Aqua-Kem, The Perfect Addition to Your RV Holding Tanks

It’s a dirty topic, but someone has to talk about it: Odor control for your RV holding tanks. Designed specifically for RV holding tanks, these strong formulas ensure safe, powerful odor control. Available in convenient easy-to-use forms, these products give you maximum performance with minimum effort.Most Powerful Odor Control. Liquefies Waste And Breaks Down Tissue Fast To Prevent Clogging.Powerful Detergents Cleans Tank Walls And Drain Lines. Works Around The Clock In All Weather Conditions.A Complete Lineup Of Convenient Forms For Maximum Ease Of Use. 100 Percent Biodegradable Liquid And Environmentally Safe When Disposed Of Properly.

Aqua-Kem® Products

Aqua-Kem Product Family - Holding Tank Products

Aqua-Kem® is the #1 selling holding tank deodorant of all time because it does the job better than any other product. In fact, that makes it America’s Most Trusted Holding Tank Deodorant: Powerful, Convenient, Effective

Aqua-Kem® Liquid™

  • The most powerful odor control available
  • Liquefies waste and breaks down tissue fast to prevent clogging
  • Powerful detergents clean tank walls and drain lines
  • Works around the clock in all weather conditions
  • A complete lineup of convenient forms for maximum ease of use
  • 100% biodegradable liquid and environmentally safe when disposed of properly
  • Available in one-gallon jug, 64-oz. bottle, 32-oz. bottle, 6 pack of 8-oz. bottles, and 3 pack of 8-oz. bottles

Aqua-Kem® Toss-Ins™

Holding Tank Deodorant, contains 12 rapid-dissolve packets. 100% biodegradable. Aqua-Kem Toss-Ins is a 3-in-1 product. The powerful deodorizer controls odors, the waste digester liquifies and breaks down the solids in the holding tanks, while the detergent cleans the tank and the drain lines. Comes in our popular foil zipper pouch.

  • The ultimate in convenience! Simply toss ‘em into the tank. These water-soluble packets dissolve fast to deliver great deodorizing power and cleaning action.
  • 12-pack of 1.5-oz. sachets in a resealable foil pouch, Morning Sky or Powder Fresh scent
  • 8-pack of 1.5-oz. sachets in a resealable foil pouch
  • Single-dose 1.5-oz. sachets, Morning Sky or Powder Fresh scent

NEW Aqua-Kem® Toss-Ins™ Garden Mist

  • New FRESH fragrance – Same great performance
  • Comes in our popular foil zipper pouch
  • Powerful odor control & superior waste digestion
  • Liquefies waste fast to prevent clogs
  • 100% biodegradable

Aqua-Kem® DRI™

Convenient, pre-measured, waterproof packs of non-dusting granules.

  • 8-pack of 2-oz. foil pouches

There is nothing worse than horribly smelling holding tanks in your RV. If you can’t get it under control, then you are going to have a hard time falling in love with your RV. Luckily, Aqua-Kem can eliminate all the foul odors coming from holding tanks and keep your RV smelling fresh and clean. I highly recommend you give one of these great products a try in your own RV. You will be thankful that you did! 

Buying a RV Toilet Made Easy

History of the Toilet…I know you wanted to know.

Used often, but rarely talked about…the RV toilet. I mean, if you really want to think about one of the most significant additions to modern convenience, you don’t really have to think much further than the “personal sewage manager”. Whatever you refer to it as: the throne, the head, or the porcelain princess; the toilet is a daily use item that would be hard to live without. 

All jokes aside, your RV’s toilet is a very important feature where un-compromised functionality is paramount and I think is often overlooked in regards to either simple maintenance, or replacement. Think of this article as your introduction to the wonderful world of RV sewage management.

THERE ARE FIVE POPULAR TYPES OF RV TOILET:

Gravity flush – this is the most traditional toilet; tried and tested in RVs for decades. It uses the simplest method of flushing – bowl contents drop directly into a large holding tank – ensuring reliable, straightforward performance. The gravity-flush toilet must be installed directly over the waste holding tank.

