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.
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.
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.
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?
I was bragging in the last blog about how great Texas is, singing the whole “Texas Is Bigger And Better” song, and then it got so coastal this week. Hot, humid, rainy, and condensation inside the windows all over town. While I’m grateful the state is getting welcome moisture this year, as well as our spring being an actual season this time instead of just the usual footnote-sized blip of nice weather, today was the day that air conditioning became one of those major priorities.
So I decided I really wanted to do an entire blog article on keeping your cool in the summer heat. We have a wide selection of AC units in stock on the website and it’s definitely that time of year where we’re subtly changing from Almost Summer to Full-Blown Summer, so if you haven’t had the AC serviced yet or if it’s not keeping your RV, travel trailer, or fifth wheel properly comfortable it may be worthwhile to check with the manufacturer or in the manual to see if your RV is pre-wired for a second AC unit. Many of them are, and in Texas heat that second AC can make a difference between a wonderful RV vacation and one that is simply tolerable.
Of course, RV Nana happens to like the second AC unit for more than just the cool. When we had our fifth wheel, it was so nice to turn on the AC unit up front above the bed and take a nap or let that fan on the bedroom unit lull you to sleep. I have even been known to turn on the AC fan in the dead of winter just to have the noise! If you’re like me and you prefer that cool breeze and sleep inducing hum, please swing by the website and we’ll do our best to help make your summer more comfortable!
Where have you been all of my life FireDisc® Cooker? This is easily one of the most unique cookers I’ve ever used. It’s the type of RV camping product that makes you smack your head and say, “Why didn’t I think of that”? Seriously, I absolutely love how simple and sturdy it is, but the convenience of it is probably what I love the most.
Now, let’s get to the nitty gritty of what FireDisc® has to offer. First, the 36” Deep FireDisc® Cooker is just 36″ inches high with the built in Heat Ring™ . It is powder coated at over 450 degrees for protection. The cooking surface is 22″ and concaved so you can boil, fry, sear or simmer . It’s actually designed for either large, or small propane tanks, so no worries there. Best of all, because we all know the importance of saving space in our RV, the FireDisc® Cooker is completely collapsible and portable. This thing is built to last and comes with no assembly required.
It comes with a flexible stand that adapts easily to uneven outdoor surfaces. This allows you to select their outdoor kitchen location for the view, not the flat ground. That’s a big plus in my book. The heavy-duty, high content, polished carbon steel is tempered for extreme ductility, hardness, yield strength and impact resistance…which is great, because I’m always dropping something.
FireDisc® cooking surfaces all offer the same seasoned-effect, much like cast-iron skillets, yielding restaurant quality food that just gets better and better with each and every meal. Cleaning takes a mere minute. FireDisc® cooking surfaces can be sprayed off with a hose, dried, and wiped with oil. FireDisc® products come with a 5 year limited warranty.
On a side note, I got the opportunity to meat the FireDisc® family, and they are, in a word, AWESOME. From the chef who created the concept for his own recipes, to the two owners. The chef has a newborn son and the other two young kids were just so neat, I wanted to take the home with me! You can tell this is a family fun business. They are all eager, young, energetic and passionate about their product. I absolutely love seeing that. It means a lot to see a business work this hard and deliver a product this good.
Speaking of a great FireDisc® Recipe, here’s a great one they just sent us. It’s a supercharged BLT with Rich & Rare Whiskey infused bacon, melted pepper jack cheese, fresh lettuce, tomato, topped with a spicy HABE mayo.
