Why You Need to Join the Texas Recreational Vehicle Association

The Texas Recreational Vehicle Association in Austin, TX, was founded in 1974 by Texas dealers who saw a bright future for the industry.

One of the most important functions of TRVA is our government relations work. TRVA works successfully with the Texas Legislature and the many state agencies which regulate its members to promote and protect the interests of the RV industry. TRVA also works in cooperation with the Recreational Vehicle Dealers Association, RVDA, and the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association, RVIA, to monitor and influence issues of importance to the RV industry in the U.S. Congress, U.S. Senate and the various federal agencies which regulate the RV industry. That means TRVA can keep members informed of both proposed and new regulatory or statutory changes that will affect the RV industry.

The TRVA is an important part of the community of RV dealers in Texas.  They help the consumer by controlling licensing on dealerships and that helps the consumer to know they are dealing with a licensed dealer when making their purchases.  They are constantly endorsing and providing training for the dealers and have been a huge supporter of Terry Cooper’s school.   Although they are a dealer group formed to support the dealers, they are also supporting the consumer in many ways. For example, TRVA employs two full-time lobbyists to work on behalf of its members and has an attorney with more than 35 years of motor vehicle industry experience as a resource. A recent legislative effort pushed by TRVA on behalf of both RV dealers and owners alike, was a new 5 year license for towables.  So now when you purchase a towable you can now pay for a 5 year license so you do not have to worry about the annual renewal.  In addition, we have worked closely with TADA, local and state tax collectors and TXDMV to make licensing simpler for all in Texas. 

As a past President of TRVA, I understand the work that goes on behind the scenes.  We all work very hard to support the RV lifestyle.  From dealers to banks, insurance companies, parts suppliers, RV manufacturers and advertising companies to campgrounds, we want to help the RV enthusiast live the RV lifestyle.  It takes all of us working together to promote and support this great lifestyle and the members I have met during my 35+ years at PPL Motorhomes and the relationships we have built are priceless. 

On a very personal note, I have experienced the wonder of these relationships first hand when I lost my late husband.  The word traveled fast and so did the TRVA members.  When my kids and I turned around to leave the chapel after the service, we were amazed by the large number of TRVA members, friends, who were there for us.  My late husband, Mike, was never in the industry, but they knew him through my work and dedication. 

So why should you join the Texas Recreational Vehicle Association? Because TRVA is more than just an association, for me and many others, the members and leadership are more like family…and I don’t say that lightly. That speaks volumes! 

Summer = Snakes

I was sent this great article by Texas Parks And Wildlife and found it excellent information for those of us who LOVE the outdoors, but HATE the thought of snakes. Really, most of that fear is unfounded and based mostly on a lack of understanding. So, I thought I’d share a little education with you.

“Summer = snakes. But don’t panic! Of about 80 species of snakes in Texas, only 12 are venomous, and 8 of those are rattlesnakes, which avoid people. 

If you see a snake, it probably isn’t a rattlesnake – though it may pretend to be one, like the hog-nosed snake (video). This is mimicry, when animals imitate their bigger, badder cousins as a form of self-defense. Some snakes even vibrate their tails to make you believe they have rattles! But their tails are silent, whereas a rattlesnake tail makes a buzzing noise.

Think twice before you kill a snake. It may be one of 12 threatened species, like the indigo, and illegal to hunt or kill. Also, snakes eat rats and mice and play a very important part in keeping our rodent populations in check. 

Snakes avoid confrontation, so if you happen upon one, give it space to run away (video). Watch where you walk, and don’t reach under rocks or logs or into dark holes. For more tips on sharing space with snakes in the wild, read our magazine story, “Snake Safety.”

Find all of the information you’d ever need to know about Texas snakes here.

So, the next time you come up on a snake, just let him go about his business taking care of pests and rodents. Chances are he’s non-venomous, but of course it’s also wise to just use an abundance of caution.

Have a good snake story? RV Nana wants to hear about it!

Have An Impactful Day!

Have an impactful day!

Those are powerful words, but they got me to thinking.  You don’t have to be a scholar, a business man or a hero to make a positive impact on someone.  Heck, I’m RV Nana and maybe one of my helpful hints or “Nanaisms” will help someone else have a better day.  Of course, all of us can have a positive impact on our friends, family and even total strangers.  Just think, even a smile (something you can give away all day long for FREE) can make a difference in someone else’s life. 

