High Wind = White Knuckle driving - any suggestions?

alex.southpole

New member
We just took our maiden voyage in our 170" 4x4 high roof from Colorado down to south western New Mexico. Holly wind! I was white knuckled for 2 days straight. The Cross Wind Assist kept kicking in which felt like it made it worse (at least my heart rate). So question for you all....is there anything to be done to make it better? Bigger tires, shocks, valium?
 
I have added Bilstein b6 front struts and fox shocks on the rear, this has helped somewhat, but it still is a tall narrow van with kayaks on the roof! I slow down when the wind picks up, driving 60 max helps. If you have converted your van you can always pull over and wait for better conditions. I have learned to not be in a hurry, the journey is the prize not the finish line. PS we are retired so that makes a difference!
 

tDot

Active member
Buy a 3500. I barely notice the wind.

If that isn't realistic, better shocks from Van Compass or Agile Offroad will help.

If you're camperizing your Sprinter, try to minimize additions to the roof and generally keep weight low.

Otherwise, loosen up your grip and arms, usually having relaxed hands on the wheel will actually smooth out the gusts more then white knuckles.
 

smittylube

Active member
Tires made a dramatic improvement on mine. I had 245 70 17 Ko2 with squishy sidewalls. Replaced with 275/65/17 Ko2 sold the originals in CL.
And then yes shocks are totally worth it. Tires might have more impact than the shocks. Regardless both will transform your rig.
 

flyag1

Active member
Sprinters are a handful in windy conditions, 2 x 2 is the same as the 4 wheel version. About 60 max in 40 mph or more cross winds. I was on I80 in the middle of WY last year and was happy running 40 or so. Got to Salt Lake when the dash lite-up, come to find out the wind assist quite before I did... Ha, ha....
 

Docpaulo

Active member
Actually 4x4is worse due to extra height...

Had same experience driving through Texas and New Mexico ... crksswind assist kept going off..

At one point steering wheel was 15degrees off center to drive a straight line
 

Tom Tint

Active member
I had to drive my 2020 4x4 low roof a couple days ago for 200+ miles. Wind was steady at 30mph and frequent gusts in the 50mph area. It was certainly a handful
 

Roamers

2020 4X4 170 Crew
The home stretch of our just completed trip was 40ish crosswinds between 90 degrees and 45 on the driverside nose.

I found crosswind assistance very disturbing; not sure why it kicks on when it does. Around bridges and semi passes I can see it, but just going down the road doesn't usually make sense.

I found a fairly loose relaxed one hand wheel grip to be best for me. The two hand death grip can contributes to over-corrections.
 

hilld

Active member
Buy a 3500. I barely notice the wind.

If that isn't realistic, better shocks from Van Compass or Agile Offroad will help.

If you're camperizing your Sprinter, try to minimize additions to the roof and generally keep weight low.

Otherwise, loosen up your grip and arms, usually having relaxed hands on the wheel will actually smooth out the gusts more then white knuckles.
Still notice it with my 3500XD, but yes, the Falcon shocks made a huge difference. Still have to install the front ones, just the rear for now.
 

kcshoots

VanTripping.com
Going slower significantly reduces the affects of winds on the van.
 

Kajtek1

2015 long/tall limo RV 2.1l
Dually does help with side wind resistance, but with "barn door" sitting on soft suspension, when I park at the curb and compact car passes by - my van will rock.
You can do small improvements like suggested, but unless you chop the barn door down, you will not eliminate the issue.
But the software activating brakes is great help with sudden wind gust. Otherwise we might roll.
What might make you feel better is observing how tall semitrailers struggle in the wind.
 

Docpaulo

Active member
Crosswind assistance is great after you get used to it.. while seems scary, it actually keeps you from tipping over... basically it brakes for me when I otherwise would want to slow down.. and being it brakes only 1 side.. not something I could replicate manually
 

sailquik

Well-known member
Are all of you sure that it's only the crosswind assist that's kicking in?
Do you turn the Lane Keeping Assist (LKA) off in windy conditions?
Cross wind assist will keep you pretty much in your lane, but if you
wander enough for the LKA to see a painted line, then the handful of control
issues at least doubles as the crosswind assist want to steer you safely back
to the middle of the lane you are in, but LKA may cause significantly more steering
angle/input in the same (or opposite) direction.
I've put up with the LKA in it's original iteration/software for over a year by simply shutting
it off every time I get in and drive.
2019 HT Short back 4x2 is at the dealers for it's first service and they are trying to change the
LKA to something much less severe.
We shall see. They said there is no "campaign" to adjust the LKA, but many on this forum suggest
that their dealers did something to tone down the LKA after the drivers complained.
Anyone who had the LKA modified still have their invoice with the code/campaign #'s and description?
Hope this helps,
Roger
 

bigb

2011 Winnebago Via 25Q on 3500 Sprinter Tucson, AZ
Still notice it with my 3500XD, but yes, the Falcon shocks made a huge difference. Still have to install the front ones, just the rear for now.
Is yours a T1N or NCV?
 

ENMeyer

Active member
I had a 6 hour drive through 50 mph crosswinds this week.

I was pondering the physics. Some people say "drive slower". But, I'm trying to sort through the physics of things.

Wouldn't it be (theoretically) better to drive faster? If you sail, you may be familiar with "apparent wind". The faster you drive/sail, the more the wind is on your nose and not a cross wind.

For example, if you are parked and the wind is 50 mph directly from your left, you have 50 mph hitting the side of your van.
If you drive 50 mph with a 50 mph crosswind, the wind is now at 45 degrees forward, and the apparent cross wind is now 25 mph.
 

Kajtek1

2015 long/tall limo RV 2.1l
You are talking steady cross winds, when the real life issue is cross gusts.
I drive in those conditions a lot and had situation when at 60 mph side wind gust kicked the safety system so strong that van come to rolling stop after.
I drove cars with rear engines and lot of owners would carry couple sacks of concrete, or potatoes in front trunk to make it easier.
Still with cross section of tall Sprinter, you do have lot of forces to correct.
 

OffroadHamster

Active member
VanCompass Shocks, Fox or Falcon, pick your budget. E-Load LT tires. US395 can be crazy windy, and typically is. 30-50mph sustained is not uncommon and gusts even higher. I can drive with one hand on the wheel in most scenarios. I have Remote reservoir rear Fox with 2 add a leaf's, front Fox auxiliaries with Sumo springs. 285/70r17's. I have a 144 LR 4x4 with a pop top (as tall as HR van).
 

Top Bottom