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.
If there is one thing I can guarantee you, it’s that you will make a memory or two while RVing. Actually, you’ll make hundreds of memories, and take thousands of pictures…or, is it make thousands of memories and take hundreds of pictures? Either way, it’s a really good idea to document them. It might be easy to just say to yourself, “Oh, I’ll remember everything we did”. You may, but that’s not really the point. The point is to be able to not just remember those moments, but to relive them as well.
How many of you keep a journal of your RVing experiences? I love sitting and writing about my days while I’m out on the road. It helps me remember the places I visit in greater detail. When I meet new people, I can easily remember their names and hometowns because I take the time to write them down and describe my experiences with them. I even write down the names of their pets. It’s not for any other reason other than, one day, I may want to go back and revisit that long trip to Yellowstone. Or, relive the last time we visited the river when we had the time of our lives.
I could write up my trips here in my blog, and sometimes I do. However, there is something really special in taking pen to paper. Watching the ink forever bleed into the fibers of my notebook, know that I took the time to personalize my travel journal. Not that starting a blog of your experiences isn’t a good idea. There is no right, or wrong way to document your RVing memories. The point is to never be struggling to remember, “where were we when we saw those Monarch butterflies”? Or, ” was it in Big Bend that we met that couple from Houston?” For some travelers these types of memories may be not that important, for others, like myself, they are paramount in my RV experience.
You never can tell, say 15 years from now, when you want to open up your journal and relive those wonderful days in your RV with just you and your significant other. It certainly is easier to keep it in a journal than extract from memory sometimes…then other times, you’ll have make memories that you’d never be able to capture on paper.
Maybe those are the memories I’m really challenging myself to have…the ones that reside in not just on paper, or your mind, but in your heart.
Being an RVer is like being a modern explorer, although we generally follow the beaten paths, we still experience new and exciting things on every trip. For me, I find that when I travel, my new experiences are necessarily in finding a new place to eat on the road, or a place to shop, or museum to visit. It’s outside. It’s walking around and exploring the parks we stay at and the forests we visit. I can spend hours outside just sitting in a chair enjoy the breeze, even on hot summer days.
When it rains, every part of me just wants to go and play in the puddles like I used to as a kid. Maybe I should do just that? Maybe it’s time to appreciate the outdoors even more? When was the last time you went for a walk in the rain? For me, it’s been too long. When was the last time you studied a flower or butterfly, not just looked at one, but really studied it? When was the last time YOU appreciated the outdoors?
All too often, as RVers, we tend to revel too much in the comfort of our RVs. Of course that’s exactly why we buy them, we get all of the comforts of home while we’re on the road, I certainly understand and appreciate that. However, don’t let those comforts keep you from going outside more and actively explore. Take a walk. Watch the sunset…watch it rise. My point is, going RVing isn’t just pulling your rig into a stall and sitting under your awning for your entire trip.
You are an RVer, and being an RVer, that means you are a born explorer, a vagabond by nature with souls of gypsies. Remember, when you show a greater appreciation for the outdoors, so will your children and grandchildren. After all, who wouldn’t want to pass on an appreciation of the outdoors to the next generations of RVers? I certainly do.
If you haven’t camped in a National Park, you are certainly missing out on some of the most majestic and most protected natural environments in America. Billions of dollars go into the maintenance and beautification of our National Parks, so why not make them destinations on your trips? Take a road less traveled and plan a night or two in a National Park. Take a look at the NPS website below and really take a look at everything National Parks have to offer the RVers.
It’s pretty comprehensive, huh? How can you not want to visit a National Park soon? After all, your taxes are helping maintain the the parks themselves. There are 58 National Parks to choose from, so you shouldn’t have a problem finding one to visit during your RV Adventures.
If you have any question and bout camping National Parks, don’t hesitate to contact PPL Motorhomes. We know a thing or two about visiting the National Park System and can probably recommend a great place to bring your RV.
We all know that one of the most precious commodities in your RV is actually SPACE! Packing efficiently is virtually the only way to make the most of your available space and save lots of headaches in the process. You almost have to be a geometry wiz to really pack cargo well. What if you could add a few extra feet of storage space to a place you never really thought could be used for storage, whereby opening up more room in your rig for storage.
Enter the Stromberg Trailer Tray! It’s the first storage system of it’s kind and is an ingenuous way to take advantage of space that was virtually unusable before Stromberg came up with the Trailer Tray.
Adjustable to fit most “A” frame trailers on the road today. Up to 300 lbs. can be supported and your tow vehicles suspension guarantees this is the softest riding area on your trailer.
Use it for generators
All hardware is included and it isn’t too hard to install. I can tell you, not having your generator, or a cooler taking up space in your RV just meant that there is that much more space for you to bring something else…or, just cleaning up your cargo space. I can tell you from experience and customer testimonials that this really is a great addition to any “A” frame trailer. Plus the fact that it can support a fairly hefty weight in an area of your trailer that is physically the softest riding, just makes it that more safe and usable.
If you have any questions about this unique new storage system. Don’t hesitate to call PPL Motorhomes. We’d be happy to explain in greater detail about this Stromgberg product and any other products you may have questions about. Happy RVing!
On July 2nd, 1776, the Second Continental Congress approved a resolution that declared the United States independent from Great Britain. On July 4th, 1776 the Committee of Five, headed by Thomas Jefferson drafted and proposed what we know as our Declaration of Independence. This great document was our first step in exploring our rights as an independent people with our own ideals, values, and dreams. This, in my opinion, is the birth of the American spirit. The same Spirit that cannot be contained, or told how we should live in any other way other than the way we choose. That is the freedom of life, liberty, religion and the pursuit of happiness.
It never escapes me though how the RV lifestyle embodies this same spirit. The ability to go anywhere you want, anytime you want, without leaving the comforts of home. Owing an RV, isn’t uniquely American. There are many other countries around the world where RVing, or Caravanning is very popular. In fact, PPL Motorhomes has sold and delivered many consignment RVs to overseas customers. It’s always wonderful to see that the spirit of travel, exploration and adventure transcends oceans and cultures. We all do it for the same reasons: Freedom and Happiness.
So, this year, instead of piling the kids, or grand kids in the car, put them in the RV and take them to see fireworks and Independence day celebrations…in Washington D.C.! Now, you know I’ve just being funny, but isn’t it nice to know that just by owning an RV, you could actually do it? Hmmm, sounds like a good idea for next year, doesn’t it?
Incidentally, I found a couple of interesting facts about July 4th that I thought I’d share with you. I found this on Wikipedia:
n a remarkable coincidence, both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, the only signers of the Declaration of Independence later to serve as Presidents of the United States, died on the same day: July 4, 1826, which was the 50th anniversary of the Declaration. Although not a signer of the Declaration of Independence, but another Founding Father who became a President, James Monroe, died on July 4, 1831, thus becoming the third President in a row who died on this memorable day. Calvin Coolidge, the 30th President, was born on July 4, 1872, and, so far, is the only President to have been born on Independence Day. [source: wikipedia.com]
I just thought this was just an interesting fact you could share while you celebrate the holiday. Remember, it’s not just about beer and BBQ, it’s about being an American and bleeding red, white and blue. Everyone have a safe and happy Independence day!
Did you know that driving or towing an overloaded rig is a leading cause of RV accidents? Even a slight overload or unequal weight distribution can seriously restrict braking and steering, dramatically increase fuel consumption, and cause sudden blowouts or breakdowns. An overweight RV also creates the danger of early failure in your rig’s tires, brakes, wheels, drive train, and other components.This might be something you may not think about all of the time. Really, for many new and some seasoned RVer’s out there the “Gas and Go” approach to RVing can cause some problems down the road (pun intended).
So, how do you know if your RV needs to go on a diet? That’s actually an easy question. Your RV is overloaded if it exceeds any of the manufacturer’s established limitations for total load, axle load, or tire loading. The gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) is the maximum amount your RV can safely carry. It includes both the wet weight and the cargo weight. You can find the appropriate weight limits by checking your owner’s manual for weight limitations.
So how do you lighten the load? Well, that’s another easy question to answer. If your RV turns out to be a heavyweight, go through it with a fine toothed comb and really think about what’s necessary and what’s not. Just because your rig has a lot of shelves, drawers and other storage space doesn’t mean you have to fill them all up. A really good idea is to simply remove all your belongings, then put back only the items you really need. If you can’t do it, maybe you should call that “Hoarders” TV show.
