Texas Aircraft Museums

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Stuart Seeger/Flickr Creative Commons

Y’all may not realize it, but the Lone Star State has been a major figure in the history of aviation. Sure, North Carolina has Kittyhawk, the sight of the first powered flight, and sure Ohio has the home of the Wright Brothers, but Texas was the home of the fledgling Army Air Corps with landing fields initially at Fort Sam Houston and in El Paso when the Army was chasing Pancho Villa prior to our entry into WWI. During the 40s, Texas blossomed into the main area for flight training all those fighter and bomber pilots to fight the Germans and the Japanese. A combination of good weather, flat terrain, and available land turned Texas into America’s classroom for pilots.

After the war, a group of cropdusters down in the Rio Grande Valley became some of the first Americans to see the value in all the derelict WWII bombers and fighters sitting abandoned at airfields all over the country. They began to restore and re-launch those warbirds into the skies as The Confederate Air Force Following their example, over the next 40 years groups sprung up all over the state to restore and maintain these fighting machines so that now, there re aircraft museums scattered all over the state. It doesn’t matter which interstate you travel on, a museum is nearby, so let’s take a quick trip around Texas and hit some of the highlights.

If you’re traveling in the Houston/Galveston area Lone Star Flight Museum is a must-see stop. Devastated by Hurricane Ike, Lone Star is in the process of moving from Scholes Field on Galveston Island to new facilities at Ellington Field just off I-45 in between Houston and Galveston. They are proud owners of “Thunderbird” a restored and flying Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress, as well as airworthy B-25 Mitchell, F-4U Corsair, F6F Hellcat, P-47 Thunderbolt, and one of the last flying SBD Dauntless dive bombers left in existence.

Other exceptional museums include: Cavanaugh Flight Museum in Addison, TX and The Commemorative Air Force headquarters in Midland, TX. For WWII aircraft these three museums can’t be beat. And remember before you head out, head to our website PPL Motorhomes for all your parts and accessories!

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Nana’s Recipes: Tex Mex Shrimp Kabobs

Shrimp and Veggie Kabobs

Living on the Texas Gulf Coast, or the Lone Star Riviera to make it sound more exotic, means we have some fairly mild winters at times, as well as handy access to fresh seafood. So, I thought today we’d combine some good ol’ Tex Mex with some Gulf Coast shrimp and throw them on the barbie!

So you’ll need to get a couple dozen shrimp, and a BBQ pit. First you’ll need to peel and de-vein them, and make sure you leave the tails intact. Then you’ll need to mix the following ingredients together in a decent sized bowl:

  • Chop a red bell pepper until you have about a cup of finely chopped bell pepper bits
  • Do the same with a clove or two of garlic (one if you don’t like garlic flavor too much)
  • Throw in a couple teaspoons of lime juice, a teaspoon of cooking oil, a teaspoon of ground red chiles (whichever variety you prefer)
  • Then add a quarter cup of tequila, a quarter cup of red wine vinegar, and a half teaspoon of salt

Blend all those ingredients together real well and then stir in the shrimp. Let the shrimp marinate in the fridge for 30 minutes or so, then bring them out and put them on skewers. Let them cook on a medium heat over the coals for about 5 minutes, and keep brushing the marinade and turning them until the 5 min are up or they start turning pink. Take what’s left of the marinade and put it on the stove and bring it to a boil, then let simmer for 5 minutes or so. Once the sauce has simmered, serve the shrimp with whatever grilled veggies you prefer, and add some Mex style rice, chips and salsa, and some nice warm tortillas. If this doesn’t warm your winter a little bit, maybe add some jalapeño!

Don’t forget to swing by PPLMotorhomes.com and say howdy! We’ve got your parts here waiting for you.

 

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The FireDisc Shallow Cooker Where Have You Been

https://www.firedisccookers.com/firedisc-shallow-36-inch-cooker/

FireDisc® Shallow™ 36-inch

FireDisc36Red-Ideal-1

Where have you been all of my life FireDisc® Cooker? This is easily one of the most unique cookers I’ve ever used. It’s the type of RV camping product that makes you smack your head and say, “Why didn’t I think of that”? Seriously, I absolutely love how simple and sturdy it is, but the convenience of it is probably what I love the most.

