Right now as I type this, North Texas is bracing themselves for one heck of a cold snap. It got me thinking about gear that gets me through my Winter RVing. I was introduced to a product a couple of years ago and have been promoting it, knowing it was a good product if you need it. This product is the Camco Cold Weather Water Hose. I live in Houston, Texas and it just doesn’t get that cold here. In the past 30 years, there has only been one winter where we had to worry about wrapping pipes and pipes freezing. We sell so many of these hoses for RVers and for agricultural use, but I never really thought about it until last week.
A dear friend of mine just moved from the warmth of the Rio Grande Valley to Blue Eye, Missouri. She purchased a great Montana 5th wheel with a Canadian artic package so she thought she was prepared for all weather. As a Christmas/House warming gift, I gave her a 12’ heated water hose and jokingly told her this might come in handy. She arrived last week in Missouri and her trailer was delivered the next day. Within 24 hours of her arrival, the big arctic blast hit that area of the country and hit it hard. She emailed me to say she was the only person in the RV park with running water. Everyone else had to disconnect their hoses and prepare for the hard freeze. She told me it was the greatest gift she could have ever received.
After hearing her story, I decided to share it with all of you. We have had an unusually cold December and winter is just beginning. Check out this awesome product. It may be the “hottest” RV item you have!! Stay warm and make memories in your RV!
Oh, if I could avoid writing about this subject I would, however, being an RVer, maintaining your sewer hoses and septic system is of paramount importance. Luckily at PPL Motorhomes we offer some of the best hoses in the business, like the ones manufactured by RhinoFLEX.
RhinoFLEX Sewer Hoses are made of HTS (a high tensile strength formula) that is tough, flexible, and stays in place when you set it up. The 10′ hose compresses to just a 32″ long rigid pipe that iseasy to handle and store. Pull it apart, and it can be shaped to fit your situation. Best of all, it stays that way! No need to worry about stabilizing it with sticks or rocks. Comprised of three wraps of vinyl over steel-wire core pinholes and other leaks caused by rough scrapes and abrasions are minimized. RhinoFLEX hoses come in 10′ and 15′ lengths, plus a 5′ extension with adapter. These hoses fit all standard 3″ fittings.
Now, here comes the dirty talk. Maintaining your septic system and hoses is a dirty, disgusting and dangerous job…so let Dad do it! Kidding!!! Really if you take the proper precautions, you should be fine. Still, I am amazed at the health risks that people will take when handling their sewer hose and black water connections. Remember to use disposable latex gloves for this job. These are the kind of gloves that are used by paramedics, doctors and nurses. You see them used on TV all the time by crime scene investigators. These gloves are inexpensive and disposable. I keep a box of them in our RV at all times.
If you have any questions or comments about septic systems, or the parts contained there-in, don’t hesitate to call PPL Motorhomes.We’re not shy, or embarrassed to have this conversation with you and answer any question you may have. Remember, having a properly functioning system is not only good for the environment, it’s good for your health!
Cuddles for Kids is back! That’s right folks, it’s that time of year again! The time when PPL Motorhomes collects teddy bears for our annual Cuddles for Kids Teddy Bear Drive. For years, police officers have collected and distributed teddy bears to children to comfort them at a crime, or accident. If you folks only knew the power of these little stuffed miracles. More often than not, these bears often become that child’s best friend. It could likely be one of the few positives in that child’s life if they grow up in, or around an abusive environment. It could be the only thing they have left after a devastating fire, or natural catastrophe. It could be the only recognizable thing they have to hold on to after an accident. It’s giving me a lump in my throat and tears are welling up just thinking about it.
Right now we are in the process of collecting as many bears as we can thru December 31st. Last year, PPL donated over 500 bears and has a goal set at 1,000 this year. Just think, what better way to celebrate the holidays than helping to comfort a child in a time of crisis? Other than holding that child tight myself, this is the next best way to share your compassion and love with someone who truly needs it.
