The Importance of Purchasing a Service Agreement

Photo: Diana Leblanc

Photo: Diana Leblanc

OK guys, I know some of you will think I am a little crazy, but I just bought a new RV.  No, not a brand new RV.  It’s a 2012 Winnebago View, but it’s new to me.  After all, I am RV Nana, I would never buy new.  There are too many great buys in the used market.  I have loved my 2008 Roadtrek (RV NANA 2) and was not really in the market to upgrade.  One day I was out on the sales lot appraising a 5th wheel as I opened the back blinds to get a little light in the RV, this View sitting there in our detail area.  It was love at first sight.

I had recently gone to an RV event with my daughter and sister  and the Roadtrek was  just too small. We actually rented a cabin and an RV site for the 5 days to have enough room for the three of us. What’s wrong with this picture?  I have loved the Roadtrek but I knew it was something for short trips and I am hoping to travel a little more this year.

The View has two slides and enough headroom to stand up and even take a shower in  it.  I felt like I was cheating on the Roadtrek by even looking at another RV.  I guess this tells you how crazy RV Nana really is.

I was excited to make the purchase but decided to wait a couple of months  to sell the Roadtrek.  Now, I own two RVs.  Again, what’s wrong with this picture?   I had the complete demo and I was so excited. I got it home and had 24 hours of exciting, frustrating, tearful, anxious hell.  A dear friend, who is also an amazing mechanic, helped me juggle all the cars home so I could start the exchange of “stuff” from one RV to the other.  I had just had a brand new 30 amp outlet installed by the garage and I was eager to turn everything on and make the big move.  I plugged it in and heard a loud pop.  There was no electric in the RV.  I immediately called the electrician and made plans for him to come out the next morning.  I backed the Roadtrek in next to the View and began the transfer.  Being a bit of a slow learner, I plugged the Roadtrek into the same outlet and, surprisingly, it worked great.  I was puzzled.  It had all worked fine at the dealership.  What was I doing wrong?

Photo: Diana Leblanc

Photo: Diana Leblanc

The View has a generator, but I was afraid to turn it on because none of my neighbors were in town and I was afraid of what might go wrong.  I waited until m my mechanic friend came over the next morning.  He was also shocked by the outlet and could not determine why I had no electricity.  We started the generator and, within seconds, I smelled smoke.  OMG.  I was suddenly thinking I had made a huge mistake.  I grabbed the fire extinguisher, he started tearing into the cabinet and we discovered that the inverter had “fried”.  Not sure how or why, but it was history.  All I can say now is “thank heavens for service agreements”.  I am always preaching the importance of purchasing a service agreement and, of course, I had purchased one myself.  There was no rhyme or reason to how or why it went out, but I am so thankful  it happened in my driveway.  Now, it has been replaced, I only paid $200 deductible and I am preparing g for my first adventure in the new RV NANA 2.

One small obstacle and I am now ready to start my next chapter.

See you on the road soon.

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RV Technical And Roadside Assistance Is A Must

 

For all of the prep work we do before we actually hit the road to go RVing, nothing is more frustrating than to have all of it virtually come undone because of a technical problem, or an unforeseen need for roadside assistance. If you own your RV long enough and consistently travel,  your chances increase for the need of reliable RV technical and roadside assistance.

That’s why RV Nana uses Coach-Net. They are the leading source for 24-7 RV roadside assistance and technical support. They’ve been around since 1987 providing the highest degree of service, assistance, and mechanics to tackle virtually any problem you may encounter on the road.

There are many obvious reasons you should choose Coach-Net for your RV support service, but there are also some reasons that you may not think about. First of all, your RV is a complicated machine; after all, it is basically a house on wheels. So let’s say you have a plumbing issue at your house—more often than not, you are going to call a plumber—but what do you do when it’s your RV’s plumbing system that needs some help, or it’s electrical, or it’s your LP system? Are you going to tackle these issues by yourself? Maybe if you were a Certified RV Mechanic, but let’s be honest, you are probably going to scamper to find an RV mechanic somewhere. Of course, there’s no way of telling if you are going to find one, and, if you do, is he worth his salt? Why take the chance. By having a service like Coach-Net in your back pocket, you can easily contact them with your problem and have a solution in a matter of minutes. Maybe it’s something you can take care of yourself, but, if it isn’t, Coach-Net will have you covered for all sorts of technical and mechanical problems.

