It’s that time of year again…snake season. Love ‘em, or hate ‘em, snakes are an integral part of our ecosystem and live in places that we as RVers love to visit. In fact all of us at PPL Motorhomes have our fair share of snake stories. Now, I didn’t choose this topic to frighten, or scare you, but more as an informative and educational piece. For example, did you know that 85% of snakes in Texas aren’t poisonous? That’s just one of many things I learned from the Texas Parks and Wildlife video below.
Remember, when we visit our forests and parks, we are visiting a habitat of wild creatures, so it is our responsibility to tread lightly and avoid contact with the wildlife. Snakes, like all other creatures, just want to be left alone. Watch when stepping over logs, or putting your hands in cool dark places. These are prime areas for snakes to be as they try to escape the heat.
Have any good snake stories? Leave me a comment below, or come into PPL Motorhomes and we can swap snake tales.
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.
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.
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!
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!
Your consignment RV center and RV Nana love RVing! Even in the heat of summer, you’ll find most of us packing up our rigs and heading out to our favorite camping grounds. Of course, once we are there our kids and grandkids want to jump out of the RV and go stretch their legs around the RV park or campsite….but wait, don’t let them disappear so fast.
With the summer being so hot this year, dehydration while RVing is a very real and very dangerous issue that your MUST address prior to letting the little ones run off exploring.
Sleepiness or tiredness — children are likely to be less active than usual
Decreased urine output — no wet diapers for three hours for infants and eight hours or more without urination for older children and teens
Few or no tears when crying
Dizziness or lightheadedness
Severe dehydration, a medical emergency, can cause:
Extreme fussiness or sleepiness in infants and children; irritability and confusion in adults
Very dry mouth, skin and mucous membranes
Lack of sweating
Little or no urination — any urine that is produced will be dark yellow or amber
Shriveled and dry skin that lacks elasticity and doesn’t “bounce back” when pinched into a fold
In infants, sunken fontanels — the soft spots on the top of a baby’s head
Low blood pressure
No tears when crying
In the most serious cases, delirium or unconsciousness
Remember, don’t rely on your kids to tell you that they are thirsty as a precursor to dehydration. In fact, if they are telling you they need something to drink, they are already dehydrated. Make them rest in a cool area while consuming water and other drinks that have electrolytes in them to replenish the salts and minerals they have been sweating out.
Your consignment RV center, PPL Motorhomes and RV Nana want to make sure that your are keeping a watchful eye on your little whippersnappers while enjoying the Summer Sun. In this case, make sure they drink fluids constantly. As stated in the video, dehydration can set in very quickly and may even be overlooked until it is to late.
Your Consignment RV center, PPL Motorhomes wants to remind you 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 need 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, look it over from top to bottom and consider 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. If possible, remove all your belongings, then put back only the items you really need.
Also, 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.
The bottom line is a properly balanced RV, well maintained equipment, properly inflated tires and good driving can tame almost any road. If you have any questions, or tips for PPL Motorhomes, leave us a comment or two below.
I was recently chatting with a PPL Motorhomesconsignment RV customer who has been enjoying the RV lifestyle for a while as well. We started thinking about all the “stuff” we store in our RVs. From canned goods to paper products to first aid supplies and everything in between, we have our RVs loaded for our adventures. Later that evening it dawned on me that we leave many items in the medicine cabinet of our RV all the time, even when the unit is being stored. This encouraged me to talk to my friend at the pharmacy who informed me that many of the basic over the counter medications should not be exposed to prolonged heat or cold and that lead me to creating this little check list.
I recommend you make a “carry out” bag that should include the following items:
Over the counter medications in pill form (check the expiration dates)
All prescription medications
Simply make this carry out bag a part of your checklist when you get ready to leave for your trip and then take it out of the vehicle when you get home. This gives you an opportunity to check the expiration dates, keep the items fresh and update all prescriptions you may be currently taking.
It is also very important to keep a list of all your prescription medications, including the name, address and phone number of your doctor and pharmacy with you in this “carry out” bag. Keeping it all in this one bag may help a spouse or emergency medical technician in the event of an emergency. (A friend of mine read this and also suggested a spare pair of reading or prescription glasses, too). Before you go on your RV trip, PPL Motorhomes wants to remind you that the easiest thing to do before you leave is to really think about your lifestyle and needs and make a detailed RV checklist. It will come in very handy.
At PPL Motorhomes, we carry hundreds, if not thousands of items that are invaluable to RVers. From lights, to generators, to grills, to parts, PPL Motorhomes has pretty much everything you’d need to make your RVing adventure more enjoyable. That being said, every RVer has 1 item that is totally indispensable. It would be something that you never hit the road without taking it with you. So, what’s RV Nana’s favorite item to bring on every camping trip?
The Electric Skillet! With an electric skillet, there is no guess work involved with getting the cooking surface to the right temperature. Plus, using an electric skillet will free up your stove top burners for other items for your wonderful meal.
There are literally hundreds of recipes you can make using your electric skillet. It is, in fact, one of the most versatile pieces of cooking equipment your RV can have. It will take the place of a number of pots and pans, which will free up some valuable space in your RV. Here is a link to a bunch of great meals you can cook with your electric skillet.
Your consignment RV center, PPL Motorhomes wants to remind you once again that it is hurricane season. Of course that means different things to different people, but for RVers a hurricane is serious business. RVs aren’t designed to weather such large storms, so if you are planning on trying to ride one out, you are going to need to be fully prepared and equipped for the event. Even still, that is no guarantee that your RV (or you) will come out of it unscathed.
