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2015 Pennsylvania Mountain Pie Championship

PA moutain pie contest entriesGRATZ, Pa. — The first ever statewide Mountain Pie Championship was held on Sept. 26, during the Gratz Fair in Gratz, Pa., just north of Harrisburg, Pa. The championship was open to winners at privately owned Pennsylvania campgrounds that held contests across the state this summer.

The two contests, “Sweet” and “Savory,” were sponsored by the Pennsylvania Campground Owners Association and Lerch RV from Milroy, Pa.

Mountain Pie Championship held at Gratz FairThe “Sweet” category winner was Melissa Umbrell, Enola, Pa., representing Jonestown/ Hershey KOA, Lickdale, Pa. Her entry was a “Banana Split Mountain Pie.” Her recipe is as follows:

Banana Split Mountain Pie

Ingredients

2 slices of white bread
2 tsp butter
1 large sliced strawberry
1/8 banana – sliced
9 mini marshmallows
1 fun sized Hershey bar – broken

Optional Garnish

Chopped nuts, sprinkles, whipped cream, cherry

Preparation

Butter one side of two slices of bread
Place one slice of bread, butter side down, in mountain pie maker
Layer all ingredients on top of bread
Place one slice of bread, butter side up, in mountain pie maker
Close mountain pie maker and place in campfire
Cook until bread is golden brown
Place on plate and garnish
Serve with a smile

Second place was Braidyn Rumsey from Canton, Pa., representing Tanglewood Campground in Covington, Pa. His entry was called “Double Chocolate Delight” and featured a brownie and marshmallow cream garnished with cherry pie filling and peanut M&Ms.

The “Savory” category winner was Margie Wevodau from Carlisle, Pa., also representing Jonestown/Hershey KOA, Lickdale, Pa. Her entry was a “Reuben Mountain Pie.” This recipe is:

Reuben Mountain Pie

Ingredients

2 slices of rye bread – buttered
2 slices of baby Swiss cheese
2 T Thousand Island dressing
½ cup of sauerkraut
3-4 oz. corned beef – sliced

Preparation

Spread butter on outside of the bread
Place one slice, butter side down, in a warmed pie iron
Layer one slice of cheese, corned beef, Thousand Island dressing, and sauerkraut
Top with another slice of cheese
Place the other slice of bread on top, butter side up
Close and place in campfire until bread is golden brown.

Enjoy!

Second place was Rhonda Thomas from Preston, Md., representing Spring Gulch Camping Resort in New Holland, Pa. Her entry was a “Turkey/Bacon/Cheese Pie,” also featuring Thousand Island dressing.

Third place was Holly Seidel from Tyrone, PA, representing Pioneer Campground in Muncy Valley, Pa. Her entry was “Pie Iron Tacos” with a corn tortilla base.

The other three entries that were scrumptious, but did not place, were “Chicken Florentine, Pie Iron Style” by Steve Gallagher, Elmer, N.J., representing Keen Lake Camping & Cottage Resort in Waymart, Pa; “Sam’s Special Sammich,” a pork melt by Sam Ulrich from Pottsville, Pa., representing Rosemount Campground in Tamaqua, Pa; and “Alyssa’s Cheese Steak Pie,” by Charles Muller from Hammonton, N.J., representing Otter Lake Camp Resort in East Stroudsburg, Pa.

Mountain Pie Championship held at Gratz FairA panel of six qualified judges evaluated the entries based on the following categories: Flavor, Filling, Crust, Appearance and Creativity. Prizes were $500 cash for both first place winners, $100 in PCOA gift certificates for second place and a $50 gift certificate for third place.

A total of 37 campgrounds scheduled contests at their facility during the season. The Pennsylvania Campground Owners Association extends a special thank you to Lerch RV for co-sponsoring the contest, the Gratz Fair for providing their facilities and fair passes for the individual campground winners and Dutter Sound Services from New Oxford, Pa., for providing the sound system and acting as the official fire tender.

SOURCE: PCOA press release

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Camping is for the dogs too!

Camping is for the dogs too!

Camping is for the dogs too!

Pennsylvania camping is for the dogs (and other pets too.)

