Zebra Mussels Invade Texas Lakes

This is a bit of a departure from my normal blog topics, but I feel it is an extremely important one.

At PPL Motorhomes, we simply love the outdoors, that’s really no secret. As an RVer, I can probably safely say the same about you, as well. We are all stewards of the lands we choose to visit. We, as a collective whole, do as much as we can to leave as small of a footprint as possible. That means picking up after ourselves, not dumping garbage, or discarding sewage improperly. It means that we leave the places we visit in better condition than when we decided that THAT would be our home for the following few days.

Now, as outdoorsmen and women, our outside activities aren’t just relegated to just RVing. We go on bike rides, hike trails and some of us are even lucky enough to own a boat and explore our Texas rivers and lakes. I, unfortunately am not one of those RVers, but I know plenty of RVing families who do own watercraft. Those families have even more pressure to take care of Texas’ waters. Now, you may be thinking, “We are as protective of our environment while boating as we are RVing”. And while that might be the case in regards to disposing of garbage and doing your best not to contaminate the water with fuel and oil, there is one potentially catastrophic contaminate that you may not know much about: Zebra Muscles.

Zebra Mussels are a small invasive species of fresh water muscles that can spread from lake to lake by, essentially, hitching a ride on your boat or trailer. One female Zebra Mussels can have up to 1 million microscopic larvae. They mature quickly and attach to hard surfaces, like the hull of your boat, or trailer. Not only can they damage your boat, but even more alarming, the destroy aquatic life and ruin marine ecosystems and fisheries. In fact, these aqua-pests can even affect your water supply. As of right now, North Texas has it the worst, but that certainly doesn’t mean that they won’t make their way south.

So, what can be done to stop the spread of of Zebra Mussels? It’s actually a rather simple solution. You can keep them from ruining Texas’ fresh water habitats by simply cleaning your boat, motor, trailer and gear of all debris and draining all the water from it. You’ll then want to dry it for at least a week, or wash it with hot soapy water before taking your watercraft into another river or lake. By doing this simple task every time you remove your boat from any body of water you are helping protect all forms of aquatic life found in Texas lakes.
This means my grandchildren and yours will be able to enjoy the hundreds of beautiful lakes in our great state. Find more information about the harmful effects of Zebra Mussels at www.texasinvasives.org.

Now, I know this was a little bit of a different post for me than usual. But, I feel I have a pretty good platform to reach other Texans who enjoy the outdoors as much as I do. Even though I’ve been on my fair share of boats, I’m not an avid boater, so I can thank Texas Parks & Wildlife for opening my eyes to a problem that threatens Texas lakes and rivers that I never knew existed. If you are a boater and have more information to share on this topic, please don’t hesitate to do it in the comments section below. I you can point us to more education, we’d certainly appreciate that too as stewardship of our lakes and rivers just isn’t relegated to boaters.

PPL Has A Great March Selling The RV Lifestyle

What a great March we’ve had! I was fortunate to have worked both at our Houston and New Braunfels locations during Spring Break this past week and was overjoyed to meet so many of our PPL and RV Nana friends! Like all of us, I spend more time than I’d like to each week doing paperwork, but this past week was truly exciting. I absolutely love it when I have the opportunity to chat with customers. I truly enjoy listening to their plans and experiences and talking about the RV lifestyle.

I been seeing a really interesting in the upturn of families making their first RV purchases. It’s really nice to see more people than ever visiting PPL, doing their research, comparing floorplans and features, shopping and preparing to be a part of this growing lifestyle. From young families, to retired couples and everything in between, they are planning to make RVing a part of their life. There’s nothing that makes me more happy than seeing that. So, whether you’re an experienced RVer, or a first time shopper, please stop by, say hello and enjoy our hassle-free shopping experience.

If you are already an RV owner and you are looking to trade in and trade up, you’ll be happy to know that RV sales have been great at PPL Motorhomes. We currently have over 450 motorhomes, travel trailers and fifth-wheels between our two locations to choose from. Those terrific sales mean we need YOUR RV to sell! So, if you are in the market for a new rig, bring us what you have and let us put it on consignment for you. Right now is absolutely the beast time to sell! Come in and see what we can do for you!


