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10 Best Tips for Driving an RV in Strong Winds

I've had my share of experience driving an RV in strong winds and have learned a thing or two (or 10). I'm going to share those tips with you now so you don't blow away later.

I have been stuck in very windy conditions, and it was more of a challenge than I expected. I have never really worried about the weather, but this particular windstorm was like playing tug of war with mother nature. 

Not only was it tiring driving that way, but Jennifer was not comfortable relieving me as the driver. That made it all the more taxing! 

The constant swerving and fighting to keep my rig in the lane was both physically and mentally challenging. 

I learned a lot from that drive and sought to learn more after. So, instead of having to learn firsthand yourself, here are some helpful tips…

When Is It Too Windy to Drive an RV?

Recently, there was a great discussion in our RV Lifestyle Facebook Group about this exact question. So, when should you pull your RV over in high winds?

Generally speaking, you should avoid driving an RV in strong winds of 45 mph or more. Once winds hit around 60 mph, the wind can topple large vehicles. 

RVs have a large surface area, and winds like that can tip over your vehicle. At the very least, winds at that speed can push you like waves crashing into a toddler.

The winds from my tug-of-war experience were around that 50-mark and it wasn’t for the faint of heart. Or should I say the more sensible?  

If you’re not comfortable driving in lower wind speeds like 30-40 mph winds, pull on over in a safe place. Only drive in what feels safe to you… and your traveling partner. You don’t want to put them through undue anxiety either.

10 Tips for Driving an RV in Strong Winds

drive weather app Driving an RV in Strong Winds
We suggest using this app for current weather conditions — Drive Weather app.

The following are excellent tips for staying safe when driving an RV in strong winds. 

1. Check the Weather Before Driving (& Listen to It)

The day I drove in that windstorm, I knew it was coming. Or rather, I knew the weatherman thought it was coming. I figured he was being exaggeratory and wasn’t going to let it interfere with my plans.

In all honesty, that mindset has worked for me in the past. But in this case, the weatherman was right. I shouldn’t have dismissed his forecast so easily and carefully considered the level of wind threat.

I should've seriously considered postponing our travels or redirecting. If you can't (or won't) postpone your travel date, you can try and rearrange your route to best fit the weather conditions. 

We suggest using this app for current weather conditions — Drive Weather app.

2. Drive Into the Wind

Driving an RV in Strong Winds
Driving an RV in Strong Winds – check your direction.

If there are wind warnings, try to find out which direction the wind is blowing. If you can travel against it, do so. 

This obviously only works if you don’t have a set direction you need to go. But you can still consider some flexibility. 

For instance, let’s say your destination is NW and the wind is blowing E. If you were planning on a route that took you North first, see if there’s another route where you can head west first instead.

This is helpful because the wind, much like swimming against a current, will not get pushed along with it. It will split and pass on the sides of the vehicle instead of pushing you side to side.

Just know, driving an RV in strong winds is gonna kill your fuel economy. (Speaking of which, here are tips on How to Get Better Gas Mileage in Your RV)

3. Weigh Down the Rear of Your RV

Another tip for safer traveling in high wind situations is to weigh down your RV. Put more weight toward the rear of the vehicle, ideally over the rear wheelbase as much as possible. 

Weighing it down will help ease bouncing and swaying by giving your rig a heavier, lower center of gravity.

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10 Best Tips for Driving an RV in Strong Winds 1
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4. Slow Down

One of the best decisions you can make when driving in the wind is to slow down. Your *new* speed limit is whatever gives you better control, no matter how slow that is.

When I was driving in that windstorm, I found a sweet spot that made me feel in control but still moving forward through the storm. In that particular situation, it was 10-15 mph slower than I’d normally drive. But again, only drive as fast as you can still control.

When you drive fast, it is more difficult to exercise control over your rig. You also have less time to react if something were to go wrong. 

5. Watch for Wind Spikes

Driving an RV in Strong Winds
Driving an RV in Strong Winds — brace for trucks passing you.

Be prepared for what is called “wind spikes.” When you pass by other big vehicles (like big rigs), bridges or buildings, there will be a gust of wind when you pass. 

Just be prepared so that you can hold your vehicle steady and on course. Hold the wheel firmly but not too tightly with two hands. Be ready to turn slightly into the wind spikes. 

Since other cars are dealing with these same spikes, keep your distance in every direction from other vehicles. Avoid driving next to someone as much as possible.

