Well folks we’re about halfway through the 2015-2016 Texas White-tail Season, and I reckon some folks have used their tags and some are still waiting for that right buck to come along. In some families, the Dads wander off to deer camp with a couple buddies and they do a weekend here or there. Some families go to deer camp all together and enjoy their time outdoors as a unit. There are upsides and downsides to every scenario, as y’all know, but there is one thing that’ll keep folks coming back to deer camp every year….keep ’em comfortable!
Let’s say you and your buddies are sitting around the campfire tonight. It’s a little chilly, but you have your iron skillet sitting on the fire and you’re grilling up some fresh venison steaks. A couple Lone Stars or Shiners are in coozies scattered about the campsite, and you’re all about to dive into these awesome steaks. Wouldn’t it be nice to just kind of ease your butt up off that cold hard dirt a little bit? We have some great khaki colored camp chairs that come with their own side tables and cup holders! Check them out here!
Another awesome way to keep your seat out of the dirt AND keep the meat cold are these Yukon Coolers with built-in seat cushions. They are available in Realtree or Gameguard if you want to keep the camouflage theme of deer camp going, they’re 50 quart sized, and you can accessorize them with these comfy, no-slip seat cushions that snap on and off. Every decent deer camp worth it’s salt needs a high quality, high capacity cooler and since space is always at a premium, add that seat cushion and make the fridge another camp seat!
We here at PPL Motorhomes enjoy our time outdoors, and it is our hope that we can help you folks enjoy your times as well. Please feel free to give us a shout over at PPL Motorhomes.com and we’d be glad to help you with any camping or rv’ing accessories you may require!
Now that you’ve had your fill of all of the Thanksgiving leftovers (I don’t even want to hear the word “Turkey”), it’s time to break out those Christmas decorations and decorate that RV for the holidays!
There are a large number of RVers on the roads and occupying their favorite parks during the holidays, including yours truly. I’m starting to notice a wonderful trend among holiday RVers and that’s people decorating their campsites with more and more holiday spirit. It seems that with every passing year, a little more of your grizzled road warriors are softening up and embracing the holiday season with lights, wreaths and even fully decorated tress. It really makes me happy to see and it’s like I was driving into a tiny Christmas village every time I return to my site.
I clearly love Christmas and I love the video below. You can see just how festive you can make your RV regardless of your amount of decorative space.
As you can see in the video, you don’t have to have a giant Class A motorhome, or a titanic Fifth-Wheel with massive amounts of cabin space, you can really liven up any RV with holiday decorations. I actually have a Roadtrek myself, like the folks in the video and I really dress her up with decorations. The craft stores love it when I visit because they know I’m going to buy enough decorations that I’m sure even Mrs. Claus would be proud of! Yes, I have that much fun with it.
So, what is stopping you this year from decorating your RV for the holidays? Heck, if you want to add a little novelty to your RV Holiday decorations, we have just the thing. At PPL Motorhomes, we actually sell a few sets of novelty lights that would ad a theme to your holiday decorations. How about a Beach Christmas? Check out the Flamingos and Palm tree light sets! Mix them with your traditional lights outside your RV and have a Hawaiian themed Christmas! And with that, “Mele Kalikimaka”, everyone!
How many times have you driven down the highway and watched somebody dragging a trailer along behind them and that poor thing is just swerving left and right like crazy? How many of y’all thought, “Bless their lil’ hearts, they’re going to crash!” Well today I though we could talk a little bit about a few simple steps that will help to prevent that scary fishtailing motion from happening to you!
The main thing you can do is to ensure that your trailer is loaded in a balanced manner. This could be as small a trailer as a little utility trailer with your lawn equipment loaded on board, to a full fifth wheel luxury travel trailer. They all react more or less the same way to an out of balance load…they get unruly. What your looking for ideally is weight on the trailer tongue at the hitch. No so much that the front wheels of the tractor get light, but enough to ensure positive downward pressure on the hitch. In order to do that you need to add the load onto the trailer in such a way you have the center of gravity slightly forward of the trailer axle (or axles). You may have noticed that most of the heavy kitchen equipment is located on or slightly forward of the axle for example.