Now, let’s get to the nitty gritty of what FireDisc® has to offer. First, the 36” Deep FireDisc® Cooker is just 36″ inches high with the built in Heat Ring™ . It is powder coated at over 450 degrees for protection. The cooking surface is 22″ and concaved so you can boil, fry, sear or simmer . It’s actually designed for either large, or small propane tanks, so no worries there. Best of all, because we all know the importance of saving space in our RV, the FireDisc® Cooker is completely collapsible and portable. This thing is built to last and comes with no assembly required.

It comes with a flexible stand that adapts easily to uneven outdoor surfaces. This allows you to select their outdoor kitchen location for the view, not the flat ground. That’s a big plus in my book. The heavy-duty, high content, polished carbon steel is tempered for extreme ductility, hardness, yield strength and impact resistance…which is great, because I’m always dropping something.

FireDisc® cooking surfaces all offer the same seasoned-effect, much like cast-iron skillets, yielding restaurant quality food that just gets better and better with each and every meal. Cleaning takes a mere minute. FireDisc® cooking surfaces can be sprayed off with a hose, dried, and wiped with oil. FireDisc® products come with a 5 year limited warranty.

Fire Disc FamOn a side note, I got the opportunity to meat the FireDisc® family, and they are, in a word, AWESOME. From the chef who created the concept for his own recipes, to the two owners. The chef has a newborn son and the other two young kids were just so neat, I wanted to take the home with me! You can tell this is a family fun business. They are all eager, young, energetic and passionate about their product. I absolutely love seeing that. It means a lot to see a business work this hard and deliver a product this good.

Speaking of a great FireDisc® Recipe, here’s a great one they just sent us. It’s a supercharged BLT with Rich & Rare Whiskey infused bacon, melted pepper jack cheese, fresh lettuce, tomato, topped with a spicy HABE mayo.
(serves 8)Screen Shot 2017-03-17 at 5.05.31 PM

Ingredients:
2 lb thick cut bacon
3 ½ tbsp. Rich & Rare Whiskey
4 tsp brown sugar
5 tbsp. butter
1 onion, sliced
8 slices pepper jack cheese
1 head butter lettuce
2 beef steak tomatoes, sliced
1 c Mayo mixed with 1 c HABE Sauce
16 slices of Texas toast bread

Directions:
Melt butter in your FireDisc over medium heat and cook the bacon until browned on both sides. Once the bacon is cooked to your desired crispiness, move bacon to the outer ring add the whiskey and brown sugar, cooking on high until the liquid has reduced, about 2 – 3 minutes. Dredge the bacon in the liquid, then remove bacon to a cookie sheet or foil lined sheet tray. Sauté the onion in the liquid on medium high heat until caramelized, about 8 minutes.

Toast bread on the outer ring of the FireDisc, spread one side with HABE Mayo, top with pepper jack cheese, lettuce, tomato, onions, and bacon. Warm sandwiches over medium low heat in the FireDisc to melt the cheese and enjoy!

I don’t know about the rest of you, but now I got a hankerin’ for bacon! Look, folks, I use the FireDisc at my home so I don’t have to worry about bacon grease getting all over my kitchen. And, for as much as I do love the smell of bacon-ey goodness hanging in the air in my house, I don’t want to have to smell it all day. Problem solved. FireDisc, is there nothing you can’t do?

 

-RV Nana

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The Importance Of Cleaning And Treating Your RV’s Roof

When was the last time you climbed up on the roof of your RV with the expressed purpose of cleaning it? If you answered “never”, well hold out your hand because RV Nana needs to give it a good smack. Now, I know what you are thinking; “Cleaning the roof is so difficult. It’s back breaking work”. Well, it doesn’t have to be. PPL Motorhomes has quite a few products for cleaning and treating you RV’s rubber roof. As an RV owner, you have to take care of every part of your rig, and that includes your roof.  We recommend that you clean, condition and protect your rubber roof at least twice a year. Cleaning your roof every 6 months will help prevent mold, mildew and fungus growth, as well as, giving your roof a continuous new look and adding years to your roof’s life. Do not use a silicone product on your roof as it will actually attract mildew and fungus growth. A good cleaner will remove black streaks and surface oxidation which will extend the life of your rubber roof. Further, as an added bonus, a good cleaner will also condition, moisturize and preserve your rubber roof.

