Winter RVing in Texas!

Winter in S TX! photo from: http://www.icingonthepavement.com/seriously-wtf/christmas-costco/

I see you winter Texans trickling down from the Great White North, and I would like to be the first say, “Howdy, and bienvenidos a Tejas!”

As y’all can probably tell, the further south in the state you go for the winter, the milder it should be, but one of the joys of living here in God’s Country is that the weather changes more than it stays the same! But, to paraphrase Horace Greeley, “Head south young man!” and y’all ought to be just fine for the short winter months, because Texas has 4 seasons: Almost Summer, Summer, Still Summer, and Road Construction.

South of I-10 there are some great winter RV parks, like Hillshade RV Park in Gonzales, TX. They have all the amenities on-site plus laundry facilities, free WIFI, AND they’re only a half hour or so from the Spoetzal Brewery in Shiner, TX. Hillshade is also built in an easy to use U shape so pull-in and pull-out is no problem. They’re located east of Gonzales, TX on alt 90 right by Lake Gonzales.

If you prefer to be closer to the coast, maybe check out On The Beach RV Park in Port Aransas, TX. They have the usual water, sewer, electrical, phone, and cable hookups as well as being just west of town and right on the beach. There are fishing, boating, and all the water borne activities to be indulged in while your less fortunate family members and neighbors are out shoveling their driveways and scraping ice off of, well, everything.

Texas literally has something for everyone and these are only two of many awesome Texas RV parks and destinations for you snowbirds to come and experience this winter. Not to take anything away from other Summer RV destinations, but I’m betting Texas’ Almost Summer, Summer, and Still Summer seasons might convince you to take a few months to enjoy what the northern climates don’t have to offer…warmth, sun and fun!  And remember, before you hit the road, hit our website for all your RV parts and accessories!

 

Get Ready For A Weekend At The Track

Photo Courtesy of palmcoastlimos.info.

The Daytona 500 is this weekend and I know plenty of folks are already on their way, or parked and camping as you read this. RVing to the races is a big event and you’ve gotta be prepared for it. There’s a lot of community involved with NASCAR enthusiasts, so you’ve gotta be ready when the time comes to entertain a few of your friends while you’re waiting for the races to begin. I’ve put together a few products I think would definitely help you have a great weekend out at the track.

Racing RV Awning Mats

These Reversible Racing RV Awning Mats can be used in a wide variety of areas like floor mats, beach mats and area mats – Not only for your patio! Thick 3 straw woven polypropylene mats are UV stabilized for increased sun exposure. Lightweight breathable material dries quickly and won’t kill grass. New Racing Design for NASCAR enthusiasts. All mats include corner tie downs.

Speedway RV Globe Lights

These string lights would turn a boring old patio into a sight to see! Create a festive atmosphere with these weather resistant patio lights, after all, you can’t control the weather. Includes 6 large acrylic globes (6″ diameter) hardware and a heavy-duty 30′ coiled cord that resists tangles. Make your RV patio the one that all of your friends want to come visit.

 

Winegard Portable Satellite TV

During the downtime at the track, you can still enjoy your shows with this, the Winegard Carryout MP1 is an easy, low cost solution. Great for tailgating parties, RVing, camping, backyard BBQs, trucking, races, vacation homes, cabins and more. Unit is self contained in its fully enclosed case. The case has a twist off cap that provides an easy way to fill the top portion with water or sand for stability on windy days.

 


Trick Or Treating At the RV Park Is Fun For the Whole Family

Trick-or-treating isn’t just for neighborhoods and the suburbs. RV parks all across the US routinely host some really great trick-or-treating opportunities. RVers are passionate about their RVs and decorate them with as much detail as they would decorate their own homes. Remember though, the same trick-or-treating rules apply.

