The top 3 things you want in your RV…

I recently read an article about the ‘Top 3 things consumers look for in a new RV’.  I wanted to share that article with my readers.  I find it interesting how things have changed over the years.  Not too long ago, sleeping capacity and arrangements were the #1 choice in determining the RV of your dreams. Do you disagree or agree with the results of the new poll?  Let us know what you think…

We listed 12 of the most popular items people look for when they are choosing an RV.

The poll results are in and surprise – Every one wants a large kitchen counter top. Now I don’t think everyone is asking for a gourmet kitchen. However, a sink cover isn’t really counter top. Hint, hint manufacturers!

Second on the list makes me feel better. I thought I was the only one who liked a large shower. Well it came in at #2.  As I age my waist seems to add inches and a larger shower is a very nice thing.

Third, and this makes a lot of sense, is residential sized beds. It’s easier to replace a mattress and get linens etc. Thanks for voting!

Here are the rest of the results:

  • 25% Large Kitchen Counter Top
  • 18% Large Shower
  • 16% Residential Sized Bed
  • 9% All-In-One Bath
  • 7% Table / Computer Desk Combo
  • 5% Free Standing Dining Table
  • 5% Dinette
  • 4% Split Bath
  • 4% Bath and a Half
  • 3% Sofa Bed
  • 2% Fireplace
  • 2% Bunk Beds

    Lerch RV.

    A large kitchen counter-top is what you want most in your new RV.

Open Range RV’s new features. A must see!

Open Range RVs available at PA's Largest Open Range Dealership. Lerch RV.

The all new Patio is available on select Open Range 5th Wheel floor-plans.

Some of the new features available on the new unit from Open Range RV Company are definitely exciting.  However the new outside Patio is a true must see.  The Patio is only available on select models.  The patio is quite roomy and strong enough to support 2,500 lbs.  Along with the Patio, you also get another convenient power awning designed especially to extend over the patio only, so you can relax in the shade.  You will be the envy of the campground.  The Patio and Patio Awning is available only on the Open Range 337 RLS, 345 RLS and 375 RLS 5th wheel floor-plans.  The Patio is also available on the Journeyer 340 FLR and all new 359 FKS, travel trailers.

Open Range’s Rolling Thunder Toy Haulers will also have the patio and awning available to them as well.  The all new Rolling Thunder H320MPR and H345MPR have the option of adding the patio.  The aforementioned floor-plans will also have another new exciting feature available.  The rear garage areas will have an available  Toy Lift.  This new lift will enable you to park more than one toy in the garage area.  Another great innovative idea from the designers at Open Range.  You can opt for the queen bed on the electric lift for more sleeping room, or go with the all new Toy Lift to bring more toys with you.

If you need more information on any of these new available features.  Please visit PA’s Largest Open Range Dealer.

Safe travels and Happy RVing!

Open Range Rolling Thunder's available at Lerch RV.

Optional Toy Lift makes taking more toys easy!

Completely redesigned Keystone Sprinter draws kudos.

I recently read a new release from Keystone RV company touting the newly redesigned Sprinter Travel Trailer and Copper Canyon Fifth Wheel line ups.  Since I work for the Mid-Atlantic’s largest Sprinter Dealership, I thought I would share the article with you.


