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.

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.

PPL motorhomes asks: “Trailer or Motorhome, Which Do You Prefer?”

If you’re looking for your first new or used Motorhome or trailer, or wanting to upgrade from the one you have now, picking between a trailer and motorhome can be a big decision.
The first thing you need to figure out is how the RV will be used, and whether you need to accommodate a lot of people and belongings. The next thing to consider is the budget, because a trailer will usually cost less than the most comparable motorhome. So, if you happen to be new to the world of recreational vehicles and cost is an issue, then a trailer would be a great place to start. Regardless which you choose, they can be stored at an indoor storing facility when not in use.
One of the biggest benefits of a trailer over a motorhome is the ability to unhitch it once you arrive at a campsite. If you hooked it up to a truck, you can maneuver on and around the campsite a lot easier than if you had a bigger motorhome (the motorhome does give you a lot of amenities inside that big package, though!). If you’re torn between the two — and have a specially outfitted truck — take a look at a fifth-wheel trailer for the ability to tow and to get some of the extras that a motorhome provide.

With a motorhome, you can tow a smaller vehicle behind to use on the campground, so you aren’t necessarily grounded at the site with one of the big boys. Also, once you set a motorhome up, it can be quite comfortable when you level it up and attach all of the hookups.
Either way, you can’t go wrong with a motorhome or a trailer, it just boils down to personal preference, camping lolcations you plan on choosing and your budget.
So, are you a Motorhome person or a Trailer person, either way we have quite a few used RVs at PPL Motorhomes, so I’m sure we can find the right one for you.

PPL Motorhomes can help give your RV a little more “definition”

Hi-Definition to be exact. If you are looking to zazz up your outside excitement, consider a new hi-def entertainment console. If you are handy and understand a combination of carpentry, electronics and audiophile gibberish, then by all means, have a crack at upgrading your RV.

Check out the PPL Motorhomes web site for all the gadgets and stuff you need to turn your RV into a rolling entertainment center…well, I  guess technically it already is.

PPL Motorhomes asks: Have you considered a diesel for your next motorhome

PPL Motorhomes is one of the nation’s largest used and consignment RV Dealerships, so we see our fair share of diesels come through PPL Motorhomes to be sold. The Diesel RV has been around for quite some time. Still, they have an unusual mystique about them.  People seem a little leery of diesel engines, but that shouldn’t stop you from learning what they are. Once you figure out what a diesel motorhome can do and how much more pleasant they are to drive than the typical gas motorhome, you might make room in your budget to try it for yourself.

1.  Smoothest Way to Drive

You should never think just because it is a diesel you will be bumping up and down the road like some trucker. On the contrary, diesel pushers are made for smooth sailing.  The way they are made allows them to ride smoother than the gas counterparts.  They also have an adjustable air compression unit, meaning that you can make it fit the height of your RV.  It serves to stabilize the RV when gushing winds or over sized diesels come swooshing by, allowing for greater control of the RV.

2.  Did Someone Say Power?

Going up a steep grade will be no problem in a diesel pusher. The diesel engine has a lower RPM which gives you more power for pulling. So not only will it drag the motorhome up-hill, it can easily do it while dragging the family car as well.

3.  More Room Means More Living Space

Since diesels are built on a bus frame, they are bigger than your average RV. In some cases, when you start adding slide outs to your already large trailer, you have got a motor home that is pretty darn close to the size of a doublewide mobile home. I have actually rented apartments smaller than these things.

4.  Smooth Braking

Since the RV is built on the chassis of a bus, you can get some nice bus features as well. The air brakes make driving these bad boys down the road so much easier.

5.  Better Mileage

It’s not possible to talk about vehicles without talking about fuel efficiency.  In most cases, the miles per gallon on a diesel is much higher than on a regular Class A. Higher MPG means more money for your all important trips.

Now that you know the basics of the Diesel RV, you can find Used and Consignment RVs right here at PPL Motorhomes. Once you step inside one, you just might find that your retirement dream really did include a diesel. You just didn’t know about it until now.

Who has a Diesel Pusher the love and why should RV Nana readers shop them?

PPL Motorhomes: Washer/Dryer Connections in your RV may lead to leaks.

