It’s Time To Think About Winterizing

9620PPLWinterizationEBlast

There is no better time than the present to winterize your RV. If you are new to RVing and this is your first winter not using your RV, you’ll want to develop your good winterizing habits now. So, if you aren’t using your RV, and aren’t storing your unit in temperature regulated storage, you’re going want to read the rest of this article.

For those of you who have never done this before, don’t worry, it might be intimidating, but it’s not a terribly difficult process. As for the rest of you, the seasoned vets, you need to pick your half-day day to get it done. I know, you’re pretty busy, but you know when it gets colder, you aren’t going to want to do it. Don’t put yourself at the mercy of nature; that can lead to costly repairs.

So, where do you start?

Preparation:

  • If you have any inline water filters (don’t forget the icemaker) remove them and by-pass or drain the lines before starting.
  • Drain the fresh water holding tank.
  • Drain and flush the gray and black holding tanks. Clean the black tank with a wand.
  • Drain the water heater. CAUTION: Never drain when hot or under pressure. (Make sure electric element (if equipped) is turned off.)
  • Open all hot and cold faucets; don’t forget the toilet valve and outside shower.
  • Locate and open low point drain lines. Using the water pump will help force water out, but turn it off as soon as the system is drained.
  • Close all drains and close all faucets.
  • By-pass the water heater.

If you have an air compressor available, do the following:

  • Install a Blow-out Plug to the city water inlet.
  • Apply compressed air, keeping the pressure less than 30 lbs/sq inch.
  • Open each faucet, one valve at a time, allowing the compressed air to force the water out of the line. Don’t forget the shower, outdoor shower and toilet.
  • Remove the drain plug from the hot water tank and allow the compressed air to blow out the remaining water.
  • Reinstall drain plug.

Source: PPLMOTORHOMES.COM

…and here’s how you do it!

Procedure:

  • Starting with the closest faucet slowly open each hot and cold valve until antifreeze appears.
  • Repeat on all faucets from the closest to farthest away. Don’t forget the outside shower.
  • Replace antifreeze jug as required.
  • Flush the toilet until antifreeze appears.
  • Turn the water pump off and open a faucet to release the pressure.
  • Pour a cupful of antifreeze down each drain.
  • Pour a few cups in the toilet and flush into the holding tank.
  • Make sure all faucets are closed.
  • Consult your owner manuals for winterizing ice makers and washing machines.

Source: PPLMOTORHOMES.COM

Click on the picture at the top of the article for even more information on the winterization process.

Now, you can still go RVing after you have winterized, you just can’t use any of the facilities. So, if you do want to take the RV out for a spontaneous Winter trip, make sure you stay at camping locations that have water resources. However, if you have any questions, give PPL Motorhomes a call. We can talk you though the process, or set up an appointment to do it for you.

QUICK HIT: Pick up your RV anti-freeze before the first freeze hits!

PPL Motorhomes Cures “Couch Potato Syndrome”

It’s kids favorite time of year, Summer.  But, that doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t keep learning, nor should it mean that “couch potato syndrome” should set in. Those of us here at PPL Motorhomes who have children, or grandchildren will be taking them on road trips almost immediately after school ends. Of course, they’ll get ample time at home to play and decompress from the school year, but we won’t be letting them turn into a couch potato this summer either.  That’s why RVing is so great! It’s more affordable than your think, just take a look at all of the consignment RVs we have to offer. Plus, owning an RV is not just a home away from home for our kids and grand-kids is also a great teaching tool. It gets them outdoors so they can take a discovery hike, paddle a canoe, swim in a lake or go to the beach.  In fact, owing an RV, in my opinion, is one of the greatest gifts you can give your family. The ability to make memories with family and grow in the RV lifestyle is, in my experience, invaluable.

Now while the family in video below doesn’t have an RV, it certainly shows how much fun kids can have in the great outdoors.

The earlier kids start appreciating the outdoors, the better stewards of our State Parks they will grow to be. A child that grows up outside, rather than in front of  a TV, or a gaming console is going to be more well rounded in their appreciation of the things that are around them. Science, Math, History and Poetry can be found right outside the city limits. They’ll be amazed what they find outside.

If you are interested in starting your own RV lifestyle and getting those kids off of the couch, see PPL Motorhomes. We carry a bunch of different motorhomes, travel trailers and fifth-wheels to choose and consignment RV might be the perfect first RV for you and your family to get out and see what you’ve been missing.

