Leaky RV Window? Here is the fix…

Much like the window and door frames on your house, the window frames of an RV are sealed with caulk. Over time, caulk eventually decays, causing a leak. With their thinner walls, these leaks are much more apparent on an RV. They can also be much more destructive to the plywood construction used in many RV models. You should act to replace the caulking on the window as soon as you become aware that the window is leaking.

Step 1

Inspect the caulking around the perimeter of the RV window frame. Wherever the caulk is cracked, crumbling or a gap has opened between the bead of caulk and the window frame is a potential leak.

Step 2

Remove the damaged caulk from the RV window frame. Cut and pry up the bead of caulk with a disposable razor blade or a putty knife, and pull as much of the bead out by hand as possible. Remove the remaining caulk by scraping it out with a razor.

Step 3

Clean the RV window frame seams. If there are any major bits of old, damaged caulk still in the seam, break it down and remove it with an acetone-based solvent. Then wash out the seam with car wash detergent, water and an old rag. Allow the clean-up to dry before proceeding.

Step 4

Caulk the RV window frame with RV sealant. Apply steady pressure to the caulking gun’s trigger as you slowly draw a constant bead of caulk around the window frame, filling up the seam. Gently remove any excess caulk with the razor blade.

Things You’ll Need:

  • Disposable razor blades
  • Putty knife
  • Acetone-based solvent (if possible)
  • Car wash detergent
  • Old rags
  • Caulking gun
  • RV sealant
If your know your leak is a bigger headache then a simple drop or two of water, do not hesitate to contact your Central PA RV Dealership for service.  Our fully staffed RV service department has well over 100 years of combined RV Service experience.  Give us a call at 800-722-1236 for all your travel trailer and fifth wheel needs.

RV Propane Tank Safety..LPG in PA

RV Tanks at Lerch RV in PA

Dual 30 lb LP Bottle Sketch

One of the main systems that helps your RV function on all levels is your propane system.  Without your propane, you lose most of the accessories that make your RV comfortable to use.  But did you know that you have to keep your propane cylinders certified?  If you are the owner of an older RV, then this is something that you need to check out to make sure that your propane system meets safety standards.

When you buy a new RV, you can go twelve years before having your cylinders certified.  After the first twelve-year check, you need to have it certified every five years after that.  Here’s some more information about propane certification from rvbasics.com:

If you have an older RV you should know that according to Federal law, DoT cylinders may only be used for 12 years after their manufacture date. After that, the cylinders must be “re-certified” which provides another five years of use. The cylinders can be re-certified every five years thereafter.Propane dispensers are legally required to look at the date stamped on the cylinder before filling it. Some dealers actually do look. We’ve been reminded a few times that our cylinders were about to expire. Check the date stamped on your cylinders… don’t rely on your rig’s model year even if the cylinders are original. It’s quite possible they are a year or older than your rig. Ours were.

Re-certification is usually done by the large bulk propane suppliers but we found one of our local RV repair shops was certified to do the job and they do it for free! Call around to see who may do it in your area.

Some other simple tips to follow as well:

Inspect your Propane Appliances

You should also have the tech check your fridge and any other propane appliances inside your RV.

Install Properly and Identify

You should have a way to identify the presence of a propane tank if your tank is hidden. ASME-identified tanks should be installed horizontally, and DOT-identified cylinders are installed vertically.

Replace Damaged Tanks

If you have a damaged tank, including dents and rust, or damage to a hose, you should replace your tank.

Don’t Overfill

Since the late 1980s, tanks with capacities of 40 lbs. and less have a overfilling protection device, or OPD. If you have an older tank, have a OPD installed. Don’t fill your tank with the RV running, or with anyone in it, if you are filling the tank while still attached to the RV.

Detecting a Leak

If you think you have a leak or smell gas, everyone needs to get out of the RV quickly. Leave the door open to your RV and shut off the supply valve.

If you have any questions regarding your propane bottles/cylinders, please give your Central PA RV Dealer a call.  You can reach the Lerch RV Service Department at 800-722-1236.

And if you are looking for that new travel trailer or fifth wheel, do not forget to give our Sales Team a call as well.

Trailer Tire Safety: Check your Tires Before Hitting the Road

The wheels on your RV go round and round, round and round…until…boom!

Ask yourself these questions:

When was the last time I checked the air pressure?

How old are your tires on your trailer?

When was the last time they were replaced?

RV Tires

You can’t judge your tires by how they look. Kicking them is not going to tell you anything either. Trailer tires are only meant to last three to six years on average. Just because they look good and the tread looks brand new does not mean that the tires are not rotting away on the inside.


