Going Green While Going Camping

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RVers know a thing or two about getting back to nature, and whether they know it or not, many RVers are also excellent conservationists! Let’s think about it for just a moment. First of all, there is already a predisposition for most RVers to leave as small of a foot print as possible in regards to where they travel.

For example, did you know that about 95% of American water usage ends up going don the drain? Water for your average RVer is both a valuable resource and can be a liability of sorts. First off, even though you are hooked up to a fresh water source, chances are that much of that water is going to just end up in your grey or black water tanks. This just means that you need to empty them more often. You’ll see RVers not leaving the water running while doing dishes, brushing their teeth, or even when taking showers. The desire to reduce water collected by their sewage system translates into using less water over all.

Did you know that only one in four Americans recycle their plastic water bottles? They don’t decompose, and that means that they are certainly not biodegradable. In fact, all of those cases of fresh water more often than not just end up in landfills. RVers can take a different approach. Space is valuable to an RVer and having even just once case of water lying around the RV is a space waster. That’s while you’ll see many campers and RVers use refillable receptacles. If everyone in the RV has a large bottle of water and just  refill that container, well you aren’t just going to save space, you save the environment.

Here’s an interesting fact: two-thirds of Americans cannot see the night sky due to “light pollution” in their respective areas. RVers tend to turn off their lights more when not in use. Even if they have a constant energy source, often times the lights go off when they don’t need them. This might be because RVers may be more accustomed to  saving propane being used by their generators when an AC current isn’t available. Trust me, propane can get expensive and you’ll want to save on refills. By turning off excessive light usage, you’ll not only save propane, but it sure will make viewing that night sky much easier.

Trash can be an issue for everyone, not just RVers. When you go to the store you can actually cut down on the amount of garbage that is being sent to the landfills by buying some foods in bulk. Cereal for example. Why do you need a box when the product also comes in a bag? I know it’s for shipping purposes, but that last time I checked, crushed cereal tastes the same as uncrushed cereal. You know what?  Buying rice, pasta, cereal, crackers, and other snacks in bulk bins will also save you cash!

You probably do this at home, and you should do it while you are camping too. That is, provide separate waste containers in your RV for garbage and recyclables. Most, if not all campgrounds, have recycling bins. All you have to do is ask where they are. If for some reason your park or campground doesn’t have a recycling bin, simply suggest that that look into adding one. It’s not hard for our parks and campgrounds to get in on the act of helping out the environment. Especially their environment.

If you have any other suggestions, tips or hints about how to go green while you go RVing, leave them in the comments section below. Also check out PPL Motorhomes online for a multitude of Green RVing products.

How do you stay green in your RV?

Can You Afford To Go RVing

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The short answer is, “YES”! It’s talked about all of the time around here with our own PPL Motorhomes customers. RVing can actually save you big bucks on your next family vacation. If you are working with a reasonable budget, not an extreme budget mind you, you can vacation for longer, see more sights, spend more family time, have a bigger adventure, and cut some extreme costs.

Planning correctly and early means you won’t have to spend money on a hotel, or additional costs for extra food (we all know eating in is much more economical). Plus, rest stops are much more comfortable and you’ll have plenty of room for all of the kid’s stuff. Now, I know what you are thinking though, “…but fuel prices are high.” That may be true, but when compared to airline tickets, you’ll pay much less per person.

Take a look at the video below and you’ll see how a large family can take a longer trip and spend less money by going RVing.

If you need more proof, or need some extra help planning your first RV trip, or better yet, if you are looking to purchase a RV of your own so you take trips more readily, then come and see us.

RVing Is A Great Stress Reliever

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Day in and day out, most of us are still caught up in the rat race on a daily basis. Not all of us are retired and our work lives are usually at the center of a majority of our stress. Stress can affect us both physiologically and psychologically, leading to issues such as an abundance of anxiety. Stress can also affect your overall thinking processes. I’m sure we all know that stress manifests itself as physical pain as well. As much as we’d all like to get deep tissue massages every day, that’s just not practical or affordable.

So, what can you do to alleviate and deter your daily stress? Having a healthy, well-balanced diet and getting some exercise is a great start. Further, taking time periodically for yourself is a prime way to lift some of the burdens of both work and family which cause unnecessary stress. It’s no surprise that one of the most important stress relievers for me is simply going camping.

There is a natural calming effect that nature can bring if you let her. For me, going to one of our Texas State Parks is one of the best things I can think of to easily wipe away the chaos of previous weeks. I can imagine the breeze blowing away my troubles or the sound of the chirping birds taking the place of office bickering, or non-stop talking with manufacturer reps, sales and service employees, and customers. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE the latter (office bickering I can do without), but there are just times that simply filling your ears with the sounds of nature can bring a calming peace over me. It’s as if I can feel my mind, body, and soul rejuvenating.

