8 Tips Before Heading South For The Winter

Most of us enjoy getting out of the cold winters and enjoy more sunshine.  Naturally the south is a popular destination for snowbirds.  Unfortunately, because it is popular, it takes a little planning to get there and have the trip meet your expectations. Here are our 8 tips before heading south for the winter.


If you are not going it alone, make sure your family is part of the planning.  That also means pets.  Everyone who will be RVing with you will have an impact of what you need to pack and where you can stay.  Even how long it takes you to get to your destination. If you are leaving family behind, i.e. they don’t live with you anymore, share your plans and intended places of stay. Keeping your family in the loop of where you plan on being is one more layer of safety.

Know Your Costs

If you are not full-time or own a home, you may be maintaining two housing cost options.  You should have a budget and know what the costs will be to winter part of the year.  You may be considering local taxes, insurance, upkeep, long term maintenance and campground rental. Even the little expenses can add up quickly. Make sure you are in a place financially to live on the road.

Plan Your RV Stay

Some RV campgrounds are booked nine months to a year out.  You should book your winter trip at least a year in advance to have a good selection.  Make sure you read all the terms and conditions for your stay too.  You may encounter required minimum stays or parks that are only open to regulars or require a lease agreement.  Set aside time to review your options and make sure you are making a good choice for the experience you want to have.

If you plan on staying any extended time, you should call ahead and have a conversation with the park manager, so you understand all the rules and requirements.  You may also find that staying long term there will be discounts available.  If you haven’t stayed at this park before, you should get on Google Maps and do a drive-by so you can see what the park looks like and what the nearby stores are you may need.  When you do make your deposit, make sure you get a receipt.  Review the receipt to make sure it has the correct days for your stay as well as any amenities that are included.

Advanced planning while ensure you have a place to park your RV at a price you can afford. 

Check the Weather

Just because you are heading south for the winter, you still might see rainbows.  Know what to expect the month(s) you are going to be at the campground.  Should you expect tornados, hurricanes, flash floods or extreme heat?  Look up where to go in case of inclement weather or emergency situations.

Prep Your RV

Based on the weather, you should prep your RV accordingly.  Check air conditioners, batteries, slides and all the items in your RV that you will be using.  Make sure you do not need to replace anything after you are already on the road.  You will want them in working order before you arrive.  But you will also want to have to time order any new parts and get them installed if something needs replacing.  Don’t wait until a day or two before you are to depart to start checking.

Your Brick and Mortar

While you are getting all excited about your travels south – don’t forget about your existing home if you are leaving one behind.  Put your mail on hold, have a neighbor check in if possible. You may want to have your mail forwarded to you at your RV campground.  If you have electronic monitoring, make sure everything is working.  Adjust your thermostat. Are you responsible for your lawn care?  Also, having paperless billing set up will also make your life much easier.  Anything to make sure you come back to a comfortable and safe home later.  You may want a house-sitter, there are a lot of options.

Medical Care

Whether you need access to regular medication or not, it is important to know where the local hospital is.  You may want a second dentist option near you if you plan on a long-term stay.  If you have medical insurance, find out who might be covered under your network or if you need more insurance coverage. Before heading south for the winter make sure you have your most important asset taken care of…you!


You might not think this is something to plan but getting together with neighbors and creating new friends is important to our health.  You may want to investigate resorts that have planned activities.  Or join local groups and organizations where you will be RVing so you can share a hobby.

Remember you want the campground to feel like home away from home so don’t rush through your plans.  Create a checklist if you need to.  Most of all, remember to have fun and make new friends.

About Lucinda Belden

Lucinda Belden is a travel writer who has been full-time RVing for several years in a 44-foot fifth wheel toy hauler with her husband Will and their dog Cozy. Lucinda writes on all kinds of travel from cruises to motorcycling to RVing as well as travel books available on Amazon. She is also the Program Director for MyRVRadio, the first online radio station for RVers. You can follow her adventures at www.fb.com/DirectionWideOpen.