RV “Gadgets” That You Need

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.

Why RV Storage is a Good Idea


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!

Cut Out the Clutter in Your RV

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.

You Are the Key to Preventing Wildfires

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


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.


Go RVing and Give Your Kids a Camera

In today’s world getting kids away from video games, iPads, smartphones and a whole host of other things designed to essentially keep them sedentary is a very difficult thing to do. When we were kids if you wanted entertainment, you had to make it up yourself. You had to go outside and explore. You had to create your own adventure and that was usually done outdoors. We went outside when it was sunny, when it was cold and even when it was raining. Today there simply is no “app” that will substitute for actually going outdoors.

When I try to light a fire under my grandchildren and get them off of the computer or away from the TV, it’s usually met with disgruntled moans and groans. “Aw, Nana, can’t we just finish this game?” My answer is usually “No”. I want them to get outside and explore the things that a virtual world could never replicate. So that got me thinking. If we are in a battle with our kids to leave the technology behind, we might lose that battle. Why not bring a little technology outside with them in the form of a digital camera and win the war!

A camera is, essentially a gateway between technology and environment. I’ve heard the term “hybrid learning”, which is where technology and nature work together to create a new way of thinking. By using the digital camera, or even the camera of their phones it allows your kids to both engage with nature and “play” with the electronics and technology at the same time.

Next time you go RVing with the kids, or grandkids try getting them to explore the outdoors more by challenging them to a photo scavenger hunt. For example, make a list of things that are commonly found in a campsite, or RV park, like flowers, insects, rocks, colors, shapes, people, animals, etc…and have them take a photo of each of the “hunted” items. The the photo possibilities are endless.

Now the camera doesn’t have to be a $2,000 SLR, or anything professional. That’s obvious. A simple point and shoot with automatic focus is good enough. They can still get great pictures without having to be concerned about anything else other than taking the picture. Children will spend a good amount of time composing their pictures in order to get “just the right shot”. The time the spend looking through the viewfinder and the concentration it requires are the special moments that allow kids to experience the minute details of nature in an up-close and personal way.

After they take their pictures, you can sit down with them and help them make a scrapbook of their photos that they can then share with friends and family. Before you they know it, they will have all of their trips and adventures documented and can always revisit those memories by looking at their pictures. Don’t forget to have them put captions of “when, where and what” on them so they can always remember.

Digital photography is a great tool to get our increasingly technologically oriented kids outside to not only discover nature, but also preserve and share those discoveries with their family and friends. If your kids have taken any pictures your like to share, just head over to PPL Motorhomes Facebook page and post them! I know all of our fans would love to see the outdoors through a child’s eyes.

Always Keep Vinegar In Your RV

Photo Courtesy of Wikihow.com

Going green is sometimes hard to do when you’re in an RV. When trying to minimize costs associated with traveling out of town for the weekend or for an extended vacation, we often tend to buy the cheapest cleaners at the store and bring them along.

I’ve found a way to break that cycle and it’s cheaper than buying the expensive, so-called “green” cleaners. Vinegar is an essential supply that every RVer needs to have on-board. It’s extremely versatile and you can get a gallon of it for just a few dollars. I’m going to share with you some recipes I’ve collected over the years for cleaning solutions based with vinegar, so no more cleaning with expensive chemicals that are probably making you sick and making your wallet a little lighter.

General Cleaning Solution
50/50 mixture of alcohol & vinegar
1  teaspoon of liquid soap (Dawn, Ivory, etc..)
Distilled water to top off spray bottle

Toilet Bowl Cleaner
Start with an empty toilet bowl
add 1-3 cups of vinegar to the bowl.
Sprinkle baking soda until it fizzes.Scrub the bowl with a brush, then flush.

Window/Mirror Cleaner
Add 1/2 cup of alcohol with 1/2 cup of vinegar to a spray bottle
Use a microfiber cloth to wipe down glass and mirrors.

RV Exterior Cleaner
Add 2 tablespoons liquid soap & 1/2 cup of vinegar to 1 gallon of water

Air Freshener
Squirt straight vinegar into the air as a mist
(Add a drop or 2 of your favorite scented oils to combat the faint vinegar smell)

Microwave Cleaner
Bring a mixture of 2 cups of water and 1 cup of vinegar to a boil in the microwaveRemove and wipe down the dried food from the sides

Drain Cleaner
Pour 1/4 cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by 1 cup of vinegarLet sit overnight and flush with warm water

This is just the tip of the iceberg, as there are so many wonderful ways to use vinegar in our RV. What do you use vinegar for? Visit us on Facebook and tell us of some recipes you use to keep your RV clean.

