Cold Weather Water Hose


Right now as I type this, North Texas is bracing themselves for one heck of a cold snap. It got me thinking about gear that gets me through my Winter RVing. I was introduced to a product a couple of years ago and have been promoting it, knowing it was a good product if you need it.  This product is the Camco Cold Weather Water Hose.  I live in Houston, Texas and it just doesn’t get that cold here.   In the past 30 years, there has only been one winter where we had to worry about wrapping pipes and pipes freezing.  We sell so many of these hoses for RVers and for agricultural use, but I never really thought about it until last week.

A dear friend of mine just moved from the warmth of the Rio Grande Valley to Blue Eye, Missouri.  She purchased a great Montana 5th wheel with a Canadian artic package so she thought she was prepared for all weather.  As a Christmas/House warming gift, I gave her a 12’ heated water hose and jokingly told her this might come in handy.  She arrived last week in Missouri and her trailer was delivered the next day.  Within 24 hours of her arrival, the big arctic blast hit that area of the country and hit it hard.  She emailed me to say she was the only person in the RV park with running water.  Everyone else had to disconnect their hoses and prepare for the hard freeze.  She told me it was the greatest gift she could have ever received.

After hearing her story, I decided to share it with all of you.  We have had an unusually cold December and winter is just beginning.  Check out this awesome product.  It may be the “hottest” RV item you have!!  Stay warm and make memories in your RV!





Getting To Know Your Sewer Hoses & Septic Tank Safely

Oh, if I could avoid writing about this subject I would, however, being an RVer, maintaining your sewer hoses and septic system is of paramount importance. Luckily at PPL Motorhomes  we offer some of the best hoses in the business, like the ones manufactured by RhinoFLEX.

RhinoFLEX Sewer Hoses are made of HTS (a high tensile strength formula) that is tough, flexible, and stays in place when you set it up. The 10′ hose compresses to just a 32″ long rigid pipe that iseasy to handle and store. Pull it apart, and it can be shaped to fit your situation. Best of all, it stays that way! No need to worry about stabilizing it with sticks or rocks. Comprised of  three wraps of vinyl over steel-wire core pinholes and other leaks caused by rough scrapes and abrasions are minimized. RhinoFLEX hoses come in 10′ and 15′ lengths, plus a 5′ extension with adapter. These hoses fit all standard 3″ fittings.

Now, here comes the dirty talk. Maintaining your septic system and hoses is a dirty, disgusting and dangerous job…so let Dad do it! Kidding!!! Really if you take the proper precautions, you should be fine. Still, I am amazed at the health risks that people will take when handling their sewer hose and black water connections. Remember to use disposable latex gloves for this job. These are the kind of gloves that are used by paramedics, doctors and nurses. You see them used on TV all the time by crime scene investigators. These gloves are inexpensive and disposable. I keep a box of them in our RV at all times.

If you have any questions or comments about septic systems, or the parts contained there-in, don’t hesitate to call PPL Motorhomes.We’re not shy, or embarrassed to have this conversation with you and answer any question you may have. Remember, having a properly functioning system is not only good for the environment, it’s good for your health!

Choosing The Right Hoses For Your RV

OK, let’s say that you went ahead and did it; you finally took the plunge and bought the family a consignment RV (hopefully it was from PPL Motorhomes). Let me tell you, you are going to love it! But, before you hit the road, there may be a few things that might need a little attention first, hoses being one of them. Specifically your drinking water hose.

Think about it. If you just bought a used RV, would you really want to keep the water hose that came with the RV?  Who knows what that may have been used for? You are much better off just replacing it.  So, what would you use? Would you use the green garden hose from your house?  No way, the garden hoses are not manufactured to be used for drinking water.  The white hoses from brands like Apex are made of a safe material to be used for drinking.

While you’re at it, take a look at how to sanitize your fresh water tank too. These are just a few of the things that you’ll need to do to make your RV adventures more memorable…in a good way.

So, what’s one of the very first things you should do when you purchase a used RV? Right! Simply change the drinking water hose and replace it with a quality Apex hose from PPL Motorhomes. Hoses are available at both out Houston RV Parts Supercenter and New Braunfels…and, of course, on the website!!

Cover Your Tires When Not Using Your RV

We all wish we could take our RVs out more than we do. If I could get away every weekend, I would. Heck, I might even spend more time in my RV than in my house. But unfortunately, we have jobs, kids, and responsibilities that force us to keep our RV locked up in storage or sitting in our driveways for what feels like forever. It happens, life can affect your RV schedule at any time, after all, RVing is a time-consuming process and it can be hard to make time once or twice a month to head out to a campsite. We understand and we’re guilty ourselves. But, there’s no excuse for letting your tires rot in front of your eyes while your RV sits there and waits for you.

