Use Your Noodle – Hint From RV Nana

 

And you thought “Noodles” were just for the swimming pool.  On a recent RV trip we met the nicest couple from Conroe, Texas all because I liked their “Noodles”.  For years we have enjoyed our fifth-wheel, but my husband and I both have hit our heads on the edges of the front slide-outs.

The “Noodle” saves the day.. and our noggins!  No, this is not something you can buy at the RV Parts Superstore… it’s from the dollar store.

Simply cut two 12″ lengths of a swimming Noodle and cut a slit on one side all the way through to the center core to slip over the edge of the slide-out corners.  Make sure you remove before you close the slides.  A money saving hint that will also save your head!

Time To Turn On Your RV Air Conditioners

Before you decide to turn on the A/C in your RV for the first time this season, take a few minutes to do a little maintenance that can save you money and help you keep your cool.

Here’s a maintenance checklist:

  • Go up on the roof and check the unit for dirt, debris and mud daubers.  All of these prevent the unit from cooling properly.
  • While you are up there, check your A/C shroud to make sure it has not been cracked or broken or just brittle from being baked in the sun.
  • Using an AC fin comb to make sure the cooling coil fins (Fins located to the rear of the A/C’s upper unit) are not creased or flattened.  It is really important that the air flows freely into the unit.  We found a great product, Zep Air Conditioner Coil Cleaner, that actually cleans and deodorizes the cooling coils.
  • Remove and clean all filters.  These can be cleaned with a small vacuum cleaner or brush, rinsed and then you can use them again.  Make sure they are dry before replacing them in the unit.  It is recommended that these filters be checked on a monthly basis.

These few easy steps can make a real difference in the efficiency of your RV air conditioners.  If you need anymore assistance with this or other RV questions, leave a comment!

It’s RV Season!!

It is getting to be that time of year. Everyone is packing their travel trailers, motor homes and fifth wheels and making plans for their big adventures. I recently talked to several customers who have found wonderful State, Local and National Parks to enjoy and plan to travel a shorter distance and enjoy the amenities of the RV park more.

In recent years we have seen a change in the demographics of the RV owner and the age of the average RV owner is a lot younger than it was 10 years ago. Many of these families are making plans for shorter trips to destinations they can travel to and from in a weekend or extended weekend. It’s surprising that it may actually cost more for the average family of 4 to eat out for Pizza than it costs for one night’s reservations at a local RV park. Take time now to pull out your calendar and set some tentative travel dates for the upcoming summer and fall months. Parks fill up fast and you need to plan in advance if you want the best RV experience. Some of the State and National parks will actually make reservations 10 months in advance so it’s not too soon to start thinking about fun!

If you cancel your reservations you may be charged a small fee, but I look at it as a donation to our Texas Parks and Wildlife and I’ve never had to pay more than one night’s fee to cancel. Have your family fun night soon ad mark your calendars for RV adventures.

Check out my appearance on the Texas Campground Podcast:

PPL Motorhomes by PPL Motor Homes

 


Packing for Our Next Adventure: RV Packing Tips

What clothes do you pack for your RV adventure? That is something you need to think about just like you plan on what food and supplies you are going to pack. We have come up with our own little checklist of clothing for both of us and we still need to do some fine tuning. First you have to consider where you’re going and what you are going to be doing. If you are truly going hiking for a week, then you need to just pack shorts, jeans, t-shirts and hiking shoes, but you should still be prepared for those sudden drops in temperature or for stopping at the nicer restaurant on the way to or from your destination. Above all, just think “comfort” when you start to pack.

There are a few things we keep in the RV year round ad have had plenty of times when we were glad we had these.

For me: Light weight jacket, sweatshirt, heavy jacket, swimsuit & cover up, shorts, t-shirts, sundress, light sweater, swim shoes and shower shoes.

For my husband: The same items but forget the sundress and pack a Hawaiian shirt.

Everything I pack in the RV has to be comfortable and “fun.” After all, having fun is what we’re planning to do in the RV, isn’t it? I always make sure I have a nice pair of jeans or slacks so I can dress them up for an evening out or play all day in them. Leave the iron and ironing board at home and pack clothes that look good without a lot of fuss. You can also leave all those fancy shoes and expensive jewelry at home and enjoy the fun stuff. Basic colors and styles (even a gauze skirt or capris) can be dressed up with a little fun jewelry or a scarf. My husband enjoys his Hawaiian shirts and golf shirts for a nice evening out while on the road.

On most trips we wear only jeans and shorts, but we like to be prepared for whatever comes our way. Keep your clothes cool and breathable so you are comfortable in the heat and you can always add a lightweight jacket or long sleeve shirt for the evening hours when the weather turns cool.

Make sure your shoes are comfortable and that you have more than one pair with you. You will likely be doing more walking than you do at home and there is nothing worse than spending a day outdoors with blisters on your feet. And, make sure you have a pair of shoes like crocs or flip flops that you can slip on real fast to take the trash out or go walk the dog.

The hardest thing for me when we bought our RV was to leave clothes at home. It took me a long time to realize that I could travel without taking half of my closet with me. Planning for a week or a month on the road takes a little planning, but it is easy to pack a versatile wardrobe by doing a little color coordination and preparation. And remember you can throw a load of clothes in the washer at the campground if you really have to so pack a small container of laundry soap and a few dryer sheets. And, as my husband will tell you, forgetting something is a “shopping” opportunity for me.

Have fun!

RV Takes 2nd Place in Race!

Can you believe it… an RV took second place in the Boy Scout Derby race!