No one understands family like Lerch RV. That’s why when we say “family”, our four-legged, furry friends are always included.  Camping is a great way to bring families closer and often that includes pets. That is why your central Pennsylvania RV dealership is pet friendly. You can always find a few four-legged friends inside our dealership.  Customer are always welcome to bring their pets inside with them. We are dog friendly as long as your dog is friendly as well.

Pet Friendly Campgrounds:

No need to leave any family members behind when you head out for a family camping trip.  We’ve found a great resource for finding pet friendly campgrounds! There are many internet sites out there that will help you find a campground that both you and Fido will enjoy. Many more campgrounds, private and state funded are becoming pet friendly.

Camping Etiquette:

Pet friendly camping is the perfect way to include all family members in your vacation, but don’t forget, that does mean a little more work for you and your family.  Here are a 4 rules to remember when you RV with Spot:

  1. Pick it up: Always clean up after your dog (or other pets) after they’ve finished going to the bathroom.  No one wants to be out for a hike and step in Fido’s leave behinds.  Bring plenty of environmentally friendly pick up bags with you and dispose of them in dedicated receptacles.
  2. Know your limits: Your dog might be the friendliest dog you’ve ever met, but that doesn’t mean everyone’s dog is on the same page.  When leaving your campsite to roam the grounds, bring along a leash for those less than friendly encounters.
  3. No man (or pet) left behind: Remember the tent or RV you’re staying in might not feel like home to your family pet.  Try to minimize leaving your pet alone to reduce the amount of stress your pet experiences.  No one wants to be left out of all the fun!
  4. Watch the weather: Just like us humans, pets are sensitive to extreme hot and cold. On hot days, bring water and find rivers/lakes to help pets cool down. On cold days, think about leaving Fido in the RV or bringing along an adorable puppy jacket.
  5. Be courteous:Just be courteous of your neighbors and surroundings. Not everyone is a pet lover. So use a common sense approach when camping with your pets.

Have any other pet tips to share? We’d love to add them to our list. We love to hear from you…

Plan that next RV Vacation wisely Pennyslvania

“Vacation, all I ever wanted, Vacation, had to get away..”

Vacation, not just lyrics to a popular eighties song by the all girl band, The Go-Go’s.  Vacation is a state of mind for some, while other use it for a time to get away from the everyday hustle and bustle. However you choose to spend your vacation, RVing is a very cost-effective way to do so.

With any tow behind trailer or Motor-home there is always the consideration of gas to get where you want to go! Surprisingly RV travel can save on family vacations!

Depending on the type of trip and RV used, a family of four can save 23% – 59% on vacation costs according to the PKF Vacation Cost Comparison Study.  For a couple of two or all those empty-nesters out there, it is possible to save 11%-46%. In fact, 80% of RVers say that vacationing in their RV even when gas prices rise, the trip still costs less than other types of vacations. In all reality, there is no need to worry even with gas prices going up, if used appropriately.

Pennsylvania Vacations at Lerch RV

Ways to plan Smart Vacations with your RV:

1. Choose destinations that are closer to home. This allows you to drive fewer miles and staying longer in one location.

2. Enjoy the campground! By spending more time by the campfire, socializing with family, and taking day hikes you will be able to spend less time on the road

3. Pack lighter to reduce weight. Leave those un-necessaries at home.

4. Consume less fuel by driving 55 mph instead of 65 mph. Many RV owners say that this truly helps with traveling costs. Why be in hurry to get somewhere, the trip is as much as the destination.

5. Keep home utilities turned off to save energy while traveling. Turn down or turn off that hot water heater. Unplug the microwave or other energy-consuming items that are always on stand-by.

By using these ways to save, your vacation with friends and family will still be just as fun! If gas prices go up you can count on plane fares and other traveling modes to increase in price as well. So you can count on RVing to be a cheaper option. At this point in time, for RVing to become more expensive than other forms of travel for a family of four, the prices of fuel would have to more than double.

So if gas prices are making you worry when it comes to family vacations, there is no need. Like with any money spending decision, if planned appropriately, can be worked out. By using these ways to be smart about RVing then you don’t have to compromise your getaway from the everyday hustle and bustle and the good memories spent with those you love.