Another way to help reduce sway is to install a trailer sway control kit to your trailer. This is usually a series of dampers that help reduce a trailer’s oscillations which could also be caused by wind, bow wave of air pushed by eighteen wheelers, or even something as simple as unequally inflated tires. Sway kits are very common, and fairly easy to install. If you don’t feel up to installing one yourself, any competent mechanic can do it for you at a reasonable cost. Oddly enough we feature several sway kits on our website, come check ’em out!
“Road Meditation” by Nickolai Kashirin/Flickr Creative Commons
If there’s one thing that we are all universally bound by, it’s time. With time comes aging, with aging comes some dulling of the senses and, of course, memory. Seeing as even I, RV Nana, can always benefit from a few good tips on ways of keeping my brain at its sharpest and healthiest, I did a little research and collected a few tips on how to boost your brain power. All of these you can do while RVing, and so of course they’re fun!
Learn A New Language: Hey, you’re spending hours on the road, why not take some of that time to try learning French, Spanish, or Japanese! Learning a second language can help you process information better and sharpen focus. Apps and DVDs are readily available and in great abundance.
Write In Red Ink: A study I remember reading out of a German University stated that the color red “binds” into our memory more than other colors. Whether that’s true or not, it can’ hurt to try, can it? Try doing it with your next “To-Do” list.
Play Ping-Pong: I’m serious! The hand-eye coordination that it takes to play a leisurely game of ping-pong is significant enough to activate neurons in the brain that are associated with attention and concentration.
Close Your Eyes: Just can’t remember that ___? Try closing your eyes. That’s right, close your eyes when trying to remember something. When you remove visual distractions, you can focus with more efficiency. Next time you are struggling to remember something, try closing those peepers.
Use Your Left Hand: Or, your right if you are left handed. The idea is, that by using your non-dominant hand to do simple tasks through out the day, you challenge your brain to think in a new way and command muscles differently. Try brushing your teeth tonight with your off hand.
Lower You Blood Sugar: That’s just a good idea altogether to avoid diabetes. One of the many problems with diabetes is that it puts sufferers at greater risk of dementia. You don’t need the sweet tea ALL of the time.
Meditate a little: Taking a moment for yourself everyday is of paramount for greater mental health. Sitting, or laying quietly and relaxing can help your brain release cortisol which can, over time, help with stress. Of course, if you’re RVing, what do your really have to stress about?
This is just one of a multi-part article I’m going to do on boosting brain health and power. I think I’ll cover a few more brain exercises that we can do while we’re out on the road, or resting at a camp site. There’s never a bad time to sharpen that old noggin’. Check back Wednesday for the next installment.
We all know how easy it is to get fairly sedentary these days. There’s that show we want to watch, or we’re chatting with friends on Facebook, or somebody emailed a funny cat video which leads to other funny cat videos or videos of people falling down on Youtube. Next thing you know, half the morning is gone. Well, in this RV Lifestyle it’s even more easy to succumb to the sedentary, especially when you’re traveling, so today i thought we could talk about a few ways to get around the lure of the chair.
Walking is BY FAR the easiest way to get some exercise! Just putting one foot in front of the other on the way to the store, or to the park, is great exercise. If you’re into challenges, get a step counter and strive to beat yesterday’s record. These days, there are gyms everywhere and believe it or not a lot of them have wifi So if you REALLY need to watch those cat videos, do it on the treadmill! By the time you’ve clicked your way through them all, you will have walked a few miles.. Now that fall is hopefully sticking around, hit the hiking trails near you, go see the leaves changing color, get out of the RV and just breathe!
Everyone knows this is kind of a no-no, but in reality choosing the correct snacks is quite healthy. Instead of potato chips, or snacks loaded with processed sugars, try to graze on some fruit for energy, or even something fresh from the veggie drawer in your refrigerator. Make is easier on yourself by pre-slicing up some carrots, or bell peppers, or celery, it’s not hard!
You’ll hear two words together all the time: diet and exercise. Even though it’s almost a cliche these days, you can’t keep fit without BOTH of them!