Here is something that is also often overlooked: tire pressure. Always remember to check your tire pressure before each trip. Poorly maintained tires can become a very real and dangerous issue, especially when combined with an overweight rig. Maintaining control of an RV with improperly inflated tires is a recipe for disaster.
The bottom line is a properly balanced RV, well maintained equipment, properly inflated tires and good driving can tame almost any road.
Now, I’ll bet that you are scratching your head. Noodles? Pasta? No. Swimming noodles. If there is one thing that both RV Nana and PPL Motorhomes salutes, it’s the ingenuity of RVers. This past weekend while camping in central Texas, we saw an Alfa See Ya motorhome with their windshield wipers protected by noodles. What a great idea for the full timer to protect the rubber of the windshield wipers from the sun and weather with a simple swimming pool noodle. We all know how quickly the sun can destroy rubber and just about everything else on your RV, for that matter.
When I saw such a smart use of this inexpensive way to prolong the life of your wiper blades, I just had to share it with you. I’ll tell you one thing, I sure am having fun finding great ideas of things to do with an ordinary swimming noodle. Incidentally, I know a family in North Texas who uses pool noodles to protect their exposed outdoor pipes during winter.
There’s nothing like tubing down the Comal, or Guadalupe rivers in New Braunfels, Texas. If you are a Texan, you either know about floating the rivers, or have done it yourself. You’ll see all walks of life out there, from the very old to the young all enjoying the sun and uniquely relaxing experience of sprawling out on a tube or raft. We just got back from out river adventure and had a wonderful time!
There are multiple different areas to access the rivers, especially the Guadalupe. There are also tons of tubing facilities offering everything from “toob” rentals, to river necessities, to free shuttles which take you to designated put-in areas on the rivers.
Of course, the area offers numerous RV facilities, as well as quite a few places to rent cabins directly on the rivers themselves. There are great restaurants, as well as places to catch live music at places like the Whitewater Amphitheater. There are some really great times to be had in New Braunfels and around the area.
If you’ve never been on a river trip, I can highly recommend it. Of course, I suggest that you spend a day on the rivers, but honestly, it isn’t necessary, there really are a ton of activities to do and things to see. Of course, one of those things is swinging by PPL Motorhomes to say. “Hi”!
The Songs of Nature. When I RV, that’s what I hear. All of her beautiful compositions from Nature’s instruments flowing through the moonlit nights far from city lights. The winds whistling through the tress in chorus, while the chipping of the frogs filled the air with lonely yips as they patiently waited for a response from across the pond. That’s what I hear when I sit quietly outside of my RV on these cooler evenings.
RVing allows me to slow down: to put on the brakes and start using my senses to listen to nature more, rather than some of the unnatural chaos of daily life. I can picture it even now. I pull down the awning, turn on my patio lights, unfold my lawn chair, sit back and relax with the beverage of my choice and just listen. It’s quiet. The noises I hear aren’t telephones and zooming cars, it’s the soft chirp of a cricket of in the distance and hey, that might have been the hoot of an owl…then it’s silent.
I could stare at the stars without the light from the city drowning them out. Go out far and dark enough until you’re amazed at the amount of stars that actually fill the night sky. This is what RVing gives me. The ability to recall that memory anytime I want, yes even amid that chaos I was previously referring to above.
All of that weekly stress can melt away with just one great weekend RVing. If you’ve never been, you should try. Talk to any RVer and ask them about their uncertainties, and they’ll quickly dismiss any of your fears as well. Swing by PPL Motorhome and take a look at a few of Houston’s consignment RVs. Plus we can answer any questions you may have about joining the RV lifestyle.
I have been with PPL Motor Homes since 1980 and have been fortunate enough to grow up with the company. A native Houstonian, I have been blessed with years of wonderful experiences and memories of RVing with family and friends. With 3 children, 8 grandchildren and a ton of friends who I refer to as my adopted family, I was a Nana long before I became RV Nana. I was blessed to have shared this lifestyle with my late husband, a Cajun from Lafayette, and his spirit will live on in all of us as we continue down the road of life.
My life with PPL has given me so many wonderful chapters, from sharing my RV experiences as RV Nana to working with the Texas Campground Owners Association and holding the position of President of the Texas RV Association from 2011-2013, so it’s easy to see that the RV lifestyle is my style. Watch for me on the road …I’m the one with the RV Nana license plates on my car and RV, and share your RV experiences with me. See you soon!