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Old 12-10-2017, 03:41 PM   #1
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Living North / Storing South

We bought a 26BH this May, in anticipation of my wife and I both being retired in December. We live in Michigan, and want the trailer to be a winter escape for us. We'll use it in the summer too, but have a sailboat here in Michigan that's our primary summer getaway.

So, to be a good winter escape mechanism, I figured it should be stored somewhere down south so a Jan/Feb trip doesn't require depending on Michigan weather for clear roads.

This Fall, I towed the trailer down to Northern Alabama, winterized it, and stored it in a nice storage facility. Come January, we'll head south in the f-150 with our two cats. The drive is doable in a single day with no trailer. Vinemont, Alabama appealed to us because it's a one-day drive, and appears to be well positioned as a jumping off point for places further south.

We're looking forward to bumming around for about a month in January, followed by as many subsequent trips as we care to make. Then, in the Spring, we'll drive down, hitch up, and tow the trailer back to Michigan for storage there so it's available for our summer trips.

Anyway, that's our plan. At least it looks good on paper, and we'll find out soon enough.

Curious whether anyone does something similar with regard to living north and storing south. How's that working out for you?
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Old 12-10-2017, 09:21 PM   #2
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We bought a 26BH this May, in anticipation of my wife and I both being retired in December. We live in Michigan, and want the trailer to be a winter escape for us. We'll use it in the summer too, but have a sailboat here in Michigan that's our primary summer getaway.

So, to be a good winter escape mechanism, I figured it should be stored somewhere down south so a Jan/Feb trip doesn't require depending on Michigan weather for clear roads.

This Fall, I towed the trailer down to Northern Alabama, winterized it, and stored it in a nice storage facility. Come January, we'll head south in the f-150 with our two cats. The drive is doable in a single day with no trailer. Vinemont, Alabama appealed to us because it's a one-day drive, and appears to be well positioned as a jumping off point for places further south.

We're looking forward to bumming around for about a month in January, followed by as many subsequent trips as we care to make. Then, in the Spring, we'll drive down, hitch up, and tow the trailer back to Michigan for storage there so it's available for our summer trips.

Anyway, that's our plan. At least it looks good on paper, and we'll find out soon enough.

Curious whether anyone does something similar with regard to living north and storing south. How's that working out for you?
Sounds a bit awkward. Are you going to drag it back south again in the fall so its there for another winter trip south? I know Michigan can be a bear in the winter, we have property just a handful of miles south of the Mc bridge. For the most part though, I would think that it wouldn't be that big of a problem to pay attention to the weather and be flexible with your travel dates south. For the most part the major highways are clear other than during or for a couple days after a big storm. Keeping the TT north gives you full use when you are home and for short side trips. It is also close at hand if you decide to head SW toward TX and Ariz without having to go down to Alabama to pick it up. You may want to try it for a couple years, but pulling it back north and then having to take it back south to store for the winter trip seems like a lot of driving just to stage the TT for the winter trip.
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Old 12-10-2017, 10:06 PM   #3
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You could be right.

Although, in the future, any trip south to put it in storage will also be part of a trip of multiple weeks. Instead of towing it back to Michigan, we'll leave it behind in Alabama.

In the Spring, we'll drive down to get it, and plan another trip with the destination based on the weather.

I would like to avoid ever finding myself down south in winter, and wanting to get back to Michigan, but being delayed indefinitely because of weather, or getting surprised by some bad weather despite the forecast.

And, I like being able to leave Michigan in the winter on a particular date.

We'll see.
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Old 12-11-2017, 06:08 AM   #4
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I have a friend in Michigan who keeps it at home. Heads South in early November for a slow trip to Florida where they stay for 3 months, then make a slow trip back to Michigan in March.

Fifth wheel is stored at home.
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Old 12-11-2017, 08:36 AM   #5
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You could be right.

Although, in the future, any trip south to put it in storage will also be part of a trip of multiple weeks. Instead of towing it back to Michigan, we'll leave it behind in Alabama.

In the Spring, we'll drive down to get it, and plan another trip with the destination based on the weather.

I would like to avoid ever finding myself down south in winter, and wanting to get back to Michigan, but being delayed indefinitely because of weather, or getting surprised by some bad weather despite the forecast.

And, I like being able to leave Michigan in the winter on a particular date.

We'll see.
It's the weather thing that I don't understand. Just don't see you being snowed or iced out for more than a couple days and most of the time weather wouldn't be an issue going or coming back. 3 years ago we were delayed for 5 days when we got buried in a foot of snow in southcentral Ky in late Jan. I couldn't get my 4WD truck up the long gravel drive let alone a 7k TT. That said we have lived here for 13 years and it had never happened before. Being retired the delay was nothing more than a frustration, no reservations.

If you plan on using the TT during the summer I would definitely pull it home and just deal with the weather when leaving for a winter trip. Another reason to have the TT at home is it allows you to perform routine maintance and upgrades. It also lets you repack and restock before the next push.

