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.

A Smart Dryer Is Something Every RVer Needs

One of the things that always seemed to be a hassle when we went on our summer RV trips was dealing with wet bathing suits and towels. I don’t know how many times, after a pleasant day on the beach, river or at the park pool, that I had to shout at the grandkids (and my husband) to NOT throw their wet towels and bathing suits on the floor in our RV. But sometimes, finding an appropriate place to hang them to dry isn’t that easy and I’d rather they not use the dryer all of the time for conservation reasons.

Then I found: Smart Dryer. It was the answer to all of my water soaked prayers. The Smart Dryer is perfect for drying towels, swimsuits and more.  It’s practicable, function, lightweight and easy to install on your ladder. Equipping your RV with a Smart Dryer means you will no longer have your towels and swim gear hanging form lawn chairs, truck tailgates or ladders. The Smart Dryer is made of stainless steel, so that means it’s both strong and rust resistant. I also folds into itself, so it won’t take much space in your RV, which we all know is extremely valuable.

I was looking online and found this great video.

I wish I had known about this years ago.  It will come in handy for our annual Fathers Day river outing on the San Marcos river. You can get your own Smart Dryer online at PPL Motorhomes. Trust me, if you send any amount of time in the water this summer, this drying rack is goring to help stop a lot of headaches and keep a lot of carpets in your RV dry.

Can You Spot The Warning Signs Of A Stroke

I know this is a little bit of a departure from writing blogs about consignment RVs and RV parts and accessories, but I received an email recently that got me thinking. Would I know the signs of a stroke if someone I was camping with was having one? I know what I’ve heard, but at that moment I realized that I didn’t know all of the signs.

The fact is that the symptoms of a stroke can be variable. Meaning, they aren’t universally the same in every instance. You may have a variety of symptoms, or you may only have one. The biggest thing to remember is that time is essential. Check out the video below for a few things to look for when it comes to recognizing symptoms of a stroke.

There are a number of different ways to identify when a person is having a stroke. It doesn’t have to be that they just have a headache, or that they lose coordination, it could be a number of things. Remember this acronym: S. T. R.

S: *Ask the individual to SMILE.

T: *Ask the person to TALK and SPEAK A SIMPLE SENTENCE (Coherently)
(i.e. Chicken Soup)

R: *Ask him or her to RAISE BOTH ARMS.

If he, or she has trouble with ANY ONE of these tasks, call emergency number immediately and describe the symptoms to the dispatcher.

The one symptom that I just found out and didn’t really know about was the tongue test. Ask the person to ‘stick’ out his tongue. If the tongue is ‘crooked’, if it goes to one side or the other that is also an indication of a stroke. That was something that I wasn’t aware of.

So, as you are traveling from park to park this year, always be prepared to recognize and react when it comes to emergency care. Lot’s of times I don’t think we really think about our health while on vacation. You never can tell when something as serious a stroke may occur. It doesn’t matter if you are at home, work or out RVing, a mini, or major stroke can happen without much warning.

Just another friendly reminder and lesson from RV Nana and PPL Motorhomes.

Oh Boy, The Poison Ivy Is Back

OH, BOY, Poison Ivy is back! That 3 leafed terror of nature and destroyer of vacation fun is starting to rear it’s ugly head once again. What should you look for in order to avoid coming in contact with this pesky foliage and what do you do if you do happen to brush up against some while exploring your outdoor wonderland?

First, know what to look for:

Here’s another picture: Note the 3 leaves

What does a poison ivy rash look like and how does it feel? Well, it feels like a constant burning and desire to scratch. Avoid scratching, you can actually spread the oils over other parts of your skin and infect other areas. Also, if you think you’ve come in contact with poison ivy, you should wash the infected area with oil cutting soap, like a dish washing liquid within 10 minutes of contact. Obviously you need to wash your clothes immediately. Animals can carry the oils on their fur too, so if you and your pooch went for a walk out in the woods, just know that they could have picked up some oil on their fur that can be transferred to you as well.

This is what a poison ivy rash looks like:

Looks pretty nasty, huh? You can actually see where the vine made contact. This looks extremely painful. If you are allergic and have had bouts with poison ivy, than you already know this to be true. That actually leads me to an interesting side note, not everyone will feel the effects of poison ivy, you actually have to be allergic to it to respond with blistering. Now keep in mind, if you aren’t allergic now, you can actually develop the allergy in the future, so your best bet is to just avoid the plant altogether.

Here’s a great video on what to look for and how you can help relieve some of the discomfort. Any local pharmacy will have any number of creams you can apply to help with the itching.

Sometimes we are having so much fun out doors in our RVs and camping that we forget that Mother Nature isn’t always nice. There are a variety of plants and animals out there whose defensive mechanisms can be very painful, if not down right dangerous when encountered. A very sever reaction to poison ivy can actually land you in the hospital, so be careful out there.