2 lb thick cut bacon
3 ½ tbsp. Rich & Rare Whiskey
4 tsp brown sugar
5 tbsp. butter
1 onion, sliced
8 slices pepper jack cheese
1 head butter lettuce
2 beef steak tomatoes, sliced
1 c Mayo mixed with 1 c HABE Sauce
16 slices of Texas toast bread
Melt butter in your FireDisc over medium heat and cook the bacon until browned on both sides. Once the bacon is cooked to your desired crispiness, move bacon to the outer ring add the whiskey and brown sugar, cooking on high until the liquid has reduced, about 2 – 3 minutes. Dredge the bacon in the liquid, then remove bacon to a cookie sheet or foil lined sheet tray. Sauté the onion in the liquid on medium high heat until caramelized, about 8 minutes.
Toast bread on the outer ring of the FireDisc, spread one side with HABE Mayo, top with pepper jack cheese, lettuce, tomato, onions, and bacon. Warm sandwiches over medium low heat in the FireDisc to melt the cheese and enjoy!
I don’t know about the rest of you, but now I got a hankerin’ for bacon! Look, folks, I use the FireDisc at my home so I don’t have to worry about bacon grease getting all over my kitchen. And, for as much as I do love the smell of bacon-ey goodness hanging in the air in my house, I don’t want to have to smell it all day. Problem solved. FireDisc, is there nothing you can’t do?
When was the last time you climbed up on the roof of your RV with the expressed purpose of cleaning it? If you answered “never”, well hold out your hand because RV Nana needs to give it a good smack. Now, I know what you are thinking; “Cleaning the roof is so difficult. It’s back breaking work”. Well, it doesn’t have to be. PPL Motorhomes has quite a few products for cleaning and treating you RV’s rubber roof. As an RV owner, you have to take care of every part of your rig, and that includes your roof. We recommend that you clean, condition and protect your rubber roof at least twice a year. Cleaning your roof every 6 months will help prevent mold, mildew and fungus growth, as well as, giving your roof a continuous new look and adding years to your roof’s life. Do not use a silicone product on your roof as it will actually attract mildew and fungus growth. A good cleaner will remove black streaks and surface oxidation which will extend the life of your rubber roof. Further, as an added bonus, a good cleaner will also condition, moisturize and preserve your rubber roof.
This is a nice little video that will both show you how to clean the rubber roof of your RV, as well as show you the dramatic difference between a clean roof and the one that is probably on your RV now.
So, as you can see removing the buildup of dirt, roof chalk and airborne pollutants can now be done “standing up” with a sponge mop and a bucket of water. A soft bristle brush can be used in tight areas or when necessary to remove stubborn grime. A product like Champion’s Choice Protect All RUBBER ROOF CLEANER eliminates rinsing and runoff keeping the RV clean and dry. Also, keep in mind, if you have any down time, roof cleaning can be performed at campgrounds, storage lots or your driveway.
If you have any questions about cleaning and treating the rubber roof on your RV, don’t hesitate to give us a call. PPL Motorhomes can certainly recommend some great products and techniques.
I have heard more helpful hints and ideas and I’m always amazed at the creativity of RVers. At the same time I realized that some of the creativity is out of necessity or the knowledge and hint is because of a horrible experience. One such story came form a customer who was in my shop recently having to replace her holding tank because it was too clogged up. That’s right, remove and replace the holding tank. This is not a cheap fix, folks.
Well, we all know that you need to use RV toilet paper and not the extra soft stuff. Wait. No one said anything about not using the Kleenex, or Cottonelle wipes or make-up removers and flushing them. After all, they do say, “flushable”, right? Wrong. That one little word, “flushable”, that my customer thought put them in the clear, in fact, did not. It likely contributed significantly to the mess of clogging they had. It cost them over $1,000 to replace their holding tank. What might be OK for the city sewer system is not necessarily OK for your RV’s septic system.
This was their first RV and, like the rest of us, wanted to have all of the conveniences of home. Unfortunately, that doesn’t include “flushable” products. They learned a tough lesson the expensive way. Don’t make the same mistake. You are much better erring on the side of safety and only using RV categorized toilet tissue. Trust us on this…it’s a messy and expensive lesson to learn.
