Australia is a beautifully rugged landscape that can go from mild to extreme in no time. Even the best-laid plans can go awry when unexpected weather events happen.
Prior to buying a Trayon Camper, some people always tentatively ask, how does it go in high winds while it is free-standing off the vehicle? This could mean high winds that pick up out of nowhere or a freak thunderstorm with big wind gusts.
How Does Trayon Withstand High Winds?
Try as you might, it is impossible to plan for every weather type for your camping trip. Since there is no foolproof way to avoid surprise wind storms, the best plans include knowing how Trayon stands up to the winds and what you can do to bolster your defences if you are caught off guard.
One of the ways Trayon can withstand big gusts of wind is through the structure of the canvas, which allows for a lot of movement. This gives it much-needed flexibility. Along with that, the wind can pass underneath the camper, especially when it is free-standing.
This keeps the camper from creating a low-pressure zone under it.
It might help to consider the structure of airplane wings: When air moves faster, the pressure of the air decreases. The wings are formed to make the air pass over the top of the wings quickly, so there is less pressure on the top and more pressure on the bottom. The pressure difference is what makes the force that lifts the plane into the air.
The fact that air can pass under the Trayon camper keeps the pressure around the camper relatively even. This helps it to stay put, instead of getting thrown around in high winds.
In addition to this, Trayon is compactly built. The low surface area gives little for the wind to push on compared to some of the larger caravans that are out there. Simply put, for 27 years Trayon has taken on the elements and has been able to endure intense wind storms with little to no damage. With over 1400 Trayons out there, some people use them for weekend camping while other people use them for months-long trips and for some it is their permanent home.
There are plenty of harrowing stories in the Trayon Community, with bountiful tips to keep your campsite secure during the onslaught.
Of course, if you are camping in windy elements and at any time feel unsafe, pack up or find alternative shelter. Always use common sense when dealing with these types of situations and take action to protect yourself and your family.
What to do When Camping in High Winds
What to do When Camping in High Winds
There are a few things you can do to prepare yourself for high winds camping. Before you hit the road, run through these items to make sure you are ready for all scenarios.
Check the Weather Forecasts
First, check the weather. This seems a little obvious but can easily get overlooked. Just a little bit of research can help you know what to expect.
You can find out details like the expected wind speed and direction. You may be able to adjust your camp dates to avoid any anticipated wind storms.
Buy Quality Camp Equipment
Your camper and tents need to be durable and reliable. This will be your main defense when up against tough conditions.
Any ropes or attachments should be high quality as well since you are using them to secure your site.
Smaller camps can be more aerodynamic. Allowing for the wind to pass around the camp more easily helps it to better stand up to wind damage.
Don’t get a bigger camper than you need. The smaller the better when it comes to wind protection.
Pack a Repair Kit
Although the goal is to plan a smooth trip with no bumps, things can happen. Pack a repair kit to be ready for any mishaps that might occur. Duct tape, extra poles, and relay instructions can all be helpful.
Find a Campsite With Wind Protection
Avoid any sites that are too exposed. Give your camper a leg up when it comes to protecting you from high winds.
Look for natural windbreaks, like hills or wooded areas, that can improve your situation should extreme winds pick up. You’ll be much better protected this way than if you set up camp on a beach or hilltop.
Watch out for nearby trees though. Take a look to make sure you aren’t underneath or too near a tree with stressed or broken limbs. That can be extremely dangerous when paired with high winds.
Face Your Door Away From the Wind
When setting up your site you’ll want to position your main door away from the wind. This helps to keep large gusts from filling up your tent and potentially upheaving it. It’s great to keep the door closed as much as possible. With a Trayon specifically – you face the driver side of the camper towards the prevailing wind.
Properly Set Up Your Camp
Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines when setting up your camp. Having the right placements, peg, and rope set up makes it possible for your equipment to do its job.
Clean up your camp by securing any loose items that may be turned into a projectile and do a quick check every day to make sure everything is still in working order. Tighten any pegs or ropes that may have become loose.
After the Winds Hit
There are some things you can do if you find yourself in the middle of a windstorm to mitigate its force. Make a list to run through should you find yourself in a stressfully windy situation.
Secure Your Campsite
Hopefully, you are already prepared and running a tight ship. Still, do a quick run-through to secure your campsite when winds start to hit. Check your poles and ropes to make double sure they are tight.
Put away any small items that could blow away. You can make use of heavy items by placing them on top of furniture for extra stability.
Watch out for items that could turn into missiles. Take a look at nearby treetops again. Secure anything that could be dangerous or take shelter if needed.
Allow Cross Ventilation
If you notice the wind is blowing up against solid walls you can decrease the air pressure by opening doors or windows to let the air through. Take down any extra attachments that may be catching the wind.
Smother Fires, Kill Cooking Equipment
Don’t let the winds grab your attention and forget that you have a fire burning or a lit stove somewhere. High winds make it very dangerous for burning fires or campsite cooking.
Keep an eye out for any embers that could get thrown in the wind.
Embrace the Journey
Sometimes you just have to accept your camping trip is going to be dominated by unforgettable wind gusts. As long as you and your equipment are safe there is no reason not to enjoy the moment.
Your plans might change a bit but you can still watch the wind interacting with the terrain around you, read a book, play a game of chess, or do whatever you like to do to pass the time and have fun if you’re safe.
Know When to Call it Quits
There is a fine line between making the most of a windy weekend and stubbornly staying past the point of safety.
If the weather doesn’t look like it is going to let up, do the right thing and pack it in. Be aware of evacuation routes and any nearby shelters just in case you need to use them.
If you own a Trayon and the wind gets over 15 kms/hr then it is advisable that you take your camper fly off as it may or may not become dislodged and damage something or itself. If the wind gets bad and you feel unsafe… if you can, pack up and move on.
First-Hand Accounts of Trayon in High Winds
There have been multiple occasions where I have experienced the durability of Trayon campers in high winds. Each one has further cemented my confidence in Trayons ability to withstand extreme wind conditions and come out unharmed.
One of these experiences took place during a show in Canberra.
While there I popped over to do a one-night stay in the Thredbo Diggings campground, near Mount Kosciuszko. It is a stunning region.
The campsite is in Perisher Valley, and intense winds were able to sweep off from Kosciusko and through the valley. That night we endured 120-kilometer gusts of wind.
You could hear the wind whipping down the valley, cracking trees and rustling anything in its path. It would bang against the side of the camper while it was attached to the back of the vehicle and the suspension would rock with the gusts.
The wind was so ferocious it made for a difficult night’s sleep, but I knew I was away from trees and positioned to get through it. The canvas would blow in and out with each violent blow and the camper would shake from side to side with the rhythm of the wind.
Throughout the night I could hear commotion from other campsites. In the morning I saw the damage left behind on other campers around me.
As I packed up my camper, free of any damage I looked around and saw other caravans that had their windows popped out. Awnings were wrapped over roofs and camper trailers were flattened. It was a dismal sight for many campers.
Thankfully that wasn’t my experience as I was able to load up and leave quickly with no needed repairs.
I stayed at a location called Nduka Station during a competition north of Broken Hill.
At this competition, I set up the camper on a dam wall. I was the highest sitting camper at the time. After the competition, we all drove about half an hour up the road to a pub to enjoy a beer with the other competitors.
In the middle of merrymaking, the competition organizers came rushing in to tell us the campsites were being hammered by huge winds. They explained that a dust storm had picked up and 90-kilometre winds were smashing into the camps and they are worried about the Trayon as it is the highest and freestanding away from the vehicle.
Of course, everyone panicked. People were jumping up to rush back to their equipment to try to avoid catastrophe.
I, however, sat at the head of the table and ordered another beer. It was a unique move of confidence that prompted the competition organizers to write about it in their competition article. They mentioned how Trayon was so confident that the camper would survive, even though it was free-standing by itself on the top of the dam wall. It was the most exposed. He just said “meh” and ordered another beer upon hearing the news of the dust storm…
When I did return to my camp my fly was off, but the camper was absolutely fine. It struck confidence in a lot of others that Trayon was up to the task and could pass the test when it came to high winds.
Leisure Fest in Melbourne
One more memorable experience took place during Leisure Fest at the Sand Down Race Course, during a show in Melbourne.
The Trayon was set up free-standing by itself around the corner of the pavilion. Wind gusts were coming in at 90 kilometers rushing right through the pavilion and smashing into the camper. People were getting blown by the wind so much that they were stammering around and actually grabbing hold of the camper to stabilize themselves.
The camper didn’t even have pegs in the ground, it was fully open.
Eventually, the wind was so rough that I did take the fly off. In comparison, other trailers were being ripped apart!
One other manufacturer’s prototype tent was even torn to bits and collapsed. The Trayon took the brunt of all the wind as it was set up in front, and the prototype tent, about 50 meters back, still couldn’t withstand the elements.
What Other Trayon Owners Say
Here are some first-hand experiences with Trayon Owners.
Trust Trayon in High Winds
To put it simply, I have full confidence in the Trayon taking on high wind areas and conditions.
It is built for durability, with its structure and compact design giving it the strength to stand up to the elements. I have seen first hand how well it can persevere in extreme conditions.
Armed with a Trayon Camper and the knowledge of what to do if high winds hit your camp you will be the most prepared you can be in the unknown of the great outdoors.