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

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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

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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.

Staying The Night In Wal-Mart Parking Lots

One of the nice things about RVing is the ability to take a break from driving for the evening and spend the night in many of the nation’s Wal-Mart store parking lots. In fact, there are many Wal-Mart lots across the United States that are actually destinations for many RVers. The good news is that most Wal-Marts openly welcome RVers for an evening’s stay. That’s good news for the weary traveler. However it’s a very good idea to check with the store management before you just assume that it’s OK to camp.

Generally there are specified area’s specifically for RVers who are staying the evening. Keep in mind that you don’t want to stay more than one night. You have to remember, that the Wal-Mart stores that allow you to stay are doing so as a courtesy and not as a substitute for staying at a legitimate RV park, or campsite.

There are even publications available that can tell you whether or not a Wal-Mart Parking lot is RV friendly.

Another good reason to check with store management before you just assume it is OK to part your RV in a parking lot for a night is that there may actually be city ordinances against camping in parking lots. It doesn’t take much to call ahead and check first. It could certainly save you an embarrassing conversation with either the store management or even the police department.

That being said, Wal-Mart parking lots, among others, can be a great lay over station as you progress to your intended destination. Just make sure you check before you assume that it is permissible to stay the night.

Planning A Trip To National Park

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If you haven’t camped in a National Park, you are certainly missing out on some of the most majestic and most protected natural environments in America. Billions of dollars go into the maintenance and beautification of our National Parks, so why not make them destinations on your trips? Take a road less traveled and plan a night or two in a National Park. Take a look at the NPS website below and really take a look at everything National Parks have to offer the RVers.

http://www.nps.gov/index.htm

It’s pretty comprehensive, huh? How can you not want to visit a National Park soon? After all, your taxes are helping maintain the the parks themselves. There are 58 National Parks to choose from, so you shouldn’t have a problem finding one to visit during your RV Adventures.

http://www.youtube.com/user/58NationalParks

If you have any question and bout camping National Parks, don’t hesitate to contact PPL Motorhomes. We know a thing or two about visiting the National Park System and can probably recommend a great place to bring your RV.

Take That RV To The River And Do Some Floating

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There’s nothing like tubing down the Comal, or Guadalupe rivers in New Braunfels, Texas. If you are a Texan, you either know about floating the rivers, or have done it yourself. You’ll see all walks of life out there, from the very old to the young all enjoying the sun and uniquely relaxing experience of sprawling out on a tube or raft. We just got back from out river adventure and had a wonderful time!

There are multiple different areas to access the rivers, especially the Guadalupe. There are also tons of tubing facilities offering everything from “toob” rentals, to river necessities, to free shuttles which take you to designated put-in areas on the rivers.

Of course, the area offers numerous RV facilities, as well as quite a few places to rent cabins directly on the rivers themselves. There are great restaurants, as well as places to catch live music at places like the Whitewater Amphitheater. There are some really great times to be had in New Braunfels and around the area.

If you’ve never been on a river trip, I can highly recommend it. Of course, I suggest that you spend a day on the rivers, but honestly, it isn’t necessary, there really are a ton of activities to do and things to see. Of course, one of those things is swinging by PPL Motorhomes to say. “Hi”!

What Can You Get From A Consignment RV

The Songs of Nature.  When I RV, that’s what I hear. All of her beautiful compositions from Nature’s instruments flowing through the moonlit nights far from city lights. The winds whistling through the tress in chorus, while the chipping of the frogs filled the air with lonely yips as they patiently waited for a response from across the pond. That’s what I hear when I sit quietly outside of my RV on these cooler evenings.

RVing allows me to slow down: to put on the brakes and start using my senses to listen to nature more, rather than some of the unnatural chaos of daily life. I can picture it even now. I pull down the awning, turn on my patio lights, unfold my lawn chair, sit back and relax with the beverage of my choice and just listen. It’s quiet. The noises I hear aren’t telephones and zooming cars, it’s the soft chirp of a cricket of in the distance and hey, that might have been the hoot of an owl…then it’s  silent.

I could stare at the stars without the light from the city drowning them out. Go out far and dark enough until you’re amazed at the amount of stars that actually fill the night sky. This is what RVing gives me. The ability to recall that memory anytime I want, yes even amid that chaos I was previously referring to above.

All of that weekly stress can melt away with just one great weekend RVing. If you’ve never been, you should try. Talk to any RVer and ask them about their uncertainties, and they’ll quickly dismiss any of your fears as well. Swing by PPL Motorhome and take a look at a few of Houston’s consignment RVs. Plus we can answer any questions you may have about joining the RV lifestyle.