How about this for a strange story? Last weekend we were camping and my husband noticed a small wet spot on the carpet near our bedroom cabinet.   This cabinet happens to have washer/dryer connections, however, I am not one of those people who wants to do laundry while we’re out RVing, so they aren’t even hooked up. Besides, there is usually a Laundromat close in case I have to do an emergency load of wash.  After we cleaned out this closet, we realized the water was actually coming from the water line to the washer.  Having never used this connection, this was all a very interesting mystery to me.  My husband found that the seat in the faucet had become loose and a small leak had started when we hooked up to water the night before.  A few minor repairs (and several hours of using the fan on the carpet) got everything back to normal again.  Apparently, the motion of the trailer on the road had loosened this connection slightly, and the pressure of the city water connection forced it to spring a leak. I am now adding one more thing to my checklist when setting up the trailer…check the closet water faucet for leaks!!  So, glad we found it early or we would have had a big mess.

PPL Motorhomes says, “Keep your credit cards secure!” RV Nana’s Credit Card Fraud Experience:

Okay, at PPL Motorhomes, we’ve all heard about credit card fraud, identity theft and all of those other horror stories that seem to happen to others, but never really expect it to happen to us.  I hate to admit it, but I learned a lesson the hard way.  I was checking out at one of our favorite discount stores and fell victim to a credit card fraud tactic.  Most people know that I never meet a stranger and always chat with the cashiers and others in line.  As I was completing my transaction, the cashier asked me for my credit card as I was about to swipe it in the machine.

I reluctantly handed it to him and asked why I could not swipe it myself. He explained the credit card machine had been acting up all morning.  Moments later he asked me to sign my name on the same machine that was supposedly on the fritz.  I was a bit alarmed and immediately asked for my card back only to see my card laying next to his register next to his cell phone.  I asked what he had his phone there for and was given a story about texting his friend and other nonsense.  At that moment I had the strangest feeling that something seemed a little strange about the entire transaction.  Not wanting to cause a scene or become targeted in some way, I took my purchases and went directly to my car where I called the credit card company.

At first, the very nice lady at Discover acted as if I was a bit crazy when I tried to explain that I thought my card might have been compromised in some way, but she assured me that she would put an alert on the card.  Within minutes the charges started appearing on my account.  Apparently the cashier had taken a picture of my card and sent it out to all of his friends who went crazy placing orders that I was apparently paying for.  Fortunately for me, Discover contacted me and the account was closed within a couple of hours.  The best thing of all was that the call I made to the credit card company, along with the fact that I knew exactly when and who had done this has since lead to the arrest of that same cashier.

Apparently the store actually had video surveillance of his actions, and when they put it all together…Bingo!  Now the moral of this story is…Pay attention to your surroundings, protect your credit cards, even from employees of the shops you visit. Especially when you are RVing.  Furthermore,  never be embarrassed to call and report suspicious actions.  I can’t help but think that if this happened to me, it certainly can happen to someone else. In fact, I may have saved someone else from a horrible experience!

Fire Couldn’t Keep RV Nana and PPL Motorhomes Away From Bastrop

Bastrop, Texas is still a great place to get away and enjoy the RV lifestyle.  I know all of us at PPL Motorhomes have heard so much about the fires and devastation that it seems that most people assume that there is no place in the area to go RVing.  We spent Thanksgiving weekend at the LCRA Park and it was beautiful.  This is our second Thanksgiving weekend to spend here because it is only a few hours from home and close to family.  It is also far enough away from the city life to enjoy the outdoors and close enough for the girls to to run into town to catch a few Black Friday sales.

Our fifth wheel was set up in a site was probably one of the best in the park with lake access and lots of room.  We took the Kayaks out and just had a great time hiking, biking and enjoying the family.  Our daughter and her family were in the site across from us so we had the grand kids to keep us busy and entertained.  The guys fried turkeys and we had all of the traditional Thanksgiving food out at the picnic table, complete with the homemade centerpiece the kids made from items they found on their hikes.

It was a wonderful weekend with great weather.  We certainly had plenty to be thankful for this holiday season.

Bastrop is in the process of rebuilding and will come back stronger than ever. As you can see from the few pictures we took, you’d never know how much devastation the fires caused, which is all the more reason to visit the LCRA Park in Bastrop. Trust me, you will be surprised at the beauty you will find here.

Swing by PPL Motorhomes, be sure to tell us about your camping experiences.

PPL Motorhomes: Is the new RVer getting younger?