Have you ever heard that ear splitting, screeching and grinding noise when you’re backing up, or maybe you’ve heard it every single time you’ve pulled into a fairly steep driveway, or even bottoming out going over road humps. That screech sounds expensive doesn’t it? Your poor undercarriage is getting beat up, the road or driveway is getting beat up too…there has to be a solution… right?
Well, you never need to worry about grinding grooves in the pavement or dinging up your drag bars, hitch, or rear end of your RV again. Simply install some of our Skid Wheels to the rear to protect your undercarriage from damage. We offer different sizes and diameter wheels to cover the full range of ground clearance and weight limits. These wheels are sturdy and can be easily bolted or welded in place, and they’ll begin protecting your rear stabilizing jacks, tow hitch, drag bars, and any other items that can strike the pavement on bumpy roads or steep inclines. These also work great on 5th wheels. Maintenance is simple as well, each wheel is supplied with grease fittings to help keep the rubber spinning. All mounting hardware is also included.
Remember these wheels are an aid in preventing damage, but they will not solve angle problems. Treating the RV gently is still the key because any metal will bend if it’s hit hard enough. With these wheels installed, you should still drive with the same caution you used prior to installation and that metal in the back will last longer and require less maintenance. So drive smart, drive safe, take precautions and enjoy your RV for years to come without having to add unnecessary, time consuming, costly repairs.
That’s all for today y’all, hope you’re enjoying the fall weather and hitting the road RV style! Please visit us at www.pplmotorhomes.com for all your parts and accessories!
At some point in your driving career, you’ve probably been heading down the road and noticed somebody that was pulling a trailer of some kind and it was wiggling. That wiggling is called sway, and it can become very very dangerous. In extreme cases the fishtailing motion of the trailer can become so great that the trailer will move out of line far enough to be side on to the direction of travel and cause the trailer and tow vehicle to flip.
So I thought I’d pass along some pointers, tips, and items that will help prevent this from occurring. The primary cause of trailer sway is poor weight distribution, either from weight being concentrated forward or aft of the axles, an off balance load where weight is concentrated on one side or another, or even the wheel base of the tow vehicle comes into play. Sway can be exacerbated by speed, tire inflation on the trailer, or something as seemingly insignificant as the distance between the trailer hitch and the axles.
To help prevent sway the following must be part of your checklist:
Make sure the weight on the trailer is evenly distributed
Ensure the tow hitch is adjusted properly
Install anti-sway equipment, and make sure it’s working properly
Drive defensively, and that means other traffic AND weather
Be extra vigilant if your trailer is not equipped with brakes
Here‘s a video demonstrating how anti-sway hitches work.
So we’ve done all we can to ensure that the chances of sway are minimized, but what do you do if sway starts? Gradually slow down, add a little trailer brake (if installed), and don’t accelerate are all good options, but the EASIEST way to eliminate trailer sway is to eliminate the trailer and buy a motorhome from PPL Motorhomes!
Traveling by RV is a way of life for a lot of us. We enjoy getting out in nature, exploring new parts of the country and spending time with our families. When we’re out for an extended period of time, we can tend to encounter some ‘smells’ that we’d rather not deal with, namely the ‘rotten egg’ smell of our holding tanks. Lucky for RVers, there’s a great product that removes that odor and let’s you continue enjoying your vacation.
Odorlos is a safe, non-toxic holding tank additive that neutralizes the odor coming from it. How does it work, you ask? It introduces a nitrogen-based additive into the tank which then attacks the odor causing agents and processes them. That means no holding tank odor! Odorlos also breaks down all waste and tissue as well as lubricating the inlet and outlet valves for your tank. All of this while being 100% biodegradable and accepted by all campgrounds across the nation.
