The open road and a travel trailer represent freedom, but strong winds can threaten this freedom. To ensure safety, learn how to secure your trailer with these ten tips.
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1. Drive Into the Wind
Driving into the wind might sound counterintuitive, but it’s a proven strategy for maintaining stability in windy conditions. When guests are coming from the side, they can exert considerable force on the broadsides of your trailer.
However, when you drive into the wind, it hits the narrowest part of your vehicle, reducing the surface area exposed to the wind’s force and improving your trailer’s stability.
2. Weigh Down the Rear of Your RV
Another effective strategy in combating high winds is to add weight to the rear of your trailer. This extra mass can help lower the vehicle’s center of gravity, making it more resistant to tipping or swaying due to strong gusts.
You can achieve this by strategically loading your possessions towards the back or using dedicated trailer ballast.
3. Slow Down
When faced with windy conditions, reducing your speed is one of the simplest yet most effective precautions you can take.
Lower speeds provide you with more control over your trailer and increase the time you have to react to sudden gusts or other road hazards. Remember, it’s always better to arrive late than not at all.
4. Watch for Wind Spikes
Sudden spikes or gusts of wind can be particularly dangerous when towing a travel trailer. Pay close attention to weather forecasts and wind warnings.
If you’re already on the road, watch for signs of potential wind gusts such as blowing debris, swaying trees, or waves on a nearby body of water. Stay alert and be prepared to react accordingly.
5. Constantly Adjust
The wind is unpredictable and constantly changes direction and strength. This variability requires you to make continuous steering adjustments to maintain control over your travel trailer.
Keep both hands firmly on the wheel, relax your grip slightly, and try to anticipate the wind’s effects on your vehicle to make smoother corrections.
6. Don’t Overcorrect
While it’s important to adjust your steering in response to wind, overcorrection can lead to loss of control. When a gust hits, your initial instinct might be to jerk the wheel in the opposite direction.
Resist this urge. Instead, make gradual, controlled adjustments and avoid sudden braking, which can destabilize your trailer.
7. Look for an Exit
If the wind becomes too intense, don’t hesitate to find a safe place to pull over and wait it out.
Look for sturdy structures or natural barriers like hills that can provide some protection from the wind. Always prioritize safety over sticking to your schedule.
8. Park in a Safe Place
When you’re stopping for the night or setting up camp, choose a sheltered location if possible. Parking next to larger structures, trees, or downwind of a hill can help shield your trailer from the brunt of the wind.
However, be cautious about parking under trees as high winds can cause branches to fall.
9. Ensure Your Slideouts are Secure
If you’re expecting severe winds, consider retracting them to reduce the surface area exposed to the wind. Remember to secure any loose items inside before doing so.
How do you anchor a travel trailer in high winds?
The straps wrap around your trailer while the anchors are driven into the ground, providing additional resistance against the wind.
However, always check with your trailer manufacturer’s guidelines before implementing any anchoring system.
How high of wind can a travel trailer withstand?
The wind resistance of a travel trailer can vary greatly depending on its design, weight, and size. Generally, most trailers can withstand winds up to 50-60 mph when parked.
However, driving in winds above 30 mph can become risky. Always consult your owner’s manual and heed weather warnings for the safest course of action.
What wind speed will flip a travel trailer?
High winds can indeed flip RVs and travel trailers. However, this usually requires wind speeds over 70 mph, typically seen in severe storms or tornadoes.
Such incidents are rare, and taking appropriate precautions as outlined in this post can vastly decrease the risk.
How windy is too windy for a travel trailer?
As a rule of thumb, if you’re having trouble maintaining control over your vehicle or the wind is causing your trailer to sway excessively, it’s too windy.
In such conditions, the safest decision is often to pull over and wait until the wind subsides. Remember, no destination is worth risking your safety.