PPL Motorhomes: This New Year, Fix that leaky holding tank

OK, so you know that your holding tank is leaking, and since we’re being honest, it’s been leaking for a while. You can’t fool RV Nana. Think of the new year as your chance to fix that leaking holding tank. If you have a leaking holding tank, make it your new year’s resolution to fix it.

So, what is the next step?

Many people believe the only thing you can do is replace the tank. That option can be very expensive – from $300 to $800 or more.

Even worse, it also takes your rig out of commission for a while – maybe several weeks. Tank replacement is an inconvenience for someone who uses their rig occasionally, but for the full time RVer it is much more than that.

What about repairing the tank?

If you have a leaking tank, look for the cause. If it is inherent weaknesses in the tank causing cracking there is not much can be done to prevent it. But if the problem is due to external damage or stresses, look for a way to prevent re-occurrence of the problem. If the tank is being damaged by dragging, simply adding drag wheels on the rear of your rig may eliminate the problem.

One important point if you are taking your unit in for repair. Make sure the tanks are flushed out and clean. Leave the dump valve open and let the tank dry out. Many service centers will not work on the holding tanks if they have not been thoroughly cleaned. Of course, the exception to this is if you are unable to dump and flush the tanks due to a malfunctioning valve, etc.  If they do accept it to work on, you are going to get charged extra for the cleaning. Just remember, dumping and cleaning your own tanks is bad enough. If the service center has to take your rig to the dump station, dump it, clean it and maybe wait for it to dry, you are going to be paying for it.

There are basically three options of repair depending upon the type of tank you have.

Topical Adhesives – These are generally the two part epoxies that are normally used as a temporary repair. Since there is no adhesive that will permanently bond to LDPE or ABS, they are usually applied to plug a small hole or crack and are used with limited success. If the surface is roughened to allow better gripping and if they can be applied where there is little or no flexing, it increases the chance of success.

Since these adhesives are not of the same material as the tank, the difference in temperature expansion/contraction also plays a role in their successful use. Hot water run into a tank on a cold day can cause a major expansion/contraction that will loosen the grip of these adhesives. Most of the “Tank Repair Kits” that are found on the market are topical adhesives.

Thermal Welding – This is the process of applying heat to melt the plastic together. There are several methods of thermal welding. Each requires different special equipment and some skills in using the equipment, depending upon the extent of repair. For this reason, a limited number of RV service centers offer thermal welding. Some service centers who offer this service do not guarantee it to work but when performed properly it is quite effective. You may be able to find other businesses in your area which also specialize in plastic thermal welding.

There are several simple thermal welding kits on the market for around $200 that can be used quite successfully for small repairs after learning how. This may be a practical repair option for someone with the time and patience to work with it. Even though it is a fourth or half of replacement cost, the welding kit can be used repeatedly.

Thermal welding is the only permanent method of repairing LDPE tanks and can also be used for ABS tanks. One of the problems of thermal welding is it can be labor intensive for anything beyond minor repairs. This can make it quite expensive. This needs to be considered when weighing the option of repair vs. replacement.

Chemical Welding – This is the process of using a chemical that melts the plastic together. The most common example of this is plumbing cement. The plumbing cement melts the plastic of the pipe and fitting together creating a strong bond. Many times a plastic resin is added to the chemical to give extra sealing body to the joint.

Chemical welding works very well with ABS as a quick and permanent repair. Since most RV holding tanks are ABS, chemical welding is the most economical and efficient means of repair.

One of the advantages to chemical welding is the flexibility and ease of application. If you can reach the area with a paintbrush, you can repair it.  It can be used with any size crack or hole and over large areas to strengthen the tank.

Another is, the tank can be put back into use within hours. If you are a full timer or waiting to use your rig this can be a big advantage.

Make a note of this, the major cause of failure for any type of tank repair is lack of cleaning and not prepping the tank properly. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for prep and application for the product you are using.

So, the next time you look under your rig and see your holding tank dripping, consider some of your options. Don’t just give up to replacing it when you may be able to repair it for a fraction of the cost.


