Welcome to the RV Capital of the world!

Elkhart County, Indiana is considered to be the RV capital of the world. Supposedly one of every two RV’s is the world are made right there.  More than 20 RV manufacturers in Elkhart offer factory tours, you just have to pick which ones you want to see. I came across this article at mlive.com and thought I would share it with my readers.  This is a recap from one RVer’s visit to 3 different manufacturers. It should give you an idea of what the tours will be like.

First stop: Renegade RV, 52216 State Road 15 in Bristol, a 14-year-old company founded by Chuck McKibbin for the auto racing industry. Here, we were ushered onto the factory floor where employees were working on several custom units. The smallest unit they build is about 32 feet. Most of their vehicles are made for people who have owned several RVs and now want to design one to their own specifications.

We climbed up into these huge RVs to see the work in progress. We saw granite countertops, flat-screen TVs ready for installation — even one on the outside of the vehicle — granite floors, space-efficient layouts and unique storage solutions. Impressive!

Second stop: Jayco, 903 South Main St. in Middlebury. You can’t miss Jayco because you’ll see hundreds of white travel-trailers in the factory lot.

But watch carefully for the Visitors Center sign. Inside the center, a renovated 1880s farmhouse, we were invited to look around the center or to go outside and look at the vehicles on display while we waited for our noon tour. We did both.

A video told us about founders Lloyd and Bertha Bontrager, who started the company in a chicken coop in 1968. They quickly outgrew that and are now the largest privately owned RV manufacturer. Then we traveled in a trolley back to the building where they make about 11 fifth-wheels per day.

We went to the cavernous and fascinating sewing room. We watched a machine quilting two yards of material every 45 seconds. The material is used for bedspreads and pillow shams.

One of the installers placed a foam cushion on a vacuum machine, covered it with plastic, turned the machine on and, instantly, it shrank. She popped it inside the covering and, in a nano-second, it re-inflated and filled the covering.

Our final stop was Sunnybrook RV, 201 14th St., Middlebury. We joined a group of insurance agents on the tour, explaining the manufacturing process from the naked chassis stage to the finished product, whether a fifth-wheel or a travel-trailer.

With the insurance agents asking questions, we heard all the things RV manufacturers do to avoid problems for the consumers. We learned about glues, insulation, windows, awnings, and the craftsmanship.

Most impressive for me was the outdoor kitchen on one of the vehicles. You pop up the cover to find a tiny sink, refrigerator, and stove.

This day of “RVs Unwrapped” is a great way to learn about RVs before purchasing one or just to be impressed with manufacturing innovations. It also answered my ever-present question: “How do they do that?”

It goes without saying that this part of the country is very RV friendly! And it is only a short 7 1/2 hour drive from central PA.  If you do not want to drive that far to see your favorite brand, just stop at PA’s largest travel trailer dealership, Lerch RV.

Safe Travels and Happy RVing!

Turn, Turn, Turn. The Open Range Light story.

I am still amazed when I recall what I witnessed the day when our first 2012 Open Range Light LF297 was picked up by its new owner. When it was time for the customer to leave we put the truck, which happened to be a Ford F150 Super Crew with a 5.5′ bed, and the trailer through a series of turning radius tests. The distance from the front cap of the fifth wheel and the rear cap of the pick up is substantial enough to allow true 90 degree turning. Take a look at Lerch RV’s YouTube video depicting that radius testing. Keep in mind that the Open Range Light is truly a half ton tow-able fifth wheel. And with the innovative front camp design and hitch pin placement, you can tow this beauty with just a standard fifth wheel hitch installed in your tow vehicle. No need for a sliding fifth wheel hitch (slider) or any other special modifications need to be made.

The Light is another great innovative idea from the Open Range RV company. The Light product line includes the above  pictured LF297RLS, LF289RES and the LF305BHS (bunk model with outside kitchen). There is also a travel trailer in the mix as well, the LT252FLR. So if you are driving a half ton tow vehicle and are looking for a truly unique fifth wheel to camp in, look no further than the Open Range Light. And if you happen to have a 5.5′ short bed truck and want a fifth wheel camper, the Light is especially for you! You can have full size fifth wheel fun in a half ton tow-able package, without missing anything.  All the features that you require in an exciting package.

The Open Range Light fifth wheel campers and travel trailers are available at Pennsylvania’s largest Open Range RV Dealer, Lerch RV. Located in Milroy, which is one hour west of Harrisburg and thirty minutes southeast of State College, the home of Penn State University. For more information on the Open Range Light, please contact us.

A few tips to keep Ants from Invading your RV…

Ants marching toward Lerch RV, how to keep ants from invading your RV/Camper...

