Condensation in Pennsylvania RVs

Condensation in RVs is common and, over the years, I have had lots of questions regarding condensation,so we’re here to explain what it is and how to minimize it in your RV.

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Condensation is defined in the Merriam-Webster online dictionary as: a chemical reaction involving union between molecules often with elimination of a simple molecule (as water) to form a new more complex compound of often greater molecular weight.

Condensation happens when the surface the condensation has gathered on is cooler than the temperature of the water vapor that created the condensation. Where there is a high level of humidity from normal day activities, such as cooking or showering, condensation will form when this humid air comes in contact with colder surfaces, which causes dampness on surfaces.

While most RV manufactures can’t guarantee an elimination of all condensation, I would like to provide you some tips to lessen the condensation that happens inside your RV. When you’re cooking or showering, be sure that you’re using the roof vent fans. The fan will pull the moisture out of the unit, reducing the chance for it to collect on the windows and the walls. Using an extra fan to help move the air around inside of the RV can also help. Another idea to reduce the chances for condensation to form is to use the microwave to heat up water, rather than the stove, to contain the moisture and limit the amount that is allowed into the air. If no microwave is available, opening a small window while heating water on the stove will allow the moisture to escape. In addition, using a small de-humidifier inside of your RV will help with removing the moisture from the air.

The more you allow the moisture building inside of your RV to escape and move the air around so it has less of a chance to settle, the less condensation you’ll find in your unit. If you use these tips and adapt them to other purposes, you’ll be able to reduce the amount of condensation that forms on your walls and windows inside your unit.

If you need additional roof vent fans installed or your existing ones fixed, please contact your central Pennsylvania RV dealer, Lerch RV at 800-722-1236. Our RV service department will gladly help you out.

Camping Season Tips

Spring has arrived! And I have camping fever. As many of my friends and relatives do.  As the camping season begins, there is a lot to think about and plan for your upcoming camping adventures so we created a list of tips that can help your camping season run smoothly.

  • De-winterize and clean your RV a couple of weeks before your first camping trip.
  • Give your appliances and major components a look over. Make sure everything is in good, safe working order before you first trip. If you need any help call your central Pennsylvania RV dealer.
  • Pack your camper ahead of time with all the nonperishable items you’ll take with you on your camping trip. It’s helpful to pack things that can stay in your RV all season long so you don’t have to unpack and repack everything each trip. (i.e. blankets, pillows, dishware, games, etc.)
  • Book your campsites for the whole season as early as possible. With the popularity of camping, many campgrounds have been experiencing packed weekends.
  • Plan your meals ahead. Don’t wait till the last-minute to decide on the food you want to take.
  • Use recipes that call for the same ingredients to avoid taking along a bunch of different ingredients.
  • Be sure to do all the necessary maintenance checks before hitting the road to help avoid any mishaps while you’re on your camping excursion. No-one likes surprises.

These are just a few helpful tips to hopefully make your camping season go off without a hitch.

Safe Travels and Happy RVing!

Pennsylvania’s Keystone Fuzion Toy Hauler Dealer, Lerch RV.

FUZION

It’s More than a Garage!

With automotive exterior lines and innovative interior patio door the new Fuzion is “More Than A Garage”. Boasting a stylish modern interior with custom furniture and cabinetry the Fuzion has a look that is unparalleled. One look at the Fuzion is enough to get your heart racing!  Manufactured by the Keystone RV Company, the Fuzion line up of fifth wheel and travel trailer toy hauler RVs is pretty amazing.  Currently Fuzion offers four different travel trailer toy hauler floor-plans that range from 30′ – 35′ in total length.  With unladen weights ranging from 6,700 lbs through 9,150 lbs., there is a Fuzion travel trailer toy hauler for everyone.

Fuzion Toy Haulers, Keystone RV Fuzion Pennsylvania RV Dealer, Lerch RV

Fuzion fifth wheel toy haulers are produced in eight different floor-plans.  Ranging from the Fuzion 310 at 35′ in length up to the Fuzion 412 at a total length of 41′.  The Fuzion toy hauler offers the avid RVer, a 102″ wide body, 3/8″ roof decking, 5/8″ one piece decking in living area, a full 1″ one-piece decking in garage area, 5″ wood trussed roof spaced at 16″ on center which gives you a full walk-able roof.  Aluminum framed, fully laminated fiberglass side walls sit on a frame of 10″ or 12″ steel twin I-beam construction. Solid surface counter-tops in the kitchen and bath are both beautiful and durable. The high-rise pull out kitchen faucet allows you to easily fill larger vessels in the sink, instead of elsewhere.  The Fuzion fifth wheel offers more and larger windows than any other RV in its class. And virtually all Fuzion windows open to bring in the fresh air.  Leather wrapped window treatments add style, while recessed lighting from above adds to the elegance.  And do not forget those day/night shades for privacy and functionality at all times of the day.

