Though summer is the season for RV camping, it’s also the rainy season here in PA. On average, Pennsylvania sees the most rain between late March to late August; right when we’re towing our RVs! Towing an RV can be difficult enough on the best day. Rain beating down on the windshield, slicking up the road and possibly damaging your RV makes it much harder. That’s why we’re covering the best methods and precautions for safely RVing in the rain.
Safely Getting to the Campground
Check Your Tow Vehicle
This safety precaution is important before every camping trip, not just when you’re worried about RVing in the rain. The very first thing to do is check that both your vehicle and trailer lights are working. Keeping your headlights and taillights on during rainy or overcast days helps other drivers see you.
Next, check your windshield wipers. Examine them and test them out to make sure they’re working well. It’s always a good idea to replace them entirely before the rainy season starts.
Your final pre-road trip check should be your tires. Rain often makes for wet and slippery roads. Prevent any potential accidents by checking the tread on your tires and making sure they aren’t too worn down. You should also double check your tire pressure. Proper tread and tire pressure will help keep your vehicle and trailer stable. These easy checks can make a huge difference in keeping yourself and others safe on the road at any time of year.
Drive Slow and Steady
Even without a travel trailer attached, you should slow down when driving in the rain. Rain reduces visibility and decreases tire traction. To keep everyone safe, be sure to take it slow.
Drivers should also keep more space than normal between themselves and other vehicles when RVing in the rain. Leaving extra space is important when towing any sort of trailer, especially an extra heavy RV. Rain can make it harder to stop quickly because tire traction has been reduced. Giving yourself more space to slow down and stop can be extremely helpful.
Sometimes the rain is pouring down so hard it’s difficult to see even a few feet ahead. In these cases, there’s no way to drive safely. All you can do is pull over and wait for the rain to let up a bit. It’s best to pull into an RV-friendly parking lot, like Cracker Barrel, Walmart or Camping World. If you can’t see well enough to get off the highway, you can always pull over and turn on your hazard lights.
Remember that arriving late is better than never arriving at all.
Safety at the Campsite
Know When to Pull the Awning In
RV awnings are great for RVing in the rain! They protect you and your camping gear from the rain so you can still enjoy sitting outside. If you’re expecting rain, try setting up your awning so that one side is higher than the other. Otherwise, water often pools in the middle of the awning. This can cause the awning to be bent out of shape or otherwise damaged.
Although awnings are great to protect you from the rain, you should know when to pull them in. Awnings aren’t meant to combat heavy rain and strong winds. They’re not the cheapest to replace, so you want to treat them with care when RVing in the rain. If the awning is starting to flutter too heavily in the wind or rain it’s time to pull it back and head inside the RV.
Pack for Rainy Days
Games, DVDs, cards and other activities are great to keep in your RV on any trip. They’re especially important to have when you’re expecting to RV in the rain. Don’t let some bad weather totally ruin your trip! Keep items in your RV that will keep you and your family entertained on rainy days.
It’s also a good idea to keep an emergency battery-powered radio in your RV. We often rely on our phones to check the weather. This means relying internet connection. When you’re RVing in the rain, internet connection isn’t the most dependable. Extreme weather makes it difficult to get online and campground WiFi is notoriously not the best. The best way to keep an eye on the weather is with a small, battery-powered weather radio. You can listen for updates and know when to take more extreme safety precautions, like possibly heading home.
RVing in the rain doesn’t have to ruin your whole trip! With the overlap between camping season and rainy season here in Pennsylvania, it’s likely you’ll get held up by the weather at some point. As long as you’re prepared for bad weather you can continue to have fun and enjoy your trip. If you’re in need of repairs, from sealing leaky slide outs to repairing a bent awning, let our expert RV service technicians know. Our service department can help get your RV back in tip-top shape and ready to hit the road.
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