Bring more fun along with you.

Open Range Rolling Thunder Toy Haulers at Lerch RV

RVing allows you to go out across the country and bring all the comfort and necessities of home with you. While you may have room for a lot of your things in your RV, you probably have more things that you would like to take on the road with you.  This is especially true if you own an ATV, golf cart, motorcycle, or any other small vehicle that you want to enjoy at your next camp site.  Even if you don’t own one of these things, you may simply want more room for lounging or simply extra storage to give you more living room in your RV.  Well, one way to achieve this is to get a toy hauler.

Toy haulers were originally built to help carry motorcycles, ATV’s, and your other “toys.”  While you can still get a lot of functionality out of using a toy hauler this way, many new toy haulers are designed to be extra living or dining rooms, as well as holding an extra bed for anyone else you want to bring with you on your RV adventure.  Toy haulers are a great way to get more out of your RV without having to upgrade to a whole new rig.  A toy hauler can act like adding a new room or wing to your house.  Most people like to have a multipurpose room at home.  A toy hauler is the answer to this room in the RVing world.

If you are looking to do more on your future camping trips, then a toy hauler is a great way to allow you to bring more things along with you, giving you more possibilities on the road.  If you’re a biker who wants to go to Sturgis, but doesn’t want to stay in a crowded motel, simply load in your hog and camp a few miles outside of town and ride your bike to the Buffalo Chip each day.  If you are looking for new ATV paths, go out and find them quickly and easily.  Toy haulers allow you to bring your favorite hobby, no matter how big or small, on the road with you.If you have questions about toy haulers or are looking for a new RV to tow them with, then be sure to stop by your central PA RV Dealer.

Open Range Rolling Thunder H397 RGR Toy Hauler at Lerch RV

To Surge or not to Surge? What Brake System is On Your Travel Trailer?

Prodigy brake control for trailer towing
Brakes are an important feature of a travel trailer. And what type of brakes it has and how they work are very important to understand to ensure safe towing of a travel trailer. So what are the types of brakes do travel trailers have? Well there are two basic systems, surge and electric. These are the two types of braking systems available when towing a travel trailer.

Surge brakes require no electrical connection between the two vehicle and the trailer, except for, of course, the trailer lights.  Mounted on the tongue of the trailer is the surge coupler which inside of it, contains the linkage to a hydraulic master cylinder.

With the surge brakes the braking efforts start with the tow vehicle and are continued through to the surge coupler to the master cylinder . When the tow vehicle applies it brakes, the momentum of the trailer pushes on the surge coupler, which slides rearward and applies pressure against the master cylinder and releases the trailer brakes.

The reverse happens when the two vehicles brakes are released.  When the vehicle starts to move, the forward pull on the surge coupler relieves the pressure on the master cylinder and releases the trailer brakes.

Unlike electrical brakes, surge brakes cannot tell the difference between baking up and just normal braking. Therefore, either a reverse solenoid wired to the tow backup lights to vent brake pressure when backing up or a free backing mechanism that releases the brakes when backing up is needed.

The other type of braking system that can be found on travel trailers is electric brakes.  This type of braking system is activated by an electrical connection to a dash-mounted inertia switch in the tow vehicle or on the trailer itself or an electrical connection to the two vehicle’s brake pedal.

When the two vehicles brakes are applied it sends an electric current proportional to the rate of deceleration which energizes a magnet in each brakes. The magnet then moves an actuating lever to apply the brakes. When the brakes are releases via the driver in the tow vehicle, the current to the magnet is cut off and the brakes are released.  Since trailer loads vary you can adjust the controller to meet your needs. This is the more common type of braking system you find in travel trailers and fifth wheels nowadays.

If your travel trailer only has surge brakes and you want electric brakes you most definitely can do that. We recommend taking your trailer to the professionals at Pennsylvania’s largest travel trailer Dealership to make sure they are done properly. And if you have any questions about the brake system in your travel trailer just leave us a comment below!

Welcome to the RV Capital of the world!

Elkhart County, Indiana is considered to be the RV capital of the world. Supposedly one of every two RV’s is the world are made right there.  More than 20 RV manufacturers in Elkhart offer factory tours, you just have to pick which ones you want to see. I came across this article at mlive.com and thought I would share it with my readers.  This is a recap from one RVer’s visit to 3 different manufacturers. It should give you an idea of what the tours will be like.

