Fire Couldn’t Keep RV Nana and PPL Motorhomes Away From Bastrop

Bastrop, Texas is still a great place to get away and enjoy the RV lifestyle.  I know all of us at PPL Motorhomes have heard so much about the fires and devastation that it seems that most people assume that there is no place in the area to go RVing.  We spent Thanksgiving weekend at the LCRA Park and it was beautiful.  This is our second Thanksgiving weekend to spend here because it is only a few hours from home and close to family.  It is also far enough away from the city life to enjoy the outdoors and close enough for the girls to to run into town to catch a few Black Friday sales.

Our fifth wheel was set up in a site was probably one of the best in the park with lake access and lots of room.  We took the Kayaks out and just had a great time hiking, biking and enjoying the family.  Our daughter and her family were in the site across from us so we had the grand kids to keep us busy and entertained.  The guys fried turkeys and we had all of the traditional Thanksgiving food out at the picnic table, complete with the homemade centerpiece the kids made from items they found on their hikes.

It was a wonderful weekend with great weather.  We certainly had plenty to be thankful for this holiday season.

Bastrop is in the process of rebuilding and will come back stronger than ever. As you can see from the few pictures we took, you’d never know how much devastation the fires caused, which is all the more reason to visit the LCRA Park in Bastrop. Trust me, you will be surprised at the beauty you will find here.

Swing by PPL Motorhomes, be sure to tell us about your camping experiences.

PPL Motorhomes: Is the new RVer getting younger?

One of the things I’ve been seeing a lot at PPL Motorhomes is that the age of new RVers is getting younger, specifically with the “Baby Boomer” generation who are approaching retirement. This isn’t news to anyone, especially the “boomers” themselves, but since we sell Used and Consignment RVs, we see a lot of first timers. Owning an RV falls right in line with the 78 million Americans born between 1946 and 1964 who have a love affair with anything on wheels.

The following are excerpts from a piece from an occasional series published by the Miami Herald I think you may find interesting.

Oh, how Baby Boomers love their wheels. Weaned on hot rods, raised with Mustangs and Camaros, inspired by the rebellious freedom of the counterculture film Easy Rider, they’ve had a lifelong affair with all things motorized. Whether it was the VW microbuses that symbolized 1960s hippie life or the Hummers that screamed excess at the turn of the century, what they drove defined who and where they were. Cars, motorcycles and recreational vehicles became more than transportation. They were fashion statements.

“For Boomers, a car wasn’t just a car,” says George Hoffer, a Virginia Commonwealth University economics professor and auto analyst. “It was freedom. It was mobility. It was the fun that came with being able to go.”

For the parents of Boomers, most of whom who had suffered through the Great Depression and World War II, a car was something of a luxury. By the time the oldest Boomers posed for their driver license pictures, however, teenagers thought of a vehicle as a necessity. Desire varied a bit by geography. Miami, for instance, has always had more of a car culture than New York, with its mass transit.

“Boomers grew up with the expectation of mobility,” says Lance Wilson, executive director of the Florida Recreational Vehicle Trade Association. “They also were raised with more affluence.”

GENERATION’S CLOUT

Boomers are definitely in the driver’s seat:

  • Four years ago, AAA published its first Easy Reading North American Road Atlas, which offers 40% larger type than standard atlases. It has been marketed to Boomers as “easier on the eyes for the generation known for its independence and wanderlust.”
  • Baby Boomers account for more than half of all new vehicle purchases and make up almost 60 percent of all drivers, according to Scotia Economics, a research and policy development outfit.
  • Motorcycle riders 45 and older made up 46% of all riders in 2008. Boomers outnumber Generation Y riders by a margin of 2 to 1.
  • Aging Baby Boomers nearing retirement are fueling the increase in RV demand, industry experts say. Today one in 10 vehicle-owning households in the age group of 50 to 64 own at least one RV. The average age of an RV owner is 49.

As they age, experts say Boomers’ transportation choices will force them to balance image with comfort, desire with reality. Those who once zoomed down the highway on fast bikes will want something easier on their backs.

