Living in an RV has some advantages and disadvantages when it comes to weather. On the plus side, for weather events with plenty of warning, like hurricanes, we can just leave. We pack up everything we own to move all the time. Doing this for a hurricane is no big deal at all.
On the other hand, for weather events with little warning, like a tornado, running from it isn't an option. And an RV provides little to no protection. So, you need to have a plan! We're going to get into that as well as some other tips.
Smartphone weather apps are great and the weather predicting and monitoring in these apps has gotten really good! The first tip in this area is to make sure your phone knows your location. We've found that moving every week or two seems to confuse some apps, making them think we're in an old location. Weather alerts for our last location are no good! So, make sure your app of choice updates when you move. We both like “The Weather Channel” app and pay for the premium version. It has every tool we need.
We are also testing out a new Tornado Alert Device, and it seems pretty interesting. So far, it's detected moderate storms and lightning accurately. We will update right here as we get more info.
Moderate Weather 🌨
Wind and rain are not an RV's friend. We keep an eye on forecasts for both and prepare our RV accordingly.
For heavy rain or wind, we always pull in our awnings. If the forecast is for rain or wind and we're leaving, we pull in our awnings. In fact, we don't leave any awnings out unattended with the exception of our main awning which we bungee down using a drop shade. When tethered down, we only bing our main awning in for winds over 14mph, or if they start moving around too much from the direction of the wind.
Another tip for awnings if you're going to leave them our in light rain, is to angle them to allow the water to run off. Most awnings have an adjustment on each side of the awning. Just set these a notch or two apart to make it slant. If water pools on the awning, it WILL break.
If the rain and wind are really bad, we also close our weatherproof patio/ramp.
If the wind is going to be crazy high (40+ or so), we might also pull in the slides. A couple of years ago in New Mexico, we had wind create a tear in our slide toppers.
Severe Weather 🌪
With today's forecasting technology, severe weather is rarely a complete surprise. But, you need to pay attention and be proactive in checking your forecast. You also need to be aware of the time of year and your general location. Spring in Kansas has very different weather than Fall in Maine.
Regardless of the location or time of year, we always find the local storm shelter for any new camping spot. This is usually a bath house, club house, or office.
The bottom line is, know the area and where to run for shelter in an emergency.
Also, be prepared to take shelter! More than, just knowing where to run, know what you want to take and have that standing by! Whenever the forecast predicts severe storms, we pack “go” bags. We have some clothing, basic toiletries, important documents, our expensive camera gear. Anything you don't want to lose forever, have it packed and ready to go!
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- Midland WR120, NOAA Emergency Weather Alert Radio (in RV) – amzn.to/3wIYdE6…
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