5 Tips on Snowbirding with Your RV

By joanne lemna | March 15, 2016

Winter is coming and that means it’s time to pack up the RV and head south. To make the trip memorable here’s a few quick tips for snowbirding in your RV. If you’re looking for a more comprehensive guide check out our article here .

Tip #1: Protect Your Health

We’ve all heard the horror stories: a couple travels to the U.S. only to get sick and end up $50000 in debt because of medical bills. The cost of healthcare in America is high so it’s imperative that you purchase travel insurance before you leave even if you have provincial health care . For a small premium your medical bills will be covered and you can stay out of debt. Even if you’re perfectly healthy you never know what can happen and the peace of mind is worth it. 

Tip #2: Protect Your Home

Unless you live in your RV full-time you likely have a place in Canada you call home 6 months of the year. Before you leave be sure to talk to your  insurance broker to find out what you need to do to keep your home safe and protected while you’re away. Here’s an article discussing how your home insurance is affected while you’re away. Some insurance policies become void if your home is left vacant for as little as 48 hours. Armed with this information you can make arrangements such as having a friend or family member check up on your house every couple of days. You will also want to take care of maintenance issues such as turning off the water. You can also consider preventative measures such as a sump pump system or an alarm and monitoring system. 

Tip #3: Pay Attention to Timing

Remember to not overstay in the US as that can have serious consequences such as fines and being banned from visiting the country. You may also lose your provincial health care and have to  pay tax to the IRA .  Canadians are allowed 6 months or 182 days per year. This can be done all at once or split up into a number of trips. 

Tip #4: Organize Your Finances and Documentation

Get your finances in order before heading south. To make things easier on yourself set up online banking and pre-authorized payments for bills. Don’t forget to check the expiry dates on your credit cards debit cards driver’s license passport and your home and car insurance. Check out this article to find out when you need to inform your insurance broker about your trip to the States. Renew them if necessary and make sure you call to inform your bank of your travel plans. Ensure your will and power of attorney are updated as well. 

Tip #5: RV Insurance

While ‘snowbird insurance’ doesn’t exactly exist you can definitely get the protection you need with RV insurance. Because an RV is a vehicle-home hybrid they are not adequately covered by car or home insurance policies. In some cases the RV or your possessions inside of it may not be covered at all! A separate RV policy is a great idea  especially if you’re planning on spending an extended period of time in your RV. In any case make sure you talk to your independent insurance broker before you hit the road.