It is a wonderful day here in Houston, Texas. We actually saw raindrops for the first time in months and it was a real blessing. One of our customers stopped by to chat about the mess in her travel trailer thanks to these thunderstorms…and by “mess” she meant “water”. Unfortunately, her issue was an all too common problem that I’ve heard many times before. She and her husband, like many RV owners, had left all of their vents open to relieve some of the heat in the vehicle while it was just sitting in storage (not covered storage) and she now has a big stain on her recliner from the rain. Not really what she had in mind when they retrieved their RV from storage. My first thought was, “Wow. That’s terrible”. Whereupon my second thought was immediately, “Boy, am I glad I have MaxxAir vent covers on my 5th wheel”! I always leave my vents open to keep some circulation in the RV and without a doubt, these have saved me and my interior on several occasions.
Easy to install, these MaxxAir vent covers allow you to have your vent while driving down the road and even during a rain storm. Yes, a blowing rain will still come in the vent so you do need to pay attention, but it sure is nice to have that ventilation. So call or stop by PPL’s RV Parts Superstore and find the perfect little vent umbrella for your RV. Just a little thought to help you keep cool and dry!
If you have any questions or comments, give RV Nana a call! I’d be happy to help you with MaxxAir vents covers.
The Texas drought has taken its toll on so many living things. From livestock and crops, to the hundred year old pecan trees that are a huge part of Central Texas. On a recent RV camping trip, we saw one young couple have the scare of their lives. On a normally quiet, weekend night we were sitting outside our fifth wheel enjoying the beautiful evening and sharing “war stories” with our friends and family when we heard the strangest sound. It sounded like a cross between fireworks going off and a car wreck when a huge branch of a pecan tree just fell.
Amazingly, no one was hurt. Two guys were outside their travel trailer when they heard the noise and both men scattered. This branch came crashing down and landed between the truck and trailer and, amazingly, missed both vehicles. As you can imagine, we all went running to their rescue expecting to see the worst and we were all pleasantly surprised to find no one was hurt. This can happen anywhere, even at your own home and pecan trees can really suffer during these drought conditions. The wonderful crew at the RV park had it all cleaned up the next morning and it was one of those great RV stories with a “happy ending.”
So,the moral of the story is, be careful what you park your motorhome, travel trailer or fifth-wheel under because even the mightiest Texas Pecan Trees can come crashing down without notice.
OK, you’ve read all about the many river adventures you can take with your family and now you are finally making real plans for your get away. Before you pack your RV, take some time now to decide what you will need to take with you to make this a fun filled memorable vacation and not a weekend filled with panic.
- Call ahead and ask questions. Does the river you are tubing have a shallow beach area for kids? Is the water level high, meaning larger currents are a little lower allowing for casual floating? This year in Texas we have seen a real drought and water levels in many of the rivers are much lower than normal.
- Pack more than just your swim suit. Make sure you pack water shoes or old tennis shoes to wear in the water. Pack sturdy tubes and make sure you bring more than you actually need. A sharp tree branch can end your tubing fun in a minute.
- Bring sun screen…and apply it several times each day. You’re floating down the river and it’s nice and cool in your tube so all is well. Then you realize the fronts of your legs and your shoulders look like a cooked lobster. Make sure you pack some after sun cooling gel and then hope you won’t need it.
- Drink plenty of water. Even if you enjoy your beer and soft drinks, nothing quenches your thirst and hydrates you more than water.
- If you are wearing sunglasses or glasses make sure they are secured with a neck band. My granddaughter lost her brand new glasses and was devastated until her Oompah and Uncle B found them along the banks of the river in foot deep water. Talk about miracles!
- Pack older lawn chairs that you don’t mind getting soaked in the river water. Sitting in shallow water just relaxing is one of the most refreshing times you could ever have.
- If you are one of those people who just has to stay connected, make sure you invest in a waterproof pack for your cell phone and tie it onto an ice chest or onto your belt. As for us, we just leave our phones at the RV and figure we’re on vacation and no one really needs us that bad at that very minute. After all, they all know where we are and could contact the park office if it is a real emergency.
