Tuesday, July 22, 2008

It Was A Dark and Stormy Night...

Last night we had one of those fierce thunderstorms that seem to come out of nowhere. It was violent and sudden and the wind that came up was considerable. I can’t stress enough that you really have to watch the weather when you are RVing. In that way, it’s much like boating – ignore the weather at your peril. The sweet sunny day you enjoyed when you left your RV to go visit friends or a local sight might not be the same weather you return home to. A bit of precaution can save a lot of cussing, I’ve found. And can save your wallet as well.

One of the best and most utilitarian things about your RV or camper – which can be very costly to replace – is your awning/s. Especially if you are at the beach where winds whip up as a matter of course, do not ever go off for a few hours and leave your awning down. We secure ours with tie-downs and we still had to sit inside during a gusty thunderstorm (one that formed over our area so we didn’t see it coming on the weather radar) and watch it rip on one side as very suddenly the winds brushed up to 40 mph. We don’t have replace it, thank goodness, we just need to mend it but I’ve seen too many awnings just tear up like they were a paper bag and turn inside out like an umbrella. Our neighbors in this park just sold their house to go RVing for a few fun years. They were visiting their daughter when the storm blew up. The awning on their new deluxe pop-up camper now needs to be replaced. It's a common mistake that people make when they start RVing and we were lucky enough to have someone tell on our first day out: take down your awning when you leave.

We still made the funny but not fatal mistake of leaving our porch swing out on a nice weekend once when we were staying in northern Alabama and left to visit Atlanta. We came home in the dark to find it across the street, courtesy of a spring rainstorm that was packing some winds. This was not a small piece of lawn furniture, either. We also found our flagpole and New Mexico flag halfway down the road. The park we were in at the time was sparsely populated and we were glad none of our flying debris had damaged any other RVs, cars or people. We noticed the RVers down a few rows must have been out of town too. Their entire outdoor set up was down at the bottom of the hill.

So keep in mind, intrepid fellow travelers, that grills, furniture, windchimes, toys, bikes,trashcans and satellite dishes can go from being a part of your peaceful personal camping environment to gone with the wind in a matter of no time flat. Get out the kites when the wind comes and put your awning safely away.

No comments: