How many AC’s are enough in TX?

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brykmantra, Flikr Creative Commons

I was bragging in the last blog about how great Texas is, singing the whole “Texas Is Bigger And Better” song, and then it got so coastal this week. Hot, humid, rainy, and condensation inside the windows all over town. While I’m grateful the state is getting welcome moisture this year, as well as our spring being an actual season this time instead of just the usual footnote-sized blip of nice weather, today was the day that air conditioning became one of those major priorities.
So I decided I really wanted to do an entire blog article on keeping your cool in the summer heat.  We have a wide selection of AC units in stock on the website and it’s definitely that time of year where we’re subtly changing from Almost Summer to Full-Blown Summer, so if you haven’t had the AC serviced yet or if it’s not keeping your RV, travel trailer, or fifth wheel properly comfortable it may be worthwhile to check with the manufacturer or in the manual to see if your RV is pre-wired for a second AC unit. Many of them are, and in Texas heat that second AC can make a difference between a wonderful RV vacation and one that is simply tolerable.
Of course, RV Nana happens to like the second AC unit for more than just the cool.  When we had our fifth wheel, it was so nice to turn on the AC unit up front above the bed and take a nap or let that fan on the bedroom unit lull you to sleep.  I have even been known to turn on the AC fan in the dead of winter just to have the noise! If you’re like me and you prefer that cool breeze and sleep inducing hum, please swing by the website and we’ll do our best to help make your summer more comfortable!

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Spring Maintenance For Your RV

Is your RV ready for Spring? It’s always a good idea to have some basic Spring maintenance performed before you actually hit the road. There’s nothing worse than being miles away from home and finding out the you have a leak in your roof, or hooking up and having very little pressure in your plumbing system. You can really avoid a lot of potential nightmares if you do a little planning ahead and have your RV brought in for a quick multi-point inspection and some Spring maintenance. This is especially true if you use your RV heavily through the year, or it lives in the elements all year long without cover.

So, what should you expect from a multi-point RV inspection from a service center like PPL Motorhomes? They should check your LP system connection fittings, regulator and hoses. We’d make sure everything is in good order and there are no leaks, or hose defects.

Next we’d check the plumbing system. A thorough visual test can usually reveal a lot about the condition of your system. We’d also do a pressure test, so you don’t run into any issues when you get to your destination and hook up. Poor pressure will really make your trip one you may NOT want to remember.

Having your electrical system checked is also really important. We’d take a look at and test you 12v and 110v system to ensure that they are functioning properly. We can do a polarity test, a converter output test and battery condition test. All of which, if left unchecked could leave you stranded or even be a hazard. Electricity isn’t something to mess around with in your RV.

When was the last time you were up on your RV’s roof? For many of RVers the answer is probably, “never”.  Inspecting your roof is a no-brainer, but can be a daunting task and a dangerous one if you aren’t that nimble. We’d inspect the roof inspection for leaks, overall condition and recommend any sealants that may be needed to bring your RV’s roof back up to standard.

What’s the saying, “You’ve got a lot riding on your tires”? Well that’s certainly the truth! When you get any Spring maintenance, or a multi-point Spring inspection done, tires are one of the first thing he checks. I wish rubber was indestructible, but the reality is that the tires on your rig take a lot of abuse. In ture, they are going to eventually show wear, splits and cracks. PPL Motorhomes will check for things like that. You certainly don’t want to hit the road with four bald tires. It might be the last trip you’ll be taking in a while.

Finally, we’ll take a look at the over all picture. What does the exterior of your RV look like, whether it is brand new or a  consignment RV you bought from us, over time gaps can form in the body, or between the side walls. You certainly don’t want any on your rig. The repairs are easy enough, but the cost for repairing water damage that is likely to occur on the interior is certainly going to cost a lot more.

If you are planning a trip, plan on doing a little Spring maintenance first. A little maintenance now will go a long way, trust me. Let PPL Motorhomes worry about the details and you can worry about having fun on your vacation.

Proper RV Battery Maintenance

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Rich Moffitt/Flickr Creative Commons

Electricity is definitely one of the best inventions every created. How else would we be able to cook our meals in the oven, watch our shows on TV, charge our cell phones, or see in the dark? The ability for us RVers to take electricity on the road with us, in the form of a battery, is a wonder in itself. But don’t let your battery dies prematurely, or you could be stuck with a dead cell phone and having to cook your dinner over a fire. Proper maintenance of your RV’s battery is very important to getting the most out of it. Here are some tips on getting the most out of your battery.