All new re-designed Sprinter Travel Trailer at Lerch

Interior of the newly re-designed Sprinter


GOSHEN, Ind. – Keystone RV’s newly revamped Sprinter travel trailer received high compliments from dealers at the recent National RV Trade Show, the company announced today.
Showcasing all new interiors and new floor plans, the 2011 Sprinter continues to “Make Camping Easy” and affordable for today’s RVing family, said Chad Enyeart, Sprinter product manager.
According to Gabe Johnson, co-owner of Rick’s RV Sales, Ville Platte, La., the new Sprinter is one of the most beautiful travel trailers on the market today, and clearly the best value.
“After seeing most of their competitors in Louisville, I still feel Sprinter is the best value in the fiberglass, aluminum framed market,” said Johnson. “With unique floor plans, interiors rivaling luxury fifth wheels, and a responsive sales staff that listens to dealers, I think Sprinter and Copper Canyon will continue their upward momentum.”
Among the many interior upgrades featured in the 2011 Sprinter are Sienna-stained hardwood cabinetry, LED floor lighting, stylish new furniture, and easy-to-care-for Corian countertops.
Also incorporated into the product line are six all new floor plans.
“One of our most talked about new floor plans at the Show was the 255RKS,” said Enyeart. “There is nothing else like it on the market. We’ve created a rear kitchen layout that includes a 5.5-foot-long rear kitchen bar, with stools, and sofa/dinette super slide. It’s an ideal arrangement for gathering with friends, sitting down to a buffet breakfast, or playing cards. And all this in a 28-foot trailer that weighs just over 6,000 pounds.”
Sprinter has experienced five straight years of continued market share growth and three consecutive years of RVDA DSI Quality recognition, said Matt Zimmerman, Keystone group general manager, who credits Sprinter’s roots for the ongoing success of the brand.
“Sprinter is Keystone RV Company’s very first brand. From Day 1 we have encouraged feedback from the people who actually use our campers,” he added. “The improvements and new models we introduced at the show grew from our dialogue with campers. At Keystone we listen to the customer.”

So when are you are ready to check out the new features of Sprinter or Copper Canyon. Be sure to contact your Central PA RV Dealer. We will be sure to help.

Safe travels and Happy RVing!

Make your Seasonal RV an All-Season one!

Many of today’s trailers and RVs are built with the holding tanks, water tanks and plumbing inside the heated part of the coach, making them capable for winter recreation. But if you don’t have that kind of unit, you can make yours just as winter-ready by making a few, and sometimes low-cost, modifications.

RV Heat Tape

Most heat tapes have a built-in thermostat

There are two basic concerns when using your RV as a winter retreat. The first is your plumbing system, the second is cabin comfort. So let’s start with the plumbing. Fresh water pipes that run underneath the coach or along the floor inside are very susceptible to freezing. By using a thermostatically controlled heat tape and some foam pipe insulation, you can keep the water flowing freely in the lines and keep the coach from suffering freeze damage. Lines that run behind the cabinets can avoid freezing by keeping the cabinet doors open slightly and the furnace on. These tapes are available in both 120 volt (house current) and 12 volt (battery-powered). Simply follow the manufacturers recommendations on installation then find a power source to supply power. If you are using a 12 volt system, you should wire it so that there is an internal switch so that you do not run the house battery completely down. If proper use allows, apply foam pipe insulation after the tape is in place to further protect the heat.
In addition there are special heating elements that fit on holding tank elbows and valves to keep them from freezing or building ice dams. On the subject of drain valves. it is best not to leave your holding tank valve open to let gray water run into the sewer line as you use it. When water trickles it tends to build up ice dams and can keep the valves from closing at all. Best off to drain a full tank all at once so that ice build up is at a minimum.
To keep your holding tanks from freezing you can purchase self adhesive heating pads that stick to the bottom of a clean holding tank and keep it from freezing. As is the case with heat tape it comes in both 120v or 12v. If you are going to be at an RV park, you might want to invest in a heated hose for your fresh water intake. You can as an option just fill the on board tank and run off of that for a while.

Infrared Thermometer

Use a Infrared Thermometer to pinpoint heat lose.

Now that we have covered the plumbing, what to do about the cabin heat. There are two fronts in this battle, providing more heat, and reducing heat loss. First, start with reducing the loss of the heat that you are able to make. If you do not know where you are losing heat, think about purchasing one of the new cordless Infrared Thermometers that are now for sale by Dewalt/Black & Decker. You can pinpoint heat loss with one of these new products very easily. One of the first places to look for heat lose would be your roof, we all know hot air rises. While the roof may be insulated, the vents aren’t. You can purchase pillows or pads that will fit inside the vent well and keep the cold air from getting in. Install heavy curtains or drapes over the side windows and then check the weather-stripping around all the doors, including the outside storage doors.
If this doesn’t increase your furnace capacity to keep the coach or trailer warm, then you can look at purchasing an auxiliary electric heater. They are portable and easy to move around. If you are concerned about electricity use, then you might want to consider a catalytic heater. It burns fuel but is extremely efficient. You must however make sure you crack a window to allow air to vent in the coach, otherwise the catalytic will burn up all of the usable air. I also recommend that you install a CO detector as well, if your coach does not have one already. Finally, if you are going to make catalytic heat, remember that it creates moisture and you might want to employ a de-humidifier to keep the air at a reasonable humidity.
All of these tricks are easy to do on your own if you are relatively handy. When making any type of modification to your existing unit, please keep safety in mind. And you may also want to consult your manufacturer in case any alterations void your warranty. If you would like a quote on having your Central PA RV Dealer make the conversion for you, just drop a line, or make a service request and we can give you a quote.