First stop: Renegade RV, 52216 State Road 15 in Bristol, a 14-year-old company founded by Chuck McKibbin for the auto racing industry. Here, we were ushered onto the factory floor where employees were working on several custom units. The smallest unit they build is about 32 feet. Most of their vehicles are made for people who have owned several RVs and now want to design one to their own specifications.

We climbed up into these huge RVs to see the work in progress. We saw granite countertops, flat-screen TVs ready for installation — even one on the outside of the vehicle — granite floors, space-efficient layouts and unique storage solutions. Impressive!

Second stop: Jayco, 903 South Main St. in Middlebury. You can’t miss Jayco because you’ll see hundreds of white travel-trailers in the factory lot.

But watch carefully for the Visitors Center sign. Inside the center, a renovated 1880s farmhouse, we were invited to look around the center or to go outside and look at the vehicles on display while we waited for our noon tour. We did both.

A video told us about founders Lloyd and Bertha Bontrager, who started the company in a chicken coop in 1968. They quickly outgrew that and are now the largest privately owned RV manufacturer. Then we traveled in a trolley back to the building where they make about 11 fifth-wheels per day.

We went to the cavernous and fascinating sewing room. We watched a machine quilting two yards of material every 45 seconds. The material is used for bedspreads and pillow shams.

One of the installers placed a foam cushion on a vacuum machine, covered it with plastic, turned the machine on and, instantly, it shrank. She popped it inside the covering and, in a nano-second, it re-inflated and filled the covering.

Our final stop was Sunnybrook RV, 201 14th St., Middlebury. We joined a group of insurance agents on the tour, explaining the manufacturing process from the naked chassis stage to the finished product, whether a fifth-wheel or a travel-trailer.

With the insurance agents asking questions, we heard all the things RV manufacturers do to avoid problems for the consumers. We learned about glues, insulation, windows, awnings, and the craftsmanship.

Most impressive for me was the outdoor kitchen on one of the vehicles. You pop up the cover to find a tiny sink, refrigerator, and stove.

This day of “RVs Unwrapped” is a great way to learn about RVs before purchasing one or just to be impressed with manufacturing innovations. It also answered my ever-present question: “How do they do that?”

It goes without saying that this part of the country is very RV friendly! And it is only a short 7 1/2 hour drive from central PA.  If you do not want to drive that far to see your favorite brand, just stop at PA’s largest travel trailer dealership, Lerch RV.

Safe Travels and Happy RVing!

As seen on TV: America’s Largest RV Show

Zoo America located in Hershey PA Floods

As I write this, the ‘sweetest place on earth’ is currently one of the wettest.  With onset of days of rain and  major historical flooding of parts of Hershey, Pennsylvania. One must wonder how the ‘sweetest place’ will rebound.  The world will be able to see for themselves starting September 14 through September 18, when Hershey plays host to the largest RV show in America.  The 43rd Annual PA RV & Camping Show opens to the RVing public at 9am on Wednesday morning.

The 43rd Annual PA RV & Camping Show allows hundreds of exhibitors to showcase the latest and greatest in camping and RVing supplies.  The parking lot of the Giant Center is transformed into one large RV park, with all makes and models of RVs present.  From new high-end luxury motorcoaches to entry-level tent trailers, you will need at least two full days to view everything.  This large show is seen on HGTV and is labeled as ‘not just another RV show’.

As we approach the start of the show, let us all hope that mother nature has indeed thrown everything she could at Hershey.  And once the parking lot of the Giant center dries out and makes that transformation to the largest RV parking lot in the US, bring your family out to enjoy a great day or two.  Adult admission is $9 and children 12/under are free.  There are senior discounts and veterans discounts that are available daily.  Plus a 3-day show pass for $18.

And if you are looking for a brand new 2012 Open Range RV.  Find Pennsylvania’s largest Open Range Dealer, Lerch RV.  The Open Range display is just a hop, skip and jump from tram stop #4.  Look for the original breed of light weight fifth wheels, along with the newest offerings of truly half-ton towable units.  Do not forget that Lerch RV also offers the quality brands of Montana, Sprinter, Outback, Passport, Springdale, Summerland, Sydney by Outback, and Copper Canyon, all manufactured by the Keystone RV company.  If you are in the market for a new RV, come see a Pennsylvania dealer who has been in business for over 34 years.

