New Mexico

Windy days in my RV

After a day of rain, the sun is shining once again and the wind is blowing. I have been thinking about the wind. A gentle breeze is delightful. A 20-40 mph gust is another story, especially when I am driving a high clearance vehicle. There was one moment last summer as I was driving toward Little Rock when a gust crossed the highway ahead of a thunderstorm. It was strong and every driver slowed down. Soon the others were back up to speed but I crept along in the slow lane until I was sure I was OK.

santa ana winds

Wind in the Palms

Wind in the Palms

It is not unusual when the Santa Ana winds blow in southern California that the freeways east of San Diego are closed to high clearance vehicles. I once found myself stuck in Julian (4000 ft) with a tour group that was planning to see the desert wildflowers. The wind was blowing so strong that even my driver was nervous. We could not get off the hill and spent a pleasant day in this wonderful town in the hills. my guests were not totally happy yet they understood and went off to explore. The Santa Ana winds can gust up to 70 mph.

I know that the mid-westerners in this group understand windy conditions with tornadoes. I know that I planned alternate routes when I traveled last summer. I decided before I left that I was not going anywhere near bad weather. The problem with tornadoes is that they don’t always announce themselves. I made sure to keep track of the weather. Fortunately I did not have to change my plans.

New Mexico

New Mexico

What does one do when you are driving a high clearance vehicle like my Roadtrek SS Agile when the winds pick up? I have decided there are a few options for me.

1.  If the wind is super strong and I am camping, I am staying put. There is no where that is so important for me to get to, that I cannot wait a day.

2.  If I am driving and I find I am “white knuckling it”, it might be time to pull over and stop, of course, when it is  convenient and safe to do so. I have found some great little towns and coffee houses using this technique.

3.  Slow down. I found that when the winds were blowing if I slowed down it was easier to drive and heck I am on holiday so, what’s the hurry?

4.  Keep an eye to the horizon. If it looks like “weather” turn on the radio and catch the latest news.

5.  When camping I try to find a place that has a natural windbreak (trees, rocks).

Wiind Break

Wind Break

 I admit, I am someone who loves the wind. I have done some foolish things in wind when I was younger (we won’t go into that here). I respect nature and now that I drive my RT, I pay more attention to keeping myself and my vehicle safe and continue to enjoy the small RV lifestyle.

What do you do when the wind blows?

 


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2 comments

  1. J Hamm

    Slowing down always helps but can be a problem when the car drivers behind get impatient and make dangerous moves. I slow down yes but then I get off the interstate or high speed road. There is almost always a parallel road that is slower and usually has more wind breaks . That usually cures the problem but if it is extreme there are more and safer places to pull over.

    Reply
  2. Gary

    Here in Wyoming they have electronic signs with advisories and when they say HIGH WIND—stay put! Last year a semi was blown over—WHILE PARKED. Not unusual for trailers and semis that do not heed these warning to blow over. Spring and fall are the worst, but any wind over 30 mph makes for a white-knuckle drive. Even if you are doing everything right—when that trailer or semi blows over you may be next to it!

    Reply

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