  • Make sure your kids are wearing costumes that are visible at night. Add reflectors or glowsticks if need be. RV parks can be busy this time of year.
  • Be sure to inspect all of the candy you collect before eating any. Check for tampering, such as holes in the packaging or candy resealed with tape. Even the expiration date is important; you never know when someone will pass out candy that was originally purchased a couple of decades ago.
  • Always be aware of your surroundings. Look other ways before you cross the road. There will probably be lots of vehicles on the road within the park.
  • Make sure an adult accompanies all children.
  • HAVE FUN!

Ever seen what trick-or-treating looks like at an RV park in Texas? This video was shot at the RV Ranch in Burleson, Texas.

This year do something different. Take your kids and grandkids RVing and let them trick-or-treat. There are lots of great RV parks in and around the Houston area. I’m going to go as far to say that it’s even better than doing it at home. Everyone is very friendly and really enjoying the Halloween season. If you have any questions, or are looking for some decorations for your RV, just give PPL Motorhomes a call.

Heading South For The Winter in Texas

You don’t have to live in the far North East to want to head south for the Winter. There are thousands of RVers in North Texas who do just that every year and still stay in Texas! With destination cities located in central and south central Texas, such as Austin and San Antonio, on over to Houston and down along the coast, Texans headed south for the winter every year and have a multitude of places to visit so they can bask in the warm sun of a Southern Texas winter.

The ultimate Texas winter RV vacation is without question a Gulf Coast trip. Even thought the water may be a little cooler, the weather is wonderful and the fishing is amazing.

I love a good trip along the Gulf Coast.

Click on the picture below for a link to Texas Parks & Wildlife’s list of things to see and do along the Gulf Coast. It has some really good suggestions on the place that are “must stop” type locations.

 

Do you live in North Texas and have a favorite South Texas destination you like to visit during the winter? Share it with us! Are you an RVer in another state and never considered the Texas Southern Coast as a vacation spot? I highly recommend that you just take a few minutes and click on the link above to find out a little more about why I think why Texas has some really unique and interesting winter vacation destination locations.

Getting Ready For Fall And Winter RV Travel

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Now, it might seem a little early to start talking about Fall/Winter travel, but in fact right now is the perfect time to start planning a trip for the changing seasons. It won’t be long now and Texans will soon be heading towards some warmer climates like San Antonio, Houston, Corpus Christi, and many other destinations.  I’d say that most of them venture all the way down to the valley, but as I said before, many are finding warmer weather and a great time in the Houston and San Antonio areas.

Regardless of where you plan to go, there are a whole host of amazing apps out there that can help you plan all aspects of your trip easily. For example, take a look at the video below. The RV Trip Wizard is a very useful tool when planning your next trip.

Now is the time to start planning your Fall/Winter trip. One thing to keep in mind is planning trips in Texas, there are plenty of places to visit that are right here in the state. Of course, taking a nice winter trip along the Gulf Coast is a wonderful vacation. There are plenty of places that are prime spots in Louisiana, Mississippi and Florida that are worth looking at planning a visit too as well.

Of course, there are multiple things you are going to want to plan for and get ready for your trip. For any of your parts, accessory and camping need this Fall and Winter, I recommend that you start at PPL Motorhomes. We have thousands of parts and accessories that will come in handy during your Snowbirding adventures.

Going Green While Going Camping

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RVers know a thing or two about getting back to nature, and whether they know it or not, many RVers are also excellent conservationists! Let’s think about it for just a moment. First of all, there is already a predisposition for most RVers to leave as small of a foot print as possible in regards to where they travel.

For example, did you know that about 95% of American water usage ends up going don the drain? Water for your average RVer is both a valuable resource and can be a liability of sorts. First off, even though you are hooked up to a fresh water source, chances are that much of that water is going to just end up in your grey or black water tanks. This just means that you need to empty them more often. You’ll see RVers not leaving the water running while doing dishes, brushing their teeth, or even when taking showers. The desire to reduce water collected by their sewage system translates into using less water over all.

