If you are looking for and RV that is “new to you” I suggest checking out the consignment motorhomes and trailers at PPL Motorhomes. We go over each unit thoroughly, and prices are suggested according to what we feel the unit is worth, but these three things can save you not only money, but also a lot of heartache down the road. Do you know what to check for? Find out now…
Warning Signs on a RV
Like all used items for sale, some are in better condition than others. As an informed consumer, you need to know what to look for so you don’t wind up with a lemon. Here are a few quick and easy things to include in your check: • Excessive Sealant — This is a sign that the RV has had issues with leaks. • Water Stains — Water stains on the ceiling and walls are signs of leaks. Water stains on the floor or in the cabinets can either be leaks or broken pipes. • Expired Tires — Every RV tire will have a four-digit code stamped on the side. The first two digits are the week of the year they were made and the last two digits are the year they were made. Any tire over six years old will need to be replaced.
Get the CarFax on the RV (if available)
This is something that usually gets me a funny look. Even though PPL Motorhomes doesn’t offer this service, you can certainly use it on your own. While many people think that CarFax is just for cars, you can find RV listed as well. Keep in mind though that not all RV will appear on their listing. However, CarFax will give unbiased and accurate information on the history of the vehicle. You will want to look for water damage, fire damage, bodywork and other claims that may pop up.
While it costs a little bit to check the CarFax, it is worth every penny if it prevents you from potentially getting you hands on a lemon.
RV Dealers Sell RV By Owner
This is probably the best kept secret in the business. Many people think that in order to buy from an owner, you have to go to the owner. This is not the case. Many times RV lots sell on consignment like PPL Motorhomes. For example, PPL Motorhomes doesn’t own the RVs we sell, we’ve just been recruited to sell it for the owner. One of the greatest things about buying an RV that is on consignment is that you know that vehicle is going to be taken care of while on our lot waiting for its next new owner.
If you have any questions about purchasing a consigned RV, or even putting an RV on consignment yourself. Just give us a call and we’ll explain the entire process.
Lets say you just picked up your very first RV from PPL Motorhomes. Now you, might think that by virtue of getting a RV, that is now your new hobby; RVing, that is. This is somewhat true. Yes, learning about RVing, RV travel and RV maintenance is certainly a new hobby, but it’s also a lifestyle. Remember you are still going to have time afforded to you when you’re hooked up at a campsite. So why not take the time to pick up a hobby you’ve always wanted to do? You have more than enough time and the continued education will keep you sharp.
For instance, learn to play the guitar, or how to do needle point work, start painting or take photographs. Remember you are surrounded by an entire outdoor world that will surely be a drawing point of inspiration. The sights and sounds of the great outdoors alone should inspire you to be creative and adventurous.
The point of this post isn’t to really tell you better ways of using your time while out on the road. In fact, relaxing and doing nothing is a great hobby in and of itself. No one likes kicking her feet up more than RV Nana. However, there may be things you’ve always wanted to, like learning to play the guitar for example. There are so many videos on YouTube and really affordable instruments at places like Guitar Center.
Needle point is another great example. It keeps you mind sharp and your hands in shape. Again, there are hundreds of videos on YouTube that can put you on the right path to creating that perfect quilt, pillow or decorative wall hanging.
Celebrate your freedom, by picking up a new hobby on the road. There are literally hundreds to choose from. Now, if there is one thing all of us at PPL Motorhomes understand, it’s that the space in our rigs in extremely valuable, so be cognizant of the hobby you pick, what type of supplies you need, and where you are going to stow them.
Other than that, you’ll enjoy the RV lifestyle even more when you pick up a hobby you’ve always wanted to try. Now that you have the freedom RVing brings there’s no doubt you’ll have the time. This is your new lifestyle, get the most out of it you can.
I guess, being RVNana and all, I feel obligated to give you youngins’ a good talking to from time to time. This is one of those times. The lesson for today is: How To Prevent Driving Your RV Sleep Deprived.
People, I’ll tell you right now. If you are tired, stop and rest. You are creating a hazardous situation for you and those you share the road with. You may not even know you are tired until you start feeling the effects of road-hypnosis. That’s when you know you’ve driven for a while, but can’t remember the last landmark you passed. That’s tired, people. You need sleep.