Your RV’s tires are sitting there absorbing the sun’s rays and getting weaker and weaker as we speak. Unless they are covered! Good quality wheel covers will help your tires last longer and eliminate the damage done by UV rays from sitting there in the blistering hot sun. Driving on sun-damaged and dry-rotted tires is a very dangerous proposition and could even cause a blowout! I’ve heard way too many stories of RVers being stranded on the highway because they thought their tires were OK, when in fact, they were damaged and unsafe.

Anytime your RV will be sitting for any period of time, I suggest covering up those tires and keeping the UV rays from the sun off of them. It’ll keep your tires ready to roll next time you gather everyone and head out for a weekend. Always double check your tires to see if they’ve been damaged, you’ll notice cracks on the sidewall if they are too dangerous to drive on. Don’t put your RV at risk, cover those tires!

Do you use wheel covers when you aren’t using your RV?



Get to know your RV’s fire extinguisher

I recently talked to a full time RVer who had the scare of her life and lived to tell about it thanks to a handy fire extinguisher she had mounted by the stove in the kitchen.  After she read one of my blog articles about how quickly RV fires can spread, she purchased fire extinguishers and mounted them in the kitchen, bedroom and compartment of her home away from home.  This is one of those purchases you make and hope you will never use.  Having a fire break out in your RV is very dangerous as it can spread very, very quickly. The bottom line is that you could never have too many fire extinguishers when you travel and the magic number seems to be three. Watch the video below for some basic instruction on the right way to operate your extinguisher:

A good rule of thumb is to have one fire extinguisher for every 10 square feet of your RV.  Makes sense to me.  Also don’t just assume that your fire extinguisher is fully charged. One important thing to remember about fire extinguishers is that they need to be checked periodically.  I guess this is like changing batteries in the flashlight.  Even if you don’t use the flashlight, you will have to replace the batteries with time.

But above all, your personal safety should be your biggest concern. If a fire should happen to break out in your RV, the best decision you can make is just get out of it. All of your things can be replaced, but your life cannot be. It’s better to exit your RV and know you will safe than try to fight an expanding fire that could potentially trap you in a very dangerous situation.

Take time this week to check your fire extinguishers, buy them if you don’t have them and make plans to play it safe!


Eliminate Sway with LockArm Stabilizing Bars

Stability. There is nothing more important than controlling the sway of your travel trailer, or fifth-wheel when your landing gear is in the down position. How many of us have stepped into our RVs and felt that somewhat unnerving shake or sway? Probably more often than we’d like to admit or even remember. Nothing is more annoying than having a seemingly unstable RV while camping. Don’t worry, PPL Motorhomes has exactly what you need: LockArm Stabilizing bars. This innovative LockArm stabilizing bar attaches between the frame and the leveling jacks to increase stability. They are affordable, extremely easy to install and attach directly to the your jacks. Plus, once they are on, they are on. There is no need to remove them as they fold up with your jacks, which directly translates into saving much needed cargo space.

By eliminating most fore-and-aft trailer movement, strain on your jack mounting is eliminated as well. The LockArm mounts to all current leveling/stabilizing jacks and even 5th Wheel Landing Gear. Again, the telescoping tubes travel up and down with the jack for easy set up and storage. Each unit contains two Lock-Arms and mounting hardware. There is some drilling required, but certainly it isn’t anything you can’t handle on your own.

If you are interested in adding more stability to your travel trailer or fifth-wheel, then you really should consider adding LockArm Stabilizing bars to your jacks. They really do make a world of difference. Get rid of the sway today, give PPL Motorhomes a call.

Stabilize Your Fifth-Wheel

I get asked this question all of the time: “What’s the best way to stabilize my fifth-wheel before unhooking at a campsite?” The importance of having a properly balanced RV is critical for safety and necessary for comfort. Aside from an unbalanced fifth-wheel being dangerous, your really don’t want to navigate through or camp in an RV that is listing to one side, or the other. For some RVers, getting an accurate level and balance isn’t much of a problem and for others it’s a total nightmare.

I think back to how many times we had to balance our Fifth-Wheel on less-than-level camping locations. As I mentioned, the last thing you want is your rig slanting, or on a tilt. Now one of the great things about working at PPL Motorhomes is that I am privy to seeing and testing RV gear and gadgets of all kinds, and in this case,  Fifth Wheel Stabilizer Jacks from BAL were a life saver.