11 Great reasons to choose naturally effective Odorlos
Safe and effective in all RV and marine holding tank and septic tank systems
Approved by all campgrounds
Accelerates breakdown of paper and solid matters, helping to prevent clogs that can lead to costly repairs
Lubricates valves with every treatment
Scent-free – eliminates odors without harmful masking perfumes
Formaldehyde-free, non-toxic and non-corrosive
Stores easily regardless of conditions
Unlimited shelf life
Effective even in a high heat environment
What you won’t find in Odorlos
Formaldehyde, a poisonous chemical that kills bacteria – including the good kind – and stops the break-down process
Deodorants and fragrances, chemicals that just mask smell instead of eliminating it
Enzymes, an ingredient that takes too long to work and may actually increase the production of odors
Bacteria, which have limited shelf lives (especially in high heat). (Plus, you already have plenty of bacteria in waste, why pay for more?)
Looking for an easy way to carry that spare tire conveniently on your RV? We have a great solution. BAL now offers the Hide-A-Spare Tire Storage System that allows you to mount the bulky tire beneath your trailer and out of the way. This system is very easy to mount and if you ever require access to the spare tire, simple to remove. This sturdy bracket attaches to the undercarriage of the RV or trailer allowing easy access to your spare tire.
We all know that I like to carry lots of ‘stuff’ when we travel. With that being said, storage space is always an issue. A cargo basket makes it easier for us to carry more necessities. If you carry a bike rack or a cargo tray, a bulky spare tire can make that a challenge, sometimes even force you to remove the spare tire completely. We all know that’s a bad idea, getting stuck on the road with no spare tire is an RVers nightmare. Instead of taking your spare tire off, or hiding it inside your RV, just mount it underneath!
The Hide-A-Spare also prevents dry rot and sun damage to your spare tire, by keeping it out of the sun and away from the elements, your spare tire will last longer! Plus, no need to worry about losing a spare tire cover having it blown off or getting ripped in transit.
Installing the Hide-A-Spare is quick and painless. It comes with self-tapping screws and 2 mounting plates that need to be attached to the undercarriage. Once they are attached, there’s a hand-tightened screw that holds the spare tire up off of the ground. If you need access to the spare tire, undo the hand-tightened screw and it telescopes out so you can get to it quickly and get back on the road. I have even had some customers tell me this is the perfect place to store their car dolly spare tire, too.
Fresh, clean drinking water is more important than ever for the RVer. Water in RV parks comes from several sources. From well water, to city water, no two parks have the same taste or water quality just like no two households do.
Changing your water filter is as critical in the RV as changing your air filters on your AC unit. If you do not have a water filter built into your RV, then make sure you are using one on the outside for all water coming into the unit.
Culligan makes a pair of inline filters to attach to the outside that are very cost effective and good for up to 2,000 gallons or one RV season.
Camco makes the Evo water filter which is also an outdoor use water filter. It will make a difference in the quality of your water and greatly reduce your chlorine intake. The Hydro-Life HL-170 Under Sink filter is designed for cold water lines under your bathroom or kitchen sink.
If you’re looking for bottled water quality in your RV, the Everpure Purification Kit is the way to go. It removes harmful cysts, bad tastes and odors, plus chlorinates/de-chlorinates and kills bacteria and viruses.
After a long day of being outside, swimming in the lake, or hiking through some tough trails, there’s not a lot of things better than a nice relaxing shower to take all the dirt and stink off. Sometimes, there’s a new stink after we shower, and it’s the water from the shower. That smell of chlorine is hard to get rid of and pretty soon it’s everywhere. Not only does it smell, but it also leaves your skin and hair dry. That’s why I’ve put Culligan’s shower head filter on our shower head. The ISH-200 attaches easily to the existing standard ½-inch shower arm at one end and then to the existing shower head at the other, without affecting the height or positioning of the shower head. The Culligan ISH-200 allows any standard chrome shower head to be converted to a filtered shower head.
With Spring coming just around the corner, it’s time to make sure your RV is in working order and ready to head out for a long weekend. Checking and replacing your water filters is a big step in the right direction.
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!