When I go RVing, it’s as if I can breathe again, and when I return, I’m ready to pick-up where I left off, with more energy, more focus, and, most of the time, a new perspective of the complicated tasks that I partake in on a daily basis. Somehow RVing and camping remind me of the things that are important: God’s presence in nature and my family’s love and company. The stresses of work and life at that point just seem trivial.

Want to experience the greatest stress relief? Go RVing.

Dryer Sheets Do More Than Just Smell Good

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There’s something I found out today, and that thing is that dryer sheets can do almost anything! Like placing sheets around your foundation or around an RV that is being stored will keep out mice. Are your picnics plagued by ants? Dryer sheets will repel them away from your smorgasbord. They even clean soap scum off of shower doors! Really, there are a LOT of amazing things that they can help with around the house and the RV!

Check out the video below, it has some really unlikely uses for dryer sheets:

But what is one of the best thing I have found dryer sheets to do? Keep away mosquitoes, the RVer’s nemesis! Like we all know by now, dryer sheets work great to keep bugs away. Try placing sheets in every drawer of your RV to keep bugs out. But did you know that mosquitoes also HATE dryer sheets? All you need to do is  take one sheet and rub it on your skin and the mosquitoes stay away.  For added protection, tie a sheet to a belt loop and really enjoy the evening. I did this recently at a backyard BBQ and the mosquitoes ate my neighbor and not me.  Give it a try, all of us here at PPL Motorhomes do!

Exploring Texas Campgrounds

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I know that I always feature a park that I believe is worth visiting, but this time I’m taking a little different direction.  We travel a lot, we certainly can’t go everywhere, but I love the feeling that we can try. When we travel, we never leave home without our RV Travel & Camping Guide to Texas.  This is a free, four-color glossy magazine that lists more than 350 campgrounds and RV resorts in Texas and surrounding states. I can tell you right now, that this publication is worth its weight in gold.

The 2013 directory provides detailed descriptions on roughly two thirds of the private parks in Texas. It’s broken up into seven regions of Texas with locator maps, complete services and amenities, as well as driving directions, a miniature locator map, and even panoramic photos showing off what campers can experience. The directory also features a Texas Saver Card, which provides 10% to 15% discounts; needless to say, I have used this card many times.

If you don’t want to carry around the guide, you can easily view this 150 page guide online by visiting www.texascampgrounds.com.  Ah, the power of the internet. Looking for that next perfect spot?  Click here and you can easily search new destinations. Really, go ahead and check it out. You may discover, as we have, that this is a great way to find new adventures.

If you have any Texas destination suggestions of your own, don’t hesitate to leave it in the comments section. Likewise, if you are looking for first hand suggestions, feel free to call PPL Motorhomes and ask for me, RV Nana.

Delicious RV Grilled Chicken

When going RVing, we all know the thing that you are most looking forward to is FOOD! We love to eat while on the road. It makes you feel even more relaxed and comfortable, and it seems that a lot of family events are planned around food. We’re no exception! Our family seems to eat more chicken than you could ever imagine and this is my easy twist on grilled chicken. Try it for yourself!

 

1 package boneless, skinless chicken thighs (you can use breast, but thighs are juicier)

1 package peppered bacon

1 jalapeno pepper (seeded and cut into strips)

1 sweet onion (cut into wedges)

Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder or your favorite Grilling seasoning

 

Wash and pat dry the chicken.  Sprinkle with your favorite seasoning. Place a sliver of jalapeno and as much onion as you like on the chicken and fold it over like a tortilla.  Wrap the pepper bacon around the chicken and secure with a toothpick.  Grill for about 30 minutes turning as needed.  My family loves this served with seasoned rice and a salad. I have also cooked this in the oven at 375 and it turns out great, too!

Everyone here at PPL Motorhomes loves to cook, and sharing recipes with each other is always fun. If you have any recipes you’d like to share, leave them in the comments section below, or on our Facebook page.

Buying A Consignment RV Is A Wise Choice

It’s inevitable. There will come a day when either you’ve physically, or mentally outgrown your RV. Even though you may have been through think and thin together and shared good times and bad, the day will come that you are going to want to get a new RV. Or, maybe this is your very first RV and you know next to nothing about the RV lifestyle other than what you may have read about, or learn from family or friends.