That being said, we will be donating one teddy bear for every RV we sell, but we can’t reach our 1,000 bear goal if we don’t have your help. Have a teddy bear that is looking to give some extra love and comfort? Any bear big, or small will do just fine. Bring him by, or mail him to our store:
Here is you PPL Motorhomes maintenance tip of the day: remember to check and replace your vent lids!
Have you checked your vent lids lately? Out of sight, out of mind. That’s the story of the oft-forgotten vent lid on your RV. Just think about it. It sits up there over the vent being baked in the sun, pounded by rain and hail, and you never even know it’s there until water appears inside your RV (with my luck, the water would be right in the middle of the bed). We already make it a habit to go up on the roof and check for cracked caulking and any other problems, and now you need to add one more thing to your check list; just “thump” each vent lid with your finger periodically. If it shatters or spiderwebs, it’s because the plastic is brittle and it certainly needs to be replaced. I don’t know about you, but I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that it’s much better to notice its deterioration and replace it before it cracks and lets rain flood your comfortable RV vacation plans. The thing is that you’d be amazed at how simple vent lids are to replace and it’s just as easy to identify which one you need.
Make sure you take your smart phone, or camera up on the roof with you so you can take a picture of the vent. This way you can make sure it matches the one you’ll need from PPL Motorhome‘s website. All you have to do is match it up, make a quick online order, and save yourself hundreds of dollars, not to mention preventing a potentially huge headache when that thing starts to leak. You know what they say. “An ounce of prevention…”
How many of you out there have had to prepare for snow in your RV? I found the great video below from RVgeeks and highly suggest that you subscribe to their YouTube Channel, as they have a lot of great videos and tips for both the part time and full-time RVer. In the videos below, RVgeeks show you the virtues of being prepared for winter weather while RVing. For some great Snowbirding tips check out the video below:
They further go on to explain why it’s a good thing to prep for severe weather and why it’s not a good thing to have 2 feet of snow on top of your RV. The video below is more of a “See, I told you so” rather than more tips, but it’s great to see how a little prep work can go a long way when RVing during the winter.
Doesn’t that look like fun? OF COURSE IT DOES!!! There’s nothing like RVing, even in the cold of winter. The best thing about owning a consignment RV is that you can experience ALL of the joys of RVing all year long if you really wanted to. In order to prepare for all of your RV excursions, you are going to want to check out all of the great RV parts and accessories at PPL Motorhomes.
OK, let’s say that you went ahead and did it; you finally took the plunge and bought the family a consignment RV (hopefully it was from PPL Motorhomes). Let me tell you, you are going to love it! But, before you hit the road, there may be a few things that might need a little attention first, hoses being one of them. Specifically your drinking water hose.
Think about it. If you just bought a used RV, would you really want to keep the water hose that came with the RV? Who knows what that may have been used for? You are much better off just replacing it. So, what would you use? Would you use the green garden hose from your house? No way, the garden hoses are not manufactured to be used for drinking water. The white hoses from brands like Apex are made of a safe material to be used for drinking.
While you’re at it, take a look at how to sanitize your fresh water tank too. These are just a few of the things that you’ll need to do to make your RV adventures more memorable…in a good way.
So, what’s one of the very first things you should do when you purchase a used RV? Right! Simply change the drinking water hose and replace it with a quality Apex hose from PPL Motorhomes. Hoses are available at both out Houston RV Parts Supercenter and New Braunfels…and, of course, on the website!!
For those of you who may not know, I was fortunate this year to be a regional winner in the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year awards for the Gulf Coast of Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi. What an honor to be nominated and an even greater honor to be a winner and have the opportunity to go to the national competition in Palm Springs last week. This was a wonderful opportunity and an amazing trip. Five of my team members and I spent five wonderful days listening to stories from some of the greatest entrepreneurs in the world and being amazed by their successes, trials and tribulations.