This is a nice little video that will both show you how to clean the rubber roof of your RV, as well as show you the dramatic difference between a clean roof and the one that is probably on your RV now.

So, as you can see removing the buildup of dirt, roof chalk and airborne pollutants can now be done “standing up” with a sponge mop and a bucket of water. A soft bristle brush can be used in tight areas or when necessary to remove stubborn grime.  A product like Champion’s Choice Protect All RUBBER ROOF CLEANER eliminates rinsing and runoff keeping the RV clean and dry. Also, keep in mind, if you have any down time, roof cleaning can be performed at campgrounds, storage lots or your driveway.

If you have any questions about cleaning and treating the rubber roof on your RV, don’t hesitate to give us a call. PPL Motorhomes can certainly recommend some great products and techniques.

Fifth-Wheel Pin Weight Is Essential To Stability And Control

PPL Motorhomes knows that towing a trailer of any kind can be a stressful task at times for both newbies and seasoned RVers. One of the most important factors in towing a fifth-wheel is understanding how hitch weights can effect the stability of both your truck and your trailer. Larger hitch weights make the truck itself heavier, but less agile in abrupt maneuvers. It is recommend that fifth-wheel pin weight should be in the range of 15% to 25% of the trailers weight. With the center of gravity more forward, the trailer itself is more stable with a higher hitch weight. With lighter hitch weights, the center of gravity is located closer to the trailer axles and this makes the trailer less stable. However, with a lower weight the truck is more agile. This isn’t necessarily a good thing. You see, the combination of a more agile, lighter truck, and a less stable trailer can actually cause the trailer to skid and swing widely and possibly jackknife.

In the simulation in the video below, they show a double lane change at 65 miles per hour. This essentially simulates an accident-avoidance technique where the driver temporarily enters the adjacent lane and then returns to his original lane. This simulation was calibrated at just s 3% pin weight.

This is something that need to be thought about when you are purchasing your first consignment RV. You have to get the ratios right, or you could end up in a nasty accident. Give PPL Motorhomes a call and we can help you figure out the math, it’s not really as difficult as it sounds. We just want you to be as safe as possible so your RV adventures are filled with wonderful memories and not near accidents.

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.

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.

RV Texas, Ya’ll

1024px-Flag_of_Texas

 

RV Nana, a native Texan, loves this great state.  From the mysterious lights of Marfa to the sandy beaches of South Padre, from majestic mountains in west Texas, to the awe-inspiring caverns in central Texas and, of course, who can forget the Alamo; there is so much to see and do.

Texas is a land of explorers, entrepreneurs, poets and opportunists. Regardless of who you are, it’s impossible to deny the formidable beauty of this great state and when you call Texas “home”, well, that gives you a certain amount of bragging rights. The greatest Texans knew this.

Texas will again lift it’s head and stand among the nations. It ought to do so, for no country upon the globe can compare with it in natural advantages. Sam Houston

You may all go to Hell, and I will go to Texas. Davy Crockett

Some folks look at me and see a certain swagger, which in Texas is called ‘walking.’ George W. Bush

When it comes to RVing, Texas is a RVer’s paradise! Mountains, plains, oceanic drives, slow country pace and a healthy dose of city livin’, Texas has it all. I recently talked to some new RV buyers at the Houston RV show and encouraged them to do Texas trips.  The topical geography is constantly changing and that means, just like the weather, if you don’t like the view, don’t worry, it’ll change.  I always like to take 3 hour RV weekends.  I can leave on a Friday afternoon and be back Sunday afternoon and still not feel like I’m driving my life away.
We have the history, we have the scenery and we have the friendlies. That all adds up to more miles of smiles. RV Texas!!!

