I get asked this question all of the time: “What’s the best way to stabilize my fifth-wheel before unhooking at a campsite?” The importance of having a properly balanced RV is critical for safety and necessary for comfort. Aside from an unbalanced fifth-wheel being dangerous, your really don’t want to navigate through or camp in an RV that is listing to one side, or the other. For some RVers, getting an accurate level and balance isn’t much of a problem and for others it’s a total nightmare.
I think back to how many times we had to balance our Fifth-Wheel on less-than-level camping locations. As I mentioned, the last thing you want is your rig slanting, or on a tilt. Now one of the great things about working at PPL Motorhomes is that I am privy to seeing and testing RV gear and gadgets of all kinds, and in this case, Fifth Wheel Stabilizer Jacks from BAL were a life saver.
Now this was a few years ago and I’ve since traded our fifth-wheel for a Class B (RV Nana 2), but I can say, without reservation that BAL stabilizer jacks made my life so much easier. The BAL stabilizer jack is an amazing product. It’s a tripod stabilizer that provides full side to side frame overhang stability and really helps maximize front to rear trailer stability.
The best part about using a stabilizer jack like the BAL is that you eliminate all of the trial and error associated with lowering the king pin onto a tripod stabilizing jack to achieve stabilization. Plus, it’s really simple to operate with the extendable jack screw for final adjustment. The jack screw handles fold down to use and fold up when not in use or for storage.
If you have a fifth-wheel, and are tired of the guessing game when it comes to balancing and leveling, you really should look into getting one of your own. PPL Motorhomes is an authorized dealer for BAL and can supply most of the products made by BAL, so if you have any question, do hesitate to call us. Keep your trailer balanced with PPL and BAL.
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.
The awning, is it the greatest RV accessory ever? I’ll tell you that it’s at least in the top three. Here’s why I think that. Now when it’s Summer here in Texas, well it’s just dumb not to have some way to manufacture shade. But what about now? It’s no secret, I love Autumn and here we are just rolling into the Fall season Leaves are changing colors and a cool light wind are blowing. There is simple nothing like sitting out underneath our RV awning as if on Nature’s stage enjoying milder weather. Plus, any time you can knock out direct sunlight, even during the cool months, you are going to have a much more pleasant time by keeping your RV even cooler by keeping direct sunlight out of it.
With that being said, I have seen so many RVs out on the road recently that have holes, tears and pieces missing from it. I don’t know, maybe they are thinking, “Meh, it’s getting cooler out, I probably don’t need it.” Or, “I’ll change it when the Summer RV season is here”. Well, then guess what happens? They forget and are without a good awning for their first trip of summer.
I make sure to take good care of mine, simply for the fact that here in Texas, you want that shady spot, What I do is, before I head out for a vacation, I unroll my awning and wash both sides and allow it to dry totally before rolling it back up. Then I’ll check it for punctures and holes. Small holes can be patched using a dab of vinyl adhesive. Larger punctures and rips will likely need vinyl repair kits. Take care of it before it gets worse, and trust me, it will get worse. I also make sire to clean all of the hardware and check all of it to make sure it is all still working properly, if not, I’ll replace it.
Here’s another tip. If it’s windy outside, I’m talking 15-20mph gusts, roll it back up. Winds that strong can tear holes and rip through awning materials like a hot knife through butter. Finally, don’t let rain pool on your awning for too long. Leaving collected water on your awning for an extended period of time could bend your hardware and tear the fabric.
That’s all I got for now. I’ll bet you are wondering what the other 2 top RV accessories were. Huh? Well that’s entirely up to you. I just know that RV Nana can’t live without her awning.
