Even if you’ve been keeping an eagle eye on the weather along your travel route, you and your RV can still end up stuck in the middle of weather-related chaos. Check out some RV tips for the safest way to handle some of the most severe weather emergencies that Mother Nature has been known to send our way.
Weather Emergency RV Tips
Before you head out on any trip, make sure your RV is in prime working order. Small issues that may go unnoticed or ignored in good weather can turn into big problems in severe weather. Also, make sure you have enough fuel and other fluids to keep your RV running for the long haul.
Your next step is to know what to do during a specific emergency situation. These RV tips can help.
- Tornadoes: Have a plan ahead of time where you will go if weather becomes inclement. The Weather Channel recommends seeking shelter as rapidly as possible, with an ideal option being a nearby building with a basement. Campgrounds and parks in tornado-prone areas often have storm shelters on-site for this exact reason, be sure to talk to your host or ranger about where they’re located. If no shelter is available, the NOAA and National Weather service suggest finding an area lower than road level and covering your head with your hands or a blanket.
- Heavy Rains and Floods: Heavy rains can severely limit driving visibility as well as cause slippery conditions or impair your brakes. Flood waters can also sweep your RV completely off the road. If possible, leave an area where heavy rains or flooding conditions are predicted before the severe weather begins. If flood waters catch you off guard, The Weather Channel warns never to drive through water unless you know how deep it is. If your vehicle stalls, evacuate your RV and head to high ground or find a dry, safe place in an indoor location. Don’t stay in your RV during a flood. Additionally, and this should go without saying, don’t hang around outside either. Even six inches of flood water can sweep you off your feet.
- Lightning: RVs with metal or aluminum roofs are safe havens during lightning. If a metal or aluminum vehicle is hit by lightning, The Weather Channel notes the electricity goes around the vehicle rather than inside. If your RV is made of wood or fiberglass with no aluminum framework, it’s best to leave your vehicle for a safer place. Move your RV away from trees or heavy branches that could fall if struck.
- Heavy Snow: Roads covered with snow and ice can be extremely dangerous. If you must drive, use your low beams, slow down gently when needed, and keep snow chains on board in case your vehicle gets stuck. The RVing Guide also notes to make sure you’re accustomed to how a rear-wheel drive responds to slippery conditions.
Have a Weather Emergency Plan
One of the most important things you can do, no matter what the weather, is to be fully aware of your surroundings and location. That way you can provide an address or landmarks if you do need to call for help. Being aware of the terrain can also help you pinpoint the highest ground during a flood as well as nearby shelters or locations where you and your family can find safety.
Additional tips from RV 101 include:
- Get a weather radio receiver and use it
- Monitor the weather, ensuring you know the signs of incoming bad weather
- Make a note of the nearest shelter when you park your RV for the night
- Brief your family and traveling companions on what to do if bad weather hits
- Prepare an emergency kit that contains things like flashlights, batteries, first-aid kit, bottled water, pet supplies, rain ponchos and other essential emergency items
How to Protect Yourself and Your RV
While you can’t control the weather, you can protect yourself, your family and your RV from potentially dangerous situations with an easy solution. Good Sam Roadside Assistance coverage extends to all of your vehicles and your family members. Compare Good Sam Roadside Assistance plans today and sign up for peace of mind.
Disclaimer: Motor club benefits and services provided by Americas Road & Travel Club, Inc. for Members residing in Alaska, Alabama, Utah and Virginia; and by Affinity Road & Travel Club, LLC for Members residing in all other States. Note: All program benefits and services are subject to limitations set forth in the current Member Benefit Brochures and will be sent to you upon approval of your membership.