Caring For Your RV Awning

Caring for your RV is very important. I always stress how a small amount of preventative maintenance goes a long way.  However keep in mind that your RV awning fabric is equally important. Here are some tips to keep your RV’s awning looking new for a long time.

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  1. One of the best ways to keep the fabric looking good and to delay the need for deep or vigorous cleaning is to hose fabrics off on a monthly basis with clear water. This practice will help prevent dirt from becoming deeply imbedded in the fabric. In most environments, a thorough cleaning will be needed every two to three years.
  2. When it’s time for a thorough cleaning, the fabric can be cleaned while still on an awning frame. For vinyl fabric – Use a soft brush and warm water with soap. For acrylic fabric, use a stiff brush and warm water with soap.
  3. When cleaning the fabric, it is important to observe the following:
  • Caution:  Do not use oil based cleaners or any caustic, granulated, or abrasive type cleaners on your RV awning.
  • Always use a natural soap, never detergent.
  • Water should be cold to lukewarm, never more than 100°F.
  • Air-dry only.
  • Never apply heat to the fabric.

Always allow the fabric to dry thoroughly before rolling up the awning to avoid mildew. Vinyl-coated polyester fabrics are mildew resistant because of a chemical biocide in their coating. Under ordinary conditions, mildew will not appear. However, in areas where high temperature and humidity are common, mildew can be a problem and may require the material to be washed more frequently than in cooler, drier climates. To clean mildew from a unit’s awning, thoroughly rinse the fabric with clean water and allow to air dry completely before rolling it up.

An additional way to helping to protect and pro-long the life of your RV awning fabric, is to have the Trident Awning Protection System applied to your awning.  This protection treatment helps prevent mildew stains, mold growth, UV fading, chipping, and cracking of your RV awning.  For more information on the Trident Protection System or care of your RV awning, please contact Pennsylvania’s largest travel trailer RV dealership.

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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!

Camping Season is here!

Open Range Rolling Thunder H 397 RGR at Lerch RV

Camping Season is here.Whether you camp in a tent or a Open Range Rolling Thunder. Maintenance is a must....

Many of us are in full camping mode.  With the unofficial start of Summer, Memorial Day, already a past us.  Our service department is has been getting some customer calls on a few items.  I decided to gather up some of those items and share them with you.  The items below are something that all RV owners should keep an eye on.  Once again, my belief that a little preventative maintenance goes a very long way.

  • RV Water heater bypass valves. These must be in the proper position to ensure that water fills the water heater tank. Ensure the tank is filled before turning on the water heater as you could damage the electric heating element or the water tank itself by overheating an empty tank.
  • Roll up your RV awning in windy conditions or if you are to be away from the campsite. It is an easy thing to do (especially with the newer electric awnings) to ensure that your awning does not get damaged by the wind.  Or worse yet flip-up and over your camper damaging the structure.
  • RV/Marine Battery water levels. With many people leaving their campers plugged in over the summer for extended periods, it is important to maintain your battery’s water levels so they do not boil off. Check them frequently to ensure proper levels and top off with distilled water or recommended fluids.
  • Sealants. Inspect your seams around windows, doors, vents, and wall corners to ensure that the caulking is not cracked and leaving voids. Keep a tube of RV Caulking handy in your camper to seal any found voids. It takes 15-20 minutes to check over a whole camper, but, will ensure your camper weathers the storm for decades.
  • RV AC Coils. Get up on your camper roof safely and inspect the AC coils and remove debris. If needed get the coils straightened so that your AC runs more efficiently ensuring you have a cool place to sleep out of the heat. However do keep in mind if the weather decides to creep up to near record high temperatures and high humidity levels, your RV air conditioning unit may work extremely hard trying to keep you cool. After this past Memorial Day, with its record heat index, many RV owners called complaining that their AC units were not functioning properly.

If you are unsure about tackling any of the above RV maintenance issues above by yourself.  Please give Lerch RV’s service department a call at 800-722-1236.  Our qualified technicians will gladly answer any questions that you might have.  And if you decide you do not want to do the work yourself, schedule an appointment when you call.

Safe Travels and Happy RVing!

Open Range RV’s new features. A must see!

Open Range RVs available at PA's Largest Open Range Dealership. Lerch RV.

The all new Patio is available on select Open Range 5th Wheel floor-plans.

Some of the new features available on the new unit from Open Range RV Company are definitely exciting.  However the new outside Patio is a true must see.  The Patio is only available on select models.  The patio is quite roomy and strong enough to support 2,500 lbs.  Along with the Patio, you also get another convenient power awning designed especially to extend over the patio only, so you can relax in the shade.  You will be the envy of the campground.  The Patio and Patio Awning is available only on the Open Range 337 RLS, 345 RLS and 375 RLS 5th wheel floor-plans.  The Patio is also available on the Journeyer 340 FLR and all new 359 FKS, travel trailers.

Open Range’s Rolling Thunder Toy Haulers will also have the patio and awning available to them as well.  The all new Rolling Thunder H320MPR and H345MPR have the option of adding the patio.  The aforementioned floor-plans will also have another new exciting feature available.  The rear garage areas will have an available  Toy Lift.  This new lift will enable you to park more than one toy in the garage area.  Another great innovative idea from the designers at Open Range.  You can opt for the queen bed on the electric lift for more sleeping room, or go with the all new Toy Lift to bring more toys with you.

If you need more information on any of these new available features.  Please visit PA’s Largest Open Range Dealer.

Safe travels and Happy RVing!

Open Range Rolling Thunder's available at Lerch RV.

Optional Toy Lift makes taking more toys easy!