Safe Travels and Happy RVing…

Find Lerch RV at America's Largest RV Show: 43rd PA RV Show in Hershey PA

Turn, Turn, Turn. The Open Range Light story.

I am still amazed when I recall what I witnessed the day when our first 2012 Open Range Light LF297 was picked up by its new owner. When it was time for the customer to leave we put the truck, which happened to be a Ford F150 Super Crew with a 5.5′ bed, and the trailer through a series of turning radius tests. The distance from the front cap of the fifth wheel and the rear cap of the pick up is substantial enough to allow true 90 degree turning. Take a look at Lerch RV’s YouTube video depicting that radius testing. Keep in mind that the Open Range Light is truly a half ton tow-able fifth wheel. And with the innovative front camp design and hitch pin placement, you can tow this beauty with just a standard fifth wheel hitch installed in your tow vehicle. No need for a sliding fifth wheel hitch (slider) or any other special modifications need to be made.

The Light is another great innovative idea from the Open Range RV company. The Light product line includes the above  pictured LF297RLS, LF289RES and the LF305BHS (bunk model with outside kitchen). There is also a travel trailer in the mix as well, the LT252FLR. So if you are driving a half ton tow vehicle and are looking for a truly unique fifth wheel to camp in, look no further than the Open Range Light. And if you happen to have a 5.5′ short bed truck and want a fifth wheel camper, the Light is especially for you! You can have full size fifth wheel fun in a half ton tow-able package, without missing anything.  All the features that you require in an exciting package.

The Open Range Light fifth wheel campers and travel trailers are available at Pennsylvania’s largest Open Range RV Dealer, Lerch RV. Located in Milroy, which is one hour west of Harrisburg and thirty minutes southeast of State College, the home of Penn State University. For more information on the Open Range Light, please contact us.

A few tips to keep Ants from Invading your RV…

Ants marching toward Lerch RV, how to keep ants from invading your RV/Camper...

When you are RVing at a campground or boon docking in the wilderness, you are susceptible to all kinds of insects and animals.

Ants are one of the more aggravating creatures to invade a RV, fortunately they are easy to get rid of. RV Travel shares this advice for us.

We woke up in our RV one fine morning with an upset cat. A large, black, moving column of ants, working its way across the RV from a crack near the entry door, across the flooring, up the wall cabinet, and into the kitchen sink. Hundreds of the little buggers, all intent on carrying away whatever it is that struck their fancy.

ANTS ARE CLEVER CREATURES – they send out scouts who scurry about the territory, looking for suitable food and water sources. If one crawls up your RV tire, water hose or power cable and eventually finds something inside your rig, he or she leaves a little smell trail of pheromones. Your proboscis won’t pick up on it, but to the ants, it’s an irresistible essence that must be followed — by hundreds of the scout’s fellows.

For whatever reason, ants won’t cross a line of bleach-containing scouring powder. Maybe it kills the pheromone trail, maybe it burns their little feet, we don’t know.

In any event, get out the Comet and shake a good border around everything of your rig that touches the ground: Tires, landing gear, stabilizers, cords, and hoses. This is better than spraying insecticide on these utilities, because the powdered cleanser will simply shake off, not stick to your hands, nor cause grief for pets and kids.

Of course, if the rains fall you may need to renew your magic circle, but while the powder’s out, the ants are gone.

This is a pretty easy fix. I wish it was this easy to repel other bugs or animals like, say, bears!

No, bears are nothing to laugh at. Now you should be equipped with some ant knowledge and some “bear” knowledge.

What more do you need? A new RV you say? We can equip you with that too!

More RV and Camping Safety Tips

You may read about RV and camper safety a lot when you’re surfing the internet or picking up the latest Trailer Life magazine. Personally I think you can never learn too much or think too often when it comes to RV safety. And as with anything else in life, practice what you read and preach.  To many times safety is placed on the back burner of our thought process when it comes to hitching up the wagon and hitting the road.  Many of my previous posts have been about RV and camping safety.  I can not stress how import this subject matter is.  So once again here are some more RV safety tips to think about….