You can really prevent sleep-related problems while RVing by setting a reasonable schedule of driving and stopping. Pace your trip. If you want to visit an off the map destination, you’d better plan for a reasonable length of time for travel. If you cannot set aside enough time to safely cover the distanced needed, save that destination for another time. As much as the seasoned RVers understand this, there are times when our experience can become dangerous by instilling a false sense of control. The bottom line is that there are no magic energy drinks, or tricks that will keep you awake behind the wheel. Sure, go ahead and open a window for fresh air, drink a caffeinated beverage, or try blasting the radio, but the experts will tell you the only thing that will help a sleep-deprived driver is sleep. Go figure.
I’ll make this simple. Plan your trip with the goal of covering no more than 250 miles per day. Ideally 100 to 150 miles per day is best. If you must drive farther, plan on having at least two qualified drivers taking turns behind the wheel. If both drivers are exhausted, it is time to stop and sleep. You are bringing your bed with you! What kind of fool falls asleep at the wheel with a bed just a few feet behind him?
So, there you go. You’ve been scolded by RVNana. If you need to pull over, just pull over. RVing is a lot more fun when you are actually traveling and not towing your rig out of a ditch, or worse, because you fell asleep at the wheel.
Here’s something I don’t think I’ve really discussed in previous blogs and yet it is a glaringly obvious topic: How do you conserve fuel in your new motorhome? I know we all have our own ideas. If there is anyone (non-commercial) that fuel prices affect, it’s RVers. Our rigs are heavy and your gas card reflects one of the responsibilities of RV ownership. You have to keep her fed.
I thought to myself, “What are some things that I do to conserve fuel while towing my fifth-wheel?”.
Slow Down On The Highway
I’ve heard that for every five miles per hour in excess of 60 m.p.h., you lose 7 to 23 percent of fuel efficiency. Hmmmm, that’s a good hint for all of you commuters! You might save a gallon of gas a week this way. Hey, that’s some extra grocery money!
Driving or towing your RV is stressful. We can sometimes have the tendency to already be on edge which not only makes your driving worse, but you can consume more fuel by driving more aggressively and accelerating rapidly. You are RVing, you should be relaxing. Slow down and enjoy the sights. Stop and rest, take breaks from your stress if you are experiencing it. I know there is nothing we can do about the driving of others, but remaining calm really will help with your fuel consumption.
Keep Tires At Proper Pressure
Really? Do I really need to tell all of you RVers, to keep your tires inflated properly? The right pressure will mean less drag, longer lasting tires and saving more dollars at the pump. Plain and simple.
Keep Up With Your Maintainence Schedule
Take care of your RV! Keep it maintained. If it’s about time for that 200,000 mile tune up, get it! A simple tune up can really increase economy. New belts and hoses, air filters, oil changes…all are a part of being an RV owner. Sometimes it can be hard to remember that our RVs are not just our homes, they are machines that need attention and care, both when actively being used and when they are in storage.
Now, I know these are “no-brainers”, I just wanted to get everyone really thinking about ways to save on fuel, not that we weren’t thinking about it already. I was hoping to jog a few brain cells out there to come up with new ways to save. Oh, like using your smart phone and apps like GasBuddy to help you find cheaper fuel… see, it’s already got me thinking.
Let RV Nana and PPL Motorhomes know your tricks and tips on saving at the pump. How do you keep your RVing fuel costs down?
If there is one thing about towing anything with your new or used motorhome, like another vehicle, or a trailer, you’ll quickly realize that the added weight to your rig is going to make braking a little more difficult and possible a little more stressful. You see, the brakes in your new, used or consignment motorhomes aren’t really designed for so much added weight behind your motorhome. The same can be said for the vehicles you use to tow your new or use travel trailer and fifth-wheels, although there is significantly less weight involved when coming to a stop while pulling your trailer.
One of the really neat products we carry that will really aid in your braking power is the BrakeBuddy. The BrakeBuddy is dedicated to towing safety by providing you the best and easiest-to-use supplementary braking system on the market. This system is extremely simple to install, easy to use, and meets the legally required supplementary braking requirements mandated by many state laws. Adding a BrakeBuddy to your motorhome will increase your breaking efficiency and safety. Why subject yourself to a potentially large liability claim simply because you did not comply with legal braking requirements?
I need to mention that no connections to your motorhome are required. The BrakeBuddy Requires no alterations to your hydraulic lines. Plus, it easily be transferred between vehicles.