RV Parks Are Great For Family Reunions

Every year, all across America families plan reunions in hopes of staying in touch with those who can sometimes be on the other side of the US. Summer is prime season for reunions too. The weather is generally nice, kids are out of school and people have been saving up their vacation time. I know all of us here at PPL Motorhomes look forward to reuniting with our family members ever summer.

What better place to hold a family reunion that at an RV Park? Generally the amenities that are provided will more than suffice for even larger reunions. Many parks across the United States have pools, activities, eating halls, picnic areas, covered pavilions and more. Not only do you have all of this at your disposal, but many RV Parks also offer packages to help you organize your family reunion. Even if you have family members who don’t own an RV, some RV Parks also have permanent lodging facilities for rent.

However, PPL Motorhomes recommends looking into renting an RV and experiencing how comfortable the lifestyle can be first hand. Who knows, maybe one of your family member will love it so much they will want to get an RV for themselves! Not to do any shameless self-promotion here, but I know a great little consignment RV center in Houston that you can recommend.

The Importance of Sleep On The Road

I guess, being RVNana and all, I feel obligated to give you youngins’ a good talking to from time to time. This is one of those times. The lesson for today is: How To Prevent Driving Your RV Sleep Deprived.

People, I’ll tell you right now. If you are tired, stop and rest. You are creating a hazardous situation for you and those you share the road with. You may not even know you are tired until you start feeling the effects of road-hypnosis. That’s when you know you’ve driven for a while, but can’t remember the last landmark you passed. That’s tired, people. You need sleep.

You can really avoid sleep-related problems while RVing by setting a comfortable schedule of driving and resting. Take the time and pace yourselves. Set aside enough time to make the trip there and back easily, otherwise save that trip for another occasion. As much as the seasoned RVers understand this, there are times when our experience can become dangerous by instilling a false sense of control. At the end of the day there aren’t any magic tricks that will keep you awake while driving. Sure, go ahead and open a window, drink a cup of coffee, or try blasting the music, but the experts will tell you that  the only thing that will help a sleepy driver is sleep. Go figure.

I’ll make this simple. Plan your trip with the goal of covering 250 miles per day at the most. 100 to 150 miles per day is better. If you must drive farther to reach your destination, plan on having at least two qualified drivers taking turns. If both drivers are exhausted, it’s time to stop and sleep. You are bringing your bed with you! What kind of fool falls asleep at the wheel with a bed in the same vehicle?

So, there you go. You’ve been scolded by RVNana. If you need to pull over, just pull over. RVing is a lot more fun when you are actually traveling and not towing your rig out of a ditch, or worse, because you fell asleep at the wheel.

PPL Motorhomes and What it Means to be an RVer

Recently, I’ve been thinking about what it means to be an RVer. I mean, what does it really mean? What do non-RVers think about RVing? Sometimes I think that many people may think of RVing as committing long durations of time traveling, or being on the road uncomfortably long. Most of these people actually aren’t RVers at all. I think of these people really as just travelers trying to get from point A to point B. They get in their cars and drive to their destination and continue going about their business. The trip itself is just a necessary evil. The non-RVer sees the driving part as “the boring part of this trip that must be endured”. I can see how a traveler would be disgruntled with the trip, squashed into a single position for long durations of time in a tiny car or even an SUV. It’s just not a great time. This is just simply not the case for us RVers.

In a motorhome, being on the road is different. It’s relaxing and comfortable. You can enjoy the scenery without readjusting your position because your leg has fallen asleep. You can freely move around and stretch is different areas of your RV. You can eat, and stretch out or take a nap. It’s like you never left the house. Remember the aforementioned “travelers” just wanting the get from Point A to Point B? Well, for RVers, that can be one of the most exciting times of the trip.

RVing gives you the freedom to go anywhere and do anything you want. You can have all of the comforts of home. You can spend the rest of your life in and RV, or you can spend a weekend. There are many different reasons why people buy new or used RV, but there is one universal reason: Freedom. Regardless if it’s just for the weekend or you are like these people.

If you are ready to take that step and experience the wonderful RV lifestyle and stop just “traveling” and start “exploring”, call RV Nana at PPL Motorhomes.

One Year Anniversary Of PPL Motorhomes New Braunfels

Hello, RV Nana readers! I wanted to write a quick post to tell everyone that, “It’s time to celebrate”! This month marks the 1 year anniversary of the opening of our fantastic PPL Motorhomes location in New Braunfels. This location is a popular destination for all Central Texas RVers. If you are an RVer, and you are looking for just about anything in the RV world, well, there’s a really good chance you’ll find it at PPL Motorhomes.