“Boomers want to experience the road with all the comforts of home,” says Dick Shaefer, owner of the website boomerrver.com. “They want to enjoy the experience of camping with their microwaves and their queen-size beds.”

We hear about  perfect examples everyday. Parents who camped with her sons throughout their Boy Scout career  Now purchasing Class A motorhomes for those grown children and their families in hopes of continuing the tradition of travel and the outdoors.

Trust me, there’s nothing like retiring in style! Do you already have an RV? Are you planning on getting one? Did you stumble on this post and want to know more information about RVing? Leave me a comment or call PPL Motorhomes…we should have all of the answers!

PPL Motorhomes: The Very Real Fire Hazards and Your New RV

This is not something that RV Nana, or PPL Motorhomes takes lightly.

I recently read of a 55 year old Oklahoma man who died when his travel trailer caught fire while he was asleep. By the time emergency services got to the campsite, the flames were reported to be 20 to 30 feet high and the RV was totally consumed in flame. The RV next to the unfortunate camper was also destroyed. At the time of writing this, the fire is still under investigation to determine the cause.

This isn’t always the most uplifting stuff to talk about, but all RVers need to be aware of the very real fire hazards we could face on a daily basis either through neglect or accident. The problem is that there’s not much to our rigs and, in fact, can burn alarmingly fast. They are filled with fuel of all types: textiles, flammable liquids, wood, paper products…you name it, it can probably be found in our rigs.

There are multiple ways of protecting your family and property, but you must always keep in mind that a fire in an RV can turn into a catastrophic event amazingly fast. The chances of you putting out a rapidly spreading fire in your rig are slim to none. Don’t believe me? Watch the speed at which fire can spread below…be sure to read the comments on the video:

See, all it took was a spark and a little wind to fan the flames. If your RV is burning, GET OUT! That’s all I can say, don’t try to put it out yourself.

Have your RV checked and inspected on a regular basis by PPL Motorhomes…they may find something that you aren’t aware of. Besides, It’s better to be safe than sorry right?

PPL Motorhomes thinks you can benefit from solar power

 

Having an RV is a great way to travel around the country with family and love ones. It is basically a  home on wheels,  minus some of the electrical appliances you use every day…but not many.

An RV uses only a small amount of power, hence it has a limited on board power source. Therefore, you cannot run multiple electronic gadgets at the same time using the existing power source or supply or it will drain the battery very fast. You would not want to be stranded by the side of the road just because your battery went dead.

To increase the power supply on an RV, many people are opting to installing a solar power kit on their vehicle. Trust me, this is money that will be well spent.

To save cost, you can actually make the RV solar system via a Do it Yourself (DIY) approach. The setup is quite simple with only 4 major components which are the solar panels, charge controller, battery units and power inverter.

The function of the solar panel is to collect the energy from the sun and converts it to electric current. This is done by using a semi-conductor material known as Photovoltaic (PV) cells.

You can purchase good quality solar panel from PPL motorhomes. For a RV, you may have to bolt the panels on the roof of the vehicle making sure it is secure. Panels to flying off  your RV when traveling at high speed is a sure-fire way to ruin your vacation.

The solar array on the roof of the RV will be connected to the charge controller. The charge controller will take the electric current generated to charge a series of batteries. The type of battery most suitable for solar system is marine type or deep cycle battery. This kind of battery is more durable and can be discharged to a very low level without damaging the internal components. For a RV, 4 – 6 units of battery will be more than enough to fulfill the power needs.

Since all deep cycle battery can only store Direct Current (DC), the power inverter will be used to convert the DC to Alternate Current (AC). Most modern electrical equipment are designed to run on AC.

How much would it cost to make the solar system for your RV on your own? All of the parts can be purchased from major hardware stores. If you do your shopping during bargain or discount period, the whole setup can be built with a budget of less than $1,300.

Check into PPL Motorhomes, you save a more money than you previously had thought. Plus we have the people who can help you with your project.

