Early Bird Sale!

Now is the time to think SPRING!

Do away with the winter blues and think of greener grass, sweet-smelling flowers, and the sound of chirping birds.  Spring is undoubtedly around the corner.  Come on out and join us for our Early Bird Sale, which is going on now. Lock in great low prices on new travel trailers and 5th wheels.  Our great low prices will allow you get that new RV before our leading manufacturers raise their prices.  Make your purchase now and we will store your unit until you are ready for to pick it up.  Take a look at our Early Bird Sale Flyer…

Lerch RV Early Bird Sale going on now!

Check out our Early Bird Sale Flyer.

Compare prices and save with Lerch RV.  With over 200 new and pre-owned travel trailers and fifth wheels in stock. We are sure you will be able to find the one that fits your family. Give Lerch RV a call at 800-722-1236 or visit us at LerchRV.com. Better yet visit our dealership, located along Rt 322 in Milroy, PA.  We are Pennsylvania’s largest Keystone RV and Open Range RV dealership.

RVers are Embracing Technology.

Amazon Kindle, perfect for RVers on the go.

Amazon Kindle, perfect for RVers on the go.

One of the things I like to do when traveling is catch up on some reading. What I don’t like to do is bring a bag full of books that is cumbersome and  just take up space. I’ll admit, I’m not the most techno savvy guy on the planet, but if there is something that will enhance my RV lifestyle I’ll certainly consider it.

I found an article on The Kindle that really peaked my interest and would solve my “bringing an entire library on the RV” problem. A big Thank you Clemstrailersales.com for allowing me share this with my readers. If you are a reader, then I know you’ll be interested in an easy way to enhance your RV adventures.

After seeing electronic book readers in the stores for a while now and then hearing my daughter-in-law raving about the one my son got her for Christmas, I decided to check them out. I searched Amazon.com who sells the Kindle and discovered they provide free Kindle for PC software for those of us who want to just check it out or who want Kindle books on our PCs instead or who don’t have wonderful spouses. I have to say Kindle is amazing and has reopened a whole new world for me. Along with the free software, I also downloaded several free books that sounded interesting. There are thousands of free books out there from numerous websites.

I have not been able to read a regular book in full in a couple of years due to my eyes but I can read a book on my PC quite easily. I like that I can change the background and text colors as well as the text size to something comfortable for me. It bookmarks where I am at in a book so I can easily come back later. I love the highlighting and note options which make it very easy to study a book and get back to important points. The click-able links in Kindle books is also very handy. The price of Kindle books is usually lower than a paper book and you get easy instant delivery online with no shipping fees. In fact I liked all this so much that I went ahead and bought a book I had already planned on buying and but now in the Kindle version. I read half the book in just one sitting because it was so easy! I should also mention that many popular newspapers, magazines and blogs are also available in Kindle subscription versions. They are automatically downloaded early in the morning daily, monthly, etc. I will have to start bugging my favorite RV magazines about going to Kindle.

Another great benefit is having a whole library on my computer that is limited only by the size of my hard drive space. When I get my handheld Kindle (and I will definitely be getting one of those too!), it can hold 3500 books. Imagine that! What a savings in storage space in an RV and no more having to give up books on my shelves to add new books. According to Amazon, the handhelds have special screens that you can see even in broad daylight while kicking back in your lounge chair with a cool drink and a good book. They can also connect to Amazon.com via either Wi-Fi or Wi-Fi and free 3G depending on the model you get. Of course you can also sync a handheld with Kindle for PC on your computer.

Safety First! for Your RV Trip

Red Cross Image

Taking your RV along with you on a trip is like taking the comforts of home with you. You have everything you need for shelter, cooking and entertainment. But are you prepared for an emergency or accident?

When preparing yourself and your RV for emergencies and accidents, make sure you not only have the necessities but you also have packed a few items for the trip you are going on. For example, if you are traveling for a weekend getaway, make sure you have a complete first-aid kit with medications and a few survival items, like matches, a flashlight with extra batteries, space blankets, a flare, whistle, etc. If you are going on an extended vacation, make sure to pack the things listed above, but also include a tool kit, spare tire, jack, extra food, water, etc. Also, always take a camera with you in case you need to take pictures of an accident for insurance purposes.

