The Iceman Cometh! Are YOU Ready to Flock South?

We have chosen to be reasonably warm year-round, so we are snowbirds.

The end of another day along the Florida Gulf Coast. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Every year when I hear the honks of the Canada geese overhead at our home in the Great White North, something in my genes starts pulling my inner-compass to the South. And an inner voice whispers: “Surely you’re as smart as a goose.”

Feeling that I am at least as smart as a silly goose, I line up the motorhome with that compass pointer and head for the Sun Belt.

Preparing your home for an extended absence requires thorough thought and planning.

Whether you’re new to taking extended RV trips or a veteran Snowbird, creating your own customized checklist is a great way to keep track of your seasonal preparations.

In the previous post, six tips on securing and winterizing your northern home were discussed.

Following are 10 additional tips to consider when creating your own winter-ready checklist:


On the Colorado River in the southwest corner of Arizona, Yuma’s been at the crossroads for centuries. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Receiving your mail in a timely manner can be a major concern for snowbirds, full-timers, and other RVers who plan to be on the road for an extended period of time. Arrange with your local postal service to have your mail forwarded to a mailing forwarding address.

We use the service provided by FMCA (Family Motor Coach Association). Other trusted and reliable mail forwarding services include Good Sam and Escapees.

Place a temporary hold on your newspaper delivery.

Smoke alarms
Check to ensure that all smoke alarms are in working order and have fresh batteries.

Reduce costs and save energy consumption by turning the thermostat down to 45-50 degrees F (7-10 C).

Turn off the water supply at the main valve.

Water heater
Adjust the gas water heater thermostat to “pilot” or turn it off.

Upon returning home, relight the pilot if you turned it off, and gradually turn the thermostat to the appropriate setting. Don’t forget to turn the water back on before restarting the water heater.

Appliances and electronics
Unplug all electronics and electrical appliances—microwave, washer and dryer, stove, refrigerator, coffee pot, toaster oven, TVs, audio equipment, radios, and lamps.


Empty the refrigerator, turn it off, and unplug from wall receptacle. Place a fresh box of baking soda on a shelf to absorb odors and drape a towel over the doors to ensure they remain partially open.

Home security
Check outdoor security lights to ensure the motion sensors are functioning correctly.

Lock windows and doors, and set the security alarm.

Rockport is known as “The Charm of the Texas Coast” and for good reasons too. It’s a quiet, little town on the coast of Texas just 30 minutes north of Corpus Christi. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Medical insurance
Don’t leave home without it!

In conclusion

This list is a good place to start, but you may take additional steps to secure your home.

Happy Snowbird Travels!

Note: This is the second of a two-part series on snowbird preparations

Part 1: Flocking South for the Winter? A Home Checklist for Snowbirds

Worth Pondering…

As Anne Murray sings in the popular song, “Snowbird”:

“Spread your tiny wings and fly away

And take the snow back with you

Where it came from on that day …

So, little snowbird, take me with you when you go

To that land of gentle breezes where the peaceful waters flow…”

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