- Make sure younger children have life jackets and some type floating device. Also, tell them to stay away from the trees along the banks of the river. That is a perfect home for spiders, snakes and other water creatures. Keep an eye on your children at all times. There are no life guards at most river parks and some currents can be strong so you have to watch every move.
- Keep the river clean. If you empty a can or bottle, pack it in a cooler to bring back to shore and dispose of properly. We pick up cans and bottles as we float down the river in an effort to do our part in helping the environment.
And the most important thing to remember on this RV vacation is to Have Fun!! For the past 5 years we have had some of our best family memories at Leisure RV Resort on the San Marcos River in Fentress, Texas. Make memories in your RV with your family and friends. These memories will last forever!
Those of you who know me have all had to listen to my stories about the best little RV park in Texas. I actually have mixed emotions about writing this blog because I would really like for this park to be one of those best kept secrets, but I also want everyone to have an RV experience like this. Leisure Resort in Fentress, Texas is a beautiful park outside Luling and I think it is simply a little piece of heaven on earth. As you drive down the road off Highway 80 you that you’re going to have a brief minute when you wonder where in the world I am sending you. Then you turn off to the left at a “not so fancy” sign and you enter this river front property. Leisure Camp, as it was called for years was a well known fishing camp positioned in the midst of a beautiful pecan orchard with terraced campsites leading down to the winding San Marcos River. Whether you’re in a diesel pusher, travel trailer, tent or simply day camping out of the back of your truck, you are sure to enjoy everything here. This is a family owned and operated RV park complete with cabins, a swimming pool, miniature golf and even a hayride for the kids on Saturday night.
We have been coming here for several years and have met some of the friendliest people in the world sitting in this river and camping under these trees. This is a great spot for a family reunion where your friends can join you even if they don’t own an RV because they can rent one of the cabins or even a tree house and still enjoy the great outdoors and the RV lifestyle. Make plans to check this out, but save room for us!
When my grandkids were very young we showed our granddaughter her first penny machine (not a slot machine) and that started a new world of travel souvenirs for all of our grandchildren. The penny machines are those wonderful little hand-crank machines where you insert a penny and two quarters, turn the crank and you are suddenly the proud owner of a specially embossed oval penny souvenir. We even have special collector’s cases for these pennies. What an inexpensive and fun way to remember your RV travels. We have found penny machines in places all over the US and I always have some quarters and pennies in my purse just in case we see one
Here in Houston, the news media made sure we were all aware of the start of the 2011 hurricane season and my mind immediately went back to Hurricane Ike and all the preparation we did to take care of our fifth wheel and wanted to share some hints with you. We have now compiled a hurricane season checklist and always have good intentions of taking care of these items long before a storm watch or warning. First, I want to warn you that an RV should not be used as a safe haven during a storm. It is a wonderful means of transportation to exit a storm area and an even better temporary home when you return should your home be damaged or destroyed. Here are a few simple steps that could help you weather the storm a little easier.
- Determine an evacuation route now and make sure, in the event of a storm warning, that you leave early. I have heard horror stories of people trying to leave a storm area and spending 12 hours on the road to go 10 miles. Don’t let that be you.
- Stock your RV early with water, non-perishable food and enough supplies for a week.
- Keep your fuel tank and LP gas tanks filled during hurricane season to avoid long lines at the last minute.
- Check your tires and make sure they are road worthy and filled with the proper air pressure.
- Take time now to pack a fresh first aid kit in your RV
- Pack your prescription medications in a waterproof bag so you are ready for a for a quick exit.
- Pack sleeping bags, bedding and linens in waterproof bags to protect them from moisture. Space bags are great for this.
- Make copies of all important documents and store them in a plastic bag so you have them ready to take with you. (insurance policies, drivers license, credit card information, titles and vehicle registration)
- Make a list of important phone numbers and information and keep this in a zip lock bag, too.
