Towing in high winds

Feb 23, 2018
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Took the caravan for it's first service today; it was a bit windy round Coventry as I towed towards the dealers on the A45 and experienced a beginnings of what I think was a Snake... most likely caused by a gust of wind.
I've towed the Sprite about 2000 miles this year and not felt that peculiar oscillation before.
I let off the throttle (The road was limited to 50mph) and the movement subsided. Didn't have an issue after that, even on the faster sections of dual carriageway.

What are some best practices for towing in windy conditions?
 
Sep 29, 2016
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Nothing new from me really, I try to ensure the car and caravan are appropriatly loaded, reduced speed and avoiding (if I can) overtaking high sided vehicles.

It's not enough to prevent the occasional sudden and scary cartrailer reactions though :eek:hmy:
 
Oct 12, 2013
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Pretty much the same as Anseo , a while ago as we were going to Barnard Castle on a windy day last year and there was a car and caravan on its side :( , I was already going slow but this made me go even slower down to 40 mile an hour on the A66 , horrible road as it's all open areas .

Been very strong up in the Northeast and even I had to work to keep the bus in order yesterday with the high winds !!
 
Nov 11, 2009
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I think that you did the right thing by easing back. I try and move left on motorways if a large vehicle is passing. That reduces the effect of their bow wave.
Watch out when coming out of cuttings as you can get side winds. I try and avoid towing when high wind speeds are forecast. Delay arrival or change departure dates/times. But above all don’t be afraid to slow down or pull off if it’s that bad.

Got caught in a kabatic wind two days ago. It hit our vehicle at 50 mph plus side on. Our driver caught the vehicle in time but one in front left the road but fortunately stayed upright. So it was all hands to help push the car back onto the road. Fortunately you don’t get glaciers in UK. Surprised though at the number of caravans in dealerships in Iceland. Not a country I associated with caravanning.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Much the same as has already been suggested, but I would add that if you come across any hazardous conditions, it's better to be late than becoming the 'Late' ProfJohnL.

Speed limits are limits and not targets to be achieved under all circumstances! Though my daughter did fail her first driving test for not maintaing good progress!
 
May 7, 2012
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I agree that it is best to avoid towing in high winds. Personally I would regard 30 mph as about the limit.
If you have to then keeping the speed down is the only answer and watch out for areas where side winds can hit you like coming out from bridges and the end of banking on the side the wind is coming from.
We have been caught out by high winds and simply stopped at the next site we knew of but that is not always possible.
If high winds are forecast and you have a service due, it may be worth ringing the dealer and seeing if you can bring it in and leave it earlier, most can accommodate you.
 

Mel

Mar 17, 2007
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I agree with others. Best avoided but otherwise slow down, and if possible choose your route to avoid open country. If you must tow, wear brown trousers.

Mel
 
Feb 23, 2018
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Thanks for all the responses. I think if the wind had been really bad, then I would have rescheduled. However, except for ruining my hairstyle :p the wind that day wasn't too bad.

I have reviewed my dash-can and it is almost impossible to tell that it is occurring except for my verbal reaction (Brown trousers were not required). Also it happened earlier than I thought; I was in a national speed limit section. I pass a road sign and there is then a gap in trees lining carriageway, to the left is an embankment sloping down to open fields. I can only assume it was a sudden gust of wind through this gap causing the upset.
 
Nov 16, 2015
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Last September, went from The Woosiefestat Mablethorpe up to Scotch corner then A66 to Barnard Castle, ( thanks Craig, )Cross winds at maybe 50 to 60 mph , down to 10 mph and the van was being swung around, thankfully got off the road after 10 miles. I think one of my scariest bits of towing for many years.

Just go as slow as you want and never mind the looks you get from the people that pass you, and have a genle grip on the Steering wheel, if you c,an.
 
May 7, 2012
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CustardAvenger said:
Thanks for all the responses. I think if the wind had been really bad, then I would have rescheduled. However, except for ruining my hairstyle :p the wind that day wasn't too bad.

I have reviewed my dash-can and it is almost impossible to tell that it is occurring except for my verbal reaction (Brown trousers were not required). Also it happened earlier than I thought; I was in a national speed limit section. I pass a road sign and there is then a gap in trees lining carriageway, to the left is an embankment sloping down to open fields. I can only assume it was a sudden gust of wind through this gap causing the upset.

Sounds about right. It is that sort of feature that can catch you out.
 
Feb 23, 2018
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Raywood said:
CustardAvenger said:
I have reviewed my dash-can and it is almost impossible to tell that it is occurring except for my verbal reaction (Brown trousers were not required). Also it happened earlier than I thought; I was in a national speed limit section. I pass a road sign and there is then a gap in trees lining carriageway, to the left is an embankment sloping down to open fields. I can only assume it was a sudden gust of wind through this gap causing the upset.

Sounds about right. It is that sort of feature that can catch you out.

I think there was a split second of "Is this actually happening?" before I lifted off... My actual response recorded on the dashcam was "Ooh, you fighter!" It was so undramatic that my wife didn't initially realise it was happening until I said something! I think i've seen all the caravan and trailer crash videos on YouTube that were caused by a snake... so I'm very keen to prevent myself from getting into an unrecoverable situation!

