2013 Texas Recreational Vehicle Association; It’s Been A Trip

ppl motorhomes, trva, texas recreational vehicle dealers association, ppl motorhomesThis is a bittersweet time for RV Nana today.  As most of you know, I have served as President of the Texas Recreational Vehicle Association (TRVA) for the past two years and the grand finale was last weekend at our annual convention in Austin.  Surrounded by friends and family, I passed the gavel on to my dear friend and associate, J. T. Bowyer of Lone Star RV in Harker Heights.  TRVA has been and will continue to be an important part of my life and, thanks to my association with TRVA, I have been blessed to have developed some wonderful relationships that will last a lifetime.

All of us share one common bond, a love for the RV lifestyle.  It takes all of us in this industry, working together, to pave the way for future RV enthusiasts.

The energy at this convention was by far the best we have ever seen and it is all because of our wonderful members who have shown a real commitment to “Make it Happen.”  From donating auction items, wildly bidding on an item, playing golf, and selling and buying tickets to sharing ideas and brainstorming about the future of this industry, our members did it all. It’s an exciting time and I know that all who attended this convention headed home ready to embark on the wonderful year we have ahead of us.

A very special event for me was the Legislative reception at the Texas Capitol.  This was a great opportunity to have a close up look at the Senate Chambers and the beautiful architecture and history this grand building represents.  I was really excited to have our Texas Agricultural Commissioner, Todd Staples, stop by to visit with us and take a few pictures.  He has long been a strong supporter of the RV Industry and tourism in Texas and a great friend.

A special thanks goes out to all of you who have supported me the past few years, have been there for me through good times and bad, and who have shared stories, laughter, tears, and hugs and helped make this a very special chapter in my life.  As many of you may know, I lost my biggest fan and strongest supporter in June when my husband, Mike, passed away.  I could have resigned my position at that time, but I chose to follow the dream he had for me, for us.  My TRVA family was there for me and is always there for me and I want to thank all of them for the support and for the honor of allowing me to serve as TRVA President the past two years.

RV Snowbirds, take your motorhome to the desert, really!

Whenever fellow RVers come into PPL Motorhomes to talk about their winter trips, Florida is always a topic of conversation. While Florida is a fabulous destination (we still have our favorite spots)we hear things like: “It’s too crowded. It’s loud. Florida? Isn’t it getting dangerous?” Of course, we get many more positive comments, but that got me to thinking…Why not travel to the southwest? Specifically a Southwestern desert destination!

Basically, if you can’t take the humidity, don’t like the crowds flocking to Disney World, are not a fan of lush foliage and winter rain storms that are common to Florida, try the Mojave and Sonora Deserts in Southeastern California and Southwestern Arizona. No I’m not kidding! I did a little research and came across a good article on Southwestern Desert RVing on blog.rv.net. It sums up the experience much better than this tired old brain could : )

Here’s the rub, RVers head south to the deserts mainly to leave behind the frigid and wet northern winters. Days in most of the low desert destinations will warm to the mid-50s even on the coolest days, while most of the winter rising into the middle and upper 60s and even warmer on both ends of winter. You will experience a few cold days with a cold wind and blowing dust, and snow sometimes will appear on the highest ridges.

But winter rains are generally light, soaking into the soil rather than running off, and don’t last long. Otherwise the deserts might have some of that lush foliage common to Central Florida. Those dangerous desert flash floods that you may have heard about happen mostly during summer thunder storms in areas with steep canyons. This is not usually a winter threat.

But another reason for heading to the deserts is that you can find just about any type of desert camping that you want on hundreds of thousands of acres of public lands. You can choose locations with lots of friendly human neighbors, or with only coyotes, jack rabbits, and turkey vultures as your neighbors.

Your boondocking options include:

• Primitive, no hookup campgrounds. Sometimes a water fill station and trash dumpsters. Dump station nearby. No other amenities, other than possibly hiking and birdwatching and enjoyment of the desert landscape.

• Designated campground, un-designated campsites. Usually a large area of  land that has been allocated for boondock camping, sometimes called a Short Term Visitor Area (STVA), with no defined campsites or other amenities. Seldom a trash dumpster. Free but usually limited to two weeks camping, then requiring changing to a location at least 25 miles away.

So there you have it, Snowbirds: options. If you are looking for another destination this year besides Florida, be adventurous and check out destinations in the Southwest. Plus, if you happen to be swinging through Houstonand check out PPL Motorhomes and , maybe even have them give your RV a good “once over” before you continue heading west!

PPL Motorhomes and one of our favorite RV artists

One of the great things about being an RVer, is that when you are on the road you run across some really interesting, creative and quite frankly, amazing folk. Since we RV so much, I love to stop along the roadside and visit fun and unusual shops and events…even junk yards occasionally. You never know what treasure you might be able to find, especially if you are crafty! I met a real “trash to treasure” artist, Kiki Neumann, a couple of years ago at a sale in Matagorda Texas and have been amazed at her fun twist on recycling.  From scrap metal license plates that are being discarded she has created everything from bird houses to dust pans and house number signs.  Her creativity never ceases to amaze me.  At PPL Motorhomes, we collect all of the old license plates from all the consigned motor homes, travel trailers and fifth wheels and donate them to her…a much better solution than destroying them.

I don’t think a day goes by that someone doesn’t comment on the cute name sign she made for me.  I have it proudly displayed with all of my other fun RV memorabilia.  Bet you look at those old license plates a little different now!!

I linked Kiki’s website here and up there to here name. Click on the link and take a look at all of her really creative ideas. I think you’ll like it.