Old Water Hose, Be Gone!

Whether in the yard or in my RV, I simply do not like dragging  around heavy vinyl garden hoses.   At home, I have been know to knock over potted plants or completely crush new seedlings in my clumsy attempt to water the plants.  Unfortunately, I am not much more coordinated in the RV.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten fed up with our water hose. Those big, bulky hoses are such a pain to twist into position and roll up neatly. Couple that with how dirty they make your hands and arms while you’re rolling them up, it’s a task no one wants to do. That’s why I’m so glad that there’s a new hose that rolls itself up!

The X-Hose Pro is my kind of product. Not only does it roll up into a tight ball after use, it does it all automatically. It’s spring loaded, so when you turn the water on, it extends the hose so you can walk around your RV and wash it off. When you’re done, just turn it off and it will retract! No more dirty clothes from attempting to roll it back up yourself. Anyone who knows me, knows that I’m all about saving space. My garden hose took up way too much space, so I gave the X-Hose a shot, and I love it! It takes up only a third of the space my old hose took up. One of the best features is that it won’t kink, a constant problem we had when we would walk around the RV, spraying off the windows. Now I can walk around freely and not have to worry about having to go back and find the kink and twist it around until I regain water pressure. Plus, I can use it at home AND on the road. I like efficiency.

  • Made from a tough multi-layered expandable inner hose and a folded outer covering made from durable super strong webbing.
  • Super Lightweight hose weighs under two pounds and is perfect for RVers and homeowners. Patented design will never twist, tangle, or kink!
  • Automatically EXPANDS when water is turned on
  • CONTRACTS back in seconds when water is turned off
  • Solid brass fittings, a wider diameter and more powerful spray

 

Visit our X-Hose Pro page and try it out for yourself!

 

Come See Us This Weekend in Mercedes!

 diana at all valley

What are you doing this weekend? If the answer is “nothing,” then hop in your RV and head to Mercedes, TX, for the All Valley RV Show. Now, I realize that some of you are probably asking yourself, “where in the world is Mercedes, Texas?” In a nutshell, it’s way down south and this weekend is the All Valley RV Show.

You don’t need to give me a good reason to go to an RV show, but this one is filled with hundreds of good reasons to go. Primarily, it’s hosted by our good friends in the Rio Grande Valley Chapter of the Texas Recreational Vehicle Association. This show is expected to draw over 10,000 people over the 3 day event (Thursday-Saturday). That’s a lot of RVers. In fact, it’s the second largest RV show of its kind in Texas, and as big as Texas is, that’s a pretty big deal for both RVers and vendors alike.

Here’s a video from 2011 and, as awesome as it looked then, we are expecting to see even more people at this fantastic RV event. It has grown every year by leaps and bounds.

In addition to the booths of parts manufacturers, suppliers, dealers, travel guides, agents, as well as campground and resort representatives, Steve Christensen, manager of PPL Motorhomes in New Braunfels, will be there giving free RV appraisals! This is the perfect opportunity to not only see and tour the latest in motorhomes, travel trailers, fifth-wheels, and campers, but if you have an RV that you may be thinking of selling, or putting on consignment, you’ll certainly want to attend the All Valley RV show. In fact, I’m expecting to see plenty of my blog readers there. If you see me, come say “Hi!”

If there is just one RV show you go to all year, make it the All Valley RV Show. it’s the type of show that RVers dream about. If you’d like more information on the All Valley RV Show, check out their website.


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Making Our Lives Easier in the Kitchen

When we bought our first RV 15 years ago, I started filling up the cabinets and adding “stuff” to every nook and cranny.  Now, 5 RVs later (I’m a slow learner) I have come to realize that less is more.  I am still always on the lookout for items that store easily, take up little space, and, of course, items that make my life easier.  These are a few items I have added to the fifth wheel and these items have actually helped me eliminate other bulky items I was carrying. After all, we’re all looking to save a little space.

Collapsible Mini Colander

This is so handy because it is a colander that converts to a water tight bowl.  I love multi-purpose products.

 

 

Collapsible Storage Containers

What a great idea to have storage containers that are collapsible and easy to store.  These take up so little room and I can serve them and store without having to search endlessly through a mountain of plastic containers. I think we all have that one drawer at home when an endless number of plastic containers and lids. That’s a waste of space in a limited space RV.

Collapsible Produce Keeper

Fresh produce is always the way to go. The bad part is, fresh produce goes bad in a matter of days. This produce keeper might extend the freshness by a few days and it also doubles as a colander. The entire collapsible product line was a great invention…especially for the RVer.

 

Microwave Bacon Cooker 

First, I have to admit that I hate cooking bacon, or at least if did until this product came along.  No more grease or mess and easy to clean. Dishwasher safe, so I can cook it, eat it, then stick it in the dishwasher. Cooking bacon can be a messy endeavor without the proper tools. You can also reheat pizza and make your own potato chips on this thing. Genius.

What products have you put in your RV’s kitchen to make your life easier?