There’s no doubt that RVing can result in a few backbreaking activities. One of which is actually hooking up your trailer to your towing vehicle. The cranking, the cranking, and the cranking. Oh, did I mention the cranking? The Stromberg Carlson electric tongue jack takes the back breaking work out of jacking up your travel trailer. You know…the constant re-positioning of the tongue of your travel trailer up and down, hoping to get it in line with your tow vehicle. I can’t stand that. We also use it to level our trailer after towing. All you have to do is simply push a button on the electric jack to raise and lower into position. You have total control. The electric jack features a large, long lasting, three bulb LED night light, just in case you have to hitch up in the dark.
But why read when you can watch our very own Boyde McMakin give a great demo:
This tongue jack is installed by many manufacturers on their towable trailers, it is a very popular piece of equipment in the industry. They’ve even put enough engineering forethought into designing and including a removable foot pad which prevents it from sinking into soft ground. This is a life saver.
So,if you have any questions or would like to know more about the Stromberg Carlson electric tongue jack, you know where to find us.
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. One of the things that we offer here at your consignment RV center, PPL Motorhomes are some of the best hoses in the business, including lines from RhinoFLEX.
RhinoFLEX Sewer Hoses are tough, flexible, and stays in place when you set it up. When compressed, the 10′ hose is only a 32″ long rigid pipe – easy to handle and store. When pulling it apart, it may be shaped to fit your situation, and it stays that way.
Three wraps of vinyl over steel-wire core minimizes pinholes and other leaks caused by rough scrapes and abrasions. Comes in 10′ and 15′ lengths, plus a 5′ extension with coupler. These hoses fit all standard 3″ fittings.
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!
Oh, one last thing, GLOVES! You don’t want to perform any septic work without wearing disposable latex gloves. They are inexpensive, disposable and come in really “handy”.
I’m going to go ahead and brag on myself just once. I just wanna’ say that this RV Nana ain’t to shabby with keeping up with the RV industry on both a lifestyle and the technology that goes with it. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m no pro, but I’ve been known to navigate through the social media set with satisfying results. I understand that part of the RV experience is being as prepared as possible as to ensure a stress free trip. Face it, there are certain stresses that inherently come with RVing, why not try to counter as many as possible with “gadgets” that should be mandatory for every RV trip.
Check out this excellent list of suggestions from a full time RVing family.
Don’t leave home with with out them!!!
One of the things that I personally believe about RVing is that it should be as stress-free as possible. Worry about the ozone layer. Worry about politics. Worry about world affairs. Don’t worry about whether you’ll fit under the next bridge, let your GPS do that for you. Don’t worry about sinking into the mud, you’ve got Hoss Pads for that.
It just so happens that this technically savvy RV Nana has a fantastic place to stock up on all the gadgets you need.
OK… That’s it… that’s probably the last time you’ll hear any self-accolades from me.
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!
All of us at PPL Motorhomes know that nothing makes an RV look smaller than a lot of clutter. You know, when you start accumulating “stuff”. Whether you need it or not, the more things you put in your RV the smaller it is going to feel. Interior space is already at a premium, so anything you can do to reduce the clutter will make your trip that much more enjoyable.
For example, one simple rule to live by is “One In, One Out”. If you bring an item into your RV that you expect will stick around for a while, then just scan around and pick out something that you no longer use. I’m sure you can think of a few things already.
Along the same lines, you should be cleaning out your RV regularly. If you’re a part time RVer, summer and winter are optimum times. If you are a full-timer, then you should be cleaning it out 4 times a year. Eradicate anything which may be a duplicate and donate items that you simply haven’t use during the past 3 months.
Here are a few tips from a professional organizer that will certainly help reduce clutter:
Reclaiming some space from your over-stuffed RV is one of the most rewarding feelings you can have. You’ll be shocked at how much room you’ll be able to get back. I hope this video gave you just a few ideas on how you can save a little space in your RV. If you have any tips, or hints that PPL Motorhomes & RV Nana can share with the rest of our readers, don’t hesitate to share it below in the comments section. Also, remember, if you are looking for a new RV, or looking to put your RV on consignment, give PPL Motorhomes a call.