Well y’all, it’s finally October and that means two things that I can think of when traveling in Texas this month: Oktoberfest! Halloween Parties! If you’ve spent any amount of timing driving around Texas during the month of October, you’ve probably wondered how so many towns could suddenly be German, and how many towns could find enough hay bales in a drought to make mazes for the kids. So let’s go for a quick drive and explore some October, Texas Style!
Oktoberfest! Lord have mercy, what a party! No offense to the Oktoberfest celebrations held in other parts of the state, but if you want that real German Oktoberfest party, you need to head to New Braunfels or Fredericksburg! Oddly enough New Braunfels’ Oktoberfest is called Wurstfest, but don’t let the name fool you, it’s the best! Their slogan is “Sprechen Sie FUN?” and all the details can be found here! Not to be outdone in German party antics, Fredericksburg plays host to polka, pretzels, and Pilsner themed fun that is absolutely legendary and everything you need to know is right here!
For those of y’all who prefer more gluten-free entertainment, or perhaps sausage, oom-pah music, and dirndl-clad lasses are just not your thing, Texas hosts plenty of Halloween themed events in Rv Parks and Campgrounds all across the state! Pumpkin carving contests, hayrides, corn or hay bale mazes, costume contests, BBQ, are all available and heck it’s still Texas so you can probably hit the pool one last time! One such campground is Mitchell Resort up west of Dallas is in Perrin, TX (on Hwy 281 in between Mineral Wells and Jasckboro). They are fully geared up for family fun, and have a full listing of everything you need to know about their Halloween festivities up right here!
The best thing about traveling in Texas is we’re just so dang big, there is no way you can hit the road and not see something new. And before you hit the trail, hit our website for all your parts and accessories!
It’s not often we get into philosophical discussions in this blog but by gum, we’re going to today! There seems to be a schism among travelers these days: those that can navigate with a traditional map, and those that absolutely cannot get out of their driveway without their smartphone or hand-held GPS. This tends to cause a fair amount of discussion amongst the two groups with both feeling superior to the other. The attitude of “We do it the right way” get’s bandied about from time to time, but let’s look at this in a practical terms.
Maps are the oldest and most tried and true navigational aid in human history. Maps used to be so prized that map makers themselves warranted the highest respect, even the GPS crowd has heard of Magellan. But in today’s more immediate-result, instant-gratification, digital, and satellite-heavy technological world…maps are out of favor. And I think I know the reason why. In order to use a map you have to already know where you are. The downside to a map is: if you’re already lost, what good are they? Of course the map crowd’s rebuttal would be: if you have a map, how did you get lost? Using a map promotes situational awareness, keeping your eyes outside the vehicle, as well as the security that you know where you are, and how to get where you’re going.
GPS has to be one of the biggest advancements in navigation in history since the invention of the magnetic compass…as long as you have access to batteries or electricity. Putting a GPS in your smartphone was an incredible idea, so thank you to whomever’s idea that was. It is a more or less stress free form of navigation in that as soon as you turn it on, it tells you where you are. Routing however has been a little sketchy in the past and I suppose continues to be in some regard or other. I can’t tell you how many times I have heard the following complaint “Man! Google Maps (or Mapquest, or insert your nav provider here) totally took me the long way around! The road wasn’t even paved!” So the irony is, to use the GPS in the most efficient way, you more or less need to be familiar with where you are and where you’re going. The awesome awesome awesome thing that GPS does in my opinion, is calculate distance and ETA for you.
So whichever camp you belong to, recognize that there is an alternative and learn the alternative as a backup to whatever method of navigation you are using. That was there is less fuel and time wasted, and your stress level stays low!
I love September so much. Mainly because it means that August is over and we’ve survived another Texas summer! But also it’s that time of year when school starts back up, football season is just beginning, the afternoons start to lose some of that habañero flavor, there’s one more long weekend coming up before things get too serious, tailgater parties at the ball fields, the good life. The whole month seems to be filled with somebody saying, “Not as hot as last week!” So now that we’re all coming out of the shade a little bit, and starting to socialize outside again, wouldn’t it be awesome to have a light show under your RV awning?
