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Old 09-24-2020, 01:54 PM   #1
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Preparing a house for 2 month vacancy

Hi group.

My wife and I are planning our first long term trip away. We plan to be gone 2 winter months. Just looking for suggestions for any house prep before departure. We are in the south, so we don't want to winterize as we may occaisionally fly home if the need or desire strikes us.

Additionally, this will be the longest time we will be spending in the motorcoach. Any suggestions for that side of the equation?

Thanks all.
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Old 09-24-2020, 01:58 PM   #2
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Do you have anybody in the neighborhood or relatives that can check on your house?
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Old 09-24-2020, 02:00 PM   #3
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Contact your household insurance company , about your long term departure from the home , as your continued coverage may depend on someone being present to check the house every number of days to keep your insurance in force.

EDIT: I see Arch posted about the same info , while I was typing , sorry about the duplication.
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Old 09-24-2020, 02:08 PM   #4
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I used to leave for 4-5 months every summer. Turn off your water is one the best things you can do. We also put a few ounces of bleach in each toilet and covered the bowl in Saran Wrap. A neighbor did a walk through every week. Cancel any newspaper delivery and make arrangements for your mail. As far as insurance is concerned,a house is not considered vacant if you still have furniture in it. Itís temporarily unoccupied. My insurance was not affected.

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Old 09-24-2020, 02:09 PM   #5
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Lights on a timer. Stop mail and newspaper delivery. (Do a search in the forum re mail delivery on the road). Someone must maintain the lawn. Set heat and or A/C to a reasonable number: 60 degrees if heating, 80 degrees if cooling. Turn of main water valve so you don't get a flood if there's a leak. Get a friend, neighbor or family member to check the house periodically. Once a week would be great. Make sure your utility bills are paid (we have ours automatically paid each by bank transfer whether home OR away.) Enjoy your trip!
Marc and Jill, Wellington FL
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Old 09-24-2020, 03:27 PM   #6
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We do most everything stated. Our water heater is electric, I always turn it off.
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Old 09-24-2020, 04:04 PM   #7
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We leave our home every winter in SD for 5 to 6 months. We are on LP (500 gallon tank that we prepay and on auto refill) heat and have our own well, so set the thermostat on 58 and shut off the water. Also shut off the LP water heater. We leave the cabinet doors open to all the pluming so heat can get inside cabinets. Finally, for piece of mind I have the Simplisafe security system (with cellular service $25 p/mth) which includes door alarm, motion alarm, and the MOST important piece is a temperature (freeze) sensor. I can monitor an app on my phone and see what the temperature is inside the house and status of alarms ... and usually check it once a day. Simplisafe would automatically notify me if it drops below 42 degrees or an alarm was activated. Don't want the heater to quit and cause freezing of pipes. When we get back home, I pause the Simplisafe plan until needed again. We also pause/suspend our phone and internet plan ... but if I didn't pause our internet, I'd also have security cameras (internet required). We are pretty remote and only have one option for our internet which is pretty expensive ... so just pause it instead of leaving it on and paying for it while we are gone.

Also have all bills on auto pay, so don't have to worry about manually paying for a bill while we are gone. Mail can be forwarded and we have it forwarded to one of our kids who can collect and occasionally forward to us if we are not in the vicinity of their location. Leave a set of keys with a friend that can go out to the house if we have an alarm or needed.

Good idea on the saran wrap on the toilets ... I will do that this year because they do evaporate a lot while we are gone.
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Old 09-24-2020, 04:06 PM   #8
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You'd do pretty much what you would do if on vacation for 2-3 weeks - both for home and your RV. It's just an extended vacation.
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Old 09-24-2020, 04:11 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by twogypsies View Post
You'd do pretty much what you would do if on vacation for 2-3 weeks - both for home and your RV. It's just an extended vacation.

I agree.
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Old 09-24-2020, 05:10 PM   #10
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Years ago we planned on a +3 month trip
We prepaid our electric & water bill.

When we got back our water bill was past do with a huge amount owed in some part due to past due costs. The water utility saw we were not using any water so they changed our water meter thinking it was broke and in turn back estimated what they thought we would have used. When I went to discuss the clerks would not even consider reducing the amount, ended up having to go up the ladder to the City Manager and got some reduction. They said they had a form we were suppose to have filled out DUH, when I went to prepay I explicitly told them we would be gone for 3 months and no one mentioned a form.

Just a word of warning.
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Old 09-24-2020, 06:58 PM   #11
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make a video of the home before departing and notify your credit card company or you may be held up making a purchase
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Old 09-24-2020, 07:16 PM   #12
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Call your local police and have them do a vacation watch. We do this every time we leave, even if it's just for a week.
Our local police will drive by at random times during all shifts.

Our alarm system, though not professionally monitored is set to dial 3 different numbers, neighbors and relatives. Plus, if our alarm is triggered there are three lights that begin to flash, two inside and one on the garage. Our neighbors know that if our house is flashing to call the police.
Motion lights on the outside are a deterrent also.
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Old 09-24-2020, 07:27 PM   #13
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Notify your local law enforcement of your planned absence and length; inform them of who you authorized to check your house. you don't want a relative or neighbor detained when entering your house for a status check.(especially during these uncertain times)
In addition to all previous replies, I fill zip-lock bags with water and place them over all open drains, it prevents sewer odors and insects from entering the house via the sewer.
If you leave the freezers running place a small bag of ice cubes inside, when you arrive home inspect the bags, if the ice cubes have been melted you know the freezer was also thawed.
I forward my home phone to my cell phone for convenience and so when I answer, the caller thinks I'm home.
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Old 09-24-2020, 09:16 PM   #14
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We have a Honeywell Smart thermostat with an app to see what is going on or to change the settings from wherever we are, an Internet security camera that we can reorient to see different parts of the house and a woman who does a walk through once a week for $25 a month. Our trips average four months.
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