Say Goodbye to Summer, Houston!

It’s hard to imagine that the summer is almost over.  Where did the time go? In a few short weeks we will see scarecrows, pumpkins and jac-o-lanterns and we’ll be right in the middle of Fall, one of my favorite times of the year for enjoying the RV lifestyle.  We had so much fun in our fifth wheel this summer and had the opportunity to make many new friends on our travels.  Now it’s time to get busy and work on your calendar so you get your reservations early for your Fall RV outings.  Also, from tailgating to trick or treating you are going to have fun, but make sure you take time now to do a little preventative maintenance before you head off for your Fall outings.

Preventive Maintenance is maintenance you perform on your RV before a problem exists. Preventive maintenance consists of cleaning, inspecting, lubricating, adjusting and servicing your RV.  Preventive maintenance is really nothing more than common sense maintenance. Before you take your next trip put some time aside to look things over. It could be the difference between a safe and enjoyable trip and a costly disastrous one.

Remember, if your summer travels have taken you to the seashore or to salt air you need to take time now to do a thorough cleaning both inside and out.  The salt air can ruin all exposed metal on your motor home, travel trailer or fifth wheel and a little maintenance now could save you hundreds, or thousands of dollars later.

How Does Salt Water Rust Metals?

The best part of RVing is that it really is a year round activity. Summer, Fall, Winter, Spring: have fun and share your RV stories with me on Facebook.

Galveston Oak Sculptures: Beauty in the wake of destruction.

During a recent trip to Galveston, some unexpected rain showers forced us off the beach and into the heart of the island.  We had heard about all of the damage from Hurricane Ike and we were amazed to see how well the people are recovering.  One thing we read about was the loss of so many of the century old oak trees and how creative the residence were in preserving their beauty. We had no idea how these dead tree stumps could become art and had no idea how beautiful the tree sculptures really were.  Many of the neighbors in the older historic district of town hired chain saw sculptors to transform their dead tree stumps into magnificent works of art … A tribute to the trees they lost and the survival of this beautiful community.

We saw everything from carved labradors to pelicans, frogs and even the tin man from The Wizard of Oz. For my grandsons (ages 9 and 10)this was like going on a scavenger hunt as we followed the map from street to street, taking pictures of the art.  We even had one resident invite us to come into her backyard to see three more designs not visible from the street.

 

Next time you are in Galveston make sure to add this tour to your adventures!  You can even get a map of the home sites by visiting the Galveston Island Vistor Center.

Have Fun!!!

Houston: First Time RV Owner?  Fun stories and Safety tips.

How many of you remember the first time you took your RV out? That first adventure in your new lifestyle?  Fortunately for us, I had been working at PPL Motor Homes for over 20 years, so I had a little advantage. However, even being around motor homes, travel trailers and fifth wheels for so long had not prepared me for that first adventure.  Last weekend we met a very nice young couple on their first adventure in their “bunk house” style travel trailer.  They came prepared with all three kids (all under age 5), their Labrador, guinea pig and enough toys to keep the kids occupied for days.  Little did they know that the beach, a bucket and shovel is all it takes to keep kids happy.  I was pretty impressed that they came with all the outdoor lawn equipment, an outdoor shower and even a small pool for their dog to help keep his cool.

They were so much fun! Of course, my husband and son in law immediately started giving them RV advice, something we all know is free at every campsite (gotta love the way you never meet a stranger at an RV park).  Yes, they had all the comforts of home in their new (used) home away from home….except safety!  This couple had traveled several hundred miles without a safety chain and had no tail lights and I am not sure they had brakes that worked on the trailer.   Like many new RV owners, they thought that the receiver hitch on the back of the suburban was all they would ever need to pull anything.  In fact, they had an empty battery box with no battery on the trailer and had no idea why they would need a battery…after all, they had an electric plug.  Fortunately, they got to their destination safely and thanks to our guys they left with a complete checklist of what to do before their next adventure.  Having purchased the trailer from an ad online they met the owner briefly, paid their money and drove away.  Things we all take for granted were never explained but they, like many other young families, started their new RV lifestyle…providing fun filled adventures to their young children.  It is so exciting to see the young families spending quality time together, but I wish there was a way to help them all make this experience a little better.  From the type toilet paper to use, to the need for a water pressure regulator or even how to make S’mores, there are so many learning adventures in the RV lifestyle.

