Veteran’s Day 2016: It Should Be Every Day

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U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Headquarters-Shelli Kallie/Flickr Creative Commons

Veteran’s Day should be celebrated everyday. This is a topic that is near and dear to my heart. Coming from a military family and having a son in the Air Force and a grandson in Jr ROTC, I understand the sacrifices military men, women and their families make during long deployments. Those sacrifices are even more significant during times of conflict. Because of the tremendous responsibilities and hardships that are voluntarily endured by our men and women in uniform, I feel it is my daily duty to educate folks and write a few heartfelt words of “Thanks”.

The Education

Veteran’s Day as we know it today didn’t actually exist until June 1st, 1954. 10 years prior to this date, a WWII veteran Raymond Weeks decided that all veterans of the U.S. armed services needed a day to honor them. He organized a celebration in Birmingham, Alabama and called it “Veterans Day”, it was held Nov. 11 1945 in Birmingham and designed to be a day of thanks that more inclusive to all members of the armed services. November 11th is a significant date because Nov. 11th, 1918 is when the Treaty of Versailles was signed which officially ended World War I. Known as Armistice Day, this is when the Allied nations and Germany actually reached a temporary cease to fighting. It was the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.

The “Daily Thank You”

War is Hell and it has unfortunately been a part of humanity since our earliest beginnings. Contrary to many civilian held beliefs, the main reason of a of having a standing army is actually a deterrent to attack and a statement of our country’s dedication to self-preservation.  Staying out of conflict is the desire of these men and women who serve. None of them wants to engage with an enemy either foreign, or domestic. Make no mistake though, when duty calls, they were willing to do their jobs without question and without reserve. They stood at the ready, daily. They were prepared to be deployed to anywhere in the world at a moment’s notice, daily. They faced the prospect of leaving their family, daily. And their families faced the prospect of never seeing their soldier, daily. That’s why I say “Thank You” to every veteran I can…daily.

 

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Memorize The Clearance Height Of Your RV

Why is it so important to know the EXACT clearance height of your RV? Certainly there isn’t an overpass that you can’t fit under, right? Well, not if you are visiting Durham, North Carolina. Labeled “The Toughest Bridge Ever”, it stands 11 feet 8 inches off the ground. That’s 1 foot 8 inches taller than a basketball goal.  Anyway, this is a 100 year old railroad trestle that has taken many hits from trucks and RVers who not only don’t pay attention to the warning sign, but obviously don’t know the height of their RVs. Check out the NBC News video below for a few of the bridge’s “Greatest Hits”…pun intended.

The crazy thing is that it hasn’t been knocked down yet. That’s one tough bridge.

So, how do you avoid having your RV added to the victims of low bridges and overpasses? Simple, just tape a note card to your dash with the height of your RV written on it. Be sure to remember to measure to the highest point, don’t forget that A/C unit! Chances are, you might not encounter a bridge this low, but you never know, so it’s better to be prepared. The consequences of not knowing the height of your RV could cost you an A/C unit, or even shear off the top of your rig. Boy, wouldn’t that really put a damper on your RV vacation?

One more thing, it’s not just bridges and overpasses that you need to worry about….just ask this guy. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GiWv_RBu-lw

Let’s just say that if you are ever thinking about putting your RV on consignment, you are going to need to have your roof still intact. However, if you happen to not heed my advice, PPL Motorhomes has a great selection of replacement rooftop A/C units.

 

Fire Prevention Inside and Out Of Your Consignment RV

Fire prevention in you RV is something that I’ve written about before and take very seriously. I know all of you know that a fire in your RV is never a good thing, but do really know how combustible your RV can be? Aside from a myriad of fuels and accelerates housed within your RV, the walls of your rig are made from wood and acts as tinder. If a fire does break out your RV can be consumed in a matter of minutes.

Let me reiterate, a fire inside your RV is no laughing matter. If there is a fire on board, your best course of action is to get out and call the Fire Department. It sounds like a no-brainer, but you be surprised at how many people believe they can control a fire. There are hundreds of fires each year due to carelessness and accident. One of the easiest ways for your RV to catch fire is during stove operation especially when using grease to cook. A grease fire can turn into a 5 foot exploding column of flame if not extinguished properly. I know you’ve heard it a thousand times before, but if you have a grease fire on your hands NEVER EVER EVER throw water on it because this is what will happen.

All I’m asking is for you to be careful when you are using fire for anything. Grilling, campfires, cooking inside etc. The damage you can cause by carelessness won’t necessarily be confined to just your RV or your campsite. Fire can spread uncontrollable in a matter of moments and consume your RV or the woodlands/park around it.

Always have a couple of fire extinguishers on board your rig and know where they are at. Just another friendly anti-fire reminder form your PPL Motorhomes and RV Nana.

Why RV Storage is a Good Idea

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Flickr Creative Commons: Fort Rucker

If there’s one thing that all of us at PPL Motorhomes know is that putting effort into researching, choosing and buying your first RV takes a lot of work, 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 (or fifth RV), the biggest being where are you going to store it when you’re not using it?

