It’s the time of the annual snowbird migration, when one RV after another is headed in a western, eastern or southerly direction on the interstate and thousands of snowbirds like me begin descending on sunbelt states in pursuit of a flip flops weather. Although we have fewer destinations to choose from as winter reaches its peak, the good news is that with a little planning we hardly feel the crunch.
Choosing where to go RVing in winter might seem difficult but it’s really not. One RV Life reader wants to know how my husband and I chose our destinations, so here’s our secret:
Choosing a Snowbird Region
Where we go RVing in winter is all dependent on the temperature. Since I’m a cold weather wimp, we stick to regions that are usually colored in warm, orange hues on the weather map. Our main choices are in the southernmost reaches of the Southwest: the bottom halves of California, Arizona and New Mexico and just about anywhere in Texas except the Panhandle.
When choosing a place within those regions, we ask ourselves the same questions we would ask in summer:
- What we want to do / see? Catching great music from rising stars and local legends is high on our list, so we gravitate toward places with good entertainment.
- Is it nice to look at? Things have to be interesting, beautiful or fun to watch for us to go there and stay a while.
- Is it fun? Perhaps the most important factor of all. If we’re not having fun while we’re there, what’s the point?
- Can we afford it? Rent is a huge factor in our location choices. The cheaper the better as long as all our other requirements are met.
Everyone’s answers to these questions will be different. Some people prefer the busy activities of a large snowbird RVer community like those found in Mesa, Arizona. Others want to be near major services. My husband and I prefer to get away from civilization no matter what time of year, so during winter when everyone is jammed into a limited number of warm temperature states, we just work a little bit harder to escape crowds.
Since we’re outfitted a RV solar electric system and mobile satellite Internet, avoiding crowds is easier for us than our friends who don’t have this setup. We can go to off-grid locations and stay as long as we want because we don’t need to be plugged in. It’s amazing how your RVing world opens up when make an investment like this. We can literally stay anywhere that will have us and not worry about being near a cell tower or hookups, or even paying rent provided that we stay camped out on public lands. All we ever need is a dump station.
Choosing a Winter RV Park
For those times when we’re doing our best to avoid crowds, like during the holidays or spring break, our first choice is to stay at an Escapees RV Club park. As Escapees members we get huge discounts on rent and club parks are easier to get into than the local glamping resorts preferred by weekenders.
When we’re nowhere near an Escapees park, our next choice is to pick a Passport America RV park. As Passport club members we get 50 percent off overnight camping rates in some nice locations that might not be destination cities but do enable us to escape overcrowded camping conditions when they occur.
These are just a few things that we do to make the most of winter. Unfortunately no matter how much we plan, there are always times when the weather throws a curve ball and we get stuck in a cold snap. All we can do is ride it out and wait for the next great travel day.
And with the full-time RVing lifestyle, there is always another great travel day!Research Campgrounds, Plan RV Safe Routes & Turn your phone into an RV GPS.
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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.