Whether own a Texas RV, or not, there’s never been a better time to take up the RV life. Whether you’re a weekend wanderer, a snowbird or a full-timer, there’s a used RV to suit any travel budget and any taste. With baby boomers starting to hit retirement age, more and more people are taking to the road with their motor home, fifth-wheel or travel trailer. In fact, the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association recently reported that nearly 8 million American households have and RV, motorhome or travel trailer and that there are as many as 30 million RV enthusiasts in the US.
Looking for a few helpful tips? Here you go:
Map it Out
A large part of the RV appeal is the exhilarating freedom of the open road to go wherever you want, whenever you still should have a solid travel plan in place. Look in travel guides, contact tourism boards in states you’ll be passing through and search on the Internet. A GPS system is a good idea, especially if you’re new to this kind of travel. If you’ve carefully designed the route you’ll be taking, it makes it easier to do spur-of-the moment things like checking out that oddball museum you just spotted on a roadside billboard!
Have A Checklist? Just Checking
As a part of your “pre-trip preparation” (in addition to the essentials) put together a thorough checklist of things to do when setting up at a campground. There are the basics, like finding out where all the campground connections are, making sure your RV is level and properly hooking up your water, gas and electric systems. Equally important, you should have a second checklist of what has to be done when you break camp, both in terms of setting up your RV for departure (quick hint: when you think the job is done and everything is ready, check again).
Be Prepared – Have A ‘Just-For-The-RV’ First Aid Kit
Always make sure you have a fully stocked, up-to-date, just-for-the-RV First Aid kit, and keep it in an outside storage compartment. It should include basic medical supplies (bandages, ointment, OTC pain reliever, insect repellant, scissors, etc.) and items like a flashlight, paper and writing implements, and a disposable camera in case you have to take photos of an accident site. If you don’t feel up to the task of putting one together yourself, an extensive range of ready-made First Aid kits are available for purchase. Also include an emergency supply of must-have medications and a list of important contact names (family members, doctors, insurance agents etc).
Camping with Kids
If you’re traveling with children, make sure to set aside time during the day for outdoor activities, as even the roomiest RV can be confining for kids. And give each child his or her own space in the RV, no matter how small, for personal stuff and toys and games. RV traveling is a unique opportunity for your children to see new and different places and faces. There are often plenty of other kids at campgrounds – but be sure to walk around a new campground with your children when you first get settled.
A Little Help From Your Friends
When in doubt, ask your fellow RVer. However well-traveled you might be, odds are there’s someone you’ll meet along the way who has been somewhere you haven’t, solved a problem you haven’t yet encountered, or spotted an out-of-the-way delight you’ve never heard of. No matter how much research you’ve done, there’s bound to be a campsite you haven’t read about, a storage system that has escaped your notice – or a funny anecdote that you’ll laugh about for years to come. The new folks you meet may or may not become close friends for life, but they’re an important part of the journey.
Storing Your RV
When your trip has come to an end, and you’ve seen all you can see, you may need a place to store your RV. Finding the right RV storage solution for your recreational vehicle isn’t always easy, but it might be a necessity, as many neighborhoods have deed restrictions and home owner associations that don’t allow for storage in your driveway. Besides a RV represents a major investment in terms of cost, time and long term maintenance, so it’s important to make sure the storage facility meets your needs for safety, access and amenities.
I can guarantee that all of us here at PPL Motorhomes look forward to one of two things: helping you get the RV of your dreams…or, dreaming about going RVing ourselves! Can you think of anything to add to this? If so, leave me a comment…(ex. A Little Help From Your Friends).
If there is one thing that you should learn first, above all other functions of your Texas RV’s, gears, gadgets and do-hickeys, it’s how tow adjust and set your mirrors. That’s right, for all of the amazing things you can do in your RV, you can’t even really start to enjoy them until you learn the basics. One of those basics is mirror adjustment.
Now I know what you are thinking, “I know how to do that. I drive my car daily. Adjusting mirrors is simple.” I know, I know you are a pro RVer, but you might be surprised to learn that there is a system and a skill to adjusting your mirrors the right way. After all, you don’t want to learn about that blind spot for the first time after you side swipe someone, right?
Here’s how you get started.