Spring Is The Time To Sell Your RV

There comes a time in every RVer’s life when they  decide that it’s time for a change. Time to start shopping for a new RV. Spring is usually the time many RVers choose to start the process of looking for a new rig. They could be looking for something that is bigger, with more luxury. Or, they could be downsizing for a myriad of reasons as well. They look for new, but will certainly exhaust the used market as well looking for the RV deal of the year. If you are considering selling your RV, Spring is usually the best time to do it. That being said, it always make me wonder why many RVers choose to trade their RV in at a dealership as opposed to putting it on consignment. Not that trading in your RV is bad, but you could lose massive amounts of money, as opposed to putting that RV on consignment.

Think of it this way. Sure you can trade in your current RV and, in many cases, get less than half of what your RV is currently worth to put towards a new RV. But, wouldn’t you want to get the most money you can for your used RV? Of course you do! Well, consider putting your RV on consignment. Let me put it to you this way, PPL Motorhomes has sold 247 RVs in the last 45 days. You read that right: 247 in 45 days. Why couldn’t that be your RV? Oh, that’s right, because you were going to put it towards your trade. Maybe our video below will convince you to put your RV on consignment with PPL Motorhomes.

The bottom line is that we generally have more RV buyers than we have RVs to sell and that means your RV will sell faster and you will get more money for it! Anyway you cut it, you simply can’t beat 2,500 to 3,500 potential buyers per month. It’s really hard to get that kind of exposure if you are attempting to sell your RV on your own.

We have over 45 years in the consignment RV market which easily places PPL Motorhomes at the top of the list for both potential customers as well as those looking to put their RV on consignment. If you have any questions on either putting your RV on consignment, or purchasing a consignment RV, don’t hesitate to call either of our two locations: PPL Motorhomes in Houston & PPL Motorhomes in New Braunfels.

Gain Additional Outside Covering With An Awning For Your RV

As Spring sets upon us, and with Summer not too far away, the need for a little more protection from rains and creepy crawlies is increasing with every RV trip. Being outside is a huge part of RVing for us, as it is for every RVer, and we’d like to spend as much time enjoying the weather (good, or bad) as we can. We don’t travel thousands of miles a year to be cooped up in our travel trailer because it’s sprinkling out, or because the mosquitoes are thirsty. Of course, having an awning on your RV is a great way to keep the Summer Sun from beating down on your head, but it does little to protect you from bugs and moderate rains. So, how can you get the most from Mother Nature without sacrificing your comfort?

What you need is an RV screen room like the Carefree Vacation’r! Not only will you be able to protect yourself from rain and bugs, but you also just increased your living space substantially, as well as your level of privacy! Now, I know what some of you may be thinking, “Awww…one more thing to set up?”. Don’t fret, as you will see in the video below, set-up is fast and easy and takes about 10 min. The Carefree Vacation’r Screen Room is one simple piece that can be easily set up by just one person. Further, the Carefree Vacation’r has no poles, rafters or permanent fasteners to attach to your RV. When you are ready to vacate the park, you simply detach the screen room, fold it, roll it and pack it away.


Check out the specs below.

Screen Room Specifications and Options

  • Fabric: Durable, lightweight polyester (tent) material.
  • Color: Gray with dark gray trim
  • Fits Awning Canopy Extension: 8′ (standard)
  • Weight: approx. 18 – 26 lbs. depending on length.
  • Pitch Drop Settings: 2 settings to cover awning to ground measurements of 86″ – 150″,
    one for steep pitch and one for flat pitch.
    Flat setting = Awning rail to ground measurement of 86″ – 126″
    Steep setting = Awning rail to ground measurement of 110″ – 150″
  • Mounting Requirements: Vinyl Patio Awning with center arm to center arm measurements of 12′ – 21′
    Awning rail to ground measurement of 86″ – 150″
  • Sizes/Front Panel Lengths: (room may not extend the entire length of the awning fabric)
    12′ – 13′ = approx. 11′ 2″
    14′ – 15′ = approx. 13′ 2″
    16′ – 17′ = approx. 15′ 2″
    18′ – 19′ = approx. 17′ 2″
    20′ – 21′ = approx. 19′ 2″

