RV Air Conditioning Replacement – Tips to help you keep your cool.

Here in Texas we are experiencing those hot triple digit temperature days, and if your RV air conditioner goes out, it could be one of the worst days of your life.  This happened to our cousin last weekend and it didn’t take long to find out that a mobile RV technician could replace it in about 7-14 days.  After all, it is the middle of summer and they are busy, too.  That might be acceptable if you are in between trips, but for the full time RVer this is a nightmare.

Fortunately, they had a couple of people who came to their rescue to replace the AC unit.  Having just recently replaced one for a friend, they knew exactly how to do it.  The only thing they didn’t know was that you have to make sure you buy a replacement that is the same brand and model as the one you are replacing.


After about 4 hours in the heat (inside and outside the trailer) they finally called PPL’s RV Parts Superstore where they purchased the new AC and decided it was time to ask questions.  Within about a minute or two they found out they had more work ahead of them.  You see they were trying to replace a Coleman AC unit with a Duotherm and it just won’t work.  The wiring is completely different, so they had to take the new one down, return it and buy the correct one.  Double the work and frustration!


Now the moral of this story is that when replacing RV appliances it is a good idea to take the model and serial numbers with you when you purchase the replacement parts.  In addition a simple picture of the thermostat and ceiling assembly could have helped the parts store identify their needs.  Take a few minutes to save a lot of time.


Consider singing in the rain when looking for a used RV

Singing in the rain…..In our case shopping in the rain was the way to go when looking for a used RV.  It is the perfect time to see any leaks that may have appeared around the vents and side walls of the vehicle.  I recommend that you take time to look inside every upper compartment for evidence of current or prior leaks and pay close attention around vents and windshields.

Keep in mind that just because a vehicle leaked in the past does not mean it leaks now.  An owner may have had a roof resealed and the stains are the only reminders of the leak.  Roof leaks are a common problem.  After all, an RV gets baked in the sun, frozen in the winter, damp in the rain and is then driven down the road over all the bumps. No wonder leaks happen.  Maintenance is the key to keep your RV dry, but don’t forget that RV shopping in the rain can be rewarding and is a good idea when purchasing a used RV


Beach Barbeques Can’t Be Beat

See what I did there? The alliteration I mean. All of the “B’s” in the title…anyway. The beach and barbecues (Bar-b-ques, B-B-Q depending on where you are from). We just got back from a really great trip to the beach this past weekend. Delenara RV Park on Galveston Island to be exact. It took a big hit during Hurricane Ike, but has been reborn and is once again a beautiful place to hook up and watch the sunset.

When we’re at the beach, barbecues are pretty much standard. Don’t think that we take them lightly, it’s just that we’ve had our fair share of beachcomber barbecues in the past and are looking forward to many more.

It doesn’t matter what you throw on the grill: fresh caught Rainbow Trout, Shrimp, hamburgers, hot dogs, steak, or veggies the grill becomes the center of attention as the amazing smells begin to waft in the ocean breeze. Keep the sand off of your plate and you’ve a fine meal, indeed.

So, do you use the community grill at your campsite, or do you bring your own? Good question. You can do either! Though, we bring ours. In fact, they are more affordable and much easier to transport and use than you may think.   Beach ready grills don’t have to be expensive, or cumbersome. In fact, if you are on a budget, you can actually get some very nice grills for relatively little money. Of course, if you are a serious barbecuing beachcomber, then you are going to want something with a more versatile grilling space, but put in only minimal effort into transporting it, you can look into mounting one one your RV.

The bottom line is if you plan to take your RV to the beach, take your cooking outdoors and enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of that cool salty air.

Houston, record all of your RV’s identifying numbers

Next time you have a lazy day with little to do, take the time to record all the identifying numbers in your RV. This list will help when you take your vehicles in for service, or when you hear of an appliance that has been recalled. Keep this list with your manuals and a copy with your valuable papers. It sure comes in handy when you call to order what seems to be a standard little part and then you’re asked to provide the brand name, model number or serial number in order to determine exactly what you need. The following is a simple chart to be used as a guideline.

You may have more or less information, but this is a start. This simple little chart may save you hours, or days when trying to have repairs done, or parts replaced.

Pizza and Las Vegas, who knew they went together?

Who doesn’t love Las Vegas and who doesn’t love Pizza? While I just surfing around YouTube recently, I ran across a nice little review of RVing in Las Vegas and a great recipe for pizza on the grill. I just thought that this looked so good, I just had to share.

If anyone makes this, let me know how it turned out!

Houston: It’s National S’Mores Day Today!

Who would have known that this tasty campground treat has it’s own day? I didn’t, but it certainly deserves it! I don’t remember the last time we went on trip without either having s’mores, or at the very least, wishing we had them!