Strike Out On Your Own, But Don’t Get Lost!

Any RVer would agree with me that the open road is what we live for. We take pride in our planning and preparing for the weekends and extended vacations with our families and friends. The hours of plotting and figuring the miles between each destination is actually fun for us when, for most people, it seems boring.

One thing I’ve learned after being on the RV kick for many years now, is that getting off the beaten path and exploring some place that other people would drive by has made some of the best traveling memories that I can recall. Sure, going to the Grand Canyon is nice, but what about that time you just decided to drive and go where the road took you? You may end up nowhere, but you also may end up somewhere wonderful! Either way, you’ve got a story to tell.

When you decide to strike out on your own, without a plan, be sure and carry the Rand McNally Tripmaker. It’ll make sure you can find your way home. It’s also a great tool for travelers because it’ll tell you of weather events, notify you of routes that your RV can and cannot make due to height and weight restrictions, and give you the lowdown on campsites in your path (propane, RVs allowed). It’ll even tell you where the nearest RV service location is, just in case you have an issue that can’t wait until you get home. One of my favorite features is the real-time traffic monitoring. It’s good to know when you’re approaching a traffic jam so you can take another route to get out of it.

If you don’t do all the fancy GPS stuff, then maybe the Rand McNally Road Atlas is what you need. Come to think of it, you need one anyways. All of these technological advancements are nice and all, but what happens when something goes wrong with it and it can’t pick up a signal? That’s when an old-fashioned map in book form comes in handy. As cost-effective as they are, there’s really no reason NOT to have one.

 

RVing vs Airplanes: Which is more affordable?

Photo Courtesy of Colorado.com

RVing is one of the most popular forms of vacationing. It much easier to get your family together and pile them into an RV than it is trekking to the airport with tons of luggage, security checkpoints, delayed flights, and cramped seating. Not only is RVing a better choice for keep your stress levels low, it’s also a better choice for your wallet. RVing is much more affordable than traveling via airplane and hotel. Let’s consider the basics:

No airfare

Have you traveled by plane lately? It’s not cheap, and the prices are only going to get higher. I did a quick search for airfare from Houston to Phoenix to see the Grand Canyon and the cheapest I could find were $450 per person! For a family of 4 that’s $1,800!

No rental cars

A rental car, picked up at the airport for my trip to the Grand Canyon, would likely cost me $500-600 after taxes and add-ons. Why rent a car when you can use your own car? You own it!

Fuel savings

When you travel by air, fuel costs are included in the airfare and you have no control of it. When you travel by RV, the only thing you have to pay for during your trip is fuel and you have control of it! If you’re only traveling 500 miles, then that’s how much gas you will need to purchase. Gas prices will have to increase at an exponential rate before traveling by RV is more expensive than airplane.

Next time you sit down to plan a family vacation, consider the pros and cons of traveling with an RV instead of going the more expensive route. I’m pretty sure you’ll find it to be a cheaper get-away and you’ll have more time with your family to make memories that last a lifetime. Have you experienced any first hand savings by traveling by RV? Tell us about it.

Great RV Destinations: San Antonio

Image courtesy of TripAdvisor

Texas is a beautiful state that’s full of culture. Ask any Texas native and they’ll agree. Traveling to the city of San Antonio is not only a beautiful drive, but it’s also a vacation that will exceed your expectations and provide you and your family with memories that last a lifetime.

San Antonio is located three hours west of Houston, two hours north of Corpus Christi and about an hour south of Austin. It has about 1.3 million inhabitants and is the 2nd most populous city in Texas. But those aren’t the reasons to make the trip to San Antonio. The real reasons are the great attractions, amazing state parks, and the loads of cultural icons that reside there!

The Riverwalk

This is my favorite sight in the city. Every time I visit, I have to make a special trip to see it. If you aren’t familiar with it, the Riverwalk is a man-made river that snakes through downtown San Antonio. There are numerous restaurants, shops, and hotels built around it so you can sit by the water and eat lunch or dinner, then stroll along the water’s edge and visit some of the shops along the way. You can also take a boat tour along the river and learn about the history of the Riverwalk and the entire downtown area.

The Alamo

For us Texans, the Alamo is an icon in the history of our state. Yearly, some 4 million visitors pass through the doors and admire the building with a storied history. Located in downtown, close to the Riverwalk and numerous museums, this is a must visit icon.

San Antonio Botanic Gardens

If experiencing nature is your thing, you can’t go wrong with the SA Botanic Gardens. There’s so much to do here, you’d have a hard time fitting it all into one day! Japanese gardens, art installations, classes in landscaping, Tai Chi instruction, and outdoor movies in the garden are all just a small sample of the things you can do there.

Government Canyon State Park

Getting back to nature is a common reason people travel. With over 40 miles of hiking trails, this is a good place to start.

If you’re looking for a place to visit, you can’t go wrong with San Antonio! Make sure you check out PPL Motorhomes in New Braunfels while you out that way!

Is Full-Time RVing Right For You?

