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.

Swivel Skid Wheels Help Protect Your Rear End

 

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Have you ever heard that ear splitting, screeching and grinding noise when you’re backing up, or maybe you’ve heard it every single time you’ve pulled into a fairly steep driveway, or even bottoming out going over road humps. That screech sounds expensive doesn’t it? Your poor undercarriage is getting beat up, the road or driveway is getting beat up too…there has to be a solution… right?

Well, you never need to worry about grinding grooves in the pavement or dinging up your drag bars, hitch, or rear end of your RV again. Simply install some of our Skid Wheels to the rear to protect your undercarriage from damage. We offer different sizes and diameter wheels to cover the full range of ground clearance and weight limits. These wheels are sturdy and can be easily bolted or welded in place, and they’ll begin protecting your rear stabilizing jacks, tow hitch, drag bars, and any other items that can strike the pavement on bumpy roads or steep inclines. These also work great on 5th wheels. Maintenance is simple as well, each wheel is supplied with grease fittings to help keep the rubber spinning. All mounting hardware is also included.

Remember these wheels are an aid in preventing damage, but they will not solve angle problems. Treating the RV gently is still the key because any metal will bend if it’s hit hard enough.  With these wheels installed, you should still drive with the same caution you used prior to installation and that metal in the back will last longer and require less maintenance. So drive smart, drive safe, take precautions and enjoy your RV for years to come without having to add unnecessary,  time consuming, costly repairs.

That’s all for today y’all, hope you’re enjoying the fall weather and hitting the road RV style! Please visit us at www.pplmotorhomes.com  for all your parts and accessories!

 

 

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Learn CPR For Babies And Children

Many of us here at PPL Motorhomes not only have kids, but many of us have grandchildren as well. For us, hitting the park swimming facilities is always fun, and you know we love to eat. However, as much fun as we have, I always have at the back of my mind the inherent dangers that always face our kids. That’s why knowing CPR for babies and children is imperative. Nothing is more terrifying that encountering either a child who has stopped breathing, or is choking. I found some great videos that can explain how to help a child who has stopped breathing, or is choking better than I could. I suggest watching these video numerous times.

The following videos are excellent lessons on how to stop an infant or child from choking. Again, I recommend that you watch each video periodically so you can stay fresh on this knowledge.

Please, if you have any more resources we should all look at, don’t hesitate to post the link in the comments section below. The more we know, the better prepared we all will be if, God forbid, we ever need to use what we’ve learned. I hope none of us ever do.

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An Inspiring Way To Stay In Shape While RVing

It’s not everyday that I find a really good video that benefits RVers and non-Rvers alike. This is one of those video. It is an inspiring and amazing story of a Gulf War Veteran who defied all odds by overcoming the effects of debilitating injuries and declining health. I wanted to share this video with you for three reasons:

  1. It is extraordinarily inspiring. I mean, if you don’t have a lump in your throat after watching it, then you probably weren’t paying attention. Anything is possible if you believe in it and work hard enough for it.
  2. This man is a Veteran who was injured in service of his Country. Everyone who reads my blogs knows that I am fiercely patriotic and supportive of those who put themselves in harm’s way for others.
  3. This is a wonderful way to stay fit while RVing. Now don’t roll your eyes, I see you in the corner! You don’t have to claim to be a practitioner of Yoga to benefit from it. As we get older, the more we are going to have to exercise so we can RV longer!

So there you go. You can apply it to your life how you see fit. It just re-affirmed what I already knew:

  1. If you don’t think you can do something, you probably can but aren’t trying hard enough.
  2. The American soldier has a will power that is stronger than many Americans and worthy of everyone’s total respect.
  3. I have no excuse not to stay healthy and in shape.

What are your thoughts? Can you apply this type of dedication to your RV lifestyle?

Keep Unwanted Critters Out of Your RV

It’s no secret that, if I truly had the choice, I’d spend everyday RVing. But, seeing as how not all of us have the time, or luxury to be full-time RVers, we have to think about and prepare for the days when we aren’t actually using our RVs.  What I’ve come to realize over the years and after hearing a few horror stories along the way, even though we may not be using our RVs, there is the very real possibility that little critters and insects are. That’s right, while your RV was packed away for the Winter, or otherwise not in use, pests were likely using it as shelter. Just thinking about now makes my skin crawl a little.

Now, while you may not be able to keep every tiny little creature out of your RV, there are a few preventative measures you can take to deter many of them from taking up residence in your “home away from home”.  Even though you may think these suggestions are common sense, I hope one of my readers who stumbles across this article learns a new RV life hack for keeping their rig critter free.

Tip #1: A little steel wool keeps the mice out.  Placing a little steel wool around any pipe openings under sinks will keep mice from coming into your RV.  Sounds silly, but since they can’t chew through steel, it makes a very effective barrier to entry!

Tip #2: Fabric Softener Sheets are not just for laundry!  These are an inexpensive way to keep bugs and mice out of your RV and they help keep it smelling fresh too!  Since trying this little hint I have not seen any spiders, ants, roaches, or other insects in the trailer and our 5th wheel smells clothesline fresh!  They last about 2-3 months and when you’re ready to change them, use the old ones to dust the TV screen and fan blades while you’re getting the RV ready in the spring.

Tip #3Dog Flea Collars are not just for Fido anymore!  The flea collar will keep spiders and mud daubers out of the access compartments behind your refrigerator or water heater, as well as your storage compartments. Spiders are great for the ecology, but really bad for my heart. I love the outdoors, but tend to get a little jumpy when I have to stick my hand into a compartment that doubles as an arachnid hotel.

