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!

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.

Keystone Montana 3665 RE fifth wheel for sale in Pennsylvania.

Are you looking for North America’s #1 selling fifth wheel RV? Look no further, the Keystone Montana is the one.  North America’s #1 Selling Fifth Wheel for ten consecutive years. The right inspiration leads you to achieve greatness whether you are vacationing, adventuring or just relaxing. The Keystone Montana fifth wheel RV enables you to achieve all three at the same time. To do this, the Keystone RV company has designed the Montana fifth wheel to provide you with enduring pleasure over the long haul and in every aspect of the RV ownership experience. Montana builds RVs that inspire the RVing Lifestyle.

You can have a new 2011 Montana 3665 RE, four season fifth wheel camper for only $49,950. This rear entertainment fifth wheel provides you with four season comfort and style.  Complete with Montana’s Hickory Package, Value Package, Moving to Montana Package, and Arctic Insulation Package.  The Montana 3665 RE is a quad slide-out fifth wheel that can sleep up to four people.

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2011 Montana 3665 RE Floor-plan

You are sure to enjoy camping in your new 2011 Montana 3665 RE.  Be sure to give Pennsylvania’s largest Keystone RV dealership a call at 800-722-1236 to take advantage of low RV prices.

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2011 Keystone Montana 3665 RE Exterior

2011 Keystone Montana 3665 RE fifth wheel camper at Pennsylvania RV Dealer: Lerch RV

Interior Living Area of the 2011 Keystone Montana 3665 RE

2011 Keystone Montana 3665 RE fifth wheel camper at Pennsylvania RV Dealer: Lerch RV

Kitchen on the 2011 Montana 3665 RE

Available at your central Pennsylvania RV dealer.  We have many floor-plans of Montana’s available, but this 2011 Montana 3665 RE is at an exciting low price of $49,950.  Be sure to take advantage of this low price and make this new 2011 Montana 3665 RE your new RV today!

Gas Prices do not Deter RV Campers

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The sky is the limit when it comes to amenities you’ll find in motor-homes, travel trailers and fifth wheels these days.   Every thing from leather couches, washers and dryers, and even heated tile flooring, but with those things comes a big price tag, especially on a motorized RV.  Then when you get it home there’s the cost to fill up the gas tank on the RV, which can run as much as $300 or less for a tow vehicle.  However this not stopping campers from heading out to their favorite spots.

“We go with a group of 15 other couples and we have the schedule all planned out for the third weekend each month, we go somewhere for our weekend camp-out,” said Louise Frank, an RV owner.

According to the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association RV sales in 2011 were up 4.1 percent nationwide, and people at the QCAA RV Expo say the threat of high gas prices won’t stop them from buying and using their campers.  “It’s just a budget thing, if you’re going to make the trip it’s just like any other vacation, you set the money aside and you go,” said Chad Misfeldt, an RV shopper.  “It’s something that you work for because that’s something you enjoy to do.”

The cost has however changed some aspects of how RV owners travel.”We just don’t use it to travel very much, we keep it at the lake and travel there in the summer.” Frank says they also budget differently during trips, like camping during the week when rates are cheaper, or cutting back on other expenses.  “We still love to do our camping so we cut others ways, we may not go out to eat as much while we’re home,” said Frank.  “Even when we’re camping we go out for lunch instead of supper.”

Many are parking their campers on permanent campgrounds sites, or are opting to purchase a smaller lighter weight.  Going smaller and lighter weight pays for itself in fuel economy.  Although the majority of RV owners know that by going small, you are going to have to sacrifice room.  Whether that is storage room, living space or sleeping space.  The majority of RVs being build nowadays are pushing the envelope in design and comfort.  On the upside of the fuel situation, many automotive manufacturers are giving the consumer more towing payload with greater emphasis on fuel mileage.

The vast majority of RV consumers view their camping trips as a time to bond with the family and say eight miles to the gallon is a small price to pay for building memories that will last a lifetime.

