Pennsylvania RVers Boost Phone and Internet Range with an Antenna

I came across this great post about external antennas for your RV or trailer. I would guess that 99% of all RVers travel with a cell phone to keep in touch, plus they have a laptop computer to get travel info and email. That’s all great and good as long as you stay in the city where the reception is good. But RVers usually don’t spend their vacations in cities, they like to explore the great outdoors in their RVs and trailers. Unfortunately, there may be times when you have to sacrifice the modern-day amenities of mobile phones and internet connections. However, if you get a long-range antenna, that possibility can be reduced.
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This omnidirectional antenna is a good antenna for maximizing your reach when you’re in the middle of nowhere!
Here’s one RVer’s method: This gentleman mounted a roof-mount style satellite dish base on the top of his motor-home, using the appropriate sealant to prevent water leakage. But instead of topping the mount with a satellite dish, he used U-bolts to mount a omnidirectional/tri-band cellular antenna. This one covers frequency ranges for both his cell phone and his wireless broadband/internet card.

He routed the connection cable from the antenna, down through the rig’s gray water holding tank vent line. Inside the rig he bored a hole into the vent line (where it was accessible from in the living area), routed the cable out of the vent line, and then used a sealant to both “keep the stink out,” and to act as a protective grommet to prevent friction between the vent pipe and the antenna coax. The whole shooting match plugs into either the cell phone, or into a jack in his broadband card. If your card doesn’t have a jack for an antenna, there are inductive couplers that attach to broadband cards, allowing you to rig them to an external antenna.

Once on location, it’s a simple job to climb up the RV’s roof access ladder, lift the satellite dish mount into its “working” position, then turn the antenna around to point to the nearest cellular site. With a 24dB gain, this setup will bring signal roaring in that might otherwise be lost in space.[RV Tech Tips]

Take the time this winter to add some accessories like this to your RV. Then in the spring you’ll have some new RV toys to play with!

Safe Travels and Happy RVing!

Put out to Pasture; the Rolling Thunder by Open Range RV

Open Range RV dicontinues the Rolling Thunder Toy Hauler 5th wheel camper

The Rolling Thunder Toy Hauler by Open Range RV has been put out to pasture.

I would like to inform my readers of the end of a great run.  At the time of this blog posting, the Open Range Rolling Thunder Toy Hauler product line is no more. The Rolling Thunder, with its stampeding herd of horses logo, has been put out to pasture by the Shipshewana, Indiana RV manufacturer.  The Rolling Thunder has been part of Open Range RV’s stable for about two and a half years.  Slow sales and subtle shifts of interest by RV consumers were believed to be several of the determining factors in the discontinuation of the toy hauler product line.

The Rolling Thunder was introduced to the public in 2009 as a toy hauler designed to be more comfy and utilitarian in design than its competition.  The Rolling Thunder was the fifth wheel toy hauler that was ‘not on steroids’ as owner Randy Graber noted.  The Rolling Thunder product line did not feature over the top interior designs in decor or graphics, but gave the owner of the toy hauler more comforts of home.  The four season unit was light weight by industry standards.  As of the time of writing this, there has been no news of a replacement toy hauler product from the manufacturer.

Here at Lerch RV, we currently have one Rolling Thunder H345 MPR left in inventory, having sold over twenty-five Rolling Thunders in previous years.  Come visit our Milroy, Pennsylvania location and see why we are the largest Open Range dealership in the commonwealth.  And maybe you will leave here with a great deal on a great trailer.

Happy Trails Rolling Thunder…

Open Range RV's Rolling Thunder toy hauler out to pasture

Safe Travels and Happy RVing!

The RV Battery Dilemma..

RV battery, RV batteries, PA RV Service Center, Lerch RV, PA RV Dealer

In this corner, the well-known 12 volt battery. In the opposite corner, the challenger, the 6 volt battery….

I decided to start the new year off with a post about batteries. The things that allow us to switch on that light in the middle of the night to find the bathroom.  I recently came across this excellent article comparing 6 volt batteries to 12 volt batteries.  I have several customers that swear by the 6 volt set up. And after reading this article, I might be moved to agree with them.  Let me know your thoughts after you read it…

When I was deciding what batteries to use for my 5th wheel, the first decision that I had to make was 6 Volt vs. 12 Volt batteries. Based on my research, I found that many avid RVers swore by 6 Volt batteries as being superior to 12 Volt batteries. I know that some people may be a little confused by this as they ask, “Don’t most RVs rely on 12 Volts?” The answer is yes, however, you can use 6 Volt batteries if you wire them properly to output 12 Volts. So the next question that many people ask is, “Why would you use 6 Volt batteries instead of 12 Volt batteries? Why not just use 12 Volt batteries?”  If you do some research on the web, you will find endless debates surrounding this topic. In reality, the most important thing to consider is the total Amp Hours you will receive from the batteries in relation to what you can fit into your RV in terms of weight and space. However, there may be some truth to the idea that 6 Volt batteries are superior.