  • Clean the battery of dirt and corrosion
  • Disconnect the battery cables, negative terminal first, and clean the cables and terminals with a water and baking soda solution
  • If the battery is not sealed, check the electrolyte level. Add distilled water if necessary
  • Check all the cables connected to the battery terminals. Make sure they are not frayed or broken.
  • Check the terminals to make sure the cables are a tight fit. Replace terminal connections if needed.
  • Clean the terminals with a wire brush. This will ensure a good, clean connection.
  • Use a thin layer of terminal post grease.
  • Carefully reconnect the battery cables.

The most common causes of battery failure are overcharging, undercharging and poor maintenance. Be sure you take care of that battery! I know I forget about it from time to time, I just expect the lights to come on and never really give it a second thought to where it’s coming from. Keeping my battery properly maintained means years of cell phone charging, cooking and catching up on my shows.

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Easily Clean Your RV’s Holding Tanks

 

You’ve had a tremendous RV getaway and now it’s time to head home, unpack and take care of your RV before you store it for a few weeks or months.  We all remember to clean out the pantry and refrigerator, sweep or vacuum the inside and get all the dirty clothes and linens out of the RV, but we also need to remember to clean our holding tanks. waste-water-pump

As your trip winds to an end, your gas tank and wallet are both a little lighter, but your holding tanks are likely full.  Don’t make the mistake some RV owners have made and simply procrastinate thinking you will take care of that tomorrow.  Before you know it, weeks or months go by and the waste in your tanks is baked by the heat and you have a real stinky mess.  It’s important to clean out your holding tank for sanitation purposes and I have found many items in PPL’s RV parts store to do just that.  One item I have heard so many RV owners rave about is the FloJet RV Waste Pump.

The Flojet RV Water Pump and Macerator is the ideal solution for emptying holding tanks on motor homes, travel trailers and fifth wheels and helps you avoid many trips to dump stations. The macerator section grinds waste down to a particle size of 1/8″ maximum so it can easily be pumped through a garden hose (5/8″ minimum) and can empty a typical 30-gallon holding tank in less than 3minutes.  Now, even though we are getting one of these, we will still continue to do the “ice trick” where we dump a full bag of ice in the toilet before we leave camp.  It really does help keep the interior walls of the holding tank clean.

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Maxxaire Vent Cover The Universal Fit

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If there’s anything that can make the RVer’s life a little easier, I’m all for it! In this case, it’s replacing the vent covers on your RV. If you aren’t a fan of having rain water pour in, or dust, dirt and little critters finding their way into your RV, then you are going to need to check your vent covers routinely! A cracked vent cover can turn into a nightmare if you don’t replace it. Even a small crack can become a giant headache when its structural integrity becomes compromised. Then, adding to your problem, you may not know exactly what vent cover to get.  Does your vent lid on your RV have a right hinge, or left hinge, or which brand you actually have to purchase.  For years I have heard customers (and I have been one of them) fussing about not knowing which vent lid they need to replace the cracked one they are trying to replace.00-335001_unimaxx_01

Well, worry no more, Airxcel is making our life so much easier with the introduction of the UNIMAXX Universal Replacement Kit. You no longer have to guess about what brand you need as a replacement; you don’t even need to know if it is a left, or right hinged lid that needs replacing. All you need is a drill with a 3/16th bit, a Phillips head screwdriver, a Sharpie and an adjustable, or 11/32″ socket wrench. The kit comes complete with the rest of the hardware and detailed installation instructions. This is a repair virtually anyone can do on their own.

Replaces damaged vent lids on ELIXIR, HENGS, JENSEN, VENTLINE and other roof vent Assemblies

  • Universal Lid and Universal Hinge are pre-assembled
  • Includes all Mounting Hardware
  • Durable Impact  and UV Resistant Polypropylene lid
  • Rust Resistant Hardware

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And, while you’re up there replacing this “easy to replace” vent lid, you may want to consider adding a Maxxaire vent cover to your RV.  The vent cover is an ideal way to bring the outdoors in and keep the rain out! Oh, Maxxaire, what would we do without you?

