In our Things They Don’t Tell You series, we talk about things we learned AFTER moving into our RV fulltime. Read on for tips on how to handle some of the little surprises that come with living a life on wheels.
Before moving to Texas, we lived in Chicago. The Windy City – a nickname pointing to the town’s blowhard politicians as much as its blustery weather. As anyone who’s lived through a Chicago winter can attest, the best thing about the wind is going inside to avoid it. That’s exactly what we’ve always done when the wind really kicks up outside.
Smash cut to living in an Airstream, where the wind not only blows over, but also under – and sometimes through – everything. If you dont have things wrapped up or tied down, they get blown away. So far we’ve lost a glove, a recycling bag, and far too many cloth napkins to count. We finally smartened up and bought some of these table cloth clamps to keep our food on the table and off the ground when we brave the winds and eat outside.
It’s not as simple as just “going inside” to avoid the wind. No matter how firmly you stabilize, you’re bound to feel strong gusts shake your rig. On hot days, the wind is a nice break from the heat. It’s also a chance for all the attachments and appendages hooked to the Airstream’s exterior to break. Thanks to their design, wind can cause the Airstream windows to pop up and down if left open. We like to run our Fantastic Fans with the windows up, but the little brown caps that shield them from rain are prone to breakage from strong gusts as well.
In cold weather, the wind seems to really find its way into Airstreams. Drafts are everywhere, and finding and plugging them becomes a fairly common occurance. We’ve found the most common drafty spaces are under the bed and close to windows, and fixing them is often as easy as ensuring the gaskets are sealed and insulation is where it needs to be. Some folks even go so far as to install underpinning to avoid the wind blowing cold air under the trailer. We’ve not lived through weather that cold yet.
Looking back, we’ve learned a couple other things when dealing with wind in an RV.
- Look for loose things. For instance, the little attached sewer outlet cap makes a LOT of noise if allowed to hang free – we wrap ours around itself to keep dangling to a minimum.
- Anything with a latch stays latched or it flaps. We learned that one night when we left the propane tank hood unlatched. This also is a precaution to keep in mind when opening the heavy front door – a heavy wind can pull it from your hands and slam it closed or open.
- If you feel a draft, find the source and fix it if possible.
- If eating outside, be prepared. Table cloth clamps and water bottles with lids will alleviate irritation over a flapping tablecloth or anxiety over spilt drinks.
- If you ask yourself, “I wonder if its too windy for the awning to be up?”, most likely it is and you should put it down.
There seems to be a little controversy surrounding just how much wind the Airstream’s ZipDee Awning can take – is it 15mph? 20? Less? There’s a mini industry dedicated to strengthening and keeping the awning from flapping in the wind. We keep it simple – if the wind kicks up enough to move the awning around too much, we stow the awning.
All in all, we very much love the cool breezes coming through our Airstream on a spring day. By taking a few precautionary measures, we’re able to keep our awning taught, our windows open, and our Airstream nice and cool. How about you? Have you learned any wind protection tips or have any wind related stories? We’d love to hear them!