It is time to replace the flooring in your RV? If it is, you’ve got an important decision to make: laminate or carpet floors? There are ups and downs to both, and in the end, you’ve got to choose whichever option works best for you.
Carpet makes for a good insulator no matter the season and will help reduce energy use by keeping the hot and cold air from radiating up-ward. Carpet also helps reduce noise by cutting down echo and absorbing sounds. Not to mention, it also feels great on your bare feet. On the downside, carpet attracts dirt, dust and more. It’s definitely harder to clean and keep clean especially if you are traveling with pets and children.
Laminate on the other hand is fairly simple to maintain. It’s also cheaper to purchase and install. There are plenty of different styles to choose from all of which will last you a long time. RVs consist of mainly high traffic areas making laminate an excellent choice. But you’ll have to trade the insulation from the carpet. Laminate doesn’t absorb heat, cold or sound. Another disadvantage is the potential of warping and loosening.
As I said before, there is no one right choice. It’s really all up to you, Pennsylvania RV owners. If you need some help with the decision, you know where to find us.
Safe Travels and Happy RVing!
Before you decide on what may appear to be an impressive deal from an internet dealer in another state, shop Lerch RV first.
We are an exclusive Keystone RV Company dealer carrying all popular brands such as Montana, Mountaineer, Outback, Sydney by Outback, Sprinter, Sprinter Copper Canyon Edition, Passport, Springdale, Summerland, Fuzion, Vantage and more! We are also Pennsylvania’s largest Open Range dealership, with a great selection of Open Range, Light, Roamer, Journeyer travel trailers and fifth wheels.
Along with providing incredible savings to our customers, Lerch RV offers RV delivery to anywhere in Pennsylvania and surrounding Mid-Atlantic states. Or even as far as Texas and Maine. Our Canadian friends, are welcome to shop with us as well. We will bring your new fifth wheel or travel trailer right to a driveway, campsite, Walmart parking lot, or other convenient location of your choice. Inquire with a Lerch RV Sales Team member about the associated costs of delivery through our preferred RV delivery service. However keep in mind that your new RV is only a small scenic road trip away. Plus you can enjoy one of Central Pennsylvania’s excellent campgrounds, stay at the Award Winning Buttonwood Campground or the Waterside Campground. Both located along the beautiful Juniata River.
Distance to Lerch RV from majors cities in the Mid-Atlantic States
South Burlington, VT 8hrs 41mins – 468 miles
New York, NY 4hrs 22mins – 230 miles
Pittsburgh, PA 3hrs 2mins – 159 miles
Philadelphia, PA 3 hrs 18mins – 171 miles
Trenton, NJ 3 hrs 38mins – 192 miles
Dover, DE 4 hrs – 191 miles
Baltimore, MD 2hrs 44mins – 144 miles
Charleston, WV 6hrs – 345 miles
Richmond, VA 5hrs 15mins – 271 miles
Your new RV will be ready to go camping. Not only do you get full LP bottles, a new deep cycle RV auxiliary battery with heavy-duty storage box, a full customer orientation walk through (up to 2 hours), and a current Pennsylvania state inspection. You also get full dealer prep of your new unit (PDI).
All RV LP systems will be tested and inspected for your safety
All RV safety systems will be tested and inspected
All RV plumbing systems will be tested and inspected
All RV 110V and 12V electrical systems will be tested
Roof and Underbelly will be inspected
Tires and wheel bearings inspected
Any issues that may arise from these tests will be taken care of under the RV manufacturer’s warranty or by the dealer before the unit is delivered to you. Your new fifth wheel or travel trailer will also be cleaned inside and out by our dedicated RV detailing department. Any RV manufacturing dust and debris will be cleaned from the inside of the coach. You will also be provided with a Lerch RV gift card to use in central Pennsylvania’s largest RV parts store. We will also perform any hitch or brake work needed on the same day you pick up. No second trips, you can start to enjoy your new camper and making those great family memories right away.
And on the day you accept delivery of your new RV, you pay no additional or hidden fees.
At an internet dealer such as, Pete’s RV Center. You will be charged up to an additional $199 for just a portion of the above customer treatment.