You can also make your safety and first-aid kits specific to your family’s needs. If you have a member with asthma or high blood pressure, make sure to add medications in your kit for them.

Wherever you are going, make sure you are prepared for the road ahead of you.

RV First Aid KitClick Here for a list of items to make your own personal RV first-aid kit (eHow.com).

Flying J Fuel is good for RVers

When you even mention the subject of fuel prices, it usually invokes a harsh reaction. However I do have some ‘good’ fuel news to post about. I recently came across this subject as a forums posting on Camping PA.com. So I decided to do some more in-depth investigating. My final determination is that this is an excellent program being offered by Pilot Flying J travel centers.Flying J Travel Center LOGO

Pilot Flying J is launching Frequent Fueler Advantage, an enhanced loyalty program on Jan. 3 for professional drivers and RV customers.

Frequent Fueler Advantage will allow professional drivers to instantly accrue and redeem loyalty points in all participating Pilot and Flying J travel centers, travel plazas and restaurants across the U.S. and Canada. Added benefits of the new program for professional drivers include extended shower expiration for loyal customers, shower credits for expeditors and in-store rewards. RV cardholders in the program will receive instant discounts on fuel, propane purchases and dumping fees. Coming soon, RV cardholders will receive discounts at the truck diesel islands in addition to the specified RV fueling lanes.

Pilot Flying J will also offer Pump Start to all Frequent Fueler Advantage cardholders. Pump Start will allow drivers paying with cash, a check or a third-party credit card to use their Frequent Fueler Advantage card to start the fuel pumps. Members must register their card at the cashier counter and must have 500 gallons of purchase history in order to activate the Pump Start feature.

Pilot Flying J will continue to honor points accumulated on the Frequent Fueler, RV Real Value Card and Driver Payback cards. Pilot Flying J is asking that drivers register these cards under the new program in order to take full advantage of all benefits.

“By registering for the Frequent Fueler Advantage, our customers will be able to instantly access enhanced benefits,” said Pilot Flying J President and CEO Jimmy Haslam. “In addition, Pilot Flying J will be able to better serve our customers by designing benefits that more closely match their needs and wants.”

Drivers may register their cards at www.FrequentFuelerAdvantage.com or at cashier desks and kiosks in Pilot and Flying J locations.

If anyone else is aware of any other fuel discount or savings program? It would be great if we could point all of our customers to the best and most economical fuel distributors which can really pad your pockets with a little extra spending money during your trip. Which I’m sure would help make your trip a little more memorable.

Safe Travels and Happy RVing!

The Essential Camping List

Have you ever gone on an RV trip and realized you forgot a few essential items? Buying forgotten essentials from the campground store can be a pain (and expensive!), and if you’re camping on your own, well…good luck! At Lerch RV, we know how important it is to know what to bring on an RV trip, so we put together this little checklist to make sure your packing is as stress free as possible. Before you go on your next RV trip this season, stop by to visit us and stock up on all the essentials!

Kitchenware:

The best thing to do with kitchenware is to just buy a lot and leave it in your RV all season. This way, you’ll always know you have some on hand and won’t have to worry about packing it up while deciding what to bring on your RV trip.

  • Plates
  • Bowls
  • Cups
  • Mugs
  • Flatware
  • Coffee maker
  • Toaster
  • Hand towels
  • Dish soap
  • Sponge
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Can opener
  • Plastic wrap
  • Aluminum foil
  • Ziploc bags
  • Pots
  • Pans
  • Bowls
  • Cutting boards
  • Folding table
  • Outdoor chairs
  • Garbage Bags

Kitchen Supplies:

One of the more frustrating things when getting ready to cook dinner  is when you’ve forgotten your little spice assortment.  You have to have rosemary to rub onto your grilled chicken.  How about cinnamon for your French toast? One thing that many people do is to stop at their favorite grocery store before the trip to pick up some fresh herbs.  There’s nothing better than fresh basil to top off a fresh mozzarella and tomato salad.  Fresh oregano is fantastic in spaghetti sauce. When you’re on the road, it can be very hard to find a grocery store that carries fresh herbs.  The best thing to do with kitchenware is to just buy a lot and leave it in your RV all season. This way, you’ll always know you have some on hand and won’t have to worry about packing it up while deciding what to bring on your RV trip.

