Driving in High Wind, How Have Your Newell's Reacted? - Luxury Coach Lifestyles
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Old 01-10-2012, 01:06 AM   #1
MarkofSJC
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Default Driving in High Wind, How Have Your Newell's Reacted?

Hey, all!

I wasn't sure where to post this, but with the huge winds Southern CA had a few weeks ago (we're talking 6 tracker-trailer rigs flipped on their side on the same freeway stretch ~ and they weren't all hauling empty!) I was curious.

I know that Newell's have a much lower center of gravity, and that relatively little of any weight is located very high. Not sure if having the engine in rear as well as drive wheels rear-driven had any effect good or bad.

When "High Wind Warnings for High Profile Vehicles" are posted, how have your Newell's reacted when driving?

-- Avoid at all costs?
-- Other than worrying about awnings, no effect?
-- It takes pilot and co-pilot together on the wheel to keep it on the road?
-- Only downside is co-pilot refuses to ever open door (messess her hair up something fierce!)?

Would love hear of your experiences!

Mark
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Old 01-10-2012, 01:22 AM   #2
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the first week i had my 1990 we were driving from arizona to illinois. we were going across new mexico on the freeway and being a newbie and crazy i was driving 75. there was a very very strong crosswind all the way across new mexico and oklahoma. it was nerve racking. (of course then i never thought about slowing down). about half the way across new mexico a loud strange sound happened and something was whacking the side of the coach.

the darlene is looking out the window with big eyes yelling pull over.

the long awning had come down and was flapping like a gigantic bird. we pulled over and wired it up. it didnt rip it or break it. pretty amazing.

later i installed additional locks on the awning.

btw, now i drive 60-65. better mileage, less white knuckles and more fun.

tom
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Old 01-10-2012, 03:08 PM   #3
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Mark,

To answer some of your questions, I find the best thing to do is to slow down. Next, stop and go outside and check to see if your patio awning is locked and latched.

If you think about it; if you have a 50 mph wind and you are driving 70 that equals 120 mph winds! That is equal to a Catagory 4 hurricane!

The strongest winds that I have ever been in were up around Chicago. The radio reported 50 mph with higher gusts. I slowed down to 45 mph and the Newell was easy to handle and tracked straight. It's just common sense.

I would be willing to bet 8 to 5 thru a nickel in a donut that the 18 wheelers that turned over in California were driving too fast.
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Old 01-10-2012, 04:17 PM   #4
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We were driving through those winds in those areas a couple of weeks ago here in Southern California on our way out to the Colorado River (Earp, CA). I simply slowed down and I agree with Tuga that 45 MPH makes things much easier and I may have even been slower a couple of times. If we can avoid the Santa Ana winds we will but sometimes things happen.
I am much more comfortable driving 59 MPH as a top speed, we get great MPG at that speed and whatever we are towing behaves much better but we were used to Sailboats and not Powerboats.
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Old 01-10-2012, 05:22 PM   #5
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Agree with the main theme here.....slow down when it's windy! I have found, however, that my Newell handles quite well when the wind is head on....I would not have thought it would, but it does. Like Steve I have found driving 59-60mph gives much better mileage, and makes the trip much more relaxed and enjoyable.
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Old 01-11-2012, 02:02 AM   #6
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Slowing down helps, I agree. I also think a nice glass of Cabernet helps. Seriously, I sometimes have found a truckstop, church parking lot, Walmart, whatever to wait out the inclement condition.

Sidewinds are the trickiest, and whilst living in Tejas, I gained plenty of practice. The coach would track straight with a steering correction until one of two situations happened. The first is passing semi that shields you from the wind. Boom, the coach would side step as soon as the side wind as sheltered. Same thing would happen when going under a bridge underpass that blocked the wind. You learned to time the steering wheel boogie but it is tiring, hence the pull over and wait it out.
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Old 01-11-2012, 02:28 AM   #7
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I'll stay with slowing down. Ever since the EXXON VALDEZ we have been held to a much higher standard. There is a Zero Tolerance on Drugs and Alcohol for those with
a Federal Transportation License.
Slowing down costs much less as well.
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2007 Yukon, 1981 CJ7 Laredo, 2002 Honda CRV, 1955 Thunderbird, 1952 Pontiac Sedan Delivery, 1952 Ford 8N, 1958 Airstream, 1959 Glasspar 16' Avalon, Cabin in the Woods........what will I work on next
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Old 01-12-2012, 01:22 AM   #8
Richard and Rhonda
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Steve,

