Do You Have A Surge Protector?

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State Farm/Flickr Creative Commons

What is the one item that every RV owner needs? It doesn’t matter whether your RV is a small trailer or a big diesel pusher, this one, small, inexpensive item can provide so much protection: you need a surge protector!  Power surges happen to all of us and they are extremely harmful to RVs.  A power surge can destroy something as simple as an electrical outlet or fry all the electrical equipment in the whole RV.

Let’s think about the simple little foul ups that could cause you to require lengthy, expensive repairs to your RV. It could be something as simple as plugging into a miswired pedestal. Or perhaps something as trivial as an over/under voltage situation at the RV Campground. Maybe it’s  a hot day in August so everybody at the campground is running 2 air conditioners and the amperage draw is too much of a load for the camp’s supply. Or perhaps it’s an open neutral. Silly little things that could ultimately pry open your wallet and set your dollars free.

Well, we want to prevent those dollars from flying away off into the sunset right? Heck yes! So buy a surge protector and thank us later! We stock all kinds, from the simple inline plug type, all the way to the type you can hard wire in and permanently install. 30 amp, 50 amp, we got ’em! And the majority of them are on sale right now, click the link below to see the variety of stykles we have to choose from and pick one that is right for you:

PPL Motorhomes Surge Protectors

They’re inexpensive, easy to install, and are a “plug in and forget” bit of preventative maintenance that could easily save you from Empty Wallet Syndrome later on down the road. Nobody likes that burnt electrical smell, so order now and thank us later! You’re welcome.

Coach Net Roadside Assistance

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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.

Oxygenics Shower Heads

photo from pplmotorhomes.com

photo from pplmotorhomes.com

We’ve all had those tropical-style Texas summer days, and more of them are coming. Hot, humid, sweat-soaked days where all you want to do at the end of it is step into a hot relaxing shower. Of course water tanks being sized the way they are in the RV, those marathon showers aren’t too practical. So I’ve been on the hunt for ways to make the shower run more efficiently for quite a while. Then I stumbled on the Oxygenics shower head. Their advertising claims that the shower head reduces water consumption AS WELL AS increases water pressure. Oxygenics also state that the head won’t clog from mineral deposits, and the usual easy-to-install, carefully engineered use of specialized plastics bullet points you read in advertising.

Well I’m here to tell you, I got one and I’m not sure I want to RV without mine! The pressure is noticeably higher than the stock shower nozzle and a by-product of that higher pressure is the ability to knock the soap and shampoo off quicker, which of course would require less water. Nothing is worse than trying to rinse off under a trickle of soft water and feeling like you can never get the soap off your body and the shampoo out of your hair. Even if your water is soft, at the least the pressure will help blast the soap residue off of you. It also lived up to the easy to install claim, as well as the anti-clogging function, as well as being very very inexpensive. I paid around $30 for mine! Now we carry them at PPL Motorhomes.com and are happy to report that our customers are quite satisfied with theirs as well. So if you’d like to add some efficiency and luxury to your shower, click the link below and shower in comfort!

Oxygenics Shower Heads

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!

Better Get Those Trailers Inspected!

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Stephen Kruso:Flickr Creative Commons

Well y’all, there’s been a law on the books for the past few decades stating that trailers with a gross weight over 4500 pounds have to have an annual safety inspection. That includes travel trailers. Turns out a lot of folks either didn’t know about that law or just flat ignore it. Confusing matters further, the Texas Legislature decided back in 2013 that the inspection requirements will remain unchanged, but the inspection stickers will not be issued. The inspectors now send a notice electronically to the DMV showing compliance and then the inspections station issues a paper to the trailer owner certifying that the trailer has passed inspection and the trailer owner is now able to pay for registration. Inspection first, or no registration. As of 2016, the owner will have 90 days from registration expiration to have the trailer inspected

Of course inspection fees vary from county to county, but the state charges $7.50 and it is added to the $45 annual registration fee for the trailer. A $10 bridge and road fee could also be levied by individual counties as well as whatever fee the inspection station charges, probably in the $7-10 range. Worst case scenario, you’re looking at one more hoop to jump through and a grand total of probably not more than $75 per year for registration and inspection of your beloved drag-along. Of course as part of the inspection all the lights, brakes, and reflectors have to be installed and operational. Since the state will no longer issue the inspection stickers and a safety inspection is required prior to registration, the single registration sticker issued by the state will confirm at a glance that your trailer is in fact in compliance.

Of course some trailers have been neglected or have been rode hard and put up wet. If that’s the case please visit us at PPL Motorhomes for all your parts and accessories to help get that trailer back on the road!

Spring Cleaning: Change That Water Filter

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I’m so glad that it’s Spring. With the temperature starting to heat up and the sun starting to shine, that means it’s time to hit the road. But, before you do, a little Spring cleaning is in order. One of the most important items you can get to help you and your family enjoy your outings, is a good water filter. When you drive up to a campsite and hook up to their water source, there’s really no telling where that water is coming from or how it’s going to taste. A good filter gets rid of odors, bad taste, chlorine and sediment in your campsite’s water supply. The TastePURE KDF exterior mount water filter is the one I use on my RV. It’s got a 100 micron fiber filter to help filter the gross smells and whatnot out, while giving you clean water. Plus, it lasts an entire season! I started using the TastePURE water filter because my old filter had a problem with kinks and slow water flow. This one comes with a flexible hose protector to eliminate the kinks and a wider body that its competition, to keep the water flow steady and strong. Since I’ve started using it, my water has been crystal clear with no odors or stuff floating in it. I sure don’t want my kids and grand-kids drinking that water. There’s no telling where it’s coming from.