You know, I think RVers have an impact on others every day.  How many times have we gone RVing and our neighbor helps us fix something, warns us about the snakes they just say, teaches us how to work someghin on our RV or simply brings over some s’mores to share.  

Well, this young lady the other night hit this home for me and I even printed a cute little sign to look at each morning to remind me to have an impactful day.  Someday I would love to be remembered as the positive influence that made an impact on other.  

OK, enough of this mushy stuff.  I would love to have an impactful day on all of you.  I met the nicest couple in our office looking at RVs.  Unfortunately, they were one of the many in the US who lost property during the recent storms.  It seems like we have all heard this story too often lately, but these people reminded me of an important reminder for all of you.  Make copies of all of your important documents and information and put these copies on a thumb drive.  I have even heard people tell me they keep their thumb drive with them in case of emergencies and some have even sent these to a next of kin, or executor for safe keeping. That’s not a bad idea.  In fact, I think I may practice what I preach on this one.  I looked back through the RV Nana blogs and found a blog post from 2011 about preparing for a hurricane.  I am sprucing this one up and plan to post it again. 

I am pretty good about keeping copies of everything with me in a ziploc bag and also on a thumb drive at home, but never thought to have it with me in the safe in the RV.  From drivers license and insurance documents to prescription information, important phone numbers and credit card/banking info to simple phone numbers of friends  and family.  These are all helpful and important to have with us.  You should also make sure you carry some cash and do not put it all in one place.  My problem would be remembering where I stash things.  You know, the phone number thing is more important than we realize.  I remember when I used to rattle off every phone number in our family and all of my friends.  Now they are all on speed dial on my cell phone.  What happens when and if you lose your cell phone, it gets soaked in rain or it is simply dead.  You could be in big trouble in the case of emergency if you are a little confused and cannot remember family or emergency numbers. 

I hope you prepare all of these things and never ever need them.  In the meantime, start your check list and check it twice.  Be prepared because you never know what you may need. 

RV BUYER BEWARE

RV Buyers are coming out of the woodwork and many of you are seriously looking for the RV of their dreams right now.  I do not want to scare you, but I will warn BUYER BEWARE!  If you are looking for a used RV, take time to come up with a list of your “wants and don’t wants” in that RV.  I encourage you to walk through many RVS and try to imagine yourself, eating, sleeping, bathing and watching TV in that RV.  Is it spacious enough, is it too big to tow, too small to move around?  Is your head in the skylight when you shower?  Are you too tall to sleep on the bed without your feet hanging off?  E are just a few of the questions. 

Once you have found the RV you want to buy, it is time to make sure your paperwork is in order.  Whether you are buying from a dealer or an individual, know what you are buying.  Is the year model correct, does the vin on the title match the vin on the RV?  Is their a lien on the RV and, if so, how are you going to get a clear title? And, one question that comes up more often than you can imagine is, where is the title?  You are at the sellers house, you fall in love with the RV, you negotiate a great deal, you’re ready to go RVing and….you hear the panic of “Oh, heck…where did I put that title?”    Is it in the file cabinet?  Is it still at the bank? Where is it?

DO NOT…let me repeat, DO NOT, negotiate this deal and pay any money until you know how the vehicle is titled, where the title is and if it is clear.

It is much better to agree on the price and wait a few days for the seller to produce a title than it is to rush and then have a vehicle you can not register in your name.  

If there are two parties listed as owners on the title, you need to make sure that both of those people are there and are negotiating the title.  Request a copy of each of their drivers licenses for your records to make sure you know who you are dealing with.  I have heard some horror stories about couples going through a divorce and one sells the RV right out from under the other one and signs their name.  I have also heard about kids who have mom or dads RV and are trying to sell it and pocket the money.  And, don’t forget the people who actually steal RVs and try to sell them. 

I think all of this can lead up to the 9 steps brochure and PPL helping them. 

I also think I want to take time to say that, just like all dealers, we cannot make everyone happy every time, but we do try and we do care.  We will make some mistakes along the way, but we will also try to learn from those mistakes. 