Safe Travels and Happy RVing!

Remodeling Your RV: a true winter project.

Remodeling your RV interior

Just keep your first remodel simple.

In my part of the country, RVing in not a feasible option during the winter months because of snow and cold temperatures. Even though it can be cold during the winter, it is also the perfect time to remodel and upgrade your RV. Giving your RV an update not only increases the lifespan of the RV but also adds resell value to the unit. Remodeling also allows you to create the perfect RV that suits your needs and wants. The limit is only set by your mind.

You can either choose to remodel the whole RV or just different sections. Maybe pick one or two different remodeling projects every winter if you don’t want to commit to a full RV remodel. Just remember to keep it simple for your first remodeling experience. And if you do not want to bite off more than you can chew, give your local Central PA Dealership a call to do your remodel for you.

Here are the 5 most commonly performed remodeling projects for an RV:

1. Replacing or upgrading the flooring
2. Re-upholstering the furniture
3. Upgrading the window treatments
4. Painting or wall-papering the walls
5. Replacing the dinette with a table and a set of chairs

There are also good videos on YouTube on how to remodel and upgrade your RV. Watch these videos by Vince Preston from Metro Mobile RV Repair & Service in Mesquite, TX.

Changes abound for Sprinter travel trailers.

Lerch RV, the Mid-Alantic's Largest Sprinter Dealership

Exciting new changes for Keystone RV's Sprinter

After a very successful year of travel trailer sales. Sprinter has once again made some great changes to stay ahead of the competition. During Keystone RV’s Fall Open House and at the Louisville RV Show held earlier this month, Sprinter unveiled some of these great changes. Quality has always been synonymous with the Sprinter name. That will not change. The new changes are exciting and will reposition Sprinter to a broader market.  So if you have not thought about purchasing a Sprinter or Copper Canyon in the past, or if you put off making that purchase. Now is the time to take another look at the new Sprinter.

A small list of Sprinter’s exciting new changes:


  • Storage Door under both dinette seats
  • Glass inserts in overhead slide-out cabinets
  • 2nd Utensil drawer
  • Solid Corian Counter-tops
  • Floor lighting with switch
  • All new Beau-Flor flooring
  • New style air-mattress sleeper sofa
  • New chair styles
  • New Dinette back design
  • Full extension drawer guides
  • Manual front and rear stabilizer jacks
  • Motion detector porch light for added security
  • Outside Speakers
  • Electric Awning
  • Black water tank flush

    You Central PA Copper Canyon Dealer, Lerch RV

    Copper Canyon now with Solid Corian Counter-tops.

Some of the above items are current features already on every Sprinter travel trailer and Copper Canyon fifth wheel that is built. The addition of the solid Corian counter-tops gives the new Sprinter that upscale feel. The floor lighting is a great new feature that will keep some of us from stumbling around our trailers in the dark. For those of us with kids, it works as a night-light as well. The redesigned air mattress sleeper sofa provides you with a more comfortable sleeping platform. And the addition of the Motion Detector Porch light, allows you to have entry light when you need it. Not to mention a little added feeling of security while you are asleep at night in your new Sprinter or Copper Canyon. So stop by and take a look at a new Sprinter at the Mid Atlantic’s Largest Sprinter Dealership. If you would like more information on the new Sprinter with all of the new exciting changes, please contact our sales team at 800-722-1236.

