Satellite TV on the Road

Dish Network on the go...Recent surveys have shown that lots of RVers love their TVs.  Just because we are on the road a lot, doesn’t mean that we want to give up our favorite television shows.   After all, there is something comforting about having had a day full of fun and adventures to be able to return to your rig and tune in to your favorite evening programs.     I recently became aware of an option for satellite tv while on the road.  If you’re like most RVers I know, you travel only a few months a year and don’t want a year-long commitment on satellite TV for your rig.

With Dish Network, RVers can sign up for a no-contract plan in which you only pay a monthly bill for the months that you travel. This presents huge savings for RVers since you don’t have to pay a monthly bill all year-long.  You can start and stop monthly service as many times as you want at no charge.  Here are the rest of the details:

Pay-as-you-go TV

Watch all of your favorite programs and movies in the great outdoors. When you take a break from your adventures, your bill does too. Only DISH Network gives you the flexibility to start and stop monthly service as often as you wish – at no charge.

  • No contract required*
  • Pay only for the months that you travel – no charge to start and stop your monthly service
  • No additional monthly service fees
  • View off-air channels through your HD receiver wherever you camp**
  • Same programming you can watch at home

Only DISH Offers HD on the Road

Only DISH offers HD on ALL automatic mobile satellite antennas used with RVs. Domes and Portables do not support HD viewing with DIRECTV***

What You Need to Get Started

You’ll need a DISH mobile HD receiver and a mobile satellite antenna. DISH is compatible with ALL mobile satellite antennas.

DISH’s mobile HD receiver features:

  • Supports both SD and HD viewing
  • Designed for mobile use – compact, lightweight, emits little to no heat
  • Weather on Demand and Scoreboard Apps
  • Want a DVR? Connect an external hard drive***dishnetwork.com

As much as I hate to admit it, I love having my satellite TV available to me no matter where we are traveling.   There is just something really comforting about being able to relax in front of the tube, even while on the road!  Rver’s it’s time to sign up, tune in, and enjoy!

‘Steps’ to a safer RVing experience.

One of the pieces on your RV that you probably don’t think much about and that you use all the time, is the steps that are at the entrance of your camper.  The bad part is that since these aren’t given much attention, problems can occur that can be very dangerous to you and your fellow campers.  Whether it’s stability issues, traction or corrosion of the actual steps, all these things can have a serious impact on you if you do not take care and check them periodically.

static/manual rv steps

Typical type of static steps found on most travel trailer and fifth wheel campers.

There are generally two different kinds of steps that come on RVs, electric steps which fold down when the door is opened, which are typically found on Motor-Homes. And static steps that either stay down or are pulled down by hand, which are normally found on travel trailers and fifth wheels.  Let’s look at the problems that can occur with mechanical steps.  One of the most basic problems is that the sensor or motor will stop working, leaving you walking out expecting to find a step where there is none.  While you may able to stop your fall, you may fall out and injure your ankle or foot.  So be sure to look down and make sure your step is where it should be.  Another problem is exposed or frayed wires.  Unfortunately, there was a death this year when a young RVer was wet and barefoot, and when he stepped on his metal step that had exposed wires, he was electrocuted to death. Be sure to exam your steps and all wiring to insure that they are all working as they should. This should be done at a time when you already have to have your rig looked at, such as during your annual state inspection.

One of the biggest problems with non-electric steps, or static steps is that they are not built as strong, making the step a weaker.  After years of sun UV damage, water, and road grime, they can weaken and suddenly break off.  If you are an older RVer, this puts you at risk for encountering hip problems or hard falls.  Just be sure that every few months you check your steps by pushing them with your hands, or have another person put pressure on them, while you are looking at the step for any cracks that may be appearing.

For both types of steps you should have taken preventive maintenance into mind, spraying the pivot points of both types of steps with WD40 or a dry type of silicon lubricate, will keep those points working easily.  The traction strips on some steps wear down with use, these can be easily replace with stick on strips found at most home improvement stores or a spray on form of traction paint.  One other thing you can do to help prevent corrosion, is to hit your steps with a coat of spray paint once a year, this will also help with curb appeal as well.

While working on steps isn’t the most glamorous chore for an RVer, it is essential to your safety and the safety of those utilizing your camper with you.

If you suspect your steps are in need of repair or replacement. Be sure to ask our qualified service department about having those RV steps fixed the next time you are visiting Lerch RV.

A safe place to stay the night in your RV.

When traveling across the country with your RV, you probably shouldn’t expect to make the entire trip in one sitting.  Since you are already traveling in your sleeping space, you aren’t going to want to spend any money you don’t have to on a motel room.  The good news is that there are places all over the country that allow RVers to overnight for little or no money, granted they follow certain rules.  Here are some of the best places to overnight safely and cheaply.

