As seen on TV: America’s Largest RV Show

Zoo America located in Hershey PA Floods

As I write this, the ‘sweetest place on earth’ is currently one of the wettest.  With onset of days of rain and  major historical flooding of parts of Hershey, Pennsylvania. One must wonder how the ‘sweetest place’ will rebound.  The world will be able to see for themselves starting September 14 through September 18, when Hershey plays host to the largest RV show in America.  The 43rd Annual PA RV & Camping Show opens to the RVing public at 9am on Wednesday morning.

The 43rd Annual PA RV & Camping Show allows hundreds of exhibitors to showcase the latest and greatest in camping and RVing supplies.  The parking lot of the Giant Center is transformed into one large RV park, with all makes and models of RVs present.  From new high-end luxury motorcoaches to entry-level tent trailers, you will need at least two full days to view everything.  This large show is seen on HGTV and is labeled as ‘not just another RV show’.

As we approach the start of the show, let us all hope that mother nature has indeed thrown everything she could at Hershey.  And once the parking lot of the Giant center dries out and makes that transformation to the largest RV parking lot in the US, bring your family out to enjoy a great day or two.  Adult admission is $9 and children 12/under are free.  There are senior discounts and veterans discounts that are available daily.  Plus a 3-day show pass for $18.

And if you are looking for a brand new 2012 Open Range RV.  Find Pennsylvania’s largest Open Range Dealer, Lerch RV.  The Open Range display is just a hop, skip and jump from tram stop #4.  Look for the original breed of light weight fifth wheels, along with the newest offerings of truly half-ton towable units.  Do not forget that Lerch RV also offers the quality brands of Montana, Sprinter, Outback, Passport, Springdale, Summerland, Sydney by Outback, and Copper Canyon, all manufactured by the Keystone RV company.  If you are in the market for a new RV, come see a Pennsylvania dealer who has been in business for over 34 years.

Safe Travels and Happy RVing…

Find Lerch RV at America's Largest RV Show: 43rd PA RV Show in Hershey PA

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Trailer Tire Safety: Check your Tires Before Hitting the Road

The wheels on your RV go round and round, round and round…until…boom!

Ask yourself these questions:

When was the last time I checked the air pressure?

How old are your tires on your trailer?

When was the last time they were replaced?

RV Tires

You can’t judge your tires by how they look. Kicking them is not going to tell you anything either. Trailer tires are only meant to last three to six years on average. Just because they look good and the tread looks brand new does not mean that the tires are not rotting away on the inside.


Tires deteriorate over time whether you drive on them daily or just once a year.

Tire deterioration can happen from the UV rays from the sun, going over the allotted speed the tires can handle, going over the weight amount allotted for the trailer capacity and its tires, exceeding the maximum or falling under the minimum tire pressure of the tires, and finally, using products with petroleum distillates on your tires. All of these actions can cause your tires to deteriorate at a faster rate. Proper use and care of your tires will allow you to get the longest, safest use out of them.

Here are some tips to keeping your RV’s tires in good shape:

  1. Use covers to protect your tires from the sun. The UV rays from the sun can crack and damage your tires. If your trailer is parked longer than a weekend, make sure to cover your tires with tire covers.
  2. Make sure you know the MPH your tires are designed for. Trailers come with special trailer tires and the majority have a maximum speed rating of 65 MPH. By accelerating past that speed could cause serious damage to your tires, especially if your trailer is loaded down with weight.
  3. Make sure not to overload your trailer to over its capacity because your tires are affected too. The more pressure on your tires, the more stress you put on your tires. Especially if you are going over the maximum speed the tires can handle.
  4. Keeping your tires at the correct tire pressure is essential to not only the health of your tires but to your load weight and speed. Improper tire inflation is the number one factor in tire failure. Most RV and camper service personnel  recommend to inflate your tires to the maximum PSI stamped on the sidewall of the tire. Be aware of how the weather elements affect tire pressure. Higher elevations increase tire pressure as does warmer temperatures. Make sure to check your tires before hitting the road every time! Do a visual inspection for tire inflation, wear, bulging, cracking and anything that looks unusual.
  5. Only use soap and water to clean your tires. Using protective chemicals that have petroleum distillates will weaken your tires strength.
  6. Think about using Nitrogen to inflate your tires instead of compressed air.  Nitrogen has been found to pro-long the life of the tire. Nitrogen allows the tire to run cooler while in use.
  7. Replace your tires every three to six years, regardless of the miles you’ve put on them or the tread depth. When we’re talking three to six years, we mean from the time when the tire was manufactured. Each tire has a date stamped on the sidewall stating the manufactured date. There is how to read one.