 

  • Larger capacity RV water filter lasts an entire season
  • Greatly reduces bad taste, odors, chlorine and sediment in drinking water
  • 100 micron fiber filter
  • High-flow carbon filter with KDF to help prevent bacteria growth
  • CSA low lead content certified and complies with California’s AB1953 and Vermont Act 193 Low Lead Laws

Order the TastePURE KDF water filter from PPL Motorhomes.

Turn on your stove burner after filling your LP tanks

 

Oh no, we left our RV at the campground for the week and returned to find our refrigerator had stopped working and I filled a trash can with rotten food. This could happen to any of us. We had our LP tanks filled before taking the fifth wheel down to the bay where we were planning to leave it for a month. We had it all set up and the refrigerator was running fine on electric when we left. The problem apparently started with a power failure at the RV Park when we lost 110 power.

That seems like a minor issue since the RV refrigerator is supposed to switch over to electric. Little did we know that we had to pressurize the LP to get any air out of the lines, or it will try three times to start and then give up. Simply starting the burner on our range would have saved us at least $100 on food and the time it took to clean it all out. It would have been a real mess if we had been gone longer than a few days.

The video below gives some great education regarding your LP system!

So, take time after you fill your tanks to simply turn on your stove and, this simple little step, may save you a big mess. If you ever have any questions regarding your RV feel free to contact PPL Motor Homes Houston, I know we’ll have an answer.

Two Things You Must Know About Your RV

There are two things that every RVer should know: the weight of your RV and your current tire pressure. I’d say that these two things aren’t mutually exclusive either. First, the weight of your RV is of critical importance because it is very easy to overload your rig to an unsafe weight. It goes without saying that an overloaded RV is a dangerous RV.

Check out the video below for important data on your RV.

Now, tire pressure. This is an area of extreme importance that some RVers sometimes take a flippant attitude towards. You know, just looking at your tires and eyeballing your tire pressure. What’s the problem of this? Well, you very well could have created a dangerous combination of The Overweighted vs. The Under-Inflated. This imbalance can put unnecessary stress on your tires, thus increasing the potential for catastrophic failure. The video below explains both the importance of maintaining proper weight distribution and tire pressure.

So you see, just because you have space available, it doesn’t mean you should use it. Every trip should be well thought out in regards to what your are loading your RV with. If you have any questions about weight distribution, or maintaining the appropriate tire pressure in your RV you can call PPL Motorhomes and ask us any questions you may have.

Does your RV need to lose some weight?

Did you know that driving or towing an overloaded rig is a leading cause of RV accidents? Even a slight overload or unequal weight distribution can seriously restrict braking and steering, dramatically increase fuel consumption, and cause sudden blowouts or breakdowns. An overweight RV also creates the danger of early failure in your rig’s tires, brakes, wheels, drive train, and other components.This might be something you may not think about all of the time. Really, for many new and some seasoned RVer’s out there the “Gas and Go” approach to RVing can cause some problems down the road (pun intended).

So, how do you know if your RV needs to go on a diet? That’s actually an easy question. Your RV is overloaded if it exceeds any of the manufacturer’s established limitations for total load, axle load, or tire loading. The gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) is the maximum amount your RV can safely carry. It includes both the wet weight and the cargo weight. You can find the appropriate weight limits by checking your owner’s manual for weight limitations.

So how do you lighten the load? Well, that’s another easy question to answer. If your RV turns out to be a heavyweight, go through it with a fine toothed comb and really think about what’s necessary and what’s not. Just because your rig has a lot of shelves, drawers and other storage space doesn’t mean you have to fill them all up. A really good idea is to simply remove all your belongings, then put back only the items you really need. If you can’t do it, maybe you should call that “Hoarders” TV show.

Here is something that is also often overlooked: tire pressure. Always remember to check your tire pressure before each trip. Poorly maintained tires can become a very real and dangerous issue, especially when combined with an overweight rig. Maintaining control of an RV with improperly inflated tires is a recipe for disaster.

The bottom line is a properly balanced RV, well maintained equipment, properly inflated tires and good driving can tame almost any road.

PPL Motorhomes: Have You Ever Balanced Your Trailer Tires?

So, do you have to balance the tires on your trailer? PPL Motorhomes‘ short answer is, “Yes”. Just like the tires on your car, the tires on your trailer should also be balanced. Why? It’s simple and the exact same reason you balance the tires on your tow vehicle or family car. An unbalanced tire leads to excessive wear. Excessive wear can cause an unforeseen catastrophic blowout.The really scary part is that if you ask most trailer owners if they’ve done this, their answer will more than likely, be “NO”. Tsk, Tsk, Tsk. You are playing with fire by not doing this.

If you’ve ever experienced a blowout in your trailer, you know how difficult recover can be. Even with a great sway-bar, you are still going to have to fight extreme forces that are pulling your trailer in an very dangerous fashion. Blown tires cause rollovers and increase danger to those you are sharing the road with.

I found a video from rollinontv.com that explains the effects of an unbalanced trailer tire. Take a look.

Diagnosing an unbalanced trailer tire can be difficult. Sometimes the vibration is so subtle its hard to notice, but that doesn’t mean damage isn’t being done to your tires. In fact chances are, if you don’t keep your trailer tires maintained regularly, you probably won’t notice an issue until you are stranded on the side of the road, scratching your head and deciding what your next course of action is going to be.

If you haven’t had your tires balanced, this spring season you should consider having them looked at. Nothing can ruin a trip more than NOT getting to your destination because of a malfunction that can easily be attended to with the proper preparation.

On thing you might want to pick up is a basic maintenance manual from PPL Motorhomes, because your tires aren’t the only components you should consider checking. The first step in solving any maintenance issue is diagnosing it. A reference manual from PPL Motorhomes can significantly help with keeping your Texas RV in top shape.