RV Spring Cleaning

Dan Keck

Spring is in the air and we can all see the excitement int the RV life community.  I’ve been seeing buyers are coming out of the woodwork and our PPL family has been super-excited to help make their “Happy Camper” plans come to fruition.  Whether you’re a seasoned RVer, or a “Newbie”, there are things you need to do now to have the best RV experiences ever.  From making reservations at your favorite parks to doing your spring cleaning, RV Nana and everyone at PPL are ready to help you.  Plus, with the new RV Parts Superstore catalogs that are now in stock and it’s loaded with everything you need to start your Spring cleaning your RV and restock on parts and accessories.

Spring cleaning includes everything from cleaning the awning to the cleaning out the interior cabinets in your RV and we have some great products to help you make your RV shine.  Two of my favorite products come from Thetford.  Their Awning Cleaner and Black Streak Remover make fast work of your RV spring cleaning.  OH! And don’t forget…now is the time to change all the batteries in your remotes, flashlights and smoke detectors!

HELPFUL HINT: this seems like old news to me, but it works.  If you own a Fifth Wheel, I’m sure you have occasionally had wasps and yellow jackets in your receiver hitch.  Those pesky critters like to make a home up there and just wait for you to reach in and get your electrical cord.  Here’s a simple hint that really works.  Spray WD40 in the receiver hitch every couple of weeks and it, miraculously, keeps many of these critters away!

One of the better things you can do while getting ready for your Spring RVing is making a list of the things that you should check. For example: checking the roof for any cracks in the caulk, cleaning the air conditioner filters, thumping the vents on top to make sure they are not brittle, checking tire pressure, checking batteries, replacing the fresh water filter and verifying you have all your supplies you need for the upcoming camping season. There are lots of things to check and if you find that you need a part, just call PPL 1-800-755-4775 and we’ll get you any replacement parts or items you will need.

Remember, if you don’t have the newest RV Parts Superstore catalog, We are happy to mail one to you along with the current issue of the Texas Campground Owners Association guide.  Visit our website today and start making memories in your RV!

I Love The RV Show USA And You Will Too

OMG (to use the acronym of the day), I cannot believe that I have been a big part of The RV Show USA radio show and Facebook LIVE broadcasts for over a year and have never mentioned it to our blog readers! Shame on me!  Let me tell you though, this has been a fun and rewarding adventure for PPL Motor Homes and RV Nana. 

So, a few years ago I met Alan Warren,  the soon to be creator and host of the RV Show USA and we just seemed to “click.”  I had been a guest on his Texas Outdoor Fishing show several times and we easily carried on great conversations about everything from RVs and fishing to life experiences.  Of course, everyone who knows me, knows I never meet a stranger and  Alan, and his lovely wife, Lisa, were no exceptions.  They shared their vision of starting this great radio show with guests and 2 hours a week of great information for the RV enthusiast with me and I thought, “what a wonderful resources for RVers, I hope they do it”!

Well their dream came true last January when they kicked off the show on AM 1070 in Houston and PPL is a proud supporter! PPL Motor Homes is actually the preferred RV Consignment dealership on the show, which we are very grateful for. Then, a few months later they started recording the show which was syndicated in over a dozen cities nationwide. They knew they were onto something special with the interest in this new and unique radio show about RVers and the RV lifestyle. 

Fast forward to right now and their awesome Facebook LIVE shows! Let me tell you, I look forward to watching their Facebook LIVE broadcast every Wednesday night from 7-9pm. Every show is two hours of fun, great adventures and experiences from RVers, service and repair experts, recipes, activities, exciting journeys, campground visits, giveaways and so much more.  In fact, I learn something new almost every time I watch or listen. And, I guarantee you will get a laugh, or two from all the fun teasing that goes on between all of us. 

The bottom line is  if you are an RV enthusiast, you have to tune into The RV Show USA and join in the conversation. It’s time well spent. Oh, and sign up on their email list too and get fed a ton of useful information and be automatically entered to win a whole slew of prizes and gifts. Alan, Lisa and the rest of The RV Show USA crew  are simply, “AWESOME”! Of course, I am on the show a couple times each month and you certainly don’t want to miss all of RV Nana’s antics!

See you online!

Happy Father’s Day From PPL Motorhomes

Happy Father’s Day from your RV consignment center, PPL Motorhomes!