The date code looks something like this: DOT PDHH MLOR 3403.

The date code always starts with a DOT and ends with a 3 or 4 digit number. Those last numbers are the date code. The first two numbers indicate the week (out of 52) and the last one or two digits indicate the year it was manufactured in. So, from the date code above, 3403 means the 34th week of 2003, or the fourth week of August 2003. So, from that date, your tires would need to be replaced between August 2006 and August of 2009.

Another thought to keep in mind, blow outs and flat tires happen. So always carry a spare tire, jack and the proper tools to fix your flat tire while you are traveling.

**The information from this post was taken from RV Chat With Ron Fleming “How Old Are the Tires on Your RV?”

For more information, please consult your tire’s manufacturer or the RV’s manufacturer.

Tire identification diagram

Image via Wikipedia

Uphill – Downhill, tips to save those RV brakes….

Mountain driving can be a bit challenging at time and it can be especially hard on your RVs brakes. You need to be extra cautious on these roads and definitely take your time. And it’s always good to know in advance exactly what your RV is capable of handling.

Uphill Tips

  • When climbing long inclines, your RV needs to be operated within its power band.
  • The power band is a span of engine RPM (Revolutions Per Minute) where you have the maximum horsepower available to handle the extra load imposed when going up long inclines.
  • This becomes even more noticeable with diesel engines. Their power band is usually a rather narrow band of RPM (Revolutions Per Minute) . When operated within their assigned power band, you will have a tremendous amount of pulling power. Fall below that RPM, and it will do you no good to push harder on the throttle. All you’ll get is more black smoke coming out of the exhaust.
  • To stay within the power band, you must downshift to a lower gear, and you may even be required to  let off the throttle a bit so the engine can work more comfortably. Pushing too hard will only create more heat and increase the likelihood of overheating.
  • The whole point when climbing long inclines is to adjust your gearing, so you will remain within the comfortable RPM range that your engine likes. Maintaining a certain speed because the sign on the side of the road says that’s the speed limit may be impossible. Slow down and use a lower gear instead.

Down-hill Tips

  • So you’ve safely crested the high point in your RV. Now it’s time to come down the other side of the hill.This is where you make your engine and transmission work to hold you back. That way, you save your brakes for when you really need them.
  • The time to set up your downhill decent strategy is at the top of the hill — well before you’ve picked up so much speed that you’re in trouble.
  • You only have one set of brakes. If they get too hot, they may fade away and your RV will become a runaway train — a situation rapidly headed for disaster.
  • Experience will teach you how many gears down you need to drop from top gear in order to descend a hill without constant use of the brakes. If you’re new to steep descents, it’s best to error on the safe side by going down a hill in too low a gear. You may be slow, but at least you’ll be safe. It’s very hard to go back and have a do over, if you picked too high a gear at the top of the hill.
  • Many diesel engines are equipped with a retarder that will help hold you back. It functions by blocking off some of the exhaust gases from your engine. This helps to keep the engine from revving too high when the weight of your RV is trying to push you down the hill.
  • Some large diesel pusher motorhomes are also equipped with jake brakes.  A jake brake is an engine-mounted device that turns some of the cylinders into an air compressor when you let your foot off the throttle. Jake brakes are a very effective way to control your descent speed without the need for constant braking.
  • If you find yourself going downhill faster than the engine and transmission can hold you back, your braking should be done in short bursts. It’s far better to brake hard for a shorter distance than to ride the brakes for a long period of time.
  • The longer you apply the brakes, the hotter they will become.  At some point, they may just fade away — leaving you helpless and unable to slow your RV to a safe speed. Overheating your brakes can also do permanent damage to your RV’s brake components. Rotors, drums, and shoes can all be quickly destroyed by riding your brakes too long down a long hill. [RV Road Trips]

When you’re towing  on a mountainous road, we think you should just enjoy the ride and take it nice and slow and be safe rather than sorry.

