I also turn off the circuit breakers to the outlets/appliances that I will not be using while I’m away. These include the washer/dryer, water heater, dishwasher, and unused outlet(s). This helps with so-called energy vampires. These are devices that when left plugged in and are powered off still use electricity. For example an HD DVR for satellite television can use about $40 per year. I also use power strips with switches when a circuit must stay on, but I want to isolate the hard to reach electronics.” – S. Frank Lucatorto, 2006 Ford F-350, 2013 Lance 1172
“I prepare all lawn and outdoor equipment for storage. In the equipment, I change the oil, oil filters, drain the gasoline, fill tires to recommended pressures, and clean and lubricate all tools. For non-power tools, I clean and grease them to avoid rust.” – Douglas Palmeri, 2016 Silverado 3500
“I turn off the breaker to the well pump. I turn off computer UPCs and turn off the power to the television and any other devices that draw power continuously. I also forward the phone.” – Gary and Laurii Gadwa, 2012 Ford, 2011 Eagle Cap 950
“I thought of a couple of other items regarding leaving your home for extended periods. Run dry any motorized equipment like lawn mowers, weed eaters, and blowers. Ethanol fuel will gum up and cause big problems next time you go to use the lawn equipment. Treat any stored fuel in cans.
Put your car’s tires up on boards to keep them from sitting on concrete for extended periods of time. If you own a pool, don’t forget about getting someone to care for it.” – Gary Hughes, 2005 Chevrolet 3500, 2015 Lance 1172
“Many of us living in rural areas do not have municipal sewer services and rely on a septic tank on our property. As with everything, the tank needs maintenance.
Ideally, prior to a long trip, it is a good time to treat the tank. All that is needed is a couple of packages of yeast found in the baking section of a supermarket, or a commercial product such as RID-X. Just before leaving, put the additive in the toilet and flush.
Due to the extended period of inactivity, the additive will decompose the solids, neutralize detergents, and reduce grease buildup. Annual treatments will reduce the expensive need to pump out the tank. This is a great way to maintain the tank while traveling and enjoying life!” – Warne Todd, 2000 Ford F250, 2005 Lance 981
“I simply invite my daughter, who lives 35 minutes away, to come live here in my absence. She loves my house, its location by two rivers, and the chance to host friends from out of town on the weekends. The pluses of living in my large air conditioned, gracious home with gardens instead of an old cramped downtown apartment make up for the commute.
Before she was an adult, I would invite friends to vacation in my home during my absence. This would likely only work if you live in a place people vacation near. During the 20 years I lived in Ottawa, I could always find a friend or family member who would jump at the chance to visit the capitol or to ski/skate in the winter, etc.
Now I live in the Thousand Islands so I am sure I could find guests who would love to visit and explore for free if my daughter to moves further away!” – Michele McLeod, 2013 Ford F150 LB, 2000 Travel Hawk 9.5
“We have a setup for the water pipes that mirrors the way one prepares an RV for winter storage. Our city water line comes in at the bottom of a basement which never freezes, and we have a shutoff there.
Then we use an air compressor dialed down to 45 psi and blow out all the pipes, drain the water heater, toilet tanks and anything else which could freeze and break, and that is on top of replacing all the plumbing with PEX.
All drains and the washing machine and dishwasher get a generous dose of RV antifreeze. For blowing out the water lines, I have a short double female hose which I hook up to an outside faucet then use the standard plastic male RV tire hose adapter to blow out the lines. That way I am certain that all the exposed valves are clear. Our winters here get down below zero.
We turn off all the electricity except for the electric heat (which is set for 45 degrees), one freezer, and one outlet which powers the trickle charger for one car and the riding mower battery. On top of that, we still unplug everything which can be unplugged. Our electric bill runs around twelve dollars a month all winter long.
With no water in the water heater, and no need for the gas to the stove, we call the power company and have the gas turned off for the winter. That way, there is no service charge for gas while we are gone.
As the house is two story, we seal off the upstairs with a sheet of foam insulation and make certain there is nothing upstairs that can freeze and break. All water based paint and chemicals come out of the unheated shop and go into the basement. This system has worked well for us for several winters now.” – Mike Turner, 2007 Dodge 3500, Camper under repairs
“As retirement and the truck camper life approached, we sold our home and became a renter. Many of the concerns we had considered, relative to being an absentee homeowner/truck camper, transferred to someone else. A renter’s insurance policy takes care of most other concerns.” – Tom Scholtens, 2010 Chevy 2500HD, Bigfoot 25c10.4
“We either turn off Netflix or change the address online to our long-term truck camping destination.” – Angela White, 2014 Ram 3500, 2004 Alpenlite 1100