I was suggesting to STOP for the day and have a shooter. Certainly not drive. I'll be more clear and less sarcastic next time.
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Old 01-12-2012, 01:25 AM   #9
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I like you better when you are less clear! but we should sit down for a shooter some day.
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2007 Yukon, 1981 CJ7 Laredo, 2002 Honda CRV, 1955 Thunderbird, 1952 Pontiac Sedan Delivery, 1952 Ford 8N, 1958 Airstream, 1959 Glasspar 16' Avalon, Cabin in the Woods........what will I work on next
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Old 01-22-2012, 09:32 PM   #10
W. Mark Hellinger
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When I first bought our camper (#426), I drove it from Dallas to "home" in E. Washington state. During the trip I drove north through Denver on I-25. Leaving Denver early in the morning, high wind advisories were posted, which as I recall were approx. 30mph gusts… I wouldn’t have known the wind was blowing if it wasn’t for the advisory on the reader board. North of Denver approx. 10 miles the wind caution was posted for 45mph gusts. The wind was blowing dead out of the west (sideways to my direction of travel). I slowed to approx. 50mph... all was fine… minimal effect on the coach, but I could definitely feel it. Approaching Ft. Collins the wind had picked up some more... high wind advisories & cautions had been replaced with high wind warnings: 60mph gusts… FedEx doubles and the such were pulled over ducking behind road cuts. With 20/20 hindsight I should have ducked for cover at Ft. Collins… but I didn’t… I figured “how bad could it get?” I had no idea of what lay ahead of me… but I soon found out. About 5 or 10 miles north of Cheyenne, WY the reader sign read extreme wind warning 80 mph gusts… still dead sideways to the coach. By this time I was down to approx. 20 mph., crawling along, looking for a good place to get off the interstate, but there was no such option that didn’t go “up” and get a lot narrower… and seeing as it was a challenge keeping the coach somewhat within less than 2 lanes of an interstate… I opted to not go up a 10 or 12ft. wide off-ramp. About then, when I didn’t think things could get any worse, alarms in the coach started going off… first a little, then a lot. I stopped under an over-pass and figured out the alarm was from the teevee antenna… apparently it had raised (been forced by the wind) up off it’s docked position. I powered the antenna back down which silenced the alarm… for a couple minutes, then it went off again. Sitting in the driver’s seat and looking at the rear-view mirrors I could see the whole coach twisting in the wind. The road was moving in-front of me… which was pea-gravel blowing across the road. For whatever reason, I decided to go outside to see what’s up with the damn teevee antenna (and accompanying alarm)… the man door on the coach was on the lee side of the wind. I remember taking about 2 steps outside of the coach and then feeling like I was hit by a line-backer… fortunately my face broke my fall when it was firmly planted into the cheat grass and gravel on the neighboring road bank. I went to stand-up and was hit again by the line-backer… rolling me like a tumbleweed up the bank. I was grabbing at cheat grass… just pulled it out by the roots… and finally glommed onto a sage brush plant and stopped the rolling… then I crawled on my belly back to the coach (teevee antenna be damned). After a trip to the bathroom I sat in the captain’s chair for approx. 2 hours waiting for the ship to roll. It didn’t… even though the weather warning broadcast suggested the coach was probably enduring 100+ mph peaks straight into the side of it. The wind never subsided while I was there… and the coach popped a few rivets on the outside sheetmetal while twisting in the wind… but it never flipped. Finally a loaded 18 wheeler tanker came along and he offered to block for me… I took him up on his offer… we side-by-side convoyed to approx. Chugwater, where we finally drove out of it.

Based on my experience, I’ll suggest that:

30mph side wind: almost unnoticeable.
45mph side wind: definitely noticeable but not a problem if you're steady at the wheel.
60mph side wind: drivability becomes a serious factor.
80mph side wind: best not to attempt to be moving.
100mph side wind: avoid if at all possible… drivability is pretty-much out of the question... and do like a horse... position yourself so your tail's to the wind if possible.

Oh yes... and looking back: your Newell is smart (at least # 426 is)... or the folks that built it are smart, in-that: If there's alarms going off and you're working the wheel pretty hard to keep the coach on a 2 lane interstate highway... chances are (very likely) the wind's blowing harder than what it's safe & sane to be traveling at that time... and it's probably time (and then some) to look for a sheltered spot to ride out the storm. I don't know what it takes for wind to flip a 38,000lb. coach... but I don't want to find out... I suspect I came closer than I cared to.
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