 

RV Nana

Winterize your RV: Antifreeze Choices

With the recent winter chill we’ve had, I thought it would be a good idea to do a blog on winterizing your RV! If you don’t properly protect the plumbing system in your RV, you’re skirting a dangerous line, a line that could end up costing you tons of money and time making repairs.

Winterizing your plumbing system isn’t as hard as you think it is — there are plenty of anti-freeze solutions that you can introduce into your pipes that will protect them from freezing and causing a very slippery mess. Our good friends at Camco make a few antifreeze products that will prevent that from happening!

Freeze Ban -50

Freeze Ban -50Protects down to -50˚F. This is a virgin Propylene Glycol based product to be used at full strength. Safe, odorless and tasteless with no mixing required. Non-Toxic and safe for fresh water or potable systems. High grade antifreeze for complete freeze protection with inhibitors to prevent fouling or corrosion. Freeze Ban has a slightly higher concentration of Propylene Glycol than Winter Ban for application that may have some residual water left in the system.

 

 

 

 

Winter Ban -100

Winter Ban -100Protects down to -100˚F! This is a virgin Propylene Glycol based product to be used at full strength. Safe, odorless and tasteless with no mixing required. Non-Toxic and safe for fresh water or potable systems. High grade antifreeze for complete freeze protection with inhibitors to prevent fouling or corrosion.

 

 

 

 

Premium Ban Frost 2000

Premium Ban FrostProtect your RV’s potable water system from freeze damage. This antifreeze inhibits fouling and corrosion while preventing algae growth. They also help in lubricating pumps and valves throughout the system. Choose a temperature-specific product designed for your winterizing needs. Safe and tasteless.

 

 

 

 

Arctic Ban -50

Arctic BanThis alcohol blended product protects to -50 but is “cut” with alcohol. All ingredients are recognized as safe by the FDA but the alcohol does have an odor that will need to be rinsed out in the spring time. Because alcohol is less expensive than propylene glycol, you can generally find this to be less expensive.

 

 

 

The bottom line is that I’ve heard way too many horror stories of pipes freezing and water systems causing an expensive mess to forget about using antifreeze in my own RV. Just because you RV in Texas doesn’t mean you are immune from a catastrophic freeze. Understanding the proper application and use of anti-freeze in your RV could save you a lot of headaches. It’s a simple and inexpensive investment to insure that you don’t frozen out of a good Winter trip in your RV.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to call PPL Motorhomes and talk with our professionals.

Information sourced from Camco.net

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RV Vent Cover Replacement

http://www.pplmotorhomes.com/parts/rv-vents/vent-replacement-cover.htmHere is you PPL Motorhomes maintenance tip of the day: remember to check and replace your vent lids!

Have you checked your vent lids lately?  Out of sight, out of mind. That’s the story of the oft-forgotten vent lid on your RV.  Just think about it.  It sits up there over the vent being baked in the sun, pounded by rain and hail, and you never even know it’s there until water appears inside your RV (with my luck, the water would be right in the middle of the bed).  We already make it a habit to go up on the roof and check for cracked caulking and any other problems, and now you need to add one more thing to your check list; just “thump” each vent lid with your finger periodically.  If it shatters or spiderwebs, it’s because the plastic is brittle and it certainly needs to  be replaced.  I don’t know about you, but I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that it’s much better to notice its deterioration and replace it before it cracks and lets rain flood your comfortable RV vacation plans.  The thing is that you’d be amazed at how simple vent lids are to replace and it’s just as easy to identify which one you need.

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Make sure you take your smart phone, or camera up on the roof with you so you can take a picture of the vent. This way you can make sure it matches the one you’ll need from PPL Motorhome‘s website.  All you have to do is match it up, make a quick online order, and save yourself hundreds of dollars, not to mention preventing a potentially huge headache when that thing starts to leak.  You know what they say. “An ounce of prevention…”

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It’s Not Too Late To Winterize Your RV

This is may favorite time of the year. The time when the leaves have totally changed color as Fall steps aside to make room for Winter. Winter is on our doorstep and, guess what, you still haven’t winterized your RV.

If you haven’t made any travel plans for the end of fall, now is the perfect time to winterize your RV. It’s perfect because the weather is cooler, and you can pick and choose the day that works best for you. Don’t wait until the last possible moment, like the week of a predicted freeze, or something… I’m looking at you, North Texas!

