Most RVers are not full-timers and thus, when you hit the road, you have a sticks and bricks home to worry about.
Mike and I travel about half the year, often for weeks at a time, so we’ve learned by experience how to make sure everything will be just fine at home when we return. Here’s a list of the things we do:
First, we have a home alarm system. The one we use is SimpliSafe. It’s a do-it-yourself system. You buy the various sensors, attach them to the walls and it’s done. There are no holes to drill and the system is all wireless. It is extremely reliable and for $14.95 a month, we have 24/7 monitoring with it. Mike installed the system himself and we couldn’t be happier. We have an app that lets us control the whole system from wherever we are.
We even have a camera that we can access from anywhere on our smartphone that gives us a live video and audio feed of our home.
There are lots of alarm systems you can get. We chose SimpliSafe. You may choose another. No problem. Just get one! We highly recommend you have an alarm system and monitoring. You can even get a discount on your home insurance policy for having 24 x 7 security monitoring.
Here are some other things to do before hitting the road:
Stop mail delivery – You can do it online or stop by the post office and get a supply of their yellow hold mail cards. They need three days’ notice but we fill out ours with the date we’re going to be away and they hold it until our return. On the day we return, they deliver it to our door. You can also do it online, via USPS.com.
Alert neighbors or a friend that you will be gone – We have friends who periodically stop by to check the house. The friend waters my plants, makes sure everything is OK inside and does a check of the property. We deactivate the alarm by our app for the time they visit and then remotely reactivate it after they leave.
Have the lawn cut – We use a lawn service and they cut our lawn weekly. In the winter we use a snow removal company. Nothing indicates a home is empty more than unkempt landscaping or snow covered driveways.
There are lots of other things you can do. Some experts recommend unplugging TV sets, major appliances, turning off water and that sort of stuff. We have an automatic whole house generator so we don’t worry about power interruptions but in cold climates you want to make sure your furnace is always working so if travel is going to take you away a lot in the winter, the idea of an automatic generator may be worth the investment.
For a complete list of all the products, gear and apps mentioned by Mike and Jennifer on their podcast, YouTube RV Lifestyle Channel and here on the blog, go to http://kit.com/rvlifestyle