Texas Floods: An RVer’s Nightmare and What You Can Do

 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/deltamike/979632879/in/photolist-anN978-7dpLxg-raDQPi-9vzV5C-2uyZcT-2uySJ4-7rEwcb-na9e7w-7dpRR6-7ebVYM-9vxuyT-9vxuF2-6cVVS3-dbhjza-2uyXPr-76moU-6wKNjH-6wPYfb-6ezcH4-5ivoe1-5ira3M


Mike Renlund/Flickr Creative Commons

If you have traveled around, or have  lived  in Texas this past month then you know you need some high water boots, or a boat to get around. The floods in Texas are some of the worst in history with the Brazos and Trinity rivers rising to record levels. The devastation has been horrible. People and animals stranded and trying to escape rising water and property destroyed.

The rain in the Houston area has stopped for a few days, but the news media tells us the worst is yet to come for many in the path of the rising waters. How can we help? What can we do? Count your blessings if you were not affected by this natural disaster then take time to reach out and help others. So many organizations have opened their doors to those left stranded and are accepting your donations of supplies and funds. Take time to give your time if you can. From handing out supplies to helping clean up these disaster areas, there is something for everyone to do to help.

Of course you all know that the RV lifestyle is near and dear to my heart. I have seen pictures of flooded RVs and trucks that simply did not have time to get out before the waters started rising. Many of these were more than a recreational vehicle for their owners. They were their homes. In the Rio Grande Valley storms ripped apart several RV parks and residents sought shelter at local churches and community centers. Many of my park friends have suffered great losses and are working to help their guests restore some normal signs of life. The RV community is a giving community. RVers help each other and are there for their fellow campers.

I am heading down to the Brazoria area to pitch in and help because people have always been there to help me. I urge all of you to look around and see what you can do to help, too, and thank your lucky starts that you are a part of this great RV lifestyle!

PPL Motorhomes Cuddles for Kids Teddy Bear Drive

It’s that time of year again, and it’s one of my favorites. It’s our Annual Cuddles for Kids Teddy Bear Drive and I feel it is one of our most important events of the year. With the holidays coming up, we always like to donate to less-fortunate kids all across Texas. Again this year, we’re doing our Cuddles for Kids Teddy Bear Drive. For years, police officers have collected and distributed teddy bears to give to children to comfort them at a crime or accident scene. These bears often become the child’s best friend. We will be accepting teddy bear donations for this worthy cause. Last year, we donated over 1,000 bears and we hope to increase the donation to 1,200 bears with your help. To kick off this year’s drive, we will donate 1 teddy bear for every RV sold in November and December. You can also participate by donating a bear (or several). Rather than purchasing bears and sending them to us, you may simply visit our donation page and enter the number of bears you want to contribute. We will collect the bears for the Missouri City Police Department and the Houston Police and Clergy Team. We will also be collecting donations at both of our locations:

  • 10777 South Freeway, Houston, TX,
  • 5270 IH-35 North, New Braunfels, TX

I can’t tell you how important a simple stuffed animal can be for a child who is caught up in a violent, or abusive home life. An officer who is able to gain the trust of a child with a simple teddy bear gives that child more than just a toy. It not only gives them a moment of happiness, it gives them hope while at the same time letting them know that they are loved and will be taken care of. That simple token of trust can mean the world to that child at that moment.

No child should have to endure adult problem. They deserve to have their childhood uninterrupted with the selfishness that is a by product of domestic problem. Please donate a bear using the link above. There is a child and a police officer who can use your help.

Honoring Veterans on Veteran’s Day 2013

Having a son who will one day be a veteran himself, I have never been more proud of his choices, accomplishments and how he has grown from that little guy tracking mud into the house, into the man he is today who is literally a protector of our country. Our values and way of life rest firmly in his hands, as it did for thousands, upon thousands of soldiers before him. Many gave their lives defending an ideal and way of life that must never be overshadowed. Those who serve make the ultimate sacrifice because they believe in their country. The young men and women of our Armed Services stand at the ready, never losing sight of why they volunteered in the first place. Life, liberty and the protection of happiness.