I guess a good question to ask yourself is do you actually have to buy “new”? Absolutely not! In fact, when you purchase an RV on consignment, you can, quite literally, get more RV for your money. Buying a pre-owned RV really makes quite a bit of sense. We see growing families (and couples) trading in their first RVs, which are generally pop-ups and small travel trailers, for Class Cs and in many cases larger Class A motorhomes. We see first time RVers thinking about their RVing future and opting to buy larger rigs knowing that they will have them for a long period of time.

One of the true benefits about hopping consignment RVs is that it has put once previously out of reach RVs into the budgets of both new RVers and seasoned vets as well. Further, an RV that has been put on consignment, like the ones at PPL Motorhomes, are in pristine shape both inside and out. We only stock the finest RV on our lot for consignment. That’s simply because your RVing lifestyle, whether you are new to it or not, it extraordinarily important to us. We are all RVers ourselves, so we understand the concerns for RVers of all levels.

The bottom line is that if you are considering your first RV, or your fifth RV, I really recommend that you check out your consignment options first. You’ll be pleasantly surprised with the options available to you and how you can, quite literally, get more RV for less money.

If you have any questions about how to consign your RV, or how to purchase a consignment RV, don’t hesitate to give us a call. We’d be happy to explain the further benefits of owning a consignment RV.

Newsletter August 2013

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My First RV Trip

This was sent to me by a reader and fan of this blog. Apparently he’s been around the RV lifestyle for a while with friends, some family and even as an element of his job; however, he never had the opportunity to actually take a trip for himself. Here is his open letter to me.

Dear RV Nana,

Let me first say, I LOVE YOUR BLOG! You might find my story interesting, or at the very least moderately entertaining. I’m 40 years old and have worked on the marketing side of the RV Industry for 14 years. That’s not the interesting part, up until now I have never taken a single trip in an RV of any kind. It’s hard to believe, and I know what some of your readers may be thinking; “How could you sell an RV if you’ve never spent time in one? Well, the only thing I can say to that is, through my clients direction, manufacturer education and RVer’s stories, I consider myself as knowledgeable as the next RVer, at least in theory, but not in practicum.

However, I’m excited to report that I have now joined the ranks of the RVing public. My family and myself decided to take the opportunity, on a recent trip to Colorado, to rent a consignment RV and have our hand at RVing. I can say with utmost certainty that I THOUGHT I knew what RVing was like, but it wasn’t until we spent just a little time in our rented unit did we realize how an RVing was such an incredible way of traveling. I’ve written about the basics of RVing for years, such as actual savings when compared to other forms of travel and lodging. The comfort level was extraordinary and it truly felt like a “home away from home”.

One of the main reasons we decided to rent a RV as opposed to a large SUV or van really was because of your blogs. You make RVing sound like such a great adventure and suitable for everyone! So far, you’ve been right. That just reinforced everything I already knew, but never thought to put into practice. There is no doubt that we will be looking into getting our own RV very, very soon.

Thanks for all of your effort and championing the RV lifestyle! If you see fit, feel free to share my story with others so they know that there are different options out there when it comes to travel. RV rental really is one of them.

Sincerely,

Dave

Well, there you have it, a long time reader, but first time RVer…or something like that. You are certainly welcome, Dave! I’m glad to have played a minor role in your decision to try out RV travel. I’m even more happy that you are now considering an RV of your own!

If you are like, Dave and think it’s time for an RV, don’t hesitate to call PPL Motorhomes. I’m sure we have the right RV for you and your budget.

Staying The Night In Wal-Mart Parking Lots

One of the nice things about RVing is the ability to take a break from driving for the evening and spend the night in many of the nation’s Wal-Mart store parking lots. In fact, there are many Wal-Mart lots across the United States that are actually destinations for many RVers. The good news is that most Wal-Marts openly welcome RVers for an evening’s stay. That’s good news for the weary traveler. However it’s a very good idea to check with the store management before you just assume that it’s OK to camp.

Generally there are specified area’s specifically for RVers who are staying the evening. Keep in mind that you don’t want to stay more than one night. You have to remember, that the Wal-Mart stores that allow you to stay are doing so as a courtesy and not as a substitute for staying at a legitimate RV park, or campsite.

There are even publications available that can tell you whether or not a Wal-Mart Parking lot is RV friendly.

Another good reason to check with store management before you just assume it is OK to part your RV in a parking lot for a night is that there may actually be city ordinances against camping in parking lots. It doesn’t take much to call ahead and check first. It could certainly save you an embarrassing conversation with either the store management or even the police department.

That being said, Wal-Mart parking lots, among others, can be a great lay over station as you progress to your intended destination. Just make sure you check before you assume that it is permissible to stay the night.