A Checklist Before Hitting the Road (with your RV)

Many RVing accidents occur because of simple neglect or carelessness. Forgetting to check one area of your RV could end up in a disaster, costing you thousands in repairs. To make all of your camping trips carefree and easy, make sure to do a safe check before leaving the driveway or camping site to return home.  Here are 3 distinct areas that need to be checked before hitting the road.  Regardless of it you are towing your coach or manning the wheel of one.  Safety should always come first.

Open Range H397 RGR from Lerch RV

Open Range H397 RGR Toy Hauler from Lerch RV

RV/Trailer Check:

  1. Disconnect all power, TV, phone, water and sewer lines. Make sure all lines are rolled up and securely in their storage areas.
  2. Visually inspect the inside of the unit. Make sure all furniture is secure using straps, do not forget to secure those TVs. Put away anything that might roll around and damage the interior.
  3. Retract jacks, steps and awnings. If you have a slide-out, make sure it has slid back into the trailer and is secure.
  4. Make sure all storage and main doors are closed and latched or locked.
  5. Look under the coach for signs of any fluid leaks.
  6. Make sure smoke and propane leak detectors are working
  7. Double-check tow bar and safety cables
  8. Check your brake lights, tail lights and turn signals are working properly.
  9. Check to make sure your air brakes, parking brake and tow brakes are engaging properly.

Propane Check & Tips:

  1. Never paint your LP tanks a dark color. It will absorb the sun’s rays and can cause it to over heat.
  2. Don’t travel with the stove, oven or heater burners lit.
  3. Never refuel while any propane appliances or your engine is running.
  4. If you have an older propane tank, make sure it has an overfill protection device. Most places will not refill LP bottles that do not have this important safety device.
  5. Have tanks regularly checked by a certified dealer.

Engine Check:

(on your tow vehicle or if you are driving a motor home)

  1. Check oil, transmission and coolant levels
  2. Inspect tire inflation pressure and tread wear on your truck and trailer.
  3. Check all your brakes to make sure they are engaging properly and the lights are working.
  4. When driving, know your surroundings (weather, overhangs and ground hazards)

Outback purchased from Lerch RV

Camping Season is here!

An Extra Safety Tip:
Practice S.A.F.E. Cornering – When pulling a trailer, fifth wheel or driving a motor home, you have to compensate for the extra weight, height and length of the vehicle when taking corners. Use S.A.F.E. when turning corners with your RV.

  • Slowly approach the turn.
  • Arc the turn, taking a wider turn. Watch your surroundings and the cars around you.
  • Finish the turn completely. Don’t straighten the wheel until the back-end has cleared the pivot point.
  • Experience is key. The more you drive your RV or tow your trailer/fifth wheel, the more practice you will have – improving your RV towing skills. And in the long run, making your RVing experiences more enjoyable and memorable.

With camping season finally beginning here in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.  The above check list should be useful.  If you have any questions or concerns about the safety of your unit, please feel free to contact our service department.

York RV Show set for March 11-13,2011.

Join us at the 2011 York RV Show being held at the York Expo Center Grounds in York, PA. This unique show is in its 33rd year and the event promises to be bigger and better than ever with over 30,000 square feet of indoor display space.  And Lerch RV will be occupying a large section of that display area.  We will once again be displaying over 20 units.  All from industry leading RV Manufacturers.  Open Range, Montana, Sprinter, Springdale, Summerland, and Copper Canyon to name a few. Also on display will be 40 campgrounds showcasing their facilities and 20 vendors offering products to enhance the RVing experience and lifestyle.