- It is not a bad idea to have some cash stored in your RV or in your important document bag because there may be no ATM or credit card purchases if there is a major power outage.
- Pack plenty of batteries and flashlights so you are ready for any emergency.
- Make sure you have a battery powered radio so you can keep informed during the storm.
- We have a hand crank combination battery charger and flashlight for charging our cell phones. A great way to keep you in contact with family and friends.
- And, don’t forget your pet. Pack some food and emergency information for your pets, too!
If you are evacuating and leaving you RV behind, here are a few helpful hints that could help your motor home travel trailer or fifth wheel weather the storm, too.
- Buy insurance and buy it early. After a storm is in the gulf, you can no longer bind insurance on your RV.
- Decide where you will store your RV and try to find a place that is not in a low lying area prone to flooding.
- Package your belongings in waterproof bags.
- Close and lock all windows, vents and doors.
- Secure any lose items located near your RV.
- Turn off the propane at the cylinders.
- Close and lock all outside compartment doors.
- Return as soon as safely possible after the storm and check for damage and leaks.
These are only a few things to consider when getting ready for hurricane season. We had our Fifth Wheel stored at our daughters home during Hurricane Ike. We had parked it as close as possible to there travel trailer and we were both so lucky. The only thing we lost was a small vent cap. Take some steps now that could save you time and money later. Good luck and be safe.
Pack some firewood in your RV
Remember, it is against the rules to pick up firewood at a State or National park and most merchants in areas around the parks know this. Save yourself a bundle (no pun intended) by packing some firewood in your motor home or travel trailer and be prepared to save some money. We have seen local merchants selling small bundles of firewood that range in price from $6.00 to $20.00. We’re always happy to pay the small fee to the parks when they sell it but some of the local merchants know that campers will pay anything for their campfires and they charge accordingly. It’s all part of the camping experience…the ambiance. Just a reminder. Pay close attention to burn bans at the parks. If the park is under a burn ban you need to stick to your little gas or charcoal grill.
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.
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, #18555-000, 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.
Your tire health is so important when you are talking about your RV, whether your RV is a motor home, travel trailer or fifth wheel. In fact, if your RV tires are in poor condition, a blow out could cause you to lose control of your RV and may result in a major accident. There are many different things you need to take into account when dealing with your tires such as weather, overall condition and age of your tires.
No one wants to be stranded on the side of the road with tire problems.I have heard so many horror stories about tires and decided to share a few helpful hints that may make yoru RV travles more fun and enjoyable.
- Tire pressure is so important. Use a qualified inflation pressure gauge to check pressure.
- Make sure you always check pressure when the tires are cold, before traveling because hot air expands and may give a false reading if measured after use.
- Always follow the tire manufacturer’s pressure recommendations or the information on the Federal data plate on your RV. The maximum pressure allowed for a tire is also embossed on the side wall.
- Many RV owners recommend having RV valve extenders installed on their dual wheels for ease of use. It is also recommended that you have the rubber valves replaced with steel valves.
- Take time to check your tires for uneven wear and cracking on the side walls. Tire wear should be the same all the way around the vehicle. If one tire shows much different wear than the others there could be a more serious problem. Have the tires inspected by a professional before using yoru RV.
- RV wheel covers will protect your tires from serious damage caused by Ozone and UV rays. When not in use, tires should be covered to prevent dry rot and deterioration of the tire.
- Just like your car, the RV needs to hae the tires rotated on a regular basis. Rotation helps to equalize tread wear and can save you money by extending the life of your tires. Generally a rotation interval of 6,000 miles is recommended.
- It is a good rule of thumb to replace tires after 6 or 7 years. Regardless of how many miles a tire has on it, the age of the tire is important. You can determine the age of the tire by looking for the in use date embossed on the side wall.
Hopefully these tips will help save a trip or save a life. We all know the heat in south Texas can wreak havoc on your tires.