Do You Have A Clogged Black Water Tank


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:


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.

Join The Texas Parks & Wildlife Foundation

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.

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.



Texas, Our Texas!

Joe Diaz/Flickr Creative Commons

Q: You have 20 people in a room, how can you tell which one is the Texan?

A: You won’t need to, they’ll tell you themselves!

faungg’s photos/Flickr Creative Commons

Ain’t that the truth? I’m so proud to have been lucky enough to be born here, lucky enough to stay here, and lucky enough to have a great business here too! So I thought today IU could do a little Texas-centric bragging in hopes that those of y’all from outside the state will come and visit, and those of y’all already here would hit the trail and see what all the fuss has been about for the last couple hundred years!

Rennet Stowe/Flickr Creative Commons

Now, Texas is an 800 mile long by 800 mile wide wonderland with the towns of Texoma, Brownsville, Orange, and Anthony being the northernmost, southernmost, easternmost and westernmost towns in the state. In between those towns you have almost every possible ecosystem you could want to visit…high plateau country, black dirt farmland, coastal prairies, piney woods, the limestone hill country, beaches, mountains, etc etc etc. Now since Texas is the biggest state in the continental US, would it surprise you that Texas has the most inland water of any state? We have more rivers and lakes in Texas than any other state but Alaska. And if we were our own country (again) we’d have the 12th largest economy in the ENTIRE WORLD!

John Fowler/Flickr Creative Commons

We have our problems like everyone else, the highway system for example is straining to handle the increased traffic of all the folks moving here, but there is still a lot of elbow room here and True Born-Here Texans will still pull over onto the shoulder to let you pass…and wave while they’re doing it. If outdoor activities are your thing, we have all of those covered. If adventure is your thing…ditto. We also don’t have a state income tax.



Texas Wildflower Tour

Photo: Diana Leblanc

Photo: Diana Leblanc

Did you know that there are 5,000 different species of wildflowers in Texas? Neither did I. Did you know that of those 5,000, there are 5 different species of Bluebonnets? I didn’t know that either!

If I had to boil down the things that I love in Texas the most, the yearly wildflower bloom would be number 1, or 2. I get so giddy when I see the first blooms of the season. This year, because of the rains, they came a little bit early; of course you won’t hear any complaints from me. Nothing gets my motor running like seeing the season’s first bluebonnets.

Photo Credit: Diana Leblanc

Photo Credit: Diana Leblanc

The bloom season usually progresses in a wave:  early March in Big Bend to mid-March in coastal cities, late March in Houston, early to mid-April in Central Texas and late April in the Panhandle. But, as I mentioned before, they are just a touch early because of the rain.
If there is one piece of advice I can give to all of you, it’s to take the time to stop and smell the flowers. I’m a big advocate of living life and not letting things get in the way and that means stopping along the highway (please be careful) to take family photos in the fresh blooms. You can never have too many bluebonnet pictures!
Let me be the first to say however, watch where you’re stepping. There are two things that can make your wildflower picture excursion less than fantastic. First, you really need to be aware of the land that you choose to take pictures on. You obviously want to stay off of private property. More so, you need to look for hazardous wildlife, rattlesnakes in particular. A nice bouquet of flowers can also mean nice shade for rattlers. Just shuffle your feet and let them know you are coming. If they are there, they’ll let you know. Keep your ears open. And finally, don’t trample the flowers; save some of the beauty for other folks. It doesn’t take much to crush a roadside bloom.
Texas has some of the most amazing wildflowers in United States. Take some time to embrace your inner Texan and appreciate the amazing blooms along our highways.




Earth Day Is April 22nd, But Every Day Should Be Earth Day


April 22, 2013 is Earth Day . What does Earth Day mean to you? Do you even know what Earth Day is? Do you know what it is about? Have you really thought about the impact that you make on this planet? I mean, have you REALLY thought about it? It’s not enough for just some of us to take responsibility for recycling, not littering, using less fossil fuels and caring for all of our flora and fauna.

I know that being and RVer can be a double edged sword sometimes. Here we are, with the urge to travel and explore, but that takes, in many cases, a lot of fuel. As a consequence we are not only using fossil fuels, but we are also emitting toxins into the air. Even further, when we visit our favorite parks and forests, I know that we do our best to leave as small of a footprint as we can, but we still have trash, refuse and black and grey water residuals to take care of.

Now this doesn’t me that as RVers we are hypocrites. I think that, in fact, we are quite the opposite. More than most we are very cognizant of the type of carbon foot prints we leave in the areas we visit. We are also some of the first people to make donations or contribute to the conservation of wildlife and forestry! I know many RVers who are members of conservations groups. I also know that they are leaders in their neighborhoods when it comes to recycling and spreading the word of how and why we should keep Texas beautiful.

Check out the official Earth Day web site. It’s pretty neat.

I think that the bottom line is that when it really comes down to it, everyday is Earth Day. When we go RVing, I for one really am really grateful for everything that we get to see and do outdoors. It’s always a shame to see the slow deterioration of our planet and the places we like to visit. We all should be hypersensitive to the condition of our environment. Not just when we are are RVing, but all of the time.

All of us here at PPL Motorhomes are proud and happy to have the ability to anywhere we want, anytime we want…for now. It’s up to all of us to keep it that way. Remember, April 22nd, 2013 may be Earth Day…but so should every day be for that matter.

Staying The Night In Wal-Mart Parking Lots

One of the nice things about RVing is the ability to take a break from driving for the evening and spend the night in many of the nation’s Wal-Mart store parking lots. In fact, there are many Wal-Mart lots across the United States that are actually destinations for many RVers. The good news is that most Wal-Marts openly welcome RVers for an evening’s stay. That’s good news for the weary traveler. However it’s a very good idea to check with the store management before you just assume that it’s OK to camp.

