December has arrived! It’s the time of the year that the birds migrate south, looking for warmer climates to nest. Some people do, too, once the holidays end and January begins. Many U.S. and Canadian citizens migrate down to Florida and Arizona around this time, seeing their own cozy nest to ride out the harsh winter.
For retirees, this lifestyle can be a godsend. Warm climates, tropical ocean views, dry warmth can literally save lives over cold, damp, snowy mountains or plains. Brittle cold can damage skin and bones, as well as exacerbate respiratory problems. Snowbirds, as they are called, get the best of both worlds.
But having two homes in two locations can be a lot to manage. A home in the north takes damage in the winter when you’ve left it. A home in Florida, for instance, runs the risk of flooding, tornadoes, and hurricanes in the sweltering summer. The expense of two homes can make Snowbird living hard on a retirement budget.
But that’s where recreational vehicles can make a major difference. There are many virtues to being an RV Snowbird, but the biggest is the freedom not to be tied to a second home. There’s less risk and expense to leaving your home to face winter damage than the summer damage that comes with volatile weather. With proper arrangements in advance, you can live for months out of your RV before returning to your home to arrange repairs. And taking your home-away-from-home with you all the way means it never gets forgotten as you go about your life.
There’s a lot of organizing that must be done to get the most out of being a Snowbird. MotorHome.com has a very good guide to the lifestyle with tips. Here are some of the best tips on managing a Snowbird double life:
- Pick a Place. If you don’t have a dream destination in mind, why not tour and try out several? Your RV is perfect for finding a location suited to your needs. Consider sports events, arts, but also medical attention and facilities, too.
- Claim your Spot. Reservations for RV docking are so in demand (especially in Florida) that you may need to request yours up to a year in advance.
- Refueling. Figure out how to get restocked, either by transportation you bring with you or through delivery services in the area you are staying in.
- Protect your Castle. Make certain your home is looked after. Mail can only be held for 30 days, so you might need to have a friend (or a hired service) drop in on your home a few times a month to stash the mail and make certain all is well.
- Manage Maintenance. Make certain that, wherever you’re going, there’s a shop capable of keeping your RV looked after and prepped for the return home.
If you decide to divide your time between Grants Pass and someplace warm for the winter, we hope you’ll come in to talk to us about your RV’s needs before leaving. To make an appointment call us directly. We’re located at 417 SW Henderson Lane, Grants Pass, OR 97527, and we’re open Monday through Friday, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM.