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Old 05-30-2013, 12:33 PM   #1
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Severe Weather Camping

If you are from the Midwest or Southern states you are already aware that this season is prime time for heavy storms and Tornado's. With the events in Oklahoma, Alabama and Joplin over the last few years its gotten me much more aware of whats going on around us. I along with a good friend are taking our two oldest boys out this weekend and they are predicting for some severe weather and I am tempted to call it off or see how it plays out. Any of you spend some sleepless nights in your Rv's through some rough weather?
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Old 05-30-2013, 12:37 PM   #2
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I spent a really uncomfortable night in a pop-up camper in Ocean City, MD in a fairly unprotected campground and dealt with a nasty thunderstorm. I'm a big boy - 265 pounds or so. Daughter and I were laying on the bed and could feel it being lifted under us. We were watching the weather map the whole time from my phone.

Where I live, there's not much of a threat of tornadoes. Just regular summer thunderstorms and whatnot.
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Old 05-30-2013, 12:38 PM   #3
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I left St. Louis to get away from the tornadoes... and moved into hurricane territory. We camped once while a storm turned tropical on us.

When I was a kid, we went tent camping and I remember trips cut short due to approaching weather. Just play it safe, check the forecast, bring your weather radio if you go, and be ready.
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Old 05-30-2013, 12:41 PM   #4
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Jellystone campground in Bagley WI got hit last night. 3 campers blew over on their sides. Luckily there were no injuries.
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Old 05-30-2013, 12:50 PM   #5
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Jellystone campground in Bagley WI got hit last night. 3 campers blew over on their sides. Luckily there were no injuries.
How far was that phrom you?
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Old 05-30-2013, 01:04 PM   #6
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Many, Many moons ago (long before internet weather, weather alert radios, etc) we camped in Lincoln, IL at a Good Sam Rally - We were in a 1974 Coleman Popup towed by a 1971 VW Bus (where were the weight police then...) - Sirens wailed - sky turned green and dark (outside fairgrounds lights came on) and they annouced over the public address there was a tornado in the area. Dropped the popup very quickly (about 1 min if I remember right) all the while Dad yelling to go faster. Then sat in the VW Bus with the engine running as we watched the tornado tear up a local comunity about 1/4-1/3 of mile off in the distance.

Spent some sleepless nights this past weekend with the wind roaring around the rig almost constantly 25-30 mph with gusts over 50.

Still had a good time with the kids and grandchild so it was worth it. We do keep aware of the weather conditions around us with cell phone, tablets, and weather alert radio these days. Pretty rare that we would let it stop us... Slow us down and/or limit our activities sure but not stop us.
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Old 05-30-2013, 01:44 PM   #7
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We've been thru some big storms this week and last weekend. Our door side is facing south west, directly parallel to Lovewell reservoir in central Kansas near the NE boarder. Kept getting alerts for 60-70 mph winds yesterday. The dw asked me how much wind can thus big thing take before rolling over? Guess it seems plenty stable in the 50+mph stuff, but not sure above that? Good thread to help keep us all aware and a reminder to think safely, especially with little ones along.
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Old 05-30-2013, 02:52 PM   #8
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How far was that phrom you?
Bagley is about 15 miles south oph Prairie du Chien right along the Mississippi. Our camper is 35 minutes NNE oph Portage so it's a good ways from us.
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Old 05-30-2013, 03:01 PM   #9
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We where in Gifford Pinchot in PA some years ago with a pop up, the ranger drove by told us too tie everything down and put everything away a huge storm was coming.

Well we ended up tying the popup to the trees around us, lucky there was enough for each brace of the roof.

The weather was so bad , we left the site and sat near a bathroom looking for cover. We waited about 2 hours that night.

Next day we heard lightning killed two tent campers.

Finally get a storm radio ! those things work.

Since that time, I really never felt secure in a pop up.

Also once in the keys, we where awaken by a big storm around 2 in the morning. Picnic tables where turned, tent campers walking around in underwear trying to hide.

It was awful, I could feel the beds move up and down, we had friend with a hard sided trailer and we stayed with them for another 2 hours or so.

