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Old 12-21-2012, 02:38 PM   #1
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1995 34' Excella
St. Charles , Missouri
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Snowbird help needed

I'll be heading south from Missouri for my first snowbird experience.

I am curious as to what I need to do to prepare my house for me to be gone three months. I don't want to leave anything undone.

Thanks,

Paul
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Old 12-21-2012, 02:46 PM   #2
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Turn off your water, turn your water heater way down, disconnect all unnecessary appliances, chargers, etc.

We set our heat to 55 degrees, also thoroughly clean, vacuum and spray all outside walls with the long-acting bug stuff.

We leave one light on, in the living room, and have an adult son who checks the house once a week or so. Our close neighbors also have his phone number in case a tree falls on the house or some other untoward event occurs in between his visits.

Have a great time!

Maggie
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Old 12-21-2012, 02:54 PM   #3
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We drain the water system. We also place a temp. controled light switch on a lamp in a window nearest to the neighbors. If it comes on they know the temp. is below 45. They have a key to let the service man in.
Jay
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Old 12-21-2012, 04:18 PM   #4
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I cut the water off at the meter open all inside faucets then open outside faucets.
This drains the lines, turn all faucets back on but leave the meter cutoff off.
Put a few drops of bleach in each toilet (prevents ring from forming).

We leave the cabinet doors open under the sinks, change batteries in thermostats and turn heat down to 55.

We do not receive mail at our S&B house so mail is not a problem.

We leave one light on upstairs that can be seen from the street.

A key to the car and house is hidden in some yard art just in case someone has to get in.

Go through a check list to make sure doors are locked and you take everything planned with you.
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Old 12-21-2012, 04:27 PM   #5
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We deal with 2 places, at the house we turn the heat to fifty, and unplug everything we can. We can't shut off the water as someone must come in every 2 days to feed animals. We do make sure that the person coming in knows where all the shut offs are in case of a problem.

At the mobile home I winterize the same way a trailer would be done, including a bypass on the water heater and RV antfreeze in the lines and also in the traps and toilets after draining the toilettank and suctioning water out of the bowl. Water is off at that location
I don't run any heat.
Have never had any problems at either place
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Old 12-21-2012, 04:58 PM   #6
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Preparing to go

All the above good advice. Having a neighbor look at the house occasionally is perhaps one of the most important things. Once you go, put it behind you and enjoy the trip. We've done it five times for two months each and we've never had a problem. Our winter is grey and wet so Arozona is a real hit with both of us.
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Old 12-21-2012, 05:17 PM   #7
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Remember to re-read your home Insurance policy. You may see a clause that states that if you are away from the premises, you MUST have someone inspect the house, etc. every 48-72 hours. If you do not do this and you have a claimable incident, your insuarance carrier MAY refuse to cover/pay.
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Old 12-21-2012, 05:31 PM   #8
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Everything already said is good stuff.

Our cat died, so no one will visit our house this year. We also might suggest the following if you are a little geeky:

If you have an old computer and a couple of cameras laying around, you can use this "Yawcam - Yet Another Webcam Software (free)" and this "www.logMeIn.com (not free)". Also, there are a few wifi thermostats out there which allow you to see the inside temp and control the thermostat over internet.

See ya in Florida
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Old 12-21-2012, 09:07 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macofpei View Post
Remember to re-read your home Insurance policy. You may see a clause that states that if you are away from the premises, you MUST have someone inspect the house, etc. every 48-72 hours. If you do not do this and you have a claimable incident, your insuarance carrier MAY refuse to cover/pay.
I second that. The issues may differ between insurance companies, but the fact remains that a visit "once in a while" will not save you if you have a problem while away.

As for draining things, my BIL and his wife have found (from doing it for many years), that it's best to completely wrap the toilets in shrink-wrap. In many climates, it is dry enough in the winter time indoors to dry out the toilets' P-trap, which will result in some "interesting" odours in your home when you arrive back home.

But have a great trip!
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Old 12-22-2012, 10:14 AM   #10
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Turn off the hot water heater. Put some bleach in the toilets. Get a light timer and set it to go on and off at regular times. Forward the phone to your cell phone. Place some fly strips up. Turn on the alarm system and have a neighbor know the codes in case it goes off. Shut off the newspaper and forward your mail.
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Old 12-22-2012, 01:56 PM   #11
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This is all good advice. I was afraid I would overlook something. There is nothing like getting advice from those who have experience.
Thanks,
Paul
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