Tired of Utah Winters? A Guide to Snowbirding with Your Rig

Utah weather is pretty diverse. We get to enjoy all four seasons, but also, the climate from Northern Utah to Southern Utah varies a lot. You can’t walk outside in Cache Valley in January without your nose hairs freezing, and walking around St. George in July could cause heat stroke.

But reverse it? Northern Utah has beautiful summers. And Southern Utah has very pleasant winters. Is it possible to get the best of both worlds without even leaving the state? With snowbirding, it is!

Snowbirding is a term for people who head south for the winter where it’s warmer, and then they travel back up north during the other months. They follow the fair weather.

A fifth-wheel trailer or an RV makes snowbirding more simple since you don’t need a second home or an extended hotel stay in one of the areas.

Preparing to Snowbird

Relocating for multiple months out of the year takes some preparation and planning.

Find the best RV or fifth-wheel for you. If you don’t have one already, you will need to do some shopping for an RV or fifth-wheel. Since you will be spending a significant amount of time in your home away from home, your needs will be different than if you were just going camping for a weekend. Here are a couple of areas to consider when shopping for a new rig:

Kitchen size: Evaluate your cooking habits. If you plan on making a lot of food in your RV or trailer, you will want to make sure you have space to accommodate that.
Damage-free: If you are looking into used RVs or fifth-wheels, be sure to inspect them thoroughly for damage. Mold, floor damage, plumbing issues, and leaks are all potential problems that you will want to avoid (or be prepared to handle). When shopping, also note the condition of the tires. Losing a tire in the middle of a long road trip could be really tricky.
Overall size: Since you will be living out of this trailer, you want to make sure you have ample room for yourself. Make sure the bedroom can fit your preferred mattress. Stand in the shower to ensure you won’t be cursing yourself when you can’t scrub your feet because it’s too small.
Mechanics: For an RV, check the mileage and mechanics to make sure it will be able to serve you well. You can run the VIN to get the RV’s history. If possible, take it for a test drive.

Make sure your home is in order. If you are leaving your home in a colder climate during the winter for an extended time, you will want to winterize it. Coming home to busted pipes or forgotten three-month-old trash is not the warm returning welcome you want. Before you leave, be sure to:

● Unplug appliances.
● Turn off the water supply.
● Drain and winterize the pipes.
● Turn down the temperature.
● Take out all the trash.
● Arrange for your mail to be held (through the post office or a friendly neighbor).

Bring important documents. Have a folder to hold any prescriptions, vaccinations, insurance documents, and any other paperwork you may need while you are away.
Maintain or upgrade your fifth-wheel or RV. If you need to do repairs, upgrades, or maintenance, don’t wait until the last minute. You will want to leave on your trip with your rig in its best condition.

Heading South

Your house is winterized. Your bags are packed. Your reservation is waiting for you. You might be ready to take off and head straight south on your own. There are a few situations where you may want to consider using a company to take your rig down south for you.

It’s easier. Backing up trailers and maneuvering them around can be very challenging. Sometimes it’s simpler to let someone else take the stress of driving it around.
You have multiple trailers. In Utah, you can stack trailers as long as the total length of the truck and trailers does not exceed 65 feet in length. If you are bringing an additional trailer to haul four-wheelers, a boat, jet skis, or other toys, you may want to hire someone to help with one. Even if you are under the 65 feet limit, a double trailer can be intimidating to handle.
You’re cautious. The tires on RVs and trailers are not immune to breaking down. And when they break down, it can be very tricky to get help. If your truck pulling your fifth-wheel breaks down, you have to worry about the logistics of the fifth-wheel while repairs are done on the truck. Not all towing companies are equipped to haul off both the broken down truck and the fifth-wheel. Hiring someone to relocate your trailer or RV puts the logistics and responsibility on their shoulders.

If you’ve been itching to get out of the cold without committing to an entire move, snowbirding is for you. If you need help relocating your rig, contact Roadside Rescue, and we would be happy to help.