  • Salt and Pepper
  • Herbs and Spices
  • Mayo and Mustard
  • BBQ sauce and horseradish sauce
  • Oil and vinegar

Toiletries

Again, toiletries are things you can buy once and leave on your RV all season, and knowing what toiletries to bring on your RV trip can make your experience a lot more comfortable (for you AND those around you!). Before you leave for your first trip, make sure you have the following things:

  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Soap
  • Shaving cream
  • Razor
  • Mouthwash
  • Toothpaste
  • Toothbrush
  • Hair products
  • Deodorant
  • Powder
  • Perfume
  • RV safe toilet paper

Special Equipment

You’ve taken care of yourself – now take care of your RV! When you’re deciding what to bring on your RV trip, don’t forget to take the following RV essentials:

  • Extra long sewer hose to help you reach your sewer connection in those hard to reach campsites
  • 25 – 50 ft vinyl water hose with connecting devices (rubber can make water taste bad)
  • Water pressure regulator (A must have)
  • RV Toilet chemicals
  • Coaxial cable if campgrounds offer cable/satellite television
  • Work gloves and rubber gloves (for hooking up sewer connections to your RV and doing the dirty work)
  • Leveling blocks to ensure that your RV (and in particular, the refrigerator) is level

Electrical Equipment

Don’t forget your adapters! Since campgrounds have varying electricity sources, it is important to remember your adapters when thinking of what to bring on your RV trip – otherwise your appliances might not work! In addition to various adapters, stock up on batteries for your flashlights, smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, gas leak detectors and other electronic devices.

Odds and Ends

What else should you bring on your RV trip? Whatever you want! There are a lot of other miscellaneous essentials that you’ll need, including:

  • GPS
  • Portable vacuum
  • Bungee cords
  • Whisk broom
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug spray
  • Matches or a Lighter
  • Puzzles and games
  • Bikes
  • Frisbee
  • Fishing poles and gear
  • Anything Else that makes your trip enjoyable and memorable

The best thing about having a camper is that once it’s packed up you don’t have to worry about what to bring on your trip for the rest of the season. Remember, if you’re planning a road trip and want some advice on what to bring or what to do, visit the Lerch RV’s camping center parts department. Our friendly staff will not only be able to help you find the all the supplies you need in our parts department, but we also have experienced campers who know exactly what you shouldn’t camp without! So stop by your Central PA RV Dealership today to prepare your travel trailer or 5th wheel for the upcoming camping season.

 

New RV Trends for 2011

Definition of a trend: An inclination in a particular direction; A tendency; A fad or fashion style.

With the New Year, comes new trends, models and changes in the RV Industry. Exciting new floor plans, increased high-tech integrations, and a new emphasis on “Functional Luxury” are grabbing the attention of RV enthusiasts everywhere. The “Go Green” movement has taken the RV Industry by storm, with sustainable and green materials in not only the construction, but also in the decor of the units. Light-weight travel trailers that can be pulled by smaller vehicles are also a new addition to the industry.

To keep up with all of the new trends and changes, here is a rundown of the most exciting innovations to watch for in 2011.

1. Versatile Floor Plans: RV Manufacturers are starting to shy away from the normal rectangular structures inside an RV. Manufacturers are starting to use quad slides, full-wall slides and telescoping slides to create more interior space, which allows for a more flexible floor plan. Using the “L” shape is the trend this year! The “L” shape is being used in kitchens, bedrooms and even in the furniture to help create spatial use and flexibility.

Outback 298 RE Rear Entertainment Center

Outback 298 RE Rear Entertainment Center

2. High-Tech Integration: Now, you can have the technology comforts from home inside your RV. Entertainment centers with 40-to 46-inch-wide flat screen TVs, DVD and Blu-Ray players, true 5.1 surround-sound systems, satellite-enable and equipped with integrated wireless capabilities, and built-in charging stations for hand-held electronics are just a few high-tech gadgets inside the 2011 models.

3. Functional Luxury: Manufacturers are focusing on RV features that improve the quality of daily living for RVers. Some features they are starting to include are: Full-size kitchen appliances, second refrigerators, dual sinks, full-size showers, spacious master bedroom suites, nooks for reading or exercising, walk-in closets, built-in dressers, adding a second half-bathroom, and full-size washer/dryers. But really the most exciting feature that is being added to these RVs are outdoor kitchens! Most of these kitchens come complete with either a two or three outdoor cook stove, a grill, prep areas, refrigerators, microwaves, and sinks.

