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.

Blue Ox introduces the Tail-Gator

Occasionally I come across a product that is not necessarily camping or RV related that I like to share.  Today I came across an article advertising the new Tail-Gator carrier by Blue Ox.  Blue-Ox is known for their high quality hitches and for some unique RV towing accessories.  The Tail-Gator is just another unique addition to their line up of quality accessories.

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Heading out on the road no longer has to be limited by what people can fit in their back seat. Instead, they have the opportunity to bring along their ATV, golf cart, or other over-sized objects without worrying about damaging their tailgate.

Blue Ox realizes that RVers want to maximize their fun while in the outdoors, and without breaking anything in the process. That’s why they’re introducing the Tail-Gator.

Blue Ox TailGator, "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 Tail-Gator provides the needed protection to safely load and unload ATV’s, golf carts, and over-sized objects into a truck bed. It was built to prevent damage and add support for the tailgate cables from undue stress.  The Blue Ox Tail-Gater is the ideal product when you want to haul over-sized objects in the bed of your truck and need to leave the tailgate down. With a 1,000lb capacity, the lightweight, steel constructed Tail-Gator™ pins directly into your standard 2″ receiver and allows you to load a golf cart, ATV or quad quickly and easily while supporting the tailgate and eliminating undue stress on your tailgate cables. Ideal for both short bed trucks and long beds with large toolboxes in the front of the bed, the Tail-Gator™ is a simple, yet durable, solution to taking your toys along for the ride without the hassle of hooking up a trailer.

For more information on the Tail-Gator and their complete line of towing and hitch systems, call 402.385.3051, e-mail info@blueox.com or visit www.blueox.com.

Blue-Ox Motorcycle Carrier

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The Over-Bilt Sport-Loader provides a simple and effective method of
hauling a motorcycle while also providing the ability to tow a trailer,
camper, or travel trailer. The motorcycle will ride approximately
one inch off the bed of the pickup, providing a stable base for the ride.

To load, attach the channel extensions to the rear of the loader and
secure with the pin. Run the cradle to the base of the Sport-Loader
and roll the front tire of the motorcycle into the cradle, tighten the
bracket against the tire and strap the motorcycle to the cradle for
further stability while loading. The rear tire of the motorcycle will
track in the channel as the motorcycle is pulled into the bed of the
pickup.

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As the motorcycle is pulled up the channel, the unit pivots on a
tube attached between the tailgate mounting posts, lowering the
motorcycle to the bed of the pickup. When the motorcycle’s tire
reaches the front of the pickup box,the motorcycle is fully loaded
and ready to be strapped in for travel.The channel extensions are
secured in the bed of the pickup when not in use.

One person loading and unloading
Stable base for cycle (approximately .1” off the bed)
Removable ramp extensions store in pickup bed
Extension available for over-height pickups (SC9010)
Optional stand for changing oil or working on your bike (SC9012)
Additional Cargo Buckle (SC9011)
Cross tube required (see Blue Ox Application Guide)
No modifications to the pickup box or wiring required.

P/N:
SC3000, 8′ Long Box
SC3001, 6′ Short Box

***Pivot Tube Sold Separately***

For more information see: Blue Ox.com

Open Range 386 FLR, a new breed of front living room

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Just like home, spacious front living room.

The Open Range 386 FLR is the newest entry in the front living room fifth wheel RV line up.  This floor plan is every customers “dream come true”! Loaded with every feature and benefit you have come to expect from Open Range.  From the spacious dual slide-out front living room with opposing air bed sleeper sofas and wall hugging recliner, to the step up rear king master bedroom.  What helps to set the Open Range 386 FLR apart from all the other front living room fifth wheels on the market is the storage area under the rear bedroom.  This storage space provides you with an additional 170 cubic feet of exterior storage, on top of the standard front basement storage that is normally found on every Open Range RV.

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The spacious living room features plenty of storage options, an electric fireplace, as well as a 42″ LED TV on an electric lift.  Once the TV is lowered into the storage position, the window in the front cap is exposed to provide you with the natural light that other front living room 5th wheels limit.  The living room includes an area for a comfortable wall hugging recliner.  The iron work railing helps to add a decorative touch to the openness of the living room.

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The front window allows natural light to filter in.

The kitchen is centrally located in the trailer and is as wide open as the living room.  Solid Alderwood storage cabinets and Corian counter-tops await and  beckon your use..  A large side by side, 12 cubic foot gas/electric Norcold refrigerator is waiting to be filled.  The free-standing dinette table expands to accommodate seat six people.

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The step up rear king bedroom provides you with even more interior storage.  Once you enter the bedroom you will first notice the dual sliding glass door wardrobe, six storage dresser drawers, and even more additional wardrobe storage. You have full storage under the king bed as well. With full TV/cable/satellite hook ups located above the wardrobe slide.

