RV & Camping News

News from around the campfire.

– York, PA: The York Campers World RV Show was held in York, Pa., the second weekend of March, as has been done for the past 36 years. The 14 RV dealers present reported brisk sales, and a total of 180 units were shown on over 130,000 square feet of indoor space and 38 units were outside on the York Expo Center ground, said Beverly Gruber, executive director of the Pennsylvania Campground Owners Association. “Fifty campgrounds showcased their facilities and talked with the customers about the advantages of coming to their park,” she explained.

-Timmins, Ontario: When city officials in Timmins, Ontario, agreed to help operate cash-strapped Ivanhoe Lake Provincial Park two years ago, they thought the park would be a paying proposition. Now the city says they may close the gates at the park if they can’t fill 10 more seasonal RV sites. With 53 sites filled, the city set Friday as the deadline for purchases; if not sold, the park will be listed as “non-operational.”

Indiana: Indiana’s state parks and reservoirs are looking for volunteers to serve as campground hosts in exchange for free camping. Hosts work a minimum of 20 hours per week. Sites looking for hosts to volunteer in April are Turkey Run, Indiana Dunes, Potato Creek and Spring Mill state parks. Raccoon State Recreation Area needs a host June 29 through August 3, the entire length, or in two-week periods. A complete list of sites and information on hosting duties is here. If interested, contact the site directly.

Elkhart, Indiana: Thor Industries Inc. plans to auction off remaining towable inventory, work-in-progress units and assorted components Tuesday (Mar. 25) at a former Monaco RV tow-able manufacturing plant on Indiana 19 (2700 S. Nappanee St.) on the south side of Elkhart, Ind., a facility that Thor purchased in February from Ocala, Fla.-based Allied Specialty Vehicles Inc. Auctioneers indicate that a big crowd is expected for the liquidation sale at the 220,000-square-foot plant in which Thor plans on expanding its Thor Motor Coach Inc. division’s motorhome production. The auction, according to a sale flier, will include “enough inventory to run production for weeks.”

Nationwide: RV dealers are expecting big things this year, according to results from a Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) survey conducted in late January to early February. In the March issue of RV Executive Today, RVDA reported that after a good 2013, the majority of survey respondents are expecting 2014 to be even better. Specifically, 68% of dealers who participated in the survey feel the outlook for the retail market this year will be better than it was in 2013. Another 32% believe the market will be about the same as it was last year.

– Manlius, NY: The Great Outdoors RV Superstore in Fulton, N.Y., is proposing to build a satellite recreational vehicle/trailer sales office on the site of the former Fremont Lanes Bowling Alley in the town of Manlius, according to the Syracuse Post-Standard.The Post-Standard reports that a small sales office would be built on the now-vacant 2.5-acre site, with 12 parking spaces and room to park 23 RVs/trailers. The site would open this spring, as soon as the proper permits are secured, Doug Miller, engineer for the town of Manlius told the Post-Standard. The bowling alley was demolished several years ago.

~News From The Weird~

– Three people were badly burned after an RV burst into flames at a Delta, British Columbia, gas station March 15. According to police, the occupants were siphoning fuel through a trap door in the vehicle, which they parked above the underground holding tank. Investigators haven’t confirmed where the stolen gas was intended to be sold, but said it sometimes is advertised on Craigslist.

– Alexandria, LA: Tips about odd smells led to the arrest of a Deville man who allegedly was operating a meth lab in a small camper, according to The Town Talk.
Deputies went to the camper Wednesday in Deville to follow-up on the tips about the smells and suspicions that meth was being made. John Loyd Paul Jr. answered the door, and deputies smelled “a distinct chemical odor,” according to The Town Talk. A deputy who entered the camper to get a gun saw a pan with suspected meth drying on a heating blanket, The Town Talk reports. Paul was arrested and charged with possession of a controlled dangerous substance II, creation/operation of a clandestine lab, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of a firearm with an obliterated serial number, illegal carrying of weapons with drugs and possession of drug paraphernalia.

 

Special thanks to CampingPA.com for supplying these great tidbits of RVing news…

Safe Travels and Happy RVing!

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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.

What Every New Pennsylvania RVer Eventually Discovers

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New RV owners usually have a lot of information to digest. There is so much to learn about owning, operating and maintaining a RV. Unless they know someone who can teach them all there is to know, these new RV owners are on their own to figure it all out.

Consider your first RV your training RV. This is where you will learn the ins and outs of how to operate propane, holding tanks, plumbing, electrical and backing up.

It helps you discover whether you prefer the convenience of full-service RV parks or dry-camping in primitive campgrounds, more commonly known as boon-docking.

Your ‘training camper’ teaches you how to equip, furnish and pack an RV. You learn just how much interior storage space (closets, cabinets, drawers) you really need (is there ever enough?). It reveals how critical the size and accessibility of the outside storage bays can be and the importance of cargo-carrying capacity and towing capabilities. Not to mention sleeping capacity as well. Did you really need the bunk beds?

It helps you determine what floor-plan, features and accessories would best suit your RVing lifestyle and needs. And if you really enjoy all that you learn about the world of RVing, there will be another new RV!

Safe Travels and Happy RVing!

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.

Pennsylvania, Lerch RV has you covered this winter…

Lots of RVers like to head south for the winter, but that isn’t an option for some of us. While there are still a few good weekends left for camping this year, if you are one of those late season campers. However most of our customers probably already have winterized their campers by now.  If you are able to store your RV in a covered garage or storage center, then there is not a lot that you have to do to protect your RV from the elements.  Those of us who use an RV cover to keep our RV safe while not in use know there is more that goes into getting your cover on properly than simply throwing it over your rig.

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A good cover can make a difference.

