“Dear Deer Camp, We’re Looking Forward To Bringing Our RV”

Whitetail Buck. photo from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White-tailed_deer#mediaviewer/File:Wtdfishwild.jpg

Growing up in a family of hunters was truly a gift. Going to deer camp when I was little was a privilege and a great time to spend with my family out in nature. It didn’t matter as much back then whether or not we brought home the big buck, as long as we got to spend some time outdoors in the fantastic Texas Fall weather. The smell of wet pecan leaves in the morning mixed in with some crisp air always brings me back to that little deer camp outside Weimer, TX.

What I don’t miss, however, was how uncomfortable it could get at times. My father preferred to take a boat cushion and sit under a tree all morning and again in the late afternoon. My butt used to get so flat, and my legs so stiff from having to sit still for hours at a time! After a few outings, I elected to stay back at camp to wait to see if the day blessed us with a gift from brother deer. OK, really, the truth is that I wasn’t allowed to go back out to the deer blind because on one occasion, as my father took aim, I blurted out, “DON’T KILL BAMBI, DADDY!” Yup, that was the last time he let me tag along. Hey, what else would you expect from a little girl who loved Disney?

As I grew up and married an avid hunter, we’d bring the RV along with us. Of course, when I went with him he did hunting and  campfire cooking and I was always the one to go grocery shopping and get things ready to cook. I always looked for ways to make the trips a little easier without losing the adventure, so I thought I’d share some items with y’all today that might help your deer camp be just a little bit more comfortable.

igloo-backpack-realtree

As y’all know, sometimes deer season comes during a warm spell here in Texas, and what better way to enjoy your hunt than by bringing an Igloo Cooler/Backpack Combo? It comes in Realtree™ camo to blend in with your gear, but don’t set this thing down or you may not find it again!

Deezee Game Hoist. photo from: http://www.pplmotorhomes.com/parts/recliners-chairs/deezee-game-hoist.jpg

Of course, there are never any guarantees when you are out in the field, but you have to think and prepare that you will have successful day. So when you do bring that buck back to camp, try one of our hitch mounted game hoists from Deezee. It mounts to the standard class III hitches, is rated to 300 lbs, and will extend to 90+” above the hitch center. If you need more height than that in Texas, you REALLY just need a camera and the Guinness World Records Officials to visit your camp because you bagged a MONSTER.

Now, these are just two of a myriad of other items PPL Motorhomes stocks for our hunting clientele. Our goal is to always make things a little easier for you without taking all the fun out of “roughing it.” Best of luck to you this fall! Above all stay safe and comfortable out there in the wild, and remember before you hit the road, hit up our website for all your RV and camping needs!

Take a Day Trip to Arizona this Winter

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Well, it’s cooling off in Texas, which means it’s getting even cooler up north and the “Great Migration” is underway. A lot of folks from up top like to travel down to Arizona for its mild winter, beautiful scenery, and plentiful activities. Let’s pretend today that we’re based somewhere in the Valley Of The Sun around Phoenix, and we’re going to take a day trip or two and see the sights.

Montezuma Castle is a straight shot up I-17 (the “17” to you west coasters) up through Black Canyon City, past Aqua Fria National Monument, to Camp Verde on the Verde River where the Montezuma Castle Hwy exit is. Montezuma Castle is a series of well preserved cliff dwellings dating from 1100-1425 AD which means, as we all remember from grade school, that these dwellings were already abandoned when a waterlogged Colombus staggered up that Bahaman beach claiming our hemisphere for Spain. Beaver Creek runs through the park and hardwoods abound, making fall a spectacular time to visit.

If you prefer to head south out of the Valley, then Tucson is a good and fairly close destination. There are several old Spanish Missions in and around Tucson. San Xavier del Bac is about 10 miles south of downtown Tucson. To get there you’d take I-10 to Tucson, then head south on I-19 and take the San Xavier exit heading west and follow the signs. The mission is one of the oldest in the US, being built in 1691 and being rebuilt in the 1780’s after being destroyed by Apache raids. Further down 19 towards Nogales is San Cayentano de Tumacacori Mission which was built by Franciscans in the early 1800’s.

Visiting these places is like walking onto a movie set, and many films have been made at these locations form the black and white ear movies such as Duel In the Sun, to more modern westerns like Young Guns and Tombstone. Where are your favorite historical places in AZ? Let us know in the comment section below, and as always..before you hit the road, hit us up on the website for all your RV accessory needs!