The garage area of a Fuzion is really a true multipurpose room.  It is just not a garage any longer, it is versatility.  Whether you plan on using the garage as your ‘Man-Cave’ for the weekend, or a bunk house that offers the comfort of home. The screened in porch and opening windows provide you with un-limitless ways to enjoy your Fuzion garage.

In conjunction with many great features, Fuzion offers two gray water tanks with 86 gallons of capacity, a black water tank with 43 gallons of capacity and 100 gallons of fresh water. For most models, 60 pounds of propane with automatic change over comes standard. A few upgrade options include a 5500 watt generator, double electric queen beds with opposing sofas, six point level system, 2nd AC with heat strip, dual pane windows, rear ramp patio with awning, and Fuzion’s intense full body paint.

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Keystone Fuzion toy hauler fifth wheel, in full body paint.

Whether you are bringing the toys along, or are looking for more interior storage space.  Stop by Pennsylvania’s newest Keystone Fuzion dealer, Lerch RV and take a look at the new 2013 Fuzion toy hauler fifth wheels and travel trailer offerings.

Pennsylvania RVers, how do you keep your clothes clean?

When taking weekend trips, it is easy to pack enough clean clothing to last throughout the experience. Week or month-long forays into the wilderness or over the roads are a different story. Many RV fans simply stop at a laundry mat or dry cleaner along the way, but this will not work if you want to spend a few weeks camping without heading back to town. It is even harder to rely on laundry mats when you are boondocking. Here are three simple ways to keep your clothes clean during an extended stay in your new RV Pennsylvania.

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Photo courtesy of Vince Fonseca

1. Washing By Hand

Before electric washing machines and automatic dryers were invented, all clothing had to be washed by hand. You can use your RV’s bathtub, kitchen sink or a washtub for this process. A bathtub lets you wash a larger load at once than a small tub, and will drain and fill quickly. Purchase a hand agitator, a small tool that resembles a vented plunger, from a non-electric supply company. Some laundry detergent, hot water and a little pumping with the agitator and you have a clean batch of clothes.

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2. Campground Facilities

If you choose to camp in RV parks or well-established state campgrounds, you may have laundry facilities available. Keep in mind the etiquette common to a laundry mat when using these facilities. Don’t leave a load of clothes in the washer all day while you hike or swim, even if there are multiple machines available. This also speeds up drying over hand washing, where you must hang clothes on a line and hope for a few days without rain.

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3. Small Washing Machines

The growing popularity of RV living has led to the development of small washing machines that fit on the counter of your new home. Crank washers are round containers that hold just a few articles of clothing. You pour in the right amount of water and detergent, and crank the handle. Your clothing takes just a few minutes to get clean. Electric washers and dual-purpose devices that also dry can fit into large coaches. Be sure to look for units designed to run off a 110 volt outlet, and consider the drain on your batteries.

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If your current RV is too small to fit a washing machine or tub into, visit  Lerch RV. We are Pennsylvania’s largest travel trailer dealer.

Pennsylvania RV owners keep your RV properly sealed.

On your RV regardless if you own a tow-able unit or a motorized one, sealants perform a very important function by keeping water from getting into places it should not get into. When manufacturers build RVs,  they incorporate many different types of sealants, including butyl/putty, black butyl-encapsulated foam, silicone (clear and colored), roof sealant and foam to the places that need it. However, over time, these sealants may become damaged by ultraviolet exposure, air pollution, freezing temperatures and exposure to other elements. That is why it is important to inspect, maintain or reseal your RV. Failure to properly maintain or re-seal your RV may result in serious water damage to the roof and other parts of the RV. For most RV owners, failure to maintain proper seals disqualifies your unit from coverage under the most Limited Warranties.

To ensure that you are properly maintaining and re-sealing your unit, here are a few things you or your dealer’s service team should do:

Visually inspect all seals and sealants, a minimum of every six months. Make sure to check the roof and all four sides of the RV including all moldings, doors, vents and exterior attachments. A quick walk around the RV before leaving may help prevent potential problems during trips and vacations. A little preventative maintenance goes a long way, especially when compared to the high cost of repairs. Another great time to have your RV looked over is during your annual state vehicle inspection(if your state requires your RV to be annually inspected).

  1. Have the sealant replaced if you notice any cracks, peeling, voids, gaps, breaks, looseness or any sign of physical deterioration. Re-seal at least one time each year as preventative maintenance.
  2. Always use the same type of sealant that was removed. Your dealer service or parts manager can help you obtain the correct sealant(s).

If you do find water inside of your RV, be sure to immediately have your local central Pennsylvania dealer check for the source of the leak. If the leak is not fixed, it may result in serious damage to your RV, which may not be warrant-able.