If for instance you use two Group 27 12-Volt batteries that are rated at 105 amp hours each and you wire them in parallel (we will discuss parallel vs. series wiring below), then you will receive a total of 210 amp hours out of your batteries. However, if you use two 6-Volt batteries that are roughly the same size and weight that are rated at 210 amp hours each and you wire them in series for 12 Volts, you will also receive 210 amp hours out of them. So in both situations you are using two batteries and in both situations you are getting roughly the same amount of Amp Hours. So the question remains why choose the 6 Volt batteries over the 12 Volt? The reason is simple when you consider the batteries construction.

Remember from our discussion earlier that a 12 Volt battery is actually made up of six individual battery cells that each output approximately 2.12-2.15 Volts each. Each one of these cells is made up of a lead plate that is surrounded by an acid solution. Generally speaking, the heavier these plates are, the longer they will last and the better suited they are for deep cycle discharges and recharges. Since 6 Volt batteries only contain three cells per battery as opposed to six cells for a 12 Volt battery and since comparable batteries (in terms of amp hours) are roughly the same size (dimensions and weight will vary), the 6 Volt battery is usually constructed with larger plates and therefore tends to last longer in deep discharge situations. Similarly, you may even find that 6 Volt batteries are slightly cheaper than 12 Volt batteries. As a result of the 6 Volt batteries being constructed better and being slightly cheaper, most avid RVers will choose the 6 Volt batteries if they have the space to mount them. If you do some additional research on the web, you can even find people who have tested 12 Volt and 6 Volt batteries side by side. In all of these tests, the results seem to confirm that 6 Volt batteries are superior.

So what are your thoughts? Your choice in batteries is a person choice, both accomplish the job. Regardless if it is a 6 volt or a 12 volt battery,  the lights will be own at the flip of the switch. If not give PA’s RV service department a call…800-722-1236

Safe travels and Happy RVing in the New Year.

The perfect gifts for the RVer/Camper in your family.

RV Christmas Tree Lot @ Lerch RV, Keystone RV, Open Range RV

Tis' the Season...

Christmas seems to come faster every year. If you are like me, then you probably wait until the last minute to find gifts for your friends and loved ones. It can be hard trying to pick out that special present for those who mean so much to you. If you are looking for the perfect gift for the RV enthusiast that you know, you may not know what to get. There are many great gift ideas to make RVing easier and more fun for RV owners and passengers alike.

One of the things that you have to take into consideration when buying gifts for an RVer is space. RVs may have more room than other vehicles, but in terms of living space, being economical is key. One great gift for the avid reader would be an e-book such as a Kindle, Nook or maybe a new Kindle Fire. These devices will free up a lot of storage space currently being used up by books, many of which are read once and then never touched again. Less flashy things, like portable meal trays, are a great way to open up more room for someone who is living in an RV. One of the best gifts that you could give an RVer is the gift of more living space, so you may want to look for items that will take up little space or allow more space to be used.

Another great part of RVing is being outdoors. Making life better while at a campsite is a great way to make an RVer happy on Christmas morning. Outdoor furniture such as chairs, tables, and even outdoor recliners will make living outdoors a lot easier. Outdoor carpets/area rugs for under the awning are always a hot seller too.  If you are looking to get a gift for the chef in the family, kitchen utensils and appliances are always a hit. Just look for items that will take up minimal space and open up possibilities in the kitchen.

There are many great products and possibilities out there for RV owners, so be sure to start your shopping now, because Christmas is just around the corner. Be sure to visit your Pennsylvania RV dealer for all your RV Christmas needs.

Safe Travels and Happy RVing!

Winter RVing can be warm and cozy. Here is how…

Winter RVing can be fun.

Skirting can help keep cold air at bay.

The air is starting to get colder, the temperature is dropping and you may find yourself shivering in your RV or trailer. Even if you have chosen to go to a warmer area for the season, there may still be nights that are a bit nippy. It seems the climate has been unsettling with temperature variations all over the nation. However the most effective way to keep the heat inside of your rig is to have high grade insulation installed throughout it. Unfortunately, that can be a costly solution that could also keep your RV in the shop for a long period of time. There are other great tricks and products you can use to keep the cold outside this winter.

