Today’s Campgrounds meet social media demands…

I recently came across this article that I found quite interesting. So I wanted to share it with you.  It amazes me how we have to stay connected, and be able to have that instantaneous update or check in with the rest of the world.  I am guilty of this myself. What about you?

Safe travels and Happy RVing!

Campgrounds embrace technology to meet big social media demand

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) — For the Wohlfords of Noblesville, the Old Mill Run Park in Thorntown is a home away from home. The couple recently graduated from being weekend campers to full timers, staying there all summer long.

But with that upgrade came another —the need to have wireless Internet.

“We would be OK for a weekend,” said Mary Ann, 64. “But when you are full-time, for us, it wouldn’t work. There are just so many things that are (done) through the computer, through the Internet.”

Her husband, Steve Wohlford, agreed. “We need to stay in touch and pay our bills,” said Steve, 66.

NO DISCONNECT

It used to be that campers would take their RVs or tents and head into the woods to be rid of the electrical devices that distract and occupy our daily lives. However, as technology has become more mobile, it has become increasingly difficult to disconnect, even in the woods. Today, more campers request that campsites offer WiFi so they can stay connected and campground owners have accommodated this request.

About 72 percent of privately owned and operated campgrounds, RV parks and RV resorts offer wireless Internet service, according to a 2010 campground operations survey by the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds.

Eric Stumberg, founder and chief executive officer of TengoInternet, an Austin, Texas-based company that specializes in providing wireless Internet service to private campgrounds, said the trend started to take off about five years ago. Similar to hotels, campgrounds needed to offer WiFi as an amenity.

For his company, the number of unique connections has increased 50 percent to 75 percent each year, he said. This has been driven by more people connecting and families using multiple devices to do so.

“It’s weird, you would think if you were going camping you wouldn’t need to be connected,” he said. “(But) people want to be connected while they are traveling. Ten or 15 years ago, when people traveled, it wasn’t important that they stayed connected.”

Sandy and Ralph Christman own the RV Park where the Wohlfords are staying. They added WiFi about five years ago because campers were requesting it, Sandy said.

Pennsylvania RV cooking…

Let’s face it, not all of us have the patience to make enough home cooked meals to last an entire camping trip. While the road offers plenty of fast food or convenience store stops, nothing beats the taste of a freshly cooked meal. So we’re going to be sharing some of the easiest, tastiest, and most fun ways to cook while RVing and camping.

  • Hobo Pies

Hobo Pies are anything and everything, tossed in folded tinfoil bags, and cooked over a campfire until cooked.

  • Sausage, Ground Beef, or Chicken (or all three, it’s your pie!)
  • Veggies (Squash, Zucchini, Broccoli, Asparagus, etc.)
  • Peppers (Green, Red, Yellow, and Jalapenos)
  • Onion (White or Yellow)
  • Potatoes
  • Seasonings (Garlic Powder, Crushed Red Peppers, Seasoned Salt, etc.)
  • Sauces (BBQ, Worcestershire, Ranch)
  • Trash Breakfast
    A Trash Breakfast is the Hobo Pie of breakfast. Cooked in the same method, tinfoil bags, A Trash Breakfast is cooked on a grill or fire and turned every 5 minutes until done.

    • Shredded Hash Browns
    • Eggs (Beaten)
    • Ham or Sausage (Pre-cooked)
    • Veggies, Onions, or Peppers as desired
    • Shredded Cheese of your choice
    • Seasonings of your choice

And for those of you who opt to cook over your RV range top, try:

  • Meal in a Skillet
    Meal in a Skillet is just that, an entire meal in a skillet!

    • 1 or 2 pounds of ground beef (depending on the number of people)
    • 1 undrained can whole kernel corn
    • 1 undrained can white or ranch-style beans
    • 1 onion
    • 2 to 3 medium to large potatoes, sliced round (like chips!)
    • 1 can tomatoes
    • Salt and pepper
    • Optional: For those who’d like cornbread, 1 to 2 packages of cornbread mix

In a cast iron skillet, cook and season beef. Next, layer sliced potatoes, season. Continue layering and seasoning with corn, beans, and tomatoes. Cook until potatoes are fork-tender and serve! (If you decided to serve with cornbread, bake cornbread after layers are assembled. Serves 4-6.