The soldier has a thankless job. All to often, combat vets are coming home to new lives with no job availability, lack of adequate medical support and a world that seems indifferent to their sacrifice. Veteran’s Day should be celebrated and acknowledged every day we have a soldier in a combat zone. And for those of you who, “think that the military is too big”, or “why are we spending so much money on defense”, ask a veteran what they’ve seen, what they lived through, or about those they knew who couldn’t make it home. I’m sure you will get an answer similar to, “so our children wouldn’t have to”.

Now, I know that trying to understand what military service is like for a true civilian can be next to impossible. It’s hard enough for the family of a serviceman sometimes. There is no way to empathize because most people have never experienced armed conflict. There’s simply nothing to compare it to. But you can sympathize with them, and their families as to how difficult being a soldier is in both war and time of peace times.

You know that I am fiercely patriotic and proud to celebrate our Veterans every opportunity I get, so I wanted to share an email I got from a reader who’s father, 1st Lt. Joseph N. O’Hearn, served in the Army in Vietnam from 1967-1969 with the 1st Infantry Division. Below is a portion of his letter and pictures he included that Lt. O’Hearn had taken in February of 1967.

veteran's day, joseph o'hearn, joe o'hearn, joseph n. ohearn, tet offensive, tet, 1967, vietnam 1967, 1st infantry division, 1ST Infantry Division,  1st Battalion 28th Infantry, “C” Company, Machine Gunner

Copyright 1st Lt. Joseph O’Hearn

Dear RV Nana,

I’ve been reading your blog from time to time and saw that you always take the time to write a few entries filled with patriotic appreciation for our country and, specifically, those who served our country. I want to “Thank You” for that!

My father served in the US Army from 1965-1969. He volunteered in 1965 so he would be eligible for Officer Candidate School.

veteran's day, tet offensive, tet, 1967, joseph o'hearn, joe o'hearn, joseph n. ohearn, vietnam 1967, 1st infantry division, 1ST Infantry Division,  1st Battalion 28th Infantry, “C” Company, radio operator

Copyright 1st Lt. Joseph O’Hearn

He won a Silver Star for gallantry in action during the Tet Offensive, which was, arguably one of the most brutal and violent encounters of the Vietnam War and he volunteered to do it. While others evaded service, he walked into an Army office and signed his name on the dotted line, because he felt that was his duty. Just a few months later, the city streets of his beloved Bronx, New York were replaced with thick jungle, leech filled rice paddies and an enemy that was just waiting for you to step out into the open. Again, he volunteered to go.

veteran's day, tet offensive, tet, 1967, joseph o'hearn, joe o'hearn, joseph n. ohearn, vietnam 1967, 1st infantry division, 1ST Infantry Division,  1st Battalion 28th Infantry, “C” Company, Machine Gunner

Copyright 1st Lt. Joseph O’Hearn

 

All too often, we allow men like my Father to endure the horrors of war and then forget about that service. The men and women of honor are those who put others lives before their own and demand no recognition for it. Though they don’t ask for accolades, we should always remember to celebrate and recognize the hard, dangerous work that our Veterans have contributed.

I’m proud of my father. He will always be a Hero who did more than what was needed of him not just for his country, but for his fellow soldiers.

God Bless All Veterans, They have done more heroic things in a single day than I’ve done in an entire lifetime.

So, thanks Dad; thanks for offering a piece of yourself in hopes that others would not have to do the same.

David O’Hearn

“A nation reveals itself not only by the men it produces, but also by the men it honors, the men it remembers.” –JFK
“For those that will fight for it….Freedom…has a flavor the protected shall never know”. – L/Cpl Edwin L. Craft, B Co. 3rd AT’s, Khe Sahn Combat Base, February 1968

Happy Veteran’s Day from everyone here at PPL Motorhomes! Your contributions haven’t gone unnoticed and we are all forever grateful for your sacrifice. For those who are still serving, we pray for your safe return and for a job well done, there are very few people who share your passion and professionalism. Happy Veteran’s Day!!!