Now, certainly I don’t want to take anything away from all of the Moms out there, our gratitude for you is undying. However, since Father’s Day is Sunday, I though I throw a little gratitude Dad’s way. When I was growing up, I have very distinct memories of my Dad. I remember him picking me up on numerous occasions when I fell and doctoring skinned knees and bruised egos. It was Dad who taught all of us how to ride a bike and bait a hook. It was Dad who taught us how swim in the deep end, paddle a canoe and shoot a bow and arrow and rifle. He taught me Life through Nature. My Dad is the same guy that would take you either to a ball game, or a dance recital, it didn’t matter to him, as long as he could see you succeed at the stuff you liked to do. When you didn’t, it didn’t matter, he was always quick with a “Good Job”, or “You’ll get ’em next time, sport”.

We’ve all had our ups and downs with Dad, but I couldn’t imagine a world growing up in which I existed and he didn’t. He is half of the influence of who I became today.

I found a great little video that I wanted to share. I think it captures the essence of  Father’s Day pretty well.

Remember how much Dad used to like to go camping? Well not much has changed, he may be a little older, but I’m sure his love for the outdoors hasn’t changed. If you are here, reading this now, was it Dad who got you into your first tent? Was it Dad who took you on your first RV trip? Probably. Return the favor, plan a RV trip with dear old Dad, I’m sure he’d love it. Be sure to bring him by PPL Motorhomes first and take a look at some great RVs…just like you did when you were a kid.

Join The Texas Parks & Wildlife Foundation

https://secure2.convio.net/pwft/site/Donation2?1880.donation=form1&df_id=1880&_ga=1.188897707.167376198.1471034648

There are many causes and foundations that I hold dear to my heart and the Texas Parks & Wildlife Foundation is one such organization. It’s no secret that I am absolutely in love with the great state of Texas and it takes a massive amount of mobilization to help provide support to Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. That is exactly what this non-profit does. By helping to provide  key resources aid the TPWD manage and conserve natural and cultural resources of Texas. Because of member’s donations to the this fantastic foundation, the TPWD is able to provide better hunting, fishing, and outdoor recreation opportunities for all residents and visitors and not to mention the generations to come. Below you’ll find an excerpt from the foundation’s website that further explains the importance of the Texas Parks & Wildlife Foundation.

Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation (TPWF), our nonprofit funding partner, supports enhancing park experiences for Texans all year long. From the spectacular acquisition of Powderhorn Ranch on the coast to providing equipment for introducing families to camping, TPWF treasures the state parks of Texas.

TPWF leverages public funds with private philanthropy to provide quality parks for all. We invite you to consider supporting TPWF’s efforts by becoming a member today.

As a member, you’ll receive exclusive benefits like insider information, invitations to special events and other members-only perks. And, you’ll be supporting Texas State Parks, now and in the future.

https://secure2.convio.net/pwft/site/Donation2?1880.donation=form1&df_id=1880&_ga=1.188897707.167376198.1471034648

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation was founded in 1991 and has raised over $100 million since its inception. This non-profit is overseen by 21 trustees, ten full-time and three part-time staff members all working very hard to support the Texas Parks and Wildlife department. The bottom line is that with your membership funds and donations all Texans can continue to enjoy, explore, and “be inspired by the incredible wild things and wild places in Texas”. Show your love for this great state and  become a member, or make a donation. The importance of your participation can’t be stressed enough. Join me in keeping Texas beautiful.

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Keep the Rodents Out Of Your RV

Let’s face it, no one wants rodents invading their living spaces, that includes your RVs, Houston. “Mice and Rats can get into my RV”? Yes. Mice and Rats can get into just about anywhere they want to, especially if there is food. This time of year is particularly bad. As the temperatures begin to cool, animals are going to be looking for warm shelter with a food supply. Wouldn’t you, after all?

Here’s the problem. Rodents can cause severe damage to just about everything. They’ll chew through wires, gnaw on wood, and leave their feces and urine everywhere (which can cause respiratory issues, by the way).

So , how do you keep unwanted RV guest out of your RV? Here are a few hints. Remember though, nothing is going to help more than looking over your entire RV for possible points of entry. If they can put their head in it, the can probably squeeze their whole body in.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w97ilEfkbr8&feature=relmfu

If you do have a problem, you may need to get a local critter catcher to give them an eviction notice if you can’t clear it up with food source  deprivation and traps. If you have any suggestions for PPL Motorhomes that can keep our customer’s consignment RVs rodent free, leave us a comment.

