Weather

Living in an RV versus a house has a lot of obvious differences. For the most part, it’s all about scale and stuff. But one thing that can be significantly more intense is the impact from abnormal weather.

Traveling in Tamasté requires more attention to weather ahead, weather where I’ll choose to stay the next few days or week. It’s not just about temperatures (always need to be aware if freezing will occur) or precipitation (rain/snow may be negligible on paved roads, but boondocking is usually on dirt roads, dirt pads): the one weather aspect I’m learning great respect for (and a slight fear of) is wind.

Yesterday driving back down New Mexico from Albuquerque, I left early to avoid the worst impact from the high wind warnings. Driving a steel box in lateral high winds can be like an amusement park ride: lots of thrills and unexpected surprises. Fortunately, I’m only 21′ feet long and 9’6″ high. A Class A motorhome passed me on the highway (idiotic thing to do in such a large box with winds whipping around 45 mph). As I gave him lots of room ahead, I saw the scary angle his big box was leaning from the combination of high wind and high forward speed. His driver’s side rear tires look as though they were about to lift off the payment at any moment, and I really did expect to see the whole motorhome flop on its side and skid along the highway.

Boondocked last night (and plan to stay here for four or five days) back at Lake Holloman and it was a tough night for sleeping. The high winds kicked up late afternoon across this area near Alamogordo and poor Tamasté was rocked hard, to the point I laid in bed tense, waiting to hear things ripping off the roof. Unlike a normal vehicle, there’s lots of gear on the roof sticking up like small mountains wind can slam into. As I write this, it’s early and still pitch black outside (but no wind!) and I’m waiting for sunrise to get out there to see if any roof pieces are lying on the ground upwind! She’s a tough beast, and expect she weathered the winds just fine…but will check since another round is expected later today.

The forecast ahead for this area and most of southern New Mexico shows some unusual rainy days Tuesday and Wednesday. Checking out the other places I’m going next, they’ll be getting the same, with some less rain than others, but appears widespread across the bottom of the state so can’t outrun it. Not forecasted to be a lot of rain, but with zero experience with rain in these desert locations, and especially the extra exposure living in a small RV, I’ll probably stay here through those days. I will look at moving Tamasté a bit to ensure good traction if this site gets muddy. If it does get sloppy, I’ll just stay put for a few more days until it dries out. Such are the options living in a 168 square foot motorized steel box.

5 thoughts on “Weather

  1. Glad you made it safely. We had high winds a few times in the last few weeks here in Florida and it gets scary for sure. Pushed me off the road one time but luckily there was a rumble strip and enough shoulder to not panic and get back on the road and slow down even more. And… we have that freaking big bag on the back :-). Glad you’re safe. We love the blog and keeping up with you and your travels.

    1. It’s fun when you’re driving along and the wind whops you and makes the vehicle jerk. Expected when traveling around semis, but when it’s the open road and just random…well, it’s just weird! You guys stay safe too.

  2. Rita Donovan

    I stayed in a Walmart in NM beginning of last year and the winds blew so I know what you mean about scary. I also didn’t know to turn “Willow” my T into the wind so was rocking from side to side. Didn’t get much sleep that night but at least everything stayed secure. I hope the same for you.

    1. Funny you mention the orientation. That occurred to me…but at about 2 a.m.! Will definitely point Tamasté into the wind this afternoon.

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