 

Why You Should Buy, Or Put Your RV On Consignment

consignment rv, consignment rvs, ppl motorhomes, selling your rv, buying a consignment rvNow, I know I write a few times a year about why putting your RV on consignment is a wise thing to do for quite a few reasons, actually. First, I’m not talking to those RVers who rarely use their RVs either. I’m talking to the Hypothetical RVer who puts decent mileage on their rig every year.  These are the they that like to use it almost every weekend, or plan multiple long term trips a year. It’s been a pretty reliable vehicle and shelter, but you are considering making a change. Put your RV on consignment.

Now, for as much as we love our current rig, there’s always that little part in every RVer that thinks, “this (insert feature here) was great for a while, but I think it’s time to upgrade”, or “I want to get a different model”. That’s OK, the fact of the mater is that you are helping the RV industry grow. Here’s how I look at it, here’s nothing wrong with letting your current rig go in favor of a different make, model or floor plan. There is a market for the RV you are looking to unload. Think of it this way, even though you’ve think you’ve outgrown your RV, there are plenty of people how still have room to grow into your RV. It might not be right for you any more, but it could be right for someone else right now.

The other great thing about consignment is avoiding all of the hassle of having to sell it yourself. Now, I know some people may like meeting strangers in parking lot and letting them climb all through their RVs, asking questions that, quite frankly, probably don’t make a whole lotta’ sense anyway. Or, even worse, it makes total sense you just don’t know the answer, whereby you blow the sale. I don’t know about you, but that is just too much for your average person to have to deal with, especially in regards to something that brought them so much relaxation over the years. It may put a bad taste in your mouth.

If you are buying an RV on consignment, then you have the good fortune to get more RV for less money. The amount that you save when you buy a consigned RV, really does out weigh any miles, or over all use. Think of it this way, you can get a larger RV with more amenities when buying one on consignment when compared to buying new.

Of course, you are still going to want to do a little research about the consignment RV dealer you are deciding to purchase from. If you’d like to know a little bit more on the benefits of both buying, or selling an RV on consignment, don’t hesitate to give us a call here at PPL Motorhomes. We’ll walk you through the entire process and answer any questions you may have.

2013 Texas Recreational Vehicle Association; It’s Been A Trip

ppl motorhomes, trva, texas recreational vehicle dealers association, ppl motorhomesThis is a bittersweet time for RV Nana today.  As most of you know, I have served as President of the Texas Recreational Vehicle Association (TRVA) for the past two years and the grand finale was last weekend at our annual convention in Austin.  Surrounded by friends and family, I passed the gavel on to my dear friend and associate, J. T. Bowyer of Lone Star RV in Harker Heights.  TRVA has been and will continue to be an important part of my life and, thanks to my association with TRVA, I have been blessed to have developed some wonderful relationships that will last a lifetime.

All of us share one common bond, a love for the RV lifestyle.  It takes all of us in this industry, working together, to pave the way for future RV enthusiasts.

The energy at this convention was by far the best we have ever seen and it is all because of our wonderful members who have shown a real commitment to “Make it Happen.”  From donating auction items, wildly bidding on an item, playing golf, and selling and buying tickets to sharing ideas and brainstorming about the future of this industry, our members did it all. It’s an exciting time and I know that all who attended this convention headed home ready to embark on the wonderful year we have ahead of us.

A very special event for me was the Legislative reception at the Texas Capitol.  This was a great opportunity to have a close up look at the Senate Chambers and the beautiful architecture and history this grand building represents.  I was really excited to have our Texas Agricultural Commissioner, Todd Staples, stop by to visit with us and take a few pictures.  He has long been a strong supporter of the RV Industry and tourism in Texas and a great friend.

A special thanks goes out to all of you who have supported me the past few years, have been there for me through good times and bad, and who have shared stories, laughter, tears, and hugs and helped make this a very special chapter in my life.  As many of you may know, I lost my biggest fan and strongest supporter in June when my husband, Mike, passed away.  I could have resigned my position at that time, but I chose to follow the dream he had for me, for us.  My TRVA family was there for me and is always there for me and I want to thank all of them for the support and for the honor of allowing me to serve as TRVA President the past two years.

