Your Consignment RV center, PPL Motorhomes wants to remind you that driving or towing an overloaded rig is a leading cause of RV accidents? Even a slight overload or unequal weight distribution can seriously restrict braking and steering, dramatically increase fuel consumption, and cause sudden blowouts or breakdowns. An overweight RV also creates the danger of early failure in your rig’s tires, brakes, wheels, drive train and other components.This might be something you may not think about all of the time. Really, for many new and some seasoned RVer’s out there the “Gas and Go” approach to RVing can cause some problems down the road (pun intended).
So, how do you know if your RV need to go on a diet? That’s actually an easy question. Your RV is overloaded if it exceeds any of the manufacturer’s established limitations for total load, axle load, or tire loading. The gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) is the maximum amount your RV can safely carry. It includes both the wet weight and the cargo weight. You can find the appropriate weight limits by checking your owner’s manual for weight limitations.
So how do you lighten the load? Well, that’s another easy question to answer. If your RV turns out to be a heavyweight, look it over from top to bottom and consider what’s necessary and what’s not. Just because your rig has a lot of shelves, drawers and other storage space doesn’t mean you have to fill them all up. If possible, remove all your belongings, then put back only the items you really need.
Also, remember to check your tire pressure before each trip. Poorly maintained tires can become a very real and dangerous issue, especially when combined with an overweight rig.
The bottom line is a properly balanced RV, well maintained equipment, properly inflated tires and good driving can tame almost any road. If you have any questions, or tips for PPL Motorhomes, leave us a comment or two below.
I was recently chatting with a PPL Motorhomesconsignment RV customer who has been enjoying the RV lifestyle for a while as well. We started thinking about all the “stuff” we store in our RVs. From canned goods to paper products to first aid supplies and everything in between, we have our RVs loaded for our adventures. Later that evening it dawned on me that we leave many items in the medicine cabinet of our RV all the time, even when the unit is being stored. This encouraged me to talk to my friend at the pharmacy who informed me that many of the basic over the counter medications should not be exposed to prolonged heat or cold and that lead me to creating this little check list.
I recommend you make a “carry out” bag that should include the following items:
Over the counter medications in pill form (check the expiration dates)
All prescription medications
Simply make this carry out bag a part of your checklist when you get ready to leave for your trip and then take it out of the vehicle when you get home. This gives you an opportunity to check the expiration dates, keep the items fresh and update all prescriptions you may be currently taking.
It is also very important to keep a list of all your prescription medications, including the name, address and phone number of your doctor and pharmacy with you in this “carry out” bag. Keeping it all in this one bag may help a spouse or emergency medical technician in the event of an emergency. (A friend of mine read this and also suggested a spare pair of reading or prescription glasses, too). Before you go on your RV trip, PPL Motorhomes wants to remind you that the easiest thing to do before you leave is to really think about your lifestyle and needs and make a detailed RV checklist. It will come in very handy.
At PPL Motorhomes, we carry hundreds, if not thousands of items that are invaluable to RVers. From lights, to generators, to grills, to parts, PPL Motorhomes has pretty much everything you’d need to make your RVing adventure more enjoyable. That being said, every RVer has 1 item that is totally indispensable. It would be something that you never hit the road without taking it with you. So, what’s RV Nana’s favorite item to bring on every camping trip?
The Electric Skillet! With an electric skillet, there is no guess work involved with getting the cooking surface to the right temperature. Plus, using an electric skillet will free up your stove top burners for other items for your wonderful meal.
There are literally hundreds of recipes you can make using your electric skillet. It is, in fact, one of the most versatile pieces of cooking equipment your RV can have. It will take the place of a number of pots and pans, which will free up some valuable space in your RV. Here is a link to a bunch of great meals you can cook with your electric skillet.
Your consignment RV center, PPL Motorhomes wants to remind you once again that it is hurricane season. Of course that means different things to different people, but for RVers a hurricane is serious business. RVs aren’t designed to weather such large storms, so if you are planning on trying to ride one out, you are going to need to be fully prepared and equipped for the event. Even still, that is no guarantee that your RV (or you) will come out of it unscathed.