Pop ups are great, very fuel efficient and roomy, but I got tired of the storms and never felt comfortable sleeping in them. We then moved up to our previous hard sided trailer. It also may not be the safest place to be in a storm, but some how hard sides and top due give me more security than a canvas trailer.

But any storm can rattle our cages.
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Old 05-30-2013, 03:03 PM   #10
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Damage pics of Jellystone campground in Bagley WI.

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Old 05-30-2013, 03:06 PM   #11
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Just like DK said come to Florida and watch the weather change in minutes. 3 years ago a storm took off my awning, I didn't have enough time to retract it. I also tent camped on barrier islands here when storms just blow in in minutes.
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Old 05-30-2013, 03:08 PM   #12
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Ugh.
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Old 05-30-2013, 03:10 PM   #13
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wow scary pics, yea here in florida it can be sunny on one side of the street and rainy on the other, its crazy. But one thing is for sure, wind gusts come up pretty fast.

Its so important to have a weather radio, to help one keep track of the weather.
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Old 05-30-2013, 03:23 PM   #14
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Once while camping in Kentucky the ranger came thru the campground and told us all to evacuate, bad storm on the way. They sent us to a storm shelter at the lodge on the property. It passed quickly, and there was no damage. When we got back to the CG, the rangers were stationed at the entrance and had kept watch on everything while we were gone. Make sure you know what the weather is doing, but also make sure you know the safest protected place to seek shelter. Now I always ask when we check in someplace, just in case.
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Old 05-30-2013, 03:37 PM   #15
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... but also make sure you know the safest protected place to seek shelter. Now I always ask when we check in someplace, just in case.
Great Idea. Every campground has a map in the office and/or gives you a map when you check in. The shelters should be labeled, posted, or whatever to inform people.
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Old 05-30-2013, 03:37 PM   #16
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Spent several scary nights in tornado alley.

Once in Kansas the campground host went camper to camper telling us to suck in the slides and get in the concrete campground shower with everyone including our pets and the campground host while a tornado passed a mile from the campground. The destruction was incredible all around us the next day.

Then again in Georgia at Dobbins AFB FAMCAMP. Sirens and the security police woke us up and directed us to the Officer's Billeting, the evacuation center. Pets were not allowed in and rather than leave the dog, we hunkered down in the BX parking lot away from everything and rode out the storm. We spent a sleepless night because I wanted to be able to drive away from any funnel we spotted. Luckily we only got really strong winds and rain (the funnel hit further away near Atlanta.)

Lesson learned - The Concertone/Genesis with the weather alert function WORKS and would not own a camper without it; BUT YOU HAVE TO USE IT.
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Old 05-30-2013, 03:43 PM   #17
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I like the Concertone/Genesis with weather alert function too but wouldn't be without my handheld Midland weather radio with S.A.M.E.
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Old 05-30-2013, 03:44 PM   #18
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I like the Concertone/Genesis with weather alert function too but wouldn't be without my handheld Midland weather radio with S.A.M.E.
I think I will get one of those too. I really missed the updates hunkered down in that shower stall.

What do you think about this one?
http://www.amazon.com/Midland-HH54VP...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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Old 05-30-2013, 05:58 PM   #19
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Great discussion! My parents used to tent camp and do a lot of boating when I was young and we lived in Florida so I'm used to the nasty thunderstorms we get. Basically, if the sky turns green, I'm looking for cover. If it's a matter of lightening, we stay inside. I do remember one particularly nasty ts in July where I had the kids shoes and rain gear on them waiting to run. The rain, wind and lightening were too bad too fast to go anywhere, but it def occurred to me to wish we were in a concrete structure.

Another one was on a trip north on I-75, We ran into a bad ts and stopped at some goofy cg literally a stones throw from the interstate. As we lay in our 5er, listening to the storm, DH asked "is that a truck or a tornado?" ~ my response? "we'll know in a minute". Never did go to sleep that night, eventually the weather broke enough to put the kids in the truck and hit the road. Loooooonnnnngggg nite.
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Old 05-30-2013, 06:18 PM   #20
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Not what most people would say but here goes. I was raised to never be scared of storms. So that being said I have never taken cover. Even with an F-4 tornado 1/8 mile away. I am a firm believer in the fact that if the good Lord says it is your time to go it doesn't matter where you are he will te you hame.
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