"Keystone RV" "Lerch RV" RV "PA RV Dealer" camper camping campers "tag along" "tow behind" "bunk model" "bunk house camper" "RV lifestyle" glamping caravan "Go RVing" RVing "new camper sale" "camper dealer" "new camper" "RV dealer" "PA RV Dealership" towing "used campers" "weekend fun" "family fun" "recreational vehicle" recreation "summer fun" "keystone rv company"Propane:

Never paint the tank a dark color. It can absorb the sun’s rays and can cause it to overheat and explode.

  • Don’t travel with the stove, oven or heater burners lit.
  • Never refuel while any propane appliance or engine is running.
  • If you have an older propane tank, make sure it has an overfill protection device.
  • Install a propane gas detector.

Create a step-by-step checklist!!

Before you drive:

  • Make sure bay doors are closed and latched.
  • Double-check tow bar and safety cables.
  • Disconnect all power, TV, phone, water and sewer lines.
  • Retract jacks, steps, and awnings.
  • Look under the rig for signs of fluid leaks.
  • Check oil, transmission and coolant levels.
  • Check air brakes, parking brake and tow brakes.
  • Inspect tire inflation pressure and tread wear.
  • Make sure smoke and propane leak detectors are working.

Practice S.A.F.E Cornering:

RVers must compensate for the extra weight, height and length of their vehicles when cornering. Practice S.A.F.E. cornering:

  • Slowly approach the turn. It’s much easier to speed up in the corner than have to brake.
  • Arc the turn, careful to not arc the first swing in the opposite direction, confusing drivers behind as to where you really intend to go.
  • Finish the turn completely. Drivers make a common mistake when they straighten before the back-end of the vehicle has cleared the pivot point.
  • Experience is key. The best way to become a good RV driver is practice, practice, practice.[GMAC Insurance]

There are some good tidbits that I think you can print out and keep in your RV to refer back to every once in a while. That is if you like. I truly hope you have enjoyed some of these safety tips! That way next time you hit the road you will know that you and your family are good to go!

Have a great weekend adventure, run by on your way back so we can hear all about it.  And, if there is anything we can do to help, let us know!!

Safe Travels and Happy RVing!

A truly Unique Penn State Football Experience!

Lerch RV Receptionist: Good afternoon and thank you for calling Lerch RV. May I help you?

Person on other end: Do you rent RVs?

Lerch RV Receptionist: I’m sorry, unfortunately we do not.

Thus ends that phone call.  As stated above here at Lerch RV, we do not rent our RVs.  We are a Sales and Service dealership only.  However we can highly recommend a truly unique RV rental business, Keystone Alternatives RV Rentals.  This business deals only with RV Rentals. Mark and his staff specialize in RV Camper rentals in PA, and they do it well! You can rent an RV or Camper from them for delivery to your campsite, delivered to your home prior to your trip, or they will come out and set up a Rental RV or Camper at Penn State university for use at the home games…There really is no limit to where you can take these rental RV’s or Campers !

PSU Senior Section dressed to spell "S"

Image via Wikipedia

An excerpt from their website at GOPSURV.com explains how they can make your PSU game rental an experience that you will not soon forget:

Where else can you enjoy 2 Full Days of PSU Tailgating in view of Beaver Stadium with a full kitchen & your own private bathroom just a step away?

Spend Friday meeting your fellow football fans & then cook a meal in your full kitchen or go to one of the many great restaurants close-by. Return to your comfortable quarters for a good nights rest & awake when you want (no getting up at 5 AM to go sit in line for a tailgating spot, your already there!). Have breakfast however you want it & then open your door to the best tailgating anywhere in the world.

If you are looking for an RV rental in central PA, please give Keystone Alternatives RV Rentals a call. And tell Mark that Lerch RV sent you their way.

"Keystone RV" "Lerch RV" RV "PA RV Dealer" camper camping campers "tag along" "tow behind" "bunk model" "bunk house camper" "RV lifestyle" glamping caravan "Go RVing" RVing "new camper sale" "camper dealer" "new camper" "RV dealer" "PA RV Dealership" towing "used campers" "weekend fun" "family fun" "recreational vehicle" recreation "summer fun" "keystone rv company"

Oh and before I forget, look for a travel trailer to be displayed by Keystone Alternatives RV Rentals at the Penn State vs. Purdue (Homecoming Game) outside of the grey giant, Beaver Stadium.

WE ARE……..
PENN STATE!