Bad weather is never part of the plan when it comes to RVing, but like everything in life, it can't always be all sunshine and rainbows. RV camping in a storm can be disturbing, whether it is from wind, snow, rain, or thunderstorms. Our instinct for survival makes us alert and concerned. We want the safest shelter possible. It’s normal to be concerned about those funnel clouds of water, dust, or debris, or those large drops of ice we call hail.
Dangerous weather can cause tremendous damage and destruction to RVs. Here are a few steps and precautions you can take to be as prepared as possible.
KNOW YOUR CAMPING LOCATION WEATHER
Different areas of the country are prone to different types of storms and harsh weather. Knowing what you may encounter will help you prepare for what you need to do. Does your location encounter lots of bad crosswinds? Or tornados? Maybe hurricanes on the coasts? Maybe you are in a desert area with flash floods and dust storms. You can’t know how to plan if you don’t know what you will be dealing with.
Check the weather every so often. Stay tuned to the local radio for updates or reports. Subscribe to weather reports through Google, and if you have Echo, have Echo give you weather-critical reports and updates. If you planned a trip through RV LIFE Trip Wizard make sure to turn on pre departure emails and RV LIFE Trip Wizard will automatically send basic weather info for your next destination on traveling days.
Image credit: Camping World Blog
STORM PRECAUTIONS TO TAKE WHEN RV CAMPING IN A STORM
There are a few things we can do before bad camping weather hits. These things may help us feel a little safer knowing we are doing the best things possible for our safety and the safety of our rigs, such as:
- Unplug items in your RV that are of value, like computers and phones.
- Unhook your outside power (do NOT do this during the storm or directly before a storm).
- If you need to, convert to using your generator for battery power and not electricity.
- If you have time, relocate your rig to higher or lower ground. First check on the storm and local weather warning tips (again, do not do this during or directly before a storm).
- Make sure you have necessary backup like filled tanks, plenty of fuel, water, and food.
- Secure outside items like awnings, chairs, mats, etc. Make sure you don’t have anything laying around that can become a projectile in the wind.
- Lock your doors. We recommend upgrading your locks to a keyless entry system so that if you are away from your RV when a storm hits, you can give someone your code to get inside you rig and grab any valuables before evacuating.
KNOW YOUR DANGEROUS WEATHER ESCAPE OPTIONS
It doesn’t do you any good to know everything that can occur with the weather in your area if you don’t know what to do when it gets there! Know the evacuation routes and alternate routes in case bad camping weather gets serious.
Find out how the weather notifications are distributed in your area and where the recommended shelters are located. DO NOT MOVE YOUR RV! Unless you have days’ notice and can move to a new location, do not try to race ahead of a storm. Even if you think you can brave heavy rain, you cannot outrace strong winds, flying debris, slick roads, other poor drivers in bad weather, and floods. Your life should not be traded for the cost of your RV. Leave it and get to safety.
Image credit: RV Life
WHAT TO DO AFTER RV CAMPING IN A STORM
If you have RV damage or are stuck at the RV park after a storm, you need to know your insurance policy. Know who you need to contact and what are your fallback options. Do you have a family you can stay with? Where do you take your RV for repairs?
Make a mental list of the steps you need to go through in case of an emergency. That way if you are stuck in the middle of a weather disaster while RV camping, you are not trying to figure it all out on top of loss, injury, or damage.
BE REALISTIC ABOUT BAD CAMPING WEATHER
Mother Nature does her thing, and we have no control if we end up RV camping in a storm. We should realize that no matter how much we prepare or no matter how well we plan, we still can't predict the weather. Don’t put more pressure on yourself on top of dealing with a storm. Have a thought-out plan and follow the steps you already have in place. You will feel safe and calm knowing you tried your best to prepare.
Next time a storm is upon you, don’t feel silly for being concerned or scared. Follow these practical steps so you have peace of mind on your next camping trip – hopefully without the storms!