How windy is too windy?

Discussion in 'The Beginner' started by Touchwood, Feb 2, 2012.

  1. Touchwood

    Touchwood Funster

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    After the last round of strong winds which overturned a lot of vehicles around the country; it occurred to me that I don't really know just how windy it needs to be before a prudent motorhomer decides to not travel.

    As a sailor, I have a pretty good feel for when to reef, and when to batten down the hatches, or even stay in harbour. I don't have that knowledge, however, when it comes to assessing when it isn't safe to drive my van around. We're planning our first outing this year in just over a week's time, and I believe we're forecast some pretty stormy weather, so I need to know!

    Any tips, ideas or thoughts on how to decide?
     
  2. GJH

    GJH Funster Life Member

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    It can get a bit hairy at times. I think the worst we've experienced was travelling from Misterton to Peterborough last year.

    It's certainly wise to heed any warnings to drivers of high sided vehicles but if you are on the road when it gets windy then slow down or even stop for a while if necessary. Also, as far as possible, avoid exposed areas of roads - e.g. the A1 near Wetherby/Knaresborough or the A19 near Peterlee.

    I recall once approaching the A19 Leven Viaduct (can't recall if we were in the van or car) and a wagon driver in front of us moved into lane 2 to keep away from the side of the bridge, which seemed very sensible.

    There are some tips on This Page from the Highways Agency.

    Luckily we've never been in a position where we felt it was necessary to cancel a trip away but we have postponed trips out just to "turn the wheels" during winter when the forecast has been for high winds.
     
  3. DESCO

    DESCO Read Only Funster

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    Agree with Graham on this one, listen to radio, watch on open roads if in doubt stop and wait awhile. Better to stop while safe on 4 wheels.

    I think bridges are the worst, have hold up before crossing Seven bridge, not closed but did not like the feel of wind, once had to stay another night on Skye, bridge closed to high sided vans, still not much hardship, in my opinion better safe than sorry.
     
  4. jhorsf

    jhorsf Read Only Funster

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    when you get to having only two wheels on the ground it was too windy:Rofl1:
     
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  5. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    Dunno.

    But on boxing day coming from daughter's near Hexham I was genuinely frightened. Totally exposed hill top road and I just did not know what it takes to blow a MH over. I did know what it takes to need a huge steering input to keep on the road. I had one foot almost on the passenger side to keep in my seat.

    Not nice.
     
  6. Phill D

    Phill D

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    i had an overcab a bit like your 400RL and it was a nightmare in cross winds.:cry:

    It freaked me out :shout:crossing the bridges at Le Harve,,, had to drive in the inside lane as the side barrier is practically non existant.:Sad:.. i swear i was on half lock holding it against the wind :Doh:( in the direction of the water!!:Eek!:) god knows what would have happened if the wind either gusted or dropped suddenly.:Doh:
    now we stay put on really windy days or if we must travel i avoid the open bridges.:thumb:

    got a low profile on a low chassis soon .. hope that will behave a little better,
     
  7. Touchwood

    Touchwood Funster

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    Thinking a little more deeply I suppose there are two facets to this, the risk of actually overturning and the risk of being blown off road/into a collision.

    The first I think is actually pretty remote, certainly if travelling slowly enough. I suppose my maths would be up to computing the wind strength required, with a few assumptions as to the position of the centre of effort etc. it's fairly simple mechanics.

    I think what is of greater concern is the second element, and hopefully that can be largely avoided by driving slowly enough to maintain control - if you have to slow down so much that you're seriously holding up other traffic then perhaps it's time to pull over and park up for the night?

    Though noone has actually said so, it sounds as though it's largely a matter of common sense, being aware of the risk and driving sensibly, with no need to actually cancel a planned trip except in exceptional circumstances.

    So bugger the weather, we're off to York Friday week come what may!! :BigGrin:
     
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  8. GJH

    GJH Funster Life Member

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    That's one thing I'm looking forward to with our new van :Smile:
     
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  9. tick59

    tick59 Funster

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    :Rofl1::Rofl1::Rofl1::Rofl1::Rofl1::Wink::Wink::Wink::Rofl1::Rofl1::Rofl1::Rofl1:
    IF YOU THINK YOU ARE GOING OVER, HANG ON TO STEERING WHEEL,OPEN WINDOWS,SWITCH OFF IGNITION AND PRAY TO YOUR GOD YOU WALK AWAY.
     
