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Old 08-18-2018, 07:03 AM   #1
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Default Dangerous high winds???

Have you ever had to pull over and wait for high winds??

We never have, but, we've come close.....on a recent trip through the Las Vegas area..the winds on Interstate 15 were pushing us around and it was difficult to control... And I had to slow down and proceed in the right hand lane.....

Don't actually remember what the wind speed was .... and even with the electronic stability control....it was enough to get my attention......

What's your experience with winds ranging from 20 to 30 MPH??

Next time I'll make a note about the windspeed... Let me know if you have some experience with this....
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Old 08-18-2018, 12:41 PM   #2
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20-30mph winds don't have a big effect on us, and wouldn't appreciably slow us down from freeway speeds of 72mph and two lane of 60+mph. We have been in winds of over 50mph coming out of the mountains from Yellowstone toward Denver on a two lane highway and were driving 50-55mph most of the time. They had all the high wind warning signs up for 70+mph winds in the canyons. There was a fifth wheel on the side of the road with a window blown out and an almost new class C a few miles later that had most of the rubber roof blown off.


We drove to our planned destination that day and didn't stop early, although the campground we were in was nearly full when we got there with folks that had pulled off because of the wind, so we barely got a campsite.


It was interesting that when semi trucks were coming towards us, the air ride cabs were leaned way over so noticeably tilted as they approached. We could also read the writing on the sides of semis in front of us because the wind was dogtracking them so badly.


The Scanguage did give us a 36mpg average for about 1/2 hour on the only stretch that we had a good tailwind and flat road.


I will say that the winds out west are not as irritating as the same wind speed is around here in Minnesota and Wisconsin as the western topography is pretty flat and with few trees. This gives a more constant pushing wind than we get here, where there tends to be large gusts hitting the van due to breaks in the treeline, hills, etc
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Old 08-18-2018, 03:10 PM   #3
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Default Are you talking about 50 MPH winds hitting the side your vehicle??

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20-30mph winds don't have a big effect on us, and wouldn't appreciably slow us down from freeway speeds of 72mph and two lane of 60+mph. We have been in winds of over 50mph coming out of the mountains from Yellowstone toward Denver on a two lane highway and were driving 50-55mph most of the time. They had all the high wind warning signs up for 70+mph winds in the canyons. There was a fifth wheel on the side of the road with a window blown out and an almost new class C a few miles later that had most of the rubber roof blown off.


We drove to our planned destination that day and didn't stop early, although the campground we were in was nearly full when we got there with folks that had pulled off because of the wind, so we barely got a campsite.


It was interesting that when semi trucks were coming towards us, the air ride cabs were leaned way over so noticeably tilted as they approached. We could also read the writing on the sides of semis in front of us because the wind was dogtracking them so badly.


The Scanguage did give us a 36mpg average for about 1/2 hour on the only stretch that we had a good tailwind and flat road.


I will say that the winds out west are not as irritating as the same wind speed is around here in Minnesota and Wisconsin as the western topography is pretty flat and with few trees. This gives a more constant pushing wind than we get here, where there tends to be large gusts hitting the van due to breaks in the treeline, hills, etc
You're driving 60 plus MPH forward with a 50 MPH wind coming from the side across the van ?

What modifications did you make in order to do that? OR ...if you didn't make any let me know as well.

You have a Mercedes Benz Sprinter? Correct?

Like I said, we've been in some gusty winds and I didn't know the actual speed but it was enough for me to be a little concerned......

50 MPH.. sounds like a virtual wind tunnel to me...if I knew it was 50 MPH I might not have tried it at all.... even in my car?? And my car is extremely aerodynamic compared to an almost 10 foot high Sprinter....
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Old 08-18-2018, 03:34 PM   #4
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You're driving 60 plus MPH forward with a 50 MPH wind coming from the side across the van ?

What modifications did you make in order to do that? OR ...if you didn't make any let me know as well.

You have a Mercedes Benz Sprinter? Correct?

Like I said, we've been in some gusty winds and I didn't know the actual speed but it was enough for me to be a little concerned......

