Early one evening last Spring Angela and I experienced the most extreme weather we’ve ever driven through in a truck camper rig. We were meandering after the 2013 Overland Expo and had finally decided to make a bee line home to Pennsylvania. As is our usual behavior, we were driving until we got a little tired, and then stopping wherever we could find. This works well, most of the time.
On this particular occasion, the sun had set and it was starting to rain and intermittently hail. In those rare moments when it hails while driving, we always pull over as to not damage our truck, camper, or get into an accident.
As luck would have it, we were channeled into a very long construction barriers with no opportunity to pull off. We could only go forward into what was becoming a serious hail storm. The wind was picking up, as was the size and ferocity of the hail.
The moment the barriers ended, I pulled off to the side, grabbed Harley’s quilt from the back seat, and threw it over the hood, ice beaming me in the head the whole time. It was – ouch! – quite comical – hey! – looking back – ow! – at it now.
After a few minutes, the hail storm passed and we resumed driving. Ahead of our vehicle was the storm, complete with developing lighting, and we feared driving back into the hail storm if we continued.
Eager to get off the road and relax, Angela spotted a Walmart on the map and charted a course. Then I saw it.
When the lighting flashed, I saw what looked like a dark mass in the distance to the front and right of the rig. At first I thought nothing of it, but waited for the lighting to strike again for another look. Another flash in the night and it was there, a black cone reaching from the ground into the sky. That’s when I told Angela.
“Next time the lighting flashes, look over there and tell me if you see anything.” I said, not telling her what to look for. She saw it too, but it was hard to make out anything definitive. “Maybe a tornado?” she suggested.
Ten minutes later we were pulling into the WalMart parking lot. We fed the cat, ate dinner, and turned on the local news to see if more weather was approaching.
The storm had passed, but a tornado had been tracked exactly where we had seen the black shape. We’ll never know if we actually saw a tornado (I think we did), but we’re sure glad that night ended well. That was the craziest weather we ever want to see.
This week’s Question of the Week is, “What is the most extreme camping weather you’ve ever experienced while out truck camping?”
Maybe you camped in extreme cold or hot. Perhaps you went through a hurricane or saw a tornado (like we did, I think). Cats and dogs rained from the sky? We want to hear about it, and then adopt one of the cats. But seriously folks, tell us the most extreme weather you’ve ever experienced in a truck camper.
Click here to read about the most extreme weather TCM readers have camped in.