As I sat listening to Joe Montana and Jerry Rice tell of their career highs and lows, I found that I was asking myself what I had done to deserve to be in the presence of this group. Everywhere I turned, there were CEOs telling their stories, but I found there was something really different about this group, this forum….these people were all amazingly open and friendly. They all put their pants on one leg at a time like the rest of us. Competition and ego was left behind and I have never experienced a more friendly and genuinely supportive group.
Here I was, the President of a successful RV consignment dealership, but I was in the finals with people like JW “Bill” Marriott, and other wonderfully successful entrepreneurs. We all have one thing in common. We all had a dream, worked hard to share and grow that dream and we all have teams who made it happen. I stared in 1980 at a small RV rental company. Now, 36+ years later I am blessed to be surrounded by a team of over 130 individuals who truly care about the RV life style and have realized and shared in our dream.
Without this team, I would be nothing. I have been blessed to have met so many creative and brilliant individuals during my career, many of which have become lifelong friends. They have all helped shape and mold me and have helped me lead the greatest them in the RV industry. Although, I was not a winner on the national level, I am a winner to have been nominated and to have been able to share this moment. In the words of my late husband who was 100% Cajun, this experience was the “lagniappe” in my career. For those of you who have not been fortunate enough to have Cajun friends or family, “lagniappe” is the “something extra”… the “icing on the cake”.
Thanks to my family, friends, customers RVS, business associates and, of course, my PPL family, I have been fortunate to experience the “lagniappe”of my career. Thanks to each and very one of you.
This is may favorite time of the year. The time when the leaves have totally changed color as Fall steps aside to make room for Winter. Winter is on our doorstep and, guess what, you still haven’t winterized your RV.
If you haven’t made any travel plans for the end of fall, now is the perfect time to winterize your RV. It’s perfect because the weather is cooler, and you can pick and choose the day that works best for you. Don’t wait until the last possible moment, like the week of a predicted freeze, or something… I’m looking at you, North Texas!
What are the processes for winterizing and protecting your RV? In regards to the water in your tanks, you have just two steps: drain all of the water from your RV holding tanks, water heater, hoses and then use 2 to 3 gallons of RV anti-freeze and you’re done! The video below has some really good information on the right way to winterize your RV.
So, what if you’d like to use your RV for a spontaneous winter trip? Can you still use it? The answer is yes. It doesn’t mean you can can’t camp. “Can you use the facilities,” you ask? You can, but you are going to have to bring along bottles of anti-freeze with you to rinse down the bowl. Remember, you aren’t going to have anything in your holding tanks, and RV anti-freeze is the only thing you can use that won’t freeze.
So what are you waiting for? Your RV isn’t going to take care of itself! Really, in all seriousness, if you neglect to winterize your RV, you are asking for trouble. I know, in Houston we don’t get below freezing too often, but, when we do, everyone panics. Avoid the panic and take care of your RV this weekend. Swing by PPL Motorhomes and pick up your RV anti-freeze before the first freeze hits.
Space is a valuable commodity.” Photo Diana Leblanc
Storage, space and too much “stuff”…
When I bought the Winnebago View I was so excited to have so much living area. So much more an I had in the Roadtrek. The big day came and I began the shuffle of stuff from one RV to the other. Surprisingly, there was very little that I decided to eliminate in the new RV. Going from a 42′ 5th wheel to the Roadtrek a few years ago meant major Downsizing at the time and I have grown accustomed to “less is more.”. I was originally the one who had everything we could ever want or need along with enough for all the neighbors. I packed like I was going to a third world country Where there would be no stores along the way.
The Roadtrek design is the most compact in the industry…every nook and cranny had a storage place. I was amazed at how prepared I could be in that RV. As I started loading the View I experienced a bit of panic. Where was I going to put everything and how would I arrange it? I spent the first evening of ownership in the RV until about 2 am arranging and rearranging. I’m sure any neighbors who were in town, thought I was a but crazy.
From those first few hours, I discovered some good storage ideas I want to share with all of you.
Cutlery storage. I bought one of the stacking cutlery organizers and it works great. Everyday needs stored on top and the back up items in the lower compartment.