RV “Life Hacks” I’ve Used

WD-40 photo from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WD-40#mediaviewer/File:WD40_english.JPGI thought today I’d pass along some of the “RV Life Hacks” I have tried myself over the years. Nothing is quite as satisfying as coming up with an inexpensive method of saving space, time, or money because it all adds up to making life with your RV that much more pleasant. Let me know how these work for you!

– A bag of ice helps clean your black water tank. This may sound a little odd, but it works very well. Before you leave the campground, purchase a bag of ice and place it in your toilet with about 2 gallons of water and a drop in toilet chemical. You will be surprised how much cleaner and fresher your black water tank will be.

– Clothespins, like duct tape, are a must-have item in your RV. Use them as chip clips, for laundry, and (my favorite thing) for securing the trash bags, there are so many uses for these in your RV.

– The uses for WD 40 are also endless! If you own a fifth wheel you’ll find that this simple product may be the way to keep wasps away from your hitch and save your hands, too! I’ve also heard that if you get stung by a wasp, a little spray of WD 40 takes the fire out of the sting…and here’s hoping one of yall will tell me before I find out for myself!

– A simple swimming pool noodle can help cushion some of the slide out corners on your RV and can also protect your windshield wipers while your RV is in storage.

– Vinyl shopping bags are so helpful when packing and unpacking your RV. Use your vinyl shopping bags (like the one you get from PPL) to load all of your linens, clothing, housewares, pantry items, etc. They are so easy to carry into the RV. Once the bags are empty, simply fold them flat and store them until you can fill them up with your dirty laundry and other items you are planning to take back into the house. No more boxes and containers eating us space!

– Ever worry about breaking your wine glasses in the cabinet while traveling?  I found a perfect use for my koozies.  I slide them over the wine glasses and they protect the glass in transit.  I just hate to drink wine out of a plastic cup!

– I hate the thought of spilling bottles of cleaners like window cleaner, counter top cleaner and, most importantly, any cleaner with bleach in it.  The wipes are terrific and so easy to use, but they will dry out when left in the RV too long.  Store your open containers of disinfectant wipes, window cleaner wipes, and all others in Ziploc bags in the RV.  It is amazing how much longer they last.

– Looking for a way to prepare a fast meal on the road.  Next time you are cooking taco meat, chili, browning sausage for tacos or even shredding chicken for a casserole, think about RVing.  Take time at home to make more fun time on the road.  I always store these items in freezer bags and take they are always ready to go for a last minute RV weekend.  Then all I have to do is bring the fixins and my meal on the road is ready in a snap!

– Are you afraid of food particles going down the sink in the RV?  After all, you don’t have that handy disposal there.  I place a coffee filter in the bottom of the sink while I prepare a meal.  It is amazing home much it will catch and it’s easy clean up.

These are just a few of the many hints I have heard and tried. The list goes on and on and I would love to hear from each of you about the many hints and tips you have discovered on your own to save time, money, and space. Enjoy your RV travels and make sure to visit me on RVNana.com.

Hope to see you on the road soon!

RV Road Games

 

Source: www.mothers-home.com

Source: www.mothers-home.com

 

Who doesn’t love bringing their kids, or grandchildren along for an RV trip? I know I certainly do, but let’s face it — at some point on a trip, the miles add up and those kids would rather be anywhere than cruising down the road watching the same truck stop/fast food joint go by at every exit. I’m sure to them it feels like the same view is over the next hill that was over the last hill and it is getting very boring. Remember those road trips with your family when you were a kid? Remember playing road sign bingo or spotting all the out of state license plates? Well here are a few road games both children and grown ups alike can play that will help pass the time between stops.

Who’s in that car?

Pick a car that’s traveling alongside, and see who can make up the best story about who’s traveling in that car. Who are they? Where are they going? Why are they going there? What’s in the trunk? What pets did they leave at home? What crimes have they committed? Have they ever been on Family Feud? You get the idea. This can be an endless source of entertainment because let’s face it, there are only going to be more and more cars on the road!

License Plate Figure-Outer

Imagine every license plate you see is actually a vanity plate, and it’s your job to figure out what they’re trying to brag about. For example: “PWI 035” could mean “Professional Wrestler Inside, 0-wins, 35-losses”. Well that record is hardly “professional” but you understand what I mean. Another example: “PSR 632” could be “Plastic Surgery Rich-guy, 6 hours a day, 3 days a week, 2 months a year”. Options are limitless.

One Word Answer

At the beginning of the day, pick a word at random in conversation. That word is now the One Word Answer and must be used to answer any question posed. Say you decide that today’s word is “Buster”, whoever is It must use that word to answer all questions until the other person laughs, then you switch words and switch the person who’s It. For example:

Asker: “I sure can’t wait until we get to Des Moines and see your family again. What are you going to do when you see your Mother?”

