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RV Must Have! NOAA Weather Radio

Be prepared for weather when you travel and camp –


Dangerous weather can happen anywhere and anytime.

No matter how many safety features your RV or vehicle have, those are generally useless in severe weather.

A tornado will send your RV or vehicle airborne, or smash it into a million pieces.

A flash flood will trap you inside your vehicle as you go helplessly downstream.

Severe thunderstorms can bring life-threatening lightning, wind, downed trees, mudslides, blinding rain and large hail.

RVs can get trapped in mud.  Campers can be stuck without water and other necessities, where nobody can get in or out.

Hurricanes, tropical storms, and monsoons can bring all of these terrifying events.

A snowstorm can make driving impossible, especially in the mountains.  Stranded travelers can suffer hypothermia.

You can’t always rely on your calendar to predict your weather.

In the summer of 2020, Steve and I were volunteer camp hosts at Wyoming’s Buffalo Bill State Park, near the east entrance to Yellowstone.  We had a Labor Day snowstorm!  A few days later, temperatures were back in the 80s.

NOAA Weather Radio works where cell phones and internet don’t –


Smart phones will give you a notice that a dangerous storm is imminent.  Weather apps can keep you advised of approaching hazards.

But how many times, during your travels, have you lost your internet and cell phone signal?  For us, that happens a lot.  It happens more frequently during severe weather.

We love that our RVs and vehicles can take us to remote places.  But those same places can make it hard to find safe shelter and emergency help.  Tent campers and boondockers can be especially vulnerable.

Like everything in life, we balance the good with the bad.  We love our RV life, but we need to be extra careful to prepare for extreme weather.

RVers and campers need to prepare for these emergencies — and a NOAA Weather Radio is a must have.  It works where cell phones and internet don’t have service.

I’ll discuss our choice for weather radio below.  (Note – we are not sponsored for any of our recommended products.  We just want to share what works for us.)

Photo by Johannes Plenio

NOAA Weather Radio –


NOAA radios will work where cell phones, TVs, land lines, and regular radios don’t work.  It knows your area once you set it up, and it only notifies you of local emergencies, with specific information.

You’ll hear periodic NOAA system tests, like with the Emergency Broadcast System.  They occur during the daytime.

We keep our Midland weather radio on our dinette table, which is in the center of our travel trailer.

Don’t worry that you won’t hear the alarm.  Even in a deep sleep at 3:00 am, you will jump out of your skin.

There are different kinds of NOAA weather radios.  We bought our Midland at Walmart, based on its high ratings and its low price – with tax, it was less than $35.  If you have any problems with it, you need to return it to Walmart within thirty days, since it’s an electronic product.

Midland is also the Amazon’s Choice at $29.99, with free shipping with Amazon Prime membership.

The Midland weather radio is packaged securely, and the directions are well written.   Keep track of the detachable cord–it’s not a universal cord.  The radio needs three AA alkaline batteries.

When you arrive at a new location, make sure to update your radio frequency and county.  Midland’s enclosed directions tell you how to do that.

NOAA Weather Radio on the road –


We keep our weather radio plugged in except when we are traveling, to extend the battery life.

Make sure you keep the antenna fully extended, when you reach your location.

Also make sure you remember to push down and secure the antenna when you’re traveling, and that it’s in a safe place where it can’t fall or get hit by anything while you’re going down the road.

We leave the weather radio in our travel trailer while driving between locations, unless there is a chance of bad weather when we are on the road.  Then it goes with us in the truck.

You need a NOAA weather radio as part of an overall disaster plan–another RV must have.

Click here to read my article on creating a Disaster Plan for staying safe on the road.


Feature photo by Dave Morgan.

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