchor.
The best way to secure an RV in high winds is to use stabilizing jacks, wheel chocks, and tire cradles to secure the anchor of the vehicle. There are RVs with stabilizing jacks that can be used during high winds. If you don’t have one, there are a few anchoring options that are available in Amazon and other e-commerce stores.
Weize Camper RV Scissor Jack Stabilizier
Rolling out the awnings.
Secure the RV awnings by rolling them out to avoid damage due to high winds. Strong winds can damage the fabric and constant flapping can tear the bead that attaches it to your RV. When the bead comes off, you’ll need to replace the entire awning which impractical due to the cost and labor.
Checking the weather forecast.
Know the weather advisory before traveling. Check the local weather to secure your trip. If the weather is bad, postpone the trip or park the RV somewhere safe. Always perform a safety check before hitting the road, that way, you’ll be safe and will enjoy the journey. Here’s a few of our favorite tools to check on the wind status before your next trip:
Have a safe trip!