Sun Birds have life figured out. Head north for the temperate mountain summers while escaping the heat and humidity down south. When fall rolls around, watch the leaves turn and enjoy cooler nights before packing up to drive south for the winter. You miss the frigid winters to the north and continue enjoying the warm days and pleasant nights in the southern regions.
Parking for Extended Periods
Leaving your RV, fifth wheel or travel trailer park for a long period of time means you really need to prepare the rig for variable elements. Anchor awnings with extra security to withstand wind storms. At a short camp, you might just put the awning away but long-term camps are better when things require less effort on a day to day basis. Use cinder blocks if necessary, to ensure your awning has an extra stable position.
Next, cover your tires. Sitting in the sun will wear the tires and a cover ensures they remain fresh and ready for the road. Tires are a major investment and rot from the sun is not necessary. Tire covers are easy to find at RV and auto parts stores.
Lastly, consider a skirt around the base of the trailer or RV. The skirt adds a layer of sun protection and helps control the climate beneath the floor. It adds style as well and really makes the rig look nice. Skirts in plain or styled coloring are easy to find through RV stores.
Make it a Home
Spending roughly half the year in one spot allows for a few luxuries. You aren’t setting up on the fly and breaking down camp after a few days or weeks. Go ahead and make it comfortable so you can really enjoy the space.
The patio area is where you can really shine. The awning is fantastic for shade and adding a screened area makes it possible to sit outside when the mosquitoes are out. A few fake or even real hanging plants add a homely touch and some folks will even put fake grass down to define a nice porch area. Throw in a garden gnome and the space will have some character.
Next, add outdoor furniture. Comfortable chairs and a table for yourself with a few spares for guests. The furniture is trick because you want stability without using permanent, bulky items. You still must pack them up for the road on each trip. In some cases, the campground might provide a table or store bulk items during the off-season. This arrangement is ideal when using the same campsites each year.
Trailer and Motor Maintenance
The process for maintaining a trailer is far easier than a motorhome because a motor is not involved. Your towing vehicle has a motor, but it also serves as your daily driver when detached. The primary means of maintenance during long, idle periods involves the structure and wheels. It’s a good idea to service the wheel bearings annually to ensure they are well packed. There is nothing worse than a seized set of bearings on the road.
Structurally, simply keep everything clean and always keep a close eye out for leaks. Water is sneaky and long-term damage can occur. Luckily, sun-birds often enjoy the best weather of the year and intensive moisture is intermittent. Look for cracked areas along the joints and sealed sections of the camper. Re-sealing is not uncommon in older campers every 5 years or so depending on the wear.
Motor maintenance is required for RV drivers in addition to the basic body maintenance. Disconnect the starting battery when out of use if desired. You can also start the motor every week to circulate the fluids while burning some fuel through the system. Fuel can go stagnate and burn less efficiently after sitting for a long period of time. Starting the vehicle helps to prevent gunk from forming in the fuel system.
Driving Between Destinations
The best part about being a sun-bird is the guarantee of a biannual road trip between destinations. You get to enjoy and explore two destinations and everything in between. Mix up the routes each year and take a few detours. There is no reason to rush between your campsites. Find a few places to holdover for a week and make the most out of each trip. Breaking it up into a week or even a month is refreshing before settling into a new home base for another long stretch.