Macerating flush – motor-powered blades macerate waste into viscous slurry before the waste goes into a large holding tank. This flushing technology allows the toilet and waste holding tank to be positioned apart from each other. As a result of maceration, holding tank effluent is more fluid. This reduces “mounding” of waste while also making discharge from the tank easier and more thorough.

Vacuum flush – bowl contents are powerfully pulled from the toilet bowl through a stored vacuum vessel and macerating vacuum pump, and then pumped to a large holding tank. Like macerating toilets, this flushing technology also allows the toilet and waste holding tank to be positioned apart from each other. This allows a vacuum toilet to be located virtually anywhere in a motorhome.

Cassette – primarily designed for caravans and campervans, this toilet technology provides a compact toilet bowl that’s permanently installed over a small, removable “cassette-style” waste tank. When flushed, the bowl contents drop directly into the waste tank. When the waste tank is full, it is manually removed through a service door and emptied into a standard toilet or other waste disposal station, then re-installed under the toilet bowl.

Portable – popular in small campervans and also for tent camping, portable toilets are composed of a lightweight plastic toilet bowl and small waste tank. When the tank is full, you remove the lower tank from the upper seat and bowl, empty it into a standard toilet or other waste disposal station, then re-connect it with the toilet bowl.

WHICH PERMANENT TOILETS USE THE LEAST AMOUNT OF ENERGY?

Foot-pedal-operated gravity flush toilets do not require any electrical connections, so they consume no energy at all. Other toilets that use very little electrical power (to operate an electric water valve or a flush valve motor) include cassette toilets and all-ceramic gravity-flush toilets. Also considered to be “low-power” units are vacuum toilets that use a foot pedal for flushing (a vacuum generator uses a mere 6 amps of electric power).

WHICH PERMANENT TOILETS USE THE LEAST AMOUNT OF WATER?

Foot-pedal operated toilets use the least water, while electric flush toilets are programmed to use a little more. However, most electric flush toilets offer “Normal” and “Low” flush options to help control water use.

Gravity-flush toilets consume very little water because they do not need extra water to flush waste from the bowl. Vacuum toilets also require very little water, as the vacuum power pulls waste from the toilet bowl and keeps the plumbing line clear without extra water.

WHICH TOILET IS THE QUIETEST?

The absence of a motor in cassette, portable and pedal-flush gravity toilets means they’re very quiet. Another option to consider for keeping noise down is a slow-close seat which prevents closing with a bang!

WHICH TOILET IS THE EASIEST TO EMPTY?

While the waste from gravity-flush toilets can cause “mounding” inside a tank that can be difficult to rinse out, the pulverized effluent from a macerator or vacuum toilet is more easily and thoroughly discharged from a waste holding tank. In fact, barely any waste will remain inside the tank after emptying and, unlike gravity and cassette toilets, potential blockages caused by wads of toilet paper do not pose a risk.

WHICH TYPE OF FLUSHING MECHANISM SHOULD YOU CHOOSE?

Since the late 1970s, most residential-style RV toilets used a foot pedal for flushing. Recently, however, electric flushing models which either use a remote switch or electronic flush handle are increasingly popular.

Some electric flush switches include a “full tank” shut-down option that cuts off power to the toilet to avoid overfilling the holding tank. While most RV toilet systems let you determine when a waste holding tank is full (either by a built-in tank monitor system or by looking down through the toilet bowl when the flush valve is open), not all will prevent you from overfilling the tank.

With the risk of damage caused by overfilling, an electric flush with full tank shut-down can be reassuring.

HOW CAN YOU MAXIMIZE THE COMFORT OF YOUR TOILET?

Most people find high-profile toilets to be the most comfortable to sit on and easiest to stand up from. Hand sprayers have become popular options for additional bowl rinsing when desired. The simple replacement of plastic seats with enameled wood or slow-closing seats is also a common upgrade. Finally, when toilets may be used in the dark, remote flush switches are both easy-to-use and feature helpful illuminating backlights.

