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RVSnowbird

OR-NV-AZ-OR

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Posted: 10/25/06 09:38am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

This subject comes up often so here is the result of the best reference the archives turned up. It's at: Winterizing house, 10/17/02.
cyminn wrote:

I don't worry about the heat, but if you do, there is a temp device that will either phone a number or a cheaper one that will turn on a light if the temp drops.
Myself I don't bother.
My checks:
Turn the water off at the main.
Turn the water heater down to Away or Pilot which ever yours says.
Turn the heat down to 50.
Run water thru the main drain for 10 minutes. (why? because TP will harden up in the line and can plug up.)
Put the telephone on Voice Mail only.
Stop the paper.
Stop the mail.
Put a couple of lights on meters that turn on and off.
Unplug all TV's and VCRs(why? if you live in an electrical storm area, TVs will pick up on lighting and are a cause of household fires.)
Have the friendly neighbor shovel the walk just enough to make it look lived in and also drive once on the driveway.
Mountain Jack wrote:

Howdy, Charlie;

I Feel it depends on where you Live & how Your Home is set-up. What Works for me, Might Not for You. We went south last Nov, & were gone for 7 months.

We live in a Mobile Home, out in the country, on the side of a Mountain. All our appliances are electric. Our water comes from underground Artesian Springs. We have a Septic tank. They don't deliver mail here, we have a P.O. Box.

Most of our plumbing is PVC, buried 2' in the ground. Anything above ground, i covered with pipe wrap. I put fiberglass insulation over hose bibs & put a 5 gallon plastic bucket over it. Drained all garden hoses. By our main spring, we have a 2,500 Gall holding tank. I turned the water Off there, & drained whatever piping i could. Most is Gravity Fed.

On the inside i covered All Mobiles windows with blankets & heavy towels. Covered computer, TV's, vcr's, stereo,etc. For mildew protection, i put a (Dri-Z-Air) with crystals, in sinks. I propped open Frig & Freezer doors. I turned OFF, ALL Electricity, put a hold on my internet service.

We have 1 neighbor, about a mile away, He was GoodEnough to check on the place, once in a while, & pick up our mail at Post Office. Anything important, he mailed to our Daughter, in Las Vegas. All our bills were paid from our bank account.

The vehicles we left here, i charged the Batts Fully, added distilled water, & disconnected them.

This is what Worked for Us. We had a Great Time, down South. might go again this Winter, if i get Off this computer, & get my Chores Done. LOL!!
I fyour in the area, check out;
www.avicasino.com They have a Huge Free RV Parking area & EveryBody was Friendly. It's between Needles & Laughlin.

When we Finalllllly got Home, hadn't planned on stayingaway so Long. Everything was Fine, Except some MICE had taken up SQUATters Rights. But, we cleaned it up. Our Dog & 2 Cats were with Us. My Puppy doesn't like trespassers on Her Mountain, whether they be Mice, Deer, the meter reader, or Whomever.

I, No Doubt, have forgotten to mention some things. Just not quite as Young as i Was. If you have any Questions, i can Help with, email me.
Have a Fantastic Time, this Winter. Don't Rob any Banks. Take Care. Jack......
rancelumsden wrote:

Since you're obviously using the web to access this forum, there is a huge amount of info about winterizing houses on the web.

www.pamic.org/Info/Safety%20Articles/oct00.htm
www.bre.umd.edu/html/159.html

The water supply to the dwelling should be turned off. In addition, pipes and commodes throughout the house should be drained and excess water removed and/or some type of freeze preventative introduced into the plumbing system. A qualified licensed plumber should be consulted for the best plan for your home.
If pipes are not drained, those that are subjected to direct outside temperatures should be properly insulated. Exposure to wind and cold can be minimized by scaling off open areas around the foundation of the dwelling during the colder months.
Leaving the heat on is no guarantee that it will stay on. Power interruptions occur, furnaces malfunction or run out of fuel. Low thermostat settings may not compensate for unusually cold weather that may grip your area. Your heating system should be inspected and cleaned each year before using it.
Shut off the electrical supply to appliances and lighting where practical.
Clean out cupboards and pantries so as to remove items that attract rodents and pests.
Maintenance of the exterior is important also. Be certain that the roof, guttering and downspouts, siding and windows are in good repair. Remember: autumn leaves can clog a downspout or a basement drain for the entire winter.
If the house has functional shutters, they can be closed.
Inspect trees on the property for potential problems. Dead trees and/or limbs should be removed. An ice storm can cause overhanging limbs to fall onto the house or even sag to a point of rubbing against the home and damaging the siding.
Swimming pools should be properly closed and secured for the season.
Arrange to have your driveway cleared in the event of snow or ice so emergency vehicles can gain easy entry if necessary.
If you have a central reporting fire alarm or security system, notify the appropriate office of your planned extended absence.
Regular visits to the property are your best defense. If not practical for you, then perhaps there is a neighbor whom you could trust to routinely check the home inside and out and report any problems immediately.