When you are RVing at a campground or boon docking in the wilderness, you are susceptible to all kinds of insects and animals.

Ants are one of the more aggravating creatures to invade a RV, fortunately they are easy to get rid of. RV Travel shares this advice for us.

We woke up in our RV one fine morning with an upset cat. A large, black, moving column of ants, working its way across the RV from a crack near the entry door, across the flooring, up the wall cabinet, and into the kitchen sink. Hundreds of the little buggers, all intent on carrying away whatever it is that struck their fancy.

ANTS ARE CLEVER CREATURES – they send out scouts who scurry about the territory, looking for suitable food and water sources. If one crawls up your RV tire, water hose or power cable and eventually finds something inside your rig, he or she leaves a little smell trail of pheromones. Your proboscis won’t pick up on it, but to the ants, it’s an irresistible essence that must be followed — by hundreds of the scout’s fellows.

For whatever reason, ants won’t cross a line of bleach-containing scouring powder. Maybe it kills the pheromone trail, maybe it burns their little feet, we don’t know.

In any event, get out the Comet and shake a good border around everything of your rig that touches the ground: Tires, landing gear, stabilizers, cords, and hoses. This is better than spraying insecticide on these utilities, because the powdered cleanser will simply shake off, not stick to your hands, nor cause grief for pets and kids.

Of course, if the rains fall you may need to renew your magic circle, but while the powder’s out, the ants are gone.

This is a pretty easy fix. I wish it was this easy to repel other bugs or animals like, say, bears!

No, bears are nothing to laugh at. Now you should be equipped with some ant knowledge and some “bear” knowledge.

What more do you need? A new RV you say? We can equip you with that too!

More RV and Camping Safety Tips

You may read about RV and camper safety a lot when you’re surfing the internet or picking up the latest Trailer Life magazine. Personally I think you can never learn too much or think too often when it comes to RV safety. And as with anything else in life, practice what you read and preach.  To many times safety is placed on the back burner of our thought process when it comes to hitching up the wagon and hitting the road.  Many of my previous posts have been about RV and camping safety.  I can not stress how import this subject matter is.  So once again here are some more RV safety tips to think about….

"Keystone RV" "Lerch RV" RV "PA RV Dealer" camper camping campers "tag along" "tow behind" "bunk model" "bunk house camper" "RV lifestyle" glamping caravan "Go RVing" RVing "new camper sale" "camper dealer" "new camper" "RV dealer" "PA RV Dealership" towing "used campers" "weekend fun" "family fun" "recreational vehicle" recreation "summer fun" "keystone rv company"Propane:

Never paint the tank a dark color. It can absorb the sun’s rays and can cause it to overheat and explode.

  • Don’t travel with the stove, oven or heater burners lit.
  • Never refuel while any propane appliance or engine is running.
  • If you have an older propane tank, make sure it has an overfill protection device.
  • Install a propane gas detector.

Create a step-by-step checklist!!

Before you drive:

  • Make sure bay doors are closed and latched.
  • Double-check tow bar and safety cables.
  • Disconnect all power, TV, phone, water and sewer lines.
  • Retract jacks, steps, and awnings.
  • Look under the rig for signs of fluid leaks.
  • Check oil, transmission and coolant levels.
  • Check air brakes, parking brake and tow brakes.
  • Inspect tire inflation pressure and tread wear.
  • Make sure smoke and propane leak detectors are working.

Practice S.A.F.E Cornering:

RVers must compensate for the extra weight, height and length of their vehicles when cornering. Practice S.A.F.E. cornering:

  • Slowly approach the turn. It’s much easier to speed up in the corner than have to brake.
  • Arc the turn, careful to not arc the first swing in the opposite direction, confusing drivers behind as to where you really intend to go.
  • Finish the turn completely. Drivers make a common mistake when they straighten before the back-end of the vehicle has cleared the pivot point.
  • Experience is key. The best way to become a good RV driver is practice, practice, practice.[GMAC Insurance]

There are some good tidbits that I think you can print out and keep in your RV to refer back to every once in a while. That is if you like. I truly hope you have enjoyed some of these safety tips! That way next time you hit the road you will know that you and your family are good to go!

Have a great weekend adventure, run by on your way back so we can hear all about it.  And, if there is anything we can do to help, let us know!!

Safe Travels and Happy RVing!

Camping Made Easy has never included so much RV storage!