6. Constantly Adjust

When you’re driving in high wind conditions, you need to push back against the wind by slightly turning the wheel into it. But the problem is, wind isn’t constant. It comes in gusts.

So, you’re constantly adjusting to push back against it and then return to straight. These need to be small, gentle movements. Think of it as pressing, not shoving against the wind. 

Think of it like two people pressing against opposite sides of a swinging door to keep it closed. If you push hard and the person on the other side (the wind) stops pushing, you’ll tumble through. If you’re only pressing against it instead of shoving against it, you can right yourself before falling through. 

7. Don’t Overcorrect

If the wind suddenly breaks and you sharply veer toward it (“tumble through the door”), calmly steer back. Do not overcorrect!

Try your best not to jerk the wheel but rather smoothly pull it back to where you need to be.

Remember, the goal is smooth, calm movements. Not shoves and jerks.

8. Most Importantly – Look for an Exit

Driving an RV in Strong Winds
Driving an RV in Strong Winds — get off the road!

If the winds get too heavy while driving, look for the nearest exit to pull off and stop. If there is not an exit for many miles, you can always pull off on the shoulder. Pull as far off as you safely can.

Look for areas that have a block from the wind. You will also want to be as far away from other vehicles as possible. Be sure to put your hazard lights on so other drivers can clearly see you.  

9. Park in a Safe Place

If the wind feels too unsafe to drive in, look for a place to pull off the road. You want to search for the safest place to park and essentially “hide” from the wind. 

Look for buildings that you can park behind or a freeway underpass to stop under. These are great places to find a break from the wind and protect you from flying debris.

If there are no structures around, look for lower ground. Park at the base of a hill. Be wary of parking near trees as even the sturdiest of trees likely have weak branches. The same goes for signposts, billboards, and telephone poles.

10. Ensure Your Slideouts are Secure

If you do stop, you’ll probably want to keep your slideouts closed. If they are out, the wind can catch them and cause your rig to topple. 

Or, if it does not tip your rig, having the slides out makes them vulnerable to getting damaged. 

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10 Best Tips for Driving an RV in Strong Winds 2

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Mike Wendland

Published on 2022-06-04

Mike Wendland is an Emmy award-winning journalist, traveler, and producer of RV Podcast, the RV Lifestyle travel blog, and the RV Lifestyle Channel on YouTube. Mike, traveling with his wife Jennifer and their Norwegian Elkhound, Bo, has vast experience and a great passion for exploring North America, previously working as a long-time NBC-TV News Channel Technology Correspondent and now sharing his love for the RV lifestyle with millions. Mike is not only an adept RV life enthusiast but also a skillful storyteller, bringing to his channels stories from the road that perfectly capture the magic and hardships of this lifestyle.

5 Responses to “10 Best Tips for Driving an RV in Strong Winds”

April 10, 2023at12:52 pm, Raul Miller said:

I had to laugh at this article, because although I’m relatively new to RVing (we bought a 40′ diesel pusher 2 years ago), I’ve done a lot of motorcycle riding in high winds over the years!
Talk about getting pushed around!
Imagine riding in gusting side winds of 45-50 mph! One minute I’m riding all comfy and cozy, upright and straight down my lane… when all of a sudden I’m hit with a blast of wind which blows me off my track!
Of course the immediate response is to counter the wind by leaning into it… sometimes almost dragging pedals at a 45 degree angle!
So now I’m tooling along at a 45 degree angle… and all of a sudden the wind stops!
Now I’m swerving the other direction, and have to compensate for that! Leaning up and down, one direction then another!
So, I can only imagine what it’s like driving a 40 foot long, 13 foot high, flat sided block of a vehicle in a windstorm!
Not looking to find out, either!


April 10, 2023at4:04 pm, Team RV Lifestyle said:

That is quite the descriptions, Raul! Yikes!! Team RV Lifestyle


June 05, 2022at12:18 pm, kathy Pearson said:

I am canadain and a lot of you reccomendations ie drive app are not available here. I can probably load once I am across the border but the you would have to remember to do so. Do you have more canadian ideas? This week I am heading to the yukon and northwest terrotories in canada…which includes much of the route to alaska. I travel solo and have done most of the western US.


June 05, 2022at9:07 am, Grant Rice said:

Any one who drives an RV especially in the western half of the U.S. should be using as a good preplanning and in route guide to the wind conditions. This app also gives more then wind conditions.


June 06, 2022at4:06 pm, Team RV Lifestyle said:

Thanks for sharing this, Grant! Team RV Lifestyle


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