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Casino Camping

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www.david baxendale.com/Flickr Creative Commons

 

Through the years I have visited Vegas and some casinos in Louisiana, but I certainly would not be considered a gambler and I am not a heavy better.   I think I always considered how hard it was to make money and I had trouble risking the loss.  I have had a few times when I won a few dollars at a Craps table (total luck because I still do not understand the game at all), or I put money in a slot machine and all the lights went crazy.  Of course, in my case, there were far more losses than wins, but they were all fun.  Am I planning my next trip based on the proximity to a casino?  No, but I know so many people who love the thrill of the casinos.  Now I am not telling anyone to go gamble away their retirement funds, but I am saying to have fun doing whatever you enjoy.

Did you know there are a lot of casinos with beautiful RV parks and resorts within walking distance of a casino?  I have to say that my days of visiting casinos would have been far more fun if my RV had been parked a few hundred feet from the first slot machine.  I think it would be fun to stay on property and come and go whenever I wanted.  Just think, campfire breakfast and casino buffet for dinner. That doesn’t sound half bad, huh?

Are you a fan of Casino RVing? What are your favorite Casinos to RV at?  What is the best thing about Casino RVing? If you find the casino life fun and exciting, check out a different type RV resort for your next adventure and let me know what you thought. Have fun and good luck!

Burn Bans, Roaring Fires and the RV Life

 

 Nina Hale/Flickr Creative Commons


Nina Hale/Flickr Creative Commons

How many times have you heard someone say, “the weather this year sure has been strange?”  Whether it’s global warming, or too much concrete, or any one of the causes we have discussed, I think we all will agree that we have seen more natural disasters in the past few years than we have ever seen in the past.  I don’t know about all of your out there, but I often feel that I am paying more attention to these things now than I did when I was younger. Maybe it’s because the older you get, you’ve seen enough things happen that you actually start paying need attention.

Regardless, I’m sure the weather has effected your RV life a little in the past few years.  The first thing I think of is the burn bans that have been put in place in many of the state and national parks.  In light of the recent fires in Tennessee and California along with the one in Bastrop, Texas that hit close to home for all of us in Texas, the parks have been forced to protect these natural wonders.  Yes, I understand the need, but I’m from the old school where a campfire is just part of the RV life.  I mean, who doesn’t want to roast weenies or marshmallows on a cool night or just snuggle up in a big blanket in a lawn chair next to a fire?

I found a solution and it’s one that even fits in my little 24′ Winnebago view.  I carry a portable fire pit with me.  This is a gas powered fire pit with an adjustable flame so I can keep it well under control. I don’t even have to carry a big LP tank because I can either hook it right in to the LP system on the RV or I can use those wonderful little green disposable tanks.  And, best of all, I can wrap it all up and put it back in its own carrying case in a small compartment.  No mess, no fuss, but I still have that great RV ambiance.  Check it out for yourself, please make sure and check with the park manager, or host, but every time I have asked, they all give me a thumbs up.

Just one more way to have S’MORE fun!!

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“Flushable”: One Of The Most Important Words In RVing

I have heard more helpful hints and ideas and I’m always amazed at the creativity of RVers. At the same time I realized that some of the creativity is out of necessity or the knowledge and hint is because of a horrible experience. One such story came form a customer who was in my shop recently having to replace her holding tank because it was too clogged up. That’s right, remove and replace the holding tank. This is not a cheap fix, folks. http://www.pplmotorhomes.com/parts/rv-toilets-tanks/rv-toilet-tissue.htm

Well, we all know that you need to use RV toilet paper and not the extra soft stuff. Wait. No one said anything about not using the Kleenex, or Cottonelle wipes or make-up removers and flushing them. After all, they do say, “flushable”, right? Wrong. That one little word, “flushable”, that my customer thought put them in the clear, in fact, did not. It likely contributed significantly to the mess of clogging they had. It cost them over $1,000 to replace their holding tank. What might be OK for the city sewer system is not necessarily OK for your RV’s septic system.

This was their first RV and, like the rest of us, wanted to have all of the conveniences of home. Unfortunately, that doesn’t include “flushable” products. They learned a tough lesson the expensive way. Don’t make the same mistake. You are much better erring on the side of safety and only using RV categorized toilet tissue. Trust us on this…it’s a messy and expensive lesson to learn.