Improved Copper Canyon 5th wheel floor plans for Fall 2011

The 273FWRET and 292FWBHS just got a whole lot better. These models will now feature a wardrobe slide in the bedroom. Camping Made Easy has never included so much storage! Built upon the foundation of Keystone’s first product line, Copper Canyon by Sprinter “Makes Camping Easy” by combining luxury and value in one beautiful fifth wheel. And with a variety of floor plans ranging from rear living room models, side aisle models, and bunk house models, you can select the Copper Canyon that is just right for the way you live.
Copper Canyon 292 FW BHS by Keystone RV Company at Lerch RV

Copper Canyon 292 FW BHS by Keystone RV Company at Lerch RV

Copper Canyon 273 FWRET by Keystone RV at Lerch RV

Copper Canyon 273 FWRET by Keystone RV available at Lerch RV

Each of these exciting fifth wheel campers are equipped with these great standard features:

Copper Canyon Standard Features

Exterior Features

  • One touch electric awning
  • Lockable, radius baggage doors
  • Rear bumper storage
  • Easy opening triple entry step
  • E-Z Lube™ axles
  • Exterior grab handle for entry assistance
  • Tough guard painted skirt metal
  • Patio light with switch
  • Rain gutters and spouts
  • Two 30 LBS LP bottles with automatic change-over
  • Roto-cast seamless holding tanks
  • Keystone Original space maker 50 gallon fresh water system.
  • 30′ 30 Amp power cord
  • Spray port with hot and cold water
  • Exterior BBQ hook-up
  • Electric front jacks
  • Radial Tires
  • Outside speakers
  • Docking station
  • Light at termination points

Interior Features

  • 13,500 BTU ducted air conditioner with “Quick Cool”
  • 30 amp electrical distribution panel
  • 12 Volt, 55 amp converter
  • 30,000 BTU auto-ignition furnace with thermostat
  • Water heater bypass for easy winterization
  • Residential cabinet hardware
  • Large picture window at the dinette
  • 6′ 3″ interior slide room height
  • 12 volt slide room lights for dry camping
  • Home Theater Surround Sound® system
  • In floor ducted heat
  • Central monitoring system for all tanks and battery
  • Full extension ball bearing drawer guides
  • Residential slide out pantry

Living Room Features

  • Cable TV hook-up with antenna and signal booster
  • Satellite prep
  • High grade carpeting with pad
  • Residential fabric-covered valances
  • Angled overhead storage in the slide room
  • Home theater DVD / CD /AM /FM / MP3
  • Air bed sofa
  • 32″ LCD HDTV

Bath Features

  • Large vanity sink
  • Porcelain foot flush toilet
  • Residential medicine cabinet with mirror
  • ABS one piece tub surround
  • Skylight over tub
  • Retractable clothes line in the shower/tub
  • Reinforced tub support
  • Attic fan
  • GFI receipts in the bathroom

Kitchen Features

  • 6 gallon gas and electric DSI auto ignition water heater
  • 3 burner high output gas range
  • Deep 60/40 residential sink
  • Full extension ball bearing drawer guides
  • Metal high arched faucet
  • Lighted range hood with exhaust fan
  • Microwave with carousel
  • 17″ oven
  • Reversible dinette seat cushions
  • Double door refrigerator
  • Overhead cabinets above the sink
  • Two oversized pots and pan drawers
  • Dream Dinette

Bedroom Features

  • Cable TV hook-up
  • High grade carpeting with pad
  • Under bed storage with gas struts
  • Color matched bedspread
  • Bedroom reading lights
  • Electrical Outlets near the bed
  • Dream Collection Mattress
  • Headboard niche with puck lighting

“Customer First” Safety Package

  • Tinted safety glass windows
  • Dual hitch safety chains
  • Manual override for the slide rooms
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Smoke detector
  • Carbon monoxide detector
  • Egress windows
  • LP gas leak detector
  • Break away safety brake
  • 4 wheel electric brakes
  • Hitch light
  • Door side and off door side clearance lights
  • Security light

“Camping Made Easy” Package

  • Laminated aluminum framed sidewalls
  • Enclosed underbelly
  • Exterior speakers
  • E-Z Lube® axles
  • Overhead slide room cabinets
  • Skylight in the shower
  • Six gallon gas / electric DSI water heater
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Easy find light switches
  • 13.5 ducted air conditioner
  • DVD home theater system with Surround Sound®

Popular Options

  • Spare tire
  • 10 gallon water heater (Some models)
  • Upgraded 15,000 BTU air conditioner
  • Free standing dinette with four chairs
  • Extra large refrigerator
  • Six panel refrigerator front
  • Rear Ladder
  • Ceiling fan with light (High profile FW)
  • Wire and frame for second A/C
  • 50 Amp service (Some Models)

If you are looking for a great fifth wheel, that is dependable and built by an RV industry leading manufacturer. Look no further than the Copper Canyon by Keystone RV.  Available at Pennsylvania’s largest RV dealer, Lerch RV.  Give us a call at 800-722-1236.  Remember just as Copper Canyon makes Camping Easy, Lerch RV makes Buying Easy!

