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Old 08-20-2019, 08:04 PM   #1
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Need advice on securing tent trailer in high winds

Hey gang needing advice on how to secure our tent trailer in high winds, expecting strong dust storms and high winds 30-70mph. Anyone have any solid ideas or if this thread has been posted before can you direct me towards it? I did search but didnít find anything. Thank you

Marc
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Old 08-20-2019, 08:08 PM   #2
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You know I have rode out a lot of bad storms in my tent trailer back when I had it. Just put down you stabilizers good and snug and you will be OK. It's not real fun being inside but it all comes out good in the morning.
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Old 08-20-2019, 08:57 PM   #3
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Hey gang needing advice on how to secure our tent trailer in high winds, expecting strong dust storms and high winds 30-70mph. Anyone have any solid ideas or if this thread has been posted before can you direct me towards it? I did search but didnít find anything. Thank you

Marc
I would keep an eye on roof sway. Remember that you only have 4 telescoping posts holding it all up.... 70MPH wind is nothing to mess with. Keep the awning folded up or it will turn in to a sail!
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Old 08-20-2019, 09:07 PM   #4
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This got me to wondering because 25MPH winds saw our roof rocking pretty good.

I just read a story about 70MPH winds totaling a guys camper. Most folks seem to think 40MPH is probably the most you should do..

Post #10

https://www.popupportal.com/threads/too-windy.20936/
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Old 08-20-2019, 10:11 PM   #5
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You know I have rode out a lot of bad storms in my tent trailer back when I had it. Just put down you stabilizers good and snug and you will be OK. It's not real fun being inside but it all comes out good in the morning.
Thank you! I will check our the thread, we bought our esp 1640 used and I donít think it came with support bars and it didnít come with a manual either. Do you know where we can order those support bars fast? Also how many should it have 4? Sorry for my lack of knowledge.

Marc
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Old 08-20-2019, 10:27 PM   #6
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Thank you! I will check our the thread, we bought our esp 1640 used and I don’t think it came with support bars and it didn’t come with a manual either. Do you know where we can order those support bars fast? Also how many should it have 4? Sorry for my lack of knowledge.

Marc
If you are new to tent camper camping I would advise having a day/night in the driveway to familiarize yourself with the camper and what you will need. That way your not far from things

As for manuals there isn't "A" manual. There is the forest river book for the camper and general info. Then there is one for every applliance/device.

The awning
The water heater
The heater and one for heater thermostat
A/C if you have one
Electric roof winch
Dexter Axles
Stove
Refrigerator
Heated Matresses
Maintenance guides....

and so on and so on. I think I have about 15 booklets in all.

Did you look under your mattresses for the braces? They are usually stowed under the mattress. Do you know what you are looking for? They go around 2 of the 4 roof pillars diagonally from one another(typically). Its a kind of goldish/brass squared C shape to pop around the pillar to prevent the roof from going down. Im sure you can get them from forest river but it won't be fast. There is another post I made on here that I recently updated about getting camper parts including tent fabric... the info is in there to contact them.

Seriously, if this is your first time in a camper I strongly urge you to reconsider 70 MPH winds. My teenage kids were a little troubled by the 25MPH sway of the roof on ours.....
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Old 08-20-2019, 10:31 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by flyerdp View Post
If you are new to tent camper camping I would advise having a day/night in the driveway to familiarize yourself with the camper and what you will need. That way your not far from things

As for manuals there isn't "A" manual. There is the forest river book for the camper and general info. Then there is one for every applliance/device.

The awning
The water heater
The heater and one for heater thermostat
A/C if you have one
Electric roof winch
Dexter Axles
Stove
Refrigerator
Heated Matresses
Maintenance guides....

and so on and so on. I think I have about 15 booklets in all.

Did you look under your mattresses for the braces? They are usually stowed under the mattress. Do you know what you are looking for? They go around 2 of the 4 roof pillars diagonally from one another(typically). Its a kind of goldish/brass squared C shape to pop around the pillar to prevent the roof from going down.

Seriously, if this is your first time in a camper I strongly urge you to reconsider 70 MPH winds. My teenage kids were a little troubled by the 25MPH sway of the roof on ours.....

Not our first camping trip in it and we do have those two brass colored supports I just found them! Thank you so much for clarifying. We have never used them before so do you know of a video of how to install and use them in strong winds? Also has anyone used guide lines tied down to stakes or rebar from the tent trailer itself to help add support for the roof from swaying too much? Thanks so much for your help!