However, don’t let that keep you from going RVing and enjoying the outdoors. You know as well as I do that there isn’t anything like having the freedom to go anywhere you want, anytime you want in your new, or RV. Give PPL Motorhomes a call when you are ready to tackle the RV lifestyle and come and take a look at some of the fantastic consignment RVs we have to help you hit the road this Spring and Summer.

Essential Apps That Are Perfect For RVing

With the seeming hyperspeed of technological progress these day, our smart phone and tablets can be sources of essential information, excellent education and hours of entertainment. I absolutely love my iPad and use it daily for communication, writing some of these blogs and entertainment, of course. At PPL Motorhomes, we hear about new apps all of the time that our customers could probably really put to good use. Whether it’s for travel, information or education, a good ap for your smart phone can make a huge difference on some of our trips.

I did some very brief research and was looking for a list of a few apps that would be good to have while taking an RV trip, out exploring nature or educating you on things you may have never really looked into. These are just a few I found that were suggested by Texas Parks And Wildlife Magazine and thought you might be interested in them as well.

Field Guides

iBird Pro ($19.99-$29.99) – It’s available for both the iPhone and the Android. Now if you are into bird watching, of which I’m starting to appreciate more. This is a good one to look into. There are a lot of very nice apps out there, but the iBird Pro has a really nice user interface and great content with detailed  information, paintings, photographs and several “song” variations for 926 North American birds. It also has a pretty elaborate search function for finding birds by various marks.

Audubon Apps ($5-$20+) Also available for iPhone and Android, Audubon makes many nature apps, including ones for birds, mammals, butterflies, insects, spiders, reptiles, amphibians, trees, mushrooms, wildflowers and fish. This one is probably the most comprehensive one I’ve found, but the user interface takes a little getting adjusted to, but this is still one of the best guides available.

Maps & Navigation

MotionX GPS (iPhone- 99¢) First of all you can’t beat the price! This is an excellent GPS and navigation app and is loaded with features. The user interface is beautiful and allows for downloading various maps that you can use when you are outside of cell range. Basically, you won’t have to rely on your “bar” count and can make it in and out of the most remote locations in the country.

GPS Essentials (Android-FREE) Nothing beats FREE though. This is a great app and I found that it has a lot of the same features as the MotionX GPS.

GeographTX (iPhone- $4.99) The cool thing about his app is it’s uniqueness  in it’s ability of displaying dozens of different map layers like vegetation, geology, hydrology, terrain, public lands, land use and more.

Maplets (iPhone-$2.99) This one enables users to download official park and recreation maps for thousands of sites across the country.

Topo Maps (iPhone-$7.99) Provides downloadable, GPS enables, topographical maps for the entire U.S. This one is extremely handy for traveling in remote areas for cellular connections.


Star Walk (iPhone- $2.99) One of the great things about getting out of the city in your RV is the ability to actually see some starts! Well, now you can put a planetarium in your pocket. This app uses a compass and an accelerometer so that your view is always properly aligned with the stars you’re seeing. It’s and incredible tool for learning constellations, planets and stars.

[Source: Texas Parks and Wildlife]

Whether you are a a veteran RVer, or just bought your first consignment RV, use the modern tools at hand like your smartphones or tablet to really take your RVing experiences and adventures to another level. If you have any questions or additional suggestions on how we can use technology to make RVing more enjoyable, don’t hesitate to call PPL Motorhomes in Houston, or New Braunfels and share your favorite apps.

PPL Has A Great March Selling The RV Lifestyle

What a great March we’ve had! I was fortunate to have worked both at our Houston and New Braunfels locations during Spring Break this past week and was overjoyed to meet so many of our PPL and RV Nana friends! Like all of us, I spend more time than I’d like to each week doing paperwork, but this past week was truly exciting. I absolutely love it when I have the opportunity to chat with customers. I truly enjoy listening to their plans and experiences and talking about the RV lifestyle.

I been seeing a really interesting in the upturn of families making their first RV purchases. It’s really nice to see more people than ever visiting PPL, doing their research, comparing floorplans and features, shopping and preparing to be a part of this growing lifestyle. From young families, to retired couples and everything in between, they are planning to make RVing a part of their life. There’s nothing that makes me more happy than seeing that. So, whether you’re an experienced RVer, or a first time shopper, please stop by, say hello and enjoy our hassle-free shopping experience.

If you are already an RV owner and you are looking to trade in and trade up, you’ll be happy to know that RV sales have been great at PPL Motorhomes. We currently have over 450 motorhomes, travel trailers and fifth-wheels between our two locations to choose from. Those terrific sales mean we need YOUR RV to sell! So, if you are in the market for a new rig, bring us what you have and let us put it on consignment for you. Right now is absolutely the beast time to sell! Come in and see what we can do for you!