Safe Travels and Happy RVing!

10 Best RV Parks in North America

 

The RV season is underway and for those that are just starting out, and even those who have been at it for years, finding the perfect destination can be challenging. For most people, the ultimate goal of a camping trip or vacation is to “get away” from the world and relax as a family. To help you find the perfect spot, we found a list of the “The 10 Best RV Parks in North America” as compiled by Rates to Go.

“The 10 Best RV Parks in North America”:

10. Madison Arm Resort, Montana

Located in West Yellowstone, Montana, Madison Arm Resort is a mere 8 miles outside of Yellowstone National Park, making it easily accessible for visitors who don’t wish to camp or stay within the park’s sometimes crowded borders. Be sure to stroll by Lake Hegben for fishing, swimming, and site seeing in between trips to the national park itself!

9. Squaw Flat Campground, Utah

Tucked in the Needles section of Canyonlands National Park in Moab, Utah you’ll find the incredible Squaw Flat Campground. The park is known for its beautiful stone pillars, rock formations, and Indian rock paintings. RV travelers will enjoy the scenic landscape as they drive along US 191 on their way into the park, while hikers will find the three-mile hike to Chesler Park an incredible experience.

8. Boyd’s Key West Campground, Florida

A trip to Florida does not automatically translate to a stuffy hotel stay. Key West gives visitors access to dozens of major attractions while Boyd’s Key West Campground provides saltwater fishing, a boat dock, and a fun Tiki Hut experience for every RVer staying in one of its waterfront campsites. Don’t forget to visit Duval Street for the sunset celebration in Mallory Square each evening!

7. Mt. Desert Narrows Camping Resort, Maine

Mt. Desert Narrows Camping Resort, found in Bar Harbor, Maine, is known as the only national park in New England. The Mt. Desert Narrows or Narrows Too sections provide excellent sites for those seeking an ocean view, while the Patten Pond area of the park gives visitors access to the 740-acre lake. Canoeing, hiking, biking, and whale watching are only a few of the activities available to visitors in Bar Harbor!

6. Horsethief Lake Campground, South Dakota

At the base of Mt. Rushmore you’ll find Black Hills National Forrest and the Horsethief Lake Campground. Fishing and horseback riding are popular daytime activities, while you may choose to start the evening with a view of the mountain from the lighting ceremony. Be sure to head on over to the Crazy Horse Memorial. Believe it or not, the memorial is larger than all four heads of the Mt. Rushmore carvings combined!

5. Rivers Edge RV Park, Alaska

Traveling to Alaska via a well-stocked RV might prove to be one of the most cost-effective ways to visit the lonely state. Rivers Edge RV Park is located in Fairbanks, Alaska and is full of historic sites such as gold mining towns and Indian Villages. It’s the perfect stop for visitors who find themselves on their way to the famous Alaska Highway!

4. Orchard (Huerta Saucedo) Vacation Village, Mexico

You don’t need to stay in an all-inclusive resort to experience the beauty and culture in Mexico. Mulege, Mexico is the home of the Orchard Vacation Village (also known as Huerta Saucedo). If you’re looking for something different you might try your hand at clamming, while those interested in history will enjoy cave tours or trips into Mulege to see the old penitentiary. If all else fails, you won’t regret time spent in the sun on the white sandy beaches!

3. Tunnel Mountain Campground, Canada

RV trips need not be limited to the summer months. Located in Banff National Park in Canada you’ll find Tunnel Mountain Campground. Enjoy breathtaking views of the Canadian Rockies in between ski or snowmobile trips. Those who prefer a little more control will enjoy hiking, biking, or visits to the nearest hot spring!