I found a couple of great tips from an RVer at rversonline.com who lives in a part of Mexico that is directly in the path of some of the most fierce hurricanes in the gulf. He gave a few really good tips about what you should do in the event of encountering a hurricane. His first bit of advice is by far the best. RUN! Get out of the way. Pack up your rig and move as far out of the path as possible. That may be hundreds of miles in some cases, so be prepared for a long getaway.
Category III, IV and V storms are deadly to RVs. Flee if you can. It is by far the wisest decision. Don’t even consider staying in an RV and trying to weather a category III or greater hurricane. A category II storm is iffy at best and a category I, the least of hurricanes must be treated with the greatest of preparation and respect. It’s always the best idea even with a category I storm to do the best you can to prepare and protect your rig, bail out and head for a nice solid structure, preferably reinforced concrete.
Ever think you’d have to board up your RV’s windows? In the event of an impending hurricane, you’ll want to do this, tape simple will not work as the window will probably be broken into a thousand tiny shards if it isn’t safety glass.
Blown out or broken windows are one of the biggest hazards in surviving a hurricane. I carry three quarter inch plywood pre-cut panels, and drill holes to pass three eighth inch nylon rope on the top edge and on the bottom edge. The top rope is thrown clear over the roof to the other side and joined to a sister plywood panel protecting a window on the other side of the rig. A five gallon bucket filled with wet sand is attached to the bottom of each plywood panel. This is another area in which those handy nylon ratchet straps would make life much easier. The idea is to tighten down on the plywood panel enough to keep it from slapping. All of this works great on rigs that do not have huge windows. Big windows can be protected somewhat by fitting a heavy duty tarp in front of them. Beware of accidentally covering up a refrigerator or hot water heater vent. BTW unless you have safety glass in the window taping it does little good; if it breaks a shard will slice through the toughest duct tape or nylon filament tape like it wasn’t even there. Stay away from the windows and draw the drapes. The bathroom usually offers a refuge.
Remember. you will probably be without power and water so plan accordingly:
Count on the power and water being cut, sometimes for days and days. In Mexico I will purchase and fill as many 5 gallon plastic water jugs and I can fit. I remember using twenty of them during 1995’s Hurricane Henrietta. Made it sort of tough to walk around inside the rig but the six hundred pounds of extra weight really helped, and I went eight-days with no outside water service. Be sure water tanks are filled. Gray and black water tanks are dumped; gasoline tanks and jerry cans are filled to the brim. Propane tanks should be plumb full, and you should have at least a pair of backup spare tanks also filled. You aren’t going to have hookups, and the sewage dump if you have one will probably be filled with runoff.
What are you going to do for food? Lights?
Canned foodstuffs may be unappealing but if it boils down to eating canned food or nothing, then having plenty on hand is important. Shopping trips should be made at least three days in advance of a storm and more if you can do it. Extra flashlight batteries, candles, and ice to fill ice chests is vital. No refrigerator brand can maintain a flame during a raging hurricane due to enormous up and downdrafts pulsing through the vents, and it’s best to empty the refrigerator into the ice chests, shut it off, and then twist the propane valves down tight on the tanks. One less worry.
Don’t think your RV will leak? Think again. Are you prepared?
Count on the inside of your rig getting soaked. Where hurricane leaks come from is anyone’s guess but I have seen high-end brand new rigs drip water right in front of the incredulous eyes of their owners. Have a waterproof plastic tarp handy and place it carefully and tuck it in on top of the mattress on your bed. Prepare to use buckets, pots and pans and whatever else is needed to catch drips and drops. A couple of large sponges can save the day. But at all costs keep your bedding and clothing dry. Assume nothing. I place my clothing inside double trash bags and then zip tie them closed. Put all life-support medications inside a zip-lock bag, and use plastic trash sacks to protect life-support equipment like CPAP and oxygen concentrators.
Don’t forget the First-Aid kit!