We’ve been a full-service dealership for more than 35 years and understand that buying a new RV is an important and sometimes confusing decision. Putting customers first, our RV Sales Team is prepared to answer frequently asked RV buyer questions and make the sales process an easy and stress-free experience. Just remember at Lerch RV you shop at your leisure and pace. Not a sales persons. We make every aspect of the RV buying experience EASY…
Atwood’s new helium-charged gas-absorption refrigerator
I recently saw my first Atwood ‘He’ RV Refrigerator in a new Keystone Passport. It is a very sharp-looking RV refrigerator. The doors easily open and close, and the lay out of the shelving is nice. With this being a brand new refrigerator technology that will be available in newer unit, I wanted to share with you this article from RV Business that I read a month ago or so. The new Helium technology is quite interesting and should provide a stable product for many years to come.
The basic design of gas-absorption refrigerators — the type most often used in RV applications — hasn’t changed all that much since they first went into commercial use almost 90 years ago. Sure, they’ve been frequently upgraded with features that make them nearly the equivalent of compressor-driven residential units, and they’ve been restyled to today’s standards.
Operationally, however, they still employ the same original concept, using the same basic components — ammonia, hydrogen gas and water — in a closed system to create a chemical reaction that cools by way of evaporation.
That will change — to an extent — in August when Atwood Mobile Products plans a controlled roll-out of its new RV refrigerator because the new Atwood reefer incorporates helium instead of hydrogen.
According to Kip Ellis, vice president of sales and marketing for the Elkhart, Ind.-based supplier, the company wanted to focus on the technological side of it and what could be done to advance the refrigeration product that’s used in the RV segment today.
Helium, as Ellis explained, is a product that has been used for quite a long time in cooling — in hotel minibars, for example — and it has, from a cooling and gas-absorption standpoint, several similar properties to hydrogen.
“The challenge has been in how to adapt that technology effectively to the RV market,” he added. “The refrigerators are bigger units and they are subject to temperature swings and vibrations. Also, helium is a different element than hydrogen, so we had to reconfigure the system to accommodate the distinctions in helium versus hydrogen.”
Additionally, Atwood’s new reefer incorporates a state-of-the-art “anti-tilt system” built into the unit that shows the consumer on a lighted panel if the refrigerator is level. If it’s not level, it allows them to work to get to the point where it is. If they continue to operate it in an out-of-level position over the life of the unit, it has a counter built into it that will prevent the unit from getting to the point where it could fracture.
“If it’s used over and over in a manner that induces some sort of trauma to the system it will go into a lockout mode that requires the consumer to take it to a dealer for service work,” Ellis said.
Other aesthetic and functional features include two-way power system (AC and LP-gas), LED lighting, a door-ajar alarm, modern digital display and “cool crisper bins” that, Ellis noted, “use blue-hued light to further enhance the cooling aspect of the refrigerator in terms of a look and appearance for the consumer.”
Atwood is currently showing the refrigerator to RV OEMs — it will also be ultimately available as an aftermarket replacement — and plans are in the works to debut the unit with a “managed rollout” in mid-August. At least initially, the new reefer will be available in 6- and 8-cubic-foot models.
With the Keystone Fuzion and its cargo space standards, the options are nearly endless when it comes to what you can haul. It features a large 8′ hinged spring-assist door/ramp that has a 3,000 lb. capacity and a wide ramp door opening that has eliminated the problem of scraping the chassis or exhaust of your beloved bike. The Fuzion cargo area also has an anti-slip, non-skid flooring on the ramp door to help you load your toys with ease. Fuzion will easily transport your prized cargo with ease. The waffle pattern steel frame garage floor offers an incredible amount of strength and durability. Tandem axle models offer a 10″ I-Beam while triple axle models offer a 12″ I-Beam. Using a 1″ seamless Dyna-span floor mounted to the steel waffle pattern design easily offers up to 2,500 lbs. of capacity in all garages. In conjunction with this structure, Fuzion welds multiple 2,500 lbs. capacity anchors points directly onto the steel frame for incredible security for your gear when tied down. Dual fuel tanks allow you to have separate fuel for your generator while reserving the ‘high octane, good stuff’ available for your toys. The retractable screen wall also comes in handy when you want to relax in the cargo area and enjoy the outdoors without the bugs. And with 81’ – 144’ square feet (dependent upon the floor-plan) you have plenty of space to haul your passions. Heading out to ride the Dragon on your bike? Camp in the Smoky Mountains, and ride the bike in some beautiful country. Going 4-wheeling for the weekend? No problem! The Fuzion can handle it. Traveling to a flea market to sell your crafts? It’s perfect for storage and transportation. Looking to kayak down the river? Just put your kayak in the back of the Fuzion and hit the road. We could keep going because with the Keystone Fuzion, you can reinvent your space. What would you haul in your Fuzion?
