Full-time RVing gives you the giddy sense that you’ve got the keys to happiness in your back pocket. You’re no longer obligated to endure many of life’s most unpleasant living conditions like bad neighbors or urban congestion – you can just turn the key and leave.
Weather is a big factor in my location satisfaction equation. From escaping summer humidity in Texas to fleeing a monsoon season in New Mexico, having the ability to pack up and move our home when Mother Nature has PMS is one of the things I really love about this lifestyle.
Through the years I’ve felt twinges of guilt whenever my friends are enduring harsh conditions, like a Southwest summer, while I’m up in the clouds at 8500′ in Coolorado. Or when their poor dogs are slipping all over sidewalk ice while our Wyatt is bounding over tumbleweeds in the desert.
Perhaps our postcard-perfect lifestyle photos are one of the reasons why non-fulltimers we know seem to think we’re always on vacation. And who can blame them? It’s not like we love going outside to take pictures in stormy weather. We have far more sunny photos in our blog gallery.
Still, conditions aren’t always ideal and occasionally we’re forced to endure unexpected bad weather. When Hurricane Sandy hit the east coast in 2012, we were on the edge of the storm while staying in Virginia. As much as we wanted to flee, we were obligated to stick around for a speaking engagement we had hoped would still take place after the hurricane (it did). Most recently, our return to the Colorado Rockies was thwarted by nasty weather. We arrived in April to dry ground and no snow, but within days we were welcomed with winter’s last gasp:
The trick to dealing with unexpected weather conditions is to be prepared. Here’s how we do it:
- Don’t get too comfortable around the campsite – you might have to leave in a hurry
- Keep a well-stocked pantry for us and our dog
- Ensure our weather radios are charged
- Don’t let gas or propane run low
- Always have fresh water in our tanks (and hopefully empty black and gray water)
- Keep laptops and phone batteries fully charged
- Know what we’ll grab if we have to flee
- Have the RV ready to go if an evacuation is necessary
- Look for the nearest solid outbuilding to take cover in
In the last eight years we’ve been evacuated for imminent weather calamities three times. From fires to flash floods to tornadoes, we were forced to flee, both with and without our RV, when weather conditions were spiraling downward. Thankfully we survived every incident unscathed.
Weather is as unpredictable as life itself, and when you live in a RV you learn pretty quick that it’s important to keep an eye on the forecast and take threats seriously. It’s not fun to think about how RVs are so vulnerable to the elements (that’s where my stick-house living friends have an upper hand!), but by hoping for the best and being prepared for the worst, you’ll be ready if weather events don’t go your way.
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Rene Agredano and her husband, Jim Nelson, became full-time RVers in 2007 and have been touring the country ever since. In her blog, Rene chronicles the ins and outs of the full-timing life and brings readers along to meet the fascinating people and amazing places they visit on the road. Her road trip adventures are chronicled in her blog at LiveWorkDream.com.