Place your first aid kit in the kitchen sink along with flashlights. If you should lose the lights, and suffer an injury you need to access this stuff fast. Finding the sink is easy while your rig is pitch black. If all else fails and you need to light a candle, a candle burns safest within the protective confines of a sink.
Want to see a full-time RVing family get prepared? Check out the videos below. Now while the first part of this video isn’t overly descriptive in regards to hurricane preparedness, it does do a great job of showing you some of the tasks you are going to have to complete in a relatively short period of time. One thing I didn’t think about was finding a place for your outside goods like tables, chairs, toys, plants etc. Remember, this is a full time RVing family, so they may have a few more items out side than your average weekend warrior. Nevertheless, when a storm is coming, you are gong to not want to lose your outside items, so have a plan for what to do with your loose, outside items.
Part 2…Hurricane Irene arrives.
Also, remember, you might have a hard time finding fuel as well, so fill up before the storm hits. Having a few spare gallons on hand probably isn’t a bad idea either. Weather a hurricane can be an intense and harrowing experience in your RV. Your best bet, as i stated above is to remove you, your family and that precious RV from the area and ride out the storm in a secure location. If you can’t do that, prepare well in advance with adequate amounts of food and water, plus you’ll want to board up the windows of your RV the best you can. Face the rear of your RV towards the wind so you aren’t catching gusts across the sidewalls of your RV, this will almost certainly result in the tipping of your RV.
If you have any other suggestions on how you can be better prepared for a hurricane in your RV, please don’t hesitate to let PPL Motorhomes know. We are in the season and, as we’ve seen in years past the Galveston Houston area is a prime landing point for large storms.
There’s nothing more I like to see than a nicely made up patio space outside the RVs at the park. The lights look warm and inviting. A good set of lights no only provides much needed illumination, it can set a wonderful mood. Form solar patio lanterns to party lights, you should dress up the picnic patio space out side your RV, and by far the most dramatic, with the least amount of work is adding RV lights.
Patio lights come in all shapes sizes and colors. Your consignment RV center, PPL motorhomes, has a large selection of RV lights and other necessities. If you don’t find what you are needing on our website, please feel free to call with questions. We have parts experts standing by to assist you with any of your RV accessory needs. We have been in business for over 35 years – PPL Motor Homes is a name you can trust.
There is no doubt that the health of your RV’s tires is often over looked. In fact, your consignment RV canter, PPL Motorhomes suggests that you should inspect your tires at least monthly and before each trip for proper inflation pressure and treadwear and you shouldn’t forget to rotate, balance and align them.
Really, the first aspect of having a healthy set of RV tires is to keep them properly inflated at all times. This is really a no-brainer. An RV sitting on under-inflated tires is putting an enormous amount of pressure on the sidewalls of the tire. This can cause a structural weakness that can lead to sidewall pinches, tread separation, or a catastrophic failure. Maintaining proper tire pressure all year long will really prolong the life of your tires. Be careful not to over-inflate them. Follow the suggestions in your owner’s manual for the right PSI you should be holding.
Also, don’t over burden your tires by stressing them with too much weight. Having a large RV, it’s easy to start cramming tons of stuff in the open spaces. Weigh adds up, even from relatively small pieces you can quickly add hundreds of pounds to your overall weight with thinking about it. Putting too much of a weight burden on your tires will lead to failure. Make sure you check your owner’s manual for the proper towing/driving weight of your consignment motorhome, travel trailer or fifth-wheel.
When you aren’t using your RV, you should invest in a set of RV tire covers. Nothing eats away at a tire’s life more than the elements. UV will break down the rubber over time, so your best way to avoid this is to simple cover your tires with one of the many types of RV tire covers that are on the market right now. Every little bit of effort will be rewarded in the extended lifespan of your RV tires.
Remember, you have a lot riding on those tires, they are the only things separating you from the road and should always be on the top of your mind whether you are using your RV, or not. If you have any questions, comments or other tips, or hints on keeping your RV Tires in good condition, don’t hesitate to let PPL Motorhomes and the readers of RV Nana know.