“Vacation, all I ever wanted, Vacation, had to get away..”
Vacation, not just lyrics to a popular eighties song by the all girl band, The Go-Go’s. Vacation is a state of mind for some, while other use it for a time to get away from the everyday hustle and bustle. However you choose to spend your vacation, RVing is a very cost-effective way to do so.
With any tow behind trailer or Motor-home there is always the consideration of gas to get where you want to go! Surprisingly RV travel can save on family vacations!
Depending on the type of trip and RV used, a family of four can save 23% – 59% on vacation costs according to the PKF Vacation Cost Comparison Study. For a couple of two or all those empty-nesters out there, it is possible to save 11%-46%. In fact, 80% of RVers say that vacationing in their RV even when gas prices rise, the trip still costs less than other types of vacations. In all reality, there is no need to worry even with gas prices going up, if used appropriately.
Ways to plan Smart Vacations with your RV:
1. Choose destinations that are closer to home. This allows you to drive fewer miles and staying longer in one location.
2. Enjoy the campground! By spending more time by the campfire, socializing with family, and taking day hikes you will be able to spend less time on the road
3. Pack lighter to reduce weight. Leave those un-necessaries at home.
4. Consume less fuel by driving 55 mph instead of 65 mph. Many RV owners say that this truly helps with traveling costs. Why be in hurry to get somewhere, the trip is as much as the destination.
5. Keep home utilities turned off to save energy while traveling. Turn down or turn off that hot water heater. Unplug the microwave or other energy-consuming items that are always on stand-by.
By using these ways to save, your vacation with friends and family will still be just as fun! If gas prices go up you can count on plane fares and other traveling modes to increase in price as well. So you can count on RVing to be a cheaper option. At this point in time, for RVing to become more expensive than other forms of travel for a family of four, the prices of fuel would have to more than double.
So if gas prices are making you worry when it comes to family vacations, there is no need. Like with any money spending decision, if planned appropriately, can be worked out. By using these ways to be smart about RVing then you don’t have to compromise your getaway from the everyday hustle and bustle and the good memories spent with those you love.
“Vacation, All I ever wanted. Vacation had to get away”…
Last week I posted some tips on how to best clean the interior of your RV, now we’re here to give you some tips on the best way to clean and care for the exterior of your camper. Taking the time to clean the exterior of your RV on a regular basis will allow you to notice any potential issues, such as leaks or siding damage. Use the time while making your unit shine to perform some preventative maintenance. Which will allow you to extend the life of your camper, while possibly easing the burden on your family budget. RV problems can be expensive to fix, if left go too long.
First, we recommend that you clean it often and thoroughly to keep it looking shiny and new. The longer dirt and residue sits on the exterior of your RV, the more potential damage it can cause. Some elements that can be highly damaging to your RV’s exterior if not washed off are road salt, road tar, bugs, bird droppings, tree sap, acid rain and UV exposure. These can cause corrosion, staining and chemical spotting. Be sure to always wash your RV soon after it is exposed to any of these elements. An added bonus is if you regularly wax your RV which will help protect the exterior. We don’t recommend taking your RV through automatic car washes, doing it by hand, while time-consuming, is the best way to clean the exterior of your RV. Even if you allow your camper to be parked on a permanent site, regular cleaning will allow you to enjoy your RV for years to come.
To clean the exterior of your RV, we suggest parking it in a place not in direct sunlight. First, spray it with water to remove dust. Next, using an abundant amount of clean water and a car-washing mitt/sponge and an RV washing brush, wash your RV from top to bottom. You can also use a mild car-washing soap. Be sure to rinse thoroughly and wipe dry with a soft cloth. Using extremely hot water and pressure can cause damage to the RV. Be sure to use caution and keep a pressure sprayer nozzle about 16 inches or more away from the RV. Also, use caution if you use a pressure sprayer around all attachments of the RV (doors, windows, appliance vents, etc.) When washing around glass with a pressure sprayer, hold the nozzle at right angles to the glass surface. A pressure sprayer used in properly can damage your RV, as well as force water into places where water should not be.