So, where did the S’more come from? I believe it was printed in a 1927 American Girl Scout Trail and Hiking manual. Only the Girls Scouts could come up with a snack to rival their amazing cookies (that’s another blog). Regardless, whomever came up with the S’more, I would like too thank them for creating a treat that I’ve shared with a countless number of family and friends while camping.

So, what do you need to make ’em?


  • 1 bag of Marshmallows
  • 1 Giant Hershey’s Chocolate bar
  • 1 Box of graham crackers
  • 1 Campfire

Whether you are handy in the kitchen or not, there’s no right or wrong way to make a S’more, that’s the best part!  All you have to do is heat your marshmallow over the fire and then just stack and snack! Young or old, everybody loves S’mores.

There’s even a song about ’em!

I know what the RV Nana and her grandchildren are going to be singing while sitting around our next campfire! Have any good S’mores stories or tips? Feel free to leave me a comment. Oh, make sure you mark you calendars for next year’s National S’mores Day too!

Conquering Mosquitoes: The Unwanted Camping Partner

Living where we do, here in Houston, TX, the mosquitoes are in a word: HORRIBLE! Unfortunately, our climate is a tropical one with high heat and high humidity, and that’s a perfect combination to make Texas the mosquito capital of the world. OK, I’m not sure if that has been proven as a scientific fact, but it certainly feels like it.

Now, for those of us who have ever been lounging with friends or family and were attacked by a swarm of these tiny little bloodsuckers, your first thought might be; “Why are they all over me while Jack is just sitting there enjoying his evening?” Here comes the science again. According to an article I found on MSNBC:

…it may be that these folks are born with a scent that keeps mosquitoes and other biting insects away. Recent research has isolated chemicals emitted by “bug-proof” individuals, which appear to counteract the odors that hungry bloodsuckers generally home in on.

…For people who rarely get bitten, the prevailing wisdom had been that they do not emit these chemical flags.

This isn’t necessarily true. Keep in mind, before you start getting jealous of Jack who is seemingly enjoying his evening out camping, while you feel you are having your blood drained one drop at a time that…

…everyone is “juicy” to some extent. It is just that certain individuals exude chemicals that mask the attractive smells or simply repel biting insects.

Now that’s all well and good, but the fact of the matter is YOUR discomfort needs to be resolved so you can enjoy your evening making S’mores, or talking with your campground neighbor, or having a cold beer by a nice evening fire. So how do you do that? I hate to say it, but you might just have to tolerate it. Unfortunately, until better products come on the market, you are relegated to chemical sprays or natural repellents. Neither of these are foolproof.

Currently, most insect repellents contain DEET, which is a synthetic compound. Although the Environmental Protection Agency has found DEET to be safe if used properly…natural chemicals, which some of us emit from our bodies, could make for a better repellent. (In addition, we humans would perceive the repellents as being odorless.)

So, at the moment those are your two choices….chemicals which can be effective (but is still a chemical) or natural products like citronella, which try to cover up our animal smell.

Now, of course there are a whole host of nifty gadgets that can help in your declaration of war against mosquitoes like:

So, while there is no fool proof way to keep the bugs away, there are ways to decrease their attraction to you…and this might mean standing next to someone who has “sweeter meat” than you.

Have any terrible bug stories? Let’s hear ’em!

Newsletter August 2011

ppl motorhomes, motorhome newsletter, camping newsletter, rv newsletter

RV Nana’s Spicy Grilled Gulf Coast Shrimp

As we traveled this summer we were so luck to find some great fresh seafood along the Texas Gulf Coast.  One of my customers told me about this wonderful recipe she found in the KOA directory.  Try it and see for yourself why we like this twist on shrimp.

Prep time:  15 minutes
Marinate:    1 hour
Grill:            7 – 10 minutes

1 1/2 pounds of extra large shrimp (peeled and deveined) we used fresh
ones from the piers in Galveston but frozen will work, too.
1/4 cup orange marmalade
1/4 cup honey
2-3 tsp. Cajun seasoning, divided
1 T olive oil

Thaw shrimp, rinse and pat dry.  If using wooden skewers, soak the skewers for an hour and this helps prevent them from burning on the grill.  In a microwave safe bowl combine marmalade, honey and 1/2 tsp Cajun seasoning.  Set aside.

Place shrimp in a ziplock bag.  Mix oil and remaining Cajun seasoning and pour over the shrimp.  Marinate for about an hour, turning the bag occasionally.

Drain shrimp and discard marinade.  Place shrimp on skewers (you can alternate with optional  onions and bell peppers). Grill directly on over a medium heat until shrimp are opaque, turning at least once during the grilling time.

Heat the marinade for about one minute in the microwave until melted. Transfer shrimp to a plate and drizzle with marmalade mixture.  We love to serve this over long grain and wild rice.  Add a salad and you have a terrific dinner.  Enjoy!

If you’d like to share any of YOUR recipes., leave it in the comment section below. I know we have a lot of hungry RVers out there that are looking for that next great meal!