Check out Boyd from PPL Motorhomes as he explains the benefits of the BrakeBuddy:
If you have any questions about the BrakeBuddy, or any of the 1,000′s of other products PPL Motorhomes carries, don’t hesitate to call RV Nana, or Boyd, we’ll have all of the answers.
Where has the passion for the outdoors gone? The lust for adventure and experience, when did we turn our back on nature and everything she has to offer? I’m not speaking about “us” of course. The mere fact that you are reading this means that you undoubtedly know, understand and respect the road and everything you see on her. It doesn’t matter, if you are a weekend warrior or full timer; when I mention the hills, the valleys, the people, the wildlife…I can keep going…the colors, the twists and turns. You know exactly what I’m talking about. The mile markers, you just pictured one in your head, didn’t you?
We have an amazing system of National Parks, Forests and Preserves, why aren’t we visiting them more? Soon there may be nothing left to visit. What’s keeping us from pulling away from the city every now and then, and jumping into our new motorhome, travel trailer or fifth-wheel to commune with nature?
Is it the misconception that camping, RVing, or “roughing it” is tough? You know as well as I do that the smallest amount of effort is worth the thousands of memories it produces.
That is something that I feel has been lost. Of course, even RV Nana is susceptible to the traps of modernity as I write this in my kitchen, on my computer. All the while there is an ancient and beautiful night sky to behold just outside my window filled with stars who’s light we see on Earth is already billions of years old. Unfortunately, I can’t be on the road all of the time, regardless of how much I try.
Don’t you think it’s time for the general public to open their eyes again, as they did during the National Park initiatives in the 50′s and The Highway Beautification Act of October 22nd, 1965. That it’s time to really recognize our shrinking National and State Forests? See it now, before it’s gone. Spend the night and listen to the sounds. Get away from grind. You know that and I know that, but millions don’t, and that’s a shame.
If you landed here by accident and made it this far into reading this: when was the last time you heard a cricket? A woodpecker? Nothing? If you had to think, it’s been too long. Get a pop-up tent trailer and take your first family camping trip. Trust me, kids who grow up outside a little more, understand life a little more.
Now, don’t go knocking the X-BOXY-DO-DAD out of your kids hand, but instead, start talking to them about camping and the outdoors. Check out GORVing.com. It’s a perfect starting point.
So, now to all of the rest of you: The RVers. I just hope I re-inspired you a little to prep that rig and take a trip soon. And for those of you who who already on the road and have that campfire in your belly, well, thanks for reading and understanding the importance of keeping our outdoor culture alive. Maybe, just maybe, 1 person will read this, get a new or used RV and take his family on that very first trip whereby introducing a future generation to the RVing and the outdoors.
I don’t know about you, but when we first started RVing we didn’t really know too much. We had to learn on the road for the most part. One of those things was learn how to level and stabilize our RV. I swear there have been a couple of times that it felt like I was walking at a tilt. Why? Because, we weren’t as level as we thought and we’re sort of guessing about how our jacks worked on our pre-owned 5th wheel.
It really wasn’t that hard to figure out, and once we really found out the right way to use our scissor jacks, we never had a problem again. What are scissor jacks you ask? Scissor Jacks for RVs are an economical way of leveling and stabilizing your Travel trailer, or other RV. The model in the video below is of heavy-duty all steel construction with a universal design that fits most RV’s regardless of the ground clearance. The jack can be extended from 4″ to 24″ and the tooth gear designed scissor arms engage to ensure straight-line vertical extension and retraction. Easy operating crank handle turns a double lead acme threaded drive screw for quick raising. Plus on this particular jack there is black rust inhibitor coating on the jack and shiny zinc-plated handle that will ensure long life. Scissor jacks may be mounted in front or rear. Best of all, all mounting hardware is included. You can even welded the unit to trailer frame making it even easier to use.
Check out the video below with Boyd from PPL Motorhomes, demonstrating the Scissor Jack:
And now for a topic from PPL Motorhomes that everyone needs to know about, but very few talk about: Sewer hoses. For all intents and purposes, your sewer hoses are extremely important in regards to their care and condition. Improperly sealed or deteriorated hoses are an environmental hazard. The good news is that PPL Motorhomes has all in one replacement hoses for your consignment or new RV. Have a look at Boyd and Tommy Doyle explain the RhinoFlex Sewer system.
RhinoFLEX Sewer Hoses are made of HTS (a high tensile strength formula) that is tough, flexible, and stays in place when you set it up. When compressed, the 10′ hose is only a 32″ long rigid pipe – easy to handle and store. When pulling it apart, it may be shaped to fit your situation, and it stays that way.
