RV Technical And Roadside Assistance Is A Must


For all of the prep work we do before we actually hit the road to go RVing, nothing is more frustrating than to have all of it virtually come undone because of a technical problem, or an unforeseen need for roadside assistance. If you own your RV long enough and consistently travel,  your chances increase for the need of reliable RV technical and roadside assistance.

That’s why RV Nana uses Coach-Net. They are the leading source for 24-7 RV roadside assistance and technical support. They’ve been around since 1987 providing the highest degree of service, assistance, and mechanics to tackle virtually any problem you may encounter on the road.

There are many obvious reasons you should choose Coach-Net for your RV support service, but there are also some reasons that you may not think about. First of all, your RV is a complicated machine; after all, it is basically a house on wheels. So let’s say you have a plumbing issue at your house—more often than not, you are going to call a plumber—but what do you do when it’s your RV’s plumbing system that needs some help, or it’s electrical, or it’s your LP system? Are you going to tackle these issues by yourself? Maybe if you were a Certified RV Mechanic, but let’s be honest, you are probably going to scamper to find an RV mechanic somewhere. Of course, there’s no way of telling if you are going to find one, and, if you do, is he worth his salt? Why take the chance. By having a service like Coach-Net in your back pocket, you can easily contact them with your problem and have a solution in a matter of minutes. Maybe it’s something you can take care of yourself, but, if it isn’t, Coach-Net will have you covered for all sorts of technical and mechanical problems.

At PPL Motorhomes, we offer Coach-Net services and feel that is more than worth the minimal cost associated in getting total roadside coverage. I like to just factor it into the cost of owning an RV, as we are all well aware of , there are a few costs that you cannot do without, such as refilling your LP tank, and adding chemicals to your black water system… it’s just the way of the road. So, when you are out on the road, you’re probably already taking many measures to make sure you have a great time: go one step further and look into adding the coverage of Coach-Net today!


Just Say No To Slide-out Sag!


Tadekk/Flickr Creative Commons

Getting a new RV with slide-outs  is great because Slide outs are an awesome addition to trailer life.  You simply press a button and your living space is enlarged and it feels like the Elbow Room Fairy has paid your travel trailer a personal visit. It’s like upgrading from a regular hotel room to a suite with a jacuzzi tub. However as time passes wear, sag, twist, warp, and bind might make that slide-out seem a little harder to use and maintain. Many things can affect the operation of your slide outs:  water leaking past the rubber seals, or perhaps the trailer has been parked for an extended period with the slide-outs fully extended, or the trailer wasn’t leveled properly, or maybe your slide-out contains the entire kitchen with water and gas installed in it and the weight is a lot for that slide out mechanism.

Here are some of the ways to alleviate slide-out sag and extend the life of your slide out mechanism.  Make sure the slide-outs are closed when not in use, ensure everything is lubed properly and regularly, inspect the rubber seals for wear and cracking  and condition them so that rainwater and dew stays where it’s supposed to….outside.  And, finally,  if you find yourself parked in a semi-permanent location give some thought to installing a set of support jacks under the slide-outs.

These inexpensive supports can really help make life a little easier, simply level the trailer, extend the slide-outs and install support jack under the slide-outs. Then, make sure that you verify that the slide out is still level.  The last thing you want to do is over-extend the support and make the slide out higher than the trailer because that can cause rain to come in around the slide.  Now, to better understand how this works, just imagine you’re holding a 10lb dumbell in your hand with your arm extended out full length. It doesn’t take very long for you to feel that weight getting heavier, well that’s what your trailer “feels” when you leave the slide-out extended for a good amount of time. The jacks are simple to install and pay for themselves by reducing the wear to your slide-out tracks and extension/retraction gear whether it’s electric or hydraulic.

Check em out HERE!



Exercise Your Right To Vote



As I listened to the news yesterday, I was reminded that today is the last day for early voting.  It’s hard to imagine, but the election is Tuesday.  I have heard so many of our customers enjoying a cup of coffee in the break room discussing the pros and cons of this election and I would like to throw my two cents in.  Years ago my father gave me some very good advice.  He told me that I should never talk politics or religion at work so you can rest assured that I am not going to try to persuade your vote.

I have an 18 year old granddaughter who is eligible to vote for the first time in this election.  She has asked many questions and voting has been a conversation at many of our family dinners.  My advice to her is the same advice I have given all of my employees.  Take time to educate yourself.  Learn about the candidates and their platforms.  Make your decision based on the information you research and not on the news media.  Make your decision because it is how you feel and don’t be persuaded by friends or family.  Your vote is your vote.  You do not have to share with anyone who you voted for.  You simply need to go out and VOTE!