50 MPH.. sounds like a virtual wind tunnel to me...if I knew it was 50 MPH I might not have tried it at all.... even in my car?? And my car is extremely aerodynamic compared to an almost 10 foot high Sprinter....

We have an 07 Roadtrek C190P on a Chevy. It has been tweaked for handling and drives very, very, well in poor conditions. The whole thing was setup to have very little oversteer and very responsive steering, giving very small steering wheel movements to correct line. If the steering wheel movements get much larger, huge winds like we say make it so you don't have time to make enough correction because the steering wheel has to be moved so far.



Modifications:


"Normal" lift of about 2" with new front springs and rear airbags with separate controls


1.375" rear swaybar


Slightly smaller than stock front sway bar


Bilstein shocks


Oversized tires at 265-75-16 all around-Michelin LTX MS2s at 62psi front and 76psi rear.


Correct offset wheels .5" wider than stock to handle wider tires



Front end alignment to our chosen specs within the GM given range


The winds were mostly side to side/rear except for the mentioned section that was nearly pure rear. Open terrain for the most part, so not horrible gusting. We saw quite a few semis, with some very good drivers I think, but only a couple of RVs of any type, and they were going slowly. The folks in the campgrounds with trailers said it was really hazardous for them, and they were on the 4 lane. Our whole day was on the two lane.



This was, far and away, the windiest we had ever been in, but it was interesting. It was quite the day, as earlier we had climbed up a foggy mountain on the two lane to a pass where it was lightly snowing, and then went down the other side and found the all the wind.


I would do the same drive again, wind or no wind, as the road was decent and the scenery very nice along that route.
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Old 08-18-2018, 03:45 PM   #5
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Default Modifications....

Quote:
Originally Posted by booster View Post
We have an 07 Roadtrek C190P on a Chevy. It has been tweaked for handling and drives very, very, well in poor conditions. The whole thing was setup to have very little oversteer and very responsive steering, giving very small steering wheel movements to correct line. If the steering wheel movements get much larger, huge winds like we say make it so you don't have time to make enough correction because the steering wheel has to be moved so far.



Modifications:


"Normal" lift of about 2" with new front springs and rear airbags with separate controls


1.375" rear swaybar


Slightly smaller than stock front sway bar


Bilstein shocks


Oversized tires at 265-75-16 all around-Michelin LTX MS2s at 62psi front and 76psi rear.


Correct offset wheels .5" wider than stock to handle wider tires



Front end alignment to our chosen specs within the GM given range


The winds were mostly side to side/rear except for the mentioned section that was nearly pure rear. Open terrain for the most part, so not horrible gusting. We saw quite a few semis, with some very good drivers I think, but only a couple of RVs of any type, and they were going slowly. The folks in the campgrounds with trailers said it was really hazardous for them, and they were on the 4 lane. Our whole day was on the two lane.



This was, far and away, the windiest we had ever been in, but it was interesting. It was quite the day, as earlier we had climbed up a foggy mountain on the two lane to a pass where it was lightly snowing, and then went down the other side and found the all the wind.


I would do the same drive again, wind or no wind, as the road was decent and the scenery very nice along that route.
OK... thanks....

I now have KONI FSD shocks, a Roadmaster anti sway bar and Super Steer Trac Bar on my Sprinter.....no air suspension...

My Sprinter is the 3500 with dual wheels..... we're 9 feet 7 inches tall.....

I think your vehicle is a little wider body than ours and closer to the ground stock...

Also I don't think we can have the "off set " wheels set up... It's a different vehicle ..

I don't think even if I went as far as you did would I want to drive in 50 MPH sidewinds?

I'm NOT putting air suspension on my Sprinter.....way too expensive....
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Old 08-18-2018, 04:04 PM   #6
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My guess would be that a dually might be substantially more of a handful in winds like that because of the inherent understeer they create, but I don't know for sure as I have never driven a dually in those kinds of conditions. I think you have 225 width tires on the front, so you would have substantially less front traction to combat wind push on that end, compared to us with 265 width.