2. Yosemite Pines RV Park, California

In Groveland, California lies Yosemite Pines RV Park. Open year round, the park offers a variety of truly unique experiences. Hike, pan for gold, or take a chartered plain tour over the scenic park for a bird’s eye view of Gold Country! This campground is an excellent option for travelers who don’t want to stay within Yosemite Park itself.

1. Rocky Knob Campground, Virginia

Along the Blue Ridge Parkway, near mile marker 167, you’ll find Rocky Knob Campground. View some of the most incredible mountain ridges on the eastern coast of the United States while enjoying dozens of historic attractions. The mills, the craftsmen, and the music are only the beginning. Bring your dancing shoes for the Friday evening hoe-down and don’t forget to stop by Mabry Mill – one of the most popular attractions along the parkway itself!

If you haven’t had enough, check out Travel Channel’s article “RV Crazy: America’s Best RV Parks”.

 

Who wants some S’mores?

Lerch RV-Pennsylvania RV Sales-camping-smores

Got S’mores?

Ahh, s’mores, who could deny a deliciously sweet, sticky, tasty treat while enjoy a campfire? We sure couldn’t! And while we love the traditional graham cracker, hershey’s bar and roasted marshmallow, we’re all about adventure so we polled some Lerch RV customers to discover their favorite ways to make ooey-gooey s’mores.

Reese’s S’more

  •  2 graham crackers
  • 1 regular sized Reese’s peanut butter cup
  • 1 roasted marshmallow

Rolo’s S’more                  

  • 2 graham crackers
  • 2 Rolos
  • 1 roasted marshmallow

Fudge Cookie S’mores

  • 2 fudge cookies
  • 1 roasted marshmallow
    • Put the roasted marshmallow between the chocolate sides of the cookies

Peanut Butter S’more

  • 2 graham crackers
  • Hershey’s chocolate bar
  • 1 roasted marshmallow
  • A smear of peanut  butter on the graham crackers

And an added bonus to all of these recipes? Melt the chocolate piece onto the graham cracker by setting it near the fire. What are your favorite spins on the s’more? Share those campfire favorites with us…

Safe Travels and Happy RVing!

Camping in the Pennsylvania Heat

It is Summer and the temperatures have been heating up in our neck of the woods, with heat wave after heat wave. Camping season is in full swing and camping in these warmer temperatures can cause issues if you don’t take some precautions to stay safe in the heat. Here are few things we suggest that can help camping in the hot weather more enjoyable and safe.

  1. Stay hydrated: Drink lots of water when you’re spending time in the heat. It’s important to stay ahead of dehydration and drink water before you feel thirsty – the first sign of dehydration.
  2. Shade: When you’re setting up your campsite, think about creating the most shade possible. Staying out of direct sun will help keep you cool. Try to find the shadiest part of the campsite to set up you RV.
  3. Dress for the heat: Make sure to pack light clothes, both in color and weight.
  4. Wear SPF: It’s always important to protect your skin from the harmful rays of the sun. Always wear SPF and apply it several times throughout the day.
  5. Keep air circulating: If you’re spending lots of time inside of the RV, especially at night, it is important to keep air circulating. Using battery operated fans is a great way to keep the air moving.

These are just a few things you can do to help beat the heat on your summer camping excursions. Do you have any other tips to stay cool with the summer’s rising temperatures?

Safe Travels and Happy RVing!

Plan that next RV Vacation wisely Pennyslvania

“Vacation, all I ever wanted, Vacation, had to get away..”

Vacation, not just lyrics to a popular eighties song by the all girl band, The Go-Go’s.  Vacation is a state of mind for some, while other use it for a time to get away from the everyday hustle and bustle. However you choose to spend your vacation, RVing is a very cost-effective way to do so.

With any tow behind trailer or Motor-home there is always the consideration of gas to get where you want to go! Surprisingly RV travel can save on family vacations!

Depending on the type of trip and RV used, a family of four can save 23% – 59% on vacation costs according to the PKF Vacation Cost Comparison Study.  For a couple of two or all those empty-nesters out there, it is possible to save 11%-46%. In fact, 80% of RVers say that vacationing in their RV even when gas prices rise, the trip still costs less than other types of vacations. In all reality, there is no need to worry even with gas prices going up, if used appropriately.