At PPL Motorhomes, we offer Coach-Net services and feel that is more than worth the minimal cost associated in getting total roadside coverage. I like to just factor it into the cost of owning an RV, as we are all well aware of , there are a few costs that you cannot do without, such as refilling your LP tank, and adding chemicals to your black water system… it’s just the way of the road. So, when you are out on the road, you’re probably already taking many measures to make sure you have a great time: go one step further and look into adding the coverage of Coach-Net today!

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RV Liability Insurance

https://www.flickr.com/photos/andosteinmetz/2901325908/in/photolist-5qo47u-bmm7zF-7AywKe-s61mYW-rqzkGE-rcCdfr-rmqaQJ-7X1cm9-dAswam-gK2ey6-8fhmes-hgrs2Y-9u512b-7ARAYP-fvf2xd-9stYRU-3nrsfg-oHW4k-7LK3MG-kwHFkV-kwL3sQ-eWYNS-6iBD22-dwSkQ7-6JMcST-9xY4QL-84sraL-8ncDsJ-kwJi6F-kwHEBk-kwL2gG-6Q8wmh-9nkJKS-8d6WJC-9SpxBS-at5q8F-6qPoRa-9xPLuG-nKp4nf-5YLHYe-mubncL-ocr6cr-fqZVza-nPe2ja-7A2imt-oVXdjC-pwSrSk-aD1BWV-oTg9Tf-oVZ2sM

Andrew Steinmetz/Flickr Creative Commons

 

As an RVer, you know the importance of having solid and comprehensive insurance for your RV. Nothing has more potential of ruining a RV trip than having an accident. Even a small fender bender can be the cause of some serious headaches. Since 1980, PPL Insurance Services has been providing RV insurance designed specifically with the RV owner in mind, making sure to work with our insurance carriers to design policies that cover the needs of the RV owner.

We have listened to our customers and have heard them tell us that securing liability coverage on an older vehicle can be next to impossible.  In fact, only a few companies will even quote any coverage on a vehicle that is over 15 years old.  We feel that this was wholly unacceptable as many of our customers have owned their RVs for years and have paid off their RVs. Owners who fall into this catagory simply do not want to carry full comprehensive and collision coverage any more.  So, how do they conform to the minimum liability requirements when registering their vehicle? We were compelled to provide a easy solution. So, for less than $400 per year (depending on age and driving record of the insured) PPL can provide coverage that includes liability, uninsured/under-insured motorist and personal injury protection coverage.  And, this coverage can be bound the same day without having to submit pictures, appraised values or anything more than an application and proof of insurance will be provided as soon as coverage starts. PPL Motorhomes has liability coverage that fits the needs of not just the new RV owner, but those who have older RVs as well. The bottom line is that PPL has you covered!

So, whether you are a weekend warrior .or full time RVer, PPL has the coverage for you. To make this even easier, if you are searching for liability only coverage on your RV, give Sharon at PPL Motorhomes a call at 1-800-755-4775. Tell her RV Nana told you to call.

 

Coach Net Roadside Assistance

https://www.flickr.com/photos/119886413@N05/16912463586/in/photolist-rLuNcL-72rGdu-78qeFi-pyemqT-a58d2y-a7NFGQ-a7Q4fW-aijBat-npSWRM-a55k4e-8ZYcxi-72dTLo-8H2giG-yWxjy-7gZjvN-a7MdH4-a7Q5rA-8LrTx5-ckTuXG-7sNfeK-9DaiRC-a55joX-qyHyqw-e8gZbf-DrJNj-e6Jf1B-dDw1yG-8LoPce-obqdU6-pH3nuo-8LoR7r-cUSjwm-8S7eZc-ajgLhc-78qe5R-fHYpgF-aqfDY-5Pqz9S-nS799x-i8qTuS-9cXwiL-8sPRVU-9DamKo-bWVsio-5od4j1-9Ln4FG-yDP5i-bD9jc7-8vNQFj-cDrLsC

amateur photography/Flickr Creative Commons

We’ve all been there. Imagine you’re headed down the road, it’s a beautiful late afternoon up in the mountains. You’re in between towns and you’ve got just enough time to make it to your campsite and get everything set up while it’s still daylight and then make it into town for margaritas at that place you both enjoyed so much last year. And then it happens. You get a flat. You slow down and start looking around for a place to pull over because the shoulders don’t look flat or wide enough. Once you find a wide spot, you pull over and the stream of cars behind you go whizzing by all headed into town to drink the margaritas you were so looking forward to. Doesn’t matter if you’re dragging a trailer or have a full size coach, it’s at times like these that you could use a helping hand.