RV Refer Tips

If you travel in your RV often, you should ensure that all of your appliances are operating correctly. This is especially true of your refrigerator. After all it is one of the most important of your RV appliances. If your refrigerator is not operating properly, you need to repair it immediately. Feel free to contact your Central PA RV Dealer if you have any questions on the operation or maintenance of your RV Refrigerator. If you think you may have a problem, please call our service department to schedule an appointment. Safe Travels and Happy RVing!

The three steps below are a quick guide to make sure your RV refrigerator is working properly. You may have a Dometic or a Norcold refrigerator. Most, if not all, refrigerators found in all RVs are produced by one of those companies. The steps below will work on which ever make or model you have.

Step 1: Ensure the refrigerator is sitting level. All you need to do is set a level on the top of the refrigerator. Sometimes RV refrigerators will not work properly if they are not sitting level. If the level indicates that this refrigerator is not level, simply move your RV to flatter land. If it is sitting level, you can rule this out as the problem.

Step 2: Test the settings. If the refrigerator will only operate in 120-volt, make sure the on-board battery is operating correctly. If not you should replace it. If the refrigerator will only operate in gas mode, check the breaker to which it is connected. If it operates only in electrical mode, check the burner’s pilot light. Simply open the access panel and relight this pilot light.

Step 3: Check for ammonia leaks. If the refrigerator is leaking ammonia, you will smell ammonia or see the appearance of yellow stains on or around the cooling unit. If this is the case, shut off all electricity and gas to your refrigerator immediately. You will need to replace the cooling unit entirely before operating this refrigerator again. Ammonia is flammable and presents a potential fire hazard.

Take a quick look at the video below. This video gives us a great insight on the workings of an RV Refrigerator.

Safe Travels and Happy RVing!

Is Green really the Future?

What is a “Green Certified” RV and is it the future? – author unknown.

Going green” is a popular phrase being bandied about these days. Chances are, you have heard it referred to quite a lot. But what does going green mean? In essence, it refers to using various everyday methods to help save the world and its environment.

Living a green lifestyle – or going green – can begin in small, easy to manage ways. Recycling is a huge, obvious part of helping to save the world through green living. Reducing one’s reliance on oil-based energy sources is another popular method employed in trying to save the world. Purchasing only all organic, chemical free products is another way that many people begin going green, and is considered a very effective method at trying to save the world and all of its resources. Green living is infiltrating all parts of daily life…including the RV world!

Who’s heard of a Green Certified RV before? Not many of us. I’m sure… However times are a changing my friend.  Many RV manufacturer’s have incorporated some sort of ‘going green’ procedure into the production line.

I found an article on  written by a gentleman by the name of Mark Polk, after he attended this year’s RV Trade Show in Louisville, Kentucky.  This is his take on the Green Certified RV:

Certified GreenGreen Certified RV’s

Something else that caught my eye was the “Green Certified” label adorned by many of the new RV’s on display in Louisville. I asked a couple of the manufacturer reps what this green certification badge entailed, but I didn’t  get the response I was looking  for so I decided to look into it further.  The green certification labels posted on the RV’s indicated the RV was certified by TRA Certification. After some research I discovered TRA Certification Inc. is an independent third-party green certifier. Using well established consensus standards TRA analyzes, evaluates, measures and certifies RV manufacturers on energy efficiency and environmental friendliness.

In an attempt to “go green” some RV manufacturers started building RV’s to these consensus standards used in the modular and manufactured housing industries. When an RV gets the “Certified Green” badge it means that TRA certified the manufacturer is capable of building green, and uses their process, materials and components to assemble a green RV. The certification also involves verification of materials and components suppliers used in the production process of the RV.

Note: Another company involved with “green certification” for Recreation Vehicles is NTA Inc. The NTA approved green program is based upon recognized green practices and award points to Recreation Vehicle Manufacturers that demonstrate stewardship in these areas.

But, what does a green RV really mean?

Six key factors are taken into account when building and certifying a green RV. These factors are:

1) Resource Efficiency

2)  Energy Efficiency

3)  Indoor Environmental Quality

4)  Water Efficiency

5)  Operation & Maintenance

6) Innovative Practices.

For a better understanding of what each of these categories involve here is a TRA green certification label with more information on what goes into building and certifying a green RV.

