Snowbird RVing Tips
Geese aren’t the only species headed south this winter. So are the snowbirds – they’re ready to fire up the RV and follow the sun. Whether you’re a snowbird RV pro or dreaming of becoming one, these snowbird RVing tips will help you get the most out of your winter-skipping trip south.
Best Snowbird RV Destinations
Is there a “right destination” for snowbird RVing? Not exactly. But there is a right destination for every breed of snowbird. By definition, a snowbird is someone who heads south during the winter months. But “south” can mean the southeastern US states, the southwest, or even Mexico. Florida isn’t the only sunny state worthy of snowbird RVing. And it might not be for you.
For example, let’s consider the social bird. This is the snowbird RVer who believes it’s better for campers to flock together. They’ll thrive in populated RV parks that offer social activities and events.
Then there’s the solo flyer–the traveler who prefers the RV park less traveled, or no RV park at all. This type of RVer often doesn’t mind the lack of grid electricity or other amenities. Ever heard of boondocking?
Here are your (general) go-to snowbirding destinations, and what they’re most known for:
- The Southeast coast. This includes beach destinations like Myrtle Beach and Gulf Coast states like Florida, Alabama, and Mississippi. Here you’ll find sunny weather, warmer winter temperatures, and the chance to indulge in water sports (or at least dip your toes in!)
- The deep Southwest. You can escape snow and ice in certain parts of several southwestern states, like California, Arizona, and Texas. The southwest is ideal for enjoying dramatic desert landscapes… and for finding more “deserted” RV parks.
- Mexico…and beyond! Travel down Mexico’s west coast to Pacific beach towns like Cabo San Lucas and Puerto Vallarta, or go east for the clear blue Caribbean waters of Cancun. Forested and mountainous camping areas abound in central Mexico. Continue south to visit tropical Belize or Guatemala.
Not sure where to go? Search snowbird RVing friendly parks in America’s sunbelt here!
Snowbird RV Tips
Ok, so you’ve decided to take the RV south. But how can you make sure your trip doesn’t go south? Try out a few of our favorite tips below.
This might be a given if you decide to winter down south. But if you’re tempted to be a short-term snowbird, consider this: with a seasonal membership, you can save big bucks on park fees. An annual pass like the one at Thousand Trails lets you enjoy around 200 RV resorts for one budget saving price. (The ones in Palm Springs look especially tempting!)
Want to save money, or simply save yourself from being tied to a park? Soup your RV up for boondocking. Boondocking means off-grid campiXng, so you’ll need a reliable battery to ensure you can power up your essentials. Two 12 volt batteries will allow you to run your lights, fans, water pump, and charge your devices. Ionic lithium batteries are your best bet for long trips, fast charges, solar setups, and harsh weather.
You can boondock with battery power for 2-7 days, depending on what you need to power and the types of batteries you use. But snowbird RVing is all about skipping the snowy weather as much as possible. So lengthen your trip with solar! For charging small devices like phones and laptops, you can get by with portable solar panels. If you want to run items like lights or fans in your RV, you’ll need reliable solar batteries and larger panels that you can mount on the roof.
Speaking of solar energy…it isn’t just for RVers who like to boondock. It’s also for those who want to be prepared for anything. Power outages? No problem. Is the next RV park too far a drive and you need to stop in a Walmart parking lot? Switch to solar energy stored in your batteries.
While snowbirding, you should expect the best, but prepare for the worst. Did you know that batteries actually give out more in hot weather than in cold? A jump starter like Emergency Start ensures you’re never stranded with a dead battery. It can jump batteries in cars, trucks, SUVs, boats, UTVs, and more.
Snowbird RVing Hacks
We can’t end this post without a few insider “hacks”! Try them out for happier travels!
- As far as park fees go, it’s always cheaper to stay for a month than for a few days or a week.
- Want to RV for months on end, but don’t have the cash to make ends meet? Try workamping. This involves bringing your RV to a spot where you can work a seasonal job for a few months. Search jobs here at Workamper News.
- Many popular campgrounds fill up fast, so reserve your spot in advance. About 6 months ahead is best for national parks, and about a year in advance for Florida and Arizona.
- Eco-friendly snowbirding is easier than you think! Switch to energy efficient RV batteries. Use reusable utensils instead of disposable. Choose enzyme-based tank cleaners instead of chemical-based cleaners for your RV toilet. See more eco camping tips here.
Looking for more great RV tips? Check out How to Choose the Best RV Deep Cycle Battery and Free RV Parking 101: Essential Tips and Locations.