Tires deteriorate over time whether you drive on them daily or just once a year.

Tire deterioration can happen from the UV rays from the sun, going over the allotted speed the tires can handle, going over the weight amount allotted for the trailer capacity and its tires, exceeding the maximum or falling under the minimum tire pressure of the tires, and finally, using products with petroleum distillates on your tires. All of these actions can cause your tires to deteriorate at a faster rate. Proper use and care of your tires will allow you to get the longest, safest use out of them.

Here are some tips to keeping your RV’s tires in good shape:

  1. Use covers to protect your tires from the sun. The UV rays from the sun can crack and damage your tires. If your trailer is parked longer than a weekend, make sure to cover your tires with tire covers.
  2. Make sure you know the MPH your tires are designed for. Trailers come with special trailer tires and the majority have a maximum speed rating of 65 MPH. By accelerating past that speed could cause serious damage to your tires, especially if your trailer is loaded down with weight.
  3. Make sure not to overload your trailer to over its capacity because your tires are affected too. The more pressure on your tires, the more stress you put on your tires. Especially if you are going over the maximum speed the tires can handle.
  4. Keeping your tires at the correct tire pressure is essential to not only the health of your tires but to your load weight and speed. Improper tire inflation is the number one factor in tire failure. Most RV and camper service personnel  recommend to inflate your tires to the maximum PSI stamped on the sidewall of the tire. Be aware of how the weather elements affect tire pressure. Higher elevations increase tire pressure as does warmer temperatures. Make sure to check your tires before hitting the road every time! Do a visual inspection for tire inflation, wear, bulging, cracking and anything that looks unusual.
  5. Only use soap and water to clean your tires. Using protective chemicals that have petroleum distillates will weaken your tires strength.
  6. Think about using Nitrogen to inflate your tires instead of compressed air.  Nitrogen has been found to pro-long the life of the tire. Nitrogen allows the tire to run cooler while in use.
  7. Replace your tires every three to six years, regardless of the miles you’ve put on them or the tread depth. When we’re talking three to six years, we mean from the time when the tire was manufactured. Each tire has a date stamped on the sidewall stating the manufactured date. There is how to read one.

The date code looks something like this: DOT PDHH MLOR 3403.

The date code always starts with a DOT and ends with a 3 or 4 digit number. Those last numbers are the date code. The first two numbers indicate the week (out of 52) and the last one or two digits indicate the year it was manufactured in. So, from the date code above, 3403 means the 34th week of 2003, or the fourth week of August 2003. So, from that date, your tires would need to be replaced between August 2006 and August of 2009.

Another thought to keep in mind, blow outs and flat tires happen. So always carry a spare tire, jack and the proper tools to fix your flat tire while you are traveling.

**The information from this post was taken from RV Chat With Ron Fleming “How Old Are the Tires on Your RV?”

For more information, please consult your tire’s manufacturer or the RV’s manufacturer.

Tire identification diagram

Image via Wikipedia

You can enjoy the RVing Lifestyle even if you are on a motorcycle.

Motorcycle camping with light weight camper

It may be small but it packs a lot.

If you are buying a camping trailer, then that usually means that you will be towing it behind a truck or SUV.  That doesn’t mean that there aren’t camper trailers that are designed for the motorcycle enthusiast.  If you own a motorcycle and often travel to bike shows and events, such as Sturgis or Daytona Bike Week,  then you may think that you are at the mercy of  hotel reservations, absorbent fees and check in times.

motorcycle camper
Well, I stumbled upon a great article from rvtravel.com that shows how one lucky biker is able to travel wherever he wants in the country, and always have a way to camp out.  This micro-camper may not have all the amenities of a full size luxury fifth-wheel, but that doesn’t mean that this rider is camping uncomfortably.

They don’t cook in their living quarters (they don’t come with stoves), so they eat out when on the road. This is their 2005 bunk house by B&F Specialties of Elk Grove, Illinois. This cool little RV has a screened in porch for bug-free outdoor living. Let me take you inside for a look at the sleeping quarters. This unit comes with a king sized bed with blow-up mattresses.

This little RV is roomy enough for tall folks to be comfortable. It weighs 350 lbs. empty and sports an electric refrigerator on the front.

Steve says it takes about five to ten minutes to set up and, “If it’s raining you can do it real fast.”

So if you want to travel around the country on your hog, but don’t want to deal with high hotel costs, then you should consider looking at a micro-camper. It goes to show, that RVs come in all shapes and sizes to make life on the road easier. If you are looking for a new full size travel trailer and fifth wheel, be sure to check us out at Lerch RV. Stop by and see why we are Pennsylvania‘s largest travel trailer dealer. Give us a call at 800-722-1236.