Top ten reasons to retire to an RV in Pennsylvania

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Retire to the RV lifestyle

Retirement is the time for a simpler life and the chance to do things you didn’t have time for when working. Living the RV lifestyle in retirement has several advantages. Here are ten of the most thought of…

Ten reasons to retire to an RV;

  1. Live your retirement dreams. Are there places you’ve wanted to visit but never took the time or perhaps didn’t have the money to do so? Now you can travel at your leisure and visit all those places. Whether it’s visiting national parks, following the Oregon Trail, playing at amusement parks or getting your fill of country western music, it’s all there for you
  2. Take your house with you:Instead of having to pack and unpack and hassle with airports or schlepping luggage in and out of motels, everything is there. Some RVs come with air or pillow-top mattresses, or you can add your own. Instead of sleeping on a lumpy mattress or too hard one night, then too soft the next, enjoy your own. Your bathroom is clean and you can relax at night on your comfortable sofa or La-Z-Boy recliner.
  3. Zero yard work and cleaning house is a breeze: With only a couple of hundred square feet to clean, cleaning house takes just a few minutes. There is no lawn to mow or yard to maintain.
  4. Stay active: Most experts agree that staying active prolongs and improves quality of life. Living in an RV provides many ways to stay active physically and mentally. When traveling, you have to stay engaged with life!
  5. Live less expensively: An RV is much less expensive to maintain than a house. Nightly campground fees are normally less than property tax and maintenance expenses on a stick house. Many expenses in the RV lifestyle can be controlled so you can cut back in a budget category when needed.
  6. Meet new people and make new friends:RVers are very friendly people. Opportunities are constant to meet new people. Get involved with an RV club or at an RV resort and find a whole new community. Working or volunteering as you travel is another way to meet people and make friends.
  7.  One house, many views:When you get tired of one view, move on to the next. RVing is the ideal way to snow bird. Go where it is cool in the summer and where it is warm in the winter. Change your ocean view to a mountain view in a matter of a few hours.
  8. No property taxes: Enjoy home ownership (your RV) without property taxes. Rent an RV space for as long as you want, then move.
  9.  Have many new experiences:You can actively have so many new experiences and be part of them rather than experience them vicariously on the boob tube. Stand where Lewis and Clark stood on their Voyage of Discovery. Crew for a hot air balloon at Albuquerque. Kayak among whales in Glacier Bay. Hike part of the Appalachian Trail. Or visit historical monuments; an auto tour at Gettysburg makes you feel like you are part of the Civil War.
  10. Visit friends and relatives: Visiting friends and relatives in an RV makes visiting so much more fun. Even if you are parked in their driveway, you have your own space. Or,stay at a nearby RV park so you are not instant babysitters!

Do you know of any other reasons to retire to the RVing Lifestyle?  If so please post them.

This is an excerpt from a list compiled by Jaimie Hall Bruzenak. Jamie is an RV Lifestyle Expert. She has been RVing since 1992.

Safe Travels and Happy RVing!

Pennsylvania RVers get the big AdVANTAGEs.

Vantage. The new perspective in camping.

A brand new perspective in camping. Vantage from Keystone combines timeless beauty with modern technology to create a new travel trailer unlike anything on the market today. By utilizing curved,laminated fiberglass side walls and an arched roof, Vantage delivers wide-body livability and comfort in a look that clearly stands apart. And the Vantage interior is also extraordinary, tastefully incorporating contemporary-glazed maple cabinets, two-tone fascia, and an open spaciousness that is uncommon and pleasing. Available in three distinct floor-plans including a quad bunk model.