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The bathroom will not disappoint you either.  From the large shower with sliding glass doors, a large linen closet and vanity with vessel style sink.  The vanity provides you with ample counter top space and even more storage.

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This exciting new fifth wheel is a new breed apart.  This front living room fifth wheel is a true four season unit, complete with R38 floor and R38 roof insulation.  An automatic leveling and stabilizing system allows for easy setup.  Four 20lb LP tanks provide you with 80lbs of propane over the industry standard 60lbs.  All of this is standard on an Open Range RV.  Take a step into an all new Open Range 386 FLR to experience the new standard in front living room fifth wheels.

Be sure to visit Pennsylvania’s largest Open Range RV Dealership, Lerch RV.

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.

A Few Good Tips for the Pennsylvania RV Newbie

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New to RVing? We can help. Everybody has to learn the ins and outs of RVing at some time. Hopefully, your mistakes and accidents will be minimal in the beginning.

I thought I would put together some things to think about as you prepare your new RV and yourself, to experience the RVing lifestyle like a pro!

  1. Take care of your black water tank. This is one of the most important things to learn about. If your RV doesn’t have a black water tank sprayer, dump plenty of water down the toilet to clean it out. Add recommended chemicals regularly to ensure that tank material biodegrades properly. Packets are the fastest and easiest to use and require the least storage space; just toss one down the toilet with a gallon of water. Use RV toilet paper; it biodegrades faster.
  2. Make a maintenance checklist. Make a checklist of things to do before and after each RV trip to ensure that you don’t forget any maintenance procedures while you’re learning. Make notes of anything that you need to keep an eye on so that you can check it consistently. You don’t want any surprises while you’re on the road.
  3. Keep fridge and pantry stocked. Keep non-perishable staples on-board all season so you’re ready for spur-of-the-moment getaways.  Make sure they are foods that will work together to make a meal.  Remember to use food before their expiration date.
  4. Keep clothing, gear on board. Keep a set of toiletries, toothbrushes, clothing, games, leisure gear, pet supplies, etc. on board so that you have minimal packing to do at vacation time.

This is just a very small list to get you started in your quest to become an experienced camper.  Did I miss anything you experienced RVers? Please share more tips in the comments below….

Safe Travels and Happy RVing!

RVing is a great way to Support our National Parks

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It’s about time to start talking about your 2012 RV travel plans. If you plan on staying at some of the more popular national parks, you may want to go ahead and make your reservations now. Please consider adding in some more visits to the national parks in 2012. They could use your patronage now.

Having already grown accustomed to a dwindling budget in recent years, the National Park Service is now facing the prospect of a decade of across-the-board cuts starting at nearly 8 percent in 2013.

What this could mean is shorter seasons at some national parks, staff reductions, deferred infrastructure maintenance, campground closings and reduced amenities.

The National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) released a report stating that in fiscal year 2011 the National Park Service had funding reduced by $140 million, including $11.5 million for operations. Since 2002, the report states, the agency’s discretionary budget has decreased from $3 billion to $2.6 billion in today’s dollars.

The organization’s report arrives at a time when the nation is mired in debate over how to trim the federal government’s deficit. The Budget Control Act of 2011, enacted in August, calls for cutting the deficit by roughly $900 billion through caps on discretionary spending beginning in 2012 and ending in 2021. Those spending caps will affect the national park system.

So, even though the nation park system is a tiny part of the federal budget, they will almost certainly be affected. Please do what you can to support our national parks. Plan a RV tour of your favorite parks for 2012!

Safe Travels and Happy RVing!

Pennsylvania RVers Boost Phone and Internet Range with an Antenna

I came across this great post about external antennas for your RV or trailer. I would guess that 99% of all RVers travel with a cell phone to keep in touch, plus they have a laptop computer to get travel info and email. That’s all great and good as long as you stay in the city where the reception is good. But RVers usually don’t spend their vacations in cities, they like to explore the great outdoors in their RVs and trailers. Unfortunately, there may be times when you have to sacrifice the modern-day amenities of mobile phones and internet connections. However, if you get a long-range antenna, that possibility can be reduced.
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This omnidirectional antenna is a good antenna for maximizing your reach when you’re in the middle of nowhere!
Here’s one RVer’s method: This gentleman mounted a roof-mount style satellite dish base on the top of his motor-home, using the appropriate sealant to prevent water leakage. But instead of topping the mount with a satellite dish, he used U-bolts to mount a omnidirectional/tri-band cellular antenna. This one covers frequency ranges for both his cell phone and his wireless broadband/internet card.

He routed the connection cable from the antenna, down through the rig’s gray water holding tank vent line. Inside the rig he bored a hole into the vent line (where it was accessible from in the living area), routed the cable out of the vent line, and then used a sealant to both “keep the stink out,” and to act as a protective grommet to prevent friction between the vent pipe and the antenna coax. The whole shooting match plugs into either the cell phone, or into a jack in his broadband card. If your card doesn’t have a jack for an antenna, there are inductive couplers that attach to broadband cards, allowing you to rig them to an external antenna.