Answer-er: “Buster.”

What’s your favorite road game, please leave a comment below and let us know. We all need new ways to kill time on the road! And remember, before you hit the highway, remember to hit our website!

Nana’s Recipes: Tex Mex Turkey Burger

Vernon Chan/Flickr Creative Commons

Here’s one for your grill, y’all!  It combines the best of Hamburgers and Tex Mex! What’s more down-home Texas than that, I ask ya? Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Ground Turkey (preferably not lean)
  • Cumin
  • Black Pepper
  • Your favorite Salsa
  • Hamburger Buns
  • Beer
  • Bell Peppers
  • Purple Onion

First thing, you need to do of course is get the charcoal going, or, if you’re using a gas grill then just get it lit and heating up. While the grill/charcoal is heating up, prep the veggies. Cut the bell peppers and onions into strips like you would for fajitas. If you prefer grilled veggies to un-cooked, then throw them in a covered pan with a splash of olive oil, and stir often to prevent them sticking to the bottom of the pan, and when the onions begin to look transparent, they’re done.

To make the patties, separate the turkey out into whatever size patties you enjoy, and as you work the meat into patty shape add in the cumin and black pepper to taste. Remember cumin can be a fairly strong spice, so a pinch will do per patty. Get them packed and burger-shaped, but be aware that you don’t have to work the turkey as much as you would beef so don’t get too energetic ha!

Slap the turkey patties on the grill and then hit each of them wish a splash of beer, flip them immediately and hit that side with a splash of beer too. At this point the cooking duties of your beer are complete so you might as well enjoy the rest of it while you watch the turkey brown. One thing to watch is the moisture content of the patties, don’t squash them with your spatula like you may do with beef as you want to prevent the patties from drying out. After you’ve ensured that the patties are just about cooked through,  get the buns toasting in the oven. Once the buns are golden brown and your patties are cooked completely, assemble your burgers using your favorite salsa as a spread on the bun, and add the peppers and onion. When you bite into this burger it’ll taste like fajitas!!

What’s your favorite Tex Mex meal? Please let us know in the comment section below and we’ll give it a try! And as always, stop by PPL Motorhomes for all your RV’s kitchen needs!

 

Travel Times Newsletter: October, 2014

4381PPL3rdQtrENewsletter

¡RV Baja Mexico!

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The other day we talked about driving through the Florida Keys because let’s face it, summer is winding down all across the country and those of y’all who live up north have starting migrating to warmer locations. And while the Keys are inside the continental United States, there is a destination connected to the continental United States that is just as tropical, beautiful, and unique as the Keys, and that is Baja California.

Baja is part of Mexico, despite the official name “Free and Sovereign State of Baja California.” Depending on which part of Baja you’d like to travel to, whether it be the Pacific side on the western coast, or the Sea of Cortez side on the eastern coast, there are a few different access points. If you’re traveling in California you can cross into Baja in Tijuana, or if you’d rather skip that big city you can cross into Tecate or Mexicali. If you’re traveling in Arizona then there’s a crossing into San Luis de Colorado south of Yuma or you can take 85 south out of Phoenix to Sonoyta, then turn west in Puerto Peñasco.

Baja offers some very unique activities once you have arrived. The usual hiking, camping, golfing, fishing that you would expect from a trip to Mexico are of course available, but what can make a Baja trip extra special is a whale watching expedition in the Sea of Cortez (Bay of California).

There are many outfitters who can take you out into the lagoons and bays of the Baja Peninsula to observe Earth’s largest mammals up close.

These days you’ll need your passports to travel into and more importantly back out of Mexico. Mexican auto insurance is also required, and readily available. Also ensure that your driver’s license will not expire while you’re in Mexico as it will lead to unavoidable hassle at the border on your way home.

What is your favorite getaway in Baja? Please drop us a line in the comment section below and tell us all about it because there’s nothing we enjoy more than exploring a new destination. As always, before you hit the road, be sure and hit PPLmotorhomes.com for all your RV parts and accessories!

The Florida Keys Via RV!

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Believe it or not, there are 128 miles of tropical islands accessible by road at the bottom of Florida! With names like Key Largo, Islamorada, and Key West, they conjure up images of Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall running boatloads of Prohibition-era rum up from Cuba, or taking Ernest Hemingway out to sea fishing for tarpon or sailfish. Funny thing is, you don’t need a boat to experience this series of coral cays that stretch from just south of Homestead, Florida, to a mere 90 miles north of Cuba.

