What does a Garden Gnome do when she is not gardening, in the kitchen or doing genealogy? Well the answer might just surprise you so read the entries to find out more. This blog focuses on everything we do to make our house a home. There will be a strong emphasis on home energy efficiency and do-it-yourself (DIY) projects. At the same time there will also be crafts, knitting and crocheting projects along with any other little tips we do to create that down to earth, I want to be here home. Please enjoy your visit :)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Setting Up a Vacation Home (6) - Opening a Vacation Home

Regardless whether your vacation home is mobile (eg. RV, trailer) or permanent (eg. trailer park, cottage) it will need to be opened up for the season that you will be using it.  In some cases as with cottages you may be using it once or twice a year then renting it out for the rest of the season or you may be using it several times a year yourself.  The opening chores will be dependent on whether the vacation home is mobile or permanent.  Always plan on the first trip as being a working vacation.

Mobile Vacation Homes (eg. RV, trailer)

Mobile vacation homes have all the opening chores such as spring cleaning, checking appliances and lighting, and stocking with whatever non-perishable foods that can safely stay in the unit when not in use as a permanent vacation house has.  However, mobile units will need to be checked for travel safety issues such as tires, brakes, working signal lights, working clearance lights, and if the mobile unit has an engine all the fluids as well as the engine should be checked prior to the first trip out.  The propane tanks may need to be checked and filled.  All appliances should be fired up prior to the first trip to be sure they are working properly.  Replenish any necessary repair items (eg. fan belt, light bulb) prior to your first trip.  Check any holding tanks to be sure there is no leakage.  Add fresh black water holding tank deodorizer.  Check all window and door screens.  Open and clean any awnings.  Finally do a trial hook-up or start-up to ensure everything is working properly before heading out for your first trip.

Permanent Vacation Houses (eg. trailer park, cottages)

Opening a permanent vacation home will depend on how long it was closed up and how it was closed up.  In most cases little more than a good cleaning will be needed inside.  If utilities are turned off for the time the house is closed up arrange to have them turned on the day you arrive or a couple of days before providing you can arrange for someone to be there when they are turned on.  If there is a hot water tank it will need to be fired up.  Once the water is turned on flush the lines for a good 10 minutes.  If water was sitting in toilets there will more than likely be mould to clean-up.  Water should never be left in toilets where freezing is a problem.  The refrigerator will need the interior compartments washed then it can be turned on.  Check all window and door screens as well as locks.  Use a bit of graphite in the locks to ensure they operate properly.  The exterior of the house should be checked for any necessary repairs.  The exterior may need pressure washing as well.  Any gardens will need to be weeded, planted if necessary and the mulch topped up.  The yard will need to be groomed as well if that isn't included as part of your vacation house.  Outdoor furniture will need to be cleaned and set out.

Garden Gnome