Well we’re getting to that time of year again where the leaves will be turning brown and the the wild grasses start losing some of their moisture and that means an increased chance for wildfires. Now, I generally write about the dangers of wildfires at least twice a year, because, let’s face it, this is Texas and seeing a repeat of what happened in Bastrop a few years back scares the bejeezus out of me.
The speed at which fire can spread when it is fueled by dry conditions and wind is faster than you could actually imagine. In the case of the fire that consumed Bastrop, not only was the fire moving quickly, but it also jumped a waterway that you’d think would have been a great defense. Nope. All it takes is one ember to make it across the river and it will likely continue on its destructive path. Take a look at the video below for proof.
So what can you do? First, you MUST heed all burn warnings and out right bans. A burn ban is just a suggestion, it is law and can likely result in a significant fine. But really, the money that you will be fined is minuscule to the danger that you are putting people, property and livestock in. That burger you are about to throw on top of the grill is going to taste really awful with that side of regret you’ll be eating it with.
If there is no burn ban and you do grill out, or have a campfire you still have to be extremely careful. Please, please, please extinguish your fires when camping with a generous amount of water. If you think you’ve put enough on to flood a small village, put on more. It’s also a VERY WISE idea to keep fire extinguishers at arms reach. You really can never be too safe. Once a fire catches it will be virtually impossible to contain it. At that point you’ll need to call the fire dept. and probably your lawyer, as I suspect you are going to be met with a few lawsuits. If that isn’t enough to scare you into fire prevention, then you probably ought not to be around matches.
Get the mold out of your RV. You know that distinctive odor. The thick, choking smell of mold and mildew is one that I absolutely can not stand. It doesn’t take very long for the that wretched smell to build up in an RV that is sitting idle waiting for your next adventure. Aside from some molds being dangerously toxic, the smell alone can be enough to ruin an otherwise wonderful trip. And, if you are trying to sell your RV, forget about it. Nothing kills a good deal quicker that a bad smell. Trust me on this.
So what do you do when your RV has become a breeding ground for mold, mildew and bacteria? Since emulsifying your RV in fire isn’t an option (did I mention how much I can’t stand mold), your next best bet is to use something less damaging than fire, but equally a effective . The solution is the miracle of Kanberra Gel.
When opened, the Tea Tree oil scent becomes airborne to stop mold, mildew and bacteria naturally. Look, if it works on boats which are highly susceptible to mold growth, just think of what it can do for your RV, especially during storage. The great think about it is that a single can of Kanberra Gel lasts for up to three weeks, working 24/7 dispersing Tea Tree oil scent into the air.
So what is Tea Tree Oil and how does it work? Tea Tree Oil is known around the globe as a natural antiseptic, most commonly used topically. (An ingredient in toothpastes, mouthwashes, creams, etc.). Simple air movement across Kanberra Gel®, OR a shot of Kanberra Spray® delivers TTO at the microscopic level to attack mold, mildew, etc. It looks easy now, but it took more than a decade and multiple formulations to accomplish.
The gel, spray and wipes feature the antiseptic and antifungal properties of Tea Tree Oil (TTO) to provide protection against bacteria and viruses.
Kanberra only uses Pure Australian Tea Tree Oil certified by ATTIA, Ltd. (Australian Tea Tree Industry Association, Ltd.)
Kanberra Products were the first water-based, alcohol-free air purifiers and surface cleaners to use Pure Australian Tea Tree Oil and we continue to utilize that standard for all of our products.
Versatile Kanberra products are chemical-free and safe around kids and pets, and can be used virtually anywhere mold, mildew and odors are a problem
Use in homes, automobiles, boats, sports equipment bags and more. Source: www.kanberragel.com
If you are interested in learning more about what Kanberra Gel can do to combat the odor in your RV, give it a try and tell us what you think. I’m pretty positive that you will be pleasantly surprised by the mildew fighting action of this fantastic product for homes, boats and, of course, RVs.
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!