Is it spring? If I ask that question will there be 6 more weeks of Winterpocalypse 2016? I don’t know, but this winter been a bit… um… nonexistent here in southeast Texas, I can tell you that. I remember when I was a kid, my grandparents would get the garden chopped in around Valentine’s Day because there would probably be one more freeze and that would be it for winter, but I’ve got to tell you in all honesty, I have no idea what’s going on with the weather anymore. It’s been so mild I feel like I should have gotten the garden in before Christmas!!
But thinking of spring and gardening and getting the RV cleaned up and ready for the road after it’s “long winter’s nap”, reminds me of a product we have here at PPL that is one of those frustration-reducing life savers. Have you ever gone out to the RV to hose it down and somehow your garden hose has gotten itself all twisted up and tied in knots? I mean, you haven’t used it since probably October (here in Texas anyway) and you know you stowed it away carefully, but as soon as you drag it out to the shed or driveway, there it is looking like a green rubber version of the Largest Ball Of Twine up in Kansas.
Well we have a solution for that problem, have you ever tried Neverkink Hoses? They’re great! You roll them up, and then…tah DAH! They unroll. Simple as that. They don’t get pinched and shut off water flow, you won’t spend hours untying your huge mess of a knot, they just stow simply, cleanly, and effectively. If you’re interested, we’ve got them, and they are NOT expensive, so come by the website and pick up one or two. Man they’re nice!
Have you ever found yourself in that situation where the campground doesn’t individual sewer hookups and you’d have to move the entire RV to the waste transfer station to empty the black water tank? What a pain in the neck that is especially if you’re there more or less permanent for a little while, with everything leveled and the yard pretties staked out. So what would be the easiest option for you at that point? Yep, you need a portable waste tank. Depending on the size of your black water tank, there are different options available for a portable waste tank.
Thetford makes a great tank called the Smarttote. They come in sizes ranging from twelve to thirty five gallons capacity. The larger models come with full castoring dual wheels at the front end as well as two wheels at the back to support the weight of the tank when fully loaded. Needless to say with this sort of system the primary concern, aside from the mobility of it, is how to get this thing serviced in the cleanest possible way. They have a patented system called “Permastore” where the 5 foot replaceable sewer servicing line is permanently housed and stored at the bottom of the tank. The hose is replaceable and comes with a bayonet cap to prevent spills.
Another way this tank design helps keep the servicing process as clean as possible is by featuring an auto-stop function that activates when the tank is full, preventing and overload/overflow situation and the mess involved. The hose is designed also so that it is a very simple load and unload, and the stows away tidily in case you need to make more than one trip to the transfer station per servicing. If you’d like to know more about these, please visit our website right HERE.
Remember the days when you’d have to pull over, unfold that gigantic map and then get yourself oriented? I seem to recall that folding the thing back up was more of a hassle than getting to the shoulder in traffic to unfurl the thing in the first place! Then the GPS’s started getting a foothold in the 1990’s but they were VERY expensive and had the two ton screen…that sort of gray background with black information on top. Except at night when it was green and black! Even at that point the GPS’s back then were hit and miss. Weather could obscure the antenna, the databases required pretty periodic updating which in turn required a fairly expensive subscription.
Well those days are truly gone. While I still have a Key Map of Houston tucked away somewhere, it’s been awhile since I’ve seen an active RV’r without a GPS mounted to the dash of the vehicle. Some say having a smart phone is good enough, and yes they are…if you never leave the interstate. But we all know those spots in the mountains where the cell signal is weakest seem to pop up right when you need that darn phone to point you in the right direction to the campsite.
May I offer an alternative? The Tripmaker 7730 is an awesome GPS put out by the map makers at Rand McNally. What’s great about this GPS vs any of the rest is you can customize your routing for your RV! Not a car! What this means is that in RV mode the 7730 offers you advanced lane guidance which guides you through complicated intersections, calculates toll costs as well as offering no-toll options, as well as the ability to drop “bread crumbs” while you’re traveling off-route so you can make your way back to the original route the same way you left it. It’s one of the most flexible road GPS’s out there and great value for money. If you’re curious to learn more, click HERE.
Man, I’m a problem solver these days! In the last blog we talked about an automated tire pressure and condition monitoring system, and today we’re going to talk about a propane tank monitoring system that will help prevent accidental propane leakage. How many times have you gone out to the travel trailer, maybe to start the spring cleaning and the “getting it ready for the road” chores, and your propane system is bone dry. How many times have you checked the tank valve and it was accidentally left on and a slow leak drained the system? How many times have you just wondered to yourself how much propane was left in the lp tanks, and did you need to go get them refilled? Well, we have a way to answer all those questions!
