RV Lifestyle: Tips for beginners and vets

There’s never been a better time to take up the RV lifestyle.

Whether you’re a weekend wanderer, a snow bird or an RV full-timer, there’s an RV to suit any travel budget and taste.

With baby boomers reaching retirement age, more and more people are taking to the road with their motor homes, RVs or travel trailers. The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association recently reported that nearly 8 million American households have an RV, motor home or travel trailer and that there are as many as 30 million RV enthusiasts in the U.S.

Seeing the country in an RV offers many benefits for travelers seeking an affordable and exciting way to spend quality family time. According to one study, a family of four can save up to 74% traveling by RV over more conventional travel. And with more than 16,000 public and privately owned campgrounds in the US, there’s a site to fulfill everyone’s vacation fantasy, whether it’s an oceanfront view, hiking trails, casino gambling or tennis.

6 Tips for Successful RV Travel
RV travel is easy to learn, and once you’ve got the hang of it there’ll be no going back! Here are six helpful tips that will come in handy for both beginning and seasoned RV enthusiasts:

    1. Map Your RV Travel Destinations
      A large part of the RV appeal is the exhilarating freedom of the open road — to go wherever you want, whenever you want. But it helps to have a solid travel plan in place. If you know where you’re heading, you can determine the route that will offer the most interesting sights.Look in RV and other travel guides, contact tourism boards in states you’ll be passing through, and search the Internet.Make sure to bring the correct road maps, and a GPS system is a good idea as well, especially if you’re new to RV travel.

      Carefully designing the route you’ll be taking will make it easier to do spur-of-the moment things like checking out that oddball museum you just spotted on a roadside billboard!

    2. Have A Checklist? Just Checking
      During your pre-trip prep, in addition to working out what needs to be in the RV, put together a thorough checklist of things to do when setting up at an RV campground.There are the basics:

      • Locate all campground connections
      • Make sure your RV is level
      • Properly hook up your water, gas and electric systems

      Don’t forget comfort concerns, like making sure you packed your favorite CDs and DVDs, and those new lawn chairs.

      Equally important, you should have a second checklist of things that have to be done to break camp and set up your RV for departure (Quick hint: when you think the job is done and everything is ready, check again).

    3. Be Prepared with a “Just-For-The-RV” First-Aid Kit
      Always make sure you have a fully stocked RV first-aid kit, and keep it in an outside storage compartment.Your RV first-aid kit should include basic medical supplies:

      • Bandages
      • Ointment
      • Over-the-counter pain reliever
      • Insect repellant
      • Scissors
      • An emergency supply of must-have medications

      Plus the following extras for your RV:

      • Flashlight and extra batteries
      • Paper and pens
      • A disposable camera in case you have to take photos of an accident site.
      • Cell phone and charger

      If you don’t feel up to the task of putting together an RV first-aid kit yourself, an extensive range of ready-made first-aid kits is available for purchase.

      Don’t forget to include a list of important contact information, including family members, doctors, insurance agents, etc. [Editor’s note: Leave a copy of your itinerary and your contact information with a family member or friend, in case you need to be located in an emergency.]

       

    4. RV Camping with Kids and Pets
      If your RV travel includes children, make sure to set aside time during the day for outdoor activities, as even the roomiest RV can be confining for kids.And give each child his or her own space in the RV (no matter how small) for toys, games and personal stuff.RV travel is a unique opportunity for your children to see new and different places and faces. There are often plenty of other kids at campgrounds – but be sure to walk around a new campground with your children when you first get settled there. They need to know how to find your campsite and navigate the RV grounds. If you plan to bring the family pet, check beforehand to confirm that pets are allowed at the RV campground.
  1. A Little Help From Your Friends
    When in doubt, ask your fellow RVer. However well-traveled you might be, odds are there is someone you’ll meet along the way who has been somewhere you haven’t, solved a problem you haven’t yet encountered, or spotted an out-of-the-way delight you’ve never heard of.No matter how much research you’ve done, there’s bound to be an RV campsite you haven’t read about, a storage system that has escaped your notice, or a funny anecdote that you’ll laugh about for years to come.The new folks you meet may or may not become close friends for life, but they are an important part of your RV journey.
article written by John Noble from about.com

Who wants some S’mores?

Lerch RV-Pennsylvania RV Sales-camping-smores

Got S’mores?

Ahh, s’mores, who could deny a deliciously sweet, sticky, tasty treat while enjoy a campfire? We sure couldn’t! And while we love the traditional graham cracker, hershey’s bar and roasted marshmallow, we’re all about adventure so we polled some Lerch RV customers to discover their favorite ways to make ooey-gooey s’mores.