If you have not adjusted your mirrors before, then the first thing you’ll need to do is look for and loosen the lock-down bolts on the mirror frames and pre-set the frame. Then pre-set the adjustable and fixed mirrors to the middle of their range. Don’t strain against the mirror frames. If you can’t get them to move just loosen the bolts a little more.
Jump up and sit in the drivers seat. You are going to need some assistance, so have someone adjust the mirror frame to where it is close to the setting shown in RV-Figure-1. You’ll have to tell them when it looks good to you.
Once you think you have them set to your proper field of view, lock the mirror frame bolts down. Now you are ready to position the mirrors themselves.
The Top, larger, mirrors are not magnifiers, and give you a larger field of view down the road behind you. So you set these to allow a comfortably seated driver to see the edge of the RV, as well as down the road starting at a point. This is about halfway down the RV’s body.
The lower, smaller mirrors are magnifiers, and give a smaller field of view, so set the edge further in so the driver can see the Bottom of the RV body about 8-10 feet behind the driver.
Check out the video below for and in depth lesson on how to adjust your RV’s mirrors.
Remember, as always, if you have any questions or comments, you can leave them here, or stop by PPL Motorhomes and we can help you adjust them.
If you’re looking for new vacation experiences, then it may well be worth your while to investigate a RV from PPL Motorhomes. Interestingly, even with the downturn in the economy RVing has been becoming increasingly popular.
Just take a look around you, there are more RVs on the road these days and there are a number of reasons for this.
With money being on top of everyone’s minds these days, many people are taking more of an interest in how much they are spending on leisure activities such as vacations. Weekend breaks and holidays tend to involve a considerable amount of expense, so it makes sense to think about how costs could be reduced in this area.
It goes without saying that travel and accommodation costs are factors that can lead to particularly expensive vacations.
Of course, RV vacations should not merely be seen as a money-saving exercise. There are many more reasons to GoRVing. In particular, many RV owner will tell you that they enjoy the thought of havingan increased sense of freedom.
With a RV, you are free to explore a much wider range of locations…at your own pace. You can also create a more flexible holiday, moving from place to place with a real opportunity to discover new regions and areas, again, entirely at your leisure.
Indeed, some would say that the sense of freedom associated with RV vacations can simply not be matched by alternative travel options. There’s a real community spirit associated with these trips, as many enthusiasts (like us) enjoy sharing their experiences.
There is almost no limit to where you can go in your RV. Remember the easiest way to experience RVing is to call PPL Motorhomes, so now everyone has the chance to experience what a countless number of RVers already know.
What are other benefits you’ve experienced by joining the RV Community?
We love our pets at PPL Motorhomes! I was thinking the other day that with all of the pets I see at the campsites, looking out of new RV windows, on the trails while walking, how many of them get lost while on vacation? A lot? A few? I’m not really sure. To top it off, I haven’t really run across too many articles detailing pets and the RV lifestyle. However, I did find an article on micro-chipping. It’s a relatively painless and quick procedure that you vet can do on a regular visit.
Why should you microchip your pet?
Obviously, pets need to be fed, exercised and directed. They also need to be identified should they become separated from you. An open door, a hole under a fence, a simple distraction is all it can take for your pet to wander. As many as 80% of unidentifiable pets are never reunited with their owners should they get lost.
Throughout the month of September, the American Kennel Club celebrates AKC Responsible Dog Owners. Responsible dog ownership includes micro chipping your pet and keeping up to date on registration information. Below is a description of how the pet microchip process works.
Micro Chipping your Pet
A pet microchip is the most permanent form of pet identification available today. About the size of a grain of rice, it is inserted painlessly by your veterinarian between your pet’s shoulder blades. There are several different types of microchips on the market in the United States. The 15 digit ISO pet microchip is the world standard. Many countries require this type of pet microchip for entry. Even if you don’t plan to travel with your pet, animal control agencies in cities and towns all over the United States have microchip scanners that can read an ISO microchip, and that is the first thing they will do when capturing a lost pet.
Register Your Pet!
After micro chipping your pet, the next step is registration. All manufacturers have their own database with owner contact information associated with every microchip number. Some manufacturers charge pet owners for registering, but some don’t. Datamars is a manufacturer of the ISO pet microchip. Their database can be accessed at PetLink.net and provide pet owners with free registration and unlimited changes to their contact information.