Tips for Texas RV Newbies and Seasoned Pros

Whether own a Texas RV, or not, there’s never been a better time to take up the RV life. Whether you’re a weekend wanderer, a snowbird or a full-timer, there’s a used RV to suit any travel budget and any taste. With baby boomers starting to hit retirement age, more and more people are taking to the road with their motor home, fifth-wheel or travel trailer.  In fact, the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association recently reported that nearly 8 million American households have and RV, motorhome or travel trailer and that there are as many as 30 million RV enthusiasts in the US.

Looking for a few helpful tips? Here you go:

Map it Out

A large part of the RV appeal is the exhilarating freedom of the open road to go wherever you want, whenever you still should have a solid travel plan in place. Look in travel guides, contact tourism boards in states you’ll be passing through and search on the Internet. A GPS system is a good idea, especially if you’re new to this kind of travel. If you’ve carefully designed the route you’ll be taking, it makes it easier to do spur-of-the moment things like checking out that oddball museum you just spotted on a roadside billboard!

Have A Checklist? Just Checking

As a part of your “pre-trip preparation” (in addition to the essentials) put together a thorough checklist of things to do when setting up at a campground. There are the basics, like finding out where all the campground connections are, making sure your RV is level and properly hooking up your water, gas and electric systems. Equally important, you should have a second checklist of what has to be done when you break camp, both in terms of setting up your RV for departure (quick hint: when you think the job is done and everything is ready, check again).

Be Prepared – Have A ‘Just-For-The-RV’ First Aid Kit

Always make sure you have a fully stocked, up-to-date, just-for-the-RV First Aid kit, and keep it in an outside storage compartment. It should include basic medical supplies (bandages, ointment, OTC pain reliever, insect repellant, scissors, etc.) and items like a flashlight, paper and writing implements, and a disposable camera in case you have to take photos of an accident site. If you don’t feel up to the task of putting one together yourself, an extensive range of ready-made First Aid kits are available for purchase. Also include an emergency supply of must-have medications and a list of important contact names (family members, doctors, insurance agents etc).

Camping with Kids

If you’re traveling with children, make sure to set aside time during the day for outdoor activities, as even the roomiest RV can be confining for kids. And give each child his or her own space in the RV, no matter how small, for personal stuff and toys and games. RV traveling is a unique opportunity for your children to see new and different places and faces. There are often plenty of other kids at campgrounds – but be sure to walk around a new campground with your children when you first get settled.

A Little Help From Your Friends

When in doubt, ask your fellow RVer. However well-traveled you might be, odds are there’s someone you’ll meet along the way who has been somewhere you haven’t, solved a problem you haven’t yet encountered, or spotted an out-of-the-way delight you’ve never heard of. No matter how much research you’ve done, there’s bound to be a campsite you haven’t read about, a storage system that has escaped your notice – or a funny anecdote that you’ll laugh about for years to come. The new folks you meet may or may not become close friends for life, but they’re an important part of the journey.

Storing Your RV

When your trip has come to an end, and you’ve seen all you can see, you may need a place to store your RV. Finding the right RV storage solution for your recreational vehicle isn’t always easy, but it might be a necessity, as many neighborhoods have deed restrictions and home owner associations that don’t allow for storage in your driveway. Besides a RV represents a major investment in terms of cost, time and long term maintenance, so it’s important to make sure the storage facility meets your needs for safety, access and amenities.

I can guarantee that all of us here at PPL Motorhomes look forward to one of two things: helping you get the RV of your dreams…or, dreaming about going RVing ourselves! Can you think of anything to add to this? If so, leave me a comment…(ex. A Little Help From Your Friends).

Texas RV Tip: Setting the Mirrors on your RV

If there is one thing that you should learn first, above all other functions of your Texas RV’s, gears, gadgets and do-hickeys, it’s how tow adjust and set your mirrors. That’s right, for all of the amazing things you can do in your RV, you can’t even really start to enjoy them until you learn the basics. One of those basics is mirror adjustment.

Now I know what you are thinking, “I know how to do that. I drive my car daily. Adjusting mirrors is simple.” I know, I know you are a pro RVer, but you might be surprised to learn that there is a system and a skill to adjusting your mirrors the right way. After all, you don’t want to learn about that blind spot for the first time after you side swipe someone, right?