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The Big AdVANTAGEs

  • Classic, timeless shape that will look good many years from now.
  • Clean, uncluttered exterior.
  • Cool tone high gloss gray exterior with black accents(bumper, wheel-well, windows).
  • Low slung chassis with a shorter overall height (to top of A/C).
  • Curved side walls, exterior and interior, creating a 101” wide body
  • Uniform window line (all windows same height and distance off floor), clean appearance.
  • Large (7″) radius transition from side wall to roof.
  • Slide-outs that conform to wall curvature – inside and out!
  • Full front and rear caps. No boxy edges.
  • Window awning on front cap conceals window, provides exterior storage location.
  • Recessed LED exterior lighting throughout. Even in bunk area.
  • Classic round tail lights recessed into cap.
  • Center stop lamp.
  • Separate high impact ABS rear bumper with hair-cell finish.
  • Exterior convenience center on ODS.
  • Vaulted ceiling with 7’interior height.
  • Low center of gravity allows for smoother towing.

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Contact Pennsylvania’s first Keystone Vantage Dealer today for more information on this remarkable camper. You can reach us at 800-722-1236.

Join us at the Allegheny Mountain RV Dealer Association RV Show

Come join Pennsylvania’s largest travel trailer dealership the weekend of February 23-26, 2012 at the annual Allegheny Mountains RV Dealers Association PA RV Show. Outdoor and camping lovers will have the chance to see the latest in RV’s this weekend. The Allegheny Mountains RV Dealers Association Show brings multiple dealers together for the huge four-day event at the Blair County Convention Center in Altoona, Pennsylvania.  This exciting RV show will enable our customers to view some of the latest and greatest RV floor-plans by industry leading manufacturers; Open Range RV and Keystone RV Companies.  We look forward to seeing everyone who comes out and visits us. For more information on this great Pennsylvania RV show, please call our Sales Team at 800-722-1236.

A Few Good Tips for the Pennsylvania RV Newbie

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New to RVing? We can help. Everybody has to learn the ins and outs of RVing at some time. Hopefully, your mistakes and accidents will be minimal in the beginning.

I thought I would put together some things to think about as you prepare your new RV and yourself, to experience the RVing lifestyle like a pro!

  1. Take care of your black water tank. This is one of the most important things to learn about. If your RV doesn’t have a black water tank sprayer, dump plenty of water down the toilet to clean it out. Add recommended chemicals regularly to ensure that tank material biodegrades properly. Packets are the fastest and easiest to use and require the least storage space; just toss one down the toilet with a gallon of water. Use RV toilet paper; it biodegrades faster.
  2. Make a maintenance checklist. Make a checklist of things to do before and after each RV trip to ensure that you don’t forget any maintenance procedures while you’re learning. Make notes of anything that you need to keep an eye on so that you can check it consistently. You don’t want any surprises while you’re on the road.
  3. Keep fridge and pantry stocked. Keep non-perishable staples on-board all season so you’re ready for spur-of-the-moment getaways.  Make sure they are foods that will work together to make a meal.  Remember to use food before their expiration date.
  4. Keep clothing, gear on board. Keep a set of toiletries, toothbrushes, clothing, games, leisure gear, pet supplies, etc. on board so that you have minimal packing to do at vacation time.

This is just a very small list to get you started in your quest to become an experienced camper.  Did I miss anything you experienced RVers? Please share more tips in the comments below….

Safe Travels and Happy RVing!

What Every New Pennsylvania RVer Eventually Discovers

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New RV owners usually have a lot of information to digest. There is so much to learn about owning, operating and maintaining a RV. Unless they know someone who can teach them all there is to know, these new RV owners are on their own to figure it all out.

Consider your first RV your training RV. This is where you will learn the ins and outs of how to operate propane, holding tanks, plumbing, electrical and backing up.

It helps you discover whether you prefer the convenience of full-service RV parks or dry-camping in primitive campgrounds, more commonly known as boon-docking.

Your ‘training camper’ teaches you how to equip, furnish and pack an RV. You learn just how much interior storage space (closets, cabinets, drawers) you really need (is there ever enough?). It reveals how critical the size and accessibility of the outside storage bays can be and the importance of cargo-carrying capacity and towing capabilities. Not to mention sleeping capacity as well. Did you really need the bunk beds?

It helps you determine what floor-plan, features and accessories would best suit your RVing lifestyle and needs. And if you really enjoy all that you learn about the world of RVing, there will be another new RV!

Safe Travels and Happy RVing!