RVs Swallowed by River in Recent Storm

Mother Nature can be a beast, and she doesn’t care if your home is an RV or a mansion. When the weather turns uncomfortable, it’s important to take it seriously and take immediate action. Unfortunately, not everyone heeds the warnings as they should.

Southern California was recently hit by the wrath of Mother Nature. Severe flooding from the storm caused a nearby river to rise and swallow several mobile homes during the storm. This was an unfortunate but completely avoidable situation.

Today we want to help you learn from this situation and prepare for stormy weather while RVing.

River swallows several RVs in California

Valencia Travel Village RV Resort has more than 300 sites, some of which overlook the beauty of the Santa Clara River.

Unfortunately, the heavy rains that hit the area in late February 2023 softened the dam. Eventually, the land gave way and collapsed.

The Ventura County Air Force posted footage taken from one of its aircraft on its website. Twitter Account. It shows them using a spotlight to investigate a damaged mobile home that fell into the water in the early morning hours.

Why weren’t the mobile homes removed?

Unfortunately, security in the area changed very quickly during the extreme weather.

Residents told ABC7 that the river rose incredibly fast and the riverbank washed out very quickly. The park worked with guests to move RVs away from the riverbank, but not all guests were able to relocate as quickly.

We have seen several discussions on the Internet about the incident, and some claim that many of the residents in the area were full-time residents. One guest whose RV had crashed into the river was unable to move his vehicle. He knew the risks associated with parking there, but chose to take the risk and not get a tow truck.

Was anyone injured during the storm?

Fortunately, there were no injuries or fatalities related to the storm or flooding in the park. A total of three mobile homes fell into the river.

In addition, the park was without power and water during the storm and for a short time afterward. The area was hit by raging water for several days as the river ate up the land.

Tips for RV travel during stormy weather

We have had the unfortunate experience of traveling by motorhome in stormy weather.

While it’s not a pleasant or ideal experience, we’ve learned something new each time. Here are a few tips that can increase your safety in extreme weather conditions.

Check the weather forecast

Make it a habit to check the weather forecast during your trip. This applies to your current location as well as future destinations and in between.

The weather can vary greatly wherever you go. You don’t want to be surprised by bad weather on a travel day or while hiking.

Find a weather app you like. Accuweather, The Weather Channel, and WeatherBug are some of the best. Enable or allow notifications when you install them. Checking the forecast regularly will give you time to plan and respond appropriately.

Keep in mind: Driving in fog is another scenario you don’t want to experience. If you do have to drive in fog, keep these tips in mind

Secure your motorhome

During severe storms, especially high winds, you can protect your RV by securing it. This means that you should close the awnings of your motorhome and store the equipment outside.

Depending on the situation, you may even consider hitching up your RV. This can increase your stability and allow you to get out quickly if needed.

Stock up supplies

If you plan to ride out the storm, you’ll need plenty of supplies. These include food and water for everyone in the RV.

Also, make sure you have a first aid kit and any necessary medications. With severe weather predicted, it’s a good idea to stock up on these essentials.

Depending on the conditions, you may need to stay put for several days. And there’s no telling how long it will take to get back to normal. If you have as many essentials with you as possible, you can weather the storm just fine.

Stay alert

To be safe, you need to stay alert and keep an eye on weather conditions. Meteorologists can predict the weather with high accuracy, but they are not perfect.

Flash floods and other severe weather problems are nearly impossible to predict. If you remain vigilant, you can react quickly to unexpected events.

As mentioned earlier, you need to enable notifications for weather apps on your phone. We also recommend having a weather radio or other source of information. This way you can stay as alert as possible during extreme weather conditions.

If you are staying at a campground or RV park, you should also know how communication with guests works. Text notifications or other systems may be used. Make sure they have the most up-to-date information so they can communicate quickly and efficiently with you and other guests.

Have a plan for power supply

Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for power to go out in an area during and after storms. In this case, a large battery bank, solar panels or a portable generator can be very useful.

When you’re on your own, you don’t have to rely as much on the power company or campground to restore power.

Have extra fuel, propane, batteries or a generator on hand in your power plan. While others in the campground may not be able to run air conditioners, microwaves or other essential equipment, you can if you are on your own.

Remember: Before you decide to install solar panels on your RV, find out how much it will cost!

A woman installing solar panels on her mobile home

Go when you need to

There may come a time when it is best to leave a campground or RV park.

Storms are not to be trifled with, especially if your RV is your permanent residence. In such cases, it’s best to pack up your belongings and head to a location that is protected from the weather.

In worse cases, you may not have time to pack your RV. You may need to pack what you can and leave quickly. Although this can be a difficult decision, you can replace material possessions. No material possessions are worth risking your life or the lives of other fellow travelers.

Finally, know the escape routes from the park in case of fire, flood, or other emergency.

Don’t take chances during storms

If we’ve learned anything from our adventures, it’s that you shouldn’t take chances during severe weather. Such situations can be extremely stressful and chaotic, but proper planning and access to certain tools can help ease your worries.

Staying in touch and aware of the situation can help you make confident decisions to keep you and your loved ones safe. Most importantly, don’t take risks in your RV during severe weather.

Fortunately, no one was injured or killed when mobile homes plunged into the river in Southern California. Rain and flooding can happen quickly, and the ground beneath you can give way at any moment. Be alert and careful while enjoying Mother Nature.

Have you ever faced severe weather during your travels?

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