It’s Feels Like Spring, Should We De-winterize The RV?

40 degree temps & ice-free roads really make me want to de-winterize the motorhome.  It’s a gamble, this time of year because the weather can flip like a switch.

It’s that time of year, Alaska’s full of activity and coming back to life!  As the days get longer Alaskans come out hibernation.  This reemergence is an amazing feeling that can only be explained by gaining daylight and changing of seasons.  It also means RV season is not too far away!

On February 24th the R/V Sikuliaq completed her maiden voyage from Marinette, Wisconsin to her new homeport of Seward, Alaska.
On February 24th the R/V Sikuliaq completed her maiden voyage from Marinette, Wisconsin to her new homeport of Seward, Alaska.

The winter of 2014/2015 has been good and bad.

The Good:  We haven’t had to shovel/plow much snow this year and heating costs have been reasonable.

The Bad:  We haven’t had any pretty snow days to go out and have fun.

The winter of 2011/2012 we and an amazing amount of snow fall.
The winter of 2011/2012 we had a ridiculous amount of snow.

 

This winter we've had very little snow fall.  When it has fallen it's warmed up and rained afterwards, ruining the snow and turning things to ice.
This winter we’ve had very little snow. When it has fallen it’s warmed up and rained afterwards, ruining the snow and turning things to ice.

So far there’s only been one big cold snap this winter, conveniently it spanned the entire time we were on vacation.  While Alaska was locked into the bitter grips of Old Man Winter, we were off to Europe!

We caught the cargo flight out of Anchorage to begin our journey.
We caught the cargo flight out of Anchorage to begin our journey. The front half of the plane is cargo and there are a handful of seats in back for passengers.  A uniquely Alaskan experience.

 

Montserrat, Spain
Montserrat, Spain

 

Istanbul, Turkey.
Istanbul, Turkey.

Aside from being miserable, cold snaps are also expensive.  The fewer cold snaps the better because most of our town uses heating oil #1.  Oil prices fluctuate like gas, but falling gas prices this winter have been a blessing.  To keep costs under control, we use firewood for heat and the boiler for hot water and as a back up heat source.

Remi loves his fire.
Remi loves his fire.

In Alaska, daylight comes as fast as it goes and this time of year we are gaining almost 6 minutes of light per day.  This amazing gain peaks at over 7 minutes per day.  To put this into perspective, if you take a 10 day vacation you’ll come home to 1 hour more light.  Furthermore, multiply it by three and that is over 3 hours more daylight in a month!

This time of year it’s still gets plenty dark.  This week, thanks to the power of social media we heard the lights were out.  They indeed were, it was one of the best shows we’ve seen from our back deck.  Seward usually doesn’t see the lights on a regular basis.  We set up the tripod and took a few photos.  Right now we only have one camera that has the features to capture the lights and it’s a 7 year old pocket Canon.  It’s not the best camera for the aurora because the pics turn out grainy but it works.  Ironically, our nicer Sony camera does not have the shutter capabilities to capture the lights.

View from our back deck.
View from our back deck.

 

We've seen this done before, it turned out pretty good.
We’ve seen people take pictures of themselves before so we tried it.

Sunday, March 1st was a beautiful sunny day.  On days like this Seward’s popular hiking trails like Tonsina Trail transform into places to catch up with friends you haven’t seen in months.  Our friend Kristen called about hiking out to Tonsina,  but we had loaves of bread in the oven and were unable to go.  She sent us this awesome picture.

Our little friends Opal and Nova and avid birders on the Tonsina Trail.
Our little friends Opal and Nova hiking the Tonsina Trail.  They love everything Alaska and birding.

We opted to go flying later in that afternoon.


In the Springtime, life begins to flourish again in Alaska.

Our friend Andy McLaughlin in Chenega Bay, Alaska caught these Great Blue Heron heading North.
Our friend Andy McLaughlin in Chenega Bay, Alaska caught these Great Blue Heron heading North.

Our garden is free of snow, but the ground is still frozen.  Memorial Day is usually when we can plant without concerns of a frost.

Our garden

Every Alaskan knows we are not out of the woods just yet.  Most likely there is going to be another cold snap and we regularly get our last snow fall the first week of May.   If we are lucky we might get a modest amount of snow, followed by 5 days of 30 degree weather, just enough snow and cold to have a little fun.   Until then, we will take the nice days when we can get them.

Ultimately, we decided to wait to de-winterize the motorhome.  From the time when I started to write this post to when I’m finishing it, there is a weather change coming.  Next week a high pressure system is pushing cold Arctic air into the region which will make RV’ing rather unpleasant.

If it's going to be this cold in Seward it going to be a lot colder everywhere else in Southcentral Alaska.
If it’s going to be this cold in Seward it going to be a lot colder everywhere else in Southcentral Alaska.

Thanks for reading, please leave your questions and comments below!

 

 

Comments

comments

Leave a Reply