Safe Travels and Happy RVing!

A new breed of RVer walks amongst us

glamping in America

Are you Glamper?

The Urban Dictionary defines Glamping in more than a few ways, however I believe this definition best fits:
Glamping: (verb)  Glamorous camping. Satisfying your craving for the outdoors and your penchant for a good meal, nice glass of wine, and a comfortable bed. (No stinky sleeping bags on the hard ground and freeze-dried food for me. If it’s not a Glamping trip, count me out.)

Camping used to be known as “roughing it.” Of course, with the rise of the RV, it became a little less rough and a little more luxury.  Well, a lot of people who wouldn’t call themselves “outdoorsy” have finally come across the greatness that is RVing, and in fact, new camp grounds are opening up to give them the least rough camping experience possible.  This is called glamping, which is short form for glamorous camping.  There are websites and destination campgrounds on several continents that have sprung up to cater to the ‘glampers’.  Tenting has become luxurious with the introduction of upscale wall tents and yurts. These luxurious canvas cabins are not for the die-hard outdoors-man.

GO Glamping!

Now this is tenting...

So if you are trying to convince that one person in your family holding out against the idea of going camping, you may show them how glamorous is can be.  While you may enjoy a more traditional camping experience, it’s always great news to know that the RV community is always growing.  If you do not want to spend over $200 a night per person on some of these upscale canvas palaces. Stop by Pennsylvania’s largest travel trailer dealer and allow us to help you find your perfect camper.  Lerch RV has been making camping and buying easy for over 34 years.  If you are looking for the upscale or the entry-level RV, Lerch RV can help you.  So give our low pressure sales team a call at 800-722-1236.
Safe Travels and Happy RVing!

A unique fifth wheel floor plan, the 2008 North Shore 320 TS.

2008 North Shore 320 TS by Dutchmen RV at Lerch RV

A very unique step up kitchen slide-out.

Chart a new course to that perfect place this year with this pre-owned North Shore fifth wheel.  Whether it’s somewhere brand new or a favorite vacation spot you venture to each year, let a  North Shore fifth wheel take you there.  With its distinctive styling and premium features you’ll find each North Shore to be the ideal setup when you are on the road.  This 2008 North Shore 320 TS has very distinctive floor plan.  The step up slide-out kitchen makes this used fifth wheel stand out amongst our other pre-owned fifth wheel inventory.

2008 North Shore by Dutchmen RV at Lerch RV

Loaded with great interior features that include a Roof Mounted TV Antenna w/ Booster, Microwave, 3 Burner Range w/ Oven and High Output Burner, Range Cover, Double Bowl Kitchen Sink w/ High Rise Faucet, Gas/Electric Double Door Norcold 8 cubic foot Refrigerator, Roof Mounted Ducted AC, Auto Ignition Ducted Furnace, Ceiling Fan, Power Roof Vent in Bath, Bathroom Skylight, Glass Shower Enclosure w/ Tub Surround, Foot Pedal Flush Porcelain Toilet, CO Detector, LPG Leak Detector, Smoke Detector, Under Bed Storage, Hardwood Linoleum Flooring, Pleated Woven Shades, Fireplace, Hide a Bed Sofa, Large Countertop in Kitchen Area.

2008 North Shore by Dutchmen RV at Lerch RV

Exterior Features include Fiberglass Exterior, Aluminum Framed Sidewall Construction, Low Maintenance Rubber Roof, Manual A&E Awning, Front Power Landing Legs, Rear Stabilizer Jacks, Over Sized Storage Compartment, Enclosed Underbelly, Enclosed and Heated Holding Tanks, Black Water Tank Flush, Dual 30 lb LP Tanks, Auxiliary Battery, Cable TV Hook-up, Phone Jack, Outside Spigot, Exterior ‘Scare’ Security Light, Roof Ladder, 10 Gallon DSI Water Heater, XL Entry Assist Handle.

This trade in is a must see. Very clean and very well maintained by the previous owner.

2008 North Shore 320 TS Specs:

Dry Weight: 9,482 lbs
Slide-Outs: 3
Sleeps up to: 4 people
Interior Color: Country Beige

Sale Price: $26,770

If you are interested in seeing this 2008 North Shore 320 TS by Dutchmen RV, give your central Pennsylvania RV Dealer a call at 800-722-1236.

Safe Travels and Happy RVing!