Proper RV Battery Maintenance

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Rich Moffitt/Flickr Creative Commons

Electricity is definitely one of the best inventions every created. How else would we be able to cook our meals in the oven, watch our shows on TV, charge our cell phones, or see in the dark? The ability for us RVers to take electricity on the road with us, in the form of a battery, is a wonder in itself. But don’t let your battery dies prematurely, or you could be stuck with a dead cell phone and having to cook your dinner over a fire. Proper maintenance of your RV’s battery is very important to getting the most out of it. Here are some tips on getting the most out of your battery.

  • Clean the battery of dirt and corrosion
  • Disconnect the battery cables, negative terminal first, and clean the cables and terminals with a water and baking soda solution
  • If the battery is not sealed, check the electrolyte level. Add distilled water if necessary
  • Check all the cables connected to the battery terminals. Make sure they are not frayed or broken.
  • Check the terminals to make sure the cables are a tight fit. Replace terminal connections if needed.
  • Clean the terminals with a wire brush. This will ensure a good, clean connection.
  • Use a thin layer of terminal post grease.
  • Carefully reconnect the battery cables.

The most common causes of battery failure are overcharging, undercharging and poor maintenance. Be sure you take care of that battery! I know I forget about it from time to time, I just expect the lights to come on and never really give it a second thought to where it’s coming from. Keeping my battery properly maintained means years of cell phone charging, cooking and catching up on my shows.

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Easily Clean Your RV’s Holding Tanks

 

You’ve had a tremendous RV getaway and now it’s time to head home, unpack and take care of your RV before you store it for a few weeks or months.  We all remember to clean out the pantry and refrigerator, sweep or vacuum the inside and get all the dirty clothes and linens out of the RV, but we also need to remember to clean our holding tanks. waste-water-pump

As your trip winds to an end, your gas tank and wallet are both a little lighter, but your holding tanks are likely full.  Don’t make the mistake some RV owners have made and simply procrastinate thinking you will take care of that tomorrow.  Before you know it, weeks or months go by and the waste in your tanks is baked by the heat and you have a real stinky mess.  It’s important to clean out your holding tank for sanitation purposes and I have found many items in PPL’s RV parts store to do just that.  One item I have heard so many RV owners rave about is the FloJet RV Waste Pump.

The Flojet RV Water Pump and Macerator is the ideal solution for emptying holding tanks on motor homes, travel trailers and fifth wheels and helps you avoid many trips to dump stations. The macerator section grinds waste down to a particle size of 1/8″ maximum so it can easily be pumped through a garden hose (5/8″ minimum) and can empty a typical 30-gallon holding tank in less than 3minutes.  Now, even though we are getting one of these, we will still continue to do the “ice trick” where we dump a full bag of ice in the toilet before we leave camp.  It really does help keep the interior walls of the holding tank clean.

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Maxxaire Vent Cover The Universal Fit

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If there’s anything that can make the RVer’s life a little easier, I’m all for it! In this case, it’s replacing the vent covers on your RV. If you aren’t a fan of having rain water pour in, or dust, dirt and little critters finding their way into your RV, then you are going to need to check your vent covers routinely! A cracked vent cover can turn into a nightmare if you don’t replace it. Even a small crack can become a giant headache when its structural integrity becomes compromised. Then, adding to your problem, you may not know exactly what vent cover to get.  Does your vent lid on your RV have a right hinge, or left hinge, or which brand you actually have to purchase.  For years I have heard customers (and I have been one of them) fussing about not knowing which vent lid they need to replace the cracked one they are trying to replace.00-335001_unimaxx_01

Well, worry no more, Airxcel is making our life so much easier with the introduction of the UNIMAXX Universal Replacement Kit. You no longer have to guess about what brand you need as a replacement; you don’t even need to know if it is a left, or right hinged lid that needs replacing. All you need is a drill with a 3/16th bit, a Phillips head screwdriver, a Sharpie and an adjustable, or 11/32″ socket wrench. The kit comes complete with the rest of the hardware and detailed installation instructions. This is a repair virtually anyone can do on their own.