PS. Unfortunately we do not carry motorcycle campers…

motorcycle camper setup

United States Flag-Day Etiquette.

Flag of the United States of America

Image via Wikipedia

 

With today’s date being June 14, I thought it would be proper to remind everyone the proper etiquette for the United States Flag.  I found all this information at USFlag.org. Some of the information you may know and some you may not.  However it is all very interesting, especially if you are like me and fly the Stars and Stripes at home.

STANDARDS of RESPECT

The Flag Code, which formalizes and unifies the traditional ways in which we give respect to the flag, also contains specific instructions on how the flag is not to be used. They are:

  • The flag should never be dipped to any person or thing. It is flown upside down only as a distress signal.
  • The flag should not be used as a drapery, or for covering a speaker’s desk, draping a platform, or for any decoration in general. Bunting of blue, white and red stripes is available for these purposes. The blue stripe of the bunting should be on the top.
  • The flag should never be used for any advertising purpose. It should not be embroidered, printed or otherwise impressed on such articles as cushions, handkerchiefs, napkins, boxes, or anything intended to be discarded after temporary use. Advertising signs should not be attached to the staff or halyard
  • The flag should not be used as part of a costume or athletic uniform, except that a flag patch may be used on the uniform of military personnel, fireman, policeman and members of patriotic organizations.
  • The flag should never have placed on it, or attached to it, any mark, insignia, letter, word, number, figure, or drawing of any kind.
  • The flag should never be used as a receptacle for receiving, holding, carrying, or delivering anything.

When the flag is lowered, no part of it should touch the ground or any other object; it should be received by waiting hands and arms. To store the flag it should be folded neatly and ceremoniously.

The flag should be cleaned and mended when necessary.

When a flag is so worn it is no longer fit to serve as a symbol of our country, it should be destroyed by burning in a dignified manner.

Note: Most American Legion Posts regularly conduct a dignified flag burning ceremony, often on Flag Day, June 14th. Many Cub Scout Packs, Boy Scout Troops, and Girl Scout Troops retire flags regularly as well. Contact your local American Legion Hall or Scout Troop to inquire about the availability of this service.

Displaying the Flag Outdoors

When the flag is displayed from a staff projecting from a window, balcony, or a building, the union should be at the peak of the staff unless the flag is at half-staff.

When it is displayed from the same flagpole with another flag – of a state, community, society or Scout unit – the flag of the United States must always be at the top except that the church pennant may be flown above the flag during church services for Navy personnel when conducted by a Naval chaplain on a ship at sea.

When the flag is displayed over a street, it should be hung vertically, with the union to the north or east. If the flag is suspended over a sidewalk, the flag’s union should be farthest from the building.

When flown with flags of states, communities, or societies on separate flag poles which are of the same height and in a straight line, the flag of the United States is always placed in the position of honor – to its own right.
..The other flags may be smaller but none may be larger.
..No other flag ever should be placed above it.
..The flag of the United States is always the first flag raised and the last to be lowered.

When flown with the national banner of other countries, each flag must be displayed from a separate pole of the same height. Each flag should be the same size. They should be raised and lowered simultaneously. The flag of one nation may not be displayed above that of another nation.

Raising and Lowering the Flag

The flag should be raised briskly and lowered slowly and ceremoniously. Ordinarily it should be displayed only between sunrise and sunset. It should be illuminated if displayed at night.
The flag of the United States of America is saluted as it is hoisted and lowered. The salute is held until the flag is unsnapped from the halyard or through the last note of music, whichever is the longest.

Displaying the Flag Indoors

When on display, the flag is accorded the place of honor, always positioned to its own right. Place it to the right of the speaker or staging area or sanctuary. Other flags should be to the left.

The flag of the United States of America should be at the center and at the highest point of the group when a number of flags of states, localities, or societies are grouped for display.

When one flag is used with the flag of the United States of America and the staffs are crossed, the flag of the United States is placed on its own right with its staff in front of the other flag.

When displaying the flag against a wall, vertically or horizontally, the flag’s union (stars) should be at the top, to the flag’s own right, and to the observer’s left.

Parading and Saluting the Flag

When carried in a procession, the flag should be to the right of the marchers. When other flags are carried, the flag of the United States may be centered in front of the others or carried to their right. When the flag passes in a procession, or when it is hoisted or lowered, all should face the flag and salute.

The Salute

To salute, all persons come to attention. Those in uniform give the appropriate formal salute. Citizens not in uniform salute by placing their right hand over the heart and men with head cover should remove it and hold it to left shoulder, hand over the heart. Members of organizations in formation salute upon command of the person in charge.

