As we all know the weather has a mind of it’s own and you never know what’s going to happen. So I’m going to share a little about how we deal with weather.
The first thing your going to learn about RVing is that wind will make your day or it might just make it miserable. If you’ve ever driven in the south west of America then you’ll know what I’m talking about. Last year we drove south in early November and were so excited to Roswell that we didn’t even think about the wind. This was a huge mistake as we spent a few days heading into 30 - 40 mph winds towing our Big Horn 5th wheel. We’re really happy that we went with a 5th wheel over a bumper pull trailer and even in strong winds the the trailer is solid and we feel safe, the only problem is the gas. Heading south from Oklahoma through Texas and into New Mexico your going to see some wind. We spend 2 days driving into a head wind and that’s no fun. We were burning a lot more fuel then normal and it doesn’t make for a fun drive. So that’s when we started using the App Windy to schedule our trips.
Windy is a great app that should be used by everyone, even the sailers cruising around the world use it. So here is how we’ve adapted the way we plan our long trips with the RV. Our strategy is to avoid the windiest times of day, and try and make time when we have the wind going with us. I’ll use Baja as an Example. The days start out nice and calm in the morning and then between 10am to noon the wind will pick up. This afternoon wind will normally last until a little before dusk. So when we’re traveling in Baja we get an early start. That means we’re up before the sun and leaving as the sun comes up. It doesn’t matter if your only going a few hours or all day, getting going before the wind kicks up will make a huge difference. If your like us and can pick and choose what days you want to travel on check windy to see if the wind will be with you. You’ll be surprised how often the wind changes directions and speed. If it’s going to be really strong in the afternoon, plan to take a break and make some food. I guess the moral of the story here is don’t fight the wind if you don’t need to. We’ve done the drive from Bahia de Conception to La Paz a few times this year, the last time was in mid June with temperatures over 42 Celsius so we left at 5am to beat the heat and the wind and it made the day a delight.
Rain and Snow
I actually like driving in the rain, it’s a free wash for the truck and trailer in my mind. There are just a few things that I do in rain and snow. Just keep your distance from the car or truck in front of you. There’s no use tailgating! Your not going to get there any faster and it’s just going to hurt your visibility and wear your brakes out.
Trailer brake gain
Ok so this is probably the most important thing other then having tire with decent tread. Adjust your trailer brake gain in bad weather for each situation you find yourself in. If your trailer brake aren’t set up properly you can get into a whole lot of trouble. Here’s some situations you’ll see or get into if your not careful. If your gain is set too low then you might have to slam on your brakes and see your trailer passing you sideways on the road. This can happen when your truck has the brakes engaged and is slowing but the trailer brakes aren’t. The trailer keeps it’s momentum and will keep going. This can happen on the highway in snow or Ice pretty easy. We’ve also seen it happen when your coming down a muddy road. This is when the manual trailer brake gain knobs come in very handy!
We’re currently in Los Barriles in Baja Sur and are expecting to get some storms this summer. Having lived in Asia for a while we’ve been through many a typhoon and expect that the Baja hurricanes should be pretty similar. Our original plan was that we could just hook up and head north to La Paz if it looks like we’re going to get a direct hit but this plan has changed a little. With our doctor in San Jose del Cabo and the baby’s due date right in middle the storm season we don’t have much of a choice here. If we head north and the roads or bridges get washed out it might make it hard to get back to Los Barriles and even to the doctor. We’re happy with our spot in East Cape RV and hope that it will be protected enough. We have solar and a back up generator for the power outages and will make sure our water tanks are full in case there’s a big one. We’ll keep updating this as we get further into the storm season, this is going to be an interesting next few months!