The Main Stream

Jan 15, 2013 8:00 PM by Danielle Lerner

RV Park residents taking freezing temperatures in stride

TUCSON- Cranking up the heat to stay warm inside can be tough for those staying in a mobile home or RV. Just like everyone else, people at the South Forty RV Ranch near Orange Grove and Thornydale are taking precautions. They are covering their plants, they have blankets or foam over their pipes, but ironically many of the park's residents are snowbirds. They come to Tucson every year looking for higher temperatures, when in fact over the past few days the weather has actually been warmer in their hometowns.

"It's probably actually around 35-40 degrees where we're from," said Perry Melton, who lives in Palmer, Alaska, "because it's raining in Alaska right now."

"On New Year's day we've been in the swimming pool," said Jim Williams, whose been trading Northern California for Tucson for the past 15 winters. "We call our daughter and she's like, 'oh I wish I was down there.'"

No swimming this time at the RV Ranch, just lots of walking amd waiting for Williams and his wife Jannine.

"We try to walk around here every morning otherwise you're kind of cooped up in your trailer you know," said Jannine, "but we can't golf because it's too cold."

It is extra cold over at Charles Betz's place. The Illinois native is now in need of a new thermal coupler thanks to Tucson's frigid temperatures.

"No hot water this morning," said Betz. "When it's cold water you find out real quick."

Staying warm is not always easy inside a mobile unit since they're not insulated or built for cold weather. Still, these hearty snowbirds say it is nothing a space heater and some extra clothing can't fix.

"I'd rather be here now when it's colder than when it's 111," said Jim Williams.

"When we went home for Christmas it was like 17-20 below zero," said Melton.

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