That’s where a company like Coach Net comes in. They are a 24 hour roadside assistance service, so in the above scenario you would simply call the number on the back of your membership card and leave the rest up to them. They can even determine your location based on your cel phone, if you give them permission, otherwise you’d need to provide a location to the nearest mile marker or cross street. After that, simply describe your break down in as specific manner as possible so they can dispatch the corresponding equipment to your location. They are tied into a network of over 40,000 service providers nationwide, so if you need a tire, or if you need a tow they are standing by to help. Realistically, and hopefully, years will go by before you need to call them, but once you do they will quickly and efficiently respond to your call. And there’s no need to worry about paying for a service then submitting a receipt for reimbursement, Coach Net is pre-paid. So if you’re about to hit the road in a new RV, or one that is new-to-you, may I suggest getting this sort of coverage so that your next RV trip will be all the fun you hope it can be, and suggest that you hit our website for any parts or accessorires.

PPL Motorhomes: Are You Prepared For Hurricane Season

It’s that time of year again, folks: Hurricane Season. Your RV consignment center, PPL Motorhomes wants to remind you that the hurricane season began on June 1st and runs through November 30th. Living on the Gulf Coast this time of year can wreak havoc on the area in regards to storm damage and evacuation processes. If you haven’t already, you and your family should not only develop an emergency hurricane plan, but also put together an emergency preparedness kit.

Your plan should include:

  • Understanding your home’s vulnerability to flooding and wind damage.
  • Agreeing on the safest room in the house for your family to seek shelter if there is no mandatory evacuation.
  • Develop an escape route and designate a place for your family to meet in case you are separated. (not everyone may be in the same structure at the time the full force of the storm hits).
  • Have an out of state contact. It might be another family member, or friend you can stay with ahead of the storm making landfall.
  • Post emergency telephone numbers in your house and teach your children how to use the 911 emergency phone system.
  • Better check your insurance to understand your coverage. Flood insurance is usually an add on to most insurance policies. It might be a good time to look into getting it. Oh, and keep your insurance policy in a waterproof container, or bag. You may need it.
  • Stock up on non-perishable food items and water. If there is a severe storm, you may not be able to just jump in your car and go to the grocery store. Prepare as if you are going to be holed up for a few days without electricity, or running water.

Your Emergency Kit should include:

  • Flashlights, extra batteries, candles, lanterns, matches and kerosene. Light is going to be the one thing you wish you had more of in case of a loss of power.
  • Portable radios and extra batteries that fit them.
  • A well stocked first aid kit. You can buy a complete kit almost anywhere these days.
  • If you have a baby, they are going to need a ton of supplies: a surplus of diapers and formula, especially.
  • If you have any family members with special needs, you’ll need to prepare for them as well. This includes medications, or supplies them may need to keep them comfortable.
  • Non-perishable food items and water in non-glass containers. Next to an abundance of light, you are going to need food and water. Prepare for disaster conditions.
  • Fresh changes of clothes.
  • Important documents in water tight containers: birth and wedding certificates, insurance documents, home ownership documentation etc.
  • Any prescription medication
  • A fully charged cell phone
  • Don’t forget about Fido and Fifi…your pets are going to need extra food and water as well.

Living where we do, we can’t be too prepared for a devastating hurricane. We’ve seen them in the past and we’ll certainly see them again. Make sure you are ready when the time comes and know what to do in the event of a evacuation. PPL Motorhomes takes this stuff seriously, so should you.

High road winds can wreak havoc on your new motorhome or trailer

There are a lot of hazards out there on the road that really can put your new or used RV in a pickle. It’s not just the other drivers out that you have to worry about, there’s a whole slew of new obstacles for you to be aware every time you hit the road. High road winds being one of those obstacles.

Even though most RV’s will never see extreme weather while traveling, they are exposed periodically to bad and possibly violent weather.  High gusting winds, torrential rains, driving hail and thunderous lightning bolts have all been experienced at one time by many of us.  RV’s are particularly vulnerable.  Almost all RV’s have a relatively high center of gravity and a poor vertical body structure to weight ratio.  In other words, they can be adversely affected by winds.