So, there you have it. A great way to increase the usable space of your RV and campsite without compromising privacy, or protection from the elements and insects. Take it from me, once you have spent a few late evenings hanging out in your screen room, you are going to wonder why you waited so long to get one! Take a look at the Carefree Vacation’r online, or swing by either of our two Texas locations, PPL Motorhomes of Houston, or PPL Motorhomes of New Braunfels and check it out in person. We know you are going to love to have one of your own!

Go On A Texas Wine Tour In Your RV

What can I say about Texas wine? Except that it’s…AMAZING!  If there’s one thing that many people don’t know about Texas, it’s that the climate is “ripe” for growing the grapes suitable for making wine. (Yes, I used that pun.) In fact, Texas is a huge producer of wines and has been doing so for centuries! Texas has 24 wineries that can be found all the way from Lampasas to New Braunfels. You may not know this either, but Texas is the second most popular wine destination in the country, second only to Napa Valley and Sonoma in California.

Every winery is unique here in Texas. We have some very large wineries, and some very small ones that only produce a few thousand cases per year. Regardless of it’s size, one of the great things about taking a winery tour is that, in many cases, you will be touring family owned facilities. In fact, the owner of the winery may even be giving the tour. Of course, there’s the tastings that make taking a tour pretty nice as well.

Want to plan a Texas Wine Trail RV trip of your own? Check out GoTexan’s YouTube channel below for just a few of the amazing wine destinations.

Also, don’t just plan on making this a one day trip either. Take two, or three days in your RV to fully explore the wonderful wines and wineries Texas has to offer. From the Dallas Wine Trail, to the Bluebonnet Trail and everything in between, you are certain to find some fabulous wines and make a lot of friends in the process.

However, wine connoisseurs, or not, exploring Texas is like exploring a whole other country. Why not jump in you RV and check it out for yourself? You can start your adventure right now in a consignment RV from PPL Motorhomes in Houston, or PPL Motorhomes in New Braunfels.

Wineguard Mobile App For Carryout Anser Antenna

Of the myriad of great and wonderful things that RVing brings to my life, pointing and setting the reception of our Wineguard Carryout Anser antenna isn’t necessarily one of them. It isn’t that it’s terribly difficult to use, on  the contrary, the Carryout Anser is an amazing antenna. The fact remains that finding the right elevation for any dish, or antenna can be a moderate pain. For many RVers, myself included, trying to use elevation maps, or searching for the right elevation by trial and error can be frustrating at times.

Well, the days of what I lovingly refer to as “point and pray” are over thanks to the new Wineguard Mobile App for the Carryout Anser antenna. Finding your satellite zenith is now easier than ever. This free app takes ALL of the guesswork out of finding the right elevation to set your Carryout Anser to. It uses the GPS in your smart phone to calculate the exact elevation, which means you can start enjoying a clean and clear satellite reception in a matter of minutes.

The app allows you to choose the satellite service you use and start watching your favorite programs in just 3 easy steps.

1. Choose the Elevation Guide.

2. Choose your provider. You can choose from DIRECTV, dish or Bell.

3. Choose the satellite you are trying to receive.

You’re done! It really is that easy. There’s nothing to it! This great new app will tell you the correct elevation to set on your Carryout Anser and then all you have to do is rotate it to the correct elevation and lock it. There you go, enjoy your shows!

There is no doubt that this app is big time-saver and will keep you from pulling your hair out when trying to search for your satellite signal. It’s super-easy to use, but if you have questions there is a help number you can call which will put you in direct contact with Wineguard. It also has a Wineguard dealer finder if ever needed while you are out on the road.

If you already have, or are considering getting a Wineguard Carryout Asner antenna, I highly recommend adding this app to your smart phone. For further questions concerning the satellite itself, or for any other RV parts or accessories, feel free to call us here at PPL Motorhomes, or visit our PPL Motorhomes locations in Houston and New Braunfels.