There are three wraps of vinyl over steel-wire core minimizes pinholes and other leaks caused by rough scrapes and abrasions. Comes in 10′ and 15′ lengths, plus a 5′ extension with coupler. These hoses fit all standard 3″ fittings.
A RhinoFLEX RV Sewer Kit is available at PPL Motorhomes which includes a 15′ RhinoFLEX hose with pre-attached fittings. Check it out if you are looking for a new sewer kit.
I was talking to a friend of PPL Motorhomes, who told me a story about one of their most memorable RVing ADVENTURES. I capitalized “adventures” because apparently that’s exactly what it was.
No it didn’t involve a fire, or an explosion, but one of the most feared creatures any RVer. The mighty, skunk, the Polecat; Mustelidae. Apparently, one night as they were nestled cozily in their trailer, their dog, Whiskey Steve pawed at the d0or indicating he needed to go outside. Of course there was no way of knowing his clandestine purpose, he’s a border collie and smarter than most 2 year-olds, or so they thought. Apparently he wanted out, not to be a good dog and relieve himself, but to nab that polecat he smelled from RVs away and was now just outside of the door.
One whimper, door swings wide and 15 seconds later Whiskey Steve slams back into the door, head first. Polecat=3, Whiskey Steve=0. Yes. It was his third time. Luckily an immediate wash took care of most of the smell. Which was a relief. Given any time to dry and you’ll be in for 3 to 6 weeks of residual odor. Which, according to wiki, is summarized thusly,
These glands produce a mixture of sulfur-containing chemicals such as methyl and butylthiols traditionally called mercaptans, which have a highly offensive smell that can be described as a combination of the odors of rotten eggs, garlic, and burnt rubber. The odor of the fluid is strong enough to ward off bears and other potential attackers and can be difficult to remove from clothing. Muscles located next to the scent glands allow them to spray with a high degree of accuracy, as far as 3 metres (10 ft). The smell aside, the spray can cause irritation and even temporary blindness and is sufficiently powerful to be detected by a human nose up to a mile downwind. Their chemical defense, though unusual, is effective, as illustrated by this extract from Charles Darwin‘s Voyage of the Beagle:
Dirty defense. I’ve smelled it and “burning rubber” is that’s pretty accurate. So what’s the lesson here people? Dogs at parks should be on leashes, always. Even an animal with the pedigree of a border collie, who has been proven to know over 335 individual words, isn’t smart enough to outwit instinct. Keeping them leashed keeps them safe and the rest of your RVing neighbors form smelling Skunk for the next 3 days.
Are there any good “skunk-out” methods or products out there for pets? I’ve tried the tomato juice bath and it doesn’t work as well as we’ve been lead to believe. I’ve even tried apple cider vinegar and that just smelled like rotten apples.
So, here’s the call, if you know how to help out your fellow RVers with their skunk encounters, leave a comment or call RV Nana at PPL motorhomes. I’d really like to hear your opinions.
For those of you new to the RV lifestyle, in particular owners of new trailers, backing your vehicle to hook up to your trailer can be challenging at times. Even for us seasoned vets at PPL Motorhomes, a misjudged hook up means the occasional “do-over”.
Here’s the good news. There are some great new camera products out on the market that are not only cutting edge, but affordable and make backing up your vehicle to your trailer a snap.
This Portable Wireless camera is the simplest and most time effective method for lining up your RV. The VisionStat camera system features a useful night vision option, which really comes in especially handy when mirrors just can’t help in the dark. This wireless camera is also great for safety as well, allowing you to see potential hazards, such as an animal or child, which normally would not be seen. The VisionStat camera has a removable 2.4″ LCD screen that allows you to either have the VisionStat in hand or in its holder, whichever is easier, and the best part is that it’s wireless and ready to go straight from the box.
If you have any questions about the VisionStat, or any other PPL Motorhomes product, leave us a comment or give us a call.
I have been with PPL Motor Homes since 1980 and have been fortunate to grow up with the company. A native Houstonian, I am married to a wonderful Cajun from Lafayette, Louisiana and we've been able to mix the two worlds and build a fun life together. We have 3 children and 7 grandchildren, so it is obvious that I was a Nana long before I became RV Nana. I also happen too be the 2011-2012 President of the Texas RV Association, so you know the RV lifestyle...is my style.