I think the Chevy is about the same width as the newer Sprinters and a couple of inches shorter. RV height is more different because they include the Sprinter roof air while our AC is under the roof. Our wheelbase is 155" so shorter than the 170" Sprinter which should give more directional stability to the Sprinter, but also require more input to make corrections.


Our Chevy has no electronic stability control or wind assist.

Air ride in itself is not going to improve handling AFAIK, just comfort. The air ride systems that do improve handling are likely achieving it by reducing sway with swaybars that match the air ride spring and shock rates properly, and by improving rear axle movements to reduce rear steer issues.
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Old 08-18-2018, 04:13 PM   #7
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Default Tire size

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My guess would be that a dually might be substantially more of a handful in winds like that because of the inherent understeer they create, but I don't know for sure as I have never driven a dually in those kinds of conditions. I think you have 225 width tires on the front, so you would have substantially less front traction to combat wind push on that end, compared to us with 265 width.


I think the Chevy is about the same width as the newer Sprinters and a couple of inches shorter. RV height is more different because they include the Sprinter roof air while our AC is under the roof. Our wheelbase is 155" so shorter than the 170" Sprinter which should give more directional stability to the Sprinter, but also require more input to make corrections.


Our Chevy has no electronic stability control or wind assist.

Air ride in itself is not going to improve handling AFAIK, just comfort. The air ride systems that do improve handling are likely achieving it by reducing sway with swaybars that match the air ride spring and shock rates properly, and by improving rear axle movements to reduce rear steer issues.
All of my tires are 215/85 R16.....they are quite different in size....

The dual wheels in the back do provide a lot of stability and of course we can carry more weight than a single wheels set up....

Also, the likelihood of two rear tires blowing out at the same time is practically zero..... plus it gives a lot of stability turning corners.....

But, sounds like the road dynamics of your shorter , closer to the ground in height van is completely different....

We're 23 feet long , 170 inch wheelbase and and 80 inches wide.... plus almost 10 feet tall.
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Old 08-18-2018, 04:15 PM   #8
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Default One more thing...

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My guess would be that a dually might be substantially more of a handful in winds like that because of the inherent understeer they create, but I don't know for sure as I have never driven a dually in those kinds of conditions. I think you have 225 width tires on the front, so you would have substantially less front traction to combat wind push on that end, compared to us with 265 width.


I think the Chevy is about the same width as the newer Sprinters and a couple of inches shorter. RV height is more different because they include the Sprinter roof air while our AC is under the roof. Our wheelbase is 155" so shorter than the 170" Sprinter which should give more directional stability to the Sprinter, but also require more input to make corrections.


Our Chevy has no electronic stability control or wind assist.

Air ride in itself is not going to improve handling AFAIK, just comfort. The air ride systems that do improve handling are likely achieving it by reducing sway with swaybars that match the air ride spring and shock rates properly, and by improving rear axle movements to reduce rear steer issues.
We do have electronic stability control...
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Old 08-18-2018, 05:00 PM   #9
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Default Anti sway bar on my 2012 RS Adventurous

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Originally Posted by booster View Post
My guess would be that a dually might be substantially more of a handful in winds like that because of the inherent understeer they create, but I don't know for sure as I have never driven a dually in those kinds of conditions. I think you have 225 width tires on the front, so you would have substantially less front traction to combat wind push on that end, compared to us with 265 width.


I think the Chevy is about the same width as the newer Sprinters and a couple of inches shorter. RV height is more different because they include the Sprinter roof air while our AC is under the roof. Our wheelbase is 155" so shorter than the 170" Sprinter which should give more directional stability to the Sprinter, but also require more input to make corrections.


Our Chevy has no electronic stability control or wind assist.

Air ride in itself is not going to improve handling AFAIK, just comfort. The air ride systems that do improve handling are likely achieving it by reducing sway with swaybars that match the air ride spring and shock rates properly, and by improving rear axle movements to reduce rear steer issues.
YES, this is the anti sway bar we have ..

1209-120 ROADMASTER REAR SWAY BAR 3500 SPRINTER DODGE & FREIGHTLINER 2008-2017, 1 3/8″ DIAMETER
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Old 08-18-2018, 05:27 PM   #10
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Default Here's a picture of my rig.... it's pretty large...

