Dealing With Road Rage

Dan Zen/Flickr Creative Commons

As RVers I’m sure you’ve found yourself in that situation where you’re trying to merge or pull out into traffic and folks either won’t let you in, or you’re not moving fast enough for somebody and they try to zip around you. Nobody realizes more than you do that you’re bigger, heavier, less maneuverable, and accelerate slower than the cars and SUVs around you but they still have to behave like spoiled children in order to ensure you understand their displeasure. So I thought today we could discuss ways to maintain your composure and enjoyment of road life in the face of other’s impatience, discourtesy, and dangerous driving.

First impulse when confronted with another driver’s aggressive driving is meet aggression with aggression, sometimes in the form of angrily shouting curses at the back of their car and secretly hoping a cop is going to chase them down and hit them with heavy fines, or maybe dreaming that that they’ll pick up nails in more than one tire to pay them back for being such a jerk to you and all the other drivers that have had to share the road with them today. But here’s the thing y’all, driving an RV in today’s cell phone addicted world is stressful enough without allowing that sort of frustration and anger into the RV. To some of you folks it may sound childish or even weak, but the ability to shrug your shoulders and not let a jerk turn you into a jerk is actually pretty powerful.

So here’s what you do…take a DEEP breath and imagine situations that would justify someone driving like an ass. Maybe that guy is a father who’s child has just been taken to the hospital and he’s trying to get there as quick as he can. Maybe that woman is a mother who has just been laid off and is distraught and thinking more about how she is going to pay her family’s rent in there new found jobless situation. There are any number of situations of an emergency or stressful situations that could justify erratic driving if only you knew the whole story. So instead of pounding the steering wheel and working your way towards a stroke, think of these situations that would allow for bad driving and become sympathetic to their plight. NONE of what you imagine may be true, they may just be a real ass, but the main thing is it will release your anger and keep your RV a happy place even when you’re surrounded by selfish drivers!

RV Driver’s Education?

 Bill Ward/Flickr Creative Commons

Bill Ward/Flickr Creative Commons

Only you, the seller, and the bank know how much you paid for the RV. You may be able to fudge that number a little bit with everybody else, but three people know exactly how much you’ve laid out for this awesome machine. So with that size of investment in mind, why let a little pride cause your investment to shift from long-term to short-term by causing unnecessary and easily avoided damage and cost?

Driving a vehicle the size of an RV is not the same as driving that Honda Civic you have trailered up behind it, and we’ve all seen that new RV owner turning right and hitting the curb, or getting into a position at the gas station where it looks like they’re either going to hit the post by the fuel pump, another car, or even the building itself. So today I thought I’d talk about RV Driving Courses.

The practical benefits should be fairly obvious: that right turn I mentioned previously for example, learning to parallel park a vehicle whose size you are not used to judging, or even backing it up without damaging your or anyone else’s vehicle or property are just three ways an RV Driver’s Course can assist you after purchasing your first RV. Depending on which insurance provider you are with, some companies offer a discount on your premium for having completed an instructional course, especially if you have a clean record. Some driving schools offer a practical driving course similar in many ways to the courses offered for big rig drivers, while others offer classroom based classes. Depending on which state your license is issued from, you may be required to upgrade that license depending on how large your RV is, and participating in a school’s program will greatly assist you in that endeavor.

The main points though is this: you bought the RV because you wanted to be able to use it and have a home away from home. We all know you’re not 16, we all know that you can drive a car, but we also all know that first time around the block in something as large and expensive as a motor-coach can be pretty daunting and we’ve all jumped that curb at one point or another as well. Remember, as much as you may like to believe it is, your motorhome is not a toy. My best advice to new owners is to take a class, enjoy the new experience, and when it comes time to accessorize or modify your RV to suit your needs, visit!

4 Tips For Driving Your RV On The Interstate

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RVs are huge. I realize that’s an obvious statement, but let’s be serious here. RV’s can weigh a few thousand pounds and and if they aren’t driven by an expert, you can very easily lose control of them and severely damage your vehicle and RV, not to mention the other people on the road. Driving your RV on the interstate seems like it would be a pretty easy endeavor, but I assure you, it’s more dangerous than you think. Sure, the idea of getting on the highway and just driving a straight line sounds like a perfect trip. When you factor in traffic, construction, other drivers, and road conditions, driving on that highway just became a dangerous idea. Here are a few tips I’ve compiled that may make you a better RV driver on the highways.

1. Don’t Be Afraid To Stay In The Right Lane

The right lane on an interstate is designed for slower moving vehicles, like your RV. If you get in a hurry, you tend to change out of the right lane and then you’re causing more traffic back-ups than you solved by getting around the person in front of you.

