Did you know that this week is American Hero week. This is the time to thank our police officers, fire fighters, EMTs, soldiers and more for all they do to protect all of us. Especially in light of some recent event’s such as tornadoes in Texas and Oklahoma, as well as the fertilizer plant explosion in West, TX that actually claimed the lives of many first responders.
This subject is especially close to my heart because my son-in-law is a police officer. I can’t help but say a little silent prayer for him every time he leaves for work. My last words to him are always..Be Safe! It isn’t just him that he needs to be safe for, but also for all of us. His family. I don’t know what we’d do if anything ever happened to him. It’s too tough to even thing about. Knowing the danger, he still risks life and limb on a daily basis to keep others safe and protected.
One thing that really gets my dander up is how often the news media sensationalizes the “bad” things done by American heroes and fails to thank them for the day to day dedication they display. What are those “bad” things anyway? You’d be hard pressed to find the proverbial rotten apple that spoils the bunch. None of these heroes started their careers planning to make a million. They chose their professions because they wanted to help others, because they wanted to make a difference each day.
All I ask is that when you are traveling in your RV around Texas, or any other part of the country, and you see either a soldier, fireman or policeman just tell them, “Thank You”. Most people have no clue about the sacrifices these men and women make on a daily basis. That’s not even talking about the sacrifices their family members also make. A simple, “Thank You” is enough to make any professional service man or woman feel good. I know I thank every one of them I run into. You’ll be amazed at how it makes you feel too!
Recently, Granbury, TX, in the Northern part of the state, was hit with an unexpected tornado that cause severe damage and loss of life. In fact, it was more than just one tornado which ended up being a tragedy of epic proportions for that small town. Much of the damage was to homes and subdivisions. In particular, mobile homes were hit especially hard. Eye witnesses describe the wreckage as if “someone scooped all of the trailers and balled them up together”.
Homes of this type (homes of most types really) are especially susceptible to extreme damage, or total destruction when caught in the path of a tornado. The same holds true for your RV. We are all smart enough to know that being in an RV is no place to ride out a tornado producing thunderstorms. However, sometimes I don’t think we know we are in eminent danger until we are face to face with it.
Finding shelter is imperative! If your home is no match for a strong tornado, then it’s obvious that your RV won’t stand a chance. Be smart. Seek shelter, there’s no other way to say it. You have to find a strong structure, move to an inner space and hunker down.
Also, if you haven’t already ad you have a iPhone, or comparable smartphone, find and download The American Red Cross’ Tornado App. It will alert you of impending tornadoes, or thunderstorms capable of producing large hail and tornadic activity…even if your phone is set to silent. I highly recommend it. I’ve already added it to my phone.
If you’ve been following my blog, you know how much I love to fly the Red, White and Blue! One of the very first things I do when we pull into our campsite, or RV park is raise “Old Glory” and love it when I see other RVers doing the same! Well, if you even half as patriotic as I am, and love flying your colors, you are going to love the flagpole buddy kit!
For as much as we like raising our flag on our RV, it can sometimes be kind of a difficult task. Well, with The Flag Pole Buddy, raising your flags has never been simpler. No more climbing the ladder again. The angled holder of The Flag Pole Buddy allows you to easily and securely insert your flag pole from the ground. I can’t tell you how many RVers absolutely love being able to do this!
This really is an ingenious device. It makes it so much easier and safer to raise your flag and with Memorial Day coming up, you are certainly going to want to take a look at picking up your own Flag Pole Buddy at PPL Motorhomes.
With Mother’s Day just around the corner it reminded me of the old “MOTHER” acronym, you remember the one:
“M” is for the million things she gave me,
“O” means obstacles she overcame with me,
“T” is for the tears she shed for me,
“H” is for her heart of gold;
“E” is for her everlasting spirit,
“R” is for remembers me at all times and occasions.
Put them all together, they spell
a word that means the world to me.’
Then I began to think, as I often do, about those who serve this country and how Mother’s Day takes on a VERY special meaning for them during their deployment, as it does for the mother’s of our warriors as well. I wondered…as a Mother, how does it feel to have a son, or daughter constantly in harm’s way? What does it feel like to watch your child willingly go off to war and fight for their country? I can imagine it is equal parts Pride and Fear. At some point, as mothers, we have to loosen up our grasp on our children regardless of how much we may not want to. Although our children grow and start families of their own, we never really let them go. We may loosen the grasp, but we never truly release it. I can certainly see how supporting your child as they volunteer to go off to war can give a whole new meaning to Mother’s Day..almost redefine it. For most children, both young and old, Mother’s Day may mean little more than calling mom, or making her breakfast in bed, or simply doing something out of the norm. However, Mother’s Day for a military family can be one of the most important days of the year for both mother and child. It’s the time to say, “Thank you. Mom. Thank you for bringing me up to love my country and love my family.” For as much as fathers are looked up to, mother’s share equally in the molding of their children’s ideals, personalities and allegiances. They are as responsible for instilling love of family, God, liberty and country as much as the fathers in this Nation.
