RV & Camper News

News from around the  RVing and camping lifestyle.

Coal Township, PA :  Coal Township is asking for the public’s opinion on a proposed new ordinance, which could add a five-percent admissions tax to recreation parks such as the Anthracite Outdoor Adventure Area, Newsitem reports.  At its meeting Thursday night, the township’s board of commissioners voted 3-1 to advertise the ordinance, which has yet to be drawn up, for the admissions tax. Newsitem explains, the tax would apply on all activities allowable under the Commonwealth’s Local Tax Enabling Act “which would include, but is not limited to, campgrounds and outdoor recreation parks.”

- Gettysburg, PA :Gettysburg Bike Week celebrates 13 years of riding through historic Pennsylvania this year with rides, entertainment, vendors and more July 10 through 13 at Granite Hill Campground Resort.

- Washington DC : The 16-day federal government shutdown last October frustrated and angered RVers when federal lands became inaccessible. Now a study estimates that the shutdown of National Parks cost nearby communities $414 million in visitor spending.

- Arizona : Hibernation season for Arizona bears has evidently ended early, with reports of two bear sightings. In mid-February campers spotted a black bear near Peppersauce Campground outside of Tucson. In January a hunter reported seeing a sow and cub at Fort Huachuca.

Richland County, Mont.: health officials say they’ve had enough. According to the officials, “85 to 95 percent of RV parks” in the county are out of compliance with health laws so the county is dragging them into court to get them to clean up their acts. One hot-button issue: gray water. “Gray water out of your sink actually carries more pathogens than out of your toilet,” claims Terry Murphy, local compliance officer. There are 18 licensed RV and mobile home parks in the county.

- Mission, TX :Police in Mission, Texas, may have broken up a ring of thieves who specialized in stealing Ford F-250 pickups and selling them in Mexico. Police staked out Mission Bell RV Resort in February, where pickups had been previously stolen, and netted four adults and a juvenile who were charged in connection with at least one truck theft.

~ News From The Weird ~

- PUNTA GORDA, Fla. : Police arrested a Punta Gorda couple prowling an RV park Friday night while their children wandered through some nearby woods, Fox 4 reported.
Michael Scott Butcher and his wife, Sarah, were found by security guards at Water’s Edge RV Resort claiming to be looking for lost truck keys. When they wouldn’t leave, the couple was arrested for loitering or prowling, as well as possession of drugs.

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!

Camping Season Tips

Spring has arrived! And I have camping fever. As many of my friends and relatives do.  As the camping season begins, there is a lot to think about and plan for your upcoming camping adventures so we created a list of tips that can help your camping season run smoothly.

  • De-winterize and clean your RV a couple of weeks before your first camping trip.
  • Give your appliances and major components a look over. Make sure everything is in good, safe working order before you first trip. If you need any help call your central Pennsylvania RV dealer.
  • Pack your camper ahead of time with all the nonperishable items you’ll take with you on your camping trip. It’s helpful to pack things that can stay in your RV all season long so you don’t have to unpack and repack everything each trip. (i.e. blankets, pillows, dishware, games, etc.)
  • Book your campsites for the whole season as early as possible. With the popularity of camping, many campgrounds have been experiencing packed weekends.
  • Plan your meals ahead. Don’t wait till the last-minute to decide on the food you want to take.
  • Use recipes that call for the same ingredients to avoid taking along a bunch of different ingredients.
  • Be sure to do all the necessary maintenance checks before hitting the road to help avoid any mishaps while you’re on your camping excursion. No-one likes surprises.

These are just a few helpful tips to hopefully make your camping season go off without a hitch.

Safe Travels and Happy RVing!

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.

2011 Keystone Montana 3665 RE fifth wheel camper at Pennsylvania RV Dealer: Lerch RV, Pennsylvania RV Sales, new Montana RV, fifth wheel camper, Montana camper, fifth wheel RV, 5th wheel, towing, camping, RVing

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.

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

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!

Top ten reasons to retire to an RV in Pennsylvania

Keystone RV, Keystone RV Dealer, PA Keystone RV, rv dealers Pennsylvania, Lerch RV, rv dealers, rv dealers York PA, rv dealers Harrisburg PA, rv dealers Lancaster PA, Open Range 5th wheel, Open Range travel trailers, Open Range 5th wheels, Open Range travel trailers, Open Range Roamer 5th wheels, Springdale 5th wheels, , used travel trailers Pennsylvania, used 5th wheels Pennsylvania, rvs Pennsylvania, used rvs Pennsylvania, rv parts Pennsylvania, rv service Pennsylvania

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!

Wiring 6 & 12 Volt RV Batteries Properly

In my last post I wanted to offer my readers some insight on RV Batteries.  Specifically 6 volt batteries vs a 12 volt battery.  Here is the follow-up article to that post. If you decided that 6 volt batteries are the way you are going to go on your camper. Here is the way to do it properly;

If you are going to buy new 12 Volt or 6 Volt batteries for your RV, it is important to know how to wire them properly so that you do not damage your RVs electrical system. Although this is an easy concept to understand, many people tend to get this wrong. Basically, there are two ways to wire your batteries: in series or in parallel. In RVs where 6 Volt batteries are used, you may need to use a combination of both these methods to get 12 Volt output and increase the amount of total Amp Hours simultaneously. Let’s discuss this further and provide some examples:

Batteries wired in series:

  • With batteries wired in series, the Voltage increases but the Amperage remains the same.
    • Example:  If you take two 6 Volt batteries that have a capacity rating of 220 Amp Hours each and you wire them in series, you will get a total of 12 Volts of power; however, the total Amp Hours will remain the same at a total of 220 Amp Hours.
  • With batteries wired in series, the positive (+) from one battery is connected to the negative (-) terminal of the other.  The remaining free positive (+) terminal and negative (-) terminal are used to connect to your RV.
  • This is how you create 12 Volts from two 6 Volt batteries.