HOW CAN YOUR TOILET SYSTEM BE KIND TO THE ENVIRONMENT?

Use environmentally friendly tank treatment liquids, drop-in packets or dissolvable tabs. You can also conserve water by choosing a low-volume flush when the toilet system offers this option. Gravity, cassette and portable toilets, which do not rely on electricity, are also great friends of the environment!

Now, I know this is probably more than you’d ever want to know about your RV toilets, but it really is important information to have. In the long run, having a properly function septic system will keep you from flushing money down the drain…pun intended. 

Keep Your RV Cooler This Summer

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Flicker Creative Commons/ By: ercwttmn

I worked last Saturday and it was a terrific day at PPL.  Customers and employees were all in great moods! People were buying new RVs and we got some amazing new consignments. I couldn’t believe it! Not one person came to me with something to weigh in on! What did I deserve to get this wonderful but very…very…VERY hot day? 

“I don’t think ANYTHING could ruin today!”, I casually thought to myself.

And that’s when our parts manager  came to me and said; “Emergency! We have a customer who just got his replacement A/C…and it was DAMAGED in transit!”.

I don’t think I even took a breath before I got out, “GO OVERNIGHT ONE…NO! OVERNIGHT TWO!!! AND, REFUND HIS MONEY!!! No one should endure the heat in an un-airconditioned RV.”

True story.

RV Nana really likes that cool A/C! Want an planned RV trip to come to an abrupt re-route? Mess with RV Nana’s air conditioner!  I have some information to share with Mr. & Mrs. RV Owner.  One of the most important things you can do to maximize your comfort is to make sure you clean the filters on your AC units…and keep them clean! You can even clean the fins on the back side of the roof ac.  Wind, hail and road debris can cause those lightweight aluminum fins to get bent and then reduce the air flow.  Little things do make a difference in AC units.

How else can you keep some of the heat downHave you ever seen people put vent pillows up in their vents?  This is just one more way to keep the heat from beating into the RV. That works for virtually every RVer, but there are options. There is an awesome new product that we sell for the standard vents.  It’s is a vent shade.  Easy to open and close and, in my opinion only, looks nicer than the vent pillows. Try them both and decide for yourself. 

Now, I have a love/hate relationship with the reflective sheets. I don’t use them when I am actually RVing. Though they work really well, too well actually. I like to see out of the windows. And when you want to take them off, they can be cumbersome and unwieldy.  THAT BEING SAID, I do use them when we leave our trailer at Galveston Island RV for a month. Putting that simple insulated rolled reflective sheeting up while we were storing it was a great help in keeping the heat down. 

OH! Also, don’t forget to always leave a vent cracked when storing your RV.  I have the MaxxAire vent covers, so I always like to leave my vent open an inch, or two to let some of the heat out. This is probably my strongest recommendation.  If its 95 outside, then it could easily be 120 inside your RV.  The heat plays havoc on the interior as well as the exterior of the unit.  I’ve seen wallpaper curl, seam tape come loose, items secured with command strips just drop to the floor and things are just uncomfortable. 

There’re are just a few ways to keep your RV a little cooler. Happy RVing!!!

 

RV Roof Repair Essentials

RV Roof Repair Essentials

I know you’ve heard the phrase, “Out of sight, out of mind”. That is especially true when it comes to your RV’s roof. When was the last time you actually looked up there? If you had to think about it, it’s  been too long.

Because of the damaging effects of the Sun and weather in general, the roof of your RV can take a beating. Why wait for a leak when a simple visual inspection might prevent one? I get on my RV’s roof to check mine at minimum, every 6 months during heavy usage and every year If I don’t get out as much as I’d like (yes, this RV Nana has no problem climbing those stairs and taking a look).