Safe and Secure. Wally-docking is a way of life. Walmart Camping.

One of the better known places to stop by for a few hours of rest are Wal-Mart parking lots, Wally Docking is a way of life for certain RVers.  If you are driving through the night then you may see a few rigs parked in the back of the lot. Of course, if you don’t see any RVs in the lot, be sure to ask permission to park there for the night.  If they allow it (which most of them do) then be sure to park in the back, or away from the premium parking spaces. You should only stay for one night, and leave the lot before the store gets too busy.  While staying there, do not extend your awning, take out chairs, or grills. You are not tail gating, you are just getting a quiet, safe night of sleep.

Walmart camping. Safe and secure camping.

If you are near a Camping World store, then you may be allowed to park there as well. They allow people who are scheduled to be there the next morning to stay over night, but if they have vacant spots they will usually allow drive ups to park for the evening. Like Wal-Mart. be sure to keep your area spotless and leave before the store opens in the morning. Other places that offer a place to rest are truck stops. Many truck stops offer special spaces for RVs to park. If they do not have these spots, then be sure to stay out-of-the-way of truck traffic. You can also check casinos and state attractions if they are nearby.

And if you are traveling through the heart of Pennsylvania, you can even spend the night right here at Lerch RV.  We only ask that you inquire with us before you park for the night.

Safe Travels and Happy RVing!

Take a Camera Safari on your next RV trip…

stickman with camera at lerch rv

Passing the time while on the road can become hard after eight hours of driving across the country.  While you probably have plenty of plans to make your next trip fun and activity filled once you reach your destination, you may not know how to keep yourself and everyone on board stimulated until you get there.  Well there is a new craze that many RVers and road trippers are doing to help those miles go by a bit more quickly.  It’s called Digital Camera Safari, and it is sure to keep your eyes searching for the next great snap shot to add to your collection.

The idea is simple enough, find some of the most unusual and funny sights, people, animals, and places along your route and take a picture of it.  At the end of the trip, compare your photos with the rest of your passengers and see who got some of the best shots while on the road. They can be funny, beautiful, or just plain odd, but a Camera Safari will not only help you pass the time, but it will also help create great memories of time on the road that you can save and share with everyone who asks what you saw when you went on your last RV adventure.

rv dinner, family enjoying rving

So what are some of the things that would make great Safari catches?  It can be anything from a beautiful sunset, animals wearing costumes, tourist oddities (such as the largest ball of string in the world), or excessive lawn decorations.  Anything that you think will only be seen once while traveling across the country.  At the end of your trip, you can share the photos with your other passengers and award the person who got the funniest, most beautiful, or most odd picture during the trip.

Finding new and inventive ways to keep your family engaged while traveling can get tough, but this is a way to get everyone talking with their eyes peeled for the next great picture.  If you’re looking for a new RV, then be sure to come into Lerch RV.  We will gladly help you find the one that will suit your families needs, no matter what they are.

Boo at the National Zoo.

Boo at the National ZOO
Boo at the Zoo is the wildest trick-or-treat in town! Princesses, superheroes, kid-wizards, and other costumed guests are invited to join us at the 13th annual Boo at the Zoo. There’s no safer or more exciting way for families with children ages two to 12 to enjoy Halloween. This would be a great weekend trip to take with the family, even without hooking up the RV.  If you and your family have not already visited the National Zoo in Washington DC, you should.

So get ready for tasty candy, delicious snack foods, and other special treats from more than 40 treat stations. Plus, animal encounters, keeper talks, and festive decorations are yours to enjoy.

This is one Halloween party you won’t want to miss!

New this year: We’ve added a new treat for Boo guests this year—a complimentary reusable treat bag!

Boo at the Zoo takes place rain or shine.

Tickets

$20 for FONZ members
$30 for nonmembers

Note: Tickets for Saturday, October 22, are sold out.

We offer two ways to buy Boo tickets:

1 Buy tickets at the Zoo and save money
Buy your tickets at the Panda Plaza or Asia Trail gift shops between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. and pay no service fees.
Buy tickets from Ticketmaster
Buy Boo at the Zoo tickets online or by calling Ticketmaster at 202.397.7328. For problems with ticket purchases, call Ticketmaster at 1.800.745.2000.

See Boo at the Zoo treat donors.

If you do visit Boo at the Zoo this year.  Happy Travels and Happy RVing!

RVing, is it for you? Sure it is….

Family camping- Go RVing

Camping is a communal activity that brings people together. You never realize how many RVs are on the road until you start to think about buying one, then you notice how popular of an activity it is.  Campgrounds are full now days with families taking time to connect. You may be thinking about getting your first RV, but think that you won’t be able to connect with other RVers on the road and at the camp site. The generally impression that people get when they think about RV owners are older retirees that are spending their golden years on the road. While many RVers, especially full timers, may fall into this category, you may be surprised at who the average RV owner.