  10. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    as we left Misterton last year, the awning decided to unwrap itself.......American awnings don't have a wind-in awning box..

    while trying to stand on the roof to pull it all back in, looked a bit like a spinicker sail, i thought "should i be driving in this wind" :Eeek:

    M180/M18 was a bit wild, but no option but carry on.
     
  11. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    Nothing connected with wind is simple.

    We had to teach the Yanks how to build a supersonic plane that worked.

    As your van starts tilting the wind is hitting an ever moving surface. At 45 degrees the wind is only 70% effective. Before the centre of gravity passes the vertical it will be below 50%. So simple it is not.
     
  12. Touchwood

    Touchwood Funster

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    Depends on what you class as simple I guess. I are an injuneer, you know :BigGrin:

    Seriously, you are of course correct, it's not that simple. It's not an entirely static balance of moments exercise, momentum needs to be considered, as does the fact that as the horizontal wind force on the side of the van decreases as it tilts, there comes into play the horizontal wind force on the underside of the van which is moving ever more vertical.

    Hmm - you've roused my interest now - maybe I'll have a go at it. (Working it out I mean - not trying to tip my van over :Doh:)
     
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  13. EthnGeoff

    EthnGeoff Funster

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    To be quite honest I find the motorhome handles reasonably well in the wind and has never given me undue cause for concern. It is a low profile design and does have a pronounced front end dip when standing on level ground which I presume improves the downforce on the front wheels. Avoiding roof storage and perhaps running with additional water in storage tank would also help lower the center of gravity.
    Geoff.
     
  14. mondo

    mondo Read Only Funster

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    As a former HGV driver of many years..driving in an extremely strong wind was always a bone of contention..especially with the office wanting you to complete your collections/deliveries..I rang the office once and stated categorically I was parking up until the wind had died down as I refused to become a statistic..(I received a written warning for that..which I also refused to take)
    I can actually remember around 6 years ago during a period of strong winds..the trailer was halfway on the hard shoulder and the unit was in the inside lane...scary...yes...I did get blown over once in 1994 and I'm not keen to repeat the experience..that was due to the idiot in the office insisting I went and did a collection...in the end it cost the company just over £100k...when you add up the cost of a new artic unit Volvo FH12..a tri-axle trailer..and the recovery cost it would have been cheaper to wait til the wind died down..the office wallahs are always right..YEA!!!
    The only answer lies within your self..if you think you can do it...do it if not DON'T!!!
     
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  15. madbluemad

    madbluemad

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    When my bum starts to twitch, I pull over.

    We drove into some strong winds in the Midi Pyrenees last year and had to stop for the night.

    You cant drive safely when your frightened, and I was frightened.
    Jim
    :Smile:
     
  16. EthnGeoff

    EthnGeoff Funster

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    Going back to my working days our fire service replaced it's fleet with Dennis Rapier fire engines. These truly were the racing car variant of the fire engine, many brigades refused to take them on account of the speeds they could attain. Watching the sales rep putting it through it's paces on the station yard had to be seen to be believed, it cornered so tightly with so little roll I swear it must have been untippable. I suppose it all boils down to chassis design and weight distribution, if your van is built on the stiff Alko chassis it can cope better in windy conditions compared to some that provide a softer ride but are inclined to pitch and roll when cornering.
    Geoff.
     
  17. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    Looking through some old negs I came upon these two, this was even tied down, but not well enough.

    Never underestimate wind.

    .
     

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  18. harryoxford2

    harryoxford2 Read Only Funster

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    Personally what I do is to extend my motorised awning on my rv .
    It has a device which measures the wind and retracts itself.
    If whilst driving down a motorway it suddenly retracts...then I stop pitch up for the night and drive huge cast iron pegs through the tyres with a 110v jack hammer to drive em deep into the motorway services car park......so far Ive never been blown over....

    (i did however notice the AA man had a look of suspicion on his face when he was changing the 6th tyre the next day when I wanted to set off again and said I must have run over a hedgehog hence the 6 punctures)


    simples...as usual I know this advice will be cherished



    a aa aaa aaaaa life on da ocean way...a aa aaa aaaa home on da rollin deep...etc
     
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  19. spannermanwigan

    spannermanwigan Read Only Funster

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    When returning from europe, ensure you have a plentiful supply of wine loaded as low down as possible, also in windy conditions do not empty grey tank and run with full fresh water, will all help to ballast your van, if of Muslim persuasion include fatter of wives on manifest for this trip.:Wink:
    regards
    Steve
     
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