One of my absolute favorite roof repair products is Quick Roof Extreme. It is so easy to use and it is guaranteed not to crack, harden, or shrink. Leaks can cause really bad damage in a very short period of time. Quick Roof Extreme instantly stops leaks and permanently repairs: all roof materials, vents, skylights, slide-outs, windows, awnings, holding tanks, tents, and more! Plus, there is a 15 year limited warranty, so I know I’m using not just a quality RV product, but a product that is designed to last from a company that stands behind it. There’s a lot of peace of mind in knowing that.

Now I can hear all of you “non-rubber roof people” out there, “but, RV Nana, what do I use for my metal roof and flashing”? That’s easy. Quick Roof Aluminum repairs metal and flat roofs on RV’s, mobilehomes, trucks, trailers, gutters, flashings and skylights. Just peel off the self-stick, super reinforced aluminum release paper and press in place! Five puncture resistant layers mean your roof repairs last for years.

You know, I have a saying, “Low branches happen”. Low hanging branches can, and do puncture RV roofs. Trust me, you are really going to want to have a roll of Quick Roof Extreme around if you ever have the misfortune of this happening. I can’t think of anything more disruptive to a nice relaxing RV adventure than a leak in the roof.

If you have any questions on what roof repair product to use, don’t hesitate to call PPL Motorhomes and we can help you choose the right RV roof repair product for you.

Until next time…Stay DRY!

-RV Nana

Give Your RV’s A/C A Little TLC

I’m not sure if you’ve put any thought into the type of use and abuse you put your RV’s air conditioner unit through. Think about it, your air conditioning unit has to tolerate road vibrations, the occasional voltage drop – all while you still expect it to keep you freezer cold during the summer months and comfortable during Spring and Fall. With just a little TLC you can extend the life of your RV’s A/C considerably. It doesn’t take much either, having a reliable maintenance guy and a little cleaning means a lot in the long run.

Now, I know this is the Winter season, and you might not be using your A/C (well, if you are in Houston you probably are) so it’s a great time to perform any maintenance you may need before the hotter RV months hit. Here’s our good friend Terry Cooper, also know as The RV Professor with a video about troubleshooting your RV A/C.

Here’s a hint that you already know, but probably don’t think about. Parking your RV in direct sunlight means the heat absorbed by the coach may make it difficult for the air conditioner to keep interior temperature at set levels. Here are a few tips that can improve cooling efficiency.

  • Choose a campsite that offers shade
  • Install aluminum, bubble-style insulation Yin your windows, skylights and vents. Keep in mind that large wind-shields transfer a great amount of heat to the interior of the Coach.
  • Keep baggage doors closed when possible to help reduce the amount of heat penetrating through the floor.
  • Try to limit the number of times you open and close the entry door.

If you are experiencing problems with the A/C unit in your motorhome, travel trailer or fifth-wheel you are probably going to want to have a qualified RV service professional take a look at it. Working on your A/C unit can be a difficult and dangerous task, so your best bet is to have a pro look at it. Get it done now, because when it gets hotter out, you know you’ll be kicking yourself if you put off having your RV’s A/C serviced.

Winterize Your RV’s Water System

Well y’all, it’s time to really think about hibernating for the winter, which means getting the ole RV cleaned, stored, drained, preserved, and put away for its long winter nap. One of the biggest concerns of course is preserving and protecting the water systems on the RV: cold, hot, black, and gray. Let’s get started with fresh water.

The last thing you want to do come springtime is to have to spend time and money fixing a freeze break in the fresh water system, so what you need to do first is drain the system. Remember to turn the hot water heater off and let it cool so you don’t attempt to drain it while it still has pressure. If you expect the RV to endure extended below freezing condition, you can actually drain the system by pumping anti-freeze through the system, effectively replacing the water with anti-freeze. You can add the anti-freeze to the fresh water tank and use the RV’s pump to circulate, but be sure that the water heater is drained and in bypass mode, bypass the water filtration as well as the supply line to the ice maker. Turn on all faucets until you get anti freeze coming out of the taps. While the anti-freeze is circulating, go to the city water supply inlet and push the valve open with something soft like a pencil (eraser end) until anti freeze flows from this port as well.