PPL Motorhomes Rides the Old Pony Express Trail

Have you ever wanted to take a trip where you really had to think about it? If so, you should consider taking an RV education trip.  You see, one of the many great things about RVing is the ease of which you can  visit areas of our nation that have great historical significance, like  Boston, the mighty Mississippi, even the Pony Express trail- which was a revolutionary, but  short-lived form of communication. The 1,800-mile mail delivery system that ran from St. Joseph, Missouri to Old Sacramento,  California – a route now dotted with original and replica structures, as well as museums documenting the historic trail.

Hundreds of men and horses traversed the route, which included some 150 stations every 10-15 miles where riders would switch to a fresh horse. The journey took about 10 days and was key to linking the eastern U.S. to the west. The Pony Express ran only 18 months, from April 1860 to October 1861, when a telegraph system took its place.

The National Park Service has established the Pony Express National Historic Trail, which includes both original and replica buildings.   Stretching through eight states, these include the following official  historic trail stops:

  • Pony  Express Stable – St. Joseph, Missouri
  • Patee  House – St. Joseph, Missouri
  • Marysville  Pony Express Barn – Marysville, Kansas
  • Hollenberg  Station – Hanover, Kansas
  • Rock  Creek Station – Fairbury, Nebraska
  • Fort  Caspar – Casper, Wyoming
  • Camp  Floyd/Stagecoach Inn – Fairfield, Utah
  • Simpson  Springs – Tooele County, Utah
  • Fort  Churchill – Silver Springs, Nevada
  • B.F.  Hastings Building – Old Sacramento, California

Now, THAT sounds like a fun trip! Of course,if you are new to RVing, or are looking to get your first RV, RVNana and PPL Motorhomes are here to help with questions and give any advice you may need. Just give us a shout…but not by Pony Express.

Do You Know Where the Best RV Campgrounds Are?

RV Nana has been to some really great RV parks around Texas and the US. Of course, we’ve also been to a few duds, but hey, at least we were RVing. After doing a little research, I found this great site that rates and reviews RV campsites throughout the United States, Mexico and Canada. If you are planning an RV trip and are curious about the sites you’ve planned to stay at, check out rvparkreviews.com. There are almost 94,000 reviews to read, so I’m sure you’ll find the RV park you are looking for.

Regardless if you are an old RVing pro, or new to the RV lifestyle, this will be a really great resource for planning your next RV Adventure in your PPL motorhome.

Has anyone used this to research their RV camping facilities? Even better, who’s written a review on a camp site and submitted it?

What if Santa’s Sled was an RV instead?

He would definitely have enough room for himself, Mrs. Clause, and the reindeer.  If he got a bunkhouse he could even bring a few elves with him. He could take all of the comforts of the North Pole with him too! You know, milk and cookies…it’s for the road.  Hey! It would be a good opportunity to give that poor old sleigh and those 8 tiny reindeer a much deserved “night off”. OH! If he got a toy hauler, he could bring them with him too. Is there anything an RV can’t do? Hey Santa, I know where you can pick up a great RV on consignment…*wink*.

So, if you can’t tell, RV Nana LOVES Christmas and the Holiday Season. The lights, the decorations, the changing weather, the food and the smell of hot apple cider. It’s the one time of year that people seem to be more openly friendly to strangers and more giving to family, friends and charities like our Cuddles for Kids program. I like that feeling. In fact, I wish it was Christmas every day of the year.

This year, whether you’re at home, with family or even on the road in your RV, don’t forget the true meaning of the season. It’s a time to give. It’s a time to reflect on the past year. It’s a time to plan for the future.

Goodness, joy, love and togetherness, may these gifts be bestowed upon you this Holiday Season…Happy Holidays from RV Nana and everyone at PPL Motorhomes.

Used RVs: RVing is more affordable than you think

At PPL Motorhomes, we already know the vast differences in value when you compare RVing to taking a flight to your vacation destination. Think about it. When we consider the costs that are associated with holidays, we can see that there are a number of factors that will have an influence. In particular, we tend to spend a lot of money on flights, car hire, accommodations and food.