Photo by Fred Pflughoft, provided by Wyoming Travel & Tourism

It’s a dream that most of us RVers have. Selling all of our worldly possessions and heading out on the road full time. While it sounds like a great idea to many of us (including those here at PPL Motorhomes), it requires a lot of work and isn’t as easy as it sounds. There are plenty of factors you must take into account before you make the decision to live your live in an RV.

Funding

Being out on the road eliminates the possibility of having a career that requires you to come in to work everyday. The best options for a life on the road are internet-based careers, one that allows you to be anywhere in the world (as long as you have an internet connection). Crafty RVers can make their products on the road and sell them online to fund their lifestyle. Photographers and painters are also a great example of being able to travel at all times and not be required to be in a specific place at a specific time.

Stamina

Every RVer loves to travel. It’s in our blood. But after a certain amount of time, you begin longing for the normalcy of home. Living on the road, traveling is a daily occurrence and your RV is your home. There’s no going back. Make sure you’re committed to the lifestyle.

Family/Pets

Obviously, if you have children who are in school, you should wait until they are out of school and off to college or out on their own. If you have a family member who is under your care or in constant need of medical access (dialysis, etc…), full time RVing is out of reach. The same goes for animals. Dogs can generally join you and will probably enjoy themselves immensely, but I have a hard time seeing a cat coming with you!

Sure, we all dream of hitting the road for good and visiting all of the places we wrote down on out bucket list, but it takes a lot of preparation and planning to get to the point where you can cut the strings that tie you down and make the road your home. Do you know of anyone who is a full time RVer? Do you think you could do it?

 

Great Destinations: Canton, Texas

When you need a weekend getaway, Texas is full of many destinations that you drive to within a few hours. Canton, Texas, is a great stopping point for many reasons! Canton is just an hour drive east of Dallas on interstate 20 and has plenty to offer for a family on vacation.

The Mill Creek Ranch Resort is one of the top-rated RV campgrounds in the state and guarantees a great time for you and your family. Nestled in the woods of East Texas, Mill Creek offers an upscale camping experience that wins awards and accolades year in and year out. They’ve even got cottages and cabins!

The most popular attraction is First Monday’s Trade Days. Depending on the time of year, there’s over 100,000 people walking through the doors! Every month, thousands of vendors from across the country turn this friendly East Texas community into a shopper’s paradise where you can find rare antiques and collectibles, furniture, fine home decor, arts and crafts, clothing, jewelry, tools, produce, and much more.

Golf lovers rejoice! The Twin Lakes Golf Course is an award-winning course. This course accomplishes the difficult double task of helping newcomers learn this classic game while at the same time challenging experienced players with a total of 51 bunkers and six water carriers. This course comes complete with rolling hills, tree-lined fairways and TifEagle Bermuda greens.

The East Texas Gators and Wildlife park is sure to be a hit with the nature-lovers in your family. Along with gator eggs and gators of all sizes, there are also ducks, snakes, swans, geese, lizards, turtles, fish and other reptiles to keep you entertained.

During summer, there’s hardly anything as fun as a water park. Splash Kingdom Water Park & Miniature Golf to the rescue! This water park features a kids castle, wave pool, lazy river, water slides, 3D Glow in the Dark miniature golf and so much more!  The glow-in-the-dark 3D mini golf course is open year round and available for parties. The water park opens Memorial Day weekend.

As you can tell, there’s a lot to do while you stay in Canton. Have you been there? What did you think of it?

New Year’s Resolutions

Can you believe it’s already 2014? This is the time of year when we all try to come up with ways to better ourselves (going to the gym, eating healthy), but I thought I’d take this opportunity to give you some ideas for new year’s resolutions regarding your RV!

1. Clean it out!

Keeping your RV clean from head to toe is a real time saver when you’re on the road. Starting out with a dirty RV mean you have to spend untold hours cleaning and scrubbing when you should be enjoying it with your family. It also keeps dust from collecting and aggravating allergies. No one wants to go on vacation and have allergy problems. Keeping your kitchen clean stops the spread of germs and especially those nasty, gross smells that you can never figure out where they are coming from.

2. Take it somewhere new!

You know that winery tour you’ve been wanting to go on for the last couple of years, but you just weren’t sure how to do it? Now’s the best time to sit down and map out the RV parks and wineries that you want to visit! If you don’t take the time to figure the logistics, then you’ll keep going to the same RV parks and driving down the same roads. Get out of your comfort zone! Being an RV owner means you have a wealth of memorable vacations available to you, you just have to take the time and think outside the lines!

3. Fix that broken appliance!

A busted oven or a microwave that seems to be better at making noise than warming up your dinner is something that you need to get replaced! Don’t work around it! The appliances in your RV are there to make your life easier, and when one of them isn’t functioning properly, then your entire trip is derailed because you haven’t replaced it. A broken generator, a faulty air conditioner, even the smallest item that needs replacing will make you rethink your weekend venture. Now’s the time to get it fixed and hit the road! Don’t let something that simple stop you from seeing the country!

 

Newsletter January 2014

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