You also need to drain and flush the black and gray water tanks. Check the dump valves for condition, lube the o-rings and plates if necessary. Once the tanks are flushed and empty, pour anti-freeze through the toilet, and through each drain that feeds into the gray water tank (sinks, shower, washer if installed, etc). Use enough anti-freeze to completely cover the bottom of each tank, volume will vary depending on tank size.

It’s a lot of work but it sure beats paying for repairs once it warms back up, to paraphrase an old Army slogan: “Take Care Of Your RV And It’ll Take Care Of You.” If y’all have any tips and labor saving hints, leave them in the comment section below and tell us about it! And before you get started putting the RV away, please stop by the PPL Motorhomes site for all your parts and accessories.

Do You Have A Clogged Black Water Tank

Pure-Power-Gallon

Recently, we received a question on our Facebook page about a clogged up black water tank. The answer we gave may surprise you. You may already know this little trick, but if you don’t, and happen to run into a clogging situation, this may help.

I have a question…. In regards to the black water tank in my CrossRoads Cruiser; we were out camping this past weekend and when flushing, I saw water in the hole. I had just drained it and my son had plugged it up. I ran a snake down and it seemed to open up, however, the next day it was plugged up again. I snaked it again and it seemed to open up. My question is, should I fill the tank COMPLETELY with clean water and use chem clean type chemicals and let it sit full at the storage lot until our next camping trip in a couple of weeks? What is the correct procedure to get it cleared where I don’t have to deal with this again anytime soon??? Thanks for your help. You guys have been AWESOME from the day we bought our camper from you!! Thanks!!

Michael F.

This was our answer:

Michael,

I would not suggest leaving the tank full until your next trip. If the valve has a small leak, the water could leak out and then the waste will harden. Your best bet is to verify that the valve for that tank actually opens; then attempt to clean the tank out with a tank wand or water hose. If that does not work, you may want to look for a service that cleans holding tanks and see if they can pressure wash the blockage out. There is an ice trick once you get it cleaned too! Driving your RV around with a couple of pounds of ice and some additional water in your black water holding tank may help clean the walls of your tank a little more thoroughly. Hopefully it will prevent it from getting stopped up again. Feel free to call me for more advice if you’d like.

Now, this may not work in all cases. There are times the clog could be something more serious and may require parts and maintenance. If that is the case, feel free to call PPL Motor Homes and we can discuss more options to help you out.

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How many AC’s are enough in TX?

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brykmantra, Flikr Creative Commons

I was bragging in the last blog about how great Texas is, singing the whole “Texas Is Bigger And Better” song, and then it got so coastal this week. Hot, humid, rainy, and condensation inside the windows all over town. While I’m grateful the state is getting welcome moisture this year, as well as our spring being an actual season this time instead of just the usual footnote-sized blip of nice weather, today was the day that air conditioning became one of those major priorities.
So I decided I really wanted to do an entire blog article on keeping your cool in the summer heat.  We have a wide selection of AC units in stock on the website and it’s definitely that time of year where we’re subtly changing from Almost Summer to Full-Blown Summer, so if you haven’t had the AC serviced yet or if it’s not keeping your RV, travel trailer, or fifth wheel properly comfortable it may be worthwhile to check with the manufacturer or in the manual to see if your RV is pre-wired for a second AC unit. Many of them are, and in Texas heat that second AC can make a difference between a wonderful RV vacation and one that is simply tolerable.
Of course, RV Nana happens to like the second AC unit for more than just the cool.  When we had our fifth wheel, it was so nice to turn on the AC unit up front above the bed and take a nap or let that fan on the bedroom unit lull you to sleep.  I have even been known to turn on the AC fan in the dead of winter just to have the noise! If you’re like me and you prefer that cool breeze and sleep inducing hum, please swing by the website and we’ll do our best to help make your summer more comfortable!

