Tornado Ravages RV With Couple Inside

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Damage to an RV after a tornado in Houston
Source: Facebook/Chaz Miller

As the saying goes, ”Don’t mess with Texas.” Unfortunately, while traveling through the Lone Star state in their RV, John and Billie Liparito discovered firsthand why you don’t mess with Texas weather.

Luckily, the couple lived to tell about the adventure and warn others about the dangers of severe weather and RVs.

Today, we’re diving into how this couple weathered a tornado in their RV. Let’s get started!

Tornado Destroys RV and Couple’s Travel Plans

When severe weather struck the Houston metropolitan area in late January 2023, John and Billie Liparito were in their RV. John described the situation to Houston’s Fox 26 and said, “It was hell.” 

The couple captured the moments leading up to the tornado hitting the area where they were trying to ride out the storm.

Billie described the storm’s path when she told reporters, “It came through on the driver’s side, went across the street, touched down over there, and picked up this big trailer. It made a big U around us.”

The New York couple was traveling to California. However, the situation put a rather large wrinkle in their travel plans.

How Bad Is the Damage?

Once the storm passed, the couple stepped out of their RV to assess the damages. With roofing and other building materials littering the ground, they turned their attention to their damaged RV.

Some damages included holes along the driver’s side, broken windows, damaged heat pumps, and a destroyed satellite dish and antenna. However, their spirit and desire to travel remain strong.

The couple planned only to be in Houston for a few days, but their timing was less than ideal. The couple updated that they and their damaged rig made it to Louisiana. It may take some time to fix, but it’ll eventually get there.

A Wedding Anniversary They’ll Never Forget

And to make matters worse, the storm hit on the couple’s 47th wedding anniversary. Luckily, with all those years of marriage, the couple has a bond that even a Texas-sized storm can’t break. 

They state that they’ve been through some other hairy situations and continue to get back up, have breakfast, and go. It’s undoubtedly one anniversary that they’re never going to forget.

RV damage after a tornado in Houston
Source: Facebook/Chaz Miller

Tips for RVing During Severe Weather

Unfortunately, severe weather can strike with or without notice. Luckily, there are some things you can do if you find yourself in extreme weather.

Here are some tips to help you stay safe when storms try to ruin your RVing adventures.

Keep an Eye on the Forecast

Always stay aware of the weather to maximize your safety while RVing. Thanks to technology, meteorologists can predict potentially dangerous storms. While they can’t keep track of them all, keeping an eye on the forecast can drastically improve your safety.

Whether watching a local news channel or checking the report on your phone, you need to be aware of potential issues.

 If planning to spend time in remote areas where TV or cellular reception may not be available, you need to have a weather radio. These devices can help you receive weather alerts and emergency information.

Having advanced notice can give you time to prepare yourself and your RV. Even if with no forecasted storms, keep your eyes on the skies. Mother Nature can be unpredictable and change her mind very quickly.

Keep in Mind: Traveling on the road can be dangerous, and you never know what might happen. This RVer encountered a nightmare on his drive when his RV Caught on Fire on Freeway!

Fill Your Tanks

Many RVers fill their tanks to prepare for a severe storm, especially for high winds. A gallon of water weighs approximately 8 pounds. 

Depending on the size of your tanks, you can add a considerable amount of weight to your RV. This can lower the center of gravity and help it withstand high winds.

This is typically only an option for areas or campgrounds where you can easily fill and dump your tanks. However, consider this option if you face a severe storm and worry about your rig blowing onto its side.

Close up of gas pumps to fill up an RV tank

Connect to Tow Vehicle

If you have a towable RV, connecting to your tow vehicle can also improve your safety. By hitching to your tow; the truck can absorb some of the movement from the wind and increase the stability of your rig. 

Will it eliminate the potential for your rig to blow over? Unfortunately, no. However, it makes it much more difficult for the wind to turn it on its side.

Find a Wind Block

If you can move your rig, finding a wind block can improve your overall safety. This could be a natural wind block like a large rock formation or an artificial wind block like a large building or other structure. 

Extreme winds can easily tip over an RV, especially if it hits the broadside of the rig. It can act like a massive windsail and push even the heaviest RVs onto their side.

Pay attention to the direction of the winds and find a spot where you can safely park to ride out the storm. If parking next to a business or other building, always get permission. If you explain the situation to the owners, they’ll likely understand and accommodate you.

Abandon Your Rig if Necessary

Unfortunately, there might come a time when your best bet is to abandon your rig. While this can be a difficult decision, you may have to make it at some point.

 Depending on how much time you have, grab any important documents or items you’ll need out of your RV. There’s a possibility that you don’t know what you’ll come back to the next time you see your rig.

Depending on the situation, you may have to leave your RV with nothing but the clothes on your back. If that’s the case, do not waste time gathering items. 

You can replace most of the things inside your RV. So don’t risk your life when trying to save something you could recover later.

Keep in Mind: An RV flipped and the wind and this Insurance Company STILL Hasn’t Helped The RVer! Click the link to learn why

Stay Weather Aware While RVing

As John and Billie have shown us, RVers must stay weather aware. Have a plan if your travels take you through tornado alley or other spots known for having severe weather.

Keep an eye on the forecast, and don’t hesitate to take action. It might be too late to do anything if you wait until the weather conditions worsen. 

When preparing for severe weather, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

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