PPL Motorhomes: Brazos Bend State Park and Observatory

All of us at PPL Motorhomes are always looking for new adventures and places to visit and last year RV Nana and her bunch visited an amazing place: The Brazos Bend State Park and Observatory. For those of you who haven’t been to this amazing place you’ll be please to know that this destination isn’t short on things to do and see. You’ll find really great bike trails, beautiful scenery and lots of wildlife.  In fact, we had a bag of marshmallows out for S’mores one evening and a raccoon scurried down a nearby tree, grabbed the entire open bag and ran back up to enjoy his snack.  Within minutes it looked like it was raining giant marshmallows as he tore into the bag.

On that same trip, we were riding our bikes along the lake and came right up on an alligator (10’ long – no exaggeration).  He was peacefully sunning himself.  At that point, I was on the lead bike and I motioned for everyone to just keep peddling and move to the left quietly.  He acted as if he had never even seen us, but it sure spooked all of us from my 9 year old grandson to myself.

Check out the sights in the video below:

Check out the Texas Parks And Wildlife webpage for more information like what you’ll read below.

Brazos Bend State Park, approximately 28 miles southwest of Houston, covers roughly 5000 acres, with an eastern boundary of 3.2 miles fronting on the Brazos River on the southeast border of Fort Bend County. This was the area of Texas’ first Anglo colonization. It was purchased by the state in 1976-77 and was opened to the public in 1984.

Archeological materials show that prehistoric people visited this area, possibly as early as 300 BC; in early historical times, the Capoque band of the Karankawa Indians roamed between the mouth of the Brazos River and Galveston Bay and may have traveled inland as far as Brazos Bend. In the early 19th century, this area of Texas was the site of Stephen F. Austin’s first colonial land grant from Mexico, and present park land was included in a grant to Abner Harris and a partner named William Barrett in 1827. Most of riverfront was sold shortly after the Texas Revolution, and records show that in 1845, part of the park and 2400 feet of river frontage were in the hands of cotton brokers who lived in Brazoria. At the time, the Brazos River was one of the principal routes of commerce, and it may be that the brokerage firm used the area for one of its riverboat landings. In recent times, the land on which the park is located was used for cattle grazing, pecan harvesting, and as a private hunting preserve.

Texas is filled with amazing parks to visit and Brazos Bend State Park is only one of them. In fact, that is one of the greatest things about Texas, we have all types of terrain from mountains, to hills and valleys to seas, we have it all. So much so, that sometimes it can be difficult to decide where we want to go next and the best part is, these places are virtually in our backyard.

What are your favorite places to visit in Texas? Where should we go for our next family outing? RV Nana and PPL Motorhomes welcomes all suggestions, just drop us a line.

PPL Motor Homes: My Home Away From Home

What an exciting time for our PPL family!  PPL Motor Homes, my home away from home, is celebrating its 40th Anniversary this week with a huge RV sale, great seminars for the RV enthusiast, door prizes and fun for all.  As most of you know, I’ve been with PPL since 1980 and have watched it grow from the an office with only 2 employees (and our only electronic office equipment was a typewriter without a correcting key) to becoming the largest RV consignment center in the USA, with a selection of over 450 consigned RVs at our Houston location and over 90 employees.  In addition, we have almost 100 RVs at our recently opened RV Consignment center in New Braunfels, Texas, making it convenient for our South Central Texas customers to stop by.

Many of our team members have been with me well over 15 years and have often teased me that I should have written a book called “Days of PPL” to capture all the fun, interesting and sometimes weird things that I have seen in the last 32 years.  It would have probably been a great soap opera.  We love our customers and have had a wonderful time with them through the years sharing stories, ideas, travel adventures, helpful hints and more!

This is an exciting time at PPL and I am so glad that I am a part of this great team!  We would love it if you would celebrate our 40th anniversary with us by sharing your memory of PPL Motor Homes!

PPL Motorhomes: RVing Is More Popular Than Ever

If there is one thing that RVing affords the RVer, it’s freedom. The freedom to do anything and go anywhere you want, any time you want. At PPL Motorhomes, we’ve had the pleasure and joy of talking to hundreds of RVers about the lifestyle daily. The one notion that rings true with every one of them is the very real sense of not being tethered, or tied down.

The fact that we can hook up our fifth-wheel, hit the road and go as many miles as we want is why we RV. One morning I can watch the sunrise in Big Bend, and then watch it set the next night in the Gulf of Mexico. That is a testament to the the freedom that RVing gives us. It’s not so much that we HAVE to go somewhere as much as it is knowing that we CAN go somewhere, and do so without ever leaving the comfort of our own home.

There are some things where it would be appropriate to say: “Now (insert activity here) might not be for everyone…”, however RVing isn’t one of them. It truly is for everyone. From the very young to, those of of us who have seen millions of miles of highway, RVing is more than an adventure, it’s a way of life. Just ask anyone of us at PPL Motorhomes and you’ll hear the same thing: “I LOVE RVing”!

