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Towing In Strong Winds


ssteve

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So far since I started towing my caravan I have been lucky with the weather in that the worst I have encountered is a bit of heavy rain. But I am reletivley new to caravaning having only been on five trips. In view of the strong winds we have had recently, when does it become too dangerous to tow a caravan?.

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In strong winds like these we have had recently I would avoid towing unless you had no option.

 

We had to drive through Northern France last year in high winds only to arrive at Calais to find that the ferries had been cancelled due to the weather. (Huge queues for lorries, cars and caravans got through quite quickly.)

 

We just kept our speed down and were very aware of sudden gusts etc.

 

I am sure the alko stabiliser also helped.

 

Pete.

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On 23rd of June last year we left home to make our way to Dover. It was quite windy when we left but it seemed OK as we went down the M1 and M25. We came into Dover via the M20 and as we dropped done into Dover we could see the waves coming over the sea wall and the roundabouts were wet from spray. We went to book in and were told all ferries were cancelled. We rebooked for the following day (thats another story!) and made our way back out of Dover heading for the Caravan Club Black Horse Farm site. Going back out of Dover up the long hill was the worst towing experience I have had. We were blown all over the place and I had to keep my speed down to about 40mph. Partly the reason we have booked the Tunnel this year!!

 

David

David - Milton Keynes

Bailey Alliance 66-2 Motorhome for holidays and a Kia Venga for home.

 

Caravan Travels

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Hi David

 

Thats when we were coming back last year. We eventually got on a ferry but then had to sit just outside dover harbour for nearly 2 hours waiting for a berth.

 

Pete.

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Pete that was the problem the following day as all the ferries were in the wrong place! Although our rebooked ferry was the 8. 30am on Thursday morning we did not get the Calais until 2. 00pm so we effectively lost a day of our holiday.

 

David

David - Milton Keynes

Bailey Alliance 66-2 Motorhome for holidays and a Kia Venga for home.

 

Caravan Travels

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Thanks for your replies, I noticed that you have 4x4s as well so its not as if youre driving something too light. Perhaps I will invest in a stabilizer as well if that will help!.

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Steve

 

I think driving a 4X4 probably adds to the problem because they are so slab sided. Our van has an Al-Ko hitch stabiliser. Stay away from the wind!!!!

 

David

David - Milton Keynes

Bailey Alliance 66-2 Motorhome for holidays and a Kia Venga for home.

 

Caravan Travels

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When we set off in March last year for Spain, we had high winds all the way to Dover. Really, I suppose we should not have set off. There were trucks and Transit type vans blown over on the A1. We dare only tow at 40mph. The outfit was very unstable. Consequently we missed the ferry at Dover. The biggest shock was the resulting fuel consumption: 13mpg! (usually about 24mpg)

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once saw a rig blown over on the A1(M) a few years ago, the van was in a million pieces, the towbar still attached to the Range rover towing it, only the vehicle was on its side with the back end looking like it was twisted.

 

Another time saw a van blown completely off the road in Scotland, it came to rest at the bottom of a steep valley in the lake.

 

No, its not safe to tow in high winds!!

 

Jenny

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We have found this also!

 

For me the biggest problem is when Lorries come past you as they effectively stop the wind, I found that it was really important to get ready for when they are past as you can easilly get thrown about . .......rather scary, I think if you are able, find a CL and pitch up for the night.

 

 

However, I have also found that it is often less windy at night, but I don't know whether this is just my imagination!!!

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less windy at night?...depends how good the curry was for tea. ;)

 

seriously though, I too get worried just by passing lorries and avoid towing in windy conditions whenever possible, and that's on a twin axle van with an alko2004 hitch pulled by a hefty towcar.

 

Like others have said, if you have no option then slow right down and get there late rather than not at all!

 

Steve

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Its not safe to tow if you have no confidence in the winds, or if you feel it blowing your car about whilst you are solo, I drive trucks for a living, I struggle to stay upright sometimes, but it really hits home hard when you see a truck turned over.

 

So dont travel unless you are either experienced, confident.