Take Your RV On A Bluebonnet Hunt

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One of my greatest RVing joys is the arrival of Spring in Texas and the blooming of wildflowers; specifically, the Texas Bluebonnets. As I type this, there are Bluebonnets springing (no pun intended) up all across the state. On any given day during the Bluebonnet season, you will see families stopping by roadsides to take pictures that will undoubtedly grace mantles, entryway tables and nightstands in homes across the state for years.

As an RV owner, you have a unique opportunity to travel the state to hunt for your own perfect bluebonnet, or wildflower patch. In between destinations, take a few moments to, quite literally, go and smell the flowers. In fact there is a city in North Texas called Flower Mound that was named after a large mound within the city limits that is covered in Bluebonnets this time of year. It’s an awe-inspiring sight and a testament to the majesty of the flora you’ll find in Texas.

Here’s a warning though, while picking bluebonnets isn’t illegal (as a lot of people may think) trespassing is, so beware where you are going to take pictures, or look at the flowers. Don’t cross any fence lines regardless of how pretty the pasture on the other side may look. Also be mindful of Fire Ant mounds and snakes which are becoming more active as the weather warms.

Our State flower truly is one of the most beautiful in the world. In fact, I think it’s proof that Mother Nature loves Texas just a little bit more the anywhere else.

So, if you need just one good reason to buy a consignment RV from PPL Motorhomes, as crazy as it may sound, I can’t think of a better one than having the chance to go anywhere you want, anytime you want and see the beauty that surrounds us in our great state. If you have any questions about any particular RV destinations, call us anytime. I can almost guarantee you one of us here at PPL Motorhomes in Houston, or at our sister store, PPL Motorhomes in New Braunfels will have some really good travel recommendations.

Oh, also RVers, Please read this before you do stop. It’s just a few tips and guidelines from the Texas Department of Public Safety in regards to stopping along roadways.

RV Cooking With Just One Log

Let’s not pretend that we are fooling anyone, if you are an RVer, you probably have, at minimum, adequate cooking pits, bbqs, stoves and ovens. However, I just thought that this was such a neat idea, I just had to share. This is how you do a little RV cooking with just one log. Mind you, this has to be a substantial log. I’d say you should use one that’s at least 10 to 12 inches in diameter. Your cooking surface is actually going to be wider after you make the cuts to your wood.

Before you do anything, prep your area for a fire. Remove loose brush and debris. If you have a concrete pad available like in the picture above, use it. Basically, (you’ll need a chainsaw for this, so be careful) stand the log on it’s end and cut it like a pizza. You are going to make triangular wedges like you see above. Stand your pieces of wood back up and spread them apart about an inch. This not only widens your cooking surface as I said above, but it also creates wind tunnels for the oxygen to blow through. Slide sheets of newspaper between each space and light ‘er up! The air will supply oxygen via the spaces between your slices of wood, which in turn, fuels the fire.

There you have it…a camp fire you can cook with using just one log.

If you liked this and have any more times, or hints for RVers feel free to share them here or on our Facebook page.

One Year Anniversary Of PPL Motorhomes New Braunfels

Hello, RV Nana readers! I wanted to write a quick post to tell everyone that, “It’s time to celebrate”! This month marks the 1 year anniversary of the opening of our fantastic PPL Motorhomes location in New Braunfels. This location is a popular destination for all Central Texas RVers. If you are an RVer, and you are looking for just about anything in the RV world, well, there’s a really good chance you’ll find it at PPL Motorhomes.

The great thing is that with our PPL Motorhomes location in New Braunfels, our Central Texas customers now have more accessibility in regards to buying a new RV, putting their RV on consignment and shopping 10’s of thousands of RV parts and accessories. If you haven’t been to the new location, and you live in the area, I think you will really like what you’ll find!

Finally, Happy One Year Anniversary to all of our friends, co-workers and customers at PPL Motorhomes in New Braunfels TX! Now, who has the cake?