This helps to explain why many of us look to save as much money as we can in these particular areas. It’s because we know that doing so will ensure that we can get a cheaper vacation. But, are cheaper vacations really representative of value for money?

It’s important that you choose a vacation that will be relaxing and can be enjoyed by the whole family. There’s very little point in choosing a cheap vacation if you simply will not enjoy it.

So what options are open to you? Some people like to opt for a camping trip, knowing that this can often save them a lot of money in many areas. Camping however, will not be ideal for everyone. Some people prefer the thought of sleeping in an accommodation that’s a little more solid.

This helps to explain the continued  popularity of RVing….even with a struggling economy. In an RV, you can hit the road and enjoy the flexibility of knowing that you have good quality accommodation with you at all times. You’ll find that you worry a lot less about the facilities provided at sites.

Unlike with a camping trip, you won’t have to rely upon the campsite toilets and bathroom facilities. That’s because your RV is likely to be far better equipped than most tents!

As a result, a RV offers the opportunity for you to have a great holiday, no matter what budget you have available to you. You’ll be saving money on accommodations, flights and car rentals.

Of course, you don’t have to actually buy a New RV, at PPL Motorhomes we sell used and consignment RVs. You can actually get more RV for your money when you shop through PPL motorhomes, and that takes RVing to an entirely different level. Don’t you think its time you made your RV dreams come to fruition?


PPL Motorhomes and Cuddles for Kids

If there is one thing that you need to know about RV Nana it’s that I love giving back to the community, and I have a hard time thinking of a cause as worthy or unique as Cuddles for Kids. Every year PPL Motorhomes, the Houston Police Department and P.A.C.T (Police and Clergy Team) team up to collect as many teddy bears as we can.

These bears will be carried by police officers in their cruisers to be given to children who are caught in the crossfire of a domestic dispute or other crime. The bears have proven to be an amazing tool for helping children cope with undoubtedly traumatizing experiences.

Last year, PPL Motorhomes collected 430 bears to be donated to the Houston Police Department. This year, PPL has set out to collect and help donate 1,000 bears by the end of December. To this date, we’ve only partially reached our goal and still need your help.

How can you help? Purchase a bear for a child from PPL Motorhomes!

Take it from me, there is comfort in knowing that some where a child is clinging on tightly to the softest and safest thing he knows. It just so happens to be the bear you donated. Donating a bear to the Cuddles for Kids foundation and P.A.C.T. goes beyond the stuffing, thread and fur it took to make it. You have given that child a focal point where he or she can escape for just a few moments in the comfort of an object that might be the only object of normalcy in their lives. That bear in the hands of that child is hope. It comforts that child and  lets them know that they aren’t alone; that someone will protect them; that someone will watch out for them, and that someone really cares. Even when their world has been turned upside down, your donation can help make it right.

If you’d like to donate a bear to P.A.C.T, visit our Facebook page, or just drop one off at PPL Motorhomes. We appreciate it, P.A.C.T. appreciates it, the Houston Police Department appreciates it, but no one of us appreciate it more than the kids.

PPL Motorhomes asks: What do you know about your Generator, RVers?

There is a lot to know and learn when it comes to choosing the right RV generator. Aside from the brands, you should also take the time to do a little research on types of generators,  features of a good generator, sizes and even the safe operation of a generator unit. As I was doing my own research…Yes, even the RV Nana has to brush up every now and then on the great products that are out there…I ran across a ton of articles and resources. Here is a quick snapshot of the most commonly asked questions:

When RVing you will always enjoy the comfort of a good, efficient generator. There are many different types to choose from, so do your research and choose the best on for your RV and RV lifestyle. If you have any questions, and you should, don’t hesitate to comment below, or PPL Motorhomes a call. We can answer all of your generator questions and help you in your selection.

PPL motorhomes asks: “Trailer or Motorhome, Which Do You Prefer?”