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Spring Maintenance For Your RV

Is your RV ready for Spring? It’s always a good idea to have some basic Spring maintenance performed before you actually hit the road. There’s nothing worse than being miles away from home and finding out the you have a leak in your roof, or hooking up and having very little pressure in your plumbing system. You can really avoid a lot of potential nightmares if you do a little planning ahead and have your RV brought in for a quick multi-point inspection and some Spring maintenance. This is especially true if you use your RV heavily through the year, or it lives in the elements all year long without cover.

So, what should you expect from a multi-point RV inspection from a service center like PPL Motorhomes? They should check your LP system connection fittings, regulator and hoses. We’d make sure everything is in good order and there are no leaks, or hose defects.

Next we’d check the plumbing system. A thorough visual test can usually reveal a lot about the condition of your system. We’d also do a pressure test, so you don’t run into any issues when you get to your destination and hook up. Poor pressure will really make your trip one you may NOT want to remember.

Having your electrical system checked is also really important. We’d take a look at and test you 12v and 110v system to ensure that they are functioning properly. We can do a polarity test, a converter output test and battery condition test. All of which, if left unchecked could leave you stranded or even be a hazard. Electricity isn’t something to mess around with in your RV.

When was the last time you were up on your RV’s roof? For many of RVers the answer is probably, “never”.  Inspecting your roof is a no-brainer, but can be a daunting task and a dangerous one if you aren’t that nimble. We’d inspect the roof inspection for leaks, overall condition and recommend any sealants that may be needed to bring your RV’s roof back up to standard.

What’s the saying, “You’ve got a lot riding on your tires”? Well that’s certainly the truth! When you get any Spring maintenance, or a multi-point Spring inspection done, tires are one of the first thing he checks. I wish rubber was indestructible, but the reality is that the tires on your rig take a lot of abuse. In ture, they are going to eventually show wear, splits and cracks. PPL Motorhomes will check for things like that. You certainly don’t want to hit the road with four bald tires. It might be the last trip you’ll be taking in a while.

Finally, we’ll take a look at the over all picture. What does the exterior of your RV look like, whether it is brand new or a  consignment RV you bought from us, over time gaps can form in the body, or between the side walls. You certainly don’t want any on your rig. The repairs are easy enough, but the cost for repairing water damage that is likely to occur on the interior is certainly going to cost a lot more.

If you are planning a trip, plan on doing a little Spring maintenance first. A little maintenance now will go a long way, trust me. Let PPL Motorhomes worry about the details and you can worry about having fun on your vacation.

Proper RV Battery Maintenance

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Rich Moffitt/Flickr Creative Commons

Electricity is definitely one of the best inventions every created. How else would we be able to cook our meals in the oven, watch our shows on TV, charge our cell phones, or see in the dark? The ability for us RVers to take electricity on the road with us, in the form of a battery, is a wonder in itself. But don’t let your battery dies prematurely, or you could be stuck with a dead cell phone and having to cook your dinner over a fire. Proper maintenance of your RV’s battery is very important to getting the most out of it. Here are some tips on getting the most out of your battery.

  • Clean the battery of dirt and corrosion
  • Disconnect the battery cables, negative terminal first, and clean the cables and terminals with a water and baking soda solution
  • If the battery is not sealed, check the electrolyte level. Add distilled water if necessary
  • Check all the cables connected to the battery terminals. Make sure they are not frayed or broken.
  • Check the terminals to make sure the cables are a tight fit. Replace terminal connections if needed.
  • Clean the terminals with a wire brush. This will ensure a good, clean connection.
  • Use a thin layer of terminal post grease.
  • Carefully reconnect the battery cables.

The most common causes of battery failure are overcharging, undercharging and poor maintenance. Be sure you take care of that battery! I know I forget about it from time to time, I just expect the lights to come on and never really give it a second thought to where it’s coming from. Keeping my battery properly maintained means years of cell phone charging, cooking and catching up on my shows.

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