The only wrong vote is the one that you do not cast.  Our forefathers fought and died to give us the right to vote.  Please do not take this privilege for granted.  Go out and vote!   God Bless America!

Cover Your Tires When Not Using Your RV




We all wish we could take our RVs out more than we do. If I could get away every weekend, I would. Heck, I might even spend more time in my RV than in my house. But unfortunately, we have jobs, kids, and responsibilities that force us to keep our RV locked up in storage or sitting in our driveways for what feels like forever. It happens, life can affect your RV schedule at any time, after all, RVing is a time-consuming process and it can be hard to make time once or twice a month to head out to a campsite. We understand and we’re guilty ourselves. But, there’s no excuse for letting your tires rot in front of your eyes while your RV sits there and waits for you.

Your RV’s tires are sitting there absorbing the sun’s rays and getting weaker and weaker as we speak. Unless they are covered! Good quality wheel covers will help your tires last longer and eliminate the damage done by UV rays from sitting there in the blistering hot sun. Driving on sun-damaged and dry-rotted tires is a very dangerous proposition and could even cause a blowout! I’ve heard way too many stories of RVers being stranded on the highway because they thought their tires were OK, when in fact, they were damaged and unsafe.

Anytime your RV will be sitting for any period of time, I suggest covering up those tires and keeping the UV rays from the sun off of them. It’ll keep your tires ready to roll next time you gather everyone and head out for a weekend. Always double check your tires to see if they’ve been damaged, you’ll notice cracks on the sidewall if they are too dangerous to drive on. Don’t put your RV at risk, cover those tires!

Do you use wheel covers when you aren’t using your RV?



Safety First In Your RV


Mark Holloway/Flickr Creative Commons

Your RV is a place of adventure, experiencing new parts of the world, and creating memories with family and friends. We make plans, spend long weekends, haul it across the country and keep it maintained so it’s in good running order. There’s one thing you have to double check time and time again before you head out on vacation, and that’s your safety features. Your carbon monoxide detector, your smoke detector and your fire extinguisher are quite possibly the most important features in your entire RV, no matter how much you love your 50″ flat screen TV. Your TV won’t save your RV from irreparable damage in case of a fire.

Smoke Detectors

Your smoke detectors are just as important, if not more important as the ones you have in your house. Yes, they may signal when dinner is done, but they serve a very distinct purpose. They alarm you when something is on fire or causing smoke. In your house, that means you can get out, if it’s on fire, or you can find out what it is that causing the smoke and take care of it. In your RV there is a much greater sense of urgency. Your RV is exponentially smaller than your living space, so if your smoke alarm goes off. You have a small amount of time to exit the RV. Hence the reason they are so important. If any part of your RV is causing smoke, you need to get out of it immediately.

Carbon Monoxide Detectors

There’s a gas out there that is colorless and odorless and can kill you. Scary, I know. The bad part about it is that most, if not all, of our RVs are equipped for propane, which emits carbon monoxide when burned incompletely. If your appliances aren’t in tip-top shape, you’re at the risk of having a carbon monoxide leak. Always keep a carbon monoxide alarm in your RV.

Fire Extinguisher

As I mentioned earlier, your RV is smaller than your house. That means fire can spread quicker and overtake your entire RV in a matter of minutes. When you’re cooking dinner, a grease fire is the last thing you want to happen. RVs come with fire extinguishers as a standard feature, but they do have a shelf-life on them, always check the dates and replace as necessary. Fire extinguishers can prevent your RV from going up in flames, but only if they work!

As a rule, I always check my detectors using the “Test” button and keep tab on my fire extinguisher’s dates to make sure my family and I are protected from tragedy.


Conserving Electricity In Your RV


Serendigity/Flickr Creative Commons


We’re all making a push to use less energy. In an RV it can be tough because so much of the creature comforts of home are rooted in being hooked up to the electrical power supply. Not only can we make a difference in electrical consumption, we can also extend the life of our batteries by using less and not letting power go to waste. Here are a few tips I’ve pulled together that we do when we take our RV out for a trip.

Turn off your lights, radios, and televisions when you aren’t using them. This can save a ton of energy and and if you’re running off of your battery, it will eliminate battery drain.

Unplug your phone or computer chargers when not being used. Even if your computer or smartphone isn’t hooked up to it, it’s still pulling current from the wall outlet. Unplugging them from the wall will assure that you aren’t unnecessarily sending electricity to nothing. It’s also a good idea to unplug your chargers if the electronics are fully charged, this will extend the life of the battery in your computer or smartphone while also eliminating draining your RV power supply by charging  battery that is fully charged.

Maximize your daylight hours. If you go to bed late and get up late, you’re wasting precious daylight and using powered lights to stay up.

Use rechargeable batteries for flashlights, reading lights and lanterns.

