RV Lifestyle

How to Be a Snowbird: Winter House Prep

By Chelsea Gonzales

Some of the most critical things snowbirds need to consider involve the preparation of their house.

This list will tell you exactly how to prepare your house before you hop in your home-on-wheels and make your winter escape.

First, we highly recommend Letting your home insurance company know you'll be gone for quite some time, and ask if there are things you do to ensure continuous coverage while you're away.

You can make it look like you're still at home by putting lights on timers and having your neighbor park one of their vehicles in your driveway.

Create a Facade

Set up cameras in the basement, bathroom, and kitchen to watch for water leaks, and put one by the front door so you can see people come and go.

Invest in Security Cameras

Everything from lights, cameras, and even your thermostat can be set up to operate remotely from your phone.

Make Systems Wireless

Turn off the water to the house, relieve the water pressure in the lines and turn off both the water heater and the ice maker in your fridge.

Turn Off Your Water Supply

Water tends to evaporate over time, something that can let some pretty awful smells into your home.

Cover All Drains and Toilets

Avoid this problem by covering all drains and wrapping each toilet with Saran Wrap.

Cover All Drains and Toilets

To avoid returning home to some nasty science experiments, be sure to clean out your fridge entirely before you leave.

Clean Out the Fridge

When leaving your house in winter, your thermostat should be set to around 50 degrees (°F) to prevent freezing of plumbing.

Adjust the Thermostat

You can help protect plumbing under sinks by leaving the cabinet doors under sinks open. This allows warm interior air to circulate over the water lines there.

Leave Cabinet Doors Open

You will want your smoke detectors to go off should a fire occur. Replace their batteries and test them before you leave.

Test Smoke Detectors

Phone chargers, home phones, computers, televisions, etc., should all be unplugged from the wall.

Unplug Unnecessary Electronics

Do your best to avoid pests by inspecting the outside of the house from possible entry points, covering vents with mesh, and filling holes with steel wool.

Check for Pest Entry Points

If you have furniture or other items that could blow away or be damaged by winter weather, you will want to make sure to put those away or at least secure them.

Put Outdoor Furniture Away

You might want to hire someone to come out and remove snow from your roof after big storms to prevent damage.

Hire a Snow Removal Service

If you have a cat or a dog, you'll probably want to take your furry friend with you. Some pets cannot travel, so be sure to make arrangements for their care while away.

Make Arrangements for Pets

It's good to leave a house key with at least one trusted friend or family member and ask them to check up on the house once a week or more.

Hand the Key Over to a Trusted Person

Get an in-depth look and more tips with the extended article version on Camper Smarts.