Watch Out for Tornadoes When Traveling in Your RV

One of the things people don't ever mention when discussing RV travel is the dangers that may come as the result of weather patterns.

They are very real, and can be devastating.


I knew a couple that went to a KOA in South Dakota in May to work there for the summer.  A hail storm that was an offshoot of a tornado completely decimated their fifth wheel!

When you hear stories like this, you learn to be cautious about where you go and when you go there, but even with that, sometimes you run into trouble.

We have had three run ins with Tornadoes, and they were pretty scary.

Our First Tornado Scare

The first one took place in a small campground in Norman, Oklahoma.

This site was totally flat, and the only "cover" that was available was the little cement block office and store.

Word of an oncoming tornado ran through the camp, but the store was closed, and there was virtually no place where campers could take cover.

Fortunately for all of us, the storm did not come our way, but we learned a good lesson.  Always camp where there is some sort of solid building to hide form a storm in if need be!

The Next Tornado

The next event took place in Dodge City, Kansas.

This time we were not in a campground when we heard that a tornado was headed our way.

The best we were able to do was park in a truck stop between two large Semi trucks with the wall of the building behind us.

We waited inside the store for the storm to pass, and again, it missed us. 

Our Last Tornado Encounter

The final episode came in Valentine, Nebraska.

We pulled into a little campground there that we like one beautiful, cool summer morning.

It surprised us to see a big pile of junk lying right at the entrance. In fact, the whole campground was a mess.


Because the previous night, the campground had taken a direct hit from a tornado.  That pile of junk we saw was someone's RV!

All of the campers hid out in the store until the storm passed, and fortunately nobody was injured.

However, there was plenty of RV damage.

What Can You Do to Protect Yourself?

Since tornadoes move in a Northwest direction, the best thing you can do is try to position yourself Southeast of the storm.

Barring that, if you see one coming, leave your RV and find solid shelter until the storm passes.

If you are on the highway when one of these storms comes your way, and you are unable to find shelter, park your coach and lay flat in any available ditches or climb up under the interior of the side joists of any bridges that are close by.

So that you know what may be lurking down the road, always carry a weather radio with you such as the one we use, which is shown here.  This one is relatively inexpensive, stores easily and is important to keep on board for a variety of potential weather problems.  

It's better to know about problems ahead of time than to wait until they are upon you!  After our close calls with Tornadoes, we realized the importance of having this type of unit with us while traveling.

Always Be Prepared to Deal With Hazardous Weather

These types of weather problems cannot be foreseen, and all three times we were very lucky.

Since we live in an area where tornadoes are rare, each one of these situations was pretty scary.

The lesson here is that when you are an RV traveler, you must learn to watch for weather patterns and protect yourself as best you can.

Some people are not as lucky as we were.

 2013 YOU TUBE