Quote:
Originally Posted by booster View Post
My guess would be that a dually might be substantially more of a handful in winds like that because of the inherent understeer they create, but I don't know for sure as I have never driven a dually in those kinds of conditions. I think you have 225 width tires on the front, so you would have substantially less front traction to combat wind push on that end, compared to us with 265 width.


I think the Chevy is about the same width as the newer Sprinters and a couple of inches shorter. RV height is more different because they include the Sprinter roof air while our AC is under the roof. Our wheelbase is 155" so shorter than the 170" Sprinter which should give more directional stability to the Sprinter, but also require more input to make corrections.


Our Chevy has no electronic stability control or wind assist.

Air ride in itself is not going to improve handling AFAIK, just comfort. The air ride systems that do improve handling are likely achieving it by reducing sway with swaybars that match the air ride spring and shock rates properly, and by improving rear axle movements to reduce rear steer issues.
Although we have electronic stability control, I don't have wind assist.... that was an enhanced feature on the 2015 models.
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Old 08-18-2018, 06:36 PM   #11
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Our stock 2014 PM 136" outran an Oklahoma tornado at 80mph with 65mph crosswind (as measured by storm trackers--you know it's time to turn around when they do). Narrow two-lane road, never left the lane. Not that it was easy--MrNomer was holding the reins tight--but the van performed much better than we had any right to expect. There are a few small battle scars--dents in the side panels from flying debris.
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Old 08-18-2018, 06:49 PM   #12
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Default Very surprised you decided to take such a huge risk...

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Our stock 2014 PM 136" outran an Oklahoma tornado at 80mph with 65mph crosswind (as measured by storm trackers--you know it's time to turn around when they do). Narrow two-lane road, never left the lane. Not that it was easy--MrNomer was holding the reins tight--but the van performed much better than we had any right to expect. There are a few small battle scars--dents in the side panels from flying debris.
Well, aside from the "dents in the side panels" as you put it.. you took a really big unnecessary risk, in my opinion. I would have just checked into a local hotel or changed course.

Reminds me of a trip I took several years ago when I diverted from an "ice storm" in North Platte, Nebraska and decided to head southwest to avoid the dangerous condition.

Maybe you think its "fun" to be a "tornado chaser" ... I DO NOT.

All I can say is good luck.... are you planning on doing that again???
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Old 08-18-2018, 07:37 PM   #13
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Let me assure you this was not by choice! We are not storm chasers. We are not stupid.

Ironically, we left home because the prediction was for baseball size hail and I didn't want to risk the new van--it has no cover. The plan was to be on the other side of the front before the storm developed, but it developed sooner than expected so we had to retreat. The closest option to a motel room was a ditch. The tornado was behind us. I'm guessing you've never been to western Oklahoma.
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Old 08-23-2018, 05:04 PM   #14
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Driving from Deming, New Mexico to El Paso on I-10 in 2016 I hit some really high south winds. I'd guesstimate the gust at up to 70mph. When I saw the loaded tractor-trailers ahead of me being moved half-way into the next lane by gusts, I decided I'd had enough battering in the van. I pulled over in El Paso and overnighted there. Even parked, the van was rocked on the suspension regularly that afternoon/evening. Normally gusty side winds up to 30-35 mph aren't a big deal in the Coachmen, but the kind of wind I was in that day just wasn't safe to be out in.
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Old 08-23-2018, 05:06 PM   #15
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Let me assure you this was not by choice! We are not storm chasers. We are not stupid.

Ironically, we left home because the prediction was for baseball size hail and I didn't want to risk the new van--it has no cover. The plan was to be on the other side of the front before the storm developed, but it developed sooner than expected so we had to retreat. The closest option to a motel room was a ditch. The tornado was behind us. I'm guessing you've never been to western Oklahoma.
Yep. Just another Tuesday in tornado alley.
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Old 08-23-2018, 05:34 PM   #16
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Default Keep listening to the weather channel

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Driving from Deming, New Mexico to El Paso on I-10 in 2016 I hit some really high south winds. I'd guesstimate the gust at up to 70mph. When I saw the loaded tractor-trailers ahead of me being moved half-way into the next lane by gusts, I decided I'd had enough battering in the van. I pulled over in El Paso and overnighted there. Even parked, the van was rocked on the suspension regularly that afternoon/evening. Normally gusty side winds up to 30-35 mph aren't a big deal in the Coachmen, but the kind of wind I was in that day just wasn't safe to be out in.