One more little safety tip I learned last weekend.  Our new young friends had purchased tiki torches with metal stands to sit outside around their campsite.  Little did they know (until we warned them)that open flames on sticks around an RV in the wind may not mix well with lp tanks and lp appliances.  No, nothing happened, but it could be a word of caution that might save a life!

Take time to share your adventures and all of your helpful RV hints with someone today. Not only will you be helping them on their current trip,  the valuable knowledge you share, they may share with another RVer on down the road.

“Houston, We have lift-off”: An RVer’s perspective of the Shuttle’s Final Mission

It’s the end of an era. The NASA Space shuttle program is in it’s final hours after 30 years of exploring the heavens and sparking the imaginations of millions of Americans. The final return of the Space Shuttle, Atlantis, is at hand.

NASA’s space shuttle fleet began setting records with its first launch on April 12, 1981 and continues to set high marks of achievement and endurance. Starting with Columbia and continuing with Challenger, Discovery, Atlantis and Endeavour, the spacecraft has carried people into orbit repeatedly, launched, recovered and repaired satellites, conducted cutting-edge research and built the largest structure in space, the International Space Station.

As Space shuttle Atlantis’ crew is wrapping up final preparations for its planned landing at 5:56:58 a.m. EDT Thursday at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, we are sitting behind our desks, in our RVs or at home, many of us unaware that this will be the final journey for a Space Shuttle crew.

I, on the other hand, will be with my grandsons as we celebrate this momentous occasion in American History. I will explain to them that the conquest of space, and it’s seemingly boundless borders, is still the last great frontier. I want them to understand that the spirit found in every American is the same spirit that propelled us to the moon, the same spirit that enabled us to breech the outer limits of our atmosphere time and again and it’s the same spirit that will put a man on Mars and take us beyond. No, I will not forget those who have piloted the shuttle to space and back. Nor will I forget the brave men and women who gave their lives for the advancement of our reach into space. I don’t expect my grandchildren to forget, or their children for that matter.

It takes just eight and a half minutes to achieve glory. Let’s hope and pray, as America turns the page of the shuttle program, it propels us into the next era of our never-ending desire to push the very frontiers of exploration and discovery in space.

Dellenara RV Park: Even hurricane Ike couldn’t take this RV park away from us

Just a hop, skip and a jump from Houston is Dellenara RV Park in Galveston. It is back and better than ever.  After being almost totally destroyed by Hurricane Ike, this wonderful RV park is open again.  They have completely revamped the sites with new concrete pad sites and full services just a few steps from the beach.

This video was taken August 13, 210 by an obviously disappointed RVer who used to frequent the park. Take a look at the pictures at the bottom of the post to see the amazing recovery Dellenara RV Park has made:

It’s entirely renovated now.

In addition the great amenities, this park is located close enough to the downtown area to take a little side trip to The Strand or down to the old historic district and get out of the sun for awhile.  I would suggest you add this park to your “To Do” list but save room for us, too!

Plus, you never know what you may see:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Houston, here’s an RV Shower with a Twist

We’ve all heard about baby showers, bridal showers and I’ve heard people talk about showers held for people moving into their first home or apartment. I even knew a girl once who had a Divorce shower, but I had never heard of an RV Shower.  No, this is not the kind that is located in the bathroom of the RV.