PPL Motorhomes: The JACK Digital HDTV Antenna System

Now if you know anything about RVNana, you know I’m a big proponent of getting outdoors, but sometimes you just want to stay in and catch a little R&R from your R&R. What do you do? Read a book? Play on the computer? Watch TV? If you said the latter, then you might want to consider an upgrade on your consignment RV to the latest RV Digital TV Antenna technology with King Controls’ new JACK Digital HDTV antenna system. This is an amplified, ultra high gain antenna that provides the best digital TV reception available for your RV. A much broader reception angle may bring in more stations in one setting and provide superior reception for both VHF and UHF signals.

Here’s Boyd McMakin with PPL Motorhomes explaining the advantages of having a JACK antenna system on your rig.

If you think that the JACK Digital HDTV Antenna System is something that you’d be interested for your RV, don’t hesitate to give our Texas Consignment RV Dealership a call. We can see if this is the right antenna system for you.

PPLMotorhomes: Baby Proofing Your RV

PPL Motorhomes loves kids!!! I know that most of you out there, like myself, have grandchildren. I also know that you probably like to take them camping so they can experience the great outdoors at a relatively young age. You might even be a new parent who can’t wait go go on your weekend jaunts to the National Parks, or your favorite RV Parks. However, just like in your home, you need to “Baby Proof your RV”.

There are lot’s of hazards both inside and outside of your RV. The question is can you identify them and how can you protect your child or grandchild from them? I’m not going to lie this can be a seemingly impossible task, however there are a few things that you can do to protect that little bundle of joy, or tiny terror…which ever one you may have.

Your RV has many of the same temptations and trouble spots found in your house. Be sure to start with the basics. Outlet covers are a dime a dozen and should be used liberally throughout the interior. Latch all cabinets, even those compartments with nothing to hide, if for no other reason than to dissuade kids from hiding their toys, food or the cat. Be on the lookout for sharp edges and corners found on some dinettes, entryway steps, and counter tops. Hey, this might be a good opportunity to use those swimming noodles I wrote about a week ago, they can possibly save your kiddo from a nasty gash.

The bottom line is to approach your RV like you would your home. Kids put things in their mouths, so remove all tiny objects that are in their reach. Kids like to stick things in wall sockets…cover them. It really is just basic common sense. Of course, junior isn’t going to be doing any of this at 2 months old, but as soon as he, or she learns to crawl, you could be in for a big surprise when you find out how much trouble your child can get into.

Watch the video below for a few hints you can use in your RV.

If you have any other ideas on how to baby proof your RV, don’t hesitate to leave a comment below, or come into one of our Texas RV Dealerships and share your ideas with our staff. There is no doubt that other families can benefit from your experience.

PPL Motorhomes: PullRight Fifth-Wheel Hitches Are Incredible

If you own a fifth-wheel, then you know how difficult it can be to maneuver your rig around a campsite, or RV park. That’s not even mentioning that there are right and wrong ways to hook up your Fifth-Wheel and load capacity issues that you may not be aware of. The good news is that there is a hitch on the market that PPL Motorhomes carries that will alleviate most of the stresses and potential mishaps of  towing a fifth-wheel. Check out the PullRight video below.

Now take a look at the PullRight with PPL Motorhomes’, Boyd McMakin.

The bottom line is that the PullRight Superglide  hitch is the best solution for towing with short bed trucks. The automatic sliding action of the hitch eliminates the need to get out and slide the manual hitch back EVERY time you need to make a sharp turn. It only takes 1 time to forget while turning for an accident to occur!

If you have any questions about this PullRight hitch, don’t hesitate to give Boyd a call at PPL Motorhomes.

PPL Motorhomes and The RV Professor Terry Cooper

Check out PPL Motorhome’s good friend Terry Cooper, who routinely does seminars at our Texas Consignment RV Dealerships. Terry offers a really great video that can turn any RVer into a “Do-It Yourself-er” with his 60 minute DVD covering such topics as:

This Take Home Technician Series DVD is over 60 minutes of ‘RV how – to’ instruction.

Covering such topics as:

* Installing a roof mounted Air Conditioner

* 15 Minute Air Conditioner tune-up

* Installing 3M Water Filters (3 different models)

* Fixing a Weeping or Burping Water Heater

* Propane Systems for RVs * Propane Safety I and II

* Operating your Awning

* Electricity – Before you Blow Your Breaker!

* 120VAC Power Converter * Eternabond – Roof Repair

* General Maintenance Tips

* 5 Things You Need to Know Before You Buy your RV…And Much More….

Stay tuned to RV Nana and PPL Motorhomes for the next time we have The RV Professor, Terry Cooper do another educational seminar.

PPL Motorhomes: Easter Weekend At Pecan Park RV Park

Looks like RV Nana and PPL Motorhomes have found another new park to add to the list of the ones we will return to. Let me tell you, it is a GEM!  For Easter weekend, my husband and I looked after my daughter and her family at Pecan Park RV Park on the San Marcos river in San Marcos, Texas.  We had met the owners at several RV shows, and were looking forward to a new river adventure.  The water level on the river was much higher than last year, so the normal 3 hour tube ride takes about an hour.  At first we were concerned that the current was a little too fast for my 9 and 11 year old grandsons, but the older one joined his father and grandfather for a fun filled two hours.  They were like little kids telling us about the great time they had when we went to pick them up.


