When you live in an RV, some people believe that you can simply drive away from bad weather. Is this, however, correct? Yes, no, and it depends on the situation.
Make a note of the weather forecast before you leave.
You should check the weather forecast for the next week or two before you even set out on your journey to your final destination. While things may appear to be going well for the time being, things could take a bad turn in the near future. If you are going to a location where there will be no cell service, make a note of it on your calendar. Furthermore, if the weather forecast indicates that it will be stormy, you may want to reconsider your plans.
Understand Your Geographical Location
There is a common misconception among the public that states such as Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, and Nevada are completely barren deserts; however, this is not the case. In fact, pine forests cover at least half of the state of Arizona, which receives a significant amount of snow during the winter months. The high desert of Nevada, as well as the spectacular red rocks of Utah, receive snow during the winter months. The northern and higher elevations of all of these states can get extremely cold in the winter.
Just because a location is classified as desert doesn’t rule out the possibility of it becoming cold. During the winter months, even the snowbird haven of Quartzsite, Arizona, experiences temperatures that drop below freezing at night. In fact, temperatures in the desert can drop by 20-30 degrees Fahrenheit over the course of a single night, all year long.
Understand the Seasons
If you want to avoid hurricanes along the Gulf Coast, you should avoid the area during hurricane season, which is typically between August and October. Hurricane activity in the area peaks during the months of September and October.
Snowbird season, which runs from October to April, is a good reason for people to avoid camping in Arizona during the summer months. Driving up into the high mountains during the winter can also be dangerous due to heavy snowfall and icy roads, so be extra cautious when doing so.
If you want to stay safe from tornadoes in the Mid-West during the spring, be aware that the climate is changing, increasing the likelihood that cool air will collide with warmer air, resulting in thunderstorms, which can then spawn tornadoes. When it comes to tornadoes, late summer and early autumn are prime times.
While it is certainly possible to travel to these areas during these times, you should be aware of the increased risks associated with severe weather.
Can You Get Away From Bad Weather Using Your Car?
Maybe, but most likely not unless you plan on doing a lot of driving yourself. You must weigh the costs of time and gas against the possibility of a few days of inclement weather before making your decision. The cost of driving away may be reasonable for a van, but it is unlikely to be so for a full-sized tractor-trailer.
The reality is that storms frequently blanket entire regions, and you may have to travel 500 miles or more to get away from them. It is preferable to be prepared to sit out a storm, and even better, to check the weather forecast before you leave. If you know the weather is going to be bad, make a different strategy.
Parking in Preparation for the Weather
To avoid rocking your rig when dealing with strong winds, try to point the nose of your rig into the wind; the streamlined design should help to keep the rig from rocking. However, if it appears that extremely high winds are headed your way, moving may be a wise decision, provided that you can do so before the storm hits. Driving a motorhome, 5th wheel, or trailer in high winds is not a good idea at any time of year.
If there is a chance of rain, make sure to park on higher ground; in the desert, you want to avoid parking in a dry wash because the water will evaporate. Dry washes can appear to be dirt roads at first glance, but closer inspection will reveal that it is in fact a wash. Consider that it is probably more sunken down than a dirt road would be, and that it is also sandier than a dirt road.
Finally, avoid becoming an internet meme by parking your rig on a beach during low tide, as this will make you look bad. High tide will eventually arrive, and you will be washed away into the ocean.
Prepare for inclement weather.
Check the extended weather forecast for your destination before you set out on your journey. To get an idea of average temperatures for each month, you can Google “weather averages” for your area to see what comes up in search results. While living in an RV is convenient, it is not as weather-resistant as living in a house. Extended freezes can cause your tanks and water lines to freeze, and high winds can be extremely hazardous to your health. If it appears to be unsafe, do not enter. Aside from that, simply prepare yourself for a few days of bad weather.