A small amount of time now, can save you a large expensive headache later!

VW Transporter campervan gets electric

I just read this article and wanted to share it with my readers.  What a new take on the old VW camper van.  The Welsh have come up with a quaint, innovative, camper van that is truly inspirational.  What are your thoughts?

Welsh company Overlander Motor-homes brings forth a revolutionary design, the DoubleBack, a sliding pod that extends the interior space of the Volkswagen T5 Transporter van, and practically doubles its size. The add-on seems as a logical compliment to ‘pop tops’ offered by Volkswagen on its camper vans, some 30 years ago. Since then, installing interior height-extenders have been a common practice among camper van enthusiasts, including VW Westfalia camper van and Mercedes Viano Marco Polo.

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Inspired by a desire to deliver a truly spacious and comfortable camper, the T5 DoubleBack delivers the drivability of a camper van along with the extra exclusive space of a motor-home. This electrically extendable rear pod constructed from aircraft industry standards stays tucked up inside the back of the vehicle while you are on the move. Once you stop to settle, the pod electrically extends out to add 2 meters of useable interior space in the rear.

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Featured with two folded legs on the bottom of the pod that extends and gets self-leveled on uneven terrain is able to support over 600 kilograms of weight. T5 DoubleBack comes equipped with a fold-out double bed in the pod, an elevating roof and a kitchenette along with other home amenities required on the road. The whole sliding process is visually impressive, and it just takes 45 seconds.

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The company does customization to make your vehicle just the way you want it. However, it’s still unclear if the pod affects the interiors of the van, but the company claims that a driver and one passenger can be accommodated in captain’s seat, or a driver and two passengers can sit if the buyer selects the bench seat option.

Though, the DoubleBack T5 Transporter van is loaded with features and space, the interested buyer’s pocket also have to be loaded, as this van costs $86,988.

Buying a used or new RV in Pennsylvania

Whether you purchase a used RV or travel trailer in Pennsylvania from an individual or a central Pennsylvania RV dealer, there are certain things you should check before making the transaction. Usually, a dealership,like Lerch RV will repair the RV or travel trailer, if needed, before selling it, so a used travel trailer or a used central Pennsylvania RV dealer  is a better option.

If you are buying a trailer from a private individual, make sure everything works.If the travel trailer or RV comes with a generator, start the generator to ensure it works. Let it run for at least 10 minutes. While the generator is running, check the interior. Turn on the lights. Start the refrigerator if it has the option to run on electric. Check the microwave. Check the faucets to make sure the handles, the shower handle and the drain plugs all work. There may not be water in the tank, but you want to ensure that the handles are not stripped. Some drain plugs have a handle on the spigot or the faucet — these are the things you need to check.

Make sure the toilet operates properly. The flush and rinse sliders — if you have that type of toilet — should operate without sticking, and they should not be loose.

If the travel trailer or fifth wheel RV has an air conditioning unit, turn the air conditioning on to make sure it works. If the heat uses gas, you may not be able to check the heat unless there is gas in the tanks. The same goes for the stove.

Once you are happy that everything works on generator, plug the RV into an outlet if possible. Check to see if everything works with the RV or travel trailer plugged in.

Check in all cabinets for roof leaks. Roof check around the vents for signs of leakage. In most cases, a dealership will repair the leak and fix the water spots on the ceiling, but they may not fix the water spot in the overhead cabinets. Check under the RV or travel trailer to ensure that the floor is not rotting out if it is wood. A lot of older campers were made completely of wood, which tends to rot, especially at the wheel wells. Check the tires. Make sure they have decent tread on them and that the tires do not look dry-rotted.

If you are purchasing a motorized RV, check all the fluids. The radiator should have antifreeze and water and it should be clean. Antifreeze could be green or orange, depending on the type used in that motor. Check the oil. The oil should look clean. Check the transmission fluid. Transmission fluid should be pink. If it is brown or smells bad — transmission fluid has a distinct smell when it is new, and smells pretty nasty when there is something wrong — there could be a problem with the transmission. Check the brake fluid.

Start the RV and take it for a test drive. Make sure the RV shifts correctly. If it has an automatic transmission and shift fine on its own, check it further by manually shifting it through the gears. At a stop, put it in first gear. Move forward. As the rpm raises, shift it into second, than third. You should hear or feel the shifts. If the RV has a tachometer, the tach should drop when you shift the transmission.

When you get back to the dealer or individual that you are buying the RV from, check the oil and transmission fluid again. The oil should still look clean and should not have a frothy look to it. If the oil looks frothy — almost like someone poured milk into the oil — the RV could have a head gasket problem. The transmission fluid should still be pink. Check around all of the hoses and make sure nothing is leaking.

If the RV engine runs smoothly and the fluids look good — and the price is right — you may have just found yourself your next great adventure.