How to travel and leave RV for return at later date?

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StamfordRob

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Dec 29, 2020
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6
Hello.

My wife and I are looking to begin exploring states to move to or retire in. We want to be able use an RV for this search as we think it will be a tour off and on over a few years. I’d like to be able to travel with the RV and then fly home until we have time to continue the tour. I am a bit lost on how to plan such a travel plan with an RV. Our first area we’d like to explore is Tampa/St Pete area. It is very large and we’d like to experience multiple neighborhoods and towns so we figure multiple trips for this area may be necessary. Then we will continue around the state and surrounding southern states in the same fashion.

Any help , ideas, thoughts, plans are greatly appreciated.

(If this is in the wrong forum please move it to the correct one. No issues with a correction)

Thanks in advance….Rob
 

donn

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Many private RV parks have on site storage facilities, as do most larger cities you can find RV storage. Personally this seems a big waste of money. Letting an RV, I assume your thinking a motor home sit for months at a time with short trips is not conducive to longevity. Run the numbers you might find it more economical to simply fly and rent. Heck dry storage could run a hundred dollars a month, add insurance and your looking at a good chunk of change every month.
 

StamfordRob

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Dec 29, 2020
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Many private RV parks have on site storage facilities, as do most larger cities you can find RV storage. Personally this seems a big waste of money. Letting an RV, I assume your thinking a motor home sit for months at a time with short trips is not conducive to longevity. Run the numbers you might find it more economical to simply fly and rent. Heck dry storage could run a hundred dollars a month, add insurance and your looking at a good chunk of change every month.
Donn.. this is all good information as we don’t know what these fees run. We have always been a pop up and tent family so the next purchase was to be something bigger for future travel. This was an idea that we have but items like this has to be taken into consideration as money is not endless. Thanks
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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RV Storage runs the gamut from "yes you can park in our back lot" to "indoor climate-controlled warehouse with electric outlets". And priced accordingly, with regional variations on costs as well. Storing an RV in a metro area is always more expensive than a rural setting, simply due to land values.

Leaving an RV for a week or two is usually not a big deal unless the area is a crime-risk, but longer terms has to take in account the seasonal climate, possible severe weather, maintaining batteries, preventing mildew and rodents, etc. These things can be nuisance enough when near home, so handling them remotely is often a pain.
 

sd1209

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We have done this 3x over the past 5 yrs in our TC.....Example: We went to AK in 2019...Took about 4 weeks to travel from San Diego to Fairbanks using the AK Ferry between Bellingham and Skagway.....We based in Fairbanks at a great "mom and pop" RV Park for a week...Dealt with the owner.....Prior permission to park the TC at the end of a row of RV spots, unplugged and shut down while we flew home........no security concerns....(no charge by the way....great place).....Flew home for 6 weeks to take care of business.....Flew back up and continued the trip home over the next 3-4 weeks.....Did this on an East Coast trip also.....For us, being away from home for over 2 months does not work....

My experience, if you are doing this, is to find a smaller, well rated mom and pop RV Park that will accommodate parking your RV off to the side...I shut down the camper so no need for hook ups......I think the larger corp parks have a more difficult time handling anything out of the ordinary.....Many times in the smaller parks you are also dealing with the owner and not a corp face.....Splitting the longer trips really works for us....Just find a park where they will work with you and park your RV in a decent spot for peace of mind while you are away....
 

BernieD

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Goodyear, AZ
We were traveling with friends thru Alaska in 2003 when Marlene's sister died and we had to fly back to Chicago. We explained the issue to the CG owners and they offered to let us park in an out of the way spot next to a 15 amp power outlet to keep our refrigerator going while we were gone. Hard to duplicate that type of owner.

In other instances when we had to leave the coach for a few days, we looked for boat yards. Since most of our travels were thru the summer months, the normal clients of the boat yards had their boats docked in the water and their spaces empty. The yards usually had lots of open space, tho without power.
 

Matt_C

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Rob,

You don't say what the RV is.....
If it is a 5er or TT, this is easy. Find a place, winterize it (always winterize it), if 15amp isn't available, get a tiny solar battery charger to keep the house bank live. Place that in a south facing window. Block it up and cover the tires.
If it is a motorhome, much the same, but press the fuel up with some storage conditioner in it. Learn how to "fog" the engine. You will need another solar charger for the chassis battery.
Locals will know more about what you need to do to keep it safe. So, ask and listen.

