upside-down-trailer-netI have written many times about the dangers of bad weather when on the road in your RV, but as the pictures with this blog show, you can get into trouble even when parked in a campground.

A tornado tore through the NACO Natchez Trace campground near Hohenwald, Tennessee a few days ago, destroying several RVs and other vehicles, and causing some minor injuries.

flipped-trailer-netOur good friends Rick and Joyce Lang, who are the on-the-road weighing crew for RVSEF, were in the campground and Joyce sent me a link to a photo slideshow she took of the damage. Another reader also sent me several of the pictures included here. Joyce said they were okay, but the fifth wheel next to them was on its roof and had pushed in their bedroom slide. A tree limb also punched through one of the Fantastic vents and they got a lot of water inside. They are staying in a motel until the insurance company sorts through the mess. Joyce said the people in the trailer were not as lucky. They were both transported to the hospital and admitted for treatment.

tree-on-mdt-netAs these pictures show, no RV is a safe refuge in a tornado or extreme winds. If you are traveling in Tornado Alley and the weather looks threatening, monitor your emergency weather radio, and know where the shelters are in your campground. Our old bus weighs a lot more than most RVs on the road, and we’ve spent time in a campground shelter during tornado warnings, so take a lesson from your old Uncle Nicky and get thyself out of that box on wheels if danger approaches!

We have dodged tornadoes from Texas to Indiana and across the Midwest, and we’ve had some close calls, but we’ve been lucky. We accept that there is a possibility that we could get hit someday, just as we accept the fact that the next trucker coming at us down the highway may fall asleep and cross over into our lane. We plan ahead, we remain alert, but we don’t stop enjoying life because of what “could happen.”

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  30. Barbara Kirkhart Palmer

    Tom and I were at this campground in early May this year – they had had a tornado on May 1, 2009 that downed a wide swath of trees from one side of the campground to the other, and caused damage similar to that shown in the photos accompanying this article to several units in the park. While we were there, torrential rains hit Tennessee (those that caused the flooding in Nashville and most of central TN) – Tom was raised in the midwest, and said he had never seen rain fall so hard for so long – more than 12 inches in 48 hours! Needless to say we spent some quality time together inside our motorhome, and kept the TV tuned to the local weather station! We weren’t able to leave on the day planned because the culvert in one of the “dips” between our campsite and the park entrance had washed out. I begin to think that this campground in jinxed!

  31. storm shelter georgia

    There are still occurrences that cannot be halted by advanced technology. Just like weather disturbances such as thunderstorms, hail, tsunami, and even the destructive tornadoes. Awareness is the best practice to save lives when these disasters occur. Establishing sturdy tornado shelters could be an effective way to safety.

  32. Hi guys and gals:
    As an old Ham Radio operator, Scoutmaster and Disaster chief.

    We follow these rules, Use local TVv FOR THE MOST UP-TO-DATE INFO ON TORNADOS. And other pending disasters. YOu need to know what county you are in – and those on each side of that county. Keep an index card in the front of the rig with the county you are in.

    Weather radio wakes you up at night – a good thing.

    Watch the weater channels, and read the sky’s – BE PREPARED.

    When the Government says you need to move – DO IT. have a plan in advance.

    Happy Camping,
    Fred b.

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  34. Don.....T

    Like to know when it isn’t tornado season.
    Seems as if they are going on all the time.

  35. Dalton Tamney

    These pictures reinforce my intention not to travel in Tornado Alley during tornado season.

  36. Good pics, and good advice. Fred