In 1969, the comedy troupe Firesign Theater asked, “How can you be in two places at once without being anywhere at all?” In the counter-culture haze of the late ’60s, this question was both strangely funny and unanswerable.
Taking inspiration from Firesign Theaters’ absurd musing, we offer a new, obviously not as funny question; “How can you travel in your RV without worrying about your home?”
In the days leading up to your departure, scour your house for anything you might have borrowed from the library, a family member, or friend, and ensure those they are returned prior to leaving.
Even the most experienced RVers worry about their homes while they’re away. From the threat of a break-in to a failed heating system causing the pipes to freeze, the range of things that can go wrong at home are enough to keep folks awake at night. Did you remember to lock the sliding doors?
With a little preparation, and a dose of prevention, none of these fears should keep you from embarking on your much-anticipated snowbird travels. No worries.
Lock All External Doors, Windows, and the Garage
Lock your front door. Lock your back door. Lock the door between your garage and your house. Lock all sliding doors with security locks. Lock pet doors and any other external entry ways into your house. Whenever possible, use deadbolt locks. And don’t forget to make sure that all of your windows are also locked.
Garage doors with electric garage door openers are vulnerable to thieves with garage door opener scanners. To defeat these scanners, unplug your garage door opener when you’re away from home. Additionally, remove garage door openers and valuables from cars stored in the garage. Inform anyone with access to your home that you have disabled the garage door system and/or manually locked the garage.
Do Not Hide House Keys
Hiding a house key under the mat, in a fake rock, or inside a magnetic house key box stuck to the underside of an outdoor pipe is never a good idea. The thieves know about these products and tricks and look for these easy access vulnerabilities.
Ask Neighbors To Watch
Let your neighbors know how long you will be away. In addition, provide a responsible neighbor with keys to your home and garage. Have them walk through your house on a regular basis. Check with your insurance provider to determine the frequency they require.
If the power went out, did your alarm turn back on? Is the furnace still up and running? A trusted neighbor can check and answer these questions instantly. Developing and maintaining good relationships with your neighbors is key to preparing for an extended trip.
Security Alarm System
Some folks wouldn’t consider leaving their house to go grocery shopping without setting the alarm system while some rural folks have never locked their front door.
If you have an alarm system installed, be sure to keep your contacts current with the names and contact information of neighbors and house sitters who may be at the premises.
Check All Smoke Detectors
Even though you will not be home, it’s still important that your smoke detectors are functioning properly. Change the smoke detector batteries on an annual basis, and test.
Motion Activated Outdoor Lights
Having exterior lights turn on is an excellent theft deterrent. Outdoor lights with built in motion sensors are available at Home Depot, Lowes, and Amazon (among others) and do an excellent job at detecting and deterring would-be thieves. They can also automatically light the way when you get home.
Be a Good Neighbor
As you can see, you are relying on your trusted neighbors or home-watching friends to help keep your home safe and intervening in any disaster. Consider thanking them with a thank you card and gift certificate at appropriate occasions. Also, when they are away, perform the same type of duties.
The best part of the above recommendations is the peace of mind they’ll give you if you’re away from home.
You’ve heard the old Willie Nelson country music song with the lyrics, “On the road again. Just can’t wait to get on the road again…” We’ll be singing this song for sure.