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Old 09-06-2017, 07:27 PM   #1
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1961 26' Overlander
1988 34' Limited
Brunswick , Georgia
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How much wind will turnover an Airstream?

We have a 34' Limited. I was just wondering how strong of a wind would it take to tip it over. Not driving, just parked.

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Old 09-06-2017, 07:38 PM   #2
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Mobile , Alabama
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I had an Airstream parked in storage in Gulf Shores, Alabama when Hurricane Ivan hit in 2004. The area had wind over 100 mph (eye went ashore slightly east). Several frame built condominiums were destroyed. My Airstream had 3 feet of water in it due to storm surge and two windows shattered but did not turnover. Still destroyed but not by turning over. The replacement was in my yard during Katrina. No storm surge but this time on east side of Katrina. Again wind in 100-110 mph range. No damage. A category 5 hurricane might turn one over but bigger risk will be storm surge or impact from wind driving projectiles. Filling fresh tanks would probably reduce risk of turnover as they are all contribute to low center of gravity.

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Old 09-06-2017, 08:00 PM   #3
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Wind right at the surface are tricky. Things like nearby buildings can have a major effect. The orientation of the trailer also matters. Broadside is worse than end on. Just as with sway, wind gust timing matters.

So, lots of variables and no really good answer beyond what you can work out going down the road if it's head on (or tail on). Broadside you have a lot more surface area and it likely tips a lot faster as well ....

As mentioned above, one stray branch can easily do ten or twenty thou in damage .....

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Old 09-06-2017, 08:04 PM   #4
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400 pounds of water is nothing... That's like 2 men trying to hold it down. Don't count in much other than tethering the shell to hold it down!
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Old 09-06-2017, 08:39 PM   #5
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IRMA could .

I'd hook it up and head west about 400 miles NOW .
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Old 09-06-2017, 10:58 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Cristobal View Post
We have a 34' Limited. I was just wondering how strong of a wind would it take to tip it over.
There is only one possible answer: "It depends." There is no magic number where you're safe below it and at risk above it.

You can lash the trailer down with chain or steel cable attached to the frame front and rear (the tow chains are good for this in front), and attached to substantial anchors driven— or better, buried— into the ground. But make sure the chain or cable is weaker than the frame so that if the trailer does move, the chain or cable breaks before the frame bends.

You can put a solid "skirt" around the bottom of the trailer from the bottom edge and wheelwells all the way to the ground to prevent wind from getting underneath and creating uplift forces. Hay bales are good for this, if they're staked down so the wind doesn't blow them away.

You can orient the trailer so that the front or rear faces the prevailing wind. But the prevailing wind changes as the storm moves past due to cyclonic rotation, so choose the direction from which the highest winds will come: north/south if the storm passes to the east or west, east/west if the storm passes directly overhead.

You can jack up the trailer and put timber cribbing underneath so that the suspension is not supporting any weight (or not much weight), so the trailer is less likely to rock and will be harder to start tipping. A trailer rocking wildly on its suspension is already half tipped over.

You can park the trailer behind (not inside) a building with solid masonry walls that are taller and longer than the trailer, so the trailer is in a "wind shadow." But if you do, make sure the trailer is farther from the wall than the height of the wall, so that if the wall collapses it's less likely to fall on the trailer. Not inside because if the building collapses and the trailer is inside, the chance is 100% that the building will fall on the trailer.

You can hitch up the tow vehicle to the trailer, complete with anti-sway and weight distribution in place. This increases the weight of the unit by a couple of tons. But the downside is that if the trailer does go over, the tow vehicle is probably going over with it.

Even one of these tactics would allow an Airstreeam to withstand a higher wind force. Several of these tactics in conjunction with each other will help even more. But without a doubt, what helps the most is moving the trailer completely out of harm's way before the storm arrives. Because there are many dangers associated with wind that don't require the trailer to tip over. Such as wind-blown debris, fallen trees or buildings, a neighbor's SOB trailer tipping over onto your Airstream, etc.
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Old 09-06-2017, 11:24 PM   #7
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The best way to prevent it from tipping over is to hitch up, load up, and get out of there now...
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Old 09-07-2017, 05:29 AM   #8
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Colfax , North Carolina
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Our 31' survived Andrew and Charley. It was the only RV still upright on the island it was stored on after Charley. I would recommend moving the trailer elsewhere while you still have time. Load it up and go camping somewhere far inland. If the storm goes where you had it parked, you saved the trailer. If not, you had a fun camping trip.
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Old 09-07-2017, 09:17 AM   #9
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get out now

I was just up in Newfoundland and saw a trailer that was flipped over by the wind.

get out now
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Old 09-07-2017, 09:21 AM   #10
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I towed mine across I-40 from Clovis, NM to Palmer Lake, CO a few years ago and it is usually gusty and windy on that stretch of I-40. But it turned out there was a weather system coming across that area and I ended up traveling in record winds which were gusting over 80 mph. My opinion is that the trailer would be pushed sideways before it got blown over - within limits. That was straight line wind - a tornado is a whole different discussion of course as is debris hitting the trailer. The A/C shroud on mine was already weak due to age and it was mostly gone by the time I got home but the TV antenna survived just fine. I-80 is another stretch around Rawlins that gets pretty steady and powerful winds. Sure you could put an Airstream in a wind tunnel on a show like MythBusters and eventually roll it over probably by more pushing it over and tipping it on the tires. A 150 mph direct hit gust from a hurricane is, for me, an unknown
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Old 09-07-2017, 10:23 AM   #11
2015 25' FB International
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Wyoming Winds

Hello Windy Ones,
My 28' survived 91 mph winds here in Laramie. The thing didn't even budge, luckily it was end to the wind. The house vibrated like mad...
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Old 09-07-2017, 10:27 AM   #12
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South Carolina

We are camping at Dreher Island State Park just south east of Columbia South Carolina. Historically this area is where South Carolinians go when a hurricane hits their coast. BUT... it looks like several scenarios show the eye of the storm heading for us as a Cat 1. If it is determined it is coming our way, we will hitch up and head what ever direction is away from the storm, although there are too many variables to know what to do at this time. The question of how close does a Cat 1 storm need to get to us before we decide to move is a difficult one, but we will go on the side of precaution.
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Old 09-07-2017, 10:48 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by JBBeaubeaux View Post
We are camping at Dreher Island State Park just south east of Columbia South Carolina. Historically this area is where South Carolinians go when a hurricane hits their coast. BUT....

Sorry no advice to offer, consult office possibly.

BTW Dreher island is a favorite of ours.

Gary. about 90 miles east of you.
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Old 09-07-2017, 10:49 AM   #14
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Hurricane Harvey

Here on North Padre Island. Left for a vacation to see kids in Fort Worth. Put hurricane shutters down for security while away with no indication of a hurricane hitting. Planned on taking the AS, but the electric jack went out. Unloaded everything and left to see kids without the AS. We had 95+ winds I am told from people who stayed. People across the street watched our AS look like is was going down the highway - was in the driveway with chocks and wood blocks under the jack. Lots of wind with rain. No damage and no leaks. Did not have storm surge.

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