Did you know that only one in four Americans recycle their plastic water bottles? They don’t decompose, and that means that they are certainly not biodegradable. In fact, all of those cases of fresh water more often than not just end up in landfills. RVers can take a different approach. Space is valuable to an RVer and having even just once case of water lying around the RV is a space waster. That’s while you’ll see many campers and RVers use refillable receptacles. If everyone in the RV has a large bottle of water and just  refill that container, well you aren’t just going to save space, you save the environment.

Here’s an interesting fact: two-thirds of Americans cannot see the night sky due to “light pollution” in their respective areas. RVers tend to turn off their lights more when not in use. Even if they have a constant energy source, often times the lights go off when they don’t need them. This might be because RVers may be more accustomed to  saving propane being used by their generators when an AC current isn’t available. Trust me, propane can get expensive and you’ll want to save on refills. By turning off excessive light usage, you’ll not only save propane, but it sure will make viewing that night sky much easier.

Trash can be an issue for everyone, not just RVers. When you go to the store you can actually cut down on the amount of garbage that is being sent to the landfills by buying some foods in bulk. Cereal for example. Why do you need a box when the product also comes in a bag? I know it’s for shipping purposes, but that last time I checked, crushed cereal tastes the same as uncrushed cereal. You know what?  Buying rice, pasta, cereal, crackers, and other snacks in bulk bins will also save you cash!

You probably do this at home, and you should do it while you are camping too. That is, provide separate waste containers in your RV for garbage and recyclables. Most, if not all campgrounds, have recycling bins. All you have to do is ask where they are. If for some reason your park or campground doesn’t have a recycling bin, simply suggest that that look into adding one. It’s not hard for our parks and campgrounds to get in on the act of helping out the environment. Especially their environment.

If you have any other suggestions, tips or hints about how to go green while you go RVing, leave them in the comments section below. Also check out PPL Motorhomes online for a multitude of Green RVing products.

How do you stay green in your RV?

Can You Afford To Go RVing

rv cheaper, rv vacation costs, ppl motorhomes, first rv vacation

The short answer is, “YES”! It’s talked about all of the time around here with our own PPL Motorhomes customers. RVing can actually save you big bucks on your next family vacation. If you are working with a reasonable budget, not an extreme budget mind you, you can vacation for longer, see more sights, spend more family time, have a bigger adventure, and cut some extreme costs.

Planning correctly and early means you won’t have to spend money on a hotel, or additional costs for extra food (we all know eating in is much more economical). Plus, rest stops are much more comfortable and you’ll have plenty of room for all of the kid’s stuff. Now, I know what you are thinking though, “…but fuel prices are high.” That may be true, but when compared to airline tickets, you’ll pay much less per person.

Take a look at the video below and you’ll see how a large family can take a longer trip and spend less money by going RVing.

If you need more proof, or need some extra help planning your first RV trip, or better yet, if you are looking to purchase a RV of your own so you take trips more readily, then come and see us.

Exploring Texas Campgrounds

texas camp grounds, taco, ppl motorhomes, camping texas, texas rving, rving texas

I know that I always feature a park that I believe is worth visiting, but this time I’m taking a little different direction.  We travel a lot, we certainly can’t go everywhere, but I love the feeling that we can try. When we travel, we never leave home without our RV Travel & Camping Guide to Texas.  This is a free, four-color glossy magazine that lists more than 350 campgrounds and RV resorts in Texas and surrounding states. I can tell you right now, that this publication is worth its weight in gold.

The 2013 directory provides detailed descriptions on roughly two thirds of the private parks in Texas. It’s broken up into seven regions of Texas with locator maps, complete services and amenities, as well as driving directions, a miniature locator map, and even panoramic photos showing off what campers can experience. The directory also features a Texas Saver Card, which provides 10% to 15% discounts; needless to say, I have used this card many times.

If you don’t want to carry around the guide, you can easily view this 150 page guide online by visiting www.texascampgrounds.com.  Ah, the power of the internet. Looking for that next perfect spot?  Click here and you can easily search new destinations. Really, go ahead and check it out. You may discover, as we have, that this is a great way to find new adventures.