The concept of pet identification is quite simple but often misunderstood. It is the pet owner’s responsibility to be sure that their pet can be identified if they get lost. You must stay current on microchip registration information. If you plan to more or switch phone numbers, update your pet’s registration information.
Other Helpful Tips
• Keep rabies tags on your pet
• Keep a collar ID tag on your pet with your current address and phone number
• Keep the pet microchip manufacturer’s tag on your pet if they have one
• Always keep a picture of your pet handy (better yet, one of you and your pet) in the case that identification is necessary.
Pet identification is a simple thing. Ask your veterinarian about inserting a pet microchip. Additionally, don’t forget to register! If you microchip your pet, it could mean the difference between finding your pet or not.
Nothing can ruin a great trip like a lost pet. Before you pick up you gas up your motorhome for that next trip , make sure you bring Fido or Fifi in for micro-chipping…It might save you a lot of heartache in the future.
Here’s to the Army and Navy and the battles they have won;
here’s to America’s colors, the colors that never run.
May the wings of liberty never lose a feather.
It is no secret that RV Nana and PPL Motorhomes is proud of America, Our Flag, but more over, those who fight to defend our ideals of a Democratic future for all people far and wide. We have been blessed to live where we do and want nothing more than to salute and honor the world’s largest volunteer fighting force. I thought a quick re-education about the origins of Veterans Day is in order.
Veterans Day is an annual United States holiday honoring military veterans. It is a federal holiday that is observed on November 11. It is also celebrated as Armistice Day, or Remembrance Day in other parts of the world and falls on November 11, the anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended World War I. (Major hostilities of World War I were formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 with the German signing of the Armistice.)
The U.S. President Woodrow Wilson first proclaimed an Armistice Day for November 11, 1919. In proclaiming the holiday, he said
“To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations.
We pledge to honor your memory. We pledge to honor every drop of blood you spilled defending our honor, life and liberty. We pledge to remember your bravery and the bravery of your families who sacrificed with you. There is no greater virtue than serving your country with honor and valor.
All of us, not just at PPL Motorhomes, or those of us in Houston, in Texas or the rest of the United States are humbled by your allegiance to goodness, justice and the American way.
All we can do is thank you. Thank you for your sacrifice. Thank you for your service. Thank you for putting yourself in harm’s way daily. Thank you for your sense of duty, pride and love for the colors and flag we proudly fly over our nation in your honor.
Both as Warriors and bringers of peace, your resolve and courage will never be forgotten. God bless the American Military and all of those who have served in wars and conflicts past, present and future.
The next time you see, or talk with a veteran, shake his/her hand and thank them for their sacrifice.
I’ve recently learned that lifetime passes to America’s national parks for senior citizens and Americans with disabilities are now available through the mail. That’s great news for many PPL Motorhomes Customers!
According to National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis,
“The Senior Pass and the Access Pass will still be available at national parks, “But the option of receiving a pass by mail may better suit some people and any change that makes it more convenient to prepare to come to the parks is a change for the better. We want everyone to experience the amazing places in our care.”
National parks around the country are amazing places to visit! They are places to share with children, grandchildren, and other family members. They not only provide recreation and healthy living there are a lot of parks, including Yellowstone, Shenandoah, and Denali that actually have trails that are accessible to people with limited mobility and to wheelchair users. They also have many accessible camping and picnic areas. This is really important news for Seniors who love their RVs and ar not ready to give up the lifestyle.
The Senior and Access passes provide admission to, and use of, federal recreation sites that charge entrance or standard amenity fees. Pass users also receive a 50 percent discount on some amenity fees for activities like camping and launching a boat. They are available to citizens and permanent residents of the United States age 62 or more or who have permanent disabilities regardless of age.
All you have to do to get your Senior Pass through the mail just submit a completed application, proof of residency and age, and $20. The fee covers the cost of the pass and a document processing fee. Once the application package is received and the documentation verified, the pass will be mailed to you.
The application for the Access Pass is also available here. To receive the Access pass, mail the completed application along with proof of residency and documentation of permanent disability plus the $10 document processing fee. Once the application package is received and verified, the pass and the documentation of permanent disability you provided will be mailed to you.
For more information you can also visit www.nps.gov.
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!
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.