Make Your Own RV Fairy Garden

Diana Leblanc
Diana Leblanc

A couple of years ago I was at Enchanted Gardens in Richmond and I fell in love with the fairy gardens they had on display.  Of course, they had a complete room full of fairy garden accessories to get my creative juices flowing and it did.  It was Spring and I was in the yard a lot, so working on my “adult doll hose” seemed to be a natural.  My first large item I purchased was a travel trailer birdhouse and, from that one purchase, my Fairy RV Park was developed.  My kids and grandkids thought I was a little crazy, but they watched me having fun with this project.   I would find myself trimming plants or rearranging the fairy garden late at night on the patio and realized it had a way of relaxing me.

We still visit Enchanted Gardens for a fun afternoon of inspiration and I believe our last visit inspired my 18 year old granddaughter to create her own garden designs.  On Sunday she brought me a couple of new items for my gardens and I could tell she had the “bug.”  She helped me build another small table top garden and it was a great opportunity for me to teach her a few of my helpful hints.  Here are a few tips to help you create your own miniature garden world.
Find a container big enough for your ideas but not so big you cannot move it around.
Design your garden around one featured structure…a birdhouse, cottage house or whatever excites you.
Buy some small plants – Keep in mind the location (sun or shade) and the water requirements.  Also make sure you remember that plants grow and you want to create a fairy garden not a fairy lost in the forest.
Gather some supplies (many you may find around the house).  Small rocks, broken flower pot, Styrofoam packing peanuts, sand, glass marbles to create a water feature look…let your imagination run wild.
Fill the bottom of your container with Styrofoam (this helps drainage and keeps the weight of the container manageable)
Before you plant, lay out your design.  It’s fun to use broken flower pots to create an elevated area giving a tiered effect.
Just start planting.  Remember change is part of our lives and part of the fairy garden world.  If you don’t like where the house is, move it.

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If you are trying to create the look of a river or stream, I would suggest you take foil, crumple it and lay it out on top of your soil to create the shape of your water feature.  Then put the blue marbles on top of the foil and it gives a reflective water look.  A friend of mine has also used blue aquarium stones to create a water feature.
Once you have your design in place, water each plant lightly.  Do not over-water.  I use a spray bottle to spritz my plants in between waterings.
One more helpful hint – most of the fairy garden accessories are metal or ceramic.  To keep them looking good and their color bright, I spray each one with clear Krylon spray before I add them to the garden.

If I can do this, anyone can.  Creating my granddaughter’s Moose Lodge resort with her was so much fun.  She took pictures and has shared it with all of her friends.  This is one of those perfect memory making opportunities.

Be creative and have fun!

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The Very First RV

The very first RV. Many of you may already know how the Recreational Vehicle came into existence, for those that don’t:

It appears the first motor touring vehicles were handmade out of necessity from existing vehicles, like the Model T and such. As the early pioneers traveled west, they tweaked their cars to fit their specific needs. Back then these vehicles were pretty unreliable and the country’s roads were barely developed, so it made travel very treacherous. So, you ‘could’ say it was Henry Ford and his consumers… (source: http://answers.yahoo.com)

For those of you who have an hour and want a great history lesson on the history of the RV, watch the video below. It give a very detailed history of America, Travel and the origination of the first RVs

The RV has a lush history in the United States and their popularity is only increasing. Even during some economic time, the RV industry has seemed to weather the down times and come out with just a few bumps and bruises. We see new RVers daily here at PPL Motorhomes and it makes me so happy to see new generations and younger families and couples stepping into the RV lifestyle. I think people are starting to catch on to the fact that RVing and getting outdoor and communing with nature and fellow RVers is one of the most enjoyable experiences ever. The best part is that you can go anywhere you want, anytime you want without leaving the comforts of your own home.

Veteran’s Day 2016: It Should Be Every Day

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U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Headquarters-Shelli Kallie/Flickr Creative Commons

Veteran’s Day should be celebrated everyday. This is a topic that is near and dear to my heart. Coming from a military family and having a son in the Air Force and a grandson in Jr ROTC, I understand the sacrifices military men, women and their families make during long deployments. Those sacrifices are even more significant during times of conflict. Because of the tremendous responsibilities and hardships that are voluntarily endured by our men and women in uniform, I feel it is my daily duty to educate folks and write a few heartfelt words of “Thanks”.

