A look at snowbirds: 15 tips

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?

Arizona has much to offer the RVing Snowbird. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Are you prepared for emergencies and vehicle breakdowns? Have you taken necessary safety precautions? Is your recreational vehicle safely loaded and within all legal weight limits?

Following are the first three of 15 tips for planning your next extended road trip and to help ensure you arrive safely at your southern destination:

1. Equiping the RV

Most RVers pack and unpack their recreational vehicle numerous times throughout the year. Whether it’s preparation for a weekend jaunt, holiday-getaway, family get-together, or extended Snowbird travels, it can be a time consuming and onorous task. Equipping your RV as you would a vacation cottage can drastically cut down on appliances and supplies that must be toted back and forth. Consider equipting your RV with its own coffeemaker, toaster oven, other small appliances, pots and pans, dishes, cups and glasses, cutlery, linens, and personal toiletries.

2. Lists: lots and lots of lists and checklists

A checklist has been defined as a list of items to be noted, checked, or remembered.

It’s easy to forget to do something! Roof vents up, steps out, and TV antennas fully extended are the three items most frequently overlooked.

Image courtesy central-vt.com

Using a checklist is an excellent way to ensure that you have everything you need.

Spend considerable time putting your thoughts on paper before leaving on your extended RV journey. Make “to do” lists to cover what needs to be packed and taken care of before you hit the open road.

Make your list and check it twice.

Separate your list into areas and leave blanks for add-ins.

Checklists that we have found useful include:

  • Equipping RV
  • Room inventories (living room, kitchen, bedroom, bathroom)
  • Pre-travel (exterior and interior)
  • Arrival set-up (exterior and interior)
  • Preparation for travel (exterior and interior)
  • Departure list
  • Arrival list
  • Grocery list
  • Towing procedures
  • One-hour break safety inspection

3. Equipping RV checklist

Using checklists help ensure care-free days in the sun. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Make several copies of the checklist and modify it with additions and deletions.

Useful items include:

  • Bungee cords, Velcro, tape (Duct, Gorilla, electrical, masking, Teflon)
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Coaxial cable (for cable TV hookup)
  • Electrical adapters, extension cord (30 amp, 10-gauge)
  • Polarity tester, digital voltmeter
  • RV water hoses (DO NOT use a garden hose) and fittings
  • Water pressure regulator
  • Sewer hoses
  • Toilet chemical
  • Work gloves
  • Disposable plastic gloves (for handling sewer hoses)
  • Extra bulbs, fuses, and batteries (a variety of sizes for your onboard gadgets)
  • Flashlights
  • Flares/warning reflectors
  • Silicone spray
  • WD-40
  • 303 Protectant
  • Exterior cleaning supplies, broom
  • Distilled water
  • Jumper cables
  • Tape measure
  • Heavy-duty tire pressure gauge
  • Fold-down shovel
  • Tool box with basic tools (store on curb side)
  • Stepladder
  • Weather radio
  • First Aid Kit, including pain remedies, cold and flu medicine, bandages, and basic First Aid booklet
  • Stationery supplies, including envelopes, stamps, paper, pens, pencils, tape, stapler, post-its
  • Calculator
  • Prescription medications
  • Bottled water (individual and/or larger containers)
  • Necessary records and travel papers including passports
  • Small fireproof safe
  • Navigation devices (atlases, maps, GPS, laptop with navigation program)
  • Cooking utensils, pots, pans, dishes, cutlery, can opener, coffee maker, potholders, ziploc bags, aluminum foil, wax paper, saran wrap
  • Clean-up materials (soaps, scrubbers, rags, trash bags, dish drainer)
  • Paper products (towels, plates, toilet and facial tissue)
  • Digital camera, camcorder, computer, printer, and related battery chargers
  • Cell phone with charger
  • Satellite dish
  • Binoculars

Remember, Safety First, and Happy RVing!

To be continued tomorrow…

Worth Pondering…
One needs only two tools in life: WD40 to make things go, and duct tape to make them stop.

—G. Weilacher

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