Should I Still Get My Flu Shot

Flickr Creative Commons/NHS Employers

 

“Should I still get my flu shot”; I thought to myself after being a real Nana to a few flu stricken employees and family during the 2018 Houston RV Show.

The answer is immediately, “Yes”!

Now, before I go any further, I am not a medical authority. Ask your GP, or nurse, and I’m pretty sure they will tell you the exact same thing I will.

The flu is in full swing and has been recorded as one of Texas’ worst flu seasons of all time! I know we Texans like to brag, but certainly not about that.

So why get a flu shot? “Isn’t too late”? “I made it this far, I think I’m in the clear”. And my favorite misconception, “But, when I get a flu shot, I still get the flu. I think they give it to me”.  I’ll address these points individually, and try to be a Nana for everyone too.

“Isn’t too late?”: No, it’s not too late. The flu is still going strong and there are multiple strains. Meaning that you may have conquered one strain only to get hit with a second. Or worse, contract both at the same time. There have been more deaths this year cause by the flu than ever. Of course, the very young and the elderly are the most susceptible to experience more severe symptoms. That being said, the flu has now been blamed for the death of a young Fort Worth  woman a few weeks ago.

“I made it this far, I think I’m in the clear”: No, you’re not. Just because you were lucky enough to avoid contracting the virus, doesn’t mean you are immune. If you still don’t believe me, re-read the paragraph above.

“But, when I get a flu shot, I still get the flu. I think they give it to me”: First of all, there are no live flu cultures that are in a flu shot. That is a pretty big misconception and likely the one to keep people from getting their flu shot. The vaccination isn’t supposed to necessarily protect you from the flu, but it makes the symptoms and recovery much easier. Which means that there is less of a chance for that flu to cause other ailments like walking pneumonia, for example.

So you see, it’s not about you not contracting the flu, it’s meant to keep it from making short work of your immune system which, quite literally, could mean passing away. The flu is still out there and is still pretty severe.  I don’t know about you folks, but I’m not good with that. I mean, I’m as stubborn as anyone when it comes to going to get a needle jabbed into my arm, but if that tiny little needle means a quicker recovery, just point me to the closest pharmacy!

Get your flu shots! Your RV Nana says so!

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.

Wasps In My RV

https://www.flickr.com/photos/49708076@N05/5971668555/in/photolist-a6Gn1F-6jxGFi-6KUbW8-ajAGJR-fucnCe-dsDuyL-rxP7ds-dutQSh-6SFECH-XdUhPN-cHPzCb-Y7i5sV-e2W7XX-Y7ibJx-JyyEne-FJtVF1-akYoHx-akWqkZ-akZp8L-dRrWLi-724UYT-e2W7Ja-fMUiHL-e19GBq-am2wwq-6jxGFF-aahUWd-am2zwY-akZr5Y-89jLrp-WaqAJZ-am2F4w-asjGVS-akWoXk-ed16iM-akYKpK-akYkWi-akWE2z-82s7Bg-am2Ezq-am2DW1-akWpRt-akWDQD-am2y8S-akZbhL-am2DCQ-akYKBg-akZcKh-49x3pK-akYLL8
Larry Lamb/Flickr Creative Commons

They are the scourge of the campground. Wasps are out everywhere right now and they can be pretty aggressive. Most of the time you never know you’ve disturbed one enough to attack. I just want to remind you to bring your wasp spray with you where ever you camp. I always have one at arms reach, just in case.  Be careful opening closed compartments like water heater and LP tank compartments. Have the wasp spray ready. It is amazing how fast they can make a home around your RV or your house. A helpful hint I have shared with many

Wasps love to build their nests out of direct sunlight, so be careful opening closed compartments like water heater and LP tank compartments. Have the wasp spray ready. Even if you think you’ve previously taken care of a nest before, it’s amazing how fast they can make a home around your RV or your house. A helpful hint I have shared with many

A hint I have heard from many though the years is spraying WD40 in the 5th wheel receiver to keep the wasps away. Apparently, they don’t like the smell any more than we do. Now, keep in mind, I am NOT recommending this tactic because of many reasons, primarily because I got in trouble once when I did. Whoops. However, a friend of ours in the Valley swears by it and always keeps a can of by the door of her RV as a defense tool. She told me the spray is an irritant and it can be used like pepper spray to ward off an attacker. Personally, I’d rather dispatch the pest quickly. With my luck, they would come right back and finish what they started the next time I was outside. So, there’s another reason I am not endorsing the WD40 defensive measure.