Passport 3220 Outdoor Kitchen

Passport 3220 Outdoor Kitchen

4. Going Green:
The RV Industry has an environmental certification program for all units that pass inspection for being “Green.” To earn the Certified Green sticker, RVs need to meet the required net energy-efficient and water-efficient benchmarks set by a third-party certification organization.  Manufacturers are increasing using stronger composite construction materials, sustainable materials in interior design elements, LED lighting, and installing energy-efficient appliances. Manufacturers’ are Going Green in their factories too. RV makers are installing solar panels and wind turbines to help power their factories. In the motor home category, small, fuel-efficient diesel engines are making a comeback.

Passport Express 238 Travel Trailer

Weighing in at only 3,700 lbs. The Passport Express 238 is great for the smaller truck and SUV tow vehicles.

5. Size Matters: The most surprising new model of 2011 are the small, light-weight, fuel-efficient RVs that are geared to meet the needs for those families on a budget. This light-weight models can be easily towed with most SUVs and mini vans.

For more information regarding all the new features and ‘trends’ for this year. Give your Central PA RV Dealership a call at 800-722-1236.

Customizing: How to make your RV your own.

Customizing your RV can be as simple as adding a musical horn or as extreme as getting a custom paint job.  Maybe adding a few window decals of the places you have visited with that coach is your comfort level with customizing your unit.  However some people take exterior customization to a whole new level. A full body paint scheme can give your RV character and create personality.  Full body paint is now even being offered at the factory level, usually reserved for the ‘higher end’ coaches.

Custom paint job by Willy’s Custom Concepts in Springfield, Oregon 

 

Adding jaw-like teeth or attaching a longhorn skull to the grill can add so much to your RV. Also, does your RV have a name? If so, add a decal of the RV’s name onto your unit. Not only does it add personality to your RV, but it is a great conversation starter in campgrounds. For those of you with 5th wheels, add a decorative paint scheme to your exposed 5th wheel hitch.  That way, when you are unhitched from your rig, anyone walking by will be able to view it.

Getting ideas: Look at the vehicles in your town. What kind of custom paint jobs have you seen? What would be a good design for your RV? Think of the trucks and cars you have seen with custom paint jobs…now think RV/trailer size! Add flames or racing stripes down the sides. Polk-a-dot your unit or paint your RV your favorite color! Have fun with it. You can also incorporate a mural of your favorite vacation spot, your hometown skyline, a religious story or animals onto the sides of your RV. You can also honor your favorite team by putting their decals on your unit.

Custom Steelers RV

Tailgate in Style

You could also restore your current paint job and add new decals from the factory. Whatever you decide to do, we suggest using a professional painter because of the dimensions of an RV/trailer, painting types and resell value.

The sky is the limit and you are only limited to your imagination. So do not be afraid to add some flare and personality to your RV!

Click Here for more ideas on how to “Customize Your RV” written by Don Goodson.
Click Here to see more custom paint jobs on motor-homes done by Willy’s Custom Concepts in Springfield, Oregon.

The ‘dirty’ on cleaning your black water holding tank.

OK, this isn’t one of the prettiest posts I’ve made, but it is an important one. Without getting into the gutter about the “dirty” details of flushing your black water holding tank, I found a pretty good video with some really nice products that will make this dirty job a little more tolerable. Cleaning your black water tank for your RV is important for the lifespan of your tank, personal hygiene and comfortable living while camping. There are not many steps for keeping your RV black water tank clean, but it’s important to be consistent in following them. Keeping up on proper maintenance is what will keep you from spending lots of money or many unpleasant hours on repairing your tank. You may be surprised how easy it is to maintain an RV black water tank and how easily accessible and affordable the products are. I know there are some units out there that have dual waste water holding tanks, the same maintenance must be performed on each tank. If you have any more questions about cleaning your black water holding tank, I’d be happy to answer them.

Let us take a look at how to clean and maintain your Black Water Holding Tank.