The great thing is that with our PPL Motorhomes location in New Braunfels, our Central Texas customers now have more accessibility in regards to buying a new RV, putting their RV on consignment and shopping 10’s of thousands of RV parts and accessories. If you haven’t been to the new location, and you live in the area, I think you will really like what you’ll find!

Finally, Happy One Year Anniversary to all of our friends, co-workers and customers at PPL Motorhomes in New Braunfels TX! Now, who has the cake?

 

Where Did The Name “RV Nana” Come From?

The RV lifestyle is so much fun and I love the opportunity I have to meet so many people from all over the country and the world. I got the title RV Nana during a brainstorming session here at PPL Motor Homes when we were trying to come up with a name for the blog I was writing. I’ve been with PPL for over 30 years and my husband and I love RVing. I guess you could say it’s in our blood. We also have 7 wonderful grandchildren and they all call me Nana, so we put the best of my worlds together. Thus, the RV Nana blog, license plate and helpful hints began.

On a recent visit to the All Valley RV show in Mercedes, Texas we had an opportunity to talk to so many “Winter Texans” who shared their travel experiences with men, telling me all about their annual trek down south. I talked to one couple who have been coming down there for over 25 years and, at age 92, he is still making that drive down from Wisconsin. That’s amazing.

It seems everyone comes down to South Texas in November and ventures back up north before Easter or income tax day, whichever date comes first. What a wonderful way to spend retirement and stay warm and, from what I’ve seen, the RV parks and resorts in the Rio Grande Valley offer everything a retired couple could dream of.

Living in an RV for five or six months at a time presents a different set of needs and challenges than what we have experienced in our shorter RV adventures. From how to pack for all possible weather to how not to accumulate too much stuff, these Winter Texans have shared so many ideas with me. In our seminars and on my blog I spend time writing about helpful hints, product reviews and travel ideas, but I feel like I am preaching to the choir when I try to share these ideas with such seasoned travelers.

I’d like to thank all of you who visit my blog, and if you’re traveling back up north, stop by and see me at PPL Motor Homes in Houston or you can catch me some days at our newest location in New Braunfels. Who knows, you may decide to sell or trade your RV before returning home. The coffee pot is always on and I would love to chat with you about your Texas adventures.

Houston, Stay In Shape While Enjoying Your New RV

Keeping up with healthy habits while traveling in your PPL Motorhome can be difficult.  Being on the road doesn’t mean you have to abandon your healthy eating habits and fitness routines. In fact, keeping fit during travels can be relatively simple with a little planning.  A few compact and convenient pieces of equipment can do wonders. No excuses though if you don’t want to add clutter to your already tight quarters, body-weight exercises can be done at anytime and anywhere. They are not time consuming, and above all, are effective.

Now, before you even do a single push up, you have to set a goal. Not a lofty goal like losing 100 lbs by summer, but something attainable, like fitting into last year’s pants by May. It’s important that you set short-term, attainable goals prior to starting any exercise routine. Oh, and check with your doctor too before starting any exercise program or diet plan, you could probably use a check-up anyway.

So,  is one tried and true way of staying in shape? Cardio. Jumping rope,  jumping jacks, jogging or brisk walks, swimming, hiking, bike riding, Yoga or Tai Chi, perhaps even renting a pedal boat are just a few ways to raise the heart rate and keep the energy flowing when you’re not traveling in your RV. Be adventurous and creative in your search for the right exercises. Moving around is much better than not doing anything, and you’d be surprised at how many calories you can burn while enjoying yourself.

Also, strengthening your core abdominal muscles can have a very positive effect on the rest of your body. Abdominal exercises can be done almost anywhere without any equipment at all. Rather than doing traditional and reverse crunches which can strain your neck and back, instead, try doing bicycle crunches or vertical leg raises. These options have been proven to be more effective without risking injury.

There is no shortage of lower body exercises that require no equipment whatsoever. To keep your blood pumping and muscles toned try squats and lunges. This also increases leg strength and stamina. Tuck jumps, squat jumps, and side jumps can be done with or without props and use  many muscles of the body to get your heart rate going. These are great ways to gain power and keep stubborn fat away.