Hurricane Season Starts June 1st

hurricane season, hurricane preparation, hurricane RV, consignemtn rvs, ppl motorhomes

Hurricane season is almost here, actually, by the time you read this it will have started. Are you prepared? This isn’t just an RVing post, because I hope you aren’t actually RVing when a storm lands. This a hurricane preparedness post. With the weather being as unpredictable as it was this year, you are better safe than sorry. It’s really a not a question “if” the Texas coastline will be battered by a hurricane, but “when”. Are you really willing to test fate and be ill prepared? I doubt it, especially the closer you live to the coast.

One item you simply can’t be without is a generator. Keeping power going is important. Loss of power can last for days depending on the extent of total damage around your area. Keeping the lights on, or the refrigerator running is one thing, but what about charging your phone, or recharging batteries for flashlights. It’s the little things that are often overlooked during time of crisis and those are just a couple of things.

Check out the video below for some specs on Yamaha Generators:

So, when you are prepping for this year’s hurricane season, you’ll remember the water and the food, but don’t forget the generator. Getting a trusty and reliable Yamaha generator from PPL Motorhomes in Houston, or New Braunfels is a pretty wise decision. Even better, now you’ll have an amazing new generator when you can get out on the road for a little R&R time in your RV…post hurricane of course.

Moms Of Soldiers And Soldier Moms…We Love You!

When was the last time you called your mother?

With Mother’s Day just around the corner  it reminded me of the old  “MOTHER” acronym, you remember the one:

“M” is for the million things she gave me,

“O” means obstacles she overcame with me,

“T” is for the tears she shed for me,

“H” is for her heart of gold;

“E” is for her everlasting spirit,

“R” is for remembers me at all times and occasions.

Put them all together, they spell

“MOTHER,”

a word that means the world to me.’

Then I began to think, as I often do, about those who serve this country and how Mother’s Day takes on a VERY special meaning for them during their deployment, as it does for the mother’s of our warriors as well. I wondered…as a Mother, how does it feel to have a son, or daughter constantly in harm’s way? What does it feel like to watch your child willingly go off to war and fight for their country? I can imagine it is equal parts Pride and Fear. At some point, as mothers, we have to loosen up our grasp on our children regardless of how much we may not want to. Although our children grow and start families of their own, we never really let them go. We may loosen the grasp, but we never truly release it. I can certainly see how supporting your child as they volunteer to go off to war can give a whole new meaning to Mother’s Day..almost redefine it. For most children, both young and old, Mother’s Day may mean little more than calling mom, or making her breakfast in bed, or simply doing something out of the norm. However, Mother’s Day for a military family can be one of the most important days of the year for both mother and child. It’s the time to say, “Thank you. Mom. Thank you for bringing me up to love my country and love my family.” For as much as fathers are looked up to, mother’s share equally in the molding of their children’s ideals, personalities and allegiances. They are as responsible for instilling love of family, God, liberty and country as much as the fathers in this Nation.

What about being a Mother IN the military? We must not forget the thousands of mothers who are on active duty right now, away from their family…away from their husbands and children. What does Mother’s Day mean to them? Imagine willingly leaving your family behind to follow a call to duty. That is something that most of us could never fathom. As a mother, I certainly can’t truly imagine what it would feel like to board a plane, knowing that there is a chance that my family may never see me again. Being away from your children for a few days can be painful enough, but for a better part of a year? That is an unbelievable sacrifice for country. Remember that this Mother’s Day there are thousands of mothers in the services who are eagerly waiting to hear from their family and are counting the days until the get to hold their children again.

So, for the thousands, upon thousands of Mothers either in service, have a child in service, PPL Motorhomes thanks you. I thank you. We should all thank you for showing the true strength of mothers here in the United States of America. We will never forget, or understate your sacrifice and wish all of you a truly Happy Mother’s Day!