Wind can be an issue even on an otherwise nice day.  Hey, we live in Texas, a fast moving front can produce substantially strong winds seemingly at anytime in the State.  Also geographical terrain, such as the mountains in Big Bend or the Hill country in and around Austin and even on flat ground of the Coastal plains can deliver unexpected high winds and gusts.  The affect of these winds on an RV can cause difficulty in maintaining its lane when running down a road or highway.  This occurs when the wind speed is in the high twenties to the mid forties, depending on the size and weight of the vehicle.  Wind gusts, as opposed to a steady wind state, can amplify the problem greatly.  There are many accidents that are a result of driving in high wind conditions.  These range from damaging a mirror from striking a passing truck to leaving the road due to loss of control.

Know your vehicle and control level in windy conditions.  If you are driving with white knuckles or become nervous, you have passed your RV’s comfort level.  Slow it down.  As a general rule, I reduce speed by 10% when wind conditions are between 15 and 20 MPH and additionally a further 10% for every 10 MPH over 20.  Never however, on a clear day, albeit windy, drive at a speed less than the minimum posted.  If such a speed is warranted due to wind, it is time to stop.  Winds approaching 50 MPH can cause dangerous driving conditions, and even more so if it is also gusty.  In high winds or when you are out of your comfort level, either stop for the day or re-route to a slower road where you can drive with full lane control.  In many cases driving or towing an RV in winds at or above 50 MPH may endanger both property and safety of yourself, your passengers and those in the immediate area.  Remember, you might be able to hang onto it, but can that panel truck passing you?

Can RV’s blow over?  Yes, all RV’s are capable of being upset by the wind force.  Fortunately, in general, it takes a considerable wind force, far more than you would think to flip a trailer or motor home.

If high winds or inclement weather ever have you concerned while driving or towing your new or used RV, your best bet is to simply pull off the road and wait it out. It’s simply not worth jeopardizing your safety and the safety of your rig.

PPL Motorhomes: The Very Real Fire Hazards and Your New RV

This is not something that RV Nana, or PPL Motorhomes takes lightly.

I recently read of a 55 year old Oklahoma man who died when his travel trailer caught fire while he was asleep. By the time emergency services got to the campsite, the flames were reported to be 20 to 30 feet high and the RV was totally consumed in flame. The RV next to the unfortunate camper was also destroyed. At the time of writing this, the fire is still under investigation to determine the cause.

This isn’t always the most uplifting stuff to talk about, but all RVers need to be aware of the very real fire hazards we could face on a daily basis either through neglect or accident. The problem is that there’s not much to our rigs and, in fact, can burn alarmingly fast. They are filled with fuel of all types: textiles, flammable liquids, wood, paper products…you name it, it can probably be found in our rigs.

There are multiple ways of protecting your family and property, but you must always keep in mind that a fire in an RV can turn into a catastrophic event amazingly fast. The chances of you putting out a rapidly spreading fire in your rig are slim to none. Don’t believe me? Watch the speed at which fire can spread below…be sure to read the comments on the video:

See, all it took was a spark and a little wind to fan the flames. If your RV is burning, GET OUT! That’s all I can say, don’t try to put it out yourself.

Have your RV checked and inspected on a regular basis by PPL Motorhomes…they may find something that you aren’t aware of. Besides, It’s better to be safe than sorry right?

Do You Know What it Takes to Be an RV Owner?

Putting effort into researching, choosing and buying your first RV is commonplace, but many prospective RV owners are not fully aware of the realities of RV ownership. There are many things to keep in mind if you are getting your first vehicle, such as driving, breakdown assistance, insurance, storage and maintenance.
Insurance for RVs are usually provided by specialist providers who operate only in the leisure vehicle arena. Use magazines and the internet to research what’s appropriate for your needs – you should find better value compared to normal car insurance as usage is normally much reduced compared to the family car.

Parking the vehicle at your residence can be an issue for some. If you do not have extensive garden and driveway space around your home, you may be looking at on street parking. This will be either illegal, dangerous, annoying to neighbors or all of the above. Some owners may wish to house their vehicle indoors to avoid any winter damage typically caused by ice, rain and sun. Consider storage facilities  – these can be both indoor and outdoor. They usually provide a level of security such as lock up, video surveillance etc. Many RV owners choose to use this facility during the winter months only, when they have no intention of using their vehicle. Consider also the damage that certain tree types can do to a RV, if parking under trees.