If your travel trailer or 5th wheel is equipped with a factory installed Black Water Tank Flush, you have the means of maintaining your black water tank at your figure tips.  However when you are using your installed tank flush, remember to pay attention to the manufacturer’s directions for proper use and care of the tank flush.  If your current coach does not have a built-in tank flush.  A qualified RV service center can also add a waste water tank flush to your existing trailer’s holding tank.  This is a very simple and inexpensive alternative to using the hand-held swizzle stick/flexible wand style flushers.  If you are considering adding a tank flush, give your Central PA RV Dealer a call at 800-722-1236. You can schedule an appointment with our service department and have an easy solution installed.  So you can do away with the ‘dirty’ part of camping. And continue with the fun stuff.

Safe Travels & Happy RVing!

RV Repairs on the Road

Lerch RV: You RV service Center.

Are you concerned about leaving on a long trip with an older RV? If so, perhaps, learning from our experiences can help to put your mind at ease. We’ve found that following these simple steps at Frugal RV Travel which can prevent or, at least, ease the pain of RV repairs while on the road:

  1. A thorough check of the RV before you leave home

    • If you’ve bought a used RV for your trip, drive it around home territory for at least 2 months to be sure you’re comfortable with it. Try out all of it’s features.
    • Tell your trusted, home territory mechanic of your travel plans and have him check all the mechanical aspects of the vehicle.
  2. An adequate roadside assistance plan.

    • If you already have a roadside assistance plan, review it’s coverage. AAA, or the Canadian equivalent – CAA, are the most well-known roadside assistance insurance plans. There are others. If you don’t have any plan, buy one before leaving home.I don’t normally promote insurance plans, but in this case, especially if you’re driving an older vehicle, a plan will let you relax and enjoy the adventure side of traveling into remote areas.You can’t predict or prevent a breakdown, but for a few dollars, ($100.00 to $150.00 per year average), you can feel confident driving into “the boonies” without worrying about adding an exorbitant towing charge to the RV repairs bill.
    • If you already have such a plan, be sure that it includes your RV. Some plans insure the vehicle, some the driver. With AAA or CAA, there are different plan levels to insure a car or a larger vehicle such as an RV.You may need to increase your coverage to be sure you’re covered for at least 100 to 200 miles of towing. This may sound like a lot, but in some areas, that’s how far it will be to a licensed mechanic, or if necessary, to the nearest dealership for warranty-covered work.

    Insurance Against Stupidity

    I like to call roadside assistance plans “stupidity insurance.” Such things as running out of gas, locking your keys in the car, leaving the lights on, and not knowing how to change a flat tire are all covered.Besides covering stupidity, (and I’ll be the first to admit I’ve had to make a few such claims,) here are some of the other benefits to this insurance.

    • The rate is the same whether you drive an old or new vehicle. (Odds of needing to use it aren’t factored in.)
    • Your premium doesn’t go up if you use the insurance.
    • Using it only once can often save you the entire premium cost.
    • There is no deductible.
    • There is no paperwork or claim to file. If you have the insurance, you don’t have to pay up front and wait for a refund.
    • It gives you peace of mind to go down the roads that you wonder if you should go down. (And isn’t that half the fun of travel?)
  3. Know and use free resources while traveling.

    • Buy a Hanes or Chiltons manual for the make, model and year of your vehicle. (Available at most auto parts stores.)This manual could help you diagnose a problem. If you are not mechanically minded yourself, it can help the fellow RVer you meet, who is mechanical and willing to help with your RV repairs, but is not familiar with your particular vehicle.
    • Fellow RVers are usually very able, willing, and eager to help diagnose, fix the problem, or suggest a nearby repair facility they have used.
    • The staff at auto parts stores such as Auto Zone, Checkers, and Napa are often a great source of information. Often they can help you figure out what the problem is and if you do need to go to a repair shop, they can often recommend a good local mechanic.

  4. Get expert help online.

    Of course, there are many aspects to a motor home that fall outside of the realm of regular vehicle mechanics. You can save a lot of money by doing your own RV repairs when it comes to these areas of your motor home. Take advantage of free advice from an experienced RV technician. Consult Lerch RV and ask their expert advice for maintenance and common RV repairs.You can even email them concerning your particular problem.

  5. Carry tools with you.

    If you are someone that’s pretty handy with tools and do some of your own mechanical work, you’ll know what to bring. If not, here’s a list of suggested tools to carry. It’s what we carry on our trips. Other than the jack and jack stands, most of these will fit into one medium-sized tool box.