Replaces damaged vent lids on ELIXIR, HENGS, JENSEN, VENTLINE and other roof vent Assemblies

  • Universal Lid and Universal Hinge are pre-assembled
  • Includes all Mounting Hardware
  • Durable Impact  and UV Resistant Polypropylene lid
  • Rust Resistant Hardware

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And, while you’re up there replacing this “easy to replace” vent lid, you may want to consider adding a Maxxaire vent cover to your RV.  The vent cover is an ideal way to bring the outdoors in and keep the rain out! Oh, Maxxaire, what would we do without you?

 

RV Nana

Get Rid Those Stinky Holding Tank Smells

Traveling by RV is a way of life for a lot of us. We enjoy getting out in nature, exploring new parts of the country and spending time with our families. When we’re out for an extended period of time, we can tend to encounter some ‘smells’ that we’d rather not deal with, namely the ‘rotten egg’ smell of our holding tanks. Lucky for RVers, there’s a great product that removes that odor and let’s you continue enjoying your vacation.

Odorlos is a safe, non-toxic holding tank additive that neutralizes the odor coming from it. How does it work, you ask? It introduces a nitrogen-based additive into the tank which then attacks the odor causing agents and processes them. That means no holding tank odor! Odorlos also breaks down all waste and tissue as well as lubricating the inlet and outlet valves for your tank. All of this while being 100% biodegradable and accepted by all campgrounds across the nation.

11 Great reasons to choose naturally effective Odorlos

  • Safe and effective in all RV and marine holding tank and septic tank systems
  • Approved by all campgrounds
  • Accelerates breakdown of paper and solid matters, helping to prevent clogs that can lead to costly repairs
  • Lubricates valves with every treatment
  • Scent-free – eliminates odors without harmful masking perfumes
  • Non-staining
  • Formaldehyde-free, non-toxic and non-corrosive
  • 100% biodegradable
  • Stores easily regardless of conditions
  • Unlimited shelf life
  • Effective even in a high heat environment

What you won’t find in Odorlos

  • Formaldehyde, a poisonous chemical that kills bacteria – including the good kind – and stops the break-down process
  • Deodorants and fragrances, chemicals that just mask smell instead of eliminating it
  • Enzymes, an ingredient that takes too long to work and may actually increase the production of odors
  • Bacteria, which have limited shelf lives (especially in high heat). (Plus, you already have plenty of bacteria in waste, why pay for more?)

Visit the Odorlos page on PPL Motorhomes for ordering information.

 

 

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Storing Your Spare Tire Underneath Your RV

Looking for an easy way to carry that spare tire conveniently on your RV? We have a great solution. BAL now offers the Hide-A-Spare Tire Storage System that allows you to mount the bulky tire beneath your trailer and out of the way. This system is very easy to mount and if you ever require access to the spare tire, simple to remove. This sturdy bracket attaches to the undercarriage of the RV or trailer allowing easy access to your spare tire.

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We all know that I like to carry lots of ‘stuff’ when we travel. With that being said, storage space is always an issue. A cargo basket makes it easier for us to carry more necessities. If you carry a bike rack or a cargo tray, a bulky spare tire can make that a challenge, sometimes even force you to remove the spare tire completely. We all know that’s a bad idea, getting stuck on the road with no spare tire is an RVers nightmare. Instead of taking your spare tire off, or hiding it inside your RV, just mount it underneath!

The Hide-A-Spare also prevents dry rot and sun damage to your spare tire, by keeping it out of the sun and away from the elements, your spare tire will last longer! Plus, no need to worry about losing a spare tire cover having it blown off or getting ripped in transit.

Installing the Hide-A-Spare is quick and painless. It comes with self-tapping screws and 2 mounting plates that need to be attached to the undercarriage. Once they are attached, there’s a hand-tightened screw that holds the spare tire up off of the ground. If you need access to the spare tire, undo the hand-tightened screw and it telescopes out so you can get to it quickly and get back on the road. I have even had some customers tell me this is the perfect place to store their car dolly spare tire, too.

Visit the Hide-A-Spare page for more information and details on how to order!