I will recommend that you install mud dauber screens on all of your appliance vents. These inexpensive screens can save you hundreds in repairs to your water heater or furnace. Mud dauber nests can be difficult to clean thoroughly. The screens are easy to install and they really work. I highly recommend them.

Want to know my real secret wasp weapon? A Badminton racquet. It’s like a giant fly swatter. You should see your RV Nana out there when I find wasps infiltrating my camp. It’s poetry in motion, you’d think I was practicing for the World Badminton Championship…at least that’s what I’d like to think I look like. Save

Are You Ready To Sell That RV?

Fall is on the way and there’s not a better time to unload that RV you’ve been trying to sell and put the proceeds towards a new one! Stop looking out the window at your RV, wondering when someone will drive by and notice the “For Sale” sign in the window. Let us sell it for you!

RV Consignment has been the specialty of PPL Motor Homes since 1972 with the experience of selling over 28,200 consigned RVs. We are the largest consignment dealer in the USA! Take a look at this video that goes into details about out consignment process:


We know that selling your RV is a pain in the neck, and that’s why you should let us do it for you! We have over 15,000 buyers actively receiving information via mail on our inventory of pre-owned RVs, plus over 30,000 buyers receive updates via email. That doesn’t include the over 750,000 visitors per month on our website. If your RV is in front of that many potential buyers, your chance of selling goes up tremendously.

  • Every week, hundreds of prospective buyers will receive detailed information on your vehicle by mail.
  • This information will include the price, a detailed description, floor plan, and condition rating or your vehicle.
  • Buyers have learned to trust PPL’s information and ratings. In fact, many will look only at vehicles listed with PPL.
  • Buyers rely on PPL to save them time and the frustration of “unqualified shopping” which increases the probability of selling your RV at a fair price!

 

 

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Hints For RV Short Storage In Summer

https://www.flickr.com/photos/ricoslounge/10178380285/in/photolist-gvqRRg-RLVTzB-8oJPRa-8bCoFp-fEqkgR-8bG71Q-8vHeWe-71iSg3-8qHuDb-epZCJW-8UYrv5-8vLfVN-dyKsV4-5Bdgju-9zyLv9-6dry7F-fEGXQh-cPGdkh-cXQz2j-9v7Bkd-8bCQfe-i3AGa-8bG7CN-6DXoXS-7uqTgk-ou3uGi-9qYxYn-4UKRuA-a3fSSU-5Bdgpw-qbiV2N-59AdAz-8RWv1L-fEqjpZ-fEqcNK-9VxnA-7FdVKS-fEGQvs-6EjPzf-fEqdnB-oBeYEw-fEqgXk-8t7Yy6-8vLz1u-8vLy5b-4FCuz9-bAKeW1-cY8dZG-7NT9yM-fEqbxt
ercwttmn/Flickr Creative Commons

 

Thinking about short storage for your RV during the hottest Summer months? It’s no secret that when you live in Texas you have to accept the weather for better, or for worse: “worse” being Summer and “better” being Fall. For this reason, I know many a Texan who decide to store their unit during the hottest Summer months in July and August, when our heat index is akin to walking on the surface of the Sun. However, at the first hint of a cool Fall breeze, those same folks start making their plans for beautiful Texas getaways.  It’s no secret that Fall in Texas is my favorite time of year. For me, there is no better time to RV in Texas.

Now, as we are making our way through July and into August, we’re seeing quite a bit of RVs going into storage for a couple of months. But here’s the deal, folks, you don’t want to just set it and forget it. Even for a short period of time, you are still going to want to do some storage preparation.  Below you will find a few suggestions that will keep your RV in great condition and ready to hit the road with the first cold front.