Pennsylvania Vacations at Lerch RV

Ways to plan Smart Vacations with your RV:

1. Choose destinations that are closer to home. This allows you to drive fewer miles and staying longer in one location.

2. Enjoy the campground! By spending more time by the campfire, socializing with family, and taking day hikes you will be able to spend less time on the road

3. Pack lighter to reduce weight. Leave those un-necessaries at home.

4. Consume less fuel by driving 55 mph instead of 65 mph. Many RV owners say that this truly helps with traveling costs. Why be in hurry to get somewhere, the trip is as much as the destination.

5. Keep home utilities turned off to save energy while traveling. Turn down or turn off that hot water heater. Unplug the microwave or other energy-consuming items that are always on stand-by.

By using these ways to save, your vacation with friends and family will still be just as fun! If gas prices go up you can count on plane fares and other traveling modes to increase in price as well. So you can count on RVing to be a cheaper option. At this point in time, for RVing to become more expensive than other forms of travel for a family of four, the prices of fuel would have to more than double.

So if gas prices are making you worry when it comes to family vacations, there is no need. Like with any money spending decision, if planned appropriately, can be worked out. By using these ways to be smart about RVing then you don’t have to compromise your getaway from the everyday hustle and bustle and the good memories spent with those you love.

“Vacation, All I ever wanted. Vacation had to get away”…

Cleaning Your RV: The Exterior

Lerch RV, Pennsylvania's largest Sprinter RV DealerLast week I posted some tips on how to best clean the interior of your RV, now we’re here to give you some tips on the best way to clean and care for the exterior of your camper. Taking the time to clean the exterior of your RV on a regular basis will allow you to notice any potential issues, such as leaks or siding damage.  Use the time while making your unit shine to perform some preventative maintenance.  Which will allow you to extend the life of your camper, while possibly easing the burden on your family budget.  RV problems can be expensive to fix, if left go too long.

First, we recommend that you clean it often and thoroughly to keep it looking shiny and new.  The longer dirt and residue sits on the exterior of your RV, the more potential damage it can cause. Some elements that can be highly damaging to your RV’s exterior if not washed off are road salt, road tar, bugs, bird droppings, tree sap, acid rain and UV exposure. These can cause corrosion, staining and chemical spotting. Be sure to always wash your RV soon after it is exposed to any of these elements. An added bonus is if you regularly wax your RV which will help protect the exterior. We don’t recommend taking your RV through automatic car washes, doing it by hand, while time-consuming, is the best way to clean the exterior of your RV. Even if you allow your camper to be parked on a permanent site, regular cleaning will allow you to enjoy your RV for years to come.

To clean the exterior of your RV, we suggest parking it in a place not in direct sunlight. First, spray it with water to remove dust. Next, using an abundant amount of clean water and a car-washing mitt/sponge and an RV washing brush, wash your RV from top to bottom. You can also use a mild car-washing soap. Be sure to rinse thoroughly and wipe dry with a soft cloth. Using extremely hot water and pressure can cause damage to the RV. Be sure to use caution and keep a pressure sprayer nozzle about 16 inches or more away from the RV. Also, use caution if you use a pressure sprayer around all attachments of the RV (doors, windows, appliance vents, etc.) When washing around glass with a pressure sprayer, hold the nozzle at right angles to the glass surface.  A pressure sprayer used in properly can damage  your RV, as well as force water into places where water should not be.

We recommend that you wax your RV at the very least once a year, two times a year would be great. To wax, apply a small amount of wax to a soft cloth and rub gently onto the exterior of your RV. Do not wax your RV in direct sunlight and do it after surfaces have cooled. This will avoid the wax drying out quickly. Do not use waxes that contain high-abrasive compounds. These waxes will remove rust and stains but they are also harmful to the luster of the surface since they may scrape off the coating. Do not use gasoline or paint thinners to remove road tar or other contamination to the painted surface. Use only approved cleaners to remove stubborn stains or marks.