What are the processes for winterizing and protecting your RV? In regards to the water in your tanks, you have just two steps: drain all of the water from your RV holding tanks, water heater, hoses and then use 2 to 3 gallons of RV anti-freeze and you’re done! The video below has some really good information on the right way to winterize your RV.

So, what if you’d like to use your RV for a spontaneous winter trip? Can you still use it? The answer is yes. It doesn’t mean you can can’t camp. “Can you use the facilities,” you ask? You can, but you are going to have to bring along bottles of anti-freeze with you to rinse down the bowl. Remember, you aren’t going to have anything in your holding tanks, and RV anti-freeze is the only thing you can use that won’t freeze.

So what are you waiting for? Your RV isn’t going to take care of itself! Really, in all seriousness, if you neglect to winterize your RV, you are asking for trouble. I know, in Houston we don’t get below freezing too often, but, when we do, everyone panics. Avoid the panic and take care of your RV this weekend. Swing by PPL Motorhomes and pick up your RV anti-freeze before the first freeze hits.

Take Care of Your Undercarriage

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born1945/Flickr Creative Commons

It’s something we don’t think about until something goes wrong with it. We’re usually driving on the highway, listening to our music and anticipating getting to our campsite so we can start enjoying the time spent with our families, when disaster strikes. An improperly maintained undercarriage on your travel trailer or fifth wheel can mean you’re stuck on the side of the road waiting for a repairman to come help you out. Here’s a few things to look for on your undercarriage before you head out to the wilderness.

Rusted U-bolts and Hangers

We all know rust will happen, but at some point, those u-bolts and hangers will become frail and you run the risk of them breaking when you hit a bump. If they’re looking like the need to get replaced, don’t wait on it. Get it done and stay safe!

Double Check Those Springs

If you’re using an axle that requires springs (not a torsion axle), a broken or worn spring can affect your ride and your ability to stay level when parked at a campsite. A broken or worn spring means you’re carrying too much weight and they are buckling under the pressure. Get a new set of springs and don’t take the RV out until you get them replaced!

Grease Those Axles

I’ve heard way too many horror stories of people driving down the road and their bearings fail enabling a wheel to fall off. That’s right, a wheel just fell right off while they were in motion.  The maintenance is simple here, folks: Grease those bearings!

Air Up Those Tires

If you’ve got a couple of tires running low on air, your truck is working harder than it should and that means your miles per gallon are going downhill. Keeping your tire pressure where it needs to be also minimizes the chance of a blowout, leaving you to change your tire while you’re on the side of the road. Not a fun time for anyone.

Drop by PPL Motorhomes

Whatever maintenance you don’t feel comfortable performing on your own, we can take care of!

 

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Dump And Clean Your RV’s Septic System

This is something that every RVer needs to know: Dumping and Cleaning your septic system. One of my goals with  to educate RVers a little on how to maintain the creature comforts of their RVs so that they continue being comforts and not pains. In this case, having your own private restroom facilities in your RV is fantastic, but it doesn’t come without one big drawback… dumping and cleaning.

Now, no one truly likes talking about this stuff. But, like everything else on your RV it’s going to need attention during every trip and that means dumping and, ultimately, cleaning your black water tank facilities. Let’s just say that, “yes, it’s a dirty job” and “no, you can’t avoid it”. So what’s the best way to tackle this stinky chore? Check out the video below from RV Geeks. They do a really good job at explaining what you can expect and how you can make this a quick and painless job.

Sometimes RVing isn’t always green pastures, beautiful scenery and amazing cookouts. In order for your RV to give you years of hassle free service, you are going to have to keep up with your regular maintenance and cleaning processes. Unfortunately dumping and cleaning your black water tank and system isn’t the most glamorous of jobs, but it has to be done. If you use the video above as a simple guide, I don’t think you’ll have any issues and will be able to complete this task quickly and mess free. Make sure you subscribe to their YouTube channel too… lot’s of really great info to be had there.

If you need septic system parts or products, PPL Motorhomes has a huge selection of pretty much everything you’d ever need to perform a repair, or do a quality cleaning . If you have any questions about your black water system, don’t hesitate to give us a call, I’m sure we can help you out.