Are you preparing to drive south for the winter? Here are RV snowbirding tips to help you get there safely.
Like birds, RVers across northern North America prepare to head south for the winter. These snowbirds leave their northern homes for a few weeks or the entire winter to escape the cold winter months for a warmer climate.
If you’re joining the flock this year, I have some helpful snowbirding tips for the drive down. And some of these tips can help experienced snowbirds as well!
From fuel discounts to safety protocols to being comfortable, I share my best tips for a snowbird road trip plus helpful resources.
I have lots of articles on the RV snowbird lifestyle including the most popular snowbird destinations and other great places to stay. But in this article, I’ll cover the most important things to consider for your drive down.
The following RV travel tips will help during all road trips but especially during the snowbird season. Since you’re heading out for long periods of time you want to make sure you’re prepared and comfortable.
1. Carefully inspect your tires
Before setting off on your winter adventure, it’s crucial to inspect your RV tires. Better yet, take them to a trusted tire shop because the back of the tires is difficult to properly inspect at home.
Cold temperatures can affect tire pressure so make sure they are properly inflated. Additionally, check for any signs of wear and tear or damage.
Don’t forget to pack a spare tire, a tire pressure gauge, and a portable air compressor.
I STRONGLY ENCOURAGE you to read the following articles as they can save you from ending up on the side of the road or even save your life:
- Check RV Tire Pressure EVERY Travel Day and Here’s Why
- The Danger of Underinflated RV Tires
- When to Replace RV Tires
- The Ultimate Guide to RV Tires
2. Get comfy accessories for the road trip
Long drives can take a toll on your comfort. Making your RV as cozy as possible for the driver and passengers is essential. Invest in soft pillows, warm blankets, and supportive seat cushions.
3. Prep your roadside emergency kit
No matter how cautious you are, emergencies can happen. Prepare a roadside emergency kit containing essential items like a first aid kit, jumper cables, flashlight, extra batteries, roadside flares, and a basic toolkit.
It’s also a good idea to have spare fuses, a tire pressure gauge, and a portable jump starter. Be prepared and feel confident on the road.
In addition to a roadside emergency kit, I recommend carrying RV roadside assistance coverage. Here are some helpful resources:
- Best RV Roadside Assistance Plans for Peace of Mind
- 23 Must-Have Items for your RV Roadside Emergency Kit
- What Every RVer Needs in Their Basic Tool Kit
4. Make sure your RV insurance is in order
Before heading south, double-check your RV insurance coverage. Ensure that your policy includes comprehensive coverage for both accidents and natural disasters related to your destination.
Confirm that your policy extends to the full duration of your trip and that you have coverage for any additional drivers.
5. Make sure your health insurance and prescriptions are in order
Your health is of utmost importance and you don’t want to wait until something goes wrong or your prescriptions run out to find a solution. The farther you get from your doctor and pharmacy the trickier things can become—unless you’re prepared!
I have a helpful resource regarding managing your healthcare while traveling:
6. Follow the 330 Rule
The 330 Rule is you stop when you have driven 330 miles or its 3:30 in the afternoon. The idea is to get somewhere while it is still early enough to explore, chill, and enjoy the place when you’re not exhausted from driving miles upon miles.
You can learn more about the many benefits of the 330 Rule by clicking here.
7. Have podcasts or audiobooks queued up
Long stretches of road can get monotonous and lead to drowsiness or irritability. To make the journey more enjoyable have a collection of your favorite podcasts or audiobooks ready to keep you entertained.
You can learn something new or dive into exciting stories while cruising down the highway making the hours fly by.
8. Embrace serendipity travel
While planning your route is important don’t be afraid to embrace the spontaneous side of RV travel. Allow yourself the flexibility to deviate from the itinerary and explore unexpected attractions or beautiful camping spots along the way.
Serendipity travel can lead to unforgettable experiences and hidden gems you might have missed otherwise.
You can see some of the amazing places and experiences we’ve enjoyed because of serendipity:
- Museum of Appalachia: Let the Past Touch Your Soul
- The Inspirational Transformation of Wetumpka, Alabama
- The Weirdest Roadside Attractions
- Edisto Island’s Botany Bay Preserves Plantation Landscape
- La Mesilla: Where History and Culture Become an Experience
9. Use fuel discounts
Whether your RV runs on diesel or gas, fuel costs are a big part of your travel budget. RV fuel discount cards and programs help you stretch those dollars farther.
The benefits range from discounted gas prices to multiple ways to save at specific locations. Plan your fuel stops accordingly to take advantage of these discounts helping you save money while enjoying your snowbird journey.
Here’s a great article on How to Save on Gas and Diesel: RV Fuel Discount Cards and More RV (for gas and diesel!).
10. Get a reciprocal membership
RVers can SAVE BIG with reciprocal memberships that give you free or discounted access to a network of museums, zoos, and more.
A reciprocal membership program is a collaboration between cultural institutions that extends benefits to members of participating institutions. If you have a reciprocal membership with one museum you’ll get benefits from all other museums in that network.
Benefits may include free or discounted admission, merchandise discounts, special newsletters, and other great deals. It’s a great way to save while doing fun things along your drive. Learn more by reading Plan an RV Trip to a Museum: How to Save with Reciprocal Memberships.
As Anne Murray sings in the popular song, Snowbird:
Spread your tiny wings and fly away
And take the snow back with you
Where it came from on that day
So, little snowbird, take me with you when you go
To that land of gentle breezes where the peaceful waters flow