At some point soon, I believe the RV Industry will really embrace these ideas and philosophies.  And the technology of trying to develop a greener way to RV…after all, these are our roads and this is our adventure, let us do our best to keep it in the same conditions for our children and grandchildren to experience. Lerch RV supports any initiative to help our environment.What makes an RV Green.

At the same time, the RV industry has been getting greener in a number of ways. RVs are using more aerodynamic designs and lighter weight materials to reduce fuel consumption. Motor-homes are using more fuel efficient engines. RV and park model suppliers have catered to the green demand with items such as low-flow fixtures and more efficient appliances. “There are many ways in which a company can tout its greenness,” says Tom Arnold, president of TRA Certification.  “Often a company may not even realize what product or practices can be called green. That’s where we can help. Products like awnings, for example, not only provide campsite shade for RVers, but also for their RV, thereby reducing cooling loads.”

So when you are thinking about the purchase of your next RV, make sure that the manufacturer incorporates some sort of green procedures or are truly TRA Green Certified.

Armrest adjustments. The proper way!

It does not get any more drab than this webisode. We are once again being educated by our favorite actor turned RV Guru, Jeff Daniels. I guess he needed to fill in America on how to properly adjust your Motor-homes armrest while driving. Although he does give you some great pointers. So take a look at this episode and give me your thoughts. I’m looking forward to something with a little more excitement in the next one. Safe Travels and Happy RVing!


Top 10 RV Towing Tips

Here are some important towing tips for increased safety and enjoyment in your RV travels. Know how to tow before you buy and every time you head out on the road. Just like anything else in life, the more you practice, the better you become. If you have any questions about towing your RV or concerns about your current hitch, please do not hesitate to contact your Central PA RV Dealer. You will have less hassles, more fun and will help promote RV safety. Here are ten towing tips to get you started. Safe travels and Happy RVing!

Top Ten

  • 1. Understand the basics: Start at the beginning. Read our tips on managing RV weight. Understand the weight definitions and the importance of weight distribution in towing. Do this before you buy.
  • 2. Do the math: Get the specific numbers for your prospective combination of RV and tow vehicle.
    Obtain and carefully read manufacturer’s manuals and product-specific towing tips. Make sure you understand their definitions of weight-related terminology. If you are planning to tow a trailer or fifth wheel, the major truck makers have Towing Guides that include model-specific details. Develop a realistic estimate of fully loaded weight, and do the calculations to make sure you end up with an RV and tow vehicle combination that will meet your needs. Don’t forget any options or accessories you had added (or plan to add). Remember to consider passengers, belongings, full water and fuel tanks. This is time well spent to avoid poor purchase decisions, costly repairs and unsafe travel.
  • 3. Distribute the Load: Weight Distribution is critical. Know your Gross Axle Weight Ratings (GAWR), obtain measurements of specific wheel position loads and set tire pressure appropriately. Keep the center of gravity low.
    Keep cargo secured to prevent shifting that could cause a loss of control. Distribute weight between right and left and front to back per the specifications for your particular RV and tow vehicle. Trailer towing requires the right amount of tongue weight. Tap into the expertise of hitch and trailer specialists for towing tips on your particular configuration.
    Determine if you need a weight distribution system (generally recommended for trailers over 5,000 lbs. fully loaded.
  • 4. Hitching Your Wagon: Select hitches/tow bars that are rated to handle the load, in conjunction with the actual towing capacity of the towing vehicle. The maximum towing capacity is determined by the lowest-rated element in the chain of hitch components. For trailer towing, this chain consists of the trailer rating, the ball hitch rating, the hitch rating, and the towing capacity of the vehicle. The weakest, or lowest-rated, element in this chain always determines the maximum safe towing capability of the entire chain.
    For a motor-home towing a dinghy, the same principle applies. You must consider the towing capacity of the motor home itself, as well as the ratings for a tow bar, cables, and connectors. Hitch up and unhitch a few times to get the steps down. Use a towing tip checklist to make sure you don’t forget anything. Hook up and un-hook on smooth level surface.
    When towing a dinghy, manufacturer towing tips often state that the receiver hitch of the motor-home should never be more than 4 inches higher than the base plate attachment points — use an appropriately sized and rated drop receiver. Most trailers and tow vehicles should be level (parallel to the ground) during travel. Check for manufacturer towing tips and instructions to correctly set up your combination of vehicles.
  • 5. Built for Two: When you connect a towing and towed vehicle, you need to make sure that the two can operate together effectively, safely (and legally in some cases).

