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Despite the name, the term “Winter Snowbirds” generally involves neither winter nor snow. Since we love warm weather, becoming Snowbirds each winter was one of the main reasons we started RVing. But that doesn’t mean we always avoid cold weather and snow. Sometimes there are considerations other than weather for choosing a route or destination.
Five years ago, we spent our one and only winter entirely in a cold climate in an RV. We made a video about how we prepared and lived comfortably during that time. While we did make it to the Desert Southwest this year, we returned North earlier than usual. We knew this would likely take us into the tail end of winter, especially during a La Niña year, with the West forecast to get hit harder than it typically does. And it sure did.
While we love warm weather, we’re not afraid of winter. There’s definitely a mitigating effect just knowing that we have the freedom to go South whenever we want. We always say full-timing means that “Winter is a choice” and that cuts both ways… in a good way. We can choose to stay warm, or we can choose to experience winter, which can be really beautiful. The very fact that we can choose is what makes it okay for us either way.
Pre-RV (when we were firmly entrenched in The Rut) we had no choice in the matter. Neither of us had spent more than two weeks in a warm winter climate in our entire lives. So the “Snowbirding” aspect of RVing was a really big deal for us (our first totally-warm winter in Desert Hot Springs, California was an incredible experience)! Now that we’re free to come and go from the snow as we please, winter weather doesn’t bother us as much.
Not that we plan to stop snowbirding. After all, we still love us some warmth. But we turn a trip that could be called a “Snowbird Fail” (as in, it’s cold) into a win, by dealing with it like pros.
This video covers the techniques we use to care for our rig and stay as comfortable as possible during a short trip to sub-freezing temperatures and some fairly heavy snow. Managing our power, propane, water and other systems correctly makes short trips into the winter mostly a non-event. Even for us Snowbirds. ;)
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Even though we're handy RVers, we're not professional technicians. So although we're happy with the techniques and products we use, you should be sure to confirm that all methods and materials are compatible with your equipment and abilities. Regardless of what we recommend, consult a professional if you're unsure about working on your RV. Any task you perform or product you purchase based on any information we provide is strictly at your own risk.