 

Earth Day Is April 22nd, But Every Day Should Be Earth Day

 

April 22, 2013 is Earth Day . What does Earth Day mean to you? Do you even know what Earth Day is? Do you know what it is about? Have you really thought about the impact that you make on this planet? I mean, have you REALLY thought about it? It’s not enough for just some of us to take responsibility for recycling, not littering, using less fossil fuels and caring for all of our flora and fauna.

I know that being and RVer can be a double edged sword sometimes. Here we are, with the urge to travel and explore, but that takes, in many cases, a lot of fuel. As a consequence we are not only using fossil fuels, but we are also emitting toxins into the air. Even further, when we visit our favorite parks and forests, I know that we do our best to leave as small of a footprint as we can, but we still have trash, refuse and black and grey water residuals to take care of.

Now this doesn’t me that as RVers we are hypocrites. I think that, in fact, we are quite the opposite. More than most we are very cognizant of the type of carbon foot prints we leave in the areas we visit. We are also some of the first people to make donations or contribute to the conservation of wildlife and forestry! I know many RVers who are members of conservations groups. I also know that they are leaders in their neighborhoods when it comes to recycling and spreading the word of how and why we should keep Texas beautiful.

Check out the official Earth Day web site. It’s pretty neat.

I think that the bottom line is that when it really comes down to it, everyday is Earth Day. When we go RVing, I for one really am really grateful for everything that we get to see and do outdoors. It’s always a shame to see the slow deterioration of our planet and the places we like to visit. We all should be hypersensitive to the condition of our environment. Not just when we are are RVing, but all of the time.

All of us here at PPL Motorhomes are proud and happy to have the ability to anywhere we want, anytime we want…for now. It’s up to all of us to keep it that way. Remember, April 22nd, 2013 may be Earth Day…but so should every day be for that matter.

One Year Anniversary Of PPL Motorhomes New Braunfels

Hello, RV Nana readers! I wanted to write a quick post to tell everyone that, “It’s time to celebrate”! This month marks the 1 year anniversary of the opening of our fantastic PPL Motorhomes location in New Braunfels. This location is a popular destination for all Central Texas RVers. If you are an RVer, and you are looking for just about anything in the RV world, well, there’s a really good chance you’ll find it at PPL Motorhomes.

The great thing is that with our PPL Motorhomes location in New Braunfels, our Central Texas customers now have more accessibility in regards to buying a new RV, putting their RV on consignment and shopping 10’s of thousands of RV parts and accessories. If you haven’t been to the new location, and you live in the area, I think you will really like what you’ll find!

Finally, Happy One Year Anniversary to all of our friends, co-workers and customers at PPL Motorhomes in New Braunfels TX! Now, who has the cake?

 

Texas Travel For The Holidays And After

I’m constantly amazed at how much the great state of Texas has to offer travelers of all types. You can literally find nearly every type of land formation and climate from the Gulf Coast the the tip of the Panhandle. That’s why I’m shocked when I hear people sometimes saying things like, “I wish Texas wasn’t soooo big”, or “There’s not much to do in Texas”. Are you kidding me? There are thousands of miles of things to do in Texas. If you are having trouble making a trip plan for this holiday season, or after, one of the best sites you can visit is http://www.traveltex.com/.

This site literally has every event that is happening across the state. If you are thinking about planning a statewide trip, take a look at Traveltex first. It is chock full of things to do and to see. In fact, if you plan right, you can tour Texas in it’s entirety and see everything from mountains to coastal plains. You can take part in small town events and big city activities.

If you plan on traveling during the holidays, there are drive though forest Christmas light displays in East Texas that will know your socks off. There are flea markets, antique showcases and craft shows galore. Here are a few videos to show you what you are missing.

A trip across Texas this holiday season might be exactly what you need to decompress after a long year of hard work. It’s time to take a look around you, around your city and around your state, jump into your Houston RV and see what you’ve been missing. There is so much to see and do, I don’t expect to ever hear, “What is there really to do in Texas, anyway”?