A look at snowbirds: 15 tips, Part 4

The Iceman Cometh

Whether you’re a snowbird heading south for the winter or preparing for a weekend jaunt, there’s always a concern that you forgot to pack all the essentials? How do you know that everything you’ll need is in the RV?

The birding is great in the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas. Pictured above Great Kiskadee. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The previous three posts detailed the first six tips for planning your next road trip and to help ensure your safety while on the road. Today, we conclude with the final two tips.

14. Directories

Campground directories

You need at least one International campground directory—Trailer Life and/or Woodalls. Trailer Life Directory is the official directory of the Good Sam Club. You’ll find them at book and RV accessory stores.  For information on Trailer Life Directory, visit their website at www.TrailerLifeDirectory.com. For information on Woodalls Campground Directory, visit their website at www.woodalls.com.

EXIT NOW: Interstate Exit Directory

A 500+ page spiral-bound, easy-to-use directory with color-coded listings and 250 color maps that inform RVers and other travelers what’s off every exit on every U.S. Interstate.

Travel centers, retail outlets, restaurants, fuel stations, RV service centers, dump stations, campgrounds, and large vehicle parking access are listed for more than 17,900 interstate exits.

Shortening days are speeding the departure of Snowbirds for the Sonoran Desert. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

EXIT NOW also includes information on steep grades, converging highways, low clearance areas, and the sometimes-dangerous left exits.

The directory also identifies hospitals, pharmacies, veterinarians, the highway patrol, and other emergency services.

EXIT NOW arranges each off-ramp by interstate number—not by state.

For more information or to order a copy, click here.

The Next Exit

The Next Exit provides a list of travel resources at each exit on interstate highways. This information is helpful for answering such questions as where is the next truck stop or rest area. If a fuel station or truck stop is marked in red, it can handle a big rig.

This directory is available at most truck stops.

15. Emergency Road Service—Get the right plan

Like any insurance plan, Emergency Road Service is an investment that you hope you’ll never need. But if you spend much time on the road, sooner or later you’ll have a breakdown.

Sugar cane harvesting near Lake Okeechobee in South Florida. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Excellent plans are available from Good Sam, AAA, Explorer RV Club (Canada), and CoachNet.

Coach-Net is a technical and emergency roadside assistance program that, among other services, will tow your vehicle to the nearest service center. Your plan should provide coverage for emergency fuel, lockout service, tire changes, and jump-starts. These services should be available no matter where you travel in the U.S. or Canada. Don’t leave home without it!

Consider your needs and ensure that your emergency service plan will meet them.

Following are several questions to think about:

  • Does the plan cover all vehicles with which you normally travel—motorhome, toad, tow vehicle, trailer?
  • Does it include a lodging allowance if you are unable to stay in your RV?
  • Are you covered in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico?
  • Does your plan have an upper limit? A deductible?
  • What hoops do you have to jump through to get reimbursed if you have to pay cash for service?

Shop around. Match your plan to your needs and your budget, then drive with peace of mind.

Remember, Safety First, and Happy RVing!

Worth Pondering…
Life is too precious to waste any of it.

Sitting around while opportunities pass you by is not living—it’s only existing.

Don’t wait for someday—do what you want to do now while you’re able.

If following your dream means traveling in an RV, find a way and just do it.

—Peggi McDonald, Spirit of the Open Road

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