A study of RV owners found out that the average age of an owner is 49, married, and makes an average yearly income of sixty-eight thousand dollars. This is far from the retiree who has cashed in their big 401k or pension to buy a large motor-coach.  The average buyer is purchasing a tow behind camper, either a travel trailer or a fifth wheel.  The number of RV owners between the ages of 34 and 49 is growing rapidly every year. While this fact may not seem important to you, RVing is a great way to connect with like-minded people. That is not to say that you shouldn’t make friends with everyone, but it is easier to make new friends who are like yourself.

The age numbers dip further if you take into account all of the people who rent their RV for a trip instead of owning one. While you may expect to go to an RV park or campground not be able to fit in with everyone else, you will find that people of all ages, income levels, and races love the activity. So don’t be afraid to buy an RV because you think that you won’t fit in, it’s for everybody!

So when you are ready to hit the road and see this beautiful country of ours, please contact your Central PA RV Dealership and allow us to help you find the perfect RV.

RV Winterizing tips and hints…

It is that time of year once again. I recently came across this article on winterizing your camper on KOA’s (Kampgrounds of America‘s) Kompass Website.  This article is very well written, so I thought I would share it with my readers.

It’s always sad to come to the realization that another camping season is winding down. Depending on where you live, part of this realization is preparing the RV for winter storage so it will be ready to go camping again next spring. A major part of winterizing your RV is to protect the RV water system from potential damage, caused by exposure to freezing temperatures. Frozen and damaged water lines are in fact the most common problem related to not winterizing your RV, or not properly winterizing your RV.

The RV plumbing system is the most vulnerable system to damage caused by plummeting temperatures. The good news is it is easy to protect the RV water system from this potential threat. Here are my 7 easy steps to winterize your RV plumbing system.

Before you get started there are a few items you will need to have. These items can be found in most RV parts stores:

• Non-toxic RV/Marine antifreeze. The amount depends on the layout and length of your plumbing lines. Two to three gallons will normally do.
• A water heater by-pass kit, if not already installed.
• A wand to clean out the black water holding tank if the RV doesn’t have a built-in clean out system.
• A water pump converter kit, or tubing to connect to the inlet side of the 12 volt water pump.
• Basic hand tools to remove and install drain plugs.

Note: Be sure to read your owner’s manuals for unit specific winterizing guidelines. Follow the steps below that apply to your RV.

Step # 1: If you have any inline water filters remove and bypass before starting. Drain the fresh water holding tank. Drain and flush the gray and black water holding tanks. If the RV doesn’t have a built-in flushing system clean the black tank out with a wand. Drain the water heater. Open the pressure relief valve and remove the drain plug.

CAUTION: Never drain the water heater when hot or under pressure. With no water hooked up to the RV and the water pump off open a hot water faucet to remove any pressure on the system. Allow the tank to cool before draining.

Step # 2: Open all hot and cold faucets; don’t forget the toilet valve and outside shower. Locate and open the low point water drain lines. Use the water pump to help force most of the water out of the system, but turn it off as soon as the system is drained to prevent damaging the pump. Recap all drains and close all faucets.

Step # 3: By-pass the water heater. If you do not have a by-pass kit installed the water heater will fill up with RV antifreeze before it goes through the water lines, wasting six or ten gallons of antifreeze.

Step # 4: Install a water pump converter kit, or disconnect the inlet side of the water pump (the line coming from the fresh water holding tank) and connect tubing from the water pump inlet into a one gallon jug of RV antifreeze.

Step # 5: Turn the water pump on and pressurize the system. Starting with the closest faucet to the pump, slowly open the hot and then cold valves until the pink colored RV antifreeze appears. Replace the antifreeze container as required. Repeat on all faucets from the closest to the farthest away. Don’t forget the outside shower.

Step # 6: Flush the toilet until antifreeze appears. Pour a cupful of antifreeze down each drain. Pour some RV antifreeze in the toilet and flush into the holding tank to prevent any water in the tank from freezing. If your water heater has an electric heating element, turn it off. This will protect the element if the unit is plugged in while in storage. Make sure all faucets are closed.

Step # 7: Consult your owner manuals for winterizing ice-makers and washing machines.

The unit is winterized. Now, next spring when it’s time to head out in the RV you won’t have any unpleasant, not to mention costly, surprises waiting for.

For a DVD on Winterizing & Storing your RV visit www.rveducation101.com

If you have any further questions about winterizing your travel trailer or fifth wheel camper.  Please give your Central PA RV Dealer a call at 800-722-1236.
Safe Travels and Happy RVing.