Matt
 

richclover

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Jan 26, 2019
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268
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WY
Rob,

You don't say what the RV is.....
If it is a 5er or TT, this is easy. Find a place, winterize it (always winterize it), if 15amp isn't available, get a tiny solar battery charger to keep the house bank live. Place that in a south facing window. Block it up and cover the tires.
If it is a motorhome, much the same, but press the fuel up with some storage conditioner in it. Learn how to "fog" the engine. You will need another solar charger for the chassis battery.
Locals will know more about what you need to do to keep it safe. So, ask and listen.

Matt
Sorry Matt, I beg to disagree with fogging a truck or RV engine. I did it once, years ago, to an outboard boat motor. Turned into a real headache. No way I’d try that with my Cummins. “Pickling” is also too extreme for a month or two in storage.

Batteries… a separate issue. I’d turn off a battery switch or disconnect the grounds and let ‘em sit. Then do what’s necessary to get things going upon return.

I’m thinking the OP would do better planning a week or two vacation in the Tampa area, motel room, rental car. I suggest Sarasota (Lakewood Ranch, Village Walk), and Venice for starters.
 

StamfordRob

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Dec 29, 2020
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6
Hi Everyone. All great information and I am taking notes. We have not purchased yet but we are looking for either a TT or 5th. Granted in this instance I will have to leave a truck behind as well so not sure how well that will be accepted by CG owners. We plan a larger trip after we explore Florida but I may rethink a trailer and maybe a motor home or just use hotels until we are done with Tampa. Plans are not for another year but I’m getting cabin fever and wanted to start planning something. I am glad I asked this before thinking this was an easy deal. … Rob
 

Matt_C

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Rich,
In the marine trades, we fog engines all the time with never an issue at the later start up. What the engine type is does not seem to matter. 2 stoke outboards are always the easiest as they are used to have oil every where. Gasoline fueled are sometimes a problem if the carburetor does not get drained effectively (this has never been a problem with modern fuel injection systems), and you have to be very careful with diesels because they may want to run on the fogging oil. This can be managed. I suggest that you find an instructor before you try this again.
Matt
 

richclover

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Rich,
In the marine trades, we fog engines all the time with never an issue at the later start up. What the engine type is does not seem to matter. 2 stoke outboards are always the easiest as they are used to have oil every where. Gasoline fueled are sometimes a problem if the carburetor does not get drained effectively (this has never been a problem with modern fuel injection systems), and you have to be very careful with diesels because they may want to run on the fogging oil. This can be managed. I suggest that you find an instructor before you try this again.
Matt
Thanks for your insight, Matt. I haven’t had the need to fog an engine for a long time.

I was a Florida boater for 25 years and I sure understand the need for marine engine preservation in that environment. Especially for an engine stored on a seasonal basis. Fogging an outboard while the snowbird owner goes north for the summer seems like a good idea.

But is it really necessary to fog a conventional diesel or gas automotive/truck engine if I parked it for a month?
 

NMDriver

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Dec 3, 2018
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AirBnb is very good for the situation you are considering. We have often stayed for a month or more, particularly in larger metros. Look also on Craigs list for sublets/temporary housing. We got a great condo in a gated community with pool, tennis, etc. right on the San Francisco Bay for 8 wks for $4,000 a few yrs ago.
 

Matt_C

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Rich,
For a month, I would let it go. It is not likely to develop issues in that short a time.
Matt
 

Matt_C

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SE - Mich
Rob,
Fogging an engine is a means to protect all an engine's internal parts that are not bathed in lube oil. This is to say mostly the valves and cylinder walls that are exposed clean iron when the engine is stopped. The process starts by getting the engine warm and then introducing (lots of ways to do this) a stream of atomized oil into the intake air. The procedure is not difficult or messy, but it needs to be done right for the individual engine and there are some variations that make a difference.
Matt
 

Bulldogs

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Jul 17, 2021
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Irvine CA
Is this a TT ? If so what would you do with your car / truck if you are flying home and back ? That would need to be considered too of course. Leaving a car / truck unattended seams more of a pain to me.
 

JudyJB

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Jul 6, 2010
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1,664
If you want to leave a motorhome or trailer with the tow vehicle attached for a few days up to a month, consider that many airports have "oversized vehicle" lots on airport property. I have several time left my motorhome in the Tampa airport, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, and Eugene, Oregon airport. I have never paid more than the daily rate for cars and found the security excellent. In fact, in Tampa, the oversized vehicle lot is between and at the back of the two economy buildings and the shuttles are constantly driving past the large vehicles as they pick up or drop off passengers. The last time, I left my rig in Tampa while I took a plane to visit my kids at Christmas on both sides of the country. Left my refrigerator running on propane for 9 days and everything was cold and/or frozen when i got back!!!
 
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