Green clean your RV Pennsylvania!

When you’re an  avid RVer, it is easy to have a green perspective when it comes to our planet. After all, an RV gets you out into nature, taking you to places where you experience sunshine, fresh air, and beautiful scenery. Your Lerch RV allows you to explore the best of what our great country has to offer from comfortable surroundings. What is better than that?

An easy way to be Eco-conscious when you are experiencing the RV lifestyle is to go green when you clean. Here are five green cleaning tips that you can take on the road or even use at home if you desire to:

  1. Make your own: Cleaning green doesn’t have to cost a lot of green. There are many green products out there on the market but an easier and cheaper approach is to make your own cleaning solutions. All you need is good ole’ water, white vinegar, and baking soda. Between the three you can clean almost anything in your RV.
  2. Reduce and reuse: Think smart when you recycle. Instead of throwing out spray bottles when you’re out of cleaning solution, rinse them out and use them again! Reuse plastic baggies, plastic food containers, water bottles, and aluminum foil. Recycle when you can, but reusing is even greener!
  3. There’s nothing baking soda can’t do: Beyond being made into a cleaning solution, baking soda has tons of other uses around your RV (and your home). Sprinkle a little on your carpet or upholstery before vacuuming for a fresh scent, keep in your RV fridge as a deodorizer, and sprinkle into garbage cans to keep odors at bay. 
  4. Air freshener:  No need to add chemicals to your RV to give it that fresh smell.  In a 16-oz spray bottle, combine: 2 tablespoons of white vinegar, 2 tablespoons of fabric softener (use a natural/organic softener) and 6 to 10 drops of vanilla or almond extract. Fill the remainder of the bottle with water and you’ve got your own, green air freshener.
  5. Stains are out: Stains on vinyl are no match for a little lemon juice and elbow grease.  Use straight lemon juice to rub out any stains on your RV’s vinyl flooring.

It might require a wee bit more time to use some of the above ideas, and it might seem easier just to grab that bottle of cleaner. In the long run you will be doing yourself and the environment a favor.

Safe Travels and Happy RVing!

An RV checklist for everyone…

If you’re like us, you can’t wait to get your camper opened up for the camping season! (If you have not already done so.) In fact, we’re so eager we’ve compiled a checklist of items for you that will help you have a smooth, hassle-free camping season this year. Everyone who RVs should utilize a check list, like the one below. An RV checklist will help you open up the camper for the coming camping season, as well as when you put the camper away for the year.  The list below should be done while you are at home, doing so will allow you to enjoy a trouble-free camping trip.

 

RV START-UP CHECKLIST

  • Inspect and work all interior and exterior latches and locks (lube if necessary).
  • Make sure the batteries are fully charged and installed correctly. A bad battery can make for a bad camping trip.
  • Inspect the power cord and carefully clean the contacts if necessary. Plug in the power cord to an appropriate power source.
  • Turn on the interior lights and check outlets for polarity. If needed, replace any blown fuses. Check the circuit breakers and test the GFCI.
  • Inspect and test all safety detectors. If needed, replace any drained or discharged batteries. If you have a defective or damaged safety detector, replace it immediately.
  • Inspect and turn on the propane system. If you have any questions, contact your dealer or a qualified propane service representative for assistance.
  • If the propane system is functioning properly, test the pilot lights on range, refrigerator, furnace and water heater (if so equipped).
  • Inspect the leveling jacks (if so equipped) for operation. If needed, perform maintenance as specified by the leveling jack manufacturer.
  • Test all exterior and interior lights. Replace any bulbs if they are burnt out.
  • Inspect the tires for wear, cracks and inflation pressure.
  • Wash the exterior of the RV.
  • Do a sealant inspection and repair as necessary.
  • De-winterize and sanitize the fresh water system.
  • Connect your tow vehicle to the RV and test all connections and lights. This should be done every time you hook up to tow.

Some of the above items should be looked over a couple of times a year. We recommend having your RV thoroughly checked when you have your required state inspection completed.  Preventative RV maintenance will allow you to enjoy a trouble-free camper for many years to come.

Safe Travels and Happy RVing!

Fiberglass Propane Cyclinders for RVing?

Fiberglass propane cylinders lighter, more durable…

If you ever thought that in the world of propane cylinders, “There’s nothing new under the sun,” think again. How about an LP cylinder made, not from steel or aluminum, but from plastic and fiberglass? Sound a bit wild? Hang on, there’s a company that sells them, and you might just want to consider them.

The Lite Cylinder Company is happily turning out fiberglass/plastic composite LP gas cylinders, and yes, first off, they are government DOT approved for use on RVs. What makes these little tanks different from their typical steel cousins?

First, they’re a wee bit lighter–about 30% lighter than conventional steel cylinders. This translates into about four pounds lighter for a standard 20-pound (five gallon) cylinder. The next size up? Lite Cylinder offers a 25-pound (six-gallon plus) cylinder that scales in at just about 19 pounds. While it holds a gallon less than the steel standard, it does weigh six-pounds less.

But the weight of these LP containments isn’t the only consideration. The actual gas containment vessel is made of spun fiberglass and plastic. The resulting vessel is translucent–you’ll never need to guess how much (or better still–how little) fuel is left in the cylinder–you can see the level with you own eyes. The actual “tank” if you will, is contained in a strong plastic shell that provides a carrying handle, a flat base to sit on, and stackability–you can toss these guys one on top of another.

The materials used in construction of Lite’s cylinders are also completely impervious to rust. No more “painting” your tanks; they won’t scratch and look ugly.

Ah, but what about price? The 20-pound cylinders retail on Lite’s website for $99, while the largest vertical cylinder, the 25-pounder, retails for $120.00. That’s a bit higher than your average camping store $99 retail price for a 30-pounder, but take into consideration you don’t need any “accessories” like a gauge system to determine how much LP is left, and no $11.00 “tank foot” to keep your cylinder from falling over while transporting.