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Winterize your RV: Antifreeze Choices

With the recent winter chill we’ve had, I thought it would be a good idea to do a blog on winterizing your RV! If you don’t properly protect the plumbing system in your RV, you’re skirting a dangerous line, a line that could end up costing you tons of money and time making repairs.

Winterizing your plumbing system isn’t as hard as you think it is — there are plenty of anti-freeze solutions that you can introduce into your pipes that will protect them from freezing and causing a very slippery mess. Our good friends at Camco make a few antifreeze products that will prevent that from happening!

Freeze Ban -50

Freeze Ban -50Protects down to -50˚F. This is a virgin Propylene Glycol based product to be used at full strength. Safe, odorless and tasteless with no mixing required. Non-Toxic and safe for fresh water or potable systems. High grade antifreeze for complete freeze protection with inhibitors to prevent fouling or corrosion. Freeze Ban has a slightly higher concentration of Propylene Glycol than Winter Ban for application that may have some residual water left in the system.

 

 

 

 

Winter Ban -100

Winter Ban -100Protects down to -100˚F! This is a virgin Propylene Glycol based product to be used at full strength. Safe, odorless and tasteless with no mixing required. Non-Toxic and safe for fresh water or potable systems. High grade antifreeze for complete freeze protection with inhibitors to prevent fouling or corrosion.

 

 

 

 

Premium Ban Frost 2000

Premium Ban FrostProtect your RV’s potable water system from freeze damage. This antifreeze inhibits fouling and corrosion while preventing algae growth. They also help in lubricating pumps and valves throughout the system. Choose a temperature-specific product designed for your winterizing needs. Safe and tasteless.

 

 

 

 

Arctic Ban -50

Arctic BanThis alcohol blended product protects to -50 but is “cut” with alcohol. All ingredients are recognized as safe by the FDA but the alcohol does have an odor that will need to be rinsed out in the spring time. Because alcohol is less expensive than propylene glycol, you can generally find this to be less expensive.

 

 

 

The bottom line is that I’ve heard way too many horror stories of pipes freezing and water systems causing an expensive mess to forget about using antifreeze in my own RV. Just because you RV in Texas doesn’t mean you are immune from a catastrophic freeze. Understanding the proper application and use of anti-freeze in your RV could save you a lot of headaches. It’s a simple and inexpensive investment to insure that you don’t frozen out of a good Winter trip in your RV.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to call PPL Motorhomes and talk with our professionals.

Information sourced from Camco.net

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It’s Time To Replace Those Water Filters!

Fresh, clean drinking water is more important than ever for the RVer. Water in RV parks comes from several sources. From well water, to city water, no two parks have the same taste or water quality just like no two households do.

Changing your water filter is as critical in the RV as changing your air filters on your AC unit.  If you do not have a water filter built into your RV, then make sure you are using one on the outside for all water coming into the unit.

Culligan makes a pair of inline filters to attach to the outside that are very cost effective and good for up to 2,000 gallons or one RV season.

Camco makes the Evo water filter which is also an outdoor use water filter.  It will make a difference in the quality of your water and greatly reduce your chlorine intake. The Hydro-Life HL-170 Under Sink filter is designed for cold water lines under your bathroom or kitchen sink.

If you’re looking for bottled water quality in your RV, the Everpure Purification Kit is the way to go. It removes harmful cysts, bad tastes and odors, plus chlorinates/de-chlorinates and kills bacteria and viruses.

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www.pplmotorhomes.com

After a long day of being outside, swimming in the lake, or hiking through some tough trails, there’s not a lot of things better than a nice relaxing shower to take all the dirt and stink off. Sometimes, there’s a new stink after we shower, and it’s the water from the shower. That smell of chlorine is hard to get rid of and pretty soon it’s everywhere. Not only does it smell, but it also leaves your skin and hair dry. That’s why I’ve put Culligan’s shower head filter on our shower head. The ISH-200 attaches easily to the existing standard ½-inch shower arm at one end and then to the existing shower head at the other, without affecting the height or positioning of the shower head. The Culligan ISH-200 allows any standard chrome shower head to be converted to a filtered shower head.

With Spring coming just around the corner, it’s time to make sure your RV is in working order and ready to head out for a long weekend. Checking and replacing your water filters is a big step in the right direction.

