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Old 08-21-2011, 06:00 PM   #1
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Question Preparing to weather a Hurricane?

Looks like TS Irene is headed right at us, and we can't get on the road and outrun the storm... Probably just gonna be a Cat 1 or 2 which should be no biggie, but this is my first windstorm in the Airstream and I'm wondering how to prepare the big toaster for the big blow... Since luck favors the prepared I'm asking ya'll; how can I tie this thing down so she won't blow over and away? she'll stay parked on an asphalt parking spot during the storm (unless someone wants to offer me a boatel or air hanger for storage this weekend? ) and I was thinking some large steel eyelets set in concrete with heavy duty ratcheting straps from the eyelets to the threaded bars on the stabilizers? one in each corner of the trailer kindof thing... Sound like a recipe for bent screws on the stabilizers? Anyone got suggestions? What do you do to prepare for big wind? (Yeah yeah, besides running away from it!)

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Old 08-21-2011, 06:07 PM   #2
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Unless you can get it inside somewhere I think you are pretty much screwed. Start now planning for the next one.
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Old 08-21-2011, 06:08 PM   #3
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After Hurricane Katrina (before we had an Airstream) I would say it's best you drove the both of you to a safer location - 2 reasons (1) Save the trailer most important and (2) save you (well, you did ask on a Airstream Forums site). Gives you good reason to leave.

BTW - tie down points should be directly to the frame - up front that is easy - anywhere on the exposed frame members by the tanks - in the rear I would use the area behind or in the rear storage box that has the frame on either side. Access there may be difficult but doable. Fill your tanks - ALL 3 - more weight low down the better. remove the propane tanks - others will want those after the storm (ask me how I know this). Manufactured home sales have self tapping screw in anchors and a tool that drives them in the ground about 4 feet (through asphalt even) and these make perfect anchors along with the thin but strong metal bands that attach to them and over your frame.

I do not know your history of going through one of these but they are never fun. CAT1 or CAT2 can be some real trouble. Be safe no matter what you do.
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Old 08-21-2011, 06:34 PM   #4
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Having been in 4 hurricanes (OK, 2 were typhoons), I can say the biggest danger is not going to be getting blown over (Although any associated tornado can do that). It is going to be having things getting blown into or down onto the trailer and/or flooding.

Secure everything best that you can, and then get yourself as far away out of the path as possible. Then find a sturdy building on high ground for yourself.

Ken
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Old 08-21-2011, 07:24 PM   #5
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I wouldn't want to stay in my rig in the event of a hurricane. Cat one, two - whatever. If you can't move the rig, you need to move yourselves. Good luck and good luck again.

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Old 08-21-2011, 07:36 PM   #6
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This is how my AS survived the '04 battering that Florida took from hurricanes.

I pounded 4' steel rails in to the ground and strapped the frame down to them. Of course, nothing fell on or blew in to my trailer. We did have 70 mph winds here in Tampa, and fortunately the wind was blowing head on to my trailer. Like a trip on the interstate, it rode the storm well.

I also moved my trailer closer to the house. I was more concerned about my AS than the house.
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Old 08-21-2011, 07:49 PM   #7
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Our Airstream turned out to be the only trailer in the storage facility that did not get blown away. it was secured at the rear bumper with large straps attached to eye bolts in a concrete pad, and the front was secured in a manner much like sneakinup's (hi, Barry!).
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Old 08-21-2011, 08:05 PM   #8
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When you tow it, the wind is close to hurricane force and thunderstorm winds can easily be that high. Good idea to fill tanks. Put your anvil collection on the floor. But higher winds can blow things into it. Cover the windows and tape down with high strength tape the vents, skylight, TV antenna, fridge vent and A/C cover. Clean out things nearby that can be picked up by wind. Keep away from palm trees—they seem to blow over pretty easily. I don't think the stabilizer assembly is strong enough to hold down the trailer—it is built for force from above, not from the side.

Storing inside could put it at risk of the building blowing down onto it.

If course, the best thing is to get out of there and to leave now. I remember trying to outrun a hurricane in the 1950's (I was too young to drive then) and we never did get ahead of it. We stayed inland on old US 301 and the wind wasn't too bad, but the rain was endless, day after day after day.

I have cousins in Parkland and I always worry about them when a hurricane is bearing down on Palm Beach County. Reminds me to e-mail them. Good luck.

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Old 08-21-2011, 10:59 PM   #9
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Both my Tradewind and my father's Sovereign survived a direct hit from the east eye wall of hurricane Ivan on the gulf coast using this technique: both trailers were parked about 30 feet apart in the middle of a 5 acre field. We nosed the trailers into the wind (in this case, south) and let the tongue jacks bury into the ground. Once the jacks had buried up as much as we could get them to by forcing them down with a tractor's front end loader, we lowered the tongue down almost to the ground. At that point, we used my stabilizer jacks (his are the permanently attached type) on the frames just behind the rear axles to help keep the movement to a minimum. This all held up to 100mph winds without any damage. I taped corrugated cardboard over the outside of the windows to protect the glass from small debris, which probably didn't do anything aside from making me feel better. After the storm, both trailers were untouched. I had to use a hi-lift jack to get the front unstuck from the ground, but it may have saved the trailer from major damage. A nearby campground had several white box trailers turned over by the winds.
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Old 08-22-2011, 09:14 AM   #10
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My wife, son, mother-in-law, and 2 dogs rode out Katrina in a 68 Globetrotter, we went to Fort Wilderness.

The reason we own an Airstream is to evacuate New Orleans when a Hurricane threatens and have done so 4 times. You have to be aware of the track the storm will take after it makes landfall, you must go far enough away to avoid the storms which accompany the hurricane as it moves inland, You must stay away from the right front quadrant which develops the most tornadoes. You should use camp grounds with no trees as to avoid the obvious. You should get out early.

We always try to make a mini vacation out of the evacuations, may as well you might not have a home when you return.

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Old 08-22-2011, 09:34 AM   #11
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we have to tie down our airstream for the place in florida we leave it (campground rules, maybe state law?). Most building supply stores in florida sell anchors. where we are the prefered method of tie down is chains and turnbuckles to the ground anchors. we have 2 to the tounge out at angles to each side and one near the end of the bumper on the back. stablizers down. no slack. a reason for the tie downs is that even if it does not blow over it can blow away. I would tie it down. yes, a great danger to the trailer is airborne stuff like patio tables and chairs and tree limbs and garbage cans and stuff.
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Old 08-24-2011, 05:41 AM   #12
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Looks like we got lucky here on the SoFla coast... It seems the storm has moved in a easterly direction and will center over the out islands of The Bahamas. Thanks for the tips on securing the trailer to the ground. Based on replies, it looks like over the bumper and tongue points are the easiest and most accessible places to affix to ground anchors. I don't know if I'd use chain, just because of it scratching, but the large yellow ratchet straps at the big orange box store have successfully held my small craft to a boat lift and connecting dock through cat 4's several times. Next time we have a storm I'll make sure to get plenty of pics detailing my anchoring. Thanks for the suggestions all!
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Old 08-24-2011, 06:21 AM   #13
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I have to stay the best anti-hurricane/tornado devices on an AS are the wheels...

A very good friend of mine says his idea of tornado risk management is "be where they aint'".
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Old 08-24-2011, 11:28 AM   #14
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Still seems like a good idea to visit the Fla. west coast but not NC or NY. Aren't the winds still going to be high in Palm B'ch Co.? A category 3 should be pretty large even if offshore.

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