“Vacation, All I ever wanted. Vacation had to get away”…

Pennsylvania RV Owners Be Aware! Please USe Safe Towing Tips

Defensive driving skills and practice result in safe, enjoyable towing

Towing a trailer is certainly not difficult, but it does represent a step up in complexity from driving a solo vehicle, requiring new awareness of combined vehicle length, trailer width, braking distance, turning characteristics and several other vital factors that must be considered while towing a trailer. Most of us drive trucks, SUVs or passenger cars daily, and graduate to RVs only occasionally. Thus, it’s always necessary to make a mental transition and try to keep the size and handling characteristics of the larger rig in mind. Allowing solo-vehicle habits to take over may result in a tendency to make turns too tightly, run over curbs, hit stationary objects such as overhanging tree limbs or to follow too closely.

Eyes on the Road
The first towing precautions are those that precede towing — matching the tow vehicle and trailer correctly, adhering to weight limits and making sure hitch selection and adjustment are correct, as described elsewhere in this guide. And it’s also important to refresh defensive driving skills. From there, the real fun begins. The combined length of tow vehicle and trailer, as well as the combined weight, must be in the forefront of your mind, right from the start. Maintaining extended following distances is one of the most important towing-related driving habits that initially is difficult to adhere to because we tend to fall into our typical driving habits. Even though trailer brakes may be functional, braking distances almost always are extended.

It’s also important to make lane changes carefully and slowly, and to allow extended distances for passing. Good, solidly mounted extendable mirrors with large reflective areas — adjusted properly — are also essential. Speedy traffic seems more tolerant of slow 18-wheelers than of slow RVs, which makes courtesy an important safety factor for RV owners because an irate driver trying to pass can be a serious safety threat; courtesy is not only the consideration of others, it’s a safety issue. Frequent monitoring of rearview mirrors is necessary; when a vehicle is tailgating and trying to pass, we should help by driving slightly to the right to give the other driver a better view of the road ahead, even if a passing opportunity does not exist at the time. We should use turnouts whenever possible and avoid following another vehicle so closely that a vehicle overtaking from the rear cannot return to the proper lane.

Time for a Brake
While RV brakes are adequate for most situations, care is necessary to avoid overheating, which can lead to brake fade. If brake fade occurs, it will likely be on steep downgrades. If this happens, friction will raise the temperature of brake pads and linings to extremely high levels, resulting in temporary loss of braking. The cure is prevention — downshifting to a gear range that is low enough to retard speed sufficiently that brakes need not be used more than occasionally. This way, enough braking performance is reserved to make an emergency stop, should it become necessary.

When braking on a grade is necessary, apply the brakes intermittently, with moderate pressure, and release the pedal to allow the brakes to cool. The action of electric trailer brakes should be apparent to the driver, and sufficient enough to handle the trailer’s weight. The controller should be adjusted so that maximum braking action does not cause trailer-wheel lockup. Improper controller adjustment is a major cause of inadequate braking, so it’s wise to study the manufacturer’s instructions. Travel-trailer instability (fishtailing) should not occur in a well-balanced, well-hitched combination, but if it does, independent activation of trailer brakes usually will bring the trailer back into line.

Back-Up Plans
All trailers require more space for turns, and travel trailers follow the tow-vehicle track more closely than do fifth-wheels, which track farther to the inside of a turn. There is need for continual awareness, which should eventually become second-nature after a modest amount of on-the-road experience. Fifth-wheel trailers are different to back than conventional trailers, and require more practice for someone accustomed to backing a conventional trailer. A well-used technique involves placing one’s hand at the bottom of the steering wheel and moving it in the same direction the trailer is intended to go. It’s more effective with travel trailers than with fifth-wheels, which often require more turning of the steering wheel. Hand-held two-way radios can allow an assistant to more effectively relay backing instructions to the driver.

Before each trip, it’s essential to check the tires to assure that inflation pressures match those molded on tire side walls (cold), or that they are appropriate for your load (consult load/inflation tables). Also, be sure to inspect all vehicle fluids and make sure trailer-wheel lug nuts are tightened to factory specifications. Trailering is a great way to explore the new horizons and a great way to check out the wonderful camping destinations that are available to owners of recreational trailers. But always keep in mind that defensive driving will pay off in safe travel.

If you have any questions about safe towing practices, call your central Pennsylvania RV Dealer at 800-722-1236.  We will gladly answer any questions that you may have.

Safe Travels and Happy RVing!

Portions of this blog are a re-posting of an article from Trailer Life Magazine