The Keys are best accessed by taking I-95 to Miami until it becomes Hwy 1 (Overseas Highway), and Hwy 1 goes from Miami all the way down to Key West. You’ll pass through Key Largo, Plantation Key, Treasure Harbor, Snake Creek, Matecumbe Bight, Long Key, Conch Key, the appropriately named Little Conch Key, Duck Key, Grassy Key, Long Point Key, Fat Deer Key, Marathon, Bahia Honda Key, etc. until you reach Key West. And there are other islands, cays, and keys that are accessible by road, boat, or air.

Needless to say there are also RV campgrounds scattered throughout this coral archipelago. From camping at the many state parks sprinkled through the Keys to privately owned campsites, there are plenty of places to stay from the Northern end to the Southern tip. All the usual tropical activities are available from swimming and fishing, to chartering a float plane for a trip out to Fort Jefferson, a Civil War era fort in the Dry Tortugas that is only reachable by ferry, float plane, or chartered boat.

Where are you favorite out of the way places? Leave a comment below and tell us about it! Before yo head south for Florida, don’t forget to  hit PPL Motorhomes for all your road supplies and repair items!

 

RV Las Vegas!

Las Vegas. photo from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Las_Vegas

Las Vegas ain’t what she used to be, but the good thing about that is there are a lot of RV friendly places seeking your business in the Entertainment Capitol of The World! The casinos have realized that a lot of us are stopping through Vegas on our way east and west and have really put out the welcome mat for us, from discounted or even free camping to deals on food and shows, these folks want us to come and stay!

One thing I have noticed that is an improvement over the usual campground with water and electrical hookups are the campgrounds which now include gym facilities and swimming pools for those of us who like to maintain a more active lifestyle. Of course now that you’re in Vegas there is more to do than just gamble, Hoover Dam is nearby, Lake Mead, golf courses, shopping centers, and live entertainment as well. Listed below are a few of the campsites that feature more than the average amenities.

Sam’s Town
5111 Boulder Highway
Las Vegas, NV 89122
(702) 456-7777

Riviera RV Park
2200 Palm St.
Las Vegas, NV 89104
(702) 457-8700

Circusland RV Park
2880 S Las Vegas Blvd.
Las Vegas, NV 89109
(702) 794-3757

Many of the casinos offer free shuttle service so there’s no need to worry about which campground is close to which casino, because like Stevie Wonder said, “All you have to do is call.” Since there is so much free parking in town, don’t feel that you’re tied to any one place, it’s fairly simple to move from one parking area to another and fully sample the many amenities offered to RV’rs! Most campsites are situated close to good restaurants, markets, and retail outlets as well so chowing down in Vegas is never a problem. A quick walk up and down the strip might help burn off some of those Vegas induced calories as well.

What are your favorite spots in Vegas? Please leave a comment below and tell us about it, and as always, please visit PPL Motorhomes for all your RV needs.

 

Fall Colors in Texas

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It’s getting close to that time of year y’all, and I hate to jinx it for everybody by saying it out loud, but maybe, just maybe (I’ll whisper it)… fall is here? Now, you can’t blame me if we get any unseasonable heat in the next month or so, because the calendar told me last week that the first day if fall has arrived.

Anyhow, with all the preamble and disclaimers out of the way, let’s head to Lost Maples State Park and watch some leaves turn. In my opinion, one of the most scenic ways to visit Lost Maples is to exit I-10 in Kerrville and take 27 a few miles west to Ingram, then take 39 W towards Hunt, TX. Head south on 187 to the park entrance. This route winds its way along cypress choked creeks, low water crossings, and some of the most spectacular Texas Hill Country scenery. Once you reach Lost Maples, there are ample hiking trails, back country camping is allowed, and they have 30 campsites with water and electrical hookups.

Garner State Park is another scenic gem of the Hill Country. It’s further south of I-10 than Lost Maples, but is a more direct route off the interstate. All you need to do is exit I-10 to the south on Hwy 83. Take 83 through Leakey (pronounced LAKE-y) until you see the turnoff for the park. There is plenty of hiking, camping, and outdoors activities there at the park. Campsites with hookups are available as well.

The nights will be arriving earlier, lasting longer, and getting cooler. What better way to celebrate the death of heat than heading out to some beautiful spot, rolling out the awning, firing up the grill, and enjoying the great outdoors?

What’s your favorite park in Texas? Please let us know n the comment section below, there’s nothing we enjoy more than hitting a part of Texas we haven’t visited yet! And as always, before you hit the road, hit PPL Motorhomes for all your RV needs!