Winegard/Dish Network Antenna

I don’t suppose I need to remind you of what happened last weekend between University of Texas and Notre Dame do I? Well for you Texas Aggie fans it was a legendarily good game!! I think it was the first time in history that a game went into overtime there at Darrell K Royal Stadium. Matter of fact it went to double overtime! The last three minutes of the fourth quarter was just unreal. Texas was in scoring position and then made a dumb penalty costing them 15 yards. I was screaming at the TV that that play was like the Houston Oilers at their worst. Ugh! But then two nail-biting overtimes later and we’re all jumping for joy because our Texas boys whooped those folks from Up North! And you know what? I was at my favorite campsite in Matagorda by the beach watching the game. Jealous?


The Dish Playmaker Portable Satellite Antenna by Wingard helped make that scenario happen. Nothing like watching HD TV in the comfort of your own RV baby! And we have them on sale until Sept 24th. If you’re the folks who enjoy a good tailgater before the game during college football season, or heck even during the pro season, then this antenna will help make all your dreams come true.

These things couple up to the Dish HD Solo receiver, and it’s full automatic. It’ll find the satellites by itself despite their orbital locations. And seeing how this thing is portable, it only weighs 10 lbs and comes with a convenient carry handle. Needless to say it’s pretty compact for what it does, which makes it perfect for storing in the RV until you need it. Tailgaters will be easy as pie in what hopefully becomes Texas’s Fall here in the coming weeks. Stars, BBQ, beers, and the game on HD. Can’t beat that! For more information click HERE

Cold Weather RVing


Daleus, Curmudgeon-at-Large, Flickr Creative Commons

This may be wishful thinking on my part, what with all the hot and humid weather we’ve been having here on the Gulf Coast, but i thought today we’d chat a bit about what to expect if you’re driving your RV in cold weather. I know you snowbirds are probably rolling your eyes at this, but we Texans politely listen to you talk about how hot it is, so please bear with us. Everybody knows that the weather here in Texas can get….unpredictable. Not only that but there are portions of our state which will be getting heavy snowfall at the same time other areas are experiencing beach weather, so here are four tips for dealing with ice and snow on the road.


Granted you’re in an RV, but don’t do anything in a hurry. Don’t accelerate quickly. Don’t stomp on the brakes quickly. Don’t feel like you need to get where ever you’re going in 5 minutes either. Slow and steady wins the race, especially on slick roads in reduced visibility.

Fill That Tank

Most vehicles have fuel tanks near the rear wheels, and if yours does as well, keep it topped off. The extra weight of the fuel in the tank presses down on the rear wheels aiding in keeping traction. You still don’t want drag race starts away from traffic lights, but you’ll have less slippage when you apply the gas than if the rear was lighter.

Rest Up!

Driving in adverse conditions requires more attention and focus than regular driving and it can wear you out. Make sure you aren’t fatigued before you start!

Pack Cold Weather Gear

Nobody plans on getting stuck, but just like you pack water when traveling through a desert..pack some blankets and cold weather gear if you’re traveling through the snow. Also make sure you phone is charged and handy in case of a break down or if you get stuck.


www.pplmotorhomes.com for all your parts and accessories

RV Lesser Known State Parks


Tom Bennet, Flickr Creative Commons

Everybody knows about Inks Lake, Garner State Park. Lost Maples when it comes to fall foliage, but Texas has some breathtaking spots off the beaten path that do not get the kind of traffic that those other “calendar page” parks receive. So today I thought we could talk about some of these other places and what they have to offer.

Hueco Tanks State Park

Hueco Tanks is a truly awe inspiring place. Located just outside El Paso, Hueco Tanks is an amazing rock formation that did one truly amazing thing…they trapped rainwater. People for millennia have traveled to these rock basins to collect the rainwater stored inside. These days you can clamber over the rocks, hike, ride you bicycle, and marvel at the more than 200 petroglyphs that have survived.

Copper Breaks State Park

Located in far north Texas within a couple hours drive from Caprock Canyon and Palo Duro, Copper Breaks State Park is home to rugged scenery, a portion of the Official Longhorn Herd of Texas as well as being an internationally designated Dark Sky Park…which means they take light pollution seriously. RVs are welcome and there are campsites aplenty!

Palmetto State Park

Palmetto is one of those places it’s kind of hard to believe are in Texas. If you hike through the park on a misty morning you’d swear you were in dinosaur country. I mean it looks ancient in there with all the ferns, the dwarf palm trees which give Palmetto its name. They have a small spring fed Ox Bow lake available for boating, fishing and kayaking, and of course there are numerous campsites.

Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge

If you’re in the Houston area, the Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge is a great place to get away from it all closer to home. Located down near Freeport and Lake Jackson, the refuge is a fairly large (44,000+ acre) allotment that is home to most of the coastal species of birds located here in Texas. Hike, camp, and wander to your heart’s content!