“Grab a pencil and a piece of paper before you come,”…“You’ll want to do the math, because RV travel is very affordable.”

Regardless of the size or make you choose, today’s RV travel experience is more fuel-efficient and comfortable than ever before as manufacturers design with convenience in mind, using lighter materials and more streamlined exterior looks. With the economy showing signs of recovery, more people than ever before are discovering the freedom and flexibility an RV vacation affords.  Great camping memories are part of almost every family’s history and it’s a great stress-reducer.  I do not know of anyone who does not enjoy sitting around a campfire and just relaxing.

Hours for the show are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. March 11; 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. March 12; and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 13.

Admission is $8.00 per person with children under 12 admitted free. Balloon designing clowns will be on hand to entertain the children. There will also be games, door prizes, and camping weekend giveaways.  And if you make a purchase from me at the Lerch RV display and you mention this blog. I will subtract your admission fee from the price of your new trailer.

The York Expo Center is at Carlisle Avenue in the city of York. If traveling Interstate 83, get off exit 22, take Route 30E. Follow signs to Fairgrounds/Expo Center. Your Lerch RV Sales Team looks forward to seeing you there.

Early Bird Sale!

Now is the time to think SPRING!

Do away with the winter blues and think of greener grass, sweet-smelling flowers, and the sound of chirping birds.  Spring is undoubtedly around the corner.  Come on out and join us for our Early Bird Sale, which is going on now. Lock in great low prices on new travel trailers and 5th wheels.  Our great low prices will allow you get that new RV before our leading manufacturers raise their prices.  Make your purchase now and we will store your unit until you are ready for to pick it up.  Take a look at our Early Bird Sale Flyer…

Lerch RV Early Bird Sale going on now!

Check out our Early Bird Sale Flyer.

Compare prices and save with Lerch RV.  With over 200 new and pre-owned travel trailers and fifth wheels in stock. We are sure you will be able to find the one that fits your family. Give Lerch RV a call at 800-722-1236 or visit us at LerchRV.com. Better yet visit our dealership, located along Rt 322 in Milroy, PA.  We are Pennsylvania’s largest Keystone RV and Open Range RV dealership.

Customizing: How to make your RV your own.

Customizing your RV can be as simple as adding a musical horn or as extreme as getting a custom paint job.  Maybe adding a few window decals of the places you have visited with that coach is your comfort level with customizing your unit.  However some people take exterior customization to a whole new level. A full body paint scheme can give your RV character and create personality.  Full body paint is now even being offered at the factory level, usually reserved for the ‘higher end’ coaches.

Custom paint job by Willy’s Custom Concepts in Springfield, Oregon 

 

Adding jaw-like teeth or attaching a longhorn skull to the grill can add so much to your RV. Also, does your RV have a name? If so, add a decal of the RV’s name onto your unit. Not only does it add personality to your RV, but it is a great conversation starter in campgrounds. For those of you with 5th wheels, add a decorative paint scheme to your exposed 5th wheel hitch.  That way, when you are unhitched from your rig, anyone walking by will be able to view it.

Getting ideas: Look at the vehicles in your town. What kind of custom paint jobs have you seen? What would be a good design for your RV? Think of the trucks and cars you have seen with custom paint jobs…now think RV/trailer size! Add flames or racing stripes down the sides. Polk-a-dot your unit or paint your RV your favorite color! Have fun with it. You can also incorporate a mural of your favorite vacation spot, your hometown skyline, a religious story or animals onto the sides of your RV. You can also honor your favorite team by putting their decals on your unit.

Custom Steelers RV

Tailgate in Style

You could also restore your current paint job and add new decals from the factory. Whatever you decide to do, we suggest using a professional painter because of the dimensions of an RV/trailer, painting types and resell value.

The sky is the limit and you are only limited to your imagination. So do not be afraid to add some flare and personality to your RV!

Click Here for more ideas on how to “Customize Your RV” written by Don Goodson.
Click Here to see more custom paint jobs on motor-homes done by Willy’s Custom Concepts in Springfield, Oregon.