Like this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qo-qpy0krkE
 
Nov 11, 2009
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CustardAvenger said:
Raywood said:
CustardAvenger said:
I have reviewed my dash-can and it is almost impossible to tell that it is occurring except for my verbal reaction (Brown trousers were not required). Also it happened earlier than I thought; I was in a national speed limit section. I pass a road sign and there is then a gap in trees lining carriageway, to the left is an embankment sloping down to open fields. I can only assume it was a sudden gust of wind through this gap causing the upset.

Sounds about right. It is that sort of feature that can catch you out.

I think there was a split second of "Is this actually happening?" before I lifted off... My actual response recorded on the dashcam was "Ooh, you fighter!" It was so undramatic that my wife didn't initially realise it was happening until I said something! I think i've seen all the caravan and trailer crash videos on YouTube that were caused by a snake... so I'm very keen to prevent myself from getting into an unrecoverable situation!

Like this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qo-qpy0krkE

Thats a salutary lesson in how not to drive and shows that even large Shoguns can be swept aside by the caravan. Overtaking downhill is a "no-no" in my book, and certainly not at that sort of speed. If the driver of that outfit had not swept in so closely and had continued in lane 2 it might have retained some semblance of stabilty. Probably trying to impress you with its "high speed" capability.

What vehicle were you in?
 
Feb 23, 2018
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otherclive said:
Thats a salutary lesson in how not to drive and shows that even large Shoguns can be swept aside by the caravan. Overtaking downhill is a "no-no" in my book, and certainly not at that sort of speed. If the driver of that outfit had not swept in so closely and had continued in lane 2 it might have retained some semblance of stabilty. Probably trying to impress you with its "high speed" capability.

What vehicle were you in?

My Volvo XC60 - When towing my 7.54 meter (24' 9") Sprite (single axle), the towing ratio is just under 76%. So not a million miles away from the video example.
 
Feb 23, 2018
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Craigyoung said:
Well there's us and then there's the village idiot that think they know it all !!

My favorite 'Village Idiot' driving behaviour is the "Must get ahead of the slow moving caravan"... They then usually cut you up without indication and sit at 20MPH below the national speed limit forcing you to go slower!
 
Jun 20, 2005
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Obviously a well seasoned know it all. :whistle:
Idiots like him get us bad press. Note .When he reversed to straighten up he turned the steering wheel the wrong way! :woohoo: Had to go forward again. Says it all.
 
Feb 23, 2018
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otherclive said:
Guess that he did not have ATC?

Well it looks like a Buccaneer. I assume that would come with the ATC or the BPW equivalent depending on age .. Perhaps it does have ATC and that saved the driver from a complete disaster and a total loss.
 
Oct 12, 2013
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CustardAvenger said:
otherclive said:
Guess that he did not have ATC?

Well it looks like a Buccaneer. I assume that would come with the ATC or the BPW equivalent depending on age .. Perhaps it does have ATC and that saved the driver from a complete disaster and a total loss.

Maybe .... but he's still crap at reversing !! ;)
 
Nov 16, 2015
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Look at the video, he hit the brakes, so any Atc "might not work".
He is still a muppet.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Craigyoung said:
CustardAvenger said:
otherclive said:
Guess that he did not have ATC?

Well it looks like a Buccaneer. I assume that would come with the ATC or the BPW equivalent depending on age .. Perhaps it does have ATC and that saved the driver from a complete disaster and a total loss.

Maybe .... but he's still crap at reversing !! ;)

I suspect that the driver and passenger(s) may have been in shock due to the severe nature of the incident. That could account for the lack of rationality in recovering from the situation. How people react to an emergency and its aftermath can be quite different between individuals.
 
Jun 20, 2005
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I am sure one of the science boys on here will double check my arithmetic and data :S
The white lines shown are I believe the standard 2mtrs solid white followed by a 7 mtrs gap repeating etc.
The dash cam has a second clock running.Back of a *** packet calculation tells me this guy was doing 70+. Not good especially going down hill :woohoo:
 
Feb 23, 2018
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Dustydog said:
I am sure one of the science boys on here will double check my arithmetic and data :S
The white lines shown are I believe the standard 2mtrs solid white followed by a 7 mtrs gap repeating etc.
The dash cam has a second clock running.Back of a *** packet calculation tells me this guy was doing 70+. Not good especially going down hill :woohoo:

Sounds about right! They flew past the truck.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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I agree, the truck or coach would be most likely doing 60 so yes the caravan was at least 5mph or more faster so yes speeding.

Looking at the You tube comments, someone claimed he met the owner and the owner claimed there was a problem with the brakes!!
 
Jul 18, 2017
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Dustydog said:
Obviously a well seasoned know it all. :whistle:
Idiots like him get us bad press. Note .When he reversed to straighten up he turned the steering wheel the wrong way! :woohoo: Had to go forward again. Says it all.

I would think that the driver had one hell of a fright and was a bit rattled and initially panicked when reversing that could easily happen to any of us. was he actually speeding?
 

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