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.

The HerrMAN, a 16-ton RV.

While most people opt for a small light weight RV, a couple from Germany set out to ‘tour the world’.  Read below to see how they have accomplished this trip. Have HerMAN will travel….

While recreational vehicles are good enough for many going on long distance road trips, this German couple opted for something more extreme and heavy-duty for their around-the-world journey.

Their choice vehicle is an 18-tonne army six-wheeler truck converted into cozy mobile home. The mighty mobile is affectionately called HerrMAN.

Seasoned traveler: HerrMAN has so far been to 18 countries and clocked 40,000km.
Seasoned traveler: HerrMAN has so far been to 18 countries and clocked 40,000km.

Stefan Sigl and Petra Mester have been on the road for two years, travelling 40,000km and have visited 18 countries since leaving Germany in November 2009.

They drove into Malaysia from Thailand early last month and had visited Switzerland, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, China and Laos to name a few.

“Although I have used a recreational vehicle before, I felt that I needed something more robust as the countries we will be visiting might have very bad roads,” he told reporters during a stopover at Continental Sime Tyre’s Petaling Jaya head office here yesterday.

HerrMAN was fitted with Continental’s heavy machinery all-terrain tyres when it left Germany.

During their stay in Malaysia, the truck will get a new set of tyres to continue its journey.

Sigl, 50, used to work in the media industry before venturing on the road trip. Mester, 51, meanwhile, was a teacher and social worker.

Auxiliary wheels: Sigl showing the scooter and bicycle in the mini-garage.

The couple has two children a son, 30, and daughter, 27.

The idea to go on the “big journey” came up around Christmas in 2003. Sigl bought a MAN KAT1 6X6 truck in 2005 and spent the next few years converting it into an apartment on wheels complete with beds, toilet, air conditioning, deep freezer, microwave oven and washing machine.

The vehicle even has a mini-garage where Sigl keeps a scooter and a bicycle.

He said HerrMAN was a combination of the German word “herr” which meant mister and MAN which was the truck brand.

Rest and recreation: Mester showing the ‘living room’ of HerrMAN.

“In English, our vehicle is Mr MAN,” Sigl said, adding that it was also a tribute to his father whose name was Herman.

Sigl said they enjoyed their stay in Malaysia as the locals were friendly and that everyone could speak English.

The couple intends to stay for a month or longer and plan to visit the key attractions on the west and east coasts.

After that, they plan to ship HerrMAN from Malacca to Indonesia. They also aim to visit Timor Leste, Australia and New Zealand before continuing to South America.

For more information on the HerrMAN check out this link

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.

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!

Lerch RV Internet Access..How it works

When customers come through our doors, one of the first questions we always ask, is what’s on your must-have list for a new RV? It turns out that when people are considering purchasing an RV in Pennsylvania, internet access is appearing more frequently near the top of those lists. RVing provides singles and families alike an opportunity to explore the open road, enjoy parks, experience all sorts of outdoor adventures. One might argue that having internet access along said journeys will only enhance the experience, and perhaps make traveling more efficient.

Dial-Up, DSL, Cable, WiFi, Wireless (Cellular)

In the past, the most reliable way for campers to enjoy – and I use that term loosely – internet access was to plug-in to a dial-up modem at a campsite. This of course had it’s disadvantages as not all sites had access, or they offered extremely slow speeds in locations on the grounds that required trekking to a main office or some other site not necessarily close to where you were parked.

In some instances, campgrounds offer phone and cable connections at individual sites to RVers. Campers generally have  to activate these connections by calling the phone or cable company in that area. For the RVer who is having an extended stay, this can be a good means of high-speed RV internet access via broadband or DSL connections. For the visitor on the move who only spends a couple of days or weeks in a given spot, this is usually not an effective means for internet access on the road.

WiFi is a major improvement and allows RVers the ability to enjoy the luxuries of the internet in the comfort of their own RV. Most laptop computers come equipped with built-in 802.11 capability suitable for RV internet access via WiFi. More and more parks are installing WiFi networks creating hotspots much like those found in airports, coffee shops, and restaurants all over the country. While the speeds are much improved over dial-up, access may not be available in all areas on a campground and many campgrounds also charge fees for use.