What about being a Mother IN the military? We must not forget the thousands of mothers who are on active duty right now, away from their family…away from their husbands and children. What does Mother’s Day mean to them? Imagine willingly leaving your family behind to follow a call to duty. That is something that most of us could never fathom. As a mother, I certainly can’t truly imagine what it would feel like to board a plane, knowing that there is a chance that my family may never see me again. Being away from your children for a few days can be painful enough, but for a better part of a year? That is an unbelievable sacrifice for country. Remember that this Mother’s Day there are thousands of mothers in the services who are eagerly waiting to hear from their family and are counting the days until the get to hold their children again.
So, for the thousands, upon thousands of Mothers either in service, have a child in service, PPL Motorhomes thanks you. I thank you. We should all thank you for showing the true strength of mothers here in the United States of America. We will never forget, or understate your sacrifice and wish all of you a truly Happy Mother’s Day!
Now, do I really need to tell you about the importance of having properly working warning alarms in your RV? I shouldn’t have to, but as RV Nana, you know I’m going to.
This is serious business and items that are often overlooked. When was the last time you tested or replaced your Carbon Monoxide or Gas alarms. If you don’t keep them in proper working order, than what is the sense of having them? You are only taking an unnecessary and very dangerous risk. Carbon Monoxide is odorless and can asphyxiate you and anyone else sharing the relatively small space of your RV very quickly. Especially while you are sleeping. You are virtually guaranteed not to detect the presence of carbon monoxide in your RV at that point. This can lead to certain tragedy.
One thing that you may not know is that the sensors in the detectors deteriorate after about 5 years and may not be as accurate as they should be. This is a very important thing to note, as you may own an RV that’s older than 5 years and haven’t even considered replacing your LP or CO detector.
If you are scratching your head and thinking, “Do I even have a CO detector?” Then you probably don’t and should start researching, purchase and Install one before your next RV trip. Now while the certainty that your will be exposed to gas, or carbon monoxide is fairly low, why would you want to take the chance? I know I certainly wouldn’t. Further, you are also, more than likely, putting other at risk as well.
There are some really great detectors on the market and, as luck would have it, PPL Motorhomes carries a good selection of them. You can actually get combination detectors designed to detect propane and carbon monoxide. If it’s been over 5 years since you’ve replace your LP and CO detectors then I highly recommend that you put one one your RV-To-Do-List. You never know when this simple device may actually save your live.
I know this is a little bit of a departure from writing blogs about consignment RVs and RV parts and accessories, but I received an email recently that got me thinking. Would I know the signs of a stroke if someone I was camping with was having one? I know what I’ve heard, but at that moment I realized that I didn’t know all of the signs.
The fact is that the symptoms of a stroke can be variable. Meaning, they aren’t universally the same in every instance. You may have a variety of symptoms, or you may only have one. The biggest thing to remember is that time is essential. Check out the video below for a few things to look for when it comes to recognizing symptoms of a stroke.
There are a number of different ways to identify when a person is having a stroke. It doesn’t have to be that they just have a headache, or that they lose coordination, it could be a number of things. Remember this acronym: S. T. R.
S: *Ask the individual to SMILE.
T: *Ask the person to TALK and SPEAK A SIMPLE SENTENCE (Coherently)
(i.e. Chicken Soup)
R: *Ask him or her to RAISE BOTH ARMS.
If he, or she has trouble with ANY ONE of these tasks, call emergency number immediately and describe the symptoms to the dispatcher.
The one symptom that I just found out and didn’t really know about was the tongue test. Ask the person to ‘stick’ out his tongue. If the tongue is ‘crooked’, if it goes to one side or the other that is also an indication of a stroke. That was something that I wasn’t aware of.
So, as you are traveling from park to park this year, always be prepared to recognize and react when it comes to emergency care. Lot’s of times I don’t think we really think about our health while on vacation. You never can tell when something as serious a stroke may occur. It doesn’t matter if you are at home, work or out RVing, a mini, or major stroke can happen without much warning.
Just another friendly reminder and lesson from RV Nana and PPL Motorhomes.
Hey, we not all infallible, we are human after all. Sometimes that isn’t more evident than when you are RVing. There are so many things you have to remember to do both before you make camp and when you are hitting the road. Getting to know your rig is the first place to start. All of us RVers actually have more fun when we thoroughly know our rigs. It actually makes it easier to spot something that might be amiss when you are preparing to venture out.