We recommend that you wax your RV at the very least once a year, two times a year would be great. To wax, apply a small amount of wax to a soft cloth and rub gently onto the exterior of your RV. Do not wax your RV in direct sunlight and do it after surfaces have cooled. This will avoid the wax drying out quickly. Do not use waxes that contain high-abrasive compounds. These waxes will remove rust and stains but they are also harmful to the luster of the surface since they may scrape off the coating. Do not use gasoline or paint thinners to remove road tar or other contamination to the painted surface. Use only approved cleaners to remove stubborn stains or marks.
In order to make your job easier when it comes to cleaning your new RV, consider having an exterior protection package, such as the Trident Exterior Protection System, applied to your RV before it even leaves the dealership. This will prolong the life of that ‘new’ look as well as protect your exterior from many of the items listed above. Best of all most applications, such as Trident, are warranted for several years. So why not help yourself protect your investment.
There you have it, some tips on keeping the exterior of your RV nice and clean. If you have questions about cleaning the exterior of your RV, be sure to contact your local central Pennsylvania dealer or your manufacturer’s customer service department.
I have posted about keeping your RV clean before, but usually focus on the outside. However if you are like me and like to keep a clean house inside, below are some tips for the interior of your travel trailer or fifth wheel. Keeping your Recreational vehicle or camper clean will help extend the life of your unit, plus a regular cleaning will enable you to become familiar with areas of your RV, and acts a great preventative maintenance visual check. You could discover a small problem before it becomes a major one.
So here with some helpful hints on cleaning the inside of your RV. First, it’s important to use the proper cleaning supplies and techniques to avoid damages that may happen to the interior surfaces of your RV. It’s always important to check with your manufacturer’s information for the recommended cleaning agents. Clean only as recommended. If you’re ever in doubt about a cleaning product and what it might do to your RV, be sure to first test a small area out of sight. And please, don’t ever use flammable liquids or sprays to clean your RV.
So, now that the basics are out-of-the-way, we’ll break it down into areas of your RV interior.
Furniture Upholstery: if your furniture is covered in fabric or suede and it becomes stained or dirty, it is recommended that the fabric be professionally cleaned. You can refer to the specific manufacturer’s instructions for more care options. For all vinyl covered furniture, water based cleaners are recommended, but not solvents as they may have an adverse reaction. Blot up the spot rather than rubbing to avoid saturating the area.
Décor items: Occasionally use a vacuum with a soft brush attachment to dust things such as window treatments, curtains, blinds and shares. To help prevent mildew or mold on the shower curtain, clean it frequently. Décor glass can be cleaned with a glass cleaner to remove smudges. Be sure to take care around any etching that might exist on the glass.
Hardware & Sink or Shower Fixtures: Use a mild dish soap and water to clean these fixtures. Avoid harsh chemicals or sprays. For hard water spots, a mild solution of vinegar and water works well.
Paneling: Use a mild solution of soap and luke warm water with a soft sponge or cloth. Avoid abrasive cleaners as they could cause damage such as scratching or dullness. All-purpose spray cleaner works well for those stubborn dirt and grease spots. Harsh cleaners and organic solvents are not recommended because they can attack the vinyl.
Cabinetry & Tables: Simply dust with a soft cloth dampened with cleaning polish or mild detergent solution to keep hardwood doors, cabinet fronts and tables looking like new. Ammonia based products or silicone oils may cause damage if used over a long period of time so avoid using those types of products. Promptly wipe up spills to avoid potential problems.
Counter-tops: Avoid harsh chemicals such as drain cleaners, oven cleaners, etc. and do not let cleaners with bleach set on the top. Wipe those off immediately. For laminate counter-tops stubborn stains can be removed with a general-purpose spray cleaner. For solid surface counter tops soapy water, ammonia based cleaners or commercially available solid surface cleaners will remove most dirt and residue from all types of finishes. A damp cloth followed by a dry towel will remove watermarks.
