RVs And Hurricanes…A Dangerous Combination.

As I watched the news media showing the New Jersey coast and upper east coast being hammered by Hurricane Sandy, my thoughts and prayers went out to all of the residents of that area, especially those living or traveling in motor homes, travel trailers and fifth wheels.  It’s beyond anything most people have ever seen. Although people can easily drive out of harm’s way in a motorhome, those who may be living in a used travel trailer or fifth wheel may have been forced to leave their RV before the storm hit.

Having lived in Houston all my life, hurricanes have become a part of life for us.  We start seeing checklists and tracking charts in late Spring and all of us have a stock of beanie weenies, tuna, bottled water and flashlight batteries.  For our friends in the Northeast, a storm like Sandy is very unusual.  In fact, the mix of snow, hurricane winds and floods seems hard to imagine, even for a native of hurricane country.

For those RVers who have been effected by Hurricane Sandy, as you start to put your lives back together and make needed repairs to your RV, we are here for you.  PPL has one of the largest selections of RV parts and accessories in the country and we will help you locate what you need.

The Two Most Important Things For Your RV

What are the two most important things on this planet? Food and water? No, it’s not food and water, it’s Duct Tape and WD40 lubricant. That’s right, Duct Tape!  As an adhesive it is absolutely, the single most reliable, “I’m totally out of options and I’m gonna’ MacGuyver it, problem solver. Seriously, if I had a dollar for every time my husband’s suggestion for fixin’ stuff is, “Just duct tape it.”, we wouldn’t be in a fifth-wheel, we’d be in a Prevost Motorhome!

This lady feels the same as we do about duct tape: It apparently keeps the chickens out of the kitchen and makes great playpens too.

Now, why WD40? Apart from being the industry standard lubricant (as well as having over 2,000 other uses) one of the most interesting uses that I heard may be that it’s a great way to keep wasps away from your hitch and save your hands, too! That’s right, it can keep them away and if you happen to get stung, I’ve even heard that a little spray of WD40 takes the fire out of a wasp sting. Hope I never have to find out if this really works.

Check all of these uses of wd40 in the video below. I’m sure you’ll find a few in there you can apply to your consignment RV as well.

Houston RVers, Do You Have A Disembarkation Checklist

All of us here at your Houston consignment RV center, PPL Motorhomes has heard that old saying “an ounce of prevention” hundreds of times, but I saw something today that really hit home. I have a disembarkation checklist of things we need to do before we hit the road, whether we’re heading off to our favorite campsite or on our way home. I met an RV owner today who was wishing he had made a checklist like that and had taken the time to use it. He closed up his slides, disconnected his water and electric and hit the road. When he got here he was unpleasantly surprised by the mess in his RV. Apparently, he had not secured the refrigerator door and everything, including the milk, was all over the floor. In addition, two or three of his cabinet doors had come open and canned goods were every-where. This was a horrible way to realize he needed a checklist. The following is the list of things we do for our fifth wheel and we actually have this list laminated on the inside of a cabinet.

• Turn off Ceiling fan (before closing the slides)
• Check all cabinet doors
• Make sure coffee pot is secure
• Check refrigerator (door closed – operating on gas)
• Make sure TV is strapped in place
• Close Shower door
• Chairs strapped in place
• Turn off water pump
• Turn off water heater

Your consignment RV center, PPL Motorhomes wants your to keep in mind that every vehicle is a little different and your list may be longer or shorter than mine. The important thing is that you have a list and read it. TVs, coffee pots and open refrigerator doors can make a huge mess. Remember, an ounce of prevention goes a long way.

RV Fever, When Is The Right Time To Start RVing, Houston

When is the right time to start RVing? Your consignment RV center in Houston, PPL Motorhomes gets asked this question a lot. “RV Nana, when is the right time to start RVing?” Ah, I love this question. The answer is, that there is no answer. You don’t choose RVing, it chooses you. You’ll know it when you get that urge to “go”. Travelers, you understand. I’m talking to your family of 4 who like to go on road trips whenever possible. I’m looking at you, retirees. I’m looking at you, new young family. I’m looking at everyone! The point is that you’ll never know when, where or who RV fever hits.