Mopeka offers a Propane Tank Check that is super accurate. The way they achieve this accuracy is based on sonar technology. Simply put, you attach a magnetized sensor to the bottom of the tank and it beams updated tank quantity levels via bluetooth to a display you can mount inside the RV. Another option for receiving this data is to download their app and the lp tank quantity is right there on your smart phone or mobile device. Who would have thought even just a couple years ago that we could be so James Bond with our RVs?
The simplicity of this system is incredible. All you have to do is slip the sensor under the tank during your next refill, or just tip the tank over and attach it. Even the laziest members of our families can do it!! Best part is, this system can monitor two tanks, and the display will indicate separate levels for either the left or the right lp tanks. A video explaining the operation of the system further can be viewed right HERE, and if you’re interested in this product we have them available on our website right HERE.
How many of y’all have had a flat, or tire losing pressure, and not realized it until it was too late? Maybe you couldn’t hear the flat over all the road noise, or couldn’t feel the pull because you’re running dual wheels or the RV had alignment issues already. It’s always an unexpected, unpleasant, and sometimes expensive option to have a flat when you least expect it. Not only does it mess up your schedule, but they always seem to happen when we’re wearing our good clothes too eh?
Well I’ve got a solution for this problem! Tire Minder has a remote monitoring system that will report on tire conditions for up to 22 positions. For those of y’all who have bumper pull or fifth wheel travel trailers this system can be a real life saver. Who wants to go through an unexpected blow out on the trailer at interstate highway speeds? I reckon everybody has enough gray hair already, don’t you? Well this system not only will report pressure fluctuations, but it will also send an alert when any of the wheels reaches a temperature of above 167 degrees! This system also will update the readings every 4 minutes and performs self-diagnostics of the entire system every 5 seconds so you will know instantly when an issue arises at one of the wheels.
For those of you with boat trailers, car haulers, or those travel trailers and fifth wheels as well, this system allows for temporary disconnect and reconnect of the trailer from the tractor or truck monitoring system. The information is displayed on a large, easy-to-read screen located within easy reach. The controls are very intuitive and simple to operate as well. Especially when you’re hauling a trailer, I feel like this is one of those items where you are better safe than sorry, not only for yourself and your property but as well as contributing to the safety of everyone else who shares the road with you. For more information, click right HERE.
Have you ever pulled up into your spot, gotten the power and water and sewer all connected, and you’re ready to relax after a long day’s drive? For those of y’all that have satellite TV antennas, what happens next? Yep, you’ve gotta find that signal then get the antenna pointed just right so you can couch it for a little bit before bedtime and just relax. Sometimes it seems like the signal meter just flat lies to you doesn’t it? Well, I have a solution to that particular problem! Install an automatic aiming antenna!
Here’s all you need to do after you have one installed: turn the antenna on, hit the scan button, and in a couple minutes the antenna will have completed a full three hundred and sixty degree scan and determined signal strength of broadcast towers and determined an optimal position for the antenna to receive the greatest number of channels. With one push of a button! While it’s scanning you can be running out the slide-outs and getting a bowl of popcorn cooking in the microwave!
This means no more arguing over where to point the antenna, or fighting over which channels you want to try and receive, no more cranking the dish out, all you have to do at the end of a long day’s drive is just relax and enjoy yourselves while watching free digital TV! Where can you get one of these beauties? On our website of course. We carry the Winegard Rayzor auto tracking HD antenna in both white or black, and they come with mounting hardware, power supply, and coax cables; everything you need to get that relaxation going quickly. As you can see from the photos, the housings are pretty sleek, low, and quite stout so no reason to worry about wind resistance, heavy rain, or even hail beating them up. And if you’re interested, please swing by the website and say howdy, we’ll be glad to set y’all up with one!
First, let me get this out there: I love COMMANDO Black Tank Cleaner pods!
So, many of you have already heard me talk about some of the little hints I have used to keep my RV smelling fresh. There is something wonderful about walking into a fresh smelling RV. Being with PPL all these years in the consignment RV business, you can only imagine some of the odors that have hit me in the face. It seems the most common mistake made by RV owners is simply NOT draining the tanks when they come home from a trip. That simple step makes a huge difference in whether or not you even want to walk into your RV a month later, much less want to pack it up and hit the road.
When we travel, I have found a really easy and economical trick that really does help keep my RV fresh between uses. When we are getting ready to leave the campsite, we empty all of the tanks (in the proper order of black tanks to fresh water tanks.) Then, after I close off the valves, I add about 4 gallons of fresh water to the toilet before I shut off the water. Then I drop one of the Holding tank chemical pods into the toilet. You would think that I would stop right there, but I learned a great trick from a fellow RVer years ago. I pour a whole bag of crushed ice into the toilet making sure it all gets down into the tank. While we are driving home, the ice sloshes around and helps clean the walls of the holding tank. This has worked well for us for years, but now I have added something even better to my TO DO list when I leave the campground.