You initial response might be, “well, I’ll keep it in our driveway at home”. Parking the vehicle at your residence can be an issue for many homeowners is suburbia. If you do not have a liberal amount of driveway space around your home, you may be looking at on-street parking. I’m going to warn you right now, parking your RV on the street will be either illegal, dangerous, annoying to neighbors or all of the above. Also, if your subdivision you likely have deed restrictions and a homeowner’s association that is chomping at the bit to levy fines against all who break the rules. For example, I know a couple who rented a Class C for a trip to Colorado and parked the RV in their driveway for half a day prepping and packing for their trip early the next morning. When they got back 2 weeks later, they had a nasty letter and a fine from their HOA for the half a day that the RV was on their property. Half a day, folks.

So, what is your BEST option? 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. Some facilities, not only offer storage, but also concierge services, RV Service, wash bays, disposal and much more for a very reasonable price. 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.

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

Join The Texas Parks & Wildlife Foundation

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There are many causes and foundations that I hold dear to my heart and the Texas Parks & Wildlife Foundation is one such organization. It’s no secret that I am absolutely in love with the great state of Texas and it takes a massive amount of mobilization to help provide support to Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. That is exactly what this non-profit does. By helping to provide  key resources aid the TPWD manage and conserve natural and cultural resources of Texas. Because of member’s donations to the this fantastic foundation, the TPWD is able to provide better hunting, fishing, and outdoor recreation opportunities for all residents and visitors and not to mention the generations to come. Below you’ll find an excerpt from the foundation’s website that further explains the importance of the Texas Parks & Wildlife Foundation.

Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation (TPWF), our nonprofit funding partner, supports enhancing park experiences for Texans all year long. From the spectacular acquisition of Powderhorn Ranch on the coast to providing equipment for introducing families to camping, TPWF treasures the state parks of Texas.

TPWF leverages public funds with private philanthropy to provide quality parks for all. We invite you to consider supporting TPWF’s efforts by becoming a member today.

As a member, you’ll receive exclusive benefits like insider information, invitations to special events and other members-only perks. And, you’ll be supporting Texas State Parks, now and in the future.

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The Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation was founded in 1991 and has raised over $100 million since its inception. This non-profit is overseen by 21 trustees, ten full-time and three part-time staff members all working very hard to support the Texas Parks and Wildlife department. The bottom line is that with your membership funds and donations all Texans can continue to enjoy, explore, and “be inspired by the incredible wild things and wild places in Texas”. Show your love for this great state and  become a member, or make a donation. The importance of your participation can’t be stressed enough. Join me in keeping Texas beautiful.

Eurochair RV Recliner

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I may be showing my age a little bit, but there are some days where all I’d like to do in my RV is have a nice…brisk…sit. And I’m telling you, we have an awesome recliner that suits the bill just beautifully. The Eurochair from Lippert is a great little recliner that doesn’t take up much room in the RV. All it needs, space-wise, is 7″ at the top, and 12″ clearance at the bottom to be opened fully. They’re covered in Alternate Latte upholstery and packed with high density foam, which is dang comfy.

So let’s picture it in our minds OK? It’s one of those sweltering hot July days in TX and we’re at our favorite State Park for the weekend. Luckily we’ve found a spot in the shade and it’s not too crowded. This morning we woke up early and went for a hike down to the water. The park offered a beginner archery class at 11, and then we followed that up with a good lunch. Now what is better than taking a little siesta in our new Eurochair Recliner? Have a little nap through the heat of the day so we’ll be bright eyed and bushy tailed when it’s time for thjat sundowner and some star gazing this evening.

I’m telling you these things are comfy. Is there much better than kicking up your feet at the end of a busy day, maybe with a frosty beverage of your choice in one hand and maybe a fan blowing on you? So check one of these recliners out and have that comfort you deserve. Not only that but you can do the Archie Bunker thing when your grandkids try to sit in your chair! “Get outta my chair kid!” you can mock growl, winking at them as the get up. The benefits of age people. Click right HERE for more information.

Hang a Chandelier in the RV!

How cool would it be to have a real chandelier in your RV? Granted they tend to take up a fair bit of room and you’d probably bump your head on it, or knock it down and cuss it from one end of the RV to the other….but…wouldn’t it be cool to have one just for the added ambiance during a nice sit-down dinner with the hubby?

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Well the folks at Heng’s have come up with a light ring called the “RV Chandelier” that mounts around the base of your air vents. You have your choice of either cool white light or warm white light and the option of using a clear bezel or a diffuser. Just imagine you’re sitting down to a romantic dinner…the kids and grandkids are hundreds and hundreds of miles away, you two are at your favorite campsite, you’ve cooked up a special dinner…now wouldn’t it be nice to have one of those vent ring chandeliers with the warm white light and the diffuser to help set the mood?

Another awesome thing about this light rig is that it uses LEDs, so you’re getting good bright light (when you want it) and the fixtures aren’t adding heat to the inside of the RV. The rings are easy to install also, and they operate off of 12V. If it were me I’d buy one for each vent and hook them up to their own independent dimmer switches, that way I’d have full control over how much “ambiance” my RV is soaked in. Wouldn’t be good to have everything so dang ambient that I stubbed my toe or tripped over something you know!