  • Clean it real well before you park it for a month.  I clean mine inside and out every time I get back from a trip.  Then its ready to go again.
  • Turn off the LP tanks when it is being stored.
  • Clean the tanks and run a few gallons of water in the toilet with a Commando drop in.  They are great.  Keep it clean and fresh.
  • Leave the refrigerator open slightly.
  • Make sure you do not leave canned soft drinks or beer in the unit.  I have had them explode from the heat.  Better safe than sticky!
  • Use your battery disconnect or install one to be able to shut off the batteries completely.
  • Make sure all windows and vents are closed.
  • If stored outside, it is a great idea to have a MaxxAir vent cover over the vent so you can keep the vent cracked just a little.  Heat builds up in these RVs more than we imagine.
  • I have customers who actually have the thermal sheets up on their windows to keep the sun out and stop any type of sun fading.
  • If you don’t have them now, add mud dauber screens to the vents. While you’re away the mud daubers will play.I learned a helpful hint that really seems to work.  Put a small dab of Vicks Vapor Rub on each of the exhaust vents and even up on the gooseneck part of your fifth wheel hitch.  It looks like wasps, mud daubers, and yellow jackets hate Vicks even more than they hate WD40.
  • Keep your unit fresh.  I use fabric softener sheets tucked in around the vehicle to keep a fresh smell.

The tips and hints have worked for me time and time again, Summer after miserably hot Summer and they can work for you too. In fact, I’m sure you have a few tips of your own you can share on how you go about short storing your RV during the blazing Texas Summers. I’d love to hear your suggestions. Just write them in the comments section below. Have fun RVing and I’ll see you on the road in mid-September!

RV “Life Hacks” I’ve Used

WD-40 photo from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WD-40#mediaviewer/File:WD40_english.JPGI thought today I’d pass along some of the “RV Life Hacks” I have tried myself over the years. Nothing is quite as satisfying as coming up with an inexpensive method of saving space, time, or money because it all adds up to making life with your RV that much more pleasant. Let me know how these work for you!

– A bag of ice helps clean your black water tank. This may sound a little odd, but it works very well. Before you leave the campground, purchase a bag of ice and place it in your toilet with about 2 gallons of water and a drop in toilet chemical. You will be surprised how much cleaner and fresher your black water tank will be.

– Clothespins, like duct tape, are a must-have item in your RV. Use them as chip clips, for laundry, and (my favorite thing) for securing the trash bags, there are so many uses for these in your RV.

– The uses for WD 40 are also endless! If you own a fifth wheel you’ll find that this simple product may be the way to keep wasps away from your hitch and save your hands, too! I’ve also heard that if you get stung by a wasp, a little spray of WD 40 takes the fire out of the sting…and here’s hoping one of yall will tell me before I find out for myself!

– A simple swimming pool noodle can help cushion some of the slide out corners on your RV and can also protect your windshield wipers while your RV is in storage.

– Vinyl shopping bags are so helpful when packing and unpacking your RV. Use your vinyl shopping bags (like the one you get from PPL) to load all of your linens, clothing, housewares, pantry items, etc. They are so easy to carry into the RV. Once the bags are empty, simply fold them flat and store them until you can fill them up with your dirty laundry and other items you are planning to take back into the house. No more boxes and containers eating us space!

– Ever worry about breaking your wine glasses in the cabinet while traveling?  I found a perfect use for my koozies.  I slide them over the wine glasses and they protect the glass in transit.  I just hate to drink wine out of a plastic cup!

– I hate the thought of spilling bottles of cleaners like window cleaner, counter top cleaner and, most importantly, any cleaner with bleach in it.  The wipes are terrific and so easy to use, but they will dry out when left in the RV too long.  Store your open containers of disinfectant wipes, window cleaner wipes, and all others in Ziploc bags in the RV.  It is amazing how much longer they last.

– Looking for a way to prepare a fast meal on the road.  Next time you are cooking taco meat, chili, browning sausage for tacos or even shredding chicken for a casserole, think about RVing.  Take time at home to make more fun time on the road.  I always store these items in freezer bags and take they are always ready to go for a last minute RV weekend.  Then all I have to do is bring the fixins and my meal on the road is ready in a snap!

– Are you afraid of food particles going down the sink in the RV?  After all, you don’t have that handy disposal there.  I place a coffee filter in the bottom of the sink while I prepare a meal.  It is amazing home much it will catch and it’s easy clean up.

These are just a few of the many hints I have heard and tried. The list goes on and on and I would love to hear from each of you about the many hints and tips you have discovered on your own to save time, money, and space. Enjoy your RV travels and make sure to visit me on RVNana.com.

Hope to see you on the road soon!

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