Flooring: For carpet, be sure to vacuum regularly to avoid stains. If you have tough and deep stains, have them professionally steam cleaned. Spot removers can be used for minor spills. Always test the carpet for color fastness in an inconspicuous area before using any product. For vinyl flooring, it is good to periodically vacuum or sweep. Spills are easier to clean if wiped up before they set. Blotting with a paper towel should work. To clean more deeply, use a damp mop with water and a mild cleaner. Do not soak the flooring. Use care to avoid wetting the carpet edges. Also, don’t use cleaners that contain oil based solvents to avoid yellowing linoleum.
There you have it, some basic cleaning guidelines for the inside of your RV. As always, if you have questions, please contact your central Pennsylvania RV Dealer or your trailer’s manufacturer.
Your refrigerator is your most important appliance when it comes to your RV. Some of the advantages to having a refrigerator is not having to haul coolers around. Which means no more refilling the ice, emptying out water from melted ice, and lugging it place to place. These are the advantages to remember when it comes to keeping your fridge working and not loosing its cool.
There can be several reasons that refrigerators will fail to work correctly. With these various reasons, it is in the best interest of RV owners to know when to repair vs. replace. Typically, there are two brands of refrigerators located inside of RVs, Norcold or Dometic. Those brands run with the same concept. They operate by heating a closed cooling element with a gas flame or electric heating element. The cooling consists of ammonia-based liquid that is contained within a series of tubes. When the heat is added, the ammonia-based liquid will circulate through the closed cooling unit by releasing the heat out of the refrigerator.
When the fridge stops cooling as well as it should this means that the circulation of fluid is not working properly. One advantage to RV refrigerators is that there are no moving parts other than the heating liquid, making it easier to find the problem. Some common troubleshooting refrigerator Q & As are contained within this video.
Frequently the problem with RV refrigerators is time combined with lack of use. As the units age, the liquid will create a sediment that will settle at the bottom of the cooling unit. As this sediment builds up, the ability for your fridge to be cooled properly will decrease because the circulation will be hindered. When comparing a fridge that is used once or twice a year in a time frame of 5+ years, and a fridge that is in continual use, the fridge in continual use will be less likely to plug up. Any sediment build up that could occur will be delayed with the more frequent fluid movement.
The tall-tale of removing your RV refrigerator and turning it upside down for a time period to have it work again is questionable. The theory behind this is only somewhat explainable. When sediment occurs, it is possible to dislodge it for some time, but when it sits back in place again the sediment will settle and plug up the tubes once more.
Rebuilt cooling units are available for purchase but they are expensive and when added with the labor costs, it can be a pricey project that could have easily been spent on a brand new refrigerator.
Have you ever walked into a stale RV and wondered where the smell is coming from? Or are you trying to remove a smell in your RV after a long winter storage? The various smells and odors that form in RVs can be removed and taken care of. Here are 8 tips to removing bad odors from your RV.
1. Sewer Smell in the Bathroom
There are tons of chemicals that eliminate RV toilet odor on the market, each catering to the different ways your tank is dumped. Sometimes they work, and sometimes they don’t help at all! Good ventilation for the black water tank is a must. The tank is vented out the roof of an RV. When traveling down the road, the wind can push wind down through that ventalation pipe, pushing the smell back into the RV instead of drawing out the odor. So…what do you do? You can install a special sewer vent that is designed to suck the odor out of the black tank with only a small breeze. See your local dealership to find out if they carry these special sewer vents.
2. Kitchen and Bathroom Drain Odors
When your trailer is not in use, water trapped in the P-traps under every sink and the shower can grow bacteria, spreading the smell throughout your RV. To keep the smell from forming, mix a cup of baking soda with a gallon of water. Pour the mixture down every drain and then dump what’s left into the kitchen sink so the mixture will go into the gray water tank too.
3. Rodent Odors in your RV
Dead rodents can be one of the worst smells in your RV. To remove the odor, find the dead rodent and remove it. Then scrub the area well, making sure to remove the odor and the bacteria/diseases that might have been left.
4. Bad Smelling Potable RV Water
When your water from your fresh water tank starts to smell or taste bad, it’s time to clean out the water system. The only way to get the fresh water tank system clean is to sanitize your RV water system with a diluted mixture of household bleach and water (make sure to rinse out the bleach mixture completely from your fresh water tank before use). If you keep having bad water issues in your fresh water tank system, consider installing a water filtration system.