Spring Is The Time To Sell Your RV

There comes a time in every RVer’s life when they  decide that it’s time for a change. Time to start shopping for a new RV. Spring is usually the time many RVers choose to start the process of looking for a new rig. They could be looking for something that is bigger, with more luxury. Or, they could be downsizing for a myriad of reasons as well. They look for new, but will certainly exhaust the used market as well looking for the RV deal of the year. If you are considering selling your RV, Spring is usually the best time to do it. That being said, it always make me wonder why many RVers choose to trade their RV in at a dealership as opposed to putting it on consignment. Not that trading in your RV is bad, but you could lose massive amounts of money, as opposed to putting that RV on consignment.

Think of it this way. Sure you can trade in your current RV and, in many cases, get less than half of what your RV is currently worth to put towards a new RV. But, wouldn’t you want to get the most money you can for your used RV? Of course you do! Well, consider putting your RV on consignment. Let me put it to you this way, PPL Motorhomes has sold 247 RVs in the last 45 days. You read that right: 247 in 45 days. Why couldn’t that be your RV? Oh, that’s right, because you were going to put it towards your trade. Maybe our video below will convince you to put your RV on consignment with PPL Motorhomes.

The bottom line is that we generally have more RV buyers than we have RVs to sell and that means your RV will sell faster and you will get more money for it! Anyway you cut it, you simply can’t beat 2,500 to 3,500 potential buyers per month. It’s really hard to get that kind of exposure if you are attempting to sell your RV on your own.

We have over 45 years in the consignment RV market which easily places PPL Motorhomes at the top of the list for both potential customers as well as those looking to put their RV on consignment. If you have any questions on either putting your RV on consignment, or purchasing a consignment RV, don’t hesitate to call either of our two locations: PPL Motorhomes in Houston & PPL Motorhomes in New Braunfels.

Gain Additional Outside Covering With An Awning For Your RV

As Spring sets upon us, and with Summer not too far away, the need for a little more protection from rains and creepy crawlies is increasing with every RV trip. Being outside is a huge part of RVing for us, as it is for every RVer, and we’d like to spend as much time enjoying the weather (good, or bad) as we can. We don’t travel thousands of miles a year to be cooped up in our travel trailer because it’s sprinkling out, or because the mosquitoes are thirsty. Of course, having an awning on your RV is a great way to keep the Summer Sun from beating down on your head, but it does little to protect you from bugs and moderate rains. So, how can you get the most from Mother Nature without sacrificing your comfort?

What you need is an RV screen room like the Carefree Vacation’r! Not only will you be able to protect yourself from rain and bugs, but you also just increased your living space substantially, as well as your level of privacy! Now, I know what some of you may be thinking, “Awww…one more thing to set up?”. Don’t fret, as you will see in the video below, set-up is fast and easy and takes about 10 min. The Carefree Vacation’r Screen Room is one simple piece that can be easily set up by just one person. Further, the Carefree Vacation’r has no poles, rafters or permanent fasteners to attach to your RV. When you are ready to vacate the park, you simply detach the screen room, fold it, roll it and pack it away.


Check out the specs below.

Screen Room Specifications and Options

  • Fabric: Durable, lightweight polyester (tent) material.
  • Color: Gray with dark gray trim
  • Fits Awning Canopy Extension: 8′ (standard)
  • Weight: approx. 18 – 26 lbs. depending on length.
  • Pitch Drop Settings: 2 settings to cover awning to ground measurements of 86″ – 150″,
    one for steep pitch and one for flat pitch.
    Flat setting = Awning rail to ground measurement of 86″ – 126″
    Steep setting = Awning rail to ground measurement of 110″ – 150″
  • Mounting Requirements: Vinyl Patio Awning with center arm to center arm measurements of 12′ – 21′
    Awning rail to ground measurement of 86″ – 150″
  • Sizes/Front Panel Lengths: (room may not extend the entire length of the awning fabric)
    12′ – 13′ = approx. 11′ 2″
    14′ – 15′ = approx. 13′ 2″
    16′ – 17′ = approx. 15′ 2″
    18′ – 19′ = approx. 17′ 2″
    20′ – 21′ = approx. 19′ 2″

So, there you have it. A great way to increase the usable space of your RV and campsite without compromising privacy, or protection from the elements and insects. Take it from me, once you have spent a few late evenings hanging out in your screen room, you are going to wonder why you waited so long to get one! Take a look at the Carefree Vacation’r online, or swing by either of our two Texas locations, PPL Motorhomes of Houston, or PPL Motorhomes of New Braunfels and check it out in person. We know you are going to love to have one of your own!