A simple fact of traveling in an RV or living in one is that the weather can impact your life in negative ways. You need to be prepared for this and ready to act when needed.
You should be monitoring the weather no matter how good it is. Simply by paying attention to the weather reports in your area and any area you plan to travel to, you’ll be able to avoid most issues. Weather is tracked meticulously. While you can be caught off guard sometimes, usually, you should have no issues about avoiding weather.
That being said, let’s take a look at ways to protect your RV and yourself from bad storms or hurricanes.
If Possible, Evacuate Whenever Needed or Recommended
The best way to protect your RV and yourself from bad storms or hurricanes is to not get caught in them in the first place. As I said above, you should be monitoring the weather. Do so daily. It takes a minute or two with modern technology and can keep you from experiencing issues when living or traveling in an RV.
If there is instruction to evacuate an area, do so. I’d honestly say to monitor the weather and evacuate an area even if you think a storm is going to be really tough and there’s no official evacuation recommendations. As long as their’s no official evacuation issued, you can use your own judgement, but I’d rather be safe than sorry.
Before going to a specific area, plan a few evacuation routes you can take in case the weather turns bad. Being prepared for an evacuation is never a bad thing.
Store Your RV in a Secure Facility
If you find yourself unable to evacuate and plan to stay in the area where the storm is, then depending on the projected severity of the storm, it’s a good idea to store your RV in a secure facility.
This means you’ll need to find other lodging, but it’s often better to store your RV for the duration of the storm and then go back to enjoying your RV life after the storm passes than it is to try to tough the storm out in your RV.
If you find yourself stuck in an area that will experience a bad storm, then look around at storage facilities and RV service centers in that area. You should be able to find a place that can help keep your RV safe while you wait things out.
Get to the High Ground
Did you strike out on finding a good place to store your RV? Get it to high ground. I do not recommend staying in an RV during a bad storm or hurricane. You should get to better shelter.
With that said, you can still make sure your RV is as ready as possible for the storm, and that means moving it to an adventagous spot. The last thing you want is for your RV to be in an area that floods. Flooding will be disasterous for your RV, so you need to find high ground and park your rig there.
Don’t just find a hill and park it at the top. Look at the geography. Find a place that has a higher sea level than other places in the area. This will usually mean getting away from rivers, lakes and other bodies of water. Find a good place that’s high up to park and then go find a good spot for you and your family to wait out the storm.
Prep Your RV for the Storm
Before you actually leave your RV somewhere and wait out the storm, I suggest taking some time to prep your RV. Don’t just park it and leave it without at least trying to get things ready.
Close All Windows and Vents
During serious storms, all sorts of things are blowing through the air. Your RV is vulnerable. One of the smart things you can do is close all windows and vents. This will keep water and debris out. If things get bad enough your RV could be damaged and leak, but closing vents and windows will help.
You can also think about adding a cover over specific parts of the RV or the entire RV. However, often you’ll find that the cover is just ripped off or damaged.
Empty Your Tanks
Before leaving your RV, consider emptying the holding tanks of water. Your black and gray water tanks have some pretty gross stuff in them and the last thing you want is that stuff to leak out during a storm. You’re probably already going to have to do some cleanup, so make sure you get the gross stuff out of your tanks before the storm hits.
Secure Everything in Your RV
There’s bound to be some items loose inside your RV. During a storm things can be shifted about or fall out of cupboards and cabinets. Secure everything you can in a safe area, and think about finding a way to make sure cupboard and cabinet doors stay closed. Bungee cords, ratcheting straps, and other temporary solutions should work well for this.
Seek Suitable Shelter for You and Your Family
Don’t try to wait out the storm in your RV. If you have no other choice, get to an area of the RV with no windows and hunker down. Otherwise, you need to get to shelter that is more substantial. This might mean getting a hotel room for a night or it might mean taking advantage of a local community center that is designed to be a storm shelter.
Pay attention to the news and you should know where to go. If you’re struggling to find a good place to go, the Red Cross has a list of disaster shelters you can look up. If there are no shelters listed close by, you should be able to Google “emergency storm shelters near me” and find something.
Have Emergency Supplies Handy
No matter what you do, you need to have emergency supplies handy. This means having a good first aid kit, but it also means having a go-bag of sorts that you can quickly grab and then head out. Here’s what should be in that:
- First aid kit
- Some drinking water (get a good waterbottle)
- Important paperwork (ID, passport, other legal papers)
- Weather radio
- List of emergency contacts
- Emergency blanket
- Cash and Bank Cards
- Some kind of emergency food (powerbars, MREs, etc.)
These things will help ensure you have what you need in an emergency situation. They can help keep you safe no matter what you choose to do with your RV. They’re your last line of protection and should be the first thing you prepare when making storm and disaster preparations.
Do you have any tips to add? Leave a comment below!
In the go-bag: a roll of toilet paper per person, minimum.
This is good info. I really appreciate your research. Thank you so much for sharing such helpful tips.
Change of clothes
You didn’t say anything about pulling in the slides. Heavy wind and rain will rip slide toppers off and push water be in thru top seals. Also, just a thought, motorhome suspension is designed to handle twisting, bumping, etc. The leveling Jack’s are not designed for that type of stress.
It could be argued that filling your tanks could be a good thing in a high wind situation. The extra weight on the bottom of the RV could keep it planted in place rather than blowing over. Deploying all the landing or stabilizer jacks would be appropriate also.
Excellent point Jim. The weight may be helpful. It could be smart to fill your fresh water tank but empty your black and gray water tanks.