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Summer, fall, winter, spring locations for full-timers


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Being from N.Cal and becoming a full-timer next spring I'm looking at possible routes to see the good 'ol USA and visit friends/family but looking for ideas on routes to skirt snow, hurricanes, tornados etc. Where you you spend your time during these seasons?

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I'm not quite sure how to respond to this question. We don't go into the deep south in summer or to the mid to northern states in the winter, but we do travel where ever we have not yet been, outside of that. We pay attention to the weather and we leave if we happen to be in the path of an approaching hurricane, at least enough to move inland to safety. We get off of the road when weather goes bad and we sit it out if caught in a snow storm. We have never worried about earthquakes, but have experienced two of them in our RV. We have experienced many a thunderstorm in our RVs, but we do take cover when warned to do so. We have spent more than one entire spring & summer in the mid-west where most of the tornado stories come from, but we have also seen such reports from many of the southeastern states as well and we have spent time in those also. We just go where we choose but pay attention to warnings and take the advice that those warnings give. We have moved the RV once because of lake levels reaching flood stage to threaten our RV site and once due to forest fires. We even moved one time because of a tsunami warning. But life has risks and most of them can be mitigated, if not avoided just by listening and following the advice given. Life is much too short to spend it in fear of what "might" happen. The most dangerous thing that an RV owner can do is to travel along the highways as they have a higher rate of death and destruction than of any of the natural phenomena that we tend to fear.

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If we needed to be anywhere particular for family, etc. or wanted to explore a certain area or group of states during a season, we just went and monitored the weather. If it was a iffy forecast we just hunkered down until it was safe to drive again.

 

As far as seasonal travel, the southern portions of California, Arizona, Texas, Alabama and Florida are popular places to spend the winter. Some go to southern New Mexico but we found it to be too cold.

 

For the summer months and shoulder months most would try to avoid the deep southern states because of the heat and humidity and travel the Midwest, east, Maritime Provinces, west including the Pacific Northwest, Canada, Yukon and Alaska. We gravitated more to the mountains in summer - anyplace where you don't have to run the air conditioner.

 

You'll soon get the hang of it! Hope you'll enjoy your new lifestyle as much as we did for 16 years.

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We spend the spring going up the west coast, the summer traveling across the northern tier of states, or maybe into Canada, then the fall follow the turning of the leaves down the east coast and then across the bottom to Arizona for the winter.

 

Barb

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You're at a better starting point than we were, but you're leaving around the same time as us. We wanted to put some space between us and Austin TX to make the trip feel more real. But we also didn't want to miss too much along the way, and now we are suffering high 80-degree temperatures in AZ for fear of missing out (FOMO). Next spring we'll learn to head north sooner to avoid putting ourselves in an uncomfortable spot.

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Youngfulltimers: Hard to believe that the awesome weather in Arizona right now isn't working out for you. Where are you? We tried heading north from Arizona in April and found ourselves in snow a few times. I guess depending where in the north you plan to go, April is too early to head that direction. Even the mountain areas in May can be too early.

 

I hope you're aware than there are many places in Arizona which have higher elevations and would be much cooler at this time than 80 deg. That's why full-timers move around. :) Prescott, Flagstaff, Payson, Show Low, Pinetop are some of the cooler places. Hope you find your ideal temperature!

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As a general guideline we basically stayed south of I-10 all winter but that included everything from Florida to Southern California. As for north/south--tornado alley in the midwest is best avoided in the spring and hurricane alley along the Atlantic coast is best avoided in the fall. However we frequently went up tornado alley in the spring because that was the best route home for us. And we came down hurricane alley one fall slow enough to be in peak leaf changing season for several weeks. So, if you are willing to closely watch the weather and be willing to quickly go to plan B you can make your travel plans to include just about anything.

 

Linda Sand

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We are long-termers, start traveling in Sept, planning to get to Phoenix by early Nov. We like mountains so we head north, if snow comes into the forecast we start wandering south and get out of the mountains. You are an RVer, have you house with you, and can pick up and go. The trick is not to lock yourself in to a long term contract at a cg. If that happens you need to make the decision of giving up on the contract or toughing it out in adverse weather.

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One thing I have learned is that you also have to be aware of altitude in making plans. This was a change for me as I come from the flat state of Michigan. In Michigan, the farther north you go, the colder it is. Not true for other places.

 

For example, I almost made plans to camp in a mountain campground right outside of Las Vegas in January. Las Vegas is warm then, right? No, not when your campground is at 7,000 feet and they are skiing up there! And Utah and New Mexico may be very hot in the summer and the states are fairly south, but those two states also are higher than southern Arizona, so some parts are really, really cold in the winter and spring. I drove through Flagstaff, AZ, today on my way to Monument Valley, UT, and there was snow on the hills around Flagstaff, and it has been getting down to freezing there at night recently. And it is currently, as I write this, 43 degrees here and expected to go down to 37 tonight. I have my rear furnace and electric heater pumping out heat right now. Brrrr. This was a shock as Phoenix and Tucson are not that far away and recently had temps in the 90s!! (I have signed up for a tour in an open bus tomorrow so I hope I can dress warming enough by putting on layers and wearing long pants instead of shorts.)

 

I have been alternating spending winters and early spring in Florida and the Southwest, namely Arizona, Nevada, and California. I have spent time in summer along the northwest coast and in states like Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana.

 

Since RVs tend not to be well insulated, my goal temperature year-round is about 70-80 degrees. And the nice thing about being mobile is that if I am somewhere too hot or too cold, I can move.

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