Generally there are specified area’s specifically for RVers who are staying the evening. Keep in mind that you don’t want to stay more than one night. You have to remember, that the Wal-Mart stores that allow you to stay are doing so as a courtesy and not as a substitute for staying at a legitimate RV park, or campsite.

There are even publications available that can tell you whether or not a Wal-Mart Parking lot is RV friendly.

Another good reason to check with store management before you just assume it is OK to part your RV in a parking lot for a night is that there may actually be city ordinances against camping in parking lots. It doesn’t take much to call ahead and check first. It could certainly save you an embarrassing conversation with either the store management or even the police department.

That being said, Wal-Mart parking lots, among others, can be a great lay over station as you progress to your intended destination. Just make sure you check before you assume that it is permissible to stay the night.

Making Our Lives Easier in the Kitchen

When we bought our first RV 15 years ago, I started filling up the cabinets and adding “stuff” to every nook and cranny.  Now, 5 RVs later (I’m a slow learner) I have come to realize that less is more.  I am still always on the lookout for items that store easily, take up little space, and, of course, items that make my life easier.  These are a few items I have added to the fifth wheel and these items have actually helped me eliminate other bulky items I was carrying. After all, we’re all looking to save a little space.

Collapsible Mini Colander

This is so handy because it is a colander that converts to a water tight bowl.  I love multi-purpose products.



Collapsible Storage Containers

What a great idea to have storage containers that are collapsible and easy to store.  These take up so little room and I can serve them and store without having to search endlessly through a mountain of plastic containers. I think we all have that one drawer at home when an endless number of plastic containers and lids. That’s a waste of space in a limited space RV.

Collapsible Produce Keeper

Fresh produce is always the way to go. The bad part is, fresh produce goes bad in a matter of days. This produce keeper might extend the freshness by a few days and it also doubles as a colander. The entire collapsible product line was a great invention…especially for the RVer.


Microwave Bacon Cooker 

First, I have to admit that I hate cooking bacon, or at least if did until this product came along.  No more grease or mess and easy to clean. Dishwasher safe, so I can cook it, eat it, then stick it in the dishwasher. Cooking bacon can be a messy endeavor without the proper tools. You can also reheat pizza and make your own potato chips on this thing. Genius.

What products have you put in your RV’s kitchen to make your life easier?




How many AC’s are enough in TX?

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!


RV Liability Insurance

Andrew Steinmetz/Flickr Creative Commons


As an RVer, you know the importance of having solid and comprehensive insurance for your RV. Nothing has more potential of ruining a RV trip than having an accident. Even a small fender bender can be the cause of some serious headaches. Since 1980, PPL Insurance Services has been providing RV insurance designed specifically with the RV owner in mind, making sure to work with our insurance carriers to design policies that cover the needs of the RV owner.

We have listened to our customers and have heard them tell us that securing liability coverage on an older vehicle can be next to impossible.  In fact, only a few companies will even quote any coverage on a vehicle that is over 15 years old.  We feel that this was wholly unacceptable as many of our customers have owned their RVs for years and have paid off their RVs. Owners who fall into this catagory simply do not want to carry full comprehensive and collision coverage any more.  So, how do they conform to the minimum liability requirements when registering their vehicle? We were compelled to provide a easy solution. So, for less than $400 per year (depending on age and driving record of the insured) PPL can provide coverage that includes liability, uninsured/under-insured motorist and personal injury protection coverage.  And, this coverage can be bound the same day without having to submit pictures, appraised values or anything more than an application and proof of insurance will be provided as soon as coverage starts. PPL Motorhomes has liability coverage that fits the needs of not just the new RV owner, but those who have older RVs as well. The bottom line is that PPL has you covered!

So, whether you are a weekend warrior .or full time RVer, PPL has the coverage for you. To make this even easier, if you are searching for liability only coverage on your RV, give Sharon at PPL Motorhomes a call at 1-800-755-4775. Tell her RV Nana told you to call.


Nana’s Recipes: Around the Campfire

simpleinsomnia/Flickr Creative Commons

As I said in the last blog, we spent some tie on the beach with the grandkids last weekend, and there’s nothing quite like spending an evening under the stars with loved ones around the campfire. It’s one of those so completely natural feelings, and every time it happens you wonder why you don’t do it more often. So for today’s blog I thought I’d share a few truly classic recipes for campfire snacks.

The S’More

This snack needs no introduction. If you don’t know Mr. and Mrs. S’More, you’ve never been camping. For the truly classic S’More all you need is graham crackers, chocolate, and marshmallows. Now what kind of chocolate to use I’ll let y’all argue over, because you just use whatever kind you like the best or have on hand. What you do is you take a couple marshmallows, stab them onto the end of a stick and toast them over the campfire til they turn brown. Once they’re brown you squish them onto a graham cracker, put a square of chocolate on another graham cracker and make a lil sandwich out of the two pieces. Enjoy responsibly! Haaa!

The Hot Dog

Another timeless classic that is so ridiculously easy to make yet awesome to eat. Here’s what you do (for you non-campers): take a hot dog weenie, stab it onto the end of a stick, cook it over the campfire until it is cooked to your preferred level of cookedliness, insert into bun, add whatever condiments you like. Enjoy responsibly! Haaa!

Chili Pie

Another so simple a dish it almost embarrasses me to tell you folks how to make it. Open a couple cans of your favorite chili, poor them into some sort of receptacle you can place over the fire, heat up chili, line a bowl with corn chips, pour heated chili into the bowl, enjoy responsibly! Haaa!

We have all kinds of camping and grill accessories here at PPL, come check em out!