In order to make your job easier when it comes to cleaning your new RV, consider having an exterior protection package, such as the Trident Exterior Protection System, applied to your RV before it even leaves the dealership.  This will prolong the life of that ‘new’ look as well as protect your exterior from many of the items listed above. Best of all most applications, such as Trident, are warranted for several years.  So why not help yourself protect your investment.

There you have it, some tips on keeping the exterior of your RV nice and clean. If you have questions about cleaning the exterior of your RV, be sure to contact your local central Pennsylvania dealer or your manufacturer’s customer service department.

Arriving safely in the rain.

After the week we have had here in central Pennsylvania, I felt this would be a great blog posting. Eventually all of us will camp in the rain at some point of our RVing life. If you have to travel in the rain to reach your destination or on your way back home, here are some great tips to help you reach that destination safely.

The Spring and Summer seasons brings all kinds of new weather conditions, including the increased chance for rain. In order to remain safe while driving or towing your RV it is important to be aware of the necessary precautions that should be taken in the event you find yourself driving in severe weather – including rain storms.

The Weather Channel has provided drivers with the following tips to take into account when driving on wet roads and in rainy weather.

1. In order to avoid hydroplaning, you should always make sure your tires are inflated properly and that your tire tread is in good condition. Never put off replacing your tires when they need to be.

2. In order to prevent skidding on the wet pavement, you should always drive slow and carefully, especially on curves and turns. You should also steer and brake with a light touch, and be careful not to make any quick movements with your vehicle. Never slam on your brakes in rainy, slick conditions and risk locking the wheel and skidding.

3. If you do happen to begin hydroplaning, again maintain a light hand on the steering wheel and brakes and do not brake or turn suddenly. Instead ease up on the gas and slowly pump the brakes if you need to.

4. If you do happen to skid in your RV, ease off the gas, steer into the direction you want your vehicle to go, and remain calm. You should also anticipate having to turn the steering wheel over and over until the front of the vehicle is traveling in a straight line.

5. Always remember to anticipate rainy weather and hazardous driving conditions. Slow down on wet roads, avoid driving through puddles, follow the drive tracks in front of you left by another driver, and always pay attention to others around you. A defensive driver is the best type of driver.

Being prepared for driving and towing your RV safely in the rain is an important part of being an Lerch RV owner.

Cleaning your RV, the ‘inside’ scoop.

I have posted about keeping your RV clean before, but usually focus on the outside.  However if you are like me and like to keep a clean house inside, below are some tips for the interior of your travel trailer or fifth wheel.  Keeping your Recreational vehicle or camper clean will help extend the life of your unit, plus a regular cleaning will enable you to become familiar with areas of your RV, and acts a great preventative maintenance visual check. You could discover a small problem before it becomes a major one.

So here with some helpful hints on cleaning the inside of your RV. First, it’s important to use the proper cleaning supplies and techniques to avoid damages that may happen to the interior surfaces of your RV. It’s always important to check with your manufacturer’s information for the recommended cleaning agents.  Clean only as recommended. If you’re ever in doubt about a cleaning product and what it might do to your RV, be sure to first test a small area out of sight. And please, don’t ever use flammable liquids or sprays to clean your RV.

So, now that the basics are out-of-the-way, we’ll break it down into areas of your RV interior.

Furniture Upholstery: if your furniture is covered in fabric or suede and it becomes stained or dirty, it is recommended that the fabric be professionally cleaned. You can refer to the specific manufacturer’s instructions for more care options.  For all vinyl covered furniture, water based cleaners are recommended, but not solvents as they may have an adverse reaction. Blot up the spot rather than rubbing to avoid saturating the area.

Décor items: Occasionally use a vacuum with a soft brush attachment to dust things such as window treatments, curtains, blinds and shares. To help prevent mildew or mold on the shower curtain, clean it frequently. Décor glass can be cleaned with a glass cleaner to remove smudges. Be sure to take care around any etching that might exist on the glass.