The Pledge of Allegiance and National Anthem

The pledge of allegiance should be rendered by standing at attention, facing the flag, and saluting.
When the national anthem is played or sung, citizens should stand at attention and salute at the first note and hold the salute through the last note. The salute is directed to the flag, if displayed, otherwise to the music.

The Flag in Mourning

To place the flag at half-staff, hoist it to the peak for an instant and lower it to a position half way between the top and bottom of the staff. The flag is to be raised again to the peak for a moment before it is lowered. On Memorial Day the flag is displayed at half-staff until noon and at full staff from noon to sunset.

The flag is to be flown at half-staff in mourning for designated, principal government leaders and upon presidential or gubernatorial order.

When used to cover a casket, the flag should be placed with the union at the head and over the left shoulder. It should not be lowered into the grave.

USA Flag image

So fly it high and fly it proud!

Safe travels and Happy RVing…

Lerch RV’s Buttonwood Campground Summer Show

Lerch RV's Annual Summer Campground Show, June 24-26,2011

Your favorite RV Sales Team will once again be displaying some exciting new travel trailers and fifth wheels at one of our favorite campgrounds, Buttonwood Campground, in beautiful Mexico, Pennsylvania.  Come join us for some great sale prices, give-aways and some afternoon snacks.  Mark your calendars or call the campground for your reservations. We will be looking for you!

 

We are looking forward to seeing you!

Remember at Lerch RV

we make Buying Easy!!!

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Buttonwood Campground Pool

Are you a happy camper? If not read thes tips…

Trashy Campground image

It’s bound to happen if you are an RVer.  You will get to your camp site and realize that you have some less than ideal neighbors.  It may be little things such as loose trash or too much noise, or even sever such as people who try to get confrontational.  The best thing that you can do in these situations is to be the better camper and hope that they will pick up on some of your routines.

Being a great camper means more than having the best equipment, it means allowing everyone around you to have a great time without causing any problems.  Here are five tips from your-rv-lifestyle.com on how to become a better camper.

  1. Follow the rules: Individual parks usually hand you a copy of their rules when you register. Adhering to these rules is one of the basics of campground etiquette. It makes things easier for everyone involved – you, your neighbors and the park operators. Typical guidelines include reduced speed limits on campground roads for the safety of all involved. You are typically expected to unhook a dinghy before driving to your site. There are usually defined quiet hours when you should keep the noise down, turn off outdoor lights, generators – basically, the party is over.
  2. Eliminate pet peeves: Literally. Pick up after your pets. Stop excessive or extended barking. Don’t leave a howling dog unattended to bother the neighbors. Use a leash. Even if Spot is friendly, not everyone is an animal lover. Good pet-etiquette on your part helps ensure that the many RVers with pets are welcome at campgrounds.
  3. Parking the rig: Sometimes it is very clear how to orient the rig on a site – you may even have a cement pad. But in many cases, the only guideposts will be the hookup for electric and sewer. General campground etiquette is to stay on your side of that hook-up, and not have awnings or slide-outs encroaching on the site next door. Look at the campground map for a clue about preferred orientation. Or, look around you to see how other rigs are angled, if they are centered on sites or close to the utility hook up. You will get the most out of the space you have (and so will your neighbors) if you are all situated the same way. There are bound to be exceptions – we have been in many campgrounds with no uniformity in the size, shape or orientation of sites. The main objective in these cases is to just “guess the site” and fit the RV into it. But even then, the idea is to park in a way that gets everyone their fair share of privacy and room under their respective awnings. Common sense and campground etiquette go hand in hand.
  4. Late arrivals: If you are arriving at a park after normal quiet hours, attempt some degree of stealth behavior. Not that it is easy to be unobtrusive pulling in an RV. But keep the set-up to the minimum required for the night. Your neighbors will understand that you need to pull in and hook up. They have probably been in the same situation. But they will lose patience if they spend an hour listening to loud conversation, slamming doors and arguments over how to level the rig. Do what is essential and remember that tomorrow is another day. The same sort of courtesy should be used if you are making an early morning departure. Don’t keep the engine idling for an hour before you leave. Tidy up your campsite the night before.
  5. Sewer connections: Do them right. Make them secure. No torn hoses. In most places, your sewer connection faces the side where you neighbor has their “patio” area. Another time where being discreet and careful is part of good campground etiquette.

There are more tips in the article, and I recommend that you give it a good read through. When you become a better camper, you will have a better time on the road. If you are looking for a new RV to become the best camper you can be in, then check out Lerch RV, Pennsylvania‘s largest travel trailer dealer.