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Driving In High Wind

weather wind driving saftey

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#1 steve.anita



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Posted 04 October 2013 - 03:55 PM

We are in Nevada and there are wind advisories. Some days they have red flag warnings and we know we cannot travel during a red flag warning. Other days there are wind advisories and we don't know when it is  unsafe to drive our motorhome. We have a 40 foot allegro bus.


Is there a rule of thumb, when the wind is above so many miles per hour, you should not go?

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#2 DickandLois


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Posted 04 October 2013 - 04:27 PM

Hi Steve,


Welcome to FMCA.


There are no real set rules. The main item is knowing your coach and how it handles is different conditions. 

Basically, every coach will handle differently depending on how one loads them, the condition and type of tires and wind direction. Cross winds are the pits, while wind coming head on kills MPG, but are drivable. Wind from behind adds to MPG.


When the red flags are out, just stay put. I have been to close to a wall cloud once or twice and found cover. Also been inside the coach when it listed a little more them we would like.


Always parked the the awning side down wind. Strong winds can and will peel then off the coach under the right conditions.

In over 175,000  miles it has only happen 3 or 4 time where we felt, what I would call very nerves conditions.


You need to adjust your speed in most cases, when it comes to snow, sleet and ice; one needs to get off the road !!!!

The surface area of the coach, the total lack of traction and very little wind can push the coach off the road !!!!! So just find a place to pull off, keep the slides in and weather out the storm.


In some cases you maybe the only coffee shop and canteen for miles. One can see the best and the worst in people.

Just go with the flow and enjoy the fact that you have a house on wheels.



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#3 wolfe10


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Posted 04 October 2013 - 07:40 PM

Yup, we had a couple of days early this summer where we didn't drive due to heavy winds, and two with 40 MPH headwinds where we just resigned to stay in 5th gear and set the cruise at 45 MPH and do a short day's drive.


Safety, comfort and urgency of schedule all factor in (in that order).


But, weather affected our schedule FAR more when we sailed.  We would sometimes wait 10 days for a weather window before taking off on long off shore voyages.

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#4 remeola



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Posted 04 October 2013 - 09:50 PM

If you find yourself in windy conditions that cause you to continually make steering corrections, try opening as many side window as you can; it makes a big difference to reduce the side surface area that the wind has to act upon.


I regularly use this method and it much easier to drive in heavy side or cross winds.

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Posted 04 October 2013 - 10:26 PM

I want to start with one correction.  A red flag warning is a fire warning, not a wind warning.  A red flag warning is sometimes but not always associated with high wind speeds.  Low humidity, high temperatures, plentiful dry plant materials and wind combine to create dangerous fire conditions but the wind factor may be only 15 or 20 mile per hour winds and the other factors will still be enough to cause the weather bureau to issue a red flag warning.


There are a number of factors to consider when making the decision to drive or not to drive in windy conditions.  Several are mentioned above.  Driving in terrain with little resistance to the wind, open desert, high mountain roads, open prairie all will do little to slow the wind.  A headwind or tailwind are easier to drive in than crosswinds.  All other conditions being equal, driving in heavy traffic conditions can be more dangerous than in light traffic conditions.  The nature of your coach is another factor.  Some coaches are heavier than others, some steer better than others.  I have traveled in groups with other coaches in windy conditions.  Generally, strong winds are not a concern to me while others do not wish to continue.  Our coach has awnings which are secured under metal covers and cases.  I've never had an awning problem with our current coach.  I've had to stop for members of our group who have had to reel in and tie up awnings in windy conditions.


All these factors should be considered as should you own personal comfort with driving in windy conditions.  If it is windy, plan a short day, have a fall-back plan if you feel you need to quit short of your goal for the day.  Sometimes just a few hours during mid-day are a problem and you can just stop for lunch and get a nap until the wind abates.  Other times you may want to just stay put where you are and let the winds blow.


Besides driving in windy conditions there are other factors to be considered when it is windy.  I pulled into a Flying J in New Mexico and had to corral several trash cans before they hit the coach.  We had a garden plant display cart blown into the side of our coach one windy night at Wal-Mart in Oklahoma.  There I was in the middle of the night putting their cart in an area it couldn't move!  Be aware of trees, branches swing further in the wind and if they clear the coach when it is calm, they may start thrashing the side of the coach when the wind picks up.  Of course, dead or diseased trees may be blown completely over in a strong wind. 

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Tom and Louise Butler
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Roadmaster Sterling Tow Bar, Brakemaster, GMC Acadia, BikeE Recumbent Bicycles

After 9 1/2 years full time in our motor home and being Winter Texans we are now living at Sandpipers Resort in Edinburg, Texas. Now we are Summer Chickens!

"The tipi is much better to live in; always clean and warm in winter, cool in summer, easy to move... If the Great Spirit wanted men to live in one place he would have made the world stand still." -- Flying Hawk, South Dakota Oglala Sioux

#6 washbob



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Posted 05 October 2013 - 02:12 PM

I lost my main awning two years ago while driving through Wyoming.   Wind gust were around 60 mph, the motorhome handled fine, but a sudden side gust caught the awning just right.   After that I made sure I installed an awning lock on the new one, no problems since.   For the most part, I do not drive in windy conditions, but sometimes you have no choice.

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Posted 06 October 2013 - 10:29 AM

Like Brett, we are long time sailors, both open water and inland, and apply some sailing parameters to MHing.  If, when boating, we'd check the weather and say, "maybe we shouldn't go."  The decision was made...we didn't go.  We apply that same logic to the MH.  And, to use an aviation analogy...better to be on the ground wishing you were in the air, than in the air wishing you were on the ground. :D

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#8 desertdeals690


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Posted 06 October 2013 - 12:16 PM

When its too windy I just wait till it calms down.  Risk of damage is not worth taking a chance.

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#9 ahepburn51


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Posted 06 October 2013 - 09:25 PM

Yup - we were returning to California from Yuma this past April and hit a wind storm. Visibility at times was about 1/4 mile because of the dust. Driving wasn't too bad while we were heading west, but once we turned north the wind was pretty much broadside and was trying to unfurl our slide topper on the driver's side so we pulled in to the first campground we saw and hunkered down to ride it out. When we got back on the road the next morning, maybe 20 miles up the road we came upon a large toy hauler fifth wheel on its side on the side of the road with the pickup truck that was towing it at right angles to the trailer, still on its wheels. Somebody found out the hard way that the wind usually wins when it really wants to...

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#10 tomkathymanoff



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Posted 04 November 2013 - 03:35 PM

We were going south down highway 35 south of Moore OK. About a hour before they were hit by the Tornado. To say the least being from CA we were terrified. Rain,hail 60 mph wind. We pulled off the highway in the best area we could find and waited it out.

When it calmed down we headed on our way.


Thank heaven's the wind was pushing us from behind and not sideways. I must admit I don't want to go through that ever again.


Kathy Manoff

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#11 ticat900


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Posted 04 November 2013 - 10:55 PM


We are in Nevada and there are wind advisories. Some days they have red flag warnings and we know we cannot travel during a red flag warning. Other days there are wind advisories and we don't know when it is  unsafe to drive our motorhome. We have a 40 foot allegro bus.


Is there a rule of thumb, when the wind is above so many miles per hour, you should not go?



What year and does it have IFS?? Mines a 2008 and has IFS and high winds effect it very little. I drove through severe winds from Reno to Indio a week ago and it handled it very well. No death grips on the steering wheel. I had a 2002 Bus and it was SFA front suspension and it was terrible in high wind.

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