What’s the one thing that might be keeping you from jumping into a consignment RV from PPL Motorhomes? Well it might be that you don’t think you can afford a RV right now in leaner economic times. However, did you know that 1 in 12 vehicle owning households own an RV. In fact, RVing is more popular than ever, so obviously families see the value and find ways to follow their RVing dreams. Check out the video below and you’ll see what thousands of new RVers now know about the affordability of RVing.
If you live in Texas and are looking for RV financing, make sure you call Terry Woodard at Associated Credit Unions of Texas (ACUTX). They offer great rates and terms for PPL Motorhomes customers and Terry makes the entire RV finance process enjoyable. The finance rates and terms vary depending on the customer, but these are the “old school” bankers who look at the customer as a relationship, not a credit score. Contact Terry today –
Terry Woodard | ACU of Texas | Loan Consultant/Certified Trainer | 409.942.1534 | TWoodard@acutx.org
This Summer is already turning out a hot one. Your consignment RV center, PPL Motorhomes, wants to remind all of you campers and RVers out there to be extremely careful with any open flame you may be working with. In fact, you probably want to check with your RV park administrator, or Park Ranger if you are even allowed to have an open flame. Many parts of Texas may have burn bans enacted prohibiting any open flame.
Of course today is the 4th of July and that means fireworks. Use your head if you plan on shooting off fireworks either today, or any left overs you may have. Fireworks, although fun, are not only dangerous when handled improperly, but they can also spark a fire very quickly if you aren’t careful. Considering 4 out of 5 wildfires are started by human error, using fireworks during the driest part of the year is probably ill advised.
On more thing to be careful of is your vehicle, or Motorhome causing a fire. That’s right, if you pull over off of the road, the heat from your engine can catch tall grasses on fire fairly quickly. If you can, try to stay on the shoulder if you need to pull over. It doesn’t take much to start a fire that can spread rapidly. The last thing you would want is to create another fire like the one that consumed much of Bastrop, TX last year. That fire even jumped a river…twice if I remember correctly.
The bottom line in regards to pretty much anything you do while RVing is to use your head. Also, have a plan just in case there is a fire. Staying in a National Park? Know how to get out and listen to everything any Rangers may tell you. If you are staying in an RV Park, stay in contact with the Park Office for any evacuation procedures. Fire can be unpredictable, so keeping up to date with any wildfires that may be in your area is probably a pretty good idea.
If you have any questions, or comments for PPL Motorhomes, or RV Nana, leave them below.
If you’ve ever been to your consignment RV center, PPL Motorhomes, or if you’ve read any of my blogs concerning Memorial Day, or July 4th, you already know that I’m fiercely patriotic. Being an American and proud of that fact isn’t just something I say or do, it’s who I am. It’s who we all should be.
The Celebration of our Independence from British rule should be marked with reverence and respect. Of course most of us will do so by hanging our flags, inviting friends and family over, and firing up the grill. Just remember “why” you are allowed to do that. Remember all of the soldiers who gave their lives so you wouldn’t have to. It goes all the way back to 1776 when our original 13 colonies had enough of British rule and sought to break away from the Crown.
This July 4th, do something different, check out this link and reeducate yourself on why we have a July 4th celebration to begin with. Happy Independence Day from RV Nana and all of us here at your consignment RV center, PPL Motorhomes.
I have been with PPL Motor Homes since 1980 and have been fortunate enough to grow up with the company. A native Houstonian, I have been blessed with years of wonderful experiences and memories of RVing with family and friends. With 3 children, 8 grandchildren and a ton of friends who I refer to as my adopted family, I was a Nana long before I became RV Nana. I was blessed to have shared this lifestyle with my late husband, a Cajun from Lafayette, and his spirit will live on in all of us as we continue down the road of life.
My life with PPL has given me so many wonderful chapters, from sharing my RV experiences as RV Nana to working with the Texas Campground Owners Association and holding the position of President of the Texas RV Association from 2011-2013, so it’s easy to see that the RV lifestyle is my style. Watch for me on the road …I’m the one with the RV Nana license plates on my car and RV, and share your RV experiences with me. See you soon!