One of the most important things that you can do is checking your RV seals for leaks. If you have cold air coming into your RV then it will always be cold and you could be running your furnace too hard for little effect. Check your roof, windows, and doors to make sure that there is no cold air getting into your RV. If you do find little leaks or holes, then be sure to use a silicone sealant of caulk to stop the problem. It is common for air to come in from under the door. There are products out there that are designed to slip onto your door and seal off the interior.

If you have a hardwood, tile, or linoleum floors, then you may want to purchase an area rug or loose carpeting. This will help keep cold air coming through the floor and it will also hold heat better. Be sure that you keep your blinds closed, and use your curtains if you have them. The cold temperature of the glass can start to take out the heat in your rig, leaving you feeling like an ice cube. Another great product to purchase is a roof vent pillow. This item is inserted to the RV roof vent and is usually made of foam or some other type of insulator. This keeps cool air from being conveyed through your closed roof vent.

If you plan on living in your RV this winter, then you should be sure that your RV is ready to handle the cold. No one wants to go camping with Jack Frost, so make sure you keep him at bay. For great winterizing service and solutions be sure to visit Lerch RV.

Stay warm on those cold RV nights

With the weather starting to get colder, and the days shorter, you are probably experiencing a bit of a chill at night now. This is also the time of year where you are still RVing in cooler climates before either heading south for the winter or storing your RV until next season. Staying warm and comfortable in your RV is a key to have a great trip this time of year. No one likes sleepless nights shivering the whole time, so how should you stay warm? The easy answer is your RV furnace, but you may be out at a camp site when that breaks down, so what are you back up options?
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The two most popular choices are heating strips and portable heaters. Like all things, there are pros and cons that go with both, and it is more of a preferential choice. Let’s look at portable heaters first. The great thing about these are that they do a good job heating a small space. At night, shut the door to your room and turn one of these on and you will stay warm through out the night. They are also quiet, which is key to falling asleep. The problem with them is that they tend to break down easily over time. If you buy one you can expect to buy another after a few years. Also, there is always to risk of fire with these heaters, due to the exposed heating coils. If you use one, be sure to put it in a safe place out of contact with combustibles.

Another option is a heating strip. A heating strip is installed in the air conditioner and it is a 1500 watt heater. This option is good because it is generally more reliable than the portable heater, and it doesn’t take up any extra space in the RV. The not so great part about them is that you have to run your A/C fan through the night, and it doesn’t heat your rig nearly as well as the portable heater. You won’t freeze to death with one, but you won’t be toasty.

If all else fails, keep extra quilts and blankets in your RV and bundle up for warmth. If you are looking for a new RV ta stay warm in, be sure to come into Lerch RV.

Pennsylvania, Lerch RV has you covered this winter…

Lots of RVers like to head south for the winter, but that isn’t an option for some of us. While there are still a few good weekends left for camping this year, if you are one of those late season campers. However most of our customers probably already have winterized their campers by now.  If you are able to store your RV in a covered garage or storage center, then there is not a lot that you have to do to protect your RV from the elements.  Those of us who use an RV cover to keep our RV safe while not in use know there is more that goes into getting your cover on properly than simply throwing it over your rig.

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A good cover can make a difference.

The first thing that you should do before putting your cover on is wash your RV. Dirt, grease, and any bugs left on your RV’s exterior can set in and ruin your rig’s paint and body. Give it a good wash and dry it completely before you put your cover on. If you have anything with sharp corners on your roof, such as antennas or solar panels, remove them. If not, cover them with towels or blankets so the sharp edges won’t rip your cover.

The biggest challenge of getting your RV covered is getting over the top. Instead of using a ladder and your hands, tie a rope to one side of your cover and pull it over on the other side. If you do choose to use a ladder, be very careful. Falls and accidents are quite common. And if you get onto the roof to center everything, watch your step. You may not be able to see air vents or other oft spots on the roof.

Letting your RV hibernate for the winter may be a necessity, but be sure to use a quality cover to make sure that it is safe when not in use. If you are looking for a good quality cover, just ask us for help in finding the right one. If you are looking for a new RV in Pennsylvania, then just stop by Lerch RV!

Have you ever thought about owning a Campground or RV Park?

As RV owners, we travel to campgrounds and RV Parks often. We usually stay a few days…or longer, if we are full-timers…and then go on our way. We almost always have an opinion of the place before we leave, but have we ever thought about owning one of these places?