One of the things I’ve been seeing a lot at PPL Motorhomes is that the age of new RVers is getting younger, specifically with the “Baby Boomer” generation who are approaching retirement. This isn’t news to anyone, especially the “boomers” themselves, but since we sell Used and Consignment RVs, we see a lot of first timers. Owning an RV falls right in line with the 78 million Americans born between 1946 and 1964 who have a love affair with anything on wheels.

The following are excerpts from a piece from an occasional series published by the Miami Herald I think you may find interesting.

Oh, how Baby Boomers love their wheels. Weaned on hot rods, raised with Mustangs and Camaros, inspired by the rebellious freedom of the counterculture film Easy Rider, they’ve had a lifelong affair with all things motorized. Whether it was the VW microbuses that symbolized 1960s hippie life or the Hummers that screamed excess at the turn of the century, what they drove defined who and where they were. Cars, motorcycles and recreational vehicles became more than transportation. They were fashion statements.

“For Boomers, a car wasn’t just a car,” says George Hoffer, a Virginia Commonwealth University economics professor and auto analyst. “It was freedom. It was mobility. It was the fun that came with being able to go.”

For the parents of Boomers, most of whom who had suffered through the Great Depression and World War II, a car was something of a luxury. By the time the oldest Boomers posed for their driver license pictures, however, teenagers thought of a vehicle as a necessity. Desire varied a bit by geography. Miami, for instance, has always had more of a car culture than New York, with its mass transit.

“Boomers grew up with the expectation of mobility,” says Lance Wilson, executive director of the Florida Recreational Vehicle Trade Association. “They also were raised with more affluence.”


Boomers are definitely in the driver’s seat:

  • Four years ago, AAA published its first Easy Reading North American Road Atlas, which offers 40% larger type than standard atlases. It has been marketed to Boomers as “easier on the eyes for the generation known for its independence and wanderlust.”
  • Baby Boomers account for more than half of all new vehicle purchases and make up almost 60 percent of all drivers, according to Scotia Economics, a research and policy development outfit.
  • Motorcycle riders 45 and older made up 46% of all riders in 2008. Boomers outnumber Generation Y riders by a margin of 2 to 1.
  • Aging Baby Boomers nearing retirement are fueling the increase in RV demand, industry experts say. Today one in 10 vehicle-owning households in the age group of 50 to 64 own at least one RV. The average age of an RV owner is 49.

As they age, experts say Boomers’ transportation choices will force them to balance image with comfort, desire with reality. Those who once zoomed down the highway on fast bikes will want something easier on their backs.

“Boomers want to experience the road with all the comforts of home,” says Dick Shaefer, owner of the website boomerrver.com. “They want to enjoy the experience of camping with their microwaves and their queen-size beds.”

We hear about  perfect examples everyday. Parents who camped with her sons throughout their Boy Scout career  Now purchasing Class A motorhomes for those grown children and their families in hopes of continuing the tradition of travel and the outdoors.

Trust me, there’s nothing like retiring in style! Do you already have an RV? Are you planning on getting one? Did you stumble on this post and want to know more information about RVing? Leave me a comment or call PPL Motorhomes…we should have all of the answers!

PPL Motorhomes: The Very Real Fire Hazards and Your New RV

This is not something that RV Nana, or PPL Motorhomes takes lightly.

I recently read of a 55 year old Oklahoma man who died when his travel trailer caught fire while he was asleep. By the time emergency services got to the campsite, the flames were reported to be 20 to 30 feet high and the RV was totally consumed in flame. The RV next to the unfortunate camper was also destroyed. At the time of writing this, the fire is still under investigation to determine the cause.

This isn’t always the most uplifting stuff to talk about, but all RVers need to be aware of the very real fire hazards we could face on a daily basis either through neglect or accident. The problem is that there’s not much to our rigs and, in fact, can burn alarmingly fast. They are filled with fuel of all types: textiles, flammable liquids, wood, paper products…you name it, it can probably be found in our rigs.

There are multiple ways of protecting your family and property, but you must always keep in mind that a fire in an RV can turn into a catastrophic event amazingly fast. The chances of you putting out a rapidly spreading fire in your rig are slim to none. Don’t believe me? Watch the speed at which fire can spread below…be sure to read the comments on the video:

See, all it took was a spark and a little wind to fan the flames. If your RV is burning, GET OUT! That’s all I can say, don’t try to put it out yourself.

Have your RV checked and inspected on a regular basis by PPL Motorhomes…they may find something that you aren’t aware of. Besides, It’s better to be safe than sorry right?