Many full-time RVers are looking for 24/7 access to the internet if possible. Most major cellular companies offer wireless access via smart phones that can be used to surf the web and check email. These cellular connections can also be used as a wireless modem and many providers also offer wireless air cards that are connected to the computer to tap into the network.

If internet access is near the top of your list of RV needs, consider these items:

What type of access do you need, intermittent or 24/7?

Does your laptop or computer have the capability to access the internet wirelessly?

Does the campground offer WiFi service and if so, is it available on the entire grounds or just a designated area? Are there any fees associated with using the campgrounds WiFi?

Does your cell phone provider offer wireless service or cards that can keep you connected, regardless of where your RV vacations take you?

Now that we’ve covered internet, what else is on your list when looking for a New or Used RV Pennsylvania?

Safe Travels and Happy RVing!

The top 10 Five-Minute RV Maintenance Tips.

Of course, Lerch RV has an RV service department with the latest in diagnostic and repair tools and parts that can handle just about any problem your RV faces. I say, why not just avoid RV problems all together. Here are a few quick and easy RV maintenance tips you can follow on your own to keep your camper in great shape from year to year.

RV Service, RV Maintenance, camper service, Lerch RV Service Department, PA RV DealerQuick & Easy Maintenance Tips for the DYI-er RVer

Check sealants twice each month – check the rubber sealants around your windows to make sure they’re tight and not cracking. Cracked or loose sealant can let air in which causes drafts and leaks.

Check tire pressure before every trip –this one should be a no brainer. Make sure your tires are fully pressurized before you set off on your next road trip – it’s an easy RV maintenance tip that will prevent blowouts and it also  improves your gas mileage!

Run generator 2 hours per month under 50% load –letting your RV sit unused for months is not good for the generator. Run it under a light load for a few minutes each month to keep it primed so that it is ready the next time you decide to hit the road.

Check battery water level–making sure your batteries have enough water in them is crucial to ensuring that they will hold their charge. Check your battery water level frequently and add distilled water when necessary. Disconnect your battery from your camper when not in use, to prolong your battery’s life, use a battery maintainer (trickle charger) to keep it up to charge.

Clean holding tanks regularly –clean out your gray and black water tanks frequently to prevent bacteria and odors from leaking into the rest of your RV. Black and gray water tanks can get really gross, really fast – this is one RV maintenance tip you don’t want to forget! If you have to spend a vast amount of time on the road, cleanliness is a must.

Lube slide rails and gaskets twice each year –make sure all your slide-out rails and all gaskets on your RV are properly lubricated to avoid friction. This will help make sure your slide rails stay in working condition all season long.

 Torque lug nuts before each trip – it is very important that you always make sure your lug nuts are fastened tightly before you head out. This RV maintenance tip is crucially important – if you’re not careful, your whole wheel assembly could fly off! Accidents slow down trips and can drain your pocket-book, this type can be easily avoided.

 Sanitize fresh water system each spring – this is an RV maintenance tip that you should follow at the beginning of the RV season. Before your spring RV season starts, make a point to thoroughly sanitize your fresh water systems to keep your drinking water fresh and clean.

 Properly winterize each fall –this is one of the most crucial RV maintenance tips that you can follow. Before the winter hits it’s absolutely necessary to follow all of the steps to winterize your unit to protect it from the winter cold and lack of use (if you need help, check out our previous posts about how to winterize your RV!).

 Retract awning during heavy wind and rain – this RV maintenance tip is extremely important. On at least one of your camping trips you’re going to have to weather a storm. Make sure your awning is pulled back – otherwise, it’ll collapse like an umbrella and bend like crazy. Not to mention could invert and go over your roof!

If you follow the above RV maintenance tips throughout the season, you may end up saving thousands of dollars in service costs! And remember, for all your RV maintenance and service needs, visit Lerch RV in central Pennsylvania.

Safe Travels and Happy RVing!

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!

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!