Protect Your RV During Hurricane Season

Your safety and the safety of your family and others is most important, so develop a hurricane preparedness plan before a hurricane strikes. While the following tips are intended to help you protect your RV, your first consideration should always be to protect yourself and others.

Recreational vehicles are particularly vulnerable to hurricane-force winds and rain. While RVs should not be driven or used as a shelter during severe weather, they can provide numerous benefits to you and your family as you look to vacate the threatened area. In addition, your RV can serve as cost-effective, temporary living quarters after the storm should your primary residence be damaged or destroyed.

As an RV owner, there are steps you can take to protect your investment before severe weather strikes. All drivers in hurricane-prone areas should prepare an evacuation route well before a storm threatens your area. If you are told to evacuate, do so without delay.

If you plan to evacuate in your RV and might need to use it as a temporary residence after a hurricane:

  • Prepare an emergency kit by stocking your motor home or travel trailer with items such as water, non-perishable foods and prescription medications. Before the storm, fill your vehicle with fuel and check the windshield wipers and tires. Pack sleeping bags and bedding in plastic bags to protect them from moisture. Place your auto and home insurance documents, vehicle registration, title and other important documents in a waterproof bag and keep them with you.
  • Avoid driving through water. Moving water can sweep away your vehicle, and roads covered by standing water are prone to collapse. Attempting to drive through water also may stall your engine, with the potential to cause irreparable damage if you try to restart it.
  • Perform a thorough safety check. If you use gas-powered lanterns or cook stoves, be sure to have battery-operated fire alarms and carbon-monoxide detectors to protect you and your family. If a generator is used to bring power into your RV, a transfer switch needs to be used to isolate the electricity from the rest of the power grid to prevent electrical shocks.

If you are evacuating an area and leaving your motor home or travel trailer behind:

  • Decide where you'll keep your motor home or travel trailer in the event of a hurricane. Be sure that it's not left in a low-lying area prone to flooding. Rising water can seep in and cause damage to upholstery, carpeting and electrical systems.
  • Be sure to secure all loose items on your property and remove any nearby tree branches that may become airborne during high winds and cause damage to your motor home or travel trailer.
  • For motor homes, empty the holding tanks, turn off the propane cylinders and cover the regulator. Cover vents and the air conditioning unit. Tie down travel trailers and ensure that the lot the trailer occupies is secure.

Sources: NOAA, National Hurricane Center, RVIA, American Red Cross

Helpful Hurricane Links