I just learned about the COMMANDO Black Tank Cleaner pods. I was a bit skeptical at first, but they really do work. Now about once every 3-4 months, I add one COMMANDO pouch to the tank. The super concentrated enzyme formula helps to remove waste and paper from the walls of the tank and will help to restore the sensor function. In fact, they claim that this product will clean the entire tank in 12-24 hours. That could actually save an RVer hundreds of dollars in tank cleaning services.
RVers share so many helpful hints and ideas with me so I felt like I should share this one with you. Please let me know if this product is really as great as I think it is. And, send me your thoughts and hints so I can share them with other RVers.
Aw man, have you ever checked on the RV during the winter and smelled that faint yet unfortunate odor of mildew or mold? Did you start worrying about your slide out seals, or the seals on the windows or doors? Or at that point did you look up and start wondering where the leak was. All those rivets and seams up on the roof are potential sources for leaks, or even just a small seep, which can cause that smell that smells expensive to fix. If your RV is stored out in the open, snow will provide a pretty long lasting source of water to trickle in, and needless to say if you’re storing it down here in the Gulf Coast portion of the country for the winter then all that rain will supply the moisture to feed the leak. So what can you do?
Dicor Roofing Systems provide an EPDM Rubber roofing material that can not only seal the roof of your RV but also reflect some of the heat and UV rays from the sun helping to make your RV more energy efficient. They come in rolls that are 9.4″ wide, the material is quite flexible, and can even be used to retrofit older RVs. As well as helping eliminate liquid leaks and adding insulation to the RV, when this is added to your roof, it dampens the vibrations in the roof material and helps deaden out that annoying roof rumble when you’re traveling down the road! The installation kit comes with everything you’d need to get it installed, from adhesives and sealants to the tape as well.
It sounds like a lot of work, but believe me installing this on your roof yourself, or hiring your local RV Service Center to do it for you will be far easier than removing everything to get to the interior of your RV roof and chasing down a seep! If you’re interested, more info can be found right HERE!
Oh man, sometimes we’ve got to talk a little bit about the gray water and black water systems of these wonderful RVs. In the last blog we discussed how easy it was to upgrade the toilet in your RV, but today we’re going to talk about a product that really helps with dumping those tanks as well as flushing the entire system clean afterwards.
I can’t imagine that servicing the waste system of your RV is your favorite chore, it’s certainly the least glamorous, but it is one of the most important jobs when it comes to keeping your RV free from odor, as well as free from some of the sanitary hazards an inop waste system can create. Here at PPL we sell a lot of accessories, parts, and tools to assist you in keeping that RV up and running as well as being a very fun vehicle to enjoy with your family. The SewerSolution is one of those tools you can use to make those waste system chores a little easier and a little more pleasant.
The SewerSolution is a water powered jet pump system designed to help power the sewage out as well as flush the tanks once they are empty. These things are self-cleaning, so they’ll help keep your hands clean and sanitary, they have no moving parts to become stuck and they are very easy to install. Simply connect one end to the sewer pipe on your RV, connect a garden hose, and then the water jet literally pulls the sewage out of your system and propels it out the discharge line. While the water is running it liquifies the waste and toilet paper making it easier to remove and operates at about 8 gallons per minute. It’s as close to hands clean servicing as you can get, and the water cleans the lines after the tanks are empty! If you’re interested, more information and pricing can be found right HERE!
Now this may be one subject y’all may not have expected to be reading about this morning, but I have had some questions lately from customers about what they can do to upgrade their RV’s either for their own comfort, from the standpoint of increasing resale value, or doing some inexpensive upgrades to help decrease the amount of time their RV is on consignment. A lot of folks skip the lav area…other than making sure it’s clean.
Thetford Aqua Magic STYLE PLUS Toilets
If you own an RV that’s 10 years old or older, chances are that installing a new toilet is just what the doctor ordered. Not only does it allow you an opportunity to change the seat height if needed, and if you’re getting older that is a surprisingly helpful option. Let’s talk about seat height for a minute. Have you ever had that stiff back first thing in the morning? Maybe you didn’t stretch before playing 18 holes the day before, or maybe you spent a fair bit of time walking on concrete, or maybe that mattress just isn’t as supportive as it used to be. Well, having a higher seat will prevent you from wincing as much when you have to sit down in the lav. On the other hand if you’re traveling with young children and having a higher seat isn’s as important to your age group, installing a lower seat will help prevent…um, accidents with your kiddos.
If some of you have the older style blade-and-seal style toilets, you know how sometimes toilet paper can get caught in that groove that the blade goes into. Well, if you upgrade to these more modern styles that particular problem will go away. The ball and seal on these newer models do wear, but you won’t have to get after them with a screwdriver at the most inopportune times to clear a jam! If you’re interested in checking these new toilets out, more information can be found HERE.