If you’re looking for your first new or used Motorhome or trailer, or wanting to upgrade from the one you have now, picking between a trailer and motorhome can be a big decision.
The first thing you need to figure out is how the RV will be used, and whether you need to accommodate a lot of people and belongings. The next thing to consider is the budget, because a trailer will usually cost less than the most comparable motorhome. So, if you happen to be new to the world of recreational vehicles and cost is an issue, then a trailer would be a great place to start. Regardless which you choose, they can be stored at an indoor storing facility when not in use.
One of the biggest benefits of a trailer over a motorhome is the ability to unhitch it once you arrive at a campsite. If you hooked it up to a truck, you can maneuver on and around the campsite a lot easier than if you had a bigger motorhome (the motorhome does give you a lot of amenities inside that big package, though!). If you’re torn between the two — and have a specially outfitted truck — take a look at a fifth-wheel trailer for the ability to tow and to get some of the extras that a motorhome provide.

With a motorhome, you can tow a smaller vehicle behind to use on the campground, so you aren’t necessarily grounded at the site with one of the big boys. Also, once you set a motorhome up, it can be quite comfortable when you level it up and attach all of the hookups.
Either way, you can’t go wrong with a motorhome or a trailer, it just boils down to personal preference, camping lolcations you plan on choosing and your budget.
So, are you a Motorhome person or a Trailer person, either way we have quite a few used RVs at PPL Motorhomes, so I’m sure we can find the right one for you.

PPL Motorhomes can help give your RV a little more “definition”

Hi-Definition to be exact. If you are looking to zazz up your outside excitement, consider a new hi-def entertainment console. If you are handy and understand a combination of carpentry, electronics and audiophile gibberish, then by all means, have a crack at upgrading your RV.

Check out the PPL Motorhomes web site for all the gadgets and stuff you need to turn your RV into a rolling entertainment center…well, I  guess technically it already is.

PPL Motorhomes asks: Have you considered a diesel for your next motorhome

PPL Motorhomes is one of the nation’s largest used and consignment RV Dealerships, so we see our fair share of diesels come through PPL Motorhomes to be sold. The Diesel RV has been around for quite some time. Still, they have an unusual mystique about them.  People seem a little leery of diesel engines, but that shouldn’t stop you from learning what they are. Once you figure out what a diesel motorhome can do and how much more pleasant they are to drive than the typical gas motorhome, you might make room in your budget to try it for yourself.

1.  Smoothest Way to Drive

You should never think just because it is a diesel you will be bumping up and down the road like some trucker. On the contrary, diesel pushers are made for smooth sailing.  The way they are made allows them to ride smoother than the gas counterparts.  They also have an adjustable air compression unit, meaning that you can make it fit the height of your RV.  It serves to stabilize the RV when gushing winds or over sized diesels come swooshing by, allowing for greater control of the RV.

2.  Did Someone Say Power?

Going up a steep grade will be no problem in a diesel pusher. The diesel engine has a lower RPM which gives you more power for pulling. So not only will it drag the motorhome up-hill, it can easily do it while dragging the family car as well.

3.  More Room Means More Living Space

Since diesels are built on a bus frame, they are bigger than your average RV. In some cases, when you start adding slide outs to your already large trailer, you have got a motor home that is pretty darn close to the size of a doublewide mobile home. I have actually rented apartments smaller than these things.

4.  Smooth Braking

Since the RV is built on the chassis of a bus, you can get some nice bus features as well. The air brakes make driving these bad boys down the road so much easier.

5.  Better Mileage

It’s not possible to talk about vehicles without talking about fuel efficiency.  In most cases, the miles per gallon on a diesel is much higher than on a regular Class A. Higher MPG means more money for your all important trips.

Now that you know the basics of the Diesel RV, you can find Used and Consignment RVs right here at PPL Motorhomes. Once you step inside one, you just might find that your retirement dream really did include a diesel. You just didn’t know about it until now.

Who has a Diesel Pusher the love and why should RV Nana readers shop them?