There is a great indoor pool and spa for those who do not feel like the river is their thing, but still want to have a great water escape.  I really think the best thing about this park was the friendly people.  From staff to fellow campers, it was a great feeling of being surrounded by friends. We were excited to see so many young families venturing out into the RV lifestyle.  I don’t think I have ever seen so many SUVs pulling trailers in one location.  We met so many new friends and PPL customers, one couple came all the way from Canada, so that should tell you how much fun this Pecan Park is.

The Texas river season is just beginning, we’ve been having a decent amount of rain, so the rivers are full, and full of fun, so make plans to have fun at Pecan Park this season.  Oh, and be sure and tell the Rowley family we said “Hi”.

PPL Motorhomes: RVers, It’s Time To Get On The Road Again

I wasn’t really sure about what to write about for this entry. Lately I’ve been doing a lot of  PPL Motorhome videos, and “How To’s'”.. I think I even did a recipe recently. So, as I sat down to write this particular entry, I thought to myself, “I should be more reflective, really think about why I RV.”  I was then hoping to try to paint a picture of the RVing lifestyle, rather than disseminate information or education about RVing in general.

At first I didn’t know where to start. I mean, there are so many aspects to RVing that make it special, I had a hard time narrowing it down to one topic, or question. So, I asked myself a very simple question, “Why do I RV?”

Why do I RV? I think we all have our own reasons. I know I have mine, and I know you have yours. I think that many of those reasons are the same. Freedom. Adventure. Experience. I believe that at the heart of every RVer is part Adventurer, part Gypsy and part Naturist.

Now, don’t go crackin’ your whip there, Indiana Jones. When I say Adventurer, I mean we all seem to have the urge to take the long route, even through it will take us miles out of our way. To just “Go.” I’d rather take that business route through a town, buy an ice cream cone from the local soda shop, and get on the road again. Seeing the town and its shops.

What have you gained if you just pass right by? What have you experienced? What have you learned? Where was the adventure? Next time, take the long way around and see the folks in town.

The Gypsy in us allows us to take up residence for a period of time and then move on. We make significant contacts with out fellow campers, but not ones that tie us to them indefinitely. Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve met some good friends at campsites and RV parks, whom I’m proud to call friends to this day. But that Gypsy in all us RVers wants us to move before we plant roots. So, we say our “goodbyes” and hope that our paths cross again next year.

The naturist in us draws us closer to understanding and living in commune with nature. There is no better place on earth than a National or State Park for you to realize that it is you who is a part of the Earth, and not the other way around. RVers understand the importance of conservation and preservation.We all do our best to leave the smallest footprint possible.

I hope that you are inspired to take a few trips in your consignment RV soon. It’s still more economical than air travel, and just think of all of the amazing things your are going to see and do as a family. The bottom line is that Spring is here and I can’t wait to Get On The Road Again!

This should get you in that travelin’ mood.

PPL Motorhomes: RVs and Tornadoes

I can’t think of a worse combination. PPL Motorhomes has heard many stories of near misses and direct hits. Yesterday was a pretty harrowing day up in North Texas, they had multiple tornadoes rip through the area leaving massive amounts of damage in their wake. Check out the video below:

Those were 50 foot trailers that were being hurled in the air like paper. Imagine if you would have been in your RV at that moment, at that spot. It’s sad to say, but even your giant RV has no chance when combating such a violent storm. I haven’t even mentioned the giant hail these things can produce. Hail so large that it will tear through the skin of your RV with ease.

Living in Texas, we all know that storms can pop-up without warning. Severe atmospheric disturbances happen suddenly and seemingly, from no where. What would you do if you saw one of these coming your way? Out run it? Park under a bridge? Get out of your RV and take shelter under the girders of a bridge? “No” to all of the above. Unfortunately there are just a few things you can do.

From weather.com

  • Do not drive during tornado conditions.
  • Never try to out-drive a tornado in a vehicle. Tornadoes can change direction quickly and can lift a car or truck and toss it through the air.
  • Get out of your vehicle immediately and seek shelter in a nearby building.
  • If there is no time to get indoors, or if there is no nearby shelter, get out of the car and lie in a ditch or a low-lying area away from the vehicle. Be aware of the potential for flooding.

The bottom line is that you are at the mercy of the storm. The only precautions you can take are the one’s mentioned above, but your best bet is to get indoors immediately. If you know that there is a potential for violent storms, delay your trip or departure. Seek shelter and wait until the weather has cleared.

Let me warn you again, that your motorhome, travel trailer or fifth-wheel is no match for the awesome power generated by a thunderstorm that is producing funnel clouds.

After watching that video and hearing all of the past  stories for local customers, family and friends, this storm could have been much more deadly. PPL Motorhomes is thankful that, as of now, no one was killed. Remember, storms like these can pop up without warning in Texas. It’s storm season. Drive safely and err on the side of caution, always.