BONUS TIP: Take your noodle and save your noggin!  Sometimes headaches just come with the territory, both figurative and literal. For example, a simple swimming pool noodle can help cushion some of the slide out corners on your RV whereby protecting the heads of those of shorter stature (I happen to be one of those people). But, being the resourceful and thrift person I am, I also found that they can also protect the windshield wipers while my RV isn’t in use. Nothing is worse than realizing in the middle of a deluge that that your wiper blades have virtually disintegrated due to exposure. I know checking your wiper blades should be on your pre-trip checklist, but things get missed sometimes. With a big pink pool noodle covering them, there is no way you’ll forget to check them.

Now those are just a few ways to keep unwanted stowaways out of your RV, can you suggest RV related “life hacks” that you use? Please let us know in the comment section below and tell us about it! We’re always keen to try out a new way to make life a little easier. Come visit us at PPL Motorhomes for all your parts and accessories.

Sway Control for Trailers

At some point in your driving career, you’ve probably been heading down the road and noticed somebody that was pulling a trailer of some kind and it was wiggling. That wiggling is called sway, and it can become very very dangerous. In extreme cases the fishtailing motion of the trailer can become so great that the trailer will move out of line far enough to be side on to the direction of travel and cause the trailer and tow vehicle to flip.

So I thought I’d pass along some pointers, tips, and items that will help prevent this from occurring. The primary cause of trailer sway is poor weight distribution, either from weight being concentrated forward or aft of the axles, an off balance load where weight is concentrated on one side or another, or even the wheel base of the tow vehicle comes into play. Sway can be exacerbated by speed, tire inflation on the trailer, or something as seemingly insignificant as the distance between the trailer hitch and the axles.

To help prevent sway the following must be part of your checklist:

  1. Make sure the weight on the trailer is evenly distributed
  2. Ensure the tow hitch is adjusted properly
  3. Install anti-sway equipment, and make sure it’s working properly
  4. Drive defensively, and that means other traffic AND weather
  5. Be extra vigilant if your trailer is not equipped with brakes

Some of the anti-sway items we supply are:

Reese hitch

Reese hitch

Reese Dual Cam Sway Control

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Curt Friction Sway Control Kit

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EAZ Lift Friction Sway Bolt-On System

Here‘s a video demonstrating how anti-sway hitches work.

So we’ve done all we can to ensure that the chances of sway are minimized, but what do you do if sway starts? Gradually slow down, add a little trailer brake (if installed), and don’t accelerate are all good options, but the EASIEST way to eliminate trailer sway is to eliminate the trailer and buy a motorhome from PPL Motorhomes!

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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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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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Easily Clean Your RV’s Holding Tanks

 

You’ve had a tremendous RV getaway and now it’s time to head home, unpack and take care of your RV before you store it for a few weeks or months.  We all remember to clean out the pantry and refrigerator, sweep or vacuum the inside and get all the dirty clothes and linens out of the RV, but we also need to remember to clean our holding tanks. waste-water-pump

As your trip winds to an end, your gas tank and wallet are both a little lighter, but your holding tanks are likely full.  Don’t make the mistake some RV owners have made and simply procrastinate thinking you will take care of that tomorrow.  Before you know it, weeks or months go by and the waste in your tanks is baked by the heat and you have a real stinky mess.  It’s important to clean out your holding tank for sanitation purposes and I have found many items in PPL’s RV parts store to do just that.  One item I have heard so many RV owners rave about is the FloJet RV Waste Pump.

The Flojet RV Water Pump and Macerator is the ideal solution for emptying holding tanks on motor homes, travel trailers and fifth wheels and helps you avoid many trips to dump stations. The macerator section grinds waste down to a particle size of 1/8″ maximum so it can easily be pumped through a garden hose (5/8″ minimum) and can empty a typical 30-gallon holding tank in less than 3minutes.  Now, even though we are getting one of these, we will still continue to do the “ice trick” where we dump a full bag of ice in the toilet before we leave camp.  It really does help keep the interior walls of the holding tank clean.

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Maxxaire Vent Cover The Universal Fit

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If there’s anything that can make the RVer’s life a little easier, I’m all for it! In this case, it’s replacing the vent covers on your RV. If you aren’t a fan of having rain water pour in, or dust, dirt and little critters finding their way into your RV, then you are going to need to check your vent covers routinely! A cracked vent cover can turn into a nightmare if you don’t replace it. Even a small crack can become a giant headache when its structural integrity becomes compromised. Then, adding to your problem, you may not know exactly what vent cover to get.  Does your vent lid on your RV have a right hinge, or left hinge, or which brand you actually have to purchase.  For years I have heard customers (and I have been one of them) fussing about not knowing which vent lid they need to replace the cracked one they are trying to replace.00-335001_unimaxx_01

Well, worry no more, Airxcel is making our life so much easier with the introduction of the UNIMAXX Universal Replacement Kit. You no longer have to guess about what brand you need as a replacement; you don’t even need to know if it is a left, or right hinged lid that needs replacing. All you need is a drill with a 3/16th bit, a Phillips head screwdriver, a Sharpie and an adjustable, or 11/32″ socket wrench. The kit comes complete with the rest of the hardware and detailed installation instructions. This is a repair virtually anyone can do on their own.

Replaces damaged vent lids on ELIXIR, HENGS, JENSEN, VENTLINE and other roof vent Assemblies

  • Universal Lid and Universal Hinge are pre-assembled
  • Includes all Mounting Hardware
  • Durable Impact  and UV Resistant Polypropylene lid
  • Rust Resistant Hardware

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And, while you’re up there replacing this “easy to replace” vent lid, you may want to consider adding a Maxxaire vent cover to your RV.  The vent cover is an ideal way to bring the outdoors in and keep the rain out! Oh, Maxxaire, what would we do without you?

 

RV Nana