    Brakes – Many states require a separate braking system on towed vehicles with a loaded weight of more than 1,000 – 1,500 pounds. Legal reasons aside, a separate functional brake system for towed vehicles is recommended for increased safety. Include a breakaway option, in the event the trailer or toad is separated from the towing vehicle. Lights The law also requires that the towed vehicle have operable lights. The brake lights, tail lights and turn signals of the towed vehicle must operate in sync with the  towing vehicle.  So be sure to occasionally check all your lighting, prior to hitting the road.

  • 6. Oh say, can you see? Make sure you have adequate mirrors to give you the visibility you need for safe RV driving and towing. If your mirrors aren’t adequate, change them. If you are towing a trailer, you should have extended side-view mirrors to see rear and side-approaching traffic.

    Rear-vision cameras may be included in your motor-home, with a monitor in the driver’s cockpit. These provide a view of the dinghy and immediate roadway in back, and help when passing or changing lanes. They are available as an after market add-on, and there are rear-vision cameras that work with towable RV applications.

  • 7. Ready, Set, Go?: Well, maybe not yet. Another good towing tip – practice first. Before you head out on your first trip, practice driving, turning, stopping (and backing up for towable trailers) in an area away from heavy traffic. Make sure you know your roof clearance. Try out your mirrors.

    Driving: When starting out, accelerate slowly and steadily. The addition of a trailer or dinghy adds weight and length. More weight means more time. Determine how long it takes you to accelerate and come to a stop. Allow extra time for changing lanes, stopping and passing other vehicles. Pass on level ground with plenty of clearance. Avoid sudden moves. When turning, allow room for the towed vehicle to clear.
    Get in the habit of looking ahead – a good rule of thumb is to look as far ahead as you will travel in 12 – 15 seconds. Obviously, this distance will vary depending on how fast you are going. Give adequate notice of your intentions with turn signals. If you are going to come to a stop, a few taps on the brakes might give a clue to the driver behind you. Watch traffic signals and anticipate light changes so you can stop in time.

    Backing: For motor-homes, don’t try to back up with a dinghy attached. The key towing tip here is to avoid getting into a spot where you have to back up in the first place. Or disconnect the dinghy before backing.
    For towable trailers, back up slowly, with someone spotting near the rear of trailer to guide you. It’s a good idea to agree on a set of hand signals beforehand, so you can communicate clearly with the spotter. Move the steering wheel in the direction you want the trailer to go. Make small steering movements so you can get the hang of it. Slight steering movements result in greater movement in the rear of the trailer.

  • 8. Swaying in the Breeze: Hopefully not. Appropriate attention to weight limits and distribution in setting up your tow configuration will help avoid problems with sway. Sway control options are available to help with trailer sway, and a weight distributing hitch system is recommended for large towable trailers. If you do experience trailer sway from a gust of wind, downgrade or draft from a passing truck: remember to gradually reduce speed, steady the steering wheel and only apply the trailer brakes. Do not slam on the brakes since jack-knifing could occur. Do not try to steer out of a sway, increase speed or make sudden moves – it will only make things worse. Do not tow a trailer that continues to sway – determine what is wrong and correct the problem.
  • 9. No passengers: You should never have passengers traveling in a towed trailer. This is against the law in most states. No only is it very dangerous, but very uncomfortable for the passengers.
  • 10. An Ounce of Prevention: Avoid serious problems by adopting a “checking it twice” mindset. Use towing tip checklists as handy reminders. Before long trips, make sure your maintenance is current on both the towing and towed vehicle. Follow manufacturer’s instructions for maintenance on your towing apparatus. The first time you tow, a general towing tip is to stop after 50 miles to check towing connections, tires, etc. Make regular stops to stay fresh at the wheel and during these breaks, check around the RV and tow to make sure all is well. General advice is a stop every two hours.