8 Tips For RV Snowbirds Before Traveling South For Winter

Most of us enjoy getting out of the cold winters and enjoy more sunshine. The best way to go about this? Head south of course! Every year, a huge number of RV snowbirds head south to escape rough winters and enjoy the sunshine and warmth of the southern states, and really, we can’t blame them. Who wouldn’t want to enjoy snowbird living? 

Unfortunately, because it is popular to enjoy winter RV living in the south, it takes a little planning to get there and have the trip meet your expectations. Here are our 8 RV travel tips to consider before heading south for the winter with the other RV snowbirds.

See this post for more helpful tips about planning for an RV trip.


If you are not going it alone, make sure your family is part of the planning. That also means pets. Kids will need regular breaks from driving and chance to run around, pets will need potty breaks and walks, and those with medical conditions might have special needs. Everyone who will be RVing with you will have an impact on what you need to pack, where you can stay, and 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 a full-time RVer and you own a home, you will be maintaining two housing costs while snowbird living. This is doable and plenty of RV snowbirds do it every year, but you will need to budget properly. 

You should have a budget and know what the costs will be to enjoy winter RV living down south. 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.

Other costs that may need to be considered include:

  • Camping memberships
  • Roadside assistance
  • A cellular hotspot or Starlink internet
  • Rallies or other events you plan to attend
  • Attraction entrance fees
  • Fuel for your vehicles
  • Mail forwarding service

Plan Your RV Stay

Some RV campgrounds are booked nine months to a year out by other RV snowbirds. You should book your winter RV living trip at least a year in advance to have a good selection. Check amenities to make sure the park includes everything you need and would like to have to be comfortable. If you have pets or kids, ensure they are allowed. 

Some people use camping memberships to save money on campground stays. Look into the following to see if they will help you on your RV snowbird adventures.

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, how you might get into the park with your rig, and what the nearby stores are. If the park doesn’t look up to par, look for somewhere else to stay. 

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.

Note: In addition to longer term stays, you’ll also need to book places to stay on the way south and on the way back home. Harvest Hosts is good for this, but again, be sure to research your options. 

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

Check the Weather

Yes, you are heading south for the winter, but you still might see some bad weather. Know what to expect the month(s) you are going to be at the campground and prepare accordingly. Should you expect tornados? Knowing where to go and packing a bug out bag is a good idea. Are flash floods a concern? Be sure you download an app that will want you so you can take your rig to higher ground if necessary. 

Always have a plan in place for what to do and where to go in emergency situations. 

Prep Your RV

Once you know what to expect in terms of weather, you can prepare your RV accordingly. This will ensure you’re ready for whatever Mother Nature decides to throw your way while you’re winter RV living in the south. 

Check air conditioners, furnaces, batteries, slides and all the items in your RV that you will be using. Reseal the roof and windows and check for leaks, pests, and other issues that need to be addressed. 

Make sure you do not need to replace anything before you get on the road with the other RV snowbirds, and be sure you give yourself time to 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. Taking care of business before you leave (and while you’re gone) will ensure you don’t return to a nightmare after your winter RV living adventure. 

Put your mail on hold. Depending on your situation, you may want to have your mail forwarded to you at your RV campground. The post office will forward your mail for free for a small amount of time, but a mail forwarding service such as the one offered by Escapees is helpful for long term winter RV living. 

Hire a house sitter or have a neighbor check in on the house regularly if possible. If you have electronic monitoring, make sure everything is working. Adjust your thermostat. Are you responsible for your lawn care? Make sure that’s taken care of. Also, having paperless billing set up will also make your life much easier. 

Do anything and everything you can to make sure you come back to a comfortable and safe home after snowbird living. 

Medical Care

Getting medical care while snowbird living can be a bit tricky, so it’s good to go in with a plan. Whether you need access to regular medication or not, it is important to know where the local hospital is. You may also 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. Consider options like GoodSam Travel Assist or Teledoc. Whatever you have to do, 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. Besides, it makes the winter RV living adventure a whole lot more fun. After all, everything is better when shared with friends. 

You may want to investigate resorts that have planned activities for RV snowbirds. You could also plan to join RV rallies (Escapees and Good Sam put on some good ones) or join local groups and organizations where you will be RVing so you can share a hobby. We think this is the best part of snowbird living!

Remember that you want being an RV snowbird to be a good experience, 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.