I guess the next time you see an RV and think to yourself, “I think I’d like to do that one day.” I guess that’s the moment in time when it hits you. That’s the moment you realize that, beyond being one of the most economical forms of travel, it’s a lifestyle.  Whether you are a weekend warrior, a Snowbird or a Full-Time RVer, we all share one ideal: It’s you, the road beneath your tires and your next destination.

So you see, you never really know when you are going to catch RV fever, for which there is no cure. You can only hold it off with a steady stream of highway. So, what’s the first step? How about I show you a nice consignment RV at PPL Motorhomes. Why buy new, when it’s all new to you?

…and one more thing…I promise that you’ll never forget your first RV trip…ever.

What Was The First RV

What was the first RV? Well, the earliest RVs were converted from Ford Model T’s. As families moved west, they customized their vehicles to make the journey more comfortable.  But what was the one that really started a love of the RV lifestyle? It was the Redwood Tree Mobile Home, also known as Kellogg’s Travel Log.  Charles Kellogg was a naturist that created this Redwood RV to drive around the country in hopes of creating awareness for the depletion of California’s forests.

Pat Foster of Hemmings Classic Car magazine wrote “the vehicle itself was incredible, a monument to man and nature. It consisted of a huge chunk of giant redwood-said to be the single largest piece of hewn timber in the world-hollowed out and mounted on what was then the toughest, most rugged chassis on earth: the Nash Quad.

It’s a far cry of the RVs we see on the at the parks and campgrounds across the United States. Take a look for yourself.

There were storage drawers, a table, and room for living quarters. I seriously doubt it had a stove of any kind. I can tell you that we don’t have Kellogg’s Travel Log as a consignment RV here at PPL Motorhomes, but how interesting would it be if we did? I could only imagine. We’d be as much a museum as we are Houston’s consignment RV center.

Can People Ride In A Travel Trailer Or Fifth-Wheel While On the Road

We take in consignment RVs all of the time and one of the questions that first time travel trailer and fifth-wheel owners ask is, “Can people ride in a travel trailer, or fifth-wheel while on the road?”  Let me go on record by saying that I don’t recommend it. There are too many variables that can make riding in an RV that is being towed unstable and dangerous. In fact, most states make it against the law to ride in an RV being towed, Texas is not** one of those states.

Here’s a good reason not to:

When traveling with a towable, you are going to be safer riding in the vehicle that is doing the towing, that’s just fact. If you are are traveling through a state that allows you to travel while your trailer is being pulled, just be extra careful…and you may want to watch this movie first.
If you have any questions about consignment RVs in Houston, be sure to give RV Nana a call at PPL Motorhomes. I know that we’ll have the right RV for you and your family.
**Edited for content – 03/17

The Yeti Cooler Is One Cool Customer

My mom used to call me a “Doubting Thomas” because I was a bit skeptical about some things.  Needless to say, I was really skeptical about the claims made about the YETI coolers until I got one. A Doubting Thomas no more, I am now a believer.  I’m not gonna’ lie, I was actually upset when my husband bought the 50 quart cooler here at PPL’s RV Parts Superstore because we already have more coolers in the garage than we could ever use.  Then we took this one camping and I am the first to admit that it works like a charm.  As most of you know, unless it is the dead of winter, camping in Texas is a little warmer than the rest of the country and ice simply melts quickly.  In fact, we went through 14 bags of ice in 3 days at a recent river camping trip using one of our older coolers.  That certainly wasn’t the case wit the YETI cooler.