Foldable storage containers. The overhead cabinets in the kitchen area were too big and too little. I could not figure a good way to store glassware, storage containers and stuff. I found the foldable storage bins made the perfect storage. Compact and organized and there was little rattle when driving.
Closet organization. In the Roadtrek I had no closet and now I had one. It was large, open and I had no idea how to organize this space. I bought one of the expandable sweater storage hangers, had to cut it off to fit and then ” voila” I created the equivalent storage to a chest of drawers. I hung a fabric shoe storage in the back wall of the closet and suddenly had a perfect place to organize everything from gloves to pajamas, all easily accessible in full view.
Command strips are the best thing ever. Of course, I had to hang all of my stuff up, but I refuse to ever use a nail in the paneling. I have seen too many RVs come in to PPL for sale and they had holes everywhere in the paneling? I love the command strips. They really work. Make sure the weight allowance is correct for what you are hanging up. I use them for everything from keys to hats and art. They are great. I also use the command strips on the countertop to secure the coffee pot and some small art items. No sliding”
Teachers putty. This is that sticky putty teachers use to stick things up in the classroom. It works great to secure items on a shelf or countertop.
Ziplock bags. I have every size you could think of and use all of them. From organizing a junk drawer to keeping medicines and first aid items straight, they are the best.
I know all of you have great storage tips and tricks. Please share them with me. I look forward to hearing from you.
OK guys, I know some of you will think I am a little crazy, but I just bought a new RV. No, not a brand new RV. It’s a 2012 Winnebago View, but it’s new to me. After all, I am RV Nana, I would never buy new. There are too many great buys in the used market. I have loved my 2008 Roadtrek (RV NANA 2) and was not really in the market to upgrade. One day I was out on the sales lot appraising a 5th wheel as I opened the back blinds to get a little light in the RV, this View sitting there in our detail area. It was love at first sight.
I had recently gone to an RV event with my daughter and sister and the Roadtrek was just too small. We actually rented a cabin and an RV site for the 5 days to have enough room for the three of us. What’s wrong with this picture? I have loved the Roadtrek but I knew it was something for short trips and I am hoping to travel a little more this year.
The View has two slides and enough headroom to stand up and even take a shower in it. I felt like I was cheating on the Roadtrek by even looking at another RV. I guess this tells you how crazy RV Nana really is.
I was excited to make the purchase but decided to wait a couple of months to sell the Roadtrek. Now, I own two RVs. Again, what’s wrong with this picture? I had the complete demo and I was so excited. I got it home and had 24 hours of exciting, frustrating, tearful, anxious hell. A dear friend, who is also an amazing mechanic, helped me juggle all the cars home so I could start the exchange of “stuff” from one RV to the other. I had just had a brand new 30 amp outlet installed by the garage and I was eager to turn everything on and make the big move. I plugged it in and heard a loud pop. There was no electric in the RV. I immediately called the electrician and made plans for him to come out the next morning. I backed the Roadtrek in next to the View and began the transfer. Being a bit of a slow learner, I plugged the Roadtrek into the same outlet and, surprisingly, it worked great. I was puzzled. It had all worked fine at the dealership. What was I doing wrong?
Photo: Diana Leblanc
The View has a generator, but I was afraid to turn it on because none of my neighbors were in town and I was afraid of what might go wrong. I waited until m my mechanic friend came over the next morning. He was also shocked by the outlet and could not determine why I had no electricity. We started the generator and, within seconds, I smelled smoke. OMG. I was suddenly thinking I had made a huge mistake. I grabbed the fire extinguisher, he started tearing into the cabinet and we discovered that the inverter had “fried”. Not sure how or why, but it was history. All I can say now is “thank heavens for service agreements”. I am always preaching the importance of purchasing a service agreement and, of course, I had purchased one myself. There was no rhyme or reason to how or why it went out, but I am so thankful it happened in my driveway. Now, it has been replaced, I only paid $200 deductible and I am preparing g for my first adventure in the new RV NANA 2.
One small obstacle and I am now ready to start my next chapter.
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!