2. Get Your Rest

Getting enough rest the night before a big trip is one of the easiest ways to avoid accidents and cause delays. If you feel sleepy, don’t hesitate to find a rest-stop to catch some ZZZs, or let someone else drive. Studies have shown that we make irrational decision when we are tired, we tend to drive too fast and make boneheaded moves, like cutting off that big rig.

3. Stay Off The Road If The Weather Is Bad

I realize that sometimes this can’t be avoided, but if you have the time to wait out a bad rainstorm or the possibility of ice, then stay where you are. The last thing anyone needs is to have their RV sliding across a lane of traffic.

4. Know Where You’re Going

Getting lost is always a nightmare. If you take the time to plot your course and use your GPS or smartphone to guide you where you are going, you reduce the risk of making a wrong turn and having to make some decisions you’d really rather not have to, like making a u-turn on a 2 lane road. Not an easy task for anyone, let alone you AND the RV behind you. Most GPS and smartphone apps will redirect and plot a new course you if you happen to make a wrong turn, follow their instructions and let the technology get you where you need to go.

Less Is More In Your RV

When it comes to your RV, less is more. The RV is an easy place to get overloaded very quickly. I’ll bet if you were to look in your RV right now, you probably need half of the stuff you have packed away in there. Just think about the stuff that are packed continuously and go on every trip. Do you really need to fill every available space in you RV? Of course not! You just have to make the effort to clean out all of the stuff that, for the most part, is just along for the ride.

I finally made the decision to go through my RV  and I realized I had tons of stuff I never needed to take with us.  There were even items that I had never used the entire time I owned RVs.  Ever do that before? If so, it’s time to scale back considerably.  I mean, really, I did not need 2 sets of silverware, 14 serving bowls or 48 red solo cups.  Nor did I need to have 4 water filters, 2 hoses, 6 packages of toilet chemical drop ins and 6 cans of bug spray.  Enough was enough. Even when I started through the clothing, there was no way I needed all of those swimsuits, shoes and 16 pairs of socks. No wonder our gas mileage was low.  I had been carrying my entire house with me.

I had to stop the madness and took the action I had been saying I’d take four trips ago. I got water tight storage containers and went to town. When all was said and done, I took 3 expedition sized loads out of the RV and have everything I really need packed in 6 tubs. I improved my living space, I improved my gas mileage and I took a lot of stress out of packing for my next trip. Try scaling back a little and you’ll find a lot of the same benefits that I did.

When was the last time you really cleaned out your RV?

Can People Ride In A Travel Trailer Or Fifth-Wheel While On the Road

We take in consignment RVs all of the time and one of the questions that first time travel trailer and fifth-wheel owners ask is, “Can people ride in a travel trailer, or fifth-wheel while on the road?”  Let me go on record by saying that I don’t recommend it. There are too many variables that can make riding in an RV that is being towed unstable and dangerous. In fact, most states make it against the law to ride in an RV being towed, Texas is not** one of those states.

Here’s a good reason not to:

When traveling with a towable, you are going to be safer riding in the vehicle that is doing the towing, that’s just fact. If you are are traveling through a state that allows you to travel while your trailer is being pulled, just be extra careful…and you may want to watch this movie first.
If you have any questions about consignment RVs in Houston, be sure to give RV Nana a call at PPL Motorhomes. I know that we’ll have the right RV for you and your family.
**Edited for content – 03/17

Consignment RV Drivers, Be Careful With Your Prescription Medications

Here’s something to think about the next time you take your RV for a weekend outing. Your Houston Consignment RV center, PPL Motorhomes wants to remind you that you can get a DUI even if your prescription drugs are to blame. If you get pulled over for driving your RV erratically, you will likely be questioned for a DUI. If the officer believes that the prescriptions you are taking have caused him to intervene, then you could be facing an arrest for DUI. Regardless if they are legal prescriptions, you are responsible for your driving. It is not a guarantee that a judge will dismiss your case.

I know we’re all getting older and need various medications, or we have severe allergies, or pain medication for that sprained ankle that just doesn’t seem to be getting any better.  Regardless, remember to read all of the information that comes with your medication. It’s easy to ignore and throw away without looking at it. Don’t rely on the bottle containing the warnings about operating motorized vehicles. If it causes you to get a little drowsy, then you shouldn’t be getting behind the wheel.

This was just a small reminder to be safe and if you have any questions about Houston Consignment RVs, or just want to share a few of your RVing tips, don’t hesitate to let PPL Motorhomes know.

PPL Motorhomes: Early Warning Systems For Your RV: Fire Alarms

Your Consignment RV Center, PPL Motorhomes wants to remind you of the importance of having functional and responsive smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in your rig. The very scary fact is that, in regards to fire, it can spread though your RV in minutes. There really is no “fire-retardant” materials used in the build of your RV. It’s mostly wood, fiberglass and steel. It doesn’t take much for fire to spread as there is more than enough fuel sources through out your RV.

Here, watch the video below and see how quickly a fire can spread through your RV.