Nobody plans for a situation like this.....but....it helps to pay very close attention to weather forecasts.. especially those out of town and road conditions....

We listen to any TV broadcast and have Sirius XM radio.....

And the Internet is helpful as well.....

If it's too windy....I'd rather stay put in a hotel and relax.
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Old 08-23-2018, 06:25 PM   #17
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Well, I have an OLD 1997 PW and I had read many stories about handling issues. Mine's on the heavier Dodge chassis. I anticipated getting all kinds of
mods done when I first bought it from my FILaw in upper Wis. Driving to AZ we went straight down through St. Louis and Memphis to New Orleans. Then across TX, NM, to AZ. The winds were so strong in so. Illinois that my wife literally could not open her door at a rest stop. Since then, I've never really had any handling problems in about 20k of RVing. Never had any of the mods done and spend a lot of SW and W mountain time. Steering on the PW is "different." The power aspect is continuous as opposed to more current vehicles where the faster you go, the less "power" is there. I agree with the other commenters: high winds = pull over and relax.

Someone once commented that an RV is like a sail. Really catches the wind and doesn't have as much stabilizing mass as a large semi.
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Old 08-23-2018, 06:38 PM   #18
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Default Highway 10 by Palm Springs

Coming home to Southern Ca. in April from the Phoenix area after visiting my daughter while driving on the 10 freeway by Palm Springs where all the wind generators are encountered the worst winds I have ever drivien in, even the cars were almost at a stop, semi's were all over the road. My Travato was being pushed into other lanes. I wasn't able to pull over to the side of the road as it would have been to dangerous to park there. That was a very tiring 20 miles to banning where the wind died down. I am not taking the 10 freeway through Palm Springs again..
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Old 08-23-2018, 09:29 PM   #19
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I'm surprised your PM left the lane. I suspect one advantage we have over the Travato and other Class B's is that essentially the only added weight above beltline is a few Luan ply panels. Our center of gravity is unusually low.
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Old 08-23-2018, 10:24 PM   #20
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Default Our RS Adventurous has a dual wheels and a lot more base weight

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I'm surprised your PM left the lane. I suspect one advantage we have over the Travato and other Class B's is that essentially the only added weight above beltline is a few Luan ply panels. Our center of gravity is unusually low.
Dear MsNomer,

Since you were so kind to include pictures of your rig... here are some pictures of ours to share...

Our 2012 RS Adventurous is almost 10,000 pounds fully loaded, here's a picture....
And, I had new KONI FSD shocks, Roadmaster Anti Sway bar and a Trac Bar developed by Super Steer in Grants Pass Oregon......all of these extra options made a tremendous handling difference.... However, I would still figure out how to avoid these situations by changing course or waiting...

Our vehicle is almost 10 feet tall so it's more of a high profile vehicle..than some of the Chevy Express models I've seen.....

Is your 2014 Promaster on the high roof?? Looks like it is from your pictures...

I know that you are smart enough to avoid the tornadoes and it's unfortunate that you had to "outrun" them as you previously stated.....I hope and pray that I never find myself in this kind of predicament.... sounds like you had no choice....

By the way... I've been to Western Oklahoma .. have traveled across the USA several times, and have taken Highway 40 ( old Route 66). , 70, and 50 across the USA....even been on 80 a few times....... including 76...

One of our favorite stops is "The Big Texan" in Amarillo....NO..we didn't try the steak dinner.. but, last fall we were stopped for dinner and someone sitting a table away went for the challenge....he ate everything in one hour... just barely...... quite a show.....

In case you don't know about the "Big Texan" here's the link to the information below.....

https://www.bigtexan.com/72oz-steak-rules/
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