Your decision. If it were me I'd bring it home unless I was going to leave it on a seasonal site somewhere.
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Old 12-11-2017, 11:30 AM   #6
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I would not want to leave it stored that long without having someone check on it.
To many horror stories of storage lot problems.
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Old 12-11-2017, 03:20 PM   #7
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I like your plan. I know nothing of northern AL so I don't know if you need to winterize for some rogue winter storm but I think you've got it nailed. I'd bring the battery and propane home after putting it to bed in AL. They can fit in your vehicle when you head south. That would be just a couple of things I'd worry about. Enjoy!
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Old 12-12-2017, 04:04 PM   #8
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I like your plan. I know nothing of northern AL so I don't know if you need to winterize for some rogue winter storm but I think you've got it nailed. I'd bring the battery and propane home after putting it to bed in AL. They can fit in your vehicle when you head south. That would be just a couple of things I'd worry about. Enjoy!
Well, I was just on the phone with the lady that runs the storage facility, and she said they just got some flurries. I checked on the climate there before I made arrangements, and it certainly looks like the prudent person winterizes, so I did. Brought the battery home, but not the propane.

We hauled it down early November, and expect our first southern trip to be mid January, and yes, it makes me a little nervous to leave it un-attended, but it's only about two months.

But, after we bought the trailer new in May, I replaced all the Dicor on the roof with Eternabond tape, and hopefully addressed any potential roof problems. And, we worked pretty steady on the mods we needed, so with a little luck, it's ready for an extended tour after some de-winterizing.
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Old 12-18-2017, 09:52 AM   #9
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We are thinking of same thing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Siamese View Post
We bought a 26BH this May, in anticipation of my wife and I both being retired in December. We live in Michigan, and want the trailer to be a winter escape for us. We'll use it in the summer too, but have a sailboat here in Michigan that's our primary summer getaway.

So, to be a good winter escape mechanism, I figured it should be stored somewhere down south so a Jan/Feb trip doesn't require depending on Michigan weather for clear roads.

This Fall, I towed the trailer down to Northern Alabama, winterized it, and stored it in a nice storage facility. Come January, we'll head south in the f-150 with our two cats. The drive is doable in a single day with no trailer. Vinemont, Alabama appealed to us because it's a one-day drive, and appears to be well positioned as a jumping off point for places further south.

We're looking forward to bumming around for about a month in January, followed by as many subsequent trips as we care to make. Then, in the Spring, we'll drive down, hitch up, and tow the trailer back to Michigan for storage there so it's available for our summer trips.

Anyway, that's our plan. At least it looks good on paper, and we'll find out soon enough.

Curious whether anyone does something similar with regard to living north and storing south. How's that working out for you?
I have been thinking of doing this same thing when my wife retires in a year( or even before) We live just north of Syracuse, NY and have some harsh winters. Our motorhome is in indoor storage here and not accessible until at least mid April. My thoughts were similar to yours. We have property on a lake near us where we spend most of the summer. Instead of winterizing and storing in the fall, I was thinking of bringing it south to store where it would be accessible. We would stay here until January (we still have our home) then head down to wherever we store it and then travel for the 4 months until we would head back here for the summer. Like I said we're just tossing around ideas for now. We would be interested in others thoughts and how it works out for you. Anyone doing this or something similar? Also, was it hard finding a storage facility?
What is the cost? Is it month to month or do you have to rent seasonally?
Any input would be appreciated. Thanks!
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Old 12-18-2017, 02:43 PM   #10
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We're stored outside on a month-to-month basis at $30.00 per month.

I had originally allotted more time for my first trip down, but thanks to the internet, I was able to find a storage facility and reserve it from Michigan.

First, I checked the climate for locations due south of us. I wanted no more than a long day's drive from home (avoid motel overnight), and a location where snow is rare. Climate and length of drive led us to northern Alabama.

Then, I used the internet to search for storage facilities in the area. Resorted to a pencil and a pad of paper for notes. I called several facilities, regardless of whether they advertised RV outside storage. Was able to weed out the jerks...facilities that are managed from out of state and have pushy sales tactics. Oh, and I only called facilities that were away from large cities.

I found one that sounded good, but Google satellite indicated that despite their assurances of easy access, I could see in the aerial photo that I'd need a crane to get to my spot. I think a satellite photo is ESSENTIAL to be able choose a facility without visiting it first.

Our facility is owned and run by a couple. I have only spoken with the wife, and she has been helpful and friendly. The satellite photo showed that the facility has a new building in the middle of a HUGE parking lot. At the far end of the lot, they have some semi-covered storage for RV's and the rest of the place was wide open. Actually, several football fields of wide open space and all paved. I parked where she told me to, and went about my winterizing. A couple hours later I was headed north.

My research also showed that there are nearby campgrounds that are open year round, so when we arrive at the trailer after a long day of travel, we'll hook up and immediately go to our nearby, full hook-up reservation to de-winterize and prep the trailer for a few weeks of travel.

First trip will likely have us wandering in the direction of southern Louisiana.
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