5. Smelly RV Carpet and Pet Odors
The best way to remove smelly or pet stained carpets in your RV is to tear it out and replace it with laminate flooring. If you can’t afford to replace your carpet, another option is to get your carpet professionally cleaned. Invest in throw rugs to help keep your carpets clean and fresh as long as possible. You can also get your upholstery professionally cleaned, helping to eliminate any odors on your furniture too.
6. RV Refrigerator & Freezer Odors
To avoid a mildew or stale smell in your refrigerator and freezer, wipe down the inside with soap and water after every trip. Then leave the refrigerator and freezer doors left ajar to allow all moisture to evaporate. Leave either a shallow bowl or a box of baking soda in both the fridge and freezer will also help absorb any odors that may develop.
7. Stale RV Smells from Non-Use
If your RV has sat around for a while without regular use, a stale smell will start to appear. It’s usually smells, on top of smells, on top of smells! All in all…your RV needs to breath! Installing vent covers over the existing roof vents allows you to leave the roof vents open slightly, letting the hot stale air escape. Solar powered vents can also help you draw out the air more efficiently too. Removing the entire stale odor from your RV also involves doing steps 1 thru 6 and cleaning every surface in your RV. There are products on the market that claim they deodorized storage and mildew odors, but cleaning with regular household products work just as well.
8. Propane and Ammonia Odors
These two odors can mean big problems! If you start to smell a strong ammonia odor, the source will be the cooling unit of your refrigerator. The ammonia odor will be strong enough to bring tears to your eyes. There is really nothing you can do to fix it on your own. You’ll need to see the Service Department at your local Dealership, and be prepared for it to be expensive.
Propane odor can come from many areas and sources in and around your RV. Like the propane tanks, stove, oven, refrigerator, water heater, furnace, etc and the all lines that connect these appliances to the tanks as well. In order to detect a leak around the fittings, use a small brush and soapy water. Make sure to have adequate ventilation before you go looking for a propane problem. If you’re ever in doubt, call the Service Department at your local Central PA RV Dealership.
YOUTUBE VIDEO: Watch “How to Control Moisture and Musty Smells in an RV” from Gary Bunzer, the RV Doctor.
Sometimes when traveling we just need to take a bit more equipment than the average family. For example you might want to tow a boat & a camper behind your vehicle. This is known as triple towing. It is important to know your limits when it comes to triple towing.
Triple towing is illegal in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. However the good news is that in most states it is legal to tow two trailers at the same time behind your vehicle. It is allowed in the following States:
But things aren’t always just black and white so here are some exceptions to the rule. And the states listed above can change their laws at any time. States will have different variations of triple towing so it might restrict your abilities to triple tow.
Be sure to find out which states limit the total length of all 3 units to 65 feet. But in other circumstances the limit is 70 feet or 75 feet total length. Other issues you might find is that States can also limit the second trailer to recreational equipment, such as a boat, snowmobile, or ATV 4-wheelers. Special endorsement on your driver’s license to tow any trailer over 10,000 lbs or to drive a motor-home that is over 40 feet in length is required in California.
Some good websites that contain the rules and guidelines for triple towing by State are Woodall’s Rules of the Road & Towing World. Although these websites do contain good information, it is important to know that rules and laws can change frequently and information can often times get mixed up so be sure to find out the latest rules and regulations before you plan your trip. To do this, contact the Transportation Department or Highway Patrol in your State & the States you are traveling through.
Lastly, remember that safety is the name of the game when it comes to triple towing so be sure that you are properly following all safety measures and regulations. Triple towing requires a great deal of responsibility. This responsibility includes being able to maneuver in close spaces, using your brake with enough room to stop safely, and knowing how to back up all those units without causing a wreck. But most importantly, use common sense and watch your surrounds.
***Lerch RV does not recommend triple towing. And if you decide to triple tow, do so only after you know all the risks. Make sure you can see 200 feet behind the last vehicle you’re towing (towing mirrors help with this), and when you are backing up, you know how to maneuver your trailers properly. Check all State laws and guidelines when tripe towing or even thinking about triple towing. And remember it is illegal to triple tow in the state of Pennsylvania.
****Article adapted from towing article found on Bish RV blog.