The first thing that you should do before putting your cover on is wash your RV. Dirt, grease, and any bugs left on your RV’s exterior can set in and ruin your rig’s paint and body. Give it a good wash and dry it completely before you put your cover on. If you have anything with sharp corners on your roof, such as antennas or solar panels, remove them. If not, cover them with towels or blankets so the sharp edges won’t rip your cover.

The biggest challenge of getting your RV covered is getting over the top. Instead of using a ladder and your hands, tie a rope to one side of your cover and pull it over on the other side. If you do choose to use a ladder, be very careful. Falls and accidents are quite common. And if you get onto the roof to center everything, watch your step. You may not be able to see air vents or other oft spots on the roof.

Letting your RV hibernate for the winter may be a necessity, but be sure to use a quality cover to make sure that it is safe when not in use. If you are looking for a good quality cover, just ask us for help in finding the right one. If you are looking for a new RV in Pennsylvania, then just stop by Lerch RV!

Have you ever thought about owning a Campground or RV Park?

As RV owners, we travel to campgrounds and RV Parks often. We usually stay a few days…or longer, if we are full-timers…and then go on our way. We almost always have an opinion of the place before we leave, but have we ever thought about owning one of these places?

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Here is an opportunity to explore this option a bit further. The National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) has an upcoming conference in late November in Savannah, Georgia.

‘Where Outdoor Hospitality Meets Southern Hospitality’ is the theme for the 2011 Outdoor Hospitality Conference and Expo (OHCE) to be held November 30 to December 2. There will also be some pre-convention events in the days leading up to Nov. 30.

This all takes place at the Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort and Spa and Savannah International Trade and Convention Center.

The educational programs have been revised to include all types of the outdoor hospitality industry. Here are some of the educational program key areas of focus:

  • Business Management
  • Business Technology
  • Employee Training and Motivation
  • The Latest in Green Technology
  • Marketing and Public Relations
The Westin has even discounted their rates for attendees. If you need more information, go to the ARVC website.
This looks to be a great opportunity to learn more about the outdoor hospitality industry, regardless of whether you want to own a RV Park, or just work in one!

RV Winterizing tips and hints…

It is that time of year once again. I recently came across this article on winterizing your camper on KOA’s (Kampgrounds of America‘s) Kompass Website.  This article is very well written, so I thought I would share it with my readers.

It’s always sad to come to the realization that another camping season is winding down. Depending on where you live, part of this realization is preparing the RV for winter storage so it will be ready to go camping again next spring. A major part of winterizing your RV is to protect the RV water system from potential damage, caused by exposure to freezing temperatures. Frozen and damaged water lines are in fact the most common problem related to not winterizing your RV, or not properly winterizing your RV.

The RV plumbing system is the most vulnerable system to damage caused by plummeting temperatures. The good news is it is easy to protect the RV water system from this potential threat. Here are my 7 easy steps to winterize your RV plumbing system.

Before you get started there are a few items you will need to have. These items can be found in most RV parts stores:

• Non-toxic RV/Marine antifreeze. The amount depends on the layout and length of your plumbing lines. Two to three gallons will normally do.
• A water heater by-pass kit, if not already installed.
• A wand to clean out the black water holding tank if the RV doesn’t have a built-in clean out system.
• A water pump converter kit, or tubing to connect to the inlet side of the 12 volt water pump.
• Basic hand tools to remove and install drain plugs.

Note: Be sure to read your owner’s manuals for unit specific winterizing guidelines. Follow the steps below that apply to your RV.

Step # 1: If you have any inline water filters remove and bypass before starting. Drain the fresh water holding tank. Drain and flush the gray and black water holding tanks. If the RV doesn’t have a built-in flushing system clean the black tank out with a wand. Drain the water heater. Open the pressure relief valve and remove the drain plug.

CAUTION: Never drain the water heater when hot or under pressure. With no water hooked up to the RV and the water pump off open a hot water faucet to remove any pressure on the system. Allow the tank to cool before draining.

Step # 2: Open all hot and cold faucets; don’t forget the toilet valve and outside shower. Locate and open the low point water drain lines. Use the water pump to help force most of the water out of the system, but turn it off as soon as the system is drained to prevent damaging the pump. Recap all drains and close all faucets.

Step # 3: By-pass the water heater. If you do not have a by-pass kit installed the water heater will fill up with RV antifreeze before it goes through the water lines, wasting six or ten gallons of antifreeze.

Step # 4: Install a water pump converter kit, or disconnect the inlet side of the water pump (the line coming from the fresh water holding tank) and connect tubing from the water pump inlet into a one gallon jug of RV antifreeze.

Step # 5: Turn the water pump on and pressurize the system. Starting with the closest faucet to the pump, slowly open the hot and then cold valves until the pink colored RV antifreeze appears. Replace the antifreeze container as required. Repeat on all faucets from the closest to the farthest away. Don’t forget the outside shower.

Step # 6: Flush the toilet until antifreeze appears. Pour a cupful of antifreeze down each drain. Pour some RV antifreeze in the toilet and flush into the holding tank to prevent any water in the tank from freezing. If your water heater has an electric heating element, turn it off. This will protect the element if the unit is plugged in while in storage. Make sure all faucets are closed.

Step # 7: Consult your owner manuals for winterizing ice-makers and washing machines.

The unit is winterized. Now, next spring when it’s time to head out in the RV you won’t have any unpleasant, not to mention costly, surprises waiting for.

For a DVD on Winterizing & Storing your RV visit www.rveducation101.com

If you have any further questions about winterizing your travel trailer or fifth wheel camper.  Please give your Central PA RV Dealer a call at 800-722-1236.
Safe Travels and Happy RVing.