Imagine: you’re sitting in your lawn chairs, deck chairs, what-have-you… the grill is smoking, the sun is starting to edge closer to the horizon, the chips and salsa are set out, there’s a cooler with something drinkable cooling off inside it, and some good friends are there all enjoying each other’s company. What do you have left to do? That’s right, set the mood with some LEDs under the awning! They come in assorted colors, you control them with a remote, they can flash or strobe like Christmas lights, they’re waterproof, and are a whole lot of fun.
When we were camping last weekend in Matagorda at the LCRA park, there was a group of 5 RVs together enjoying their weekend getaway. They all had LED light strips on their awnings and it was just too cool looking. Two of them even had the lights set to rotate through the colors so one minute their trailer had a green hue, then blue, then red, and on and on. It’s time to think fall camping and fun and these lights really add to the festivities. I already got a set for RV NANA 2!
We talk a lot about the outdoor activities you can participate in in this RV Life, places you can go and enjoy nature, different routes you can take to get there and the like. But what about when it’s raining or nasty outside? What about if you just want to curl up an veg on the settee for a little while, switch that mind to autopilot and just relax? What if you want to go in the RV, hide from your spouse and kids and watch a little TV? Well, we’ve got the perfect HD TV antenna for y’all to try out! They’re inexpensive, way cheaper than a new cable box and can be used in the camper or RV just as easily as in your home!
The Rayzor Amplified Indoor HD TV Antenna has an approximate range of 70 miles, it is phenominally simple to install and believe it or not I have one in one of my guest bedrooms upstairs and it is terrific!! For a room that gets used maybe 6 times a year, the Rayzor is a much better deal than a new cable box. These antenna’s are made to be repositioned too, so if you have on in your Rv it is very simple to move the antenna for maximum reception. All you have to do after repositioning the antenna is to run a channel scan and you’ll be amazed at how many you can pick up, and how far away they are. These antennas even mount to windows! Just think of them the way you do your cel phone, chance are where you phone works best, the antenna will too. Oh, and since these antennas are flat, the “sides” of them get the least reception, so point that big flat area towards your signal.
If you’re interested is easy, portable HD TV coverage, click right here for details and happy relaxing!
I used to know an old man who built custom wooden yachts to order for most of his adult life — everything from the day-sailor all the way up to a 65′ Schooner that sailed the Pacific for a couple decades. He had a very witty ratio worked out for his idea of the “perfect sailboat” and it went like this: “It should float six, feed four, and sleep two,” meaning six people could sail aboard, four people could fit in the galley for lunch, but only two were gonna spend the night.
In these days of bigger is better, when it comes to renting an RV for a road trip with the family, is bigger really better? It comes down to the question, do you really need more space or less stuff? So to buck the bigger is better trend, I thought today we’d talk a little about actually renting an RV that is as small as you may need.
Everybody knows that economy is the name of the game these days. Economy of space and size equates to economy of weight and complexity, which directly equates to the cost of operation. So for example, if you’re a family of four on their way across country to a family reunion, then a Class B RV might actually best suit your needs and budget. Especially if your priority is looking towards traveling in comfort with more than the average elbow room of the family SUV, then a Class B might fit your bill.
Also in the family of four on the road scenario, many Class Bs come with lav facilities, which will help keep the family on the road and avoid stopping frequently for the restroom. With a small galley and lav, a Class B can keep the family on the road for longer, making more efficient use of your time. Plus if you can drive a van, you can drive a Class B and they take up about as much space when you’re parking, so if you are more of a weekend warrior and not looking to live aboard full time a Class B might be for you!
I have been with PPL Motor Homes since 1980 and have been fortunate enough to grow up with the company. A native Houstonian, I have been blessed with years of wonderful experiences and memories of RVing with family and friends. With 3 children, 8 grandchildren and a ton of friends who I refer to as my adopted family, I was a Nana long before I became RV Nana. I was blessed to have shared this lifestyle with my late husband, a Cajun from Lafayette, and his spirit will live on in all of us as we continue down the road of life.
My life with PPL has given me so many wonderful chapters, from sharing my RV experiences as RV Nana to working with the Texas Campground Owners Association and holding the position of President of the Texas RV Association from 2011-2013, so it’s easy to see that the RV lifestyle is my style. Watch for me on the road …I’m the one with the RV Nana license plates on my car and RV, and share your RV experiences with me. See you soon!