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New Year’s Resolutions

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Klesta ▲/Flickr Creative Commons

Can you believe it’s already 2017? This is the time of year when we all try to come up with ways to better ourselves (going to the gym, eating healthy), but I thought I’d take this opportunity to give you some ideas for new year’s resolutions regarding your RV!

1. Clean it out!

Keeping your RV clean from head to toe is a real time saver when you’re on the road. Starting out with a dirty RV mean you have to spend untold hours cleaning and scrubbing when you should be enjoying it with your family. It also keeps dust from collecting and aggravating allergies. No one wants to go on vacation and have allergy problems. Keeping your kitchen clean stops the spread of germs and especially those nasty, gross smells that you can never figure out where they are coming from.

2. Take it somewhere new!

You know that winery tour you’ve been wanting to go on for the last couple of years, but you just weren’t sure how to do it? Now’s the best time to sit down and map out the RV parks and wineries that you want to visit! If you don’t take the time to figure the logistics, then you’ll keep going to the same RV parks and driving down the same roads. Get out of your comfort zone! Being an RV owner means you have a wealth of memorable vacations available to you, you just have to take the time and think outside the lines!

3. Fix that broken appliance!

A busted oven or a microwave that seems to be better at making noise than warming up your dinner is something that you need to get replaced! Don’t work around it! The appliances in your RV are there to make your life easier, and when one of them isn’t functioning properly, then your entire trip is derailed because you haven’t replaced it. A broken generator, a faulty air conditioner, even the smallest item that needs replacing will make you rethink your weekend venture. Now’s the time to get it fixed and hit the road! Don’t let something that simple stop you from seeing the country!

 

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The Very First RV

The very first RV. Many of you may already know how the Recreational Vehicle came into existence, for those that don’t:

It appears the first motor touring vehicles were handmade out of necessity from existing vehicles, like the Model T and such. As the early pioneers traveled west, they tweaked their cars to fit their specific needs. Back then these vehicles were pretty unreliable and the country’s roads were barely developed, so it made travel very treacherous. So, you ‘could’ say it was Henry Ford and his consumers… (source: http://answers.yahoo.com)

For those of you who have an hour and want a great history lesson on the history of the RV, watch the video below. It give a very detailed history of America, Travel and the origination of the first RVs

The RV has a lush history in the United States and their popularity is only increasing. Even during some economic time, the RV industry has seemed to weather the down times and come out with just a few bumps and bruises. We see new RVers daily here at PPL Motorhomes and it makes me so happy to see new generations and younger families and couples stepping into the RV lifestyle. I think people are starting to catch on to the fact that RVing and getting outdoor and communing with nature and fellow RVers is one of the most enjoyable experiences ever. The best part is that you can go anywhere you want, anytime you want without leaving the comforts of your own home.

Leisure Resort: The Best Little RV Park in Central Texas

Those of you who know me have all had to listen to my stories about the best little RV park in Texas.  I actually have mixed emotions about writing this blog because I would really like for this park to be one of those best kept secrets, but I also want everyone to have an RV experience like this.  Leisure Resort in Fentress, Texas is a beautiful park outside Luling and I think it is simply a little piece of heaven on earth.  As you drive down the road off Highway 80 you that you’re going to have a brief minute when you wonder where in the world I am sending you.  Then you turn off to the left at a “not so fancy” sign and you enter this river front property.  Leisure Camp, as it was called for years was a well known fishing camp positioned in the midst of a beautiful pecan orchard with terraced campsites leading down to the winding San Marcos River.  Whether you’re in a diesel pusher, travel trailer, tent or simply day camping out of the back of your truck, you are sure to enjoy everything here.  This is a family owned and operated RV park complete with cabins, a swimming pool, miniature golf and even a hayride for the kids on Saturday night.

We have been coming here for several years and have met some of the friendliest people in the world sitting in this river and camping under these trees.  This is a great spot for a family reunion where your friends can join you even if they don’t own an RV because they can rent one of the cabins or even a tree house and still enjoy the great outdoors and the RV lifestyle.  Make plans to check this out, but save room for us!