Finally, be aware of the regular servicing that RVs require. The habitation area requires certain procedures to be undertaken at regular intervals. Some of this servicing requires expertise not normally undertaken by the average owner. Likewise the vehicle engine and mechanical parts require regular servicing from a qualified mechanic.

Hopefully this has pointed you in the right direction to start acquiring the knowledge to owning a PPL Motorhomes RV. If you have any questions, feel free to ask!

Protect Your RV During Hurricane Season

 

Here in Houston, the news media made sure we were all aware of the start of the 2011 hurricane season and my mind immediately went back to Hurricane Ike and all the preparation we did to take care of our fifth wheel and wanted to share some hints with you. We have now compiled a hurricane season checklist and always have good intentions of taking care of these items long before a storm watch or warning. First, I want to warn you that an RV should not be used as a safe haven during a storm. It is a wonderful means of transportation to exit a storm area and an even better temporary home when you return should your home be damaged or destroyed. Here are a few simple steps that could help you weather the storm a little easier.

  • Determine an evacuation route now and make sure, in the event of a storm warning, that you leave early. I have heard horror stories of people trying to leave a storm area and spending 12 hours on the road to go 10 miles. Don’t let that be you.
  • Stock your RV early with water, non-perishable food and enough supplies for a week.
  • Keep your fuel tank and LP gas tanks filled during hurricane season to avoid long lines at the last minute.
  • Check your tires and make sure they are road worthy and filled with the proper air pressure.
  • Take time now to pack a fresh first aid kit in your RV
  • Pack your prescription medications in a waterproof bag so you are ready for a for a quick exit.
  • Pack sleeping bags, bedding and linens in waterproof bags to protect them from moisture. Space bags are great for this.
  • Make copies of all important documents and store them in a plastic bag so you have them ready to take with you. (insurance policies, drivers license, credit card information, titles and vehicle registration)
  • Make a list of important phone numbers and information and keep this in a zip lock bag, too.
  • It is not a bad idea to have some cash stored in your RV or in your important document bag because there may be no ATM or credit card purchases if there is a major power outage.
  • Pack plenty of batteries and flashlights so you are ready for any emergency.
  • Make sure you have a battery powered radio so you can keep informed during the storm.
  • We have a hand crank combination battery charger and flashlight for charging our cell phones. A great way to keep you in contact with family and friends.
  • And, don’t forget your pet. Pack some food and emergency information for your pets, too!

If you are evacuating and leaving you RV behind, here are a few helpful hints that could help your motor home travel trailer or fifth wheel weather the storm, too.

  • Buy insurance and buy it early. After a storm is in the gulf, you can no longer bind insurance on your RV.
  • Decide where you will store your RV and try to find a place that is not in a low lying area prone to flooding.
  • Package your belongings in waterproof bags.
  • Close and lock all windows, vents and doors.
  • Secure any lose items located near your RV.
  • Turn off the propane at the cylinders.
  • Close and lock all outside compartment doors.
  • Return as soon as safely possible after the storm and check for damage and leaks.

These are only a few things to consider when getting ready for hurricane season. We had our Fifth Wheel stored at our daughters home during Hurricane Ike. We had parked it as close as possible to there travel trailer and we were both so lucky. The only thing we lost was a small vent cap. Take some steps now that could save you time and money later. Good luck and be safe.

 


 

What’s the Beep?!?

Are you ever annoyed by the flashing lights or beeping sounds coming from your RV? Don’t ignore those…they are warning systems reminding all of us to pay a little more attention and be safe. We all need to do a little preventative maintenance on the safety features of our motor homes, travel trailers and fifth wheels and not just take them for granted.

As we know, dry cell batteries don’t last forever in your flashlight so why would we expect them to last forever in our carbon monoxide, lp or smoke detectors. Many of the detectors in the RVs are hard wired so there is no need for a dry cell battery, but you still need to test them. Follow the testing instructions provided in the owners manual or on the unit itself.

I have had many qualified RV Parts professionals tell me that these detectors should be replaced every 5 years so I decided to do my homework and find out exactly how I should protect my family. PPL and Safety Alert had a great video that told us so much about these detectors and what we should and shouldn’t do. In fact, my husband changed our detector to the newer dual Carbon Monoxide & Propane Gas alarm…one unit instead of two! So add this to your “TO DO” list and be safe!

If you have any questions or comments, please leave a comment below!!