Following is a graphic that represents two 6 Volt batteries wired in series.

six volt batteries wired in series

Take a look at the diagram above. Here we have two 6 Volt batteries wired in series. With the positive from one battery connected to the negative of the other battery you have in essence created one 12 Volt battery out of two 6 Volt batteries. As I stated before, when you wire batteries in series, the Voltage increases and the Amperage stays the same. That is why in this scenario we have 12 Volts output; however, even though each battery is rated at 220 Amp Hours, we are still only receiving a total of 220 Amp Hours. The only thing that has increased here is the Voltage. If in this scenario each battery was a 12 Volt battery, you would have a total of 24 Volts output (which would not be good for your RV).

Batteries wired in parallel:

  • With batteries wired in parallel, the Voltage remains the same but the amperage increases.
    • Example: If you take two 12 Volt batteries that have a capacity of 210 Amp Hours each and you wire them in parallel, the Voltage will remain the same at 12 Volts; however, the total Amp Hours will increase to 420 Amp Hours.
  • With batteries wired in parallel, the positive terminal connects to the positive terminal of the next battery and the negative terminal connects to the negative terminal of the next battery.
  • This is how you increase the total amount of Amp Hours you can get out of your battery bank.

Following is a graphic that represents two 12 Volt batteries wired in parallel.

two 12 volt batteries wired in parallel

In this scenario we have wired two 12 Volt batteries in parallel. As a result, the Voltage has remained the same (at 12 Volts) however the total Amp Hours increases to 420 Amp Hours, which is the total of the two batteries added together.

In my 5th wheel, I used a combination of series and parallel wiring. By taking six – 6 Volt batteries and wiring pairs of batteries in series, I can basically create three 12 Volt batteries that I can then wire in parallel to increase the amount of total Amp Hours that are available. Let’s take a look at how this works:

2 six volt batteries wired in series with a volmeter attached

Take a look at the diagram above. Since this scenario gets confusing for some people I am going to try to make it as simple as possible. This diagram consists of two 6 Volt batteries wired in series.  If you were to take a digital Voltmeter and measure the Voltage from the combination of these two batteries (holding one probe at the free positive (+) terminal and one at the free negative (-) terminal) you would get a reading of 12 Volts. For all intents and purposes, you can now think of this as one 12 Volt battery.  In this scenario the Voltage has increased but the amperage has remained the same.

Now if I want to ensure that I have more total Amp Hours for all my toys, all I have to do is take several of these 6 Volt battery combinations (that are wired in series to give me 12 Volts) and wire them in parallel. Take a look at the diagram below.

six volt batteries wired in series and paralled

In this scenario we have taken six – 6 Volt batteries and wired them in series and parallel to give us 12 Volts and 660 Amp Hours of battery capacity. How did we end up with 660 Amp hours? Remember that each 6 Volt pair of batteries wired in series gives us 220 Amp hours. We have now wired the three pairs of batteries in parallel and when batteries are wired in parallel, the amperage increases. So since each pair produces 220 Amp Hours x 3 pairs = 660 Amp Hours total.

*Don’t mix batteries. If you are going to install new or improved batteries, make sure they are all of the same type (AGM, gel or flooded) and make sure that they are all purchased at the same time and are of the same age. Mixing older batteries with newer ones will most likely limit the longevity of the newer batteries and cause them to degrade or fail sooner.

*Use true deep cycle batteries. Don’t get sold on marine batteries as they are not a true deep cycle battery and are constructed to be somewhere in between a starting battery and a deep cycle battery.

*Before you connect your batteries to your RV or inverter, use a digital voltmeter to ensure that you have wired your batteries properly to output 12 Volts. The last thing you want to do is pump 24 Volts or more through your RVs 12 Volt electrical system accidentally and ruin all of your electronics.

*When installing or working on your batteries make sure you use insulated tools. There is a lot of power stored in a battery. If you accidentally touch both battery posts with your wrench or touch the RV chassis, you could get shocked, burned or even short the battery out and cause it to explode.

*When working on your batteries use protective clothing, safety glasses, and rubber gloves to protect yourself from shocks.

If you have any questions on how to properly wire your 6 volt battery configuration or would rather allow an RV professional do it for you, give your Central PA RV Service Center a call at 800-722-1236.

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.

Save $$$ in 2012…Go RVing!

Travelers save when they go RVing!

A study prepared for RVIA by PKF Consulting USA found a family of four that owns an RV can take an RV trip for 23 percent to 59 percent less than other types of vacations. For a couple traveling by RV, savings were 11 percent to 46 percent. Even after accounting for factors such as RV ownership costs and fuel prices, the study confirms that RV vacations offer greater savings than vacations taken by car or airline and requiring hotel/rental stays and restaurant meals.

PKF analyzed vacation costs to nine popular destinations for a family of four and a party of two adults and included different types of RVs and varying vacation durations. It also analyzed how theoretical increases in fuel prices could affect vacation travel costs.

RV vacations proved more economical than the other vacations, regardless of trip duration,  distance, or vacation region,  said PKF vice president Kannan Sankaran. “While fuel costs are a component of the overall vacation cost, they are not significant enough to materially affect the outcome of our analysis.” So fuel costs are not really a factor to most family vacations.

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?
"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" "glamping" "fith wheel" "5th wheel camper" "travel trailer" "Open Range RV"

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.