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Old 05-03-2013, 01:56 PM   #1
sreigle
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Whewee! Dust Devil!

Earlier this year we spent a couple of months in Twentynine Palms, CA. There were some windy days but our first month there had next to no wind. We had more trouble from errant golf balls hitting the rig than we did from the wind, at least that first month.

You know that emergency exit window over the desk in the rear of the 3400? The one that hinges at the top and has a rod at the bottom that you use to open the window and latch it open?

Well, I could count on one hand how many times that window had been open in the almost six years we've had this 3400. But on this particular day we had the place opened up and the fantastic fan running. And that window was open.

My chair is directly across the room from that window. The rig started to rock, as the wind will sometimes do to it, and I looked up and saw the window fly upwards, the rod pull clear out of that little hole and then the window came crashing down, hitting the ground.

Dust devil! Wow, powerful little bugger! It ripped all 8 (or is it 10? - would have to go outside and look) pop rivets out of the hinge attaching that window. Fortunately, the hinge itself was not damaged and the window was not broken. One corner of the window frame got bunged up but I was able to straighten out so it seals properly. I had enough new screws to remount the window to the hinge and it's good as new except for a corner that shows it had some damage.

I think we got off cheap. I didn't realize the power of those dust devils. Basically a tiny tornado. On its way to the ground the window ripped off the cover of the satellite connector I had installed and cracked the mount but silicone sealant/caulk on the cracks and remounting the cover took care of that.
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Old 05-03-2013, 03:13 PM   #2
awaywego
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Steve, you really have to watch those liittle devils. Glad damage was small.
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Old 05-03-2013, 04:33 PM   #3
BB_TX
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Wow! I have seen a lot of those while traveling across the Texas panhandle but had no idea they were that powerful.
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Old 05-03-2013, 05:13 PM   #4
HOOK
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We had one surprise us at Myrtle Beach. I was running toward the Monty when t little devil stood the awning almost straight up. Luckily, there was no damage.
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Old 05-03-2013, 05:24 PM   #5
DQDick
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Glad you got by as cheaply as you did. We had a couple of them in the park here in Albuquerque today and both of them had a great deal of dust picked up in them.
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Old 05-03-2013, 06:41 PM   #6
Rondo
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Steve at least it was a dirt devil and not a tornado like you'd experience in Kansas! I've seen some dirt devils here in Nebraska as large as a quarter mile wide. You get hit by them you know what dust in the eyes feels like!
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Old 05-04-2013, 05:58 AM   #7
Alwims
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They can be powerful little devils as we were driving our 32' Motor Home several years ago on I40 in Arizona. One hit us and we were scooted over to the passing lane and I never turned the wheel. It happened so fast, we were thankful there wasn't any vehicles next to us. Scared the bejesus out of us so bad I had to pull over and check my shorts.
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Old 05-04-2013, 12:15 PM   #8
sreigle
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Alwims, I'm glad to hear you were not already IN that lane our you'd have ended up off the road!

In our first month of fulltiming back in early 2003 we spent a week at The Voyager RV Resort in Tucson. I saw a dust devil rip an awning off a travel trailer and drop it on the roof of a Class A, two sites over. It wasn't a very big dust devil but it sure packed a wallop.
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Old 05-06-2013, 04:32 AM   #9
Rainer
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Today we stopped in Hurricane, UT on our way to Zion NP. DW took the dogs out to relieve themselves, I stayed in the truck. All of a sudden the wind picks up, I glance out of the right windows and see a mini tornado only about 50 feet away headed right for me. Debris, pebbles and other stuff began swirling around. I quickly closed the truck windows at which time the dust devil hit the truck and trailer. I actually feared that we may get knocked over it was that intense. After it passed seconds later my wife shows up completely disheveled as she was stuck outside with the dogs. They were pummeled my the dust devil and in fact a metal garbage can went flying over their heads. She ran back to the truck, all of them scared from their misadventure, but fortunately no worse for the wear. My wife's wind created hairdo was a sight to behold!

It was so funny that I read about this thread before we headed out, and within 24 hours we were victims of this freak of nature!
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