Here’s how you get started.

If you have not adjusted your mirrors before, then the first thing you’ll need to do is look for and loosen the lock-down bolts on the mirror frames and pre-set the frame. Then pre-set the adjustable and fixed mirrors to the middle of their range. Don’t strain against the mirror frames. If you can’t get them to move just loosen the bolts a little more.

Jump up and sit in the drivers seat. You are going to need some assistance, so have someone adjust the mirror frame to where it is close to the setting shown in RV-Figure-1. You’ll have to tell them when it looks good to you.

Once you  think you have them set to your proper field of view, lock the mirror frame bolts down. Now you are ready to position the mirrors themselves.

The Top, larger, mirrors are not magnifiers, and give you a larger field of view down the road behind you. So you set these to allow a comfortably seated driver to see the edge of the RV, as well as down the road starting at a point. This is about halfway down the RV’s body.

The lower, smaller mirrors are magnifiers, and give a smaller field of view, so set the edge further in so the driver can see the Bottom of the RV body about 8-10 feet behind the driver.

Check out the video below for and in depth lesson on how to adjust your RV’s mirrors.

Remember, as always, if you have any questions or comments, you can leave them here, or stop by PPL Motorhomes and we can help you adjust them.

PPL Motorhomes: Freedom is RVing

If you’re looking for new vacation experiences, then it may well be worth your while to investigate a RV from PPL Motorhomes. Interestingly, even with the downturn in the economy RVing has been becoming increasingly popular.

Just take a look around you, there are more RVs on the road these days and there are a number of reasons for this.

With money being on top of everyone’s minds these days, many people are taking more of an interest in how much they are spending on leisure activities such as vacations. Weekend breaks and holidays tend to involve a considerable amount of expense, so it makes sense to think about how costs could be reduced in this area.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pbOynIJG3GA

It goes without saying that travel and accommodation costs are factors that can lead to particularly expensive vacations.

Of course, RV vacations should not merely be seen as a money-saving exercise. There are many more reasons to GoRVing. In particular, many RV owner  will tell you that they enjoy the thought of havingan increased sense of freedom.

With a RV, you are free to explore a much wider range of locations…at your own pace. You can also create a more flexible holiday, moving from place to place with a real opportunity to discover new regions and areas, again, entirely at your leisure.

Indeed, some would say that the sense of freedom associated with RV vacations can simply not be matched by alternative travel options. There’s a real community spirit associated with these trips, as many enthusiasts (like us) enjoy sharing their experiences.

There is almost no limit to where you can go in your RV. Remember the easiest way to experience RVing is to call PPL Motorhomes, so now everyone has the chance to experience what a countless  number of RVers already know.

What are other benefits you’ve experienced by joining the RV Community?

PPL motorhomes suggests microchiping your pet

We love our pets at PPL Motorhomes! I was thinking the other day that with all of the pets I see at the campsites, looking out of new RV windows, on the trails while walking, how many of them get lost while on vacation? A lot? A few? I’m not really sure. To top it off, I haven’t really run across too many articles detailing pets and the RV lifestyle.  However, I did find an article on micro-chipping. It’s a relatively painless and quick procedure that you vet can do on a regular visit.

Why should you microchip your pet?

Obviously, pets need to be fed, exercised and directed. They also need to be identified should they become separated from you. An open door, a hole under a fence, a simple distraction is all it can take for your pet to wander. As many as 80% of unidentifiable pets are never reunited with their owners should they get lost.

Throughout the month of September, the American Kennel Club celebrates AKC Responsible Dog Owners. Responsible dog ownership includes micro chipping your pet and keeping up to date on registration information. Below is a description of how the pet microchip process works.

Micro Chipping your Pet

A pet microchip is the most permanent form of pet identification available today. About the size of a grain of rice, it is inserted painlessly by your veterinarian between your pet’s shoulder blades. There are several different types of microchips on the market in the United States. The 15 digit ISO pet microchip is the world standard. Many countries require this type of pet microchip for entry. Even if you don’t plan to travel with your pet, animal control agencies in cities and towns all over the United States have microchip scanners that can read an ISO microchip, and that is the first thing they will do when capturing a lost pet.