Once on location, it’s a simple job to climb up the RV’s roof access ladder, lift the satellite dish mount into its “working” position, then turn the antenna around to point to the nearest cellular site. With a 24dB gain, this setup will bring signal roaring in that might otherwise be lost in space.[RV Tech Tips]

Take the time this winter to add some accessories like this to your RV. Then in the spring you’ll have some new RV toys to play with!

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!

Making an old RV new again. RV Restoration.

1948 Westcraft Sequoia:the Redux

Unique Design Gets Modern Amenities

The Westcraft Manufacturing Company of Los Angeles and later Burbank, California, manufactured two different lines of trailers: Westwood and Westcraft. The earlier Westwood brand models included the Coronado, Montecito, Monterey, Tahoe and Sequoia. The Westcraft series included the Coronado, Montecito, Shasta, Sequoia and Yosemite models.

Westwoods were only built by Westcraft during the period from 1946 through 1948, and designs for each of these three model years were different and unique. The earlier Westwood series had a plain “bread loaf” appearance. The Westcraft company discontinued the Westwood models and began focusing exclusively on the “Pullman” roof Westcraft models by 1949.

westcraft travel trailer, RV, Lerch RV, camper, restored camper, RV restorationBoth types were top-quality trailers that used aircraft-construction methods with aluminum frame ribs, but they used heavier-gauge aluminum skin panels than many contemporary brands. All Westcraft models had painted exteriors, many in handsome two-tones. During the late 1940s and early ’50s, Westcraft trailers were considered to be among the highest quality trailers on the market. Thanks to their excellent construction, they rarely leaked at the outer seams, vents or windows, areas where many other trailers had problems. Unfortunately, production had stopped by 1955.

The 1948 Westcraft Sequoia featured here is owned by Justin and Anna Scribner of Bend, Oregon. Anna told us: “We found this trailer just outside of Vancouver, Washington. It was in pretty rough shape, but we instantly fell in love with it.”
To return it to its former glory, the exterior was stripped of its many coats of latex house paint, polished, etched primed and professionally painted. All windows were removed, all glass was replaced and window frames were all stripped and either polished or repainted. All window gasket and rubber was replaced. Both front, rear and all “trolley” or clerestory windows were re-screened with original-style copper screening.

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The all wood interior turns the Westcraft Sequoia into a homey cabin on the road. Several modern amenities were added, all the while retaining the vintage look. A new awning was made, using Sunbrella fabric. All light bezels were rebuilt with new bases, but the original glass lenses were retained. Brand-new wheels were installed and painted to match with new white-wall tires. For safety, an entirely new LP-gas system was installed. The under carriage was prepped and cleaned, and rubberized under coating was applied.

The interior had to be gutted, with all existing cabinetry removed from the coach, repaired and re-skinned as needed and then refinished. Wall and ceiling panels were removed, and the trailer was reinsulated and completely rewired. The interior was then re-paneled using 1⁄8-inch birch, as would have been used in 1948. Expandable insulation was also shot into the floor, and a new sub floor was installed.

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Period-correct Marmoleum was installed with a border on each side with an inlaid Westcraft “W” at the entryway. A hidden surround-sound system was installed with a Blu-ray player and two 20-inch LCD screens, which are on motorized linear actuators that move up and down out of the cabinets. All of the appliances, including the stove, refrigerator and kerosene heater were dismantled, reconditioned and refinished to match; however the kerosene function of the heater was disabled for safety reasons.

Two forward cabinets were combined to make a bathroom, and a new toilet was installed. New stainless-steel counter-tops and a back-splash were fabricated and installed along with a new sink and faucet. An on-demand LP-gas water heater was added and vented through the roof. All new plumbing and drain lines were then installed.

Anna added, “We searched long and hard to find an original click-clack couch and finally found one in amazing original condition. All of the inserts for the trolley windows were re-manufactured on a CNC router; they are now better than the original with decorative metal trim. All cover plates, trim rings, etc. were also copied with a CNC machine and installed to match. Additional light fixtures were added in a tasteful way with several on a dimmer switch.”

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Brand-new wooden blinds were installed with thick period-correct chocolate ribbons. Aluminum blinds were installed on the two doors and the original screen doors were reconstructed and refinished.

The final result is a great exciting travel trailer that looks like it did the day it rolled out of the factory, but includes some subtle creature comforts and safety features that weren’t available at the time.

Are you doing your own restoration project? Do you need RV parts?  If you do, give you central Pennsylvania RV Dealership a call at 800-722-1236.  Our RV parts and service teams will help guide you in the right direction.

Portions of this article are re-posts from Trailer Life Magazine.