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Here is an opportunity to explore this option a bit further. The National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) has an upcoming conference in late November in Savannah, Georgia.

‘Where Outdoor Hospitality Meets Southern Hospitality’ is the theme for the 2011 Outdoor Hospitality Conference and Expo (OHCE) to be held November 30 to December 2. There will also be some pre-convention events in the days leading up to Nov. 30.

This all takes place at the Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort and Spa and Savannah International Trade and Convention Center.

The educational programs have been revised to include all types of the outdoor hospitality industry. Here are some of the educational program key areas of focus:

  • Business Management
  • Business Technology
  • Employee Training and Motivation
  • The Latest in Green Technology
  • Marketing and Public Relations
The Westin has even discounted their rates for attendees. If you need more information, go to the ARVC website.
This looks to be a great opportunity to learn more about the outdoor hospitality industry, regardless of whether you want to own a RV Park, or just work in one!

Lerch RV can help you if you want to Finance your RV…

If you are one of many families across the country who go camping often and enjoy the outdoors, the next step is for you to invest in a RV. Unfortunately for many families, it ends there.

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The average family of today cannot afford to purchase their own RV. Families have too many other stresses on the family budget that come first.

Lerch RV has the capability to assist you when it comes to purchasing a fifth wheel or travel trailer for the family.

Your new RV may qualify for some of the same tax benefits as a second home mortgage. Of course, check with your tax advisor, but to qualify for these benefits, such as the deductible of interest on the loan, the RV must be used as security for the loan along with providing basic living accommodations such as a sleeping area, bathroom and cooking facilities. The RV is considered a qualified second residence as long as you designate it as that for each tax year.

Your RV might actually cost you less in the end if you finance your purchase. The bottom line is that if you are thinking of buying an RV, you should check financing options to maximize your purchase enjoyment. What are the advantages of Financing through a RV Lending Specialist? Down payments are lower although final terms are determined based on your credit profile and the age, type and cost of the RV being purchased. And financing through RV lenders usually requires down payments in the 10% range.

Finance terms are longer / Monthly payments are lower, because RV finance specialists know that RVs maintain their value and resale appeal, they tend to offer more attractive terms. In fact, it’s not uncommon to find 15-20 year repayment schedules to help you afford the RV of your dreams. Consider allowing Lerch RV to help you in financing that new camper. And you’ll be on the road enjoying your new RV before you know it!

The 2011 Mifflin County Farm-City, City Award Winner is….Lerch RV

Ed Lerch; owner of Lerch RV and camper sales accepts his farm city award

Ed Lerch accepts an award from the PA State Senate.


Lerch RV
owner Ed Lerch and his family recently won the city portion of the 2011 Mifflin County Farm-City Award.  Mr. Lerch has grown his travel trailer and fifth wheel business from very humble origins.  Over thirty-four years ago, he opened Seven Mountain Truck Caps and Lerch’s Arco gas station. Then in 1978 Ed changed the name of his business to the now well-known Lerch RV. Then in 1980 Lerch RV moved to a bigger dealership location, west of Lewistown near the entrance to the Mifflin County Industrial Park, along Route 522/22.  With this move, the business became a full service RV dealership selling travel trailers, fifth wheels, and motor-homes,  discontinuing the sales of truck caps and gasoline. Ed continued the growth of his RV business through the 1980′s and 90′s. In the early part of the 90’s Lerch RVeven developed and built a small handful of customized travel trailers.

PA Senate Citation recognizing Lerch RV.

PA Senate Citation recognizing Lerch RV.

After 20 years of doing business at the location west of Lewistown and after the successful completion of the existing four lanes of Route 322, Lerch RV moved to the present location it now occupies in Milroy, PA. The new location offered the business room to grow. With larger service bays and a larger parts store, the new building has enabled the business to become one of the largest RV dealerships in Pennsylvania. The inventory the dealership now has to offer at the current location is built by the largest, most reputable manufacturers in the RV industry; the Keystone RV Company and the Open Range Company. Along with offering a large selection of pre-owned pop ups, fifth wheels, travel trailers and the occasional used motor home.

2011 Mifflin County Farm City Award Winners

2011 Mifflin County Farm City Award Winners

Lerch RV attracts customers from all over the state of Pennsylvania, and many from even further away. The Lerch Family is the perfect example of what an award-winning family business is all about. With the inclusion of Mr. Lerch’s daughters and son in-laws working at the dealership along side of the owner. Our congratulations to the family…

Safe Travels and Happy RVing!