Reese’s S’more

  •  2 graham crackers
  • 1 regular sized Reese’s peanut butter cup
  • 1 roasted marshmallow

Rolo’s S’more                  

  • 2 graham crackers
  • 2 Rolos
  • 1 roasted marshmallow

Fudge Cookie S’mores

  • 2 fudge cookies
  • 1 roasted marshmallow
    • Put the roasted marshmallow between the chocolate sides of the cookies

Peanut Butter S’more

  • 2 graham crackers
  • Hershey’s chocolate bar
  • 1 roasted marshmallow
  • A smear of peanut  butter on the graham crackers

And an added bonus to all of these recipes? Melt the chocolate piece onto the graham cracker by setting it near the fire. What are your favorite spins on the s’more? Share those campfire favorites with us…

Safe Travels and Happy RVing!

Camping in the Pennsylvania Heat

It is Summer and the temperatures have been heating up in our neck of the woods, with heat wave after heat wave. Camping season is in full swing and camping in these warmer temperatures can cause issues if you don’t take some precautions to stay safe in the heat. Here are few things we suggest that can help camping in the hot weather more enjoyable and safe.

  1. Stay hydrated: Drink lots of water when you’re spending time in the heat. It’s important to stay ahead of dehydration and drink water before you feel thirsty – the first sign of dehydration.
  2. Shade: When you’re setting up your campsite, think about creating the most shade possible. Staying out of direct sun will help keep you cool. Try to find the shadiest part of the campsite to set up you RV.
  3. Dress for the heat: Make sure to pack light clothes, both in color and weight.
  4. Wear SPF: It’s always important to protect your skin from the harmful rays of the sun. Always wear SPF and apply it several times throughout the day.
  5. Keep air circulating: If you’re spending lots of time inside of the RV, especially at night, it is important to keep air circulating. Using battery operated fans is a great way to keep the air moving.

These are just a few things you can do to help beat the heat on your summer camping excursions. Do you have any other tips to stay cool with the summer’s rising temperatures?

Safe Travels and Happy RVing!

Who doesn’t like free stuff?

A lot of time and effort can go into planning an RV, camping trip or even a day trip in the car. You must decide where you want to go, what to do when you get there, what to eat, and how much it will cost.

Speaking of cost. Wouldn’t it be nice if it didn’t cost so much? After food, fuel, and gear, you can still expect extra fees when you reach your destination.

However, in the year of 2012, the National Park Service (NPS) is waiving entrance fees, commercial tour fees, and transportation entrance fees at over one hundred National Parks in an effort to boost tourism. You may still have to pay for reservations, camping, and use of concessions, but hey, if you’re interested in paying less for your family vacation, read on.

The program began in April with National Park Week, an entire week of free admission to National Parks across the country. But do not worry if you missed this great week of free admissions, mid summer offers Get Outdoors Day and in early September NPS grants free admission for National Public Lands Day. Finally, the NPS offers free dates for Veterans Day Weekend in November.

Mark your calendars for the following fee-free dates later this year:

  • June 9, 2012 – Get Outdoors Day
  • September 29, 2012 – National Public Lands Day
  • November 10-12, 2012 – Veterans Day Weekend

For more information, visit http://www.nps.gov/findapark/feefreeparks.htm

I would like to encourage you to take advantage of this offer as I have in the past.  It is a great way to see some beautiful areas of our great nation at a reduced cost.  Regardless if you are towing your RV or  just taking a day trip by car.  Gas up and go!

Safe Travels and Happy RVing!

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!

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!

Laundry…by the bucket full.

Have you ever wondered how to do laundry effortlessly while on that family camping trip?  If you’re heading out-of-town by RV and need to do laundry, here’s a simple method originally from John Steinbeck in his book Travels With Charley:
Put your dirty clothes in a 5-gallon bucket with lid, cover the dirty clothes with water, add a little detergent, and secure the bucket somewhere in your vehicle so that it will not upset or tip over  during travel.

Do laundry like a pro on the road...

Photo by Paul Joseph.

Every bump or curve in the road agitates the bucket and when you stop for a meal your clothes will be clean and ready to rinse. Pour out the grey-water, wring the soapy water out of your clothes, place them back in the bucket and add clean water again as you drive for another hour or two. This is your rinse cycle. As you pull into your destination you can use a clothes dryer there or just carry a DIY clothesline to dry your clothing.

Traditional skills blog The Art of Manliness recommends using half the normal detergent you’d normally use for a load using this method. If you plan on dumping your grey-water outdoors, please consider using a  biodegradable detergent (we like Ecos—you can get it online or at Costco) so you’re not polluting the environment.

While not for everyone, if you’re traveling on an extended RVing trip this method of laundry might prove useful, especially if you’d rather not spend an hour or two of your trip looking for change to use at the laundromat. However a better way to do laundry would be to install a washer/dryer unit in your RV, this can only be done if your RV is washer/dryer ready.  If you are looking to have all the conveniences of home in your new RV, give your central PA RV dealer a call.

Safe Travels and Happy RVing!