Anyhow, swing by the website and check out these fixtures, they’re super cool. Oh, and we’ve got them on sale until July. You can learn all about them right here. And don’t forget to come by the websote before you hit the road, we’re happy to get you all fixed up!

Make the RV Cool(er)

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NH53/Flickr Creative Commons

Sorry if this blog is old news for you long-time RV’rs but there are so many new owners of RV’s out there I thought maybe they would find these tips useful. It’s Full Summer out there people, so today we’re going to discuss different common sense ways to help keep the RV cool during this hot weather.

I once saw an old man holding hands with what I assumed was his granddaughter in a Randall’s parking lot here in Houston, Texas. the little girl was asking him why he parked so far from the store when there were empty spots closer, and the grandfather said, “Because our spot is in the shade.” If you folks are new to Texas, or new to summer RV’ing, you should do your absolute best to park that sucker in the shade every time. Just that slight reduction in direct sunlight can make a huge difference, ESPECIALLY if your RV is painted in darker colors.

This may seem too simple to be true, but if you’re in an exposed parking spot try to park the RV with the awning on the west side. Then run it out and it will block a large chunk of afternoon sun from shining in the windows. While you’re at it, keep the rest of the window shades drawn to keep the sun from being as effective at warming the ambient air inside the RV.

Remember your grandmother’s house before they put in the window unit air conditioners? Or maybe your great-grandmother’s house? Or if you’re too young, perhaps you’ve been to the state capitol up in Austin? You might have noticed lot of the doors in those pre-AC days were built with transoms above them to help the house have good airflow through it. You can do the same in your RV using the vents to prevent a lot of heat from building up inside the RV while you’re out running errands or having that summer fun.

Swing by our website and have a look through our climate control, AC gear, vents, and awnings and we’d be glad to help you get that RV cooler!

 

Aw, Hail!

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Terry Presley/Flickr Creative Commons

I can’t remember if we’ve ever talked about hail. Of so, it’s been a long, long, long time and we might as well hit it again. So here we are mid-spring, the weather has been mostly wonderful. Central Texas, and North Texas too, have had some pretty powerful weather over the course of the spring and that belt of the state from north of Austin to the Red River gets strong storms pretty regularly. I still remember when Jarrell got wiped out by a tornado back in the 90’s. So what do you do when those storms are coming and they’re bringing hail and damaging winds with them?

Now it’s almost a cliche about RVs and travel trailers being beaten up by bad weather, but there is nothing more important than the well being of yourself and your loved ones. If weather is headed your way, and you don’t have time to get moving out of it’s path, your absolute best option is to seek shelter. That applies whether it’s straight-line winds, severe lightning, floods, hail, etc etc etc. Find yourself a sturdy, permanent structure if possible and get inside. Then keep away from windows and wait it out.

So you’ve made it through the storm and you’re looking your RV over immediately afterwards and it has taken a beating. We here at PPL can help you get it back to looking it’s best with replacement for all that damaged stuff up on top. I’m talking about replacements for refrigerator vent covers, vent lids, A/C shrouds, plumbing vent caps, and if you have punctures we even have self-adhesive rubber roof repair kits. Chances are if you have antennas mounted up top, they’ve taken a beating too. It’s amazing the amount of stuff we have up there that kind of gets forgotten about. So if you’ve gone through some severe weather, survey your RV or trailer, than call us and let us know how we can help you get back on the road!

 

If I Become President There Will Be No Cold Showers In America!

Your alarm goes off, the sun is just peeking up over the horizon and your windows are beginning to brighten up. You stumble out of bed, brrrrrrr it’s chilly this morning. First things first, let’s get that coffee maker percolating. You accidentally spill some coffee grounds on the counter while you’re filling the machine, but you finally get that delicious red light lit and coffee cooking. You reach under the counter for a paper towel, because nobody replaced the roll on the counter, and when you raise up you bonk your head on a partially open drawer. Yep, it’s gonna be that kind of morning isn’t it? You didn’t want to wake up early, leave your warm bed, spill coffee, and bonk your head did you? Might as well hit the shower while the coffee percolates. You strip down, turn on the water and YIKES!! Oh my GOODNESS that’s cold!! Yep, your water heater has crapped out on you.

Which brings me to the problem solving device of today’s blog. A friend of mine has a tankless water heater and I’m here to tell you that thing is amazing. Especially on mornings described above, a tankless water heater would do more than just be a space saving, energy efficient appliance…it would be a morale boosting, confidence inspiring, let’s-get-out-there-and-conquer-the-day kind of necessity! We offer a tankless water heater by Suburban that will fill this role nicely.

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It is specifically designed and sized to replace your existing water tank whether it’s a 6, 10, 12, or 16 gallon tank. They can either be operated through a standard on/off switch, or if you prefer, a control center may be installed in your coach that will allow you to set an exact temperature so you can have consistent bliss when you turn the tap in the shower. If you’re interested in learning more about these awesome set ups, click right HERE and treat yourself to a better than average Monday.