Just be creative in your fitness endeavors. You don’t have to do the same workout day in and day out to be healthy. Find unique and fun ways to get your heart rate up. Of course, any fitness you do will be in vain if you do not pair it with healthy eating and sleeping habits. Don’t deprive yourself of the local fare, but do not overindulge yourself either. Keep your new or used RV in Houston stocked with quick, healthy snacks in single servings so that you are not tempted to buy fast food while on the road. And make sure you are getting adequate sleep. Remember to make sure you stop every couple hours to give yourself some fresh air, stretch sore muscles, and get your blood pumping on those days dedicated strictly to traveling.

What exercises do you do on the road?

RV Clutter: How to Keep It Down

It’s really easy for an RV to start collecting clutter during an outing. Before you know it, without staying on top of things, you are going to end up with an uncomfortable and cluttered RV. A cluttered RV can drive any person mad and make you feel very unorganized.  Take back control of your RV!  You will find some simple way to help you de-clutter below….
1. Multiple Use Items – when you do buy new things for the RV make a rule that it must do more than just one thing
2. Go Paperless- Pay your bills online and/or any banking as much as you can this will allow you to minimize your paper clutter
3. Collapse-able Items – Try to get items that are easy to disassemble it will make it easier for storage
4. Use the One In/One Out rule. The concept is to dispose of one thing once something new is brought into the RV. Things add up very easily and this will also add to the weight which you must be mindful of.5. Utilize your outside storage more efficiently.  Use plastic bins with lids to keep your items safe.
6. Use decorative leather baskets and containers to keep remotes, cameras, glasses, pens, etc. in. This will make it more convenient to access items and them away while traveling.
7.  Quarterly Cleaning – This will make it easy to access and put away highly used items as well as secure them while traveling! We recommend decluttering and cleaning out the RV four times a year, or just twice a year if not a full-time RVer.   When cleaning create piles of items that you haven’t used in the last 3 months and donate them. I know this can be hard, but more than likely if you haven’t used the stuff in past three months, then you won’t miss it. Further, if you are looking to put your RV on consignment any time soon, you are going to want to keep your RV as clean as possible.

There are a lot of ways to reduce clutter and to stay organized so please share with us what you do!

Take Your Next RV Vacation to Albuquerque,New Mexico!

Albuquerque has so many great places to visit and fun things to do. Of course, the International Balloon Fiesta in October is a magnificent experience. Plus, there are Casinos surrounding the area and Santa Fe is just an hour away. But, if that is not enough, here are 5 more things to experience while you are in the area.

#1. Take the Sandia Peak Tramway (the longest tramway in North America).

The Sandia Mountians and beautiful New Mexico sky!

It will take you all the way to the top where you can have lunch or dinner. You will enjoy majestic views of the mountains and the city. For a real experience you can take your bikes up the tram and ride the trails down, or hike down to the bottom.

 

#2. Visit the Petroglyph National Monument, where you can see over 700 Petroglyphys created by Native Americans and Spanish settlers dating back 400-700 years. There are several hiking trails where you can see, touch and marvel over the Petroglyphs, great places to picnic and plenty of RV parking.

 

 

 

#3. Visit the Village of Corrales New Mexico. You can’t really call it a suburb of Albuquerque, as  prehistoric sites indicate the Corrales Valley has been occupied  since as early as 500 A.D, but it is very close snuggled in between Albuquerque and Rio Rancho. Every Sunday morning in the Summer the Corrales Growers Market offers fruits, vegetables, herbs and much more from farmers in the area. Be sure to get a Breakfast Burrito with authentic New Mexico red or green chile!

#4. Take a trip through the Jemez Mountains – about an hours drive from Albuquerque. A combination of red rock formations and beautiful mountain vistas provide some of the most spectacular scenery in the Southwest. Spots along the way provide a cultural and educational experience as well!  Be sure to stop at one of the stands where Native American Indians  serve up a variety of New Mexico specialties. (The Indian Fry Bread is awesome!)

And while in that area be sure to visit the Ponderosa Valley Winery, where you will find a wide selection  of wines all made with 100% New Mexico grapes.

 

 

 

 

Take a tour and of course partake in a wine tasting.

They will really make you feel at home!

 

 

#5. Visit the Albuquerque Zoo, the Botanical Gardens and the Aquarium. They are all located close together in the downtown area. Walk from one location to another, or there is a train that can transport you. After a full day, have dinner at one of the many restaurants located close by on Central Avenue – part of the original Route 66!

You will find a abundance of RV campgrounds in the Albuquerque area as well as the Sandia and Jemez Mountians.

From all of us at  PPL Motorhomes , we hope you have a safe trip and enjoy all that the Albuquerque area has to offer!