Monday, January 30, 2023


3 items you MUST remember to leave at home

By Gail Marsh
You’ve probably seen the many different RV packing lists. Maybe you’ve even made your own. “Must Pack” lists are long! My “Must Leave” list is much shorter. In fact, I’ve found only three items that you really should leave at home. Every time. Just three items! How easy is that?

Here are my three “Must Leave” items:

1. Contact information

I know, I know! Part of the fun of RVing is getting away from _____ (fill in the blank). But it’s important to leave basic information that tells how a family member or a neighbor can reach you in case of an emergency. Cell phone numbers are good (when you have service). The RV camp office number or ranger station phone number can be backups. If traveling for work, leave behind a company phone number. The boss will always know how to track you down, right?

2. Travel plans

Again, it’s freeing to tell friends that you will “just go wherever the road leads.” But the truth is that things can happen – both at home and on the road. It’s important that a trusted family member or a friend knows your general plans, like when you will return and the route you plan to take. If you have an accident or become incapacitated in some way, folks will know to call for help on your behalf. If your kids know when you plan to return, they’ll know when to start worrying, right? (But if your travel plans change, be sure to let someone know.)

3. Extra house key, home key code, or garage opener

If you plan to be gone from your sticks-and-bricks home for a while, you’ve probably asked someone you trust to watch the house while you’re away. Give this person a key or some other way to get into your home. There may be a good reason for that person to get inside or enable a first responder to do so. Smoke could indicate a fire. A broken window might indicate a break-in. The list goes on and on. Our next-door neighbor heard water running in our home. Knowing we were gone, he used the key to get into the house. Upon checking, he discovered that a pipe had burst because of the unusually cold temperatures. Was I ever glad that I’d given him a key! He turned off the water and the damage was minimized.

So, whether you leave for an overnight, a weekend, or a month or more, remember these three “Must Leave” items. Can you think of anything you’d add to the list?

Add this to your home departure checklist to prevent damage
Leaving home – A checklist for successful domicile “abandonment”



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John M Behrend
1 year ago

We don’t travel in the winter so freezing pipes is not a concern for us. But we make sure to shut off the water heater, and the water lines to our washing machine. Those hoses degrade over time and should be replaced occasionally. A friend was gone from home for an extended period. They had a second floor laundry and a hose burst destroying everything.

Diane Mc
1 year ago

We have a small lock box we purchased at Home Depot installed near the front door. Originally did it for the house cleaning service, so we didn’t have to give them a key. All our kids know the code so they don’t need keys as well. BTW, when we travel, we suspend cleaning service and change code on the box.

1 year ago

12 years ago during a meeting with our insurance agent we told him we bought an rv and were going to travel a lot. His first words, turn the water off in the house. We have paid too many major claims for water damage while clients were on vacation. My tip…. Don’t forget to turn the water heater off too.

1 year ago

I’m a full timer. I don’t have to even think about these things. No one in the world knows where I am except me and that’s what I like. I have no travel plans. I do what I want. I will NEVER be constrained by rules or what others think I should do. I am truly free.

1 year ago

Per #3 you should always turn the water off when leaving

Bob P
1 year ago
Reply to  paul

Not only turning the water off but when we leave for the winter we notify the water company and they put a lock on the meter and put our account on vacation thereby eliminating water/sewer bills while we are gone.

1 year ago
Reply to  Bob P

Turning water off is a good idea EXCEPT if you have hot water heat. You need to have the water on and pressure to automatic fill your system. Don’t ask me how I found out the expensive way.

1 year ago
Reply to  Frank

If you have an electric water heater throw the breaker or if it’s gas turn it down to pilot light or off altogether.

Glen Cowgill
1 year ago

I know this may sound a little harsh but, leave your overly loud foul mouth at home and your nasty attitude. I spent 2 days next to a couple that I would have loved to stuff a rag down both their mouths. I left rather than listen to them or say anything that would escalate a bad situation. I think both of them were high by 10am.

1 year ago
Reply to  Glen Cowgill

Ditto Dat!

1 year ago
Reply to  Glen Cowgill

At least it’s not “fake”, haha!

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