Hardware & Sink or Shower Fixtures: Use a mild dish soap and water to clean these fixtures. Avoid harsh chemicals or sprays. For hard water spots, a mild solution of vinegar and water works well.

Paneling: Use a mild solution of soap and luke warm water with a soft sponge or cloth. Avoid abrasive cleaners as they could cause damage such as scratching or dullness. All-purpose spray cleaner works well for those stubborn dirt and grease spots. Harsh cleaners and organic solvents are not recommended because they can attack the vinyl.

Cabinetry & Tables: Simply dust with a soft cloth dampened with cleaning polish or mild detergent solution to keep hardwood doors, cabinet fronts and tables looking like new. Ammonia based products or silicone oils may cause damage if used over a long period of time so avoid using those types of products. Promptly wipe up spills to avoid potential problems.

Counter-tops: Avoid harsh chemicals such as drain cleaners, oven cleaners, etc. and do not let cleaners with bleach set on the top. Wipe those off immediately. For laminate counter-tops stubborn stains can be removed with a general-purpose spray cleaner. For solid surface counter tops soapy water, ammonia based cleaners or commercially available solid surface cleaners will remove most dirt and residue from all types of finishes. A damp cloth followed by a dry towel will remove watermarks.

Flooring: For carpet, be sure to vacuum regularly to avoid stains. If you have tough and deep stains, have them professionally steam cleaned. Spot removers can be used for minor spills. Always test the carpet for color fastness in an inconspicuous area before using any product. For vinyl flooring, it is good to periodically vacuum or sweep. Spills are easier to clean if wiped up before they set. Blotting with a paper towel should work. To clean more deeply, use a damp mop with water and a mild cleaner. Do not soak the flooring. Use care to avoid wetting the carpet edges. Also, don’t use cleaners that contain oil based solvents to avoid yellowing linoleum.

There you have it, some basic cleaning guidelines for the inside of your RV. As always, if you have questions, please contact your central Pennsylvania RV Dealer or your trailer’s manufacturer.

Three Poisonous Plants To Avoid While Camping

People go camping for many reasons, but one of the main reasons is to enjoy the outdoors. Whether it’s hiking, strolling, fishing or swimming when we are camping we want to enjoy the great outdoors. There are several plants and animals that we need to watch out for and avoid when we are out in nature. Three of these plants include poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac. With a bit of knowledge you can keep an eye out for these and you will know what to do if you happen to come in contact with them. The old adage of “leaves of three, let it be” could be used for poison ivy and oak, but not poison sumac.

Poison Ivy

Poison ivy is found throughout much of North America, primarily to the east of the Rocky Mountains. It grows in wooded areas, predominantly around edge areas, on exposed rock, in open fields and as underbrush. The identifying characteristics of poison ivy include a cluster of three almond shape leaflets, reddish hairs on the vine and no thorns. If you do come into contact with poison ivy it will cause itching, red inflammation and possibly blistering. To treat exposure, over the counter medicines such as Calamine lotion and home remedies such as oatmeal baths and baking soda can help to relieve the irritation.

Poison Ivy

Poison Oak

Poison oak can be found from Virginia west to Texas and Oklahoma. It is an upright shrub with three leaflet clusters and grows in thickets, forests and dry, sandy fields. Exposure to poison oak causes similar symptoms to poison ivy; itching, red inflammation and blistering. Treatment is also similar to poison ivy, over the counter lotions, oatmeal baths and baking soda.

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Poison Sumac

Poison sumac is the most toxic of the three plants. Contact with poison sumac will cause more lengthy and painful skin eruptions and irritation. Poison sumac is found in wet areas, such as swaps, bogs and flooded areas in the eastern United States and Canada. Unlike poison ivy and oak, poison sumac is found in the form of a small tree or shrub. The plant contains greenish leafs that are oblong in shape with 7-13 leafs per stem. It also has grey fruit or berries.

Poison Sumac

For more information regarding these three plants visit http://www.wikipedia.com.