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I towed my new twin axle van with my front wheel drive car down the M5 motorway on Saturday in the wind which was very gusty and did not really have a problem as I drove at a sensible speed. The only thing that really shook the van was passing trucks. By the same token I delivered my old single axle van to the dealer and yes I could feel the wind from time to time. Thw twin is a lot more stable in high winds than a single.

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Hi Pete, there was a study on this done somtime ago, the conclusion was that the problem was caused by the disturbed air flow through the open frame work of the transporter, apprently worse when the truck is empty!!!!!!!

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Last summer I towed my caravan to the Isle of Wight from Eastbourne. The weather had been fine for most of the journey until I reached just outside Portsmouth on the motorway when it suddenly became quite windy and the rain poured down.

Within seconds of hitting this weather, another driver on the motorway drove alongside me and was obviously trying to tell me something - he was pointing back towards the caravan.

Luckily, I was almost at the exit so as soon as possible, I pulled over and checked the caravan in the pouring rain. All seemed fine and I couldn't understand the other driver's panic session.

As soon as I got to the site on the Isle of Wight, I opened up the caravan and went inside. It took me a couple of seconds to realise that I was still being rained on even inside the caravan. Now I could see what the other driver's panic session was all about. The wind had somehow gotten underneath the closed skylight and ripped it right off.

Unfortunately, I was told by the receptionist that there were no caravan shops on the island. I had to order one from the mainland and wait four days for it to arrive. In the meantime, I had my groundsheet over the top of my caravan stopping the rain which incidently didn't stop for two weeks.

It was probably my worst caravanning holiday, but it didn't put me off.

At least it was only a skylight and not the whole caravan that ended up damaged in the wind when towing.

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Towing in Italy, I find the majority of trucks move over half & half onto the hardshoulder when they see a caravan about to overtake them. I found more problems with "white vans" and motorhomes overtaking me at speeds in excess of 70mph. As you can see I have a 4x4, I find lorries in the UK less of a problem than "white vans" but I agrre about transporters. By the way I drive an HGV 1, so I know what problems face caravaners when driving on motorways.

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LadyBarbera

I think I remember seeing a picture of someone who had lost their top vent like you. They stuck an umbrella up through the roof, opened it and then somehow secured it down. Neater and easier than using a groundsheet.

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I always try to avoid towing in high winds - but have had to do so several times - my advice if you can avoid it dont do it - but if you cant keep your speed down and if / when you feel uncomfortable about it slow down a bit more !!!

 

Margaret

Margaret

 

I don't do technical !!!

Just me and my showdogs!!

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Someone said on another thread that you should try to avoid towing in a force 7. I cancelled last weekend because of the gales, wwe were going to slimbridge but I really didnt fancy travelling along the Bristol Channell roads in those winds

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hi we where down brean sand some years ago staying on home farm just for a over night stop on the way to paignton

the wind got up when we where on the way down there on the motorway and my husband was really scared as we had not been towing long

when we arrived at home farm that night the wind really got going we did not put an awning up

but people on site who had theres up a lot of them had them ripped

when we woke next mourning the wind had died down but the lady in the next caravan to us she was that frightend she spent the night in the car

parked next to the toilet block for shelter

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So far since I started towing my caravan I have been lucky with the weather in that the worst I have encountered is a bit of heavy rain. But I am reletivley new to caravaning having only been on five trips. In view of the strong winds we have had recently, when does it become too dangerous to tow a caravan?.

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I towed from Speyside to Fife last August after two weeks of really bad weather. The wind was horrendous, I managed 40mph and had to pull into laybys often to allow others to overtake. I was passed by two vans (Travellers?) at an open section and the left me standing. I now have a stabiliser which gives me a more comfortable tow to say the least. My Nissan Primera isn't the best towcar in the world but I dont take risks solo or towing.

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Our first trip out with our very first van last year, travelling to Chester Fairoaks CC site (nice site BTW), high winds head on and side, I suddenly realised that I had travelled all the way over the M62 and on to the M56 with out putting my Alko stablizer on (whoops!!!).Very stable behind our Galaxy but won't forget to put the Alko down again. I would recommend just slowing down in high winds and if tit gets to much, get off the road and onto services etc. 'til either the wind calms down or you do.

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