Your owner’s manual is the first place you should start. You wouldn’t hook up a stereo system in your home, or build a jungle gym for your kids without consulting the instructions first, would you? The same holds true for owning and RV. It’s a lot different than a car, obviously, and you could learn a lot from simply reading your owner’s manual.
Here are 5 great tips I found at bettterrving.com, a great site with a ton of useful information both for the new RVers and seasoned RVers alike:
Connecting to City Water Hookups — Make darn sure that your hose’s regulator is on the side of the hose that hooks to city water. It should be at the water-spigot end, rather than the RV end, between the city water faucet and your inlet connection. Why? Pressure is regulated into your coach through the hose. An incorrect hookup won’t protect you from pressure spikes, especially when campground water pressure exceeds 100 psi! You don’t want your hoses to burst. If you’re staying at the campground for an extended period or camping in cold weather, also remember to cover your hose with some insulation to protect against the elements.
Regulating Outside Shower Temps — Many motorhomes have an exterior faucet with a spray head, also referred to as an “outside shower.” Perhaps your shower is putting out more cold than hot, or it’s not mixing properly. In these cases, be sure to check that you’re shutting off both knobs at the outside faucet when you’re not using it. Try turning the faucet knobs on and off a couple of times to ensure they are completely off; this should alleviate problems in cold-hot water balance and flow. You might also check to make sure that your water heater bypass is set to normal, not to a winterize mode.
Verifying Your Clearance — Have you ever packed up the family and began your exit from a campsite, only to find an issue with clearance? Remember to check around your coach before and after you move it from a spot. Be sure to look up, down and around. It’s a common mistake to miss that a tire is low, or that an antenna is still up. Being observant can avoid so many issues!
Managing Waste Water Disposal — Black tank management is part of RV life. Some RVers think that by leaving the valves open, everything will run out and take care of itself. Not true! Yes, liquid will run out of the black tank when you have the valves open; but unfortunately, solid waste often remains — and that can cause a disagreeable situation! You need fluids to flush out the solids. So remember to keep the black tank valve closed until you are ready to dump. Only dump the contents once the tank is more than 3/4 full. It’s OK to leave the gray water valve open, but the black valve should remain closed until it approaches full.
Disconnecting Your Battery — Every RV has some “parasitic” draw on its power system, and over time, this can run your battery down. That’s why the battery disconnect switch is valuable. Use it when your RV is in storage (unplugged from power), so you don’t have parasitic drain on the battery. But remember this if you have battery disconnect: Make sure the switch is in the OFF position when not in use, and also make sure that your inverter is shut off. The battery disconnect switch removes your battery from the circuit, so nothing works when the switch is in the disconnect position. But the inverter, if not shut off, will drain the battery. It sounds simple, but so often people just forget to check!
Consider the 5 tips above as “no-brainers” when it comes to owning and RV. These are easy heck and part of the responsibility you took on by owning an RV.As most of us old-timers can tell you, knowing the basics of your RV before you actually start RVing is going to save you a lot of time, energy and guesswork when it comes to troubleshooting any possible problems before they actually become major issues. If you aren’t completely sure about the basics of your RV, don’t hesitate to call PPL Motorhomes and ask questions. You are going to really regret not asking for and getting professional assistance.
It’s that time of year again…snake season. Love ‘em, or hate ‘em, snakes are an integral part of our ecosystem and live in places that we as RVers love to visit. In fact all of us at PPL Motorhomes have our fair share of snake stories. Now, I didn’t choose this topic to frighten, or scare you, but more as an informative and educational piece. For example, did you know that 85% of snakes in Texas aren’t poisonous? That’s just one of many things I learned from the Texas Parks and Wildlife video below.
Remember, when we visit our forests and parks, we are visiting a habitat of wild creatures, so it is our responsibility to tread lightly and avoid contact with the wildlife. Snakes, like all other creatures, just want to be left alone. Watch when stepping over logs, or putting your hands in cool dark places. These are prime areas for snakes to be as they try to escape the heat.
Have any good snake stories? Leave me a comment below, or come into PPL Motorhomes and we can swap snake tales.
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.
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.
I have been with PPL Motor Homes since 1980 and have been fortunate to grow up with the company. A native Houstonian, I am married to a wonderful Cajun from Lafayette, Louisiana and we've been able to mix the two worlds and build a fun life together. We have 3 children and 7 grandchildren, so it is obvious that I was a Nana long before I became RV Nana. I also happen too be the 2011-2012 President of the Texas RV Association, so you know the RV lifestyle...is my style.