Storm Safety for Motorhomes and Campervans

UK FloodingYou would be forgiven for thinking that the weather is finally starting to improve as it’s been relatively mild over the past few days. However, experts are warning us to hold on to our brollies that little bit longer, as this weekend Artic air is set to sweep across the UK, bringing rain, wind and potentially even snow.

Whilst we all like to grumble about the weather (it’s practically a sport here in the UK), the truth is that driving your motorhome in a storm can be extremely dangerous. Just a few weeks ago Storm Katie ripped through a large part of the UK, destroying roads and buildings in its wake and even causing human injuries and fatalities.

Driving in high winds is difficult enough whilst in a car, however when you’re in your motorhome it becomes a lot more dangerous. As motorhomes are high-sided vehicles, you are more likely to feel the effect of the wind during a storm and therefore may struggle to navigate your vehicle. At the same time, you are also a risk to other road users, as buffeting winds can knock passing cyclists, bikers or even small cars.

If you are new to driving motorhomes or campervans you may want to double check the weather before you head off to make sure you won’t face any issues. More experienced drivers will have a better idea of what their motorhomes can handle and what to do should driving conditions worsen.

However, at the same time you can’t always predict when a storm is going to hit, especially as weather can be extremely localised here in the UK. If you do find yourself driving your motorhome through a storm, the number one thing you need to keep in mind is to reduce your speed as much as possible as long as it’s safe. For example, if you are on a motorway make sure you are in the left lane and drop your speed to 50mph – don’t go too slow as this can actually cause accidents.

It’s also important to protect both yourself and your motorhome even when you are parked up, as high winds and flooding can occur quickly in flat areas such as campsites and fields. If you have an awning it’s imperative that you take it down or wind it in as soon as you start to notice wind speeds picking up, as if you leave it too late at the very least this task will become extremely difficult to do and in the worst case scenario your awning could become damaged or damage your motorhome.

Naturally, there are ways that you can protect your motorhome or campervan against high winds, such as installing wind down stabilisers that will help minimise vehicle movement whilst parked up. Some motorhome owners also suggest parking with your motorhome facing the wind if possible to reduce wind resistance and the possibility of damage to the sides of your vehicle.

If you are in a campsite and you are concerned about flooding, always check the Environment Agency’s website for information and talk to the site owners about any emergency procedures that you need to know about just in case. Motorhome owners are also advised to keep a “flood kit” in their vehicles at all times which includes items such as torches, first aid equipment and any medication required.

Thinking about worst case scenarios isn’t something most people like to do when it comes to planning their motorhome holidays, but with the weather still throwing us curveballs even this late into spring it’s important that motorhome owners remain vigilant. Remember, if your motorhome is damaged by wind or flooding you need to contact your insurance provider straight away to discuss next steps and how to avoid any further damages.

Photo by Bob Bowyer / CC BY-SA 2.0