We've just accepted our first work camper position for spring/summer 2013 and are considering another one for summer/fall 2013 with a 3 wk stretch at home between them. What does everyone do with their stix and brix when they're work camping?
We do the same things that Gary mentions. Our S&B is in the northwest so we frostproof the outside fawcetts, turn the heat to 55, open cupboard doors on sinks on outside walls. We have a neighbor forward appropriate mail to wherever we are every couple of weeks. We have a neighbor who does a weekly walk-thru of the house for problems. We have another friend who drives our other vehicles every few weeks to keep everything charged and moving. Our neighbors put our garbage cans out every so often with whatever extra garbage they have, same with recycling and yard waste, making it seem there might still be someone home.
Thanks, Gary and Bucks2. That's pretty much what we had planned. Also considered renting it (though though this wasn't my favorit option) or just leaving it empty for the short stints we'd be gone. Wondered if there wasn't another option we hadn't thought of.
Renting it is a great idea as long as the tenants are respectable. And a total disaster if not, which is why few of us ever do it. Especially risky for short term rentals, e.g. a 3-4 month workamping stint.
Since we travel in summer & fall and the house is in Florida, we leave the a/c on high instead of heat on low. Shut off the inside water supply valves, water heater, and turn off the [empty] fridge too.Hire somebody to mow the lawn.
Been workcamping since 2008, sold our FL place in 2010 after one trip back.
One caveat on heat setting etc. my thermostat uses a battery, it apparently defaults ot ON. Not good when you are not around, it was my $900 battery. AC on 24 7 till I found out and had someone shut it down.
Having regular checks works great, but our neighbor never called. Guess I should have sent him a post card.
For extended trips, we have the city shut off the water at the curb. That way we don't pay water, sewer or trash when we're gone. We turn the furnace down to 48 and turn off the water heater. We unplug most of the electric items. Neighbors all watch the house, including the cops who live in the area. And the guy who lives across the street loves to mow lawns so if the grass gets too tall, he takes his mower to it. Then we go off and have fun !
I want to live in Wendy's town. My town requires water, sewer, and garbage service regardless of occupancy or lack thereof. So, we pay a little over $100 per month for utilities we don't/wouldn't use. When we return we'll often have more than a can full of garbage the first week. We learned last year that if the lid doesn't fit down properly on the can, that is, a bag sticks out, that is billed as an extra can of garbage and the same jerk that didn't pickup cans most of the winter will charge an extra $3.50 for the one can with a bag sticking out.
And we have two yard waste cans that we use branches, grass etc. To cancel them during the winter incurs a $30 pickup fee and a $30 delivery fee the next year. It costs $5 per month, per can. So if we're gone 6 months then they get the same amount of money either way.
Come on down, Ken. The economy here is depressed and there's cheap housing to be had. FWIW, we save about $100 a month when we're gone by not paying trash, sewer, and water. Also save $40-$120 on natural gas by not heating the house to a temperature our bodies like. Shoot, it's cheaper for us not to be home We shut off the phone landline when the best they could offer was $20 to put the line on vacation (pay half-price per month) and $20 to take it off vacation. Not worth it so now we're cell-only.
one factor is "varmits"; critters that are looking for a place to live when it is cold, or wet, or hot, or hungry... a bag of rice or flour makes a long term meal for mice. Anyway, you might wanna do whatever you can do to make things unattractive for the critters, mice, bugs, CRs, snakes, skunks, whatever lives around there. This especially applies to vehicles... they love to build a nest in the engine compartment and snack on the wire insulation.
Some people buy a video surveillance system and monitor the place via the internet.
Some people have an alarm system that will call the sheriff, fire dept, or a neighbor is a sensor is triggered... these can also cause a false alarm which is a PITA.
You can hire a professional house caretaker to either live there or check in every day. expensive though