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Old 04-16-2014, 06:49 AM   #15
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Here's another news story later in the day from the same local TV station.

RV park resident recalls climbing out of storm wreckage - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi
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Old 04-16-2014, 07:19 AM   #16
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Curious how resistant an Airstream would be to a strong straight line side wind.

Jack
Not sure I'd want to put one to the test…

It's pretty safe to say that once the wind pressure on your trailer exceeds the weight of the trailer, the trailer WILL move, either to be shifted sideways or to roll over. It will of course start rocking before that but probably at least stay put.

Using your own 30' classic slideout as an example (GWVR 10,000 pounds), if 000° is staight ahead and increasing to clockwise so a wind straight from the side is 090°, for yours the absolute worst angle would be about 100° to 110°, perpendicular to a line between your street-side tires and your tongue jack with the slideout to downwind where its weight aids in trying to pull you over.

Doing the number-crunching offline… About the time the wind speed increases over 60mph from that direction, there is a good chance your trailer would move. From any other direction the windspeed needed to move your trailer goes up, and is highest when the wind is from directly ahead— no surprise there.

By comparison, for a flat-sided and flat-roofed box trailer the same size and weight, movement would occur when the wind speed rises above 51mph from the same direction. The rounded sides of your trailer give you greater stability because they spill some of the wind.

But in both cases, one can increase the stability by preventing any wind from getting underneath. Same calculations, leaving out the effect of wind on the belly pan, your estimated windspeed to move the trailer goes up to about 75mph. That's a pretty big increase just by putting a rigid skirt around your trailer!
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Old 04-16-2014, 07:40 AM   #17
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RV's generally are not tied down. I've never seen an RV tied down.
Come on down to FL. There are lots of 5th wheels and travel trailers that tay here all year and the owners have them toed to their concrete pads with hurricane strapping. I would venture a guess that at least 50% of those are secured to their pads.

If a big blow does come thru, I would suspect that the only thing remaining would be the frame…………...
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Old 04-16-2014, 07:55 AM   #18
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It's pretty safe to say that once the wind pressure on your trailer exceeds the weight of the trailer, the trailer WILL move, either to be shifted sideways or to roll over. It will of course start rocking before that but probably at least stay put.
Just to be clear, the rough calculations for determining if the wind will move a trailer assume that the trailer is strong enough to remain intact. For a flimsy trailer that will come apart in a lesser wind, it doesn't matter if it moves; as soon as pieces start coming off, my estimates are naturally worthless.
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Old 04-16-2014, 09:13 AM   #19
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That's a pretty big increase just by putting a rigid skirt around your trailer!
How rigid? I've seen some decorative skirts that could be rolled up for transport, would that suffice or would it have to be something like corrugated sheet metal? I don't suppose there's some easy way of skirting trailers or I'd see more of them. Maybe just too much of a pain to tote something like that around?
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Old 04-16-2014, 09:46 AM   #20
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Interesting analysis by Protagonist. Just wondering if a lateral wind being deflected up and over the top of the AS would create a vacuum over the top of the AS, acting some what like the leading edge of a wing. While at the same time, the wind under the AS, moving between to flat surfaces, the ground and the bottom of the AS, would have a higher pressure than the vacuum over the the AS, creating some degree of lift, adding to the instability of the AS. Maybe the weight of the AS is sufficient to offset this, if there is any lift.. There's probably some aerodynamics folks out there that can say if this is a contributor. Having said this, I'd rather be in an AS than some other type RV. We traveled for a number of years in a fifth wheel and experienced some strong rocking, not a good feeling.
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Old 04-16-2014, 09:48 AM   #21
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How rigid? I've seen some decorative skirts that could be rolled up for transport, would that suffice or would it have to be something like corrugated sheet metal? I don't suppose there's some easy way of skirting trailers or I'd see more of them. Maybe just too much of a pain to tote something like that around?
Perhaps I shouldn't have made that post. Those numbers were calculated estimates for a single size and weight of trailer. But even if I crunched the numbers, they're still just estimates, and not something you should trust your life to! As the saying goes, "Your mileage may vary;" in this case your windspeed may vary.

The only lesson you should learn from that post is that a curve-sided Airstream will resist a stronger wind that a slab-sided box, and keeping the wind out from under your trailer will let your Airstream resist a stronger wind than if you don't. Period.

If the wind is going to be strong enough to rock your trailer uncomfortably, get out and go somewhere safer before the wind picks up, no matter what you've done to help your trailer. If you try to increase your trailer's resistance to high winds and then foolishly get yourself injured or killed by riding out a storm you should have bugged out for, I will never forgive you.
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Old 04-16-2014, 10:10 AM   #22
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If you try to increase your trailer's resistance to high winds and then foolishly get yourself injured or killed by riding out a storm you should have bugged out for, I will never forgive you.
No worries. Like George Castanza going down the fire escape, knocking people out of the way, I'll be leading the way to safety for everyone else.
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Old 04-16-2014, 12:39 PM   #23
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I don't know why people stay in their trailers during a storm- especially after feeling it rocking.
Are they maybe caught off guard or asleep?
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Old 05-18-2014, 11:15 AM   #24
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Storm causes severe damage at RV park in southern Mississippi

I'm a believer in carrying a weather radio on the road. Mine is one that has the ability to load in the NOAA county codes. Typically before departing I plan out my overnight stops and my destination campground. The Trailer Life guide book lists the county for each campground. The NOAA Internet site lists the codes for each county. I preload those into the radio.

The reason is if you don't use the codes, the warning in the radio will activate for the station coverage area. The station also sends out a code for the specific area. So for example the local station here in St Louis services multiple counties in two states. By using the code for my county, I I only get activation alerts if my county is involved. Without the code, I'd hear all the warnings even if they don't pertain to my location.

When traveling and my unfamiliarity with the locale, a radio with code capability gives me confidence that the warning pertains to me and not a distant area. This keeps,e much more alert to conditions.

Jack
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