If you have any Texas destination suggestions of your own, don’t hesitate to leave it in the comments section. Likewise, if you are looking for first hand suggestions, feel free to call PPL Motorhomes and ask for me, RV Nana.

PPL Motorhomes Cures “Couch Potato Syndrome”

It’s kids favorite time of year, Summer.  But, that doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t keep learning, nor should it mean that “couch potato syndrome” should set in. Those of us here at PPL Motorhomes who have children, or grandchildren will be taking them on road trips almost immediately after school ends. Of course, they’ll get ample time at home to play and decompress from the school year, but we won’t be letting them turn into a couch potato this summer either.  That’s why RVing is so great! It’s more affordable than your think, just take a look at all of the consignment RVs we have to offer. Plus, owning an RV is not just a home away from home for our kids and grand-kids is also a great teaching tool. It gets them outdoors so they can take a discovery hike, paddle a canoe, swim in a lake or go to the beach.  In fact, owing an RV, in my opinion, is one of the greatest gifts you can give your family. The ability to make memories with family and grow in the RV lifestyle is, in my experience, invaluable.

Now while the family in video below doesn’t have an RV, it certainly shows how much fun kids can have in the great outdoors.

The earlier kids start appreciating the outdoors, the better stewards of our State Parks they will grow to be. A child that grows up outside, rather than in front of  a TV, or a gaming console is going to be more well rounded in their appreciation of the things that are around them. Science, Math, History and Poetry can be found right outside the city limits. They’ll be amazed what they find outside.

If you are interested in starting your own RV lifestyle and getting those kids off of the couch, see PPL Motorhomes. We carry a bunch of different motorhomes, travel trailers and fifth-wheels to choose and consignment RV might be the perfect first RV for you and your family to get out and see what you’ve been missing.

My First RV Trip

This was sent to me by a reader and fan of this blog. Apparently he’s been around the RV lifestyle for a while with friends, some family and even as an element of his job; however, he never had the opportunity to actually take a trip for himself. Here is his open letter to me.

Dear RV Nana,

Let me first say, I LOVE YOUR BLOG! You might find my story interesting, or at the very least moderately entertaining. I’m 40 years old and have worked on the marketing side of the RV Industry for 14 years. That’s not the interesting part, up until now I have never taken a single trip in an RV of any kind. It’s hard to believe, and I know what some of your readers may be thinking; “How could you sell an RV if you’ve never spent time in one? Well, the only thing I can say to that is, through my clients direction, manufacturer education and RVer’s stories, I consider myself as knowledgeable as the next RVer, at least in theory, but not in practicum.

However, I’m excited to report that I have now joined the ranks of the RVing public. My family and myself decided to take the opportunity, on a recent trip to Colorado, to rent a consignment RV and have our hand at RVing. I can say with utmost certainty that I THOUGHT I knew what RVing was like, but it wasn’t until we spent just a little time in our rented unit did we realize how an RVing was such an incredible way of traveling. I’ve written about the basics of RVing for years, such as actual savings when compared to other forms of travel and lodging. The comfort level was extraordinary and it truly felt like a “home away from home”.

One of the main reasons we decided to rent a RV as opposed to a large SUV or van really was because of your blogs. You make RVing sound like such a great adventure and suitable for everyone! So far, you’ve been right. That just reinforced everything I already knew, but never thought to put into practice. There is no doubt that we will be looking into getting our own RV very, very soon.

Thanks for all of your effort and championing the RV lifestyle! If you see fit, feel free to share my story with others so they know that there are different options out there when it comes to travel. RV rental really is one of them.

Sincerely,

Dave

Well, there you have it, a long time reader, but first time RVer…or something like that. You are certainly welcome, Dave! I’m glad to have played a minor role in your decision to try out RV travel. I’m even more happy that you are now considering an RV of your own!

If you are like, Dave and think it’s time for an RV, don’t hesitate to call PPL Motorhomes. I’m sure we have the right RV for you and your budget.