The Education

Veteran’s Day as we know it today didn’t actually exist until June 1st, 1954. 10 years prior to this date, a WWII veteran Raymond Weeks decided that all veterans of the U.S. armed services needed a day to honor them. He organized a celebration in Birmingham, Alabama and called it “Veterans Day”, it was held Nov. 11 1945 in Birmingham and designed to be a day of thanks that more inclusive to all members of the armed services. November 11th is a significant date because Nov. 11th, 1918 is when the Treaty of Versailles was signed which officially ended World War I. Known as Armistice Day, this is when the Allied nations and Germany actually reached a temporary cease to fighting. It was the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.

The “Daily Thank You”

War is Hell and it has unfortunately been a part of humanity since our earliest beginnings. Contrary to many civilian held beliefs, the main reason of a of having a standing army is actually a deterrent to attack and a statement of our country’s dedication to self-preservation.  Staying out of conflict is the desire of these men and women who serve. None of them wants to engage with an enemy either foreign, or domestic. Make no mistake though, when duty calls, they were willing to do their jobs without question and without reserve. They stood at the ready, daily. They were prepared to be deployed to anywhere in the world at a moment’s notice, daily. They faced the prospect of leaving their family, daily. And their families faced the prospect of never seeing their soldier, daily. That’s why I say “Thank You” to every veteran I can…daily.

 

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Memorize The Clearance Height Of Your RV

Why is it so important to know the EXACT clearance height of your RV? Certainly there isn’t an overpass that you can’t fit under, right? Well, not if you are visiting Durham, North Carolina. Labeled “The Toughest Bridge Ever”, it stands 11 feet 8 inches off the ground. That’s 1 foot 8 inches taller than a basketball goal.  Anyway, this is a 100 year old railroad trestle that has taken many hits from trucks and RVers who not only don’t pay attention to the warning sign, but obviously don’t know the height of their RVs. Check out the NBC News video below for a few of the bridge’s “Greatest Hits”…pun intended.

The crazy thing is that it hasn’t been knocked down yet. That’s one tough bridge.

So, how do you avoid having your RV added to the victims of low bridges and overpasses? Simple, just tape a note card to your dash with the height of your RV written on it. Be sure to remember to measure to the highest point, don’t forget that A/C unit! Chances are, you might not encounter a bridge this low, but you never know, so it’s better to be prepared. The consequences of not knowing the height of your RV could cost you an A/C unit, or even shear off the top of your rig. Boy, wouldn’t that really put a damper on your RV vacation?

One more thing, it’s not just bridges and overpasses that you need to worry about….just ask this guy. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GiWv_RBu-lw

Let’s just say that if you are ever thinking about putting your RV on consignment, you are going to need to have your roof still intact. However, if you happen to not heed my advice, PPL Motorhomes has a great selection of replacement rooftop A/C units.

 

Fire Prevention Inside and Out Of Your Consignment RV

Fire prevention in you RV is something that I’ve written about before and take very seriously. I know all of you know that a fire in your RV is never a good thing, but do really know how combustible your RV can be? Aside from a myriad of fuels and accelerates housed within your RV, the walls of your rig are made from wood and acts as tinder. If a fire does break out your RV can be consumed in a matter of minutes.

Let me reiterate, a fire inside your RV is no laughing matter. If there is a fire on board, your best course of action is to get out and call the Fire Department. It sounds like a no-brainer, but you be surprised at how many people believe they can control a fire. There are hundreds of fires each year due to carelessness and accident. One of the easiest ways for your RV to catch fire is during stove operation especially when using grease to cook. A grease fire can turn into a 5 foot exploding column of flame if not extinguished properly. I know you’ve heard it a thousand times before, but if you have a grease fire on your hands NEVER EVER EVER throw water on it because this is what will happen.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GKL6QMVaT48

All I’m asking is for you to be careful when you are using fire for anything. Grilling, campfires, cooking inside etc. The damage you can cause by carelessness won’t necessarily be confined to just your RV or your campsite. Fire can spread uncontrollable in a matter of moments and consume your RV or the woodlands/park around it.

Always have a couple of fire extinguishers on board your rig and know where they are at. Just another friendly anti-fire reminder form your PPL Motorhomes and RV Nana.