Monitor your RV batteries using a digital voltmeter and always recharge it at or before reaching 80 percent discharge. This will prolong the life of your battery.

Don’t use your appliances unless you really need to. Those appliances are an energy hog and the longer you run them, the quicker your battery is gone.

Invest in solar panels. They reduce our dependence on always being attached to an electrical outlet. Plus, we can boon-dock whenever we want to! If you’ve got a roof on your RV, you can put a solar panel on it and have it continuously charge your batteries.

What energy-saving tips have you learned out on the road?



Get to know your RV’s fire extinguisher

I recently talked to a full time RVer who had the scare of her life and lived to tell about it thanks to a handy fire extinguisher she had mounted by the stove in the kitchen.  After she read one of my blog articles about how quickly RV fires can spread, she purchased fire extinguishers and mounted them in the kitchen, bedroom and compartment of her home away from home.  This is one of those purchases you make and hope you will never use.  Having a fire break out in your RV is very dangerous as it can spread very, very quickly. The bottom line is that you could never have too many fire extinguishers when you travel and the magic number seems to be three. Watch the video below for some basic instruction on the right way to operate your extinguisher:

A good rule of thumb is to have one fire extinguisher for every 10 square feet of your RV.  Makes sense to me.  Also don’t just assume that your fire extinguisher is fully charged. One important thing to remember about fire extinguishers is that they need to be checked periodically.  I guess this is like changing batteries in the flashlight.  Even if you don’t use the flashlight, you will have to replace the batteries with time.

But above all, your personal safety should be your biggest concern. If a fire should happen to break out in your RV, the best decision you can make is just get out of it. All of your things can be replaced, but your life cannot be. It’s better to exit your RV and know you will safe than try to fight an expanding fire that could potentially trap you in a very dangerous situation.

Take time this week to check your fire extinguishers, buy them if you don’t have them and make plans to play it safe!


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.


Eliminate Sway with LockArm Stabilizing Bars

Stability. There is nothing more important than controlling the sway of your travel trailer, or fifth-wheel when your landing gear is in the down position. How many of us have stepped into our RVs and felt that somewhat unnerving shake or sway? Probably more often than we’d like to admit or even remember. Nothing is more annoying than having a seemingly unstable RV while camping. Don’t worry, PPL Motorhomes has exactly what you need: LockArm Stabilizing bars. This innovative LockArm stabilizing bar attaches between the frame and the leveling jacks to increase stability. They are affordable, extremely easy to install and attach directly to the your jacks. Plus, once they are on, they are on. There is no need to remove them as they fold up with your jacks, which directly translates into saving much needed cargo space.

By eliminating most fore-and-aft trailer movement, strain on your jack mounting is eliminated as well. The LockArm mounts to all current leveling/stabilizing jacks and even 5th Wheel Landing Gear. Again, the telescoping tubes travel up and down with the jack for easy set up and storage. Each unit contains two Lock-Arms and mounting hardware. There is some drilling required, but certainly it isn’t anything you can’t handle on your own.

If you are interested in adding more stability to your travel trailer or fifth-wheel, then you really should consider adding LockArm Stabilizing bars to your jacks. They really do make a world of difference. Get rid of the sway today, give PPL Motorhomes a call.

Dump And Clean Your RV’s Septic System

This is something that every RVer needs to know: Dumping and Cleaning your septic system. One of my goals with  to educate RVers a little on how to maintain the creature comforts of their RVs so that they continue being comforts and not pains. In this case, having your own private restroom facilities in your RV is fantastic, but it doesn’t come without one big drawback… dumping and cleaning.

Now, no one truly likes talking about this stuff. But, like everything else on your RV it’s going to need attention during every trip and that means dumping and, ultimately, cleaning your black water tank facilities. Let’s just say that, “yes, it’s a dirty job” and “no, you can’t avoid it”. So what’s the best way to tackle this stinky chore? Check out the video below from RV Geeks. They do a really good job at explaining what you can expect and how you can make this a quick and painless job.

Sometimes RVing isn’t always green pastures, beautiful scenery and amazing cookouts. In order for your RV to give you years of hassle free service, you are going to have to keep up with your regular maintenance and cleaning processes. Unfortunately dumping and cleaning your black water tank and system isn’t the most glamorous of jobs, but it has to be done. If you use the video above as a simple guide, I don’t think you’ll have any issues and will be able to complete this task quickly and mess free. Make sure you subscribe to their YouTube channel too… lot’s of really great info to be had there.

If you need septic system parts or products, PPL Motorhomes has a huge selection of pretty much everything you’d ever need to perform a repair, or do a quality cleaning . If you have any questions about your black water system, don’t hesitate to give us a call, I’m sure we can help you out.