Register Your Pet!

After micro chipping your pet, the next step is registration. All manufacturers have their own database with owner contact information associated with every microchip number. Some manufacturers charge pet owners for registering, but some don’t. Datamars is a manufacturer of the ISO pet microchip. Their database can be accessed at PetLink.net and provide pet owners with free registration and unlimited changes to their contact information.

Pet Identification

The concept of pet identification is quite simple but often misunderstood. It is the pet owner’s responsibility to be sure that their pet can be identified if they get lost. You must stay current on microchip registration information. If you plan to more or switch phone numbers, update your pet’s registration information.

Other Helpful Tips

• Keep rabies tags on your pet
• Keep a collar ID tag on your pet with your current address and phone number
• Keep the pet microchip manufacturer’s tag on your pet if they have one
• Always keep a picture of your pet handy (better yet, one of you and your pet) in the case that identification is necessary.

Pet identification is a simple thing. Ask your veterinarian about inserting a pet microchip. Additionally, don’t forget to register! If you microchip your pet, it could mean the difference between finding your pet or not.

Nothing can ruin a great trip like a lost pet. Before you pick up you gas up your motorhome for that next trip , make sure you bring Fido or Fifi in for micro-chipping…It might save you a lot of heartache in the future.

PPL Motorhomes Honors those Defending Libery and Freedom

Here’s to the Army and Navy and the battles they have won;

here’s to America’s colors, the colors that never run.

May the wings of liberty never lose a feather.

It is no secret that RV Nana and PPL Motorhomes is proud of America, Our Flag, but more over, those who fight to defend our ideals of a Democratic future for all people far and wide. We have been blessed to live where we do and want nothing more than to salute and honor the world’s largest volunteer fighting force. I thought a quick re-education about the origins of Veterans Day is in order.

Veterans Day is an annual United States holiday honoring military veterans. It is a federal holiday that is observed on November 11. It is also celebrated as Armistice Day, or Remembrance Day in other parts of the world and falls on November 11, the anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended World War I. (Major hostilities of World War I were formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 with the German signing of the Armistice.)

The U.S. President Woodrow Wilson first proclaimed an Armistice Day for November 11, 1919. In proclaiming the holiday, he said

“To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations.

We pledge to honor your memory. We pledge to honor every drop of blood you spilled defending our honor, life and liberty. We pledge to remember your bravery and the bravery of your families who sacrificed with you. There is no greater virtue than serving your country with honor and valor.

All of us, not just at PPL Motorhomes, or those of us  in Houston, in Texas or the rest of the United States are humbled by your allegiance to goodness, justice and the American way.

All we can do is thank you. Thank you for your sacrifice. Thank you for your service. Thank you for putting yourself in harm’s way daily. Thank you for your sense of duty, pride and love for the colors and flag we proudly fly over our nation in your honor.

Both as Warriors and bringers of peace, your resolve and courage will never be forgotten. God bless the American Military and all of those who have served in wars and conflicts past, present and future.

The next time you see, or talk with a veteran, shake his/her hand and thank them for their sacrifice.

PPL Motorhomes can help with your Rodent problem

At PPL Motorhomes, we know that no one wants to come to the realization that rodents may have infested their RV. The fact of the matter is that it happens and it can cause a lot more than that “icky” feeling. Rodents will chew through wood, fiberglass and wiring…the latter can be especially dangerous and result in a potential fire hazard? So how do you keep those critters from invading your home on wheels?

Oddly, the rodents themselves aren’t really the problem it’s the diseases and the damage they can cause after they invade your RV.

If you are experiencing a rodent problem, your best bet is to go the cheap route first and wither try to drive them out, like the video suggested, or resort to more drastic measure.

If you are still having problems and now have cabling, parts or accessories that need repair, don’t hesitate to give PPL Motorhomes a call.