Now, think back and see if you can remember when you or your son or grandson entered a car in the Boy Scout Pine Wood Derby race.   The boys always seemed to create their bright colored sports cars since a sports car would naturally be the fastest and would win the race.   My grandson, Christopher, decided to create his own Pine Wood Derby vehicle, a Motor Home.

 

Complete with his version of graphics sporting a “V” for victory or for his last name.   He even added small wood blocks that look like roof AC units and a skylight.   Believe it or not, this bright orange and yellow motor home took second place in the race and put a smile on the faces of everyone.   All of you who have met me know that being a “Nana” is a wonderful part of my life and we travel all the time with the kids and grandkids (yes, they are in their own travel trailer and we’re in our fifth wheel, but we’re still together).  Having worked for PPL for over 30 years, my kids and grandkids have all been around PPL and the RV lifestyle forever so it was no surprise to me when Chris decided to build an RV.  I sure am proud of him.  I wonder if this is the first one ever entered in a derby race?

Our Easter Weekend at Lake Texana

While at Lake Texana enjoying our Easter weekend, we met Doug and Kay R., a wonderful couple from Conroe Texas. They were closing up their fifth wheel preparing to cut their RV weekend short by a few days because their Duotherm roof AC unit had gone out and it was just too hot to stay. Within a few minutes my husband and I were on the phone calling Boyde at PPL’s RV Parts Superstore to see how we could help this couple. My daughter and her husband were about to leave Houston to come meet us at the RV park so they detoured by PPL and picked up a new AC.

Within minutes Doug and Kay were telling everyone at the campground about this strange turn of events and when the kids pulled up with the AC on the truck you could hear the cheers for miles. Then came the fun part, a real opportunity to meet our neighbors at the park. Within minutes all our RV neighbors were either helping or cheering the guys on! My husband had described to Doug how easy it would be for the guys to install the AC, but all of us had forgotten about having to hoist a 104 pound AC unit up to the top of the RV. Thank heavens for my son-in-law and the young man at the next campsite. They backed our truck up as close as possible to the back of the RV and stair stepped the unit up to the bed of the truck, onto the tool box and then with one great big push and a lots of strength from my son in law, this team of 5 excited RVers had the unit on the roof. Amazing! Then, with the help of all of the guys, they connected it and…VOILA…it worked! (It takes 5 RV owners to do the job of one RV technician, but I bet these guys had more fun and their stories were better)

 

We all spent the next few days rehashing the events of the day and talking about how no one would ever believe us when we tell this story. It was fun and very rewarding, not to mention the greatest reward of all was the terrific pies Kay baked for us that evening in her cool RV. This is where the old line comes from about “Meeting lifelong friends in your RV.” We will all travel together again soon. Enjoy the RV lifestyle.

Our Weekend at T.A.C.O.

Mike and I recently attended the Texas Association of Campground Owners huge rally in Kerrville Texas at the Guadalupe River RV Resort. This was our first adventure in our fifth wheel to travel and represent PPL and it was so much fun. This is a great group of people who love the RV lifestyle as much as I do. Casino night was our first chance for PPL to meet TACO members in a fun, casual atmosphere and it was terrific. This resort has all the great amenities and even has a real saloon (bar) on the property… we had so much fun. Of course they give you play money to bet with and it is so much easier to win or lose when you’re playing with someone else’s money. Marilyn from Traders Village and I had a “hoot & hollerin” good time and Ronnie tried to teach us craps. The more he taught us, the more we threw our money away…easy to do when it’s not real.

 

For those of you who are not familiar with TACO, this is a wonderful group of campground owners here in Texas. At PPL we are dedicated to helping grow the RV lifestyle and help our customers who are buying used motor homes and travel trailers to enjoy their RV experience. Knowing where to camp and what to expect is a huge part of the adventure and we will be holding another TACO day at PPL this fall to introduce even more parks to our RV friends. Watch for announcements of this upcoming event.

 


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!!

Trailer Aid Plus Saves Us Again!!

Last weekend on our way to Kerrville for the Texas Association of Campground Owners Rally, our RV had a blow out on I-10 West and I was, once again, reminded of how great the Trailer Aid Plus is.  We pulled off the road and within 15 minutes, with the help of a very nice young man who stopped to help, we had the tire changed and we were back on the road again.  Luckily for us there was no damage to our Fifth Wheel.  Without Trailer Aid Plus we would have been out there for an hour or longer.  This product is definitely a must have for all travel trailer and fifth wheel owners!  I had posted a blog last year about this product and here’s a short excerpt from what I had to say!
We had a blow out on a passenger side tire and pulled over to access the damage.  Fortunately, it was minimal…a fender skirt and tire! As I began to fret over how we would handle this and if road side assistance would be needed, my husband opened the compartment on the fifth wheel and pulled out this ramp looking thing.  I was thinking we needed a jack, but this is so much safer and easier.   He simply placed this ramp in front of the good tire and pulled up onto it.  It safely elevated the bad tire and made it so much easier to change.  Within 20 minutes we were cleaning our hands and back on the road.  That would not have been possible without this ramp.
So for the second time in 2 years, the Trailer Aid Plus has come to our rescue.  Have you ever used this product to change the tires on your RV?  Share your story below in our comment section!!

Need a Refresher on RV Driving?

Have you ever taken a refresher course on driving your RV? We found a video that will refresh your mind on things you may have forgotten.

Professor of RVing, Jim Twamley, narrates this video. There are some pretty good tips here so listen closely!

If you have more questions about driving an RV, come by and see me. I bet I can help you out.