Marc
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Old 08-20-2019, 11:02 PM   #8
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Check at 2:25 in the video. Don't blink you may miss it

FYI, they are not "Wind" supports. The are just to keep the roof from accidentily lowering on you, thats why there are only 2 for opposite corners. Don't mistake them for bracing, just a block to keep the roof from being able to lower.
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Old 08-21-2019, 12:30 PM   #9
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Not a good situation to be in.

If there is no dust and it's just wind. I would unzip all the windows to let air pass through.

Not sure what else you can do.
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Old 08-21-2019, 12:44 PM   #10
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We survived 50 mph winds in our popup. It was not very restful, we were under a tornado watch to boot. The tenting made a terrible flapping racket all night long but we were fine. The trailer was actually pushed forward a couple of inches as evidenced by the drag marks in the gravel from the stabilizers. We had not thought to open the windows.

70 mph would not be fun. I would be very tempted to close up the camper and sleep in the car.
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Old 08-21-2019, 01:28 PM   #11
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I wouldn't feel safe in my 32 ft. 5th wheel in 70 mph winds, that is just 5 mph less than a Cat. 1 hurricane. If I had a tent camper and the weather forecast called for 70 mph wind, I would fold that baby up, hook it to the tow vehicle and head for the nearest motel.
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Old 08-21-2019, 03:11 PM   #12
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My advice would be to close it up and shelter in your vehicle or other secure place until the storm is over. We abandoned ours in a terrific thunderstorm years ago and sheltered in our tow vehicle. Damn scary to be in the camper in a powerful storm.
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Old 08-21-2019, 03:47 PM   #13
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A tent trailer can flip just as easy as a trailer. Put the jacks/stabilizers down, bring in the awning, secure chairs and anything that flies or blows over outside.
If your tent canvas is old or not maintained the wind could cause some tears. Limbs and branches can damage the hard shell just as easy as the tent so don't sweat it. Now with the tent bunks you will notice the wind, rain and storm more. If it calms you then pull in the tents and turtle it. But that hybrid can blow over as easily as a trailer, but not likely with stabilizers down. Usually the only damage we see is other people and their awnings that weren't brought in or extra chairs and coolers in our campsite.
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Old 08-21-2019, 04:14 PM   #14
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I've never owned a Tent Trailer but I can tell you that high winds aren't fun in a regular TT.

I first try to avoid storms as much as possible by planning ahead but just in case I carry several auger type ground anchors similar to what power companies screw into the ground to anchor guy wires (only much smaller).

I won't rely on stabilizer jacks to keep me upright, I'm going to screw the anchors into the ground and secure the trailer frame to them with some HD ratcheting cargo straps. Might even consider buying a couple of cargo hold down straps like used on flatbed semi's, toss them across the top of the trailer and then secure them with more ratchet cargo anchors.


Strapping down a tent trailer as described will probably keep it upright and remaining in the same Zip Code but high winds may tear some canvas loose.

When you stop and think, mountaineers are constantly setting up tents in high wind areas. The secret is to keep the tent anchored and that starts with tying down the frame. Straps over rear bumper and front tongue/a-frame is a good start if firmly anchored to the ground.

BTW, the augers I use are about 3" in diameter and have shafts with ring that's close to 2" long. I screw them in using the bar I used to use to connect my WDH chains.

These are the anchors I'm describing and you can get a set like this for about $40



Most are rated for 1,000 lbs but that will depend on soil too.
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Old 08-21-2019, 07:28 PM   #15
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Just made it through a storm during NASCAR weekend at Chicagoland speedway. Winds came out of no where at 65-70 mph. By the time we got to the camper it was really rocking. Roof support fell out and canvas on dinette pulled up in a corner. Had rain inside but everything else on camper survived. Did loss our pop-up canopy tho.
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Old 08-22-2019, 02:33 PM   #16
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I once tried to set up my A-frame in 60mph winds in Wyoming. I gave up for 2 reasons:
  • the plastic chocks I had would not hold the wheels in place on the packed gravel surface. The wind actually blew the chocks out from under the wheels when the A-frame rocked a little in the wind. I have since replaced them with the heavy rubber chocks from Harbor Freight ($5 ea with coupon). What a difference - the chocks don't slide or move under changing load on any surface.
  • The roof was actually lifting itself in the winds, and I didn't have any way to stop it. I have since added rope in my tool bag to tie to the roof handles. I can use the ropes to either control the roof during setup or take-down, or I can use them to tie the roof down. Not as likely for a pop-up roof to lift in high winds, but not out of the question either.
With the both the rubber chocks and the tie-downs available to me, I am confident to over 60MPH. How much more? I'm not real eager to find out.

As others have said, do not even imagine your awning being out in over 25MPH winds. From my PUP experiences, I would open every window just a little bit (or more) to relieve wind pressure and pressure differentials.