Now this was a few years ago and I’ve since traded our fifth-wheel for a Class B (RV Nana 2), but I can say, without reservation that BAL stabilizer jacks made my life so much easier. The BAL stabilizer jack is an amazing product. It’s a tripod stabilizer that provides full side to side frame overhang stability and really helps maximize front to rear trailer stability.

The best part about using a stabilizer jack like the BAL is that you eliminate all of the trial and error associated with lowering the king pin onto a tripod stabilizing jack to achieve stabilization. Plus, it’s really simple to operate with the extendable jack screw for final adjustment. The jack screw handles fold down to use and fold up when not in use or for storage.

If you have a fifth-wheel, and are tired of the guessing game when it comes to balancing and leveling, you really should look into getting one of your own. PPL Motorhomes is an authorized dealer for BAL and can supply most of the products made by BAL, so if you have any question, do hesitate to call us. Keep your trailer balanced with PPL and BAL.

The Benefit Of an Electric Tongue Jack

There’s no doubt that RVing can result in a few backbreaking activities. One of which is actually hooking up your trailer to your towing vehicle. The cranking, the cranking, and the cranking. Oh, did I mention the cranking? The Stromberg Carlson electric tongue jack takes the back breaking work out of jacking up your travel trailer. You know…the constant re-positioning of the tongue of your travel trailer up and down, hoping to get it in line with your tow vehicle. I can’t stand that. We also use it to level our trailer after towing. All you have to do is simply push a button on the electric jack to raise and lower into position. You have total control. The electric jack features a large, long lasting, three bulb LED night light, just in case you have to hitch up in the dark.

But why read when you can watch our very own Boyde McMakin give a great demo:

This tongue jack is installed by many manufacturers on their towable trailers, it is a very popular piece of equipment in the industry. They’ve even put enough engineering forethought into designing and including a removable foot pad which prevents it from sinking into soft ground. This is a life saver.

So,if you have any questions or would like to know more about the Stromberg Carlson electric tongue jack, you know where to find us.

RV “Gadgets” That You Need

I’m going to go ahead and brag on myself just once. I just wanna’ say that this RV Nana ain’t to shabby with keeping up with the RV industry on both a lifestyle and the technology that goes with it. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m no pro, but I’ve been known to navigate through the social media set with satisfying results. I understand that part of the RV experience is being as prepared as possible as to ensure a stress free trip. Face it, there are certain stresses that inherently come with RVing, why not try to counter as many as possible with “gadgets” that should be mandatory for every RV trip.

Check out this excellent list of suggestions from a full time RVing family.

Don’t leave home with with out them!!!

One of the things that I personally believe about RVing is that it should be as stress-free as possible. Worry about the ozone layer. Worry about politics. Worry about world affairs. Don’t worry about whether you’ll fit under the next bridge, let your GPS do that for you. Don’t worry about sinking into the mud, you’ve got Hoss Pads for that.

It just so happens that this technically savvy RV Nana has a fantastic place to stock up on all the gadgets you need.

OK… That’s it… that’s probably the last time you’ll hear any self-accolades from me.

Winegard/Dish Network Antenna

I don’t suppose I need to remind you of what happened last weekend between University of Texas and Notre Dame do I? Well for you Texas Aggie fans it was a legendarily good game!! I think it was the first time in history that a game went into overtime there at Darrell K Royal Stadium. Matter of fact it went to double overtime! The last three minutes of the fourth quarter was just unreal. Texas was in scoring position and then made a dumb penalty costing them 15 yards. I was screaming at the TV that that play was like the Houston Oilers at their worst. Ugh! But then two nail-biting overtimes later and we’re all jumping for joy because our Texas boys whooped those folks from Up North! And you know what? I was at my favorite campsite in Matagorda by the beach watching the game. Jealous?


The Dish Playmaker Portable Satellite Antenna by Wingard helped make that scenario happen. Nothing like watching HD TV in the comfort of your own RV baby! And we have them on sale until Sept 24th. If you’re the folks who enjoy a good tailgater before the game during college football season, or heck even during the pro season, then this antenna will help make all your dreams come true.

These things couple up to the Dish HD Solo receiver, and it’s full automatic. It’ll find the satellites by itself despite their orbital locations. And seeing how this thing is portable, it only weighs 10 lbs and comes with a convenient carry handle. Needless to say it’s pretty compact for what it does, which makes it perfect for storing in the RV until you need it. Tailgaters will be easy as pie in what hopefully becomes Texas’s Fall here in the coming weeks. Stars, BBQ, beers, and the game on HD. Can’t beat that! For more information click HERE