Snowbird RV Travel Checklist: Tips and Tasks

Before heading to Florida for the winter, snowbirds must prepare their northern homes for their extended absence. Proper maintenance and preparation are essential to keep homes safe and comfortable.

Use our Florida snowbird checklist for a smooth transition from your northern home to your winter home. Also, protect your Florida home with a monitored alarm system for added security. With a little planning, snowbirds can enjoy the best of both worlds and make their winter experience a memorable one.

Preparing Your Northern Home

Before leaving for Florida, it’s important to prepare your northern home for the winter months. Get your HVAC system ready by disconnecting and draining the outdoor condenser unit for split systems, and cleaning up any debris from central air conditioners. Replace the air filter and consider professional servicing to optimize system efficiency.

Find and turn off the main water valve to prevent leaks, drain your pipes, and turn off your water heater as well. These steps will help keep your home safe and maintained while you enjoy your time in Florida.

Before packing up for the winter, complete these indoor household tasks:

• To avoid potential water damage: it’s important to turn off the main water valve before leaving your home for an extended period. Burst pipes can cause significant damage, but shutting off the water and draining the pipes can prevent this. It’s essential to know where the main valve is located, and hiring a professional plumber to drain the pipes properly is a wise investment. By taking these simple steps, you can protect your home and avoid expensive repairs.

• Maintain your HVAC system: Have a nearby HVAC company service your heating system regularly to keep it running smoothly. Change the filter before leaving to allow the furnace to perform well all winter.

• To safeguard your home from winter damage while you’re away, take measures like turning down the heat, not off. Shut off the water supply by finding the gate valve or ball valve on your water line and turning it clockwise. Save energy and prevent overheating by turning down or shutting off the water heater. These precautions will help keep your home safe and secure during your winter absence.

• Save energy and money by turning off or lowering the temperature of your water heater when you’re away for a long time, like during winter or a vacation. Lower the temperature or turn off the breaker that controls the water heater. Also, shut off the water supply by locating the water meter and turning the handle to prevent leaks or damage to your home while you’re away.

• Check with your internet and cable provider for vacation options to turn off your service for the winter without any fees.

• Save money and prevent damage by unplugging appliances when not in use. Also, locate and know how to use the water shut-off valve in case of a water leak or burst pipe to prevent costly damage to your home and belongings.

• Open appliance doors: Your dishwasher and washing machine, in particular, need to stay open while you’re gone. This allows the appliances to dry out and prevents mold growth.

• To protect your home while you’re away, close your fireplace flue and check your chimney coverage. If your chimney doesn’t have a covering, install one before winter.

• Open interior doors: Leaving your interior doors open helps the air circulate while you’re gone.

Personal Tasks to Handle Before Heading South

Before you leave, take care of these personal tasks:

• Plan for your mail: Arrange for mail forwarding or have someone you trust to collect your mail while you’re away for the winter. Let them know if there’s any important mail to look out for.

• Stop paper delivery: Suspend paper delivery for the duration of your southern snowbird adventure.

• Redirect calls to your cell phone before leaving for an extended period. Turn off the ringer to avoid attracting attention to your empty home.

Are you a snowbird heading to your southern home for the winter? Make sure you take the time to prepare your Florida home before connecting with your fellow snowbirds and enjoying the sunshine. Your HVAC system is the best place to start. Even during the winter months in Florida, you may need to run your air conditioning system regularly.

If you left your air conditioning running all summer, your home should be comfortable and free of musty, moldy conditions. Set your Wi-Fi thermostat to a lower temperature just before your arrival to walk into a perfectly cooled home. Once you arrive, perform the following maintenance tasks:

• Get an HVAC system inspected annually to identify any problems early and ensure that it’s running smoothly. Schedule the maintenance call before you arrive in Florida to avoid any delays.

• Change your HVAC filter and check your sprinkler system before your winter stays in Florida to improve air quality and maintain healthy landscaping. Monthly filter changes will keep your HVAC system running smoothly.

• Inspect the system: Take a quick look around the outdoor air conditioning unit to look for signs of damage or obstructions. Get rid of any leaves or debris around the unit, and trim back branches or plants that grew too close to it.

• Check the thermostat batteries: A fresh set of batteries in your thermostat helps the box run efficiently.

• Make sure your AC is working before settling in your Florida home by turning it on and checking for cool air. If you notice any issues, seek professional help. Don’t forget to inspect your home, inform the management company, and turn on the water.