    • a jack. Be sure it can support your weight of vehicle
    • 2 jack stands
    • a complete (medium-sized) mechanics tool kit. Available at auto parts, hardware stores, or Home Depot and Canadian Tire, the kit should include: several sizes of sockets, wrenches, ratchets, different types of pliers, and screwdrivers.
    • a hacksaw
    • a set of 2 small locking vice grips
    • side cutter pliers
    • wire strippers
    • a small assortment of screws, nuts, and bolts in various sizes
    • small tube of caulking, duct tape, electrical tape, cable ties and some medium weight wire and rope

    You don’t have to be a mechanic to be handy with tools. If you can figure out what the problem is, often you can also fix it yourself… but not if you don’t have the tools.

    Now, I can hear you asking, “That’s fine if you’re handy, but why should I carry these tools if I don’t know how to use them?”

    If you should have a break-down in a remote area and you can’t fix it yourself but happen to run into someone who can, he (or she) will need tools. If he doesn’t have them handy, your tools and his know-how may solve the problem.

  6. Check into privately owned repair shop.

    Of course, the nature of older vehicles being what it is, there will always be times when the problem requires more work than a box full of tools and a Hanes manual can solve. Finding a mechanic for your RV repairs in a strange town can be daunting.To get the best service at the best price, whenever possible, seek out a small privately owned shop for your RV repairs.

    In a privately owned shop, you’re apt to be dealing directly with the owner. He can make decisions that paid staff in other larger operations can’t make, such as not charging you the full shop time, or allowing you to purchase the part directly from the auto parts store, rather than through the shop which often includes a mark-up in price.

    However, if your repair is on a newer vehicle and falls under warranty, you’ll need to seek out the dealership for the repair.

  7. Have a Back-up Plan

    In case of a major repair, you may need to seek out a motel and rent a vehicle until you can get back on the road.

    Instead of calling around to all the different car rental companies, there is an Internet service you can use to find the cheapest rate for you. 

When all else fails….

I guess the final piece of advice to put your mind at ease about RV repairs on the road, is to suggest that you carry a credit card with a large enough limit to handle any type of emergency. Even with a new vehicle, you could run into a repair as the result of damage or unforeseen circumstances.

When driving an older vehicle and find yourself needing major RV repairs, just smile as you pull out the credit card, and think about…

A: the money you have in the bank, (to pay off that credit card,) that you wouldn’t have if you had bought a new vehicle.

And B: the trip you’re enjoying now instead of years from now, had you decided to wait until you could afford a new vehicle.
If you have any questions or thoughts, please do not hesitate to contact your Central PA RV Dealer.

Vantare Platinum Plus Motorcoach – World’s Most Expensive RV!

It is worth a million bucks…

Your home on wheels…or maybe a Beverly Hills mansion on wheels to be exact! The Vantare Platinum Plus Class A Motorcoach is luxury at its finest. Made by Featherlite Luxury Coaches, a division of Featherlite, Inc., this motorcoach is high-class all the way. To infinity and beyond.

Made from a Prevost bus shell, you’ll find some of the most luxurious materials inside this highway palace. Rare Inca marble, copper, pearlized Italian leather, sapele Pommele from Africa, Swarovski crystal, suede, Schonbek Crystal, antique bronze and onyx are only a few of these materials.

But, of course, that’s not all. This motorcoach comes equip with a stainless steel dishwasher, Sub-Zero refrigerator freezer, a king bed with a plasma TV that lifts out of the footboard, bath hardware from France, Malbar washer and dryer, and in the aft closet, there is a built-in treadmill with a 13-inch LCD TV that disappears behind a mirror. The driving helm has even State-of-the-Art equipment, with an Avic N-2 global positioning system with real-time traffic and weather alerts.

Towing your vehicle behind your motor home is a thing of the past. The Vantare Platinum Plus RV also has a garage slide-out compartment on the outside that fits a sports car! The gas tank also holds 235 gallons, which is around $1,000 to fill up the tank depending on where you are traveling to and from.

This dream mansion can be all yours for $2.5 million, making this motorcoach the world’s most expensive RV! There are many floor plans and options to choose from. So you tell me, is it worth a million dollars?