This is actual footage of a motorhome diesel pusher that I was driving, The fire started less than 5 minutes before I started shooting this video.

Don’t mess with fire people. If you have a fire in your RV, GET OUT! Stuff is just stuff, there is nothing worth being injured over. I guarantee you that 99% of the things you brought with you can be replaced, so don’t stay in harm’s way by trying to save your belongings.

Make sure you check your smoke alarm before every trip. Don’t just assume that it is working. You may only have just a few seconds to get out of your burning RV, without a functional smoke alarm, you may not get out at all. If you think it’s time to change out your smoke alarm, PPL Motorhomes has a selection for your to choose from, You can check them out on line, or swing by your consignment RV center, PPL Motorhomes and pick one up.

PPL Motorhomes: Clearance Height…Know It

Here’s something that you don’t see every day. RV vs. Bridge, who do you think will win? The bridge will, of course. If there is one thing that all of us here at PPL Motorhomes know, it’s the height of our RVs in relation to the bridges and low hanging tree limbs and powerlines along our routes. You should always know the clearance height of your RV before attempting to navigate under anything. A good idea is to write it on an index card and tape it directly to your dashboard.

Low bridges like in the picture above are rare, but can be found across the state – usually off of the beaten path. I’m really not sure how such an extreme miscalculation could have happened other than to speculate that the driver either forgot he was towing his rig (which seems unlikely), or he wasn’t paying attention to signage that usually precedes a low overpass. When venturing into rural areas, there is a possibility that you will encounter a low bridge, so watch for warning signs.

Keep in mind too though, that’s it’s not just bridges that you have to think about while in tow.

The bottom line is that you always need to be extra aware while towing your rig. It’s very easy to get lazy and start assuming that you will fit under every bridge, overhang or protruding tree. When you stop paying attention is when these things creep up on you and chances are you are going to do irreparable damage to your beloved Texas RV.

We all know someone who has either had an accident of this nature, or has come really close to having one. It can easily be our rig that is the next victim of us not paying attention to our surroundings and knowing our RV’s height. They put measurements on over passes for a reason folks, don’t ignore them. PPL motorhomes wants you to enjoy that RV for many more years to come, so go and put the height of your RV somewhere obvious on your dashboard for future reference.


PPL Motorhomes Helps You get Your Weight Distributed

If there is one thing that every RVer who tows their RV is afraid of, is hitch problems. Being able to rely on your hitching system will take a lot of stress off  and make the travel that much more enjoyable.One major issue is the shifting of weight while attached to the tow.


Now there are a few different choices out there, but PPL Motorhomes recommends that you check out the Eaz-Lift  line of products. In fact, you can save installation time and money with Eaz-Lift´s Ready-to-Tow Weight Distribution Kit. This complete kit provides everything needed to improve towing safety and performance right out of the box. It comes equipped with a 2 5/16 hitch ball, sway control ball, u-bolts and chain package all pre-installed on a 1,000 lb. Elite Round Bar hitch. This automatically saves you a ton of set-up time. The hitch ball and sway control ball are torqued to specification on the hitch head , as well. The sway control and mounting hardware are also included.


Here’s our very own, Boyd McMakin doing a great job of thoroughly explaining the Eaz-Lift´s Ready-to-Tow Weight Distribution Kit.

If you ever need to know ANYTHING about RV Parts and Service, call PPL Motorhomes and ask for Boyd, he is one of the most technically knowledgeable RV-men that I know

PPL Motorhomes: The BrakeBuddy…The Buddy you REALLY Need

If there is one thing about towing anything with your new or used motorhome, like another vehicle, or a trailer, you’ll quickly realize that the added weight to your rig is going to make braking a little more difficult and possible a little more stressful. You see, the brakes in your new, used or consignment motorhomes aren’t really designed for so much added weight behind your motorhome. The same can be said for the vehicles you use to tow your new or use travel trailer and fifth-wheels, although there is significantly less weight involved when coming to a stop while pulling your trailer.

One of the really neat products we carry that will really aid in your braking power is the BrakeBuddy. The BrakeBuddy is dedicated to towing safety by providing you the best and easiest-to-use supplementary braking system on the market. This system is extremely simple to install, easy to use, and meets the legally required supplementary braking requirements mandated by many state laws. Adding a BrakeBuddy to your motorhome will increase your breaking efficiency and safety. Why subject yourself to a potentially large liability claim simply because you did not comply with legal braking requirements?

I need to mention that no connections to your motorhome are required. The BrakeBuddy Requires no alterations to your hydraulic lines. Plus, it easily be transferred between vehicles.

Check out Boyd from PPL Motorhomes as he explains the benefits of the BrakeBuddy:

If you have any questions about the BrakeBuddy, or any of the 1,000’s of other products PPL Motorhomes carries, don’t hesitate to call RV Nana, or Boyd, we’ll have all of the answers.