Last weekend, I talked to a full time RVer who was giving an RV Shower for her daughter who was purchasing her first motor home.  What a neat idea (In our family we will use any excuse for a get together).  All of their RV buddies were invited and she had even taken the time to make a list of all the items she needed and circled them in PPL’s RV Parts catalog.  Sounds like we need to start a registry like some departments do for weddings and babies.  She got everything from water hoses to toilet chemicals, and all the RV necessities in between.  I’m sure it made a big difference in this young lady’s budget.  Plus, along with all the great gifts came all the helpful hints and tips she would need to start her full time RV lifestyle.

I’m going to keep this on my list of fun things to do!  Something tells me that, sometime in the next year, you will see pictures and hear all my stories about some RV shower I decide to have.  Who wants to be first?

Of Mice and Men: Avoid Mice Mess in your RV, Houston

One of our customers at PPL’s RV Parts Superstore was chatting with me about her RV experiences…over 10 years in a Class C mini motor home and this was her first year to have a problem with mice. She, like so many RV owners, cannot park her RV at her home because of deed restrictions, so she parks at a local storage lot.  Unfortunately, this storage lot is located next to a field that was recently cleared for construction.  I guess those little mice had nowhere to go so they found her RV to be a nice new home.  By the way, mice can do some major damage to an RV.  In this instance, it appears they came in through the hole by the plumbing line under the kitchen sink and decided to chow down on everything in site…including the electrical wires leading to her microwave and refrigerator.  Needless to say, she had an expensive house guest to clean up afterwards and she was very frustrated to have to cancel an upcoming trip.  This got me thinking so I started asking for suggestions on how to get rig of these pesky creatures and RVers are always so helpful with suggestions:

  • Bounce Dryer sheets – Yes, apparently mice do not like that clean fresh smell of those sheets we use in the dryer at home.  One RV owner told me to place them in all the cabinets, under the silverware trays and in all closets and compartments.  I was told that only the original “Bounce” sheets work…apparently “spring fresh scent and lavender don’t do the trick.”
  • Mothballs – This is the sure way to make your RV smell like grandma’s house.  The mice will stay away, but I’m afraid my friends and family will stay away too.  There are many RV owners who believe in scattering mothballs in the outside compartments and tell me it really works.
  • Steel Wool – We have done this little trick for years.  We simply place some steel wool around each pipe or electrical opening and the mice will not pass by the steel wool.  It’s an easy fix, but I think I’m going to add Bounce sheets to my steel wool plan and go for the double duty plan.

These are simple, inexpensive “fixes” that could save you hundreds in repairs.  I have heard of major damage caused by rodents and, hopefully, you will take time to try a couple of these tricks and save yourself a headache down the road.

If you’ve had experience with these furry little pests, tell me about it. How much damage did they cause? What did you do to get rid of them? If you’ve recently had these uninvited guests in your RV and need a few replacement parts, check our our online catalog.

Go Rving: Our Pride, Our People, Our Flag

She has seen the tops of mountains and the deepest of valleys. She has been placed on the surface of the Moon and in the darkest chasms of the sea. She is the physical manifestation of our resolve, of our spirit, of our pride and our joy.  She is for our nation all things, both universal and individual. She is freedom. She is dignity. She knows no allegiance other than that to her country and her people. She embodies the true nature of what it means to be an American. She has stood strong in the face of trials and tribulations. She’s led our soldiers into victorious battle and dried a nation of tears on more than one occasion. She has shared in all of our joys and has given us unwavering hope in the face of adversity. The Flag of the United States has flown proudly over our nation and our people for over 130 years and will continue to fly as long as freedom, liberty, truth and justice are cornerstones of all that is good and right.

Fly her proudly and often.  Don’t just reserve displaying ‘Old Glory” for holidays or special occasions. Fly your flags with unwavering pride everyday wherever you may be.  It is your right. It is your duty. It is your responsibility. Those thirteen equal horizontal stripes of red and white, in union with the blue star field representing the 50 states are more than decoration, they are both our history and our future.

It makes me so proud to see so many of you who enjoy the RV lifestyle proudly display your flags at your campsites,  homes and businesses.  God Bless America, may she proudly wave…forever.