To keep your Florida home safe during summer, hire a home watch service with security cameras and sensors. Test your hurricane shutters, secure outdoor items, and schedule landscaping maintenance. Inspect your home for issues and make repairs before leaving. If heading south in your RV this winter, use these tips for a safe and comfortable trip.

Preparing Your Northern Home for Winter

Checklist to prepare your northern home for the winter months before heading to Florida or hitting the road in your RV:

• Move outdoor items inside to prevent damage.
• Clean up your landscaping to avoid potential hazards.
• Shut off your water and drain your pipes to prevent freezing and bursting.
• Service your HVAC system to ensure it functions efficiently throughout the winter.
• Lower your thermostat to save energy and prevent freezing.
• To save energy, switch off your water heater.
• Turn off the internet, cable, and similar services to avoid unnecessary charges.
• Unplug appliances to save energy and prevent potential fire hazards.
• Close your fireplace flue to prevent drafts and conserve energy.
• Set up mail forwarding and suspend newspaper delivery.
• Forward calls made to your northern landline to your cell phone.
• Notify financial institutions and insurance agents of your travel plans.
• Pay bills or arrange for automatic payments to avoid late fees.
• Address medication and medical issues before you leave.
• Arrange for houseplant and pet care if necessary.
• Notify the police that you will be away by submitting a form.
• Let your neighbors know about your travel plans and ask them to keep an eye on your property.
• Use timers for your lights to discourage burglars
• Hire a snow removal service to keep your driveway clear.
• Secure valuable items and lock all doors and windows.
• Install or set up a security system with motion sensors and 24/7 monitoring.
• Monitor temperature and moisture levels remotely to prevent frozen pipes or other weather-related damage.
• Thoroughly clean your home, laundry, and kitchen to prevent pests.
• Organize paperwork and important documents.
• Perform vehicle maintenance if necessary.
• Pack the essentials and ship larger items to your winter destination ahead of time.
• By completing these tasks, you can rest easy knowing your home is prepared for winter while you enjoy your time away.

RV Maintenance

Before embarking on a road trip with your RV, it’s essential to perform maintenance to ensure that it’s in good working condition.RVs have many parts, such as the engine, brake pads, holding tanks, exterior lights, appliances, and plumbing. To keep your RV in good condition, make sure to schedule maintenance and repairs as needed.

In addition to car maintenance, it’s important to thoroughly clean your RV, especially if it has been unused for some time, to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable trip, packing wisely is crucial to avoid clutter and make the most of the space available in your RV.

If you plan to tow a vehicle, make sure to perform necessary maintenance and ensure that the tow trailer is correctly installed and all connections are tested before your planned departure date. Lastly, don’t forget to check your windshield wipers, and wiper blades to avoid any potential issues during your trip.

By prioritizing RV maintenance, you’ll have a safe and stress-free journey, allowing you to enjoy your adventure to the fullest.

To help you prepare for your snowbird escape, here’s a quick snowbird checklist so you don’t forget the important prep tasks:

Before Leaving Your Northern Home

Preparing for a trip down south? Before starting your road trip, there are some important things to do: winterize your northern home, inspect and maintain your RV, pack wisely to avoid overloading and prepare your vehicle for towing.

Once You Arrive at Your Winter Destination

When you arrive at your winter destination, start by checking for leaks by turning on the valve on the water line. Schedule an HVAC maintenance appointment, replace the filter, and test the system. Make sure to check smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and inform the property management of your presence. Install a security system or camera for added safety, inspect your home, and clean, and purge unneeded items. Finally, plug in appliances, schedule landscape maintenance, and service any vehicles that stay in your winter destination year-round.

When It’s Time to Head Back North

• Hire a home watch service to monitor your winter destination during the summer
• Pack up outdoor items for storage
• Inspect hurricane shutters
• Schedule landscape maintenance if you handle landscaping yourself
• Have your irrigation system inspected and tested
• Adjust your thermostat to a higher temperature
• Replace your HVAC filter
• Schedule seasonal HVAC maintenance before you leave
• Close blinds
• Clean your home thoroughly, including getting rid of food that could spoil
• Remove trash
• Purge unneeded items
• Shut off your water
• Cover toilets

Contact Pronto Service Pros at (813) 341-5400 for all your HVAC needs! Our team of professionals specializes in HVAC repairs, maintenance, and installations, and we offer extended warranties for your peace of mind. Experience 100% customer satisfaction with Pronto Service Pros.

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