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Catch Us if You Can! Avoiding Catastrophic Weather Events

So there we were, Teresa and I working on Guest Guides for five RV resorts in southern New Jersey. The news was starting to tell us about a tropical storm named Matthew. We knew we were leaving the area October 10, 2016 to head to Hilton Head Island for owners’ week later that month. Yet, as the storm developed into a Hurricane, the predictive models had Matthew heading in a number of directions including our area. What to do?

Related Read: Staying Safe When the Rain Comes Down or Weather Turns Severe


The ability to shift gears and move in a totally different direction is one of the beautiful aspects of this Full Time RV lifestyle. We had planned to travel from New Jersey through Maryland, into Washington DC for a day or two, then down I-95 to Hilton Head Island arriving at the Hilton Head Motorcoach Resort on the Island by October 12. As I write this it is October 12 so it is safe to say we did not follow those plans thanks to Hurricane Matthew.

Due to a family emergency in Tennessee, we left New Jersey on October 7 just as Matthew was beginning to rout the Caribbean on route to Florida and up the coast. We went onto I-95 only to I-695 north of Baltimore, then west on I-70 and south on I-81 all the way to exit 69 in northeast Tennessee. 600 or so miles in one day which is not hard for us since we switch drivers every 100 miles. In an 11 hour period, we were able to get our motorhome from the coast of New Jersey to the safety of northeast Tennessee.

Unfortunately, when Hurricane Matthew ransacked the Carolinas, it tore up Hilton Head Island and our HHI Motorcoach Resort. We are not there today because the Resort is closed. Even though the Island has reopened to residents, the insurance company has required we keep the resort closed until the hazards are removed. We know it will reopen and we, the owners, will make it the Island Paradise people love it to be. Neat thing about the RV lifestyle is our other owners are spread out around the country in their RVs. They are safe, they are comfortable, they are enjoying wherever they landed to wait out the storm. We all wish to get into the Resort to check on the damage to our individual sites as well as the Resort overall but while the repairs are ongoing, we must stay out. But no one need feel bad for us since we are waiting in our land yachts, our homes on the road.

This is not the first time we have run from and avoided hazardous weather. In 2013, we were helping at a KOA national conference in Austin, TX. We planned to leave there and visit Houston for a day. We would then stop in New Orleans, LA for a few days, then Memphis (see Elvis’ Graceland) before heading home. Mother Nature threw an ice storm at us and we left Austin early on Sunday morning. We drove 500 miles to New Orleans, still planning to visit there for two days but the storm picked up speed and headed towards Louisiana. So we left early the next morning and drove the 715 miles home that day, parking the RV in its garage just as the storm arrived in northeast Tennessee. The neatest thing was we weren’t tired, sharing the driving duties and with our large fuel tank, did not need to stop but one time. People who lived in the path of that storm suffered power outages and very cold temperatures.

Now, we cannot avoid tornados or severe thunderstorms that pop up but we can watch future forecasts to avoid those issues or areas prone to those severe storm cells. We can get in our motorhome and GO when we see cataclysmic weather coming our way, like a major Hurricane. We are very careful with our motorhome, babying it as we travel. So when we see something happening that could be dangerous, we quickly plan our next move. We really like that ability as we have seen friends whose beach or vacation homes have been damaged recently by the winds and water. They left but could not take their beautiful homes with them. We left in our beautiful home and it is safe in its RV garage tonight.

So, not to be cocky, but we like the ability to move in short notice and have all the comforts of our home. Remember, we also have a generator so if we must, we can “dry camp” for a good amount of time. That is to stay without any power source. We have a large fresh water tank. We always start out with empty gray and black tanks . Planning ahead saves us problems down the road and with the RV, we have many options in the event we get thrown a curve or two on the road.


Related Read: Installing an RV Water Tank


So when you look at RVing, the lifestyle is one we love and offers you the ability to avoid the problems Mother Nature might throw at you. Get in and go! No waiting at the airport for the next plane or driving away from your precious property praying all will be good. Just get in and go! Of course, that is what you do when you RV…just get in and go!

Lovin’ the Lifestyle! Safe Travels all!

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Ed & Teresa Herbert

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Ed & Teresa Herbert

RVing since 2009, Ed and Teresa Herbert hit the road in 2013 after retiring from their corporate jobs in the large healthcare system that brought them together, he a VP and she an RN. They married on 3/8/03. They celebrate Monthiversaries so ask them how many months they’ve been married. They know! Between them, they have three adult children, two are married, two grandchildren with two toy poodles, Alli & Noah, which travel with them.Besides RVing, they love pickelball, biking, history, working out, and Ed sings professionally. Teresa earned her NHRA license after enjoying NASCAR Schools twice. She drives the motorhome 50% of the time and always encourages women to drive their RV.

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