The government gives a 15-year life estimate to these fiberglass cylinders. They are subject to the usual fire code regulations for periodic recertification. Get more information, locate a dealer, or order directly at the Lite Cylinder web site.

Article Courtesy of RV TECH Tips.

Pink is our favorite color…RV Winterizing

 

RV winterizing with RV antifreeze

Got to think pink!

It is that time of year once more. Time to prepare to winterize your beloved camper.

As much as we don’t like having to think about putting our RV away for the winter, it’s inevitable if you live in colder climates. That’s why we’re here with ways to properly prepare your RV for colder weather or storage, which is very important in most states and Canada. If an RV is not properly prepared for the winter months, it may cause water supply lines and the water heater to freeze. This article will give you some great tips on how to best winterize your RV.

First off, your RV should be winterized at the end of the camping season or when the RV will be exposed to temperatures that will fall at or below 32°F (0°C).

 Depending on the type of RV you own, there are two methods of winterizing. Also, as always, we ask that you read, understand the instructions before beginning and follow the instructions as you go. If you are not sure if you should be winterizing your coach yourself, please visit your local RV dealership for help.  Many dealerships, such as Lerch RV, will provide you with assistance or show you how to properly and safely winterize your camper yourself.  Here are the two ways to winterize your RV depending on the type you have.

Air pressure

This method will utilize an air hose to blow excess water from the water lines.

1. Make sure all holding tanks are empty and drain valves OPEN.

2. Run the water pump until it is dry, this will take approximately 15-20 seconds.

3. OPEN all faucets and drains, and the toilet.

4. Using an air hose and adapter (customer supplied), blow air through the city water connection. Any remaining water will blow out in five to ten minutes.

5. Pour one cup of non-toxic RV antifreeze into all drain P-traps.

Demand or power plumbing system (the most popular way to winterize your RV)

It may be easier to winterize the RV with another person to assist you.

1. Level the RV and drain the fresh water plumbing system.

2. Replace the water filter cartridge with the clear plastic bypass hose (if so equipped).

3. Make sure the water heater 12-volt and 120-volt interior control switches are OFF.

4. Turn the water heater bypass valves to the BYPASS position. Your RV valves may also be labeled  “Sanitize/Winterize Lines” position.

5. Make sure the “fresh tank drain” and “low point drains” are closed.  For most RVs, the low point drains must be closed for the antifreeze to siphon through the lines.

6. Insert the garden hose into a container of RV antifreeze solution (this quantity should be enough to winterize the RV); attach the other end to the City Water Fill.

7. Turn the water pump ON.

8. Open the hot water line on all the faucets (kitchen, lavatory, shower and outside shower) until RV antifreeze begins to flow continuously.

9. Close the faucet hot water lines and repeat with the cold water lines on all the faucets. Do not forget to run RV antifreeze through the toilet.

When you are done adding RV antifreeze

10. Remove the garden hose from the container of RV antifreeze.

11. To prevent staining, wipe the RV antifreeze out of the sinks, shower (or tub) and toilet using a soft, dry cloth.

As always, if you need assistance, please contact your local RV dealer.

WARNING…Please note that repairs due to freezing are not always covered under the terms of your manufacturer warranty.  When in doubt, please consult your warranty and/or the dealership that you purchased your RV. Also,automotive antifreeze (ethylene glycol) and windshield washer antifreeze (methanol) are poisonous. Never use these products in your fresh water system. These products are harmful and may be fatal if swallowed. Please use approved non toxic RV anti-freeze in your camper.

Safe Travels and Happy RVing!

 

Getting behind a winner in Pennsylvania

Nestled in the Juniata River valley of Pennsylvania is a little town called Port Royal. For those who know of this quaint town, also know of the 1/2 mile oval dirt track that draws many race enthusiast there on any given Saturday night. If you are headed to watch season finales of Port Royals own version of Saturday night live, be sure to keep an eye out for the #12 Sprint car of Blane Heimbach and Creasy Heimbach Racing. Here at Lerch RV , we like to stand behind a leader. We are proud to sponsor this amazing Sprint Car team.  Just as we are proud to carry a full line of brands from RV industry leading manufacturers, Keystone RV and Open Range RV.  So while you are experiencing the remainder of the racing season at a small town dirt track, keep an eye out for a big time RV dealer’s logo.

Safe Travels and Happy RVing!Blane Heimbach/Creasy Heimbach Racing/LerchRV

Blane Heimbach/Creasy Heimbach Racing/LerchRV sponsor for Port Royal Speedway winning Sprint car.

Pennsylvania RVers flooring choice.

It is time to replace the flooring in your RV? If it is, you’ve got an important decision to make: laminate or carpet floors? There are ups and downs to both, and in the end, you’ve got to choose whichever option works best for you.

Carpet makes for a good insulator no matter the season and will help reduce energy use by keeping the hot and cold air from radiating up-ward. Carpet also helps reduce noise by cutting down echo and absorbing sounds. Not to mention, it also feels great on your bare feet. On the downside, carpet attracts dirt, dust and more. It’s definitely harder to clean and keep clean especially if you are traveling with pets and children.

Laminate on the other hand is fairly simple to maintain. It’s also cheaper to purchase and install. There are plenty of different styles to choose from all of which will last you a long time. RVs consist of mainly high traffic areas making laminate an excellent choice. But you’ll have to trade the insulation from the carpet. Laminate doesn’t absorb heat, cold or sound. Another disadvantage is the potential of warping and loosening.

As I said before, there is no one right choice. It’s really all up to you, Pennsylvania RV owners.  If you need some help with the decision, you know where to find 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!