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Old 08-22-2019, 03:05 PM   #17
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I once tried to set up my A-frame in 60mph winds in Wyoming. I gave up for 2 reasons:
  • the plastic chocks I had would not hold the wheels in place on the packed gravel surface. The wind actually blew the chocks out from under the wheels when the A-frame rocked a little in the wind. I have since replaced them with the heavy rubber chocks from Harbor Freight ($5 ea with coupon). What a difference - the chocks don't slide or move under changing load on any surface.
  • The roof was actually lifting itself in the winds, and I didn't have any way to stop it. I have since added rope in my tool bag to tie to the roof handles. I can use the ropes to either control the roof during setup or take-down, or I can use them to tie the roof down. Not as likely for a pop-up roof to lift in high winds, but not out of the question either.
With the both the rubber chocks and the tie-downs available to me, I am confident to over 60MPH. How much more? I'm not real eager to find out.

As others have said, do not even imagine your awning being out in over 25MPH winds. From my PUP experiences, I would open every window just a little bit (or more) to relieve wind pressure and pressure differentials.

Fred W
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2008 Hyundai Entourage minivan
camping Colorado and adjacent states one weekend at a time

Opening windows has been mentioned a few times and from multiple articles I have read in the past this actually hastens total destruction. Opening a window gives air a path in to the home and under the roof. If it finds even a small opening it will whip through the open doors/windows and apply outward pressure trying to push the house apart from the inside once it finds a surface to gain purchase via.

Here is a short article on the subject of open windows:
https://science.howstuffworks.com/na...ng-tornado.htm

Ultimately you need to decide who you are willing to risk high winds on. As a single man I wouldn't have spent so much time on my safety but as a parent and with 5 family members I am much more careful now.

I would be less worried about my trailer in many places and more worried about flying debris. If you are not alone you have no idea how competent your neighbors might be and what they might leave outside that could turn in to a projectile during high winds. The roof, sides and of course tent walls are no match for anything of even modest weight flying through the air.
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Old 08-23-2019, 03:13 PM   #18
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Opening windows has been mentioned a few times and from multiple articles I have read in the past this actually hastens total destruction. Opening a window gives air a path in to the home and under the roof. If it finds even a small opening it will whip through the open doors/windows and apply outward pressure trying to push the house apart from the inside once it finds a surface to gain purchase via.

I would be less worried about my trailer in many places and more worried about flying debris. If you are not alone you have no idea how competent your neighbors might be and what they might leave outside that could turn in to a projectile during high winds. The roof, sides and of course tent walls are no match for anything of even modest weight flying through the air.
We are talking about a PUP in high wind gusts (up as high as 70MPH). Tornados are a different story. If a tornado warning is issued for where you are - get out now!

My experience in severe thunder and hail storms (probably not 70MPH, but measured to 60+MPH) is that tents and pop-up campers will hold themselves together. They are much more capable than the noise would make the situation appear. You will want to evacuate well before the camper is going to come apart. The roof lift needs to be in good shape, and the roof supports do help. Because of the weight being down in the "box", except for the roof, roll-over is much less likely than in a TT.

More of an issue, especially compared to a TT, is keeping the pop-up in place. You have a single axle, and ends that stick out well beyond the "box" to give the wind leverage to rotate or push the camper. As I found out the hard way, those plastic chocks are worthless in the kind of situation we are envisioning. A moving camper in that kind of storm is a real disaster. I've seen way too many tents roll/tumble yards away in the wind when the owners weren't inside weighting it down. And I've heard of pop-ups leaving the campsite on their own in severe windstorms.

Unlike a house, a pop-up has extensive "windows" on all 4 sides - there is more "window" than canvas. Unzipping some of the top edges of ALL the windows will provide some wind pressure relief without creating a pressure build-up that you get if you only ventilate the windward side. It's just like a tent - the more the wind can blow through, the less force it exerts on the stakes and poles. However, if it is indeed a dust storm, this option is not practical.

You are right about flying debris being a danger, with an awning being the most likely, and other camping gear in the site being the 2nd most likely dangers. I get a sinister chuckle out of watching folks set up their awnings in Colorado, and then leave the site for the day. Securing everything in the site BEFORE we leave the site is standard practice for us now. We've had the indoor/outdoor carpet, coolers, and of course chairs relocate themselves in the Colorado storms. The good thing is that where these kind of storms are not so exceptional, there is very little natural debris that will hurt you. It's all been blown away in previous storms.

Fred W
prev 2000 Coleman Westlake PUP
prev 2014 Rockwood A122 A-frame
now 2019 Flagstaff T21TBHW
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