Anything to add?

....RVSnowbird

* This post was edited 07/11/09 02:35pm by an administrator/moderator *

RVSnowbird

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Posted: 11/23/06 10:18am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

see also "Packing List"

ice2fire

Summer = Ontario. Winter = Arizona

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Posted: 10/09/07 05:39pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

re draining pipes in house before leaving.

I did this last year, but when we got back, a couple of the taps started sprouting water all over the place ! It looked like the rubber washers inside them had all dried out. Had to replace one set of taps completely.

This January, (already thinking and looking forward to going !) I reckon I will only turn off the main tap inside the house, i.e. not drain pipes (heating left on obviously !!). Comments ??

Is it REALLY necessary to turn off the tap in the driveway ??


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Ray,IN

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Posted: 10/26/07 06:47am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

macandchris, I shut off the water main to the house now. We once came home from a 3 month trip to find about 4" of water in the basement; the drain could not handle the flow of water from a burst connection in our water softener. I think that small omission cost us about $5K in water damages. Co-incidentally, this was when we found out our homeowners insurance does not cover flooding.[emoticon]


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Ambow

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Posted: 04/06/08 05:39pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

WE have been travelling for the winter the past 12 years and this works for us...
Put the water heater on vacation...shut off the water at the main valve (for us that is the meter)..3 lamps on timers to turn on and off regularly. Unplug the TV. computer , DVD player ...anything that is not needed to keep the houshold running.
We hire a young fellow to shovel, collect mail & unwanted flyers etc.
All the utilities are on automatic debit at the bank.
So far this has worked.

Good luck and happy trails


Ringo

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Posted: 10/09/08 01:35pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Just one addition. Depending on where you live of course. We live in Iowa and where it gets 20 to 30 below zero and one winter we went to Calif. My son called and said we had a frozen lake in the yard. The watermeter froze and broke!! We had a mess. In contacting the rural water company where we live, they said they would shut off water and REMOVE the meter for no charge and when we returned would put it back in at no charge. That is what we will do this Winter to be safe.

New subject...........we plan on going to Victoria, Texas with a 5th wheel. Anyone stay there? We heard it's so crowded in the valley is the reason. Wanted Rockport but couldn't get any recommendations there.

ka8mbkcamper

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Posted: 10/16/08 02:51pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We put RV antifreeze in all the traps and in the toilets and washer. I run the dishwasher and clothes washer on rinse with antifreeze in the bottom. I drain all the water out of the pipes and water heater. That way if the heat goes off I have no damage. Lost the heat last winter and no damage.


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1cowboy

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Posted: 11/28/08 01:02pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Live in Oklahoma. It can get cold. Our first time as snowbirds this year and I've picked up a lot of good info from old hands. But still have ??? about whether or not to turn off propane to water heaters or just turn down to vacation. Of course heat (heat pump/propane furnace backup system) will be on 55-60 degrees. Yes, water will be turned off at meter. Thoughts?

pawatt

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Posted: 11/28/08 01:33pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

1cowboy wrote:

Live in Oklahoma. It can get cold. Our first time as snowbirds this year and I've picked up a lot of good info from old hands. But still have ??? about whether or not to turn off propane to water heaters or just turn down to vacation. Of course heat (heat pump/propane furnace backup system) will be on 55-60 degrees. Yes, water will be turned off at meter. Thoughts?


If you turn off the water, you better turn off the water heater.
Saves a little gas too. Also a good idea to turn off the gas in case you would develop a gas leak in the line or at the appliance.

wagonmaster2

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Posted: 12/09/08 09:48am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If the water heater is turned off, should it be drained also? I've heard stuff can grow or sour in a tank of water over a period of time. Also wondering how all water lines in the house can be drained, or does a plumber need to be called to blow them out. We have a slab floor so no way to get under the floor. Would love to spend the winter away from northern Oklahoma but don't have anyone close that we'd trust to come in and check the house while we're gone, and winter temperatures can really vary from year to year. In the summer we always turn off the water at the meter, turn down the water heater, unplug everything except frig and freezer, and leave several light timers on, but don't have to worry about the house heater at that time when we're gone for a couple months.
Wagonmaster2

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