I found a couple of great tips from an RVer at rversonline.com who lives in a part of Mexico that is directly in the path of some of the most fierce hurricanes in the gulf. He gave a few really good tips about what you should do in the event of encountering a hurricane. His first bit of advice is by far the best. RUN! Get out of the way. Pack up your rig and move as far out of the path as possible. That may be hundreds of miles in some cases, so be prepared for a long getaway.
Category III, IV and V storms are deadly to RVs. Flee if you can. It is by far the wisest decision. Don’t even consider staying in an RV and trying to weather a category III or greater hurricane. A category II storm is iffy at best and a category I, the least of hurricanes must be treated with the greatest of preparation and respect. It’s always the best idea even with a category I storm to do the best you can to prepare and protect your rig, bail out and head for a nice solid structure, preferably reinforced concrete.
Ever think you’d have to board up your RV’s windows? In the event of an impending hurricane, you’ll want to do this, tape simple will not work as the window will probably be broken into a thousand tiny shards if it isn’t safety glass.
Blown out or broken windows are one of the biggest hazards in surviving a hurricane. I carry three quarter inch plywood pre-cut panels, and drill holes to pass three eighth inch nylon rope on the top edge and on the bottom edge. The top rope is thrown clear over the roof to the other side and joined to a sister plywood panel protecting a window on the other side of the rig. A five gallon bucket filled with wet sand is attached to the bottom of each plywood panel. This is another area in which those handy nylon ratchet straps would make life much easier. The idea is to tighten down on the plywood panel enough to keep it from slapping. All of this works great on rigs that do not have huge windows. Big windows can be protected somewhat by fitting a heavy duty tarp in front of them. Beware of accidentally covering up a refrigerator or hot water heater vent. BTW unless you have safety glass in the window taping it does little good; if it breaks a shard will slice through the toughest duct tape or nylon filament tape like it wasn’t even there. Stay away from the windows and draw the drapes. The bathroom usually offers a refuge.
Remember. you will probably be without power and water so plan accordingly:
Count on the power and water being cut, sometimes for days and days. In Mexico I will purchase and fill as many 5 gallon plastic water jugs and I can fit. I remember using twenty of them during 1995’s Hurricane Henrietta. Made it sort of tough to walk around inside the rig but the six hundred pounds of extra weight really helped, and I went eight-days with no outside water service. Be sure water tanks are filled. Gray and black water tanks are dumped; gasoline tanks and jerry cans are filled to the brim. Propane tanks should be plumb full, and you should have at least a pair of backup spare tanks also filled. You aren’t going to have hookups, and the sewage dump if you have one will probably be filled with runoff.
What are you going to do for food? Lights?
Canned foodstuffs may be unappealing but if it boils down to eating canned food or nothing, then having plenty on hand is important. Shopping trips should be made at least three days in advance of a storm and more if you can do it. Extra flashlight batteries, candles, and ice to fill ice chests is vital. No refrigerator brand can maintain a flame during a raging hurricane due to enormous up and downdrafts pulsing through the vents, and it’s best to empty the refrigerator into the ice chests, shut it off, and then twist the propane valves down tight on the tanks. One less worry.
Don’t think your RV will leak? Think again. Are you prepared?
Count on the inside of your rig getting soaked. Where hurricane leaks come from is anyone’s guess but I have seen high-end brand new rigs drip water right in front of the incredulous eyes of their owners. Have a waterproof plastic tarp handy and place it carefully and tuck it in on top of the mattress on your bed. Prepare to use buckets, pots and pans and whatever else is needed to catch drips and drops. A couple of large sponges can save the day. But at all costs keep your bedding and clothing dry. Assume nothing. I place my clothing inside double trash bags and then zip tie them closed. Put all life-support medications inside a zip-lock bag, and use plastic trash sacks to protect life-support equipment like CPAP and oxygen concentrators.
Don’t forget the First-Aid kit!
Place your first aid kit in the kitchen sink along with flashlights. If you should lose the lights, and suffer an injury you need to access this stuff fast. Finding the sink is easy while your rig is pitch black. If all else fails and you need to light a candle, a candle burns safest within the protective confines of a sink.
Want to see a full-time RVing family get prepared? Check out the videos below. Now while the first part of this video isn’t overly descriptive in regards to hurricane preparedness, it does do a great job of showing you some of the tasks you are going to have to complete in a relatively short period of time. One thing I didn’t think about was finding a place for your outside goods like tables, chairs, toys, plants etc. Remember, this is a full time RVing family, so they may have a few more items out side than your average weekend warrior. Nevertheless, when a storm is coming, you are gong to not want to lose your outside items, so have a plan for what to do with your loose, outside items.
Part 2…Hurricane Irene arrives.
Also, remember, you might have a hard time finding fuel as well, so fill up before the storm hits. Having a few spare gallons on hand probably isn’t a bad idea either. Weather a hurricane can be an intense and harrowing experience in your RV. Your best bet, as i stated above is to remove you, your family and that precious RV from the area and ride out the storm in a secure location. If you can’t do that, prepare well in advance with adequate amounts of food and water, plus you’ll want to board up the windows of your RV the best you can. Face the rear of your RV towards the wind so you aren’t catching gusts across the sidewalls of your RV, this will almost certainly result in the tipping of your RV.
If you have any other suggestions on how you can be better prepared for a hurricane in your RV, please don’t hesitate to let PPL Motorhomes know. We are in the season and, as we’ve seen in years past the Galveston Houston area is a prime landing point for large storms.
I have been with PPL Motor Homes since 1980 and have been fortunate to grow up with the company. A native Houstonian, I am married to a wonderful Cajun from Lafayette, Louisiana and we've been able to mix the two worlds and build a fun life together. We have 3 children and 7 grandchildren, so it is obvious that I was a Nana long before I became RV Nana. I also happen too be the 2011-2012 President of the Texas RV Association, so you know the RV lifestyle...is my style.