We took the YETI to Galveston and we used only 3 bags of ice in three days.  3 bags in 3 days! That has saved us about $20 (or more) that we could use on other things. Just so you know while camping in Galveston, the temperature that weekend was in the upper 90’s!  The YETI held about 2 cases of cans and bottles and they all stayed COLD!  If you have not seen these coolers, you need to stop by and visit us at our Houston RV Parts Superstore.  These are great for tailgating, camping, and boating.  I even bought a couple to use as gifts. The YETI cooler is so new to PPL that we don’t even have them on our website yet, so call today for order information.  Check out the YETI soon!

Consignment RV Houston, How To Properly Put Out A Campfire

Keeping with the fire prevention theme this week, I wanted to talk about how to properly put out a campfire. Let me first start by saying that most (if not nearly all RV Parks) have regulations against open flames, however, National and State Parks may not, and building a campfire is almost mandatory. S’mores, campfire stories, roasted marshmallows, the crackling of the embers and the soft orange glow of a campfire…there’s nothing quite like it.

However, if you build a campfire in an area that allows it, you are also responsible for properly extinguishing that fire. It takes more that just pouring water on it. Even applying a liberal amount of water may not be enough to put out all of the embers.

Watch the video below for a quick lesson for campfire management.

If you are planning on constructing a campfire during your camp out, just be really careful and be 100% sure that it is out before you pack up and leave the site. One live ember can spare a fire that can destroys thousands of acres of plant and animal life. Your consignment RV center, PPL Motorhomes wants you to just remember that you are responsible for the footprints you leave in nature.

Wildfire Prevention Is Everyone’s Responsibility

We’re entering into that time of the season where we will be getting some rain showers, but don’t count on that to saturate the ground enough to stop a wild fire. In addition to a little rain here and there, we’ll also have tons of fuel in dead leaves, branches and grass which will provide more than enough fuel to a wildfire.

Just one errant ember from a fire can destroy thousands of of acres of land. Just one lit cigarette carelessly tossed out of the window can start a grass fire and consume residential areas indiscriminately. The monetary loss is one thing, but the lives that fire does leaves scorching scars that last forever.

Do I really have to show you a Smokey The Bear PSA from the 70’s to jog your memories?

Remember what Smokey said, “Only you can prevent forest fires”. Truer words have never been spoken. When you go camping this Fall in your RV remember that fire season is here, so be careful. Just another friendly reminder from your consignment RV center, PPL Motorhomes.

Suburban RV Water Heaters For Your Consignment RV

Those who are fans of cold showers in your RV, raise your hand. PPL Motorhomes has a really great selection of Suburban RV Water Heaters. The three main water heaters you see in the RV industry are 6 gal, 10 gal and 12 gal. models. There are differences between them, so you are going to know exactly what you are looking for if you are looking to replace your water heater.

According to PPL Motorhomes:

Suburban RV water heaters are known for their porcelain lined steel tank and foam insulation that provides for long life. The high-recovery 12,000 BTU/hour units have a large diameter drain and replaceable anode rod. Heated water corrodes most metals, but the porcelain-lined steel tank features a replaceable anode rod that absorbs the destructive, corrosive action of heated water, ensuring that the entire system lasts longer. The anode rod is attached to the drain plug for easy replacement. Both 6- and 10-gallon LP gas units have 12,000 btu/hr input and an efficient recovery rate
of 10.2 gallons/hour. Direct Spark or pilot ignition models offer an optional electric element to recover an additional 6 gallons/hour at the campsite.

All models offer a regulated safety thermostat and are designed with controls up front, for simple installation, operation and maintenance. Choose flush- or surface-mount door for 6 gallon models. All 10-gallon models require flush mount door.

The model SW6DEM a motor aided spark ignition. This unit is a LP gas or 110 volt electric system without the hassle of a pilot that can go out. The model SW6DE is a 6 gal. Direct Spark and Electric unit.


There is no doubt that you are going to have some questions if you are looking to replace the water heater in your consignment RV Houston, feel free to contact PPL Motorhomes and ask for Boyd McMakin, he knows almost everything you’d need to know about the subject.