RV News and Tidbits

News from around the RVing Lifestyle

Pennsylvania RV Court Ruling: The Pennsylvania Supreme Court denied Dingman Township’s request for appeal regarding a provision in the Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance after losing to Lake Adventure in a lower Court ruling in 2013.  The provision in question amended the definition of a recreation vehicle to one “that does not require a special highway moving permit when transported” and “a vehicular unit, mounted on wheels, of such size or weight as not to require special highway moving permits when drawn by motorized vehicles.  This is another great win for campgrounds and the RV industry,” Robert Adams, owner of Gettysburg Campground and PRVCA’s Campground Director. “This decision helps ensure that park models and destination camping remain a growing segment of the industry.”

– RV News: The Good Sam RV Travel Guide and Campground Directory has announced 2014’s top rated RV parks. Digital Journal explains, awarded with perfect 10/10/10 ratings, these 101 RV parks and campgrounds feature the most desired amenities, cleanest facilities and most attractive properties and locations. Long considered the Gold Standard by RVers, the ratings given to these top rated RV parks and campgrounds put them on every RVers’ list of places to visit in 2014. For a complete list, click here.

– ROANOKE, Va.: A recreational vehicle caught fire in the parking lot of the Roanoke Civic Center as families were heading inside to see the Kazim Temple Shrine Circus, according to Roanoke Times. The fire damaged three RVs in the parking lot full of other trucks and circus equipment, but only one RV had severe damage. Two adults and two children were displaced from the fire, Roanoke Times reports.  The cause of the was ruled as electrical, Roanoke Times explains.

– Richmond, Ind.: based Tom Raper RVs announced the launch of campersweather.com, a new website especially for campers and outdoor enthusiasts featuring weather forecasts, current conditions and weather alerts. According to a press release, the website, Facebook page, Twitter and a soon to be released mobile app are all free and include live weather radar, up-to-the-minute weather maps and weather related news.

– RV News: Stats on wholesale shipments of rigs seem to indicate it. U.S. wholesale annual shipments jumped 12.4 percent in December compared to the year before — about double 2009. On a monthly basis, December shipments were up 14.3 percent over 2013, the biggest December in six years, says the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association.

– Economy: Midwest propane prices continue to shoot upward. At one point last week, spot prices reached almost $5 per gallon, but dropped to $4.50. At the Kansas hub, prices reached $4.95, the highest since 1989.

– RV News: A fire in an electrical box at the Como, N.C., Camp PD Hunt Club got out of control and smoke was seen for miles. Local firefighters called in assistance, but in the end, 17 RVs parked at the club were wiped out.

~ News from the Weird ~

– RVs burn gas, but cows manufacture it, and in one case this week it caused a problem. Methane gas from 90 gassy cows exploded in a German farm shed, injuring one of the animals. High levels of flatulence had built up when a static electric charge caused the gas to explode with flashes of flames. One cow was treated for burns (hopefully, “rare” and not “well done”).

– This that make you go hmm? An RVer in Severance, Colo., who couldn’t get his motor home started tried using starter fluid. With somewhat predictable results, the rig caught fire and was totally destroyed. The twist? The rig was inside a local car wash when the fire broke out. No damage estimate on the car wash building.

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

Safe Travels and Happy RVing!

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An RV checklist for everyone…

If you’re like us, you can’t wait to get your camper opened up for the camping season! (If you have not already done so.) In fact, we’re so eager we’ve compiled a checklist of items for you that will help you have a smooth, hassle-free camping season this year. Everyone who RVs should utilize a check list, like the one below. An RV checklist will help you open up the camper for the coming camping season, as well as when you put the camper away for the year.  The list below should be done while you are at home, doing so will allow you to enjoy a trouble-free camping trip.

 

RV START-UP CHECKLIST

  • Inspect and work all interior and exterior latches and locks (lube if necessary).
  • Make sure the batteries are fully charged and installed correctly. A bad battery can make for a bad camping trip.
  • Inspect the power cord and carefully clean the contacts if necessary. Plug in the power cord to an appropriate power source.
  • Turn on the interior lights and check outlets for polarity. If needed, replace any blown fuses. Check the circuit breakers and test the GFCI.
  • Inspect and test all safety detectors. If needed, replace any drained or discharged batteries. If you have a defective or damaged safety detector, replace it immediately.
  • Inspect and turn on the propane system. If you have any questions, contact your dealer or a qualified propane service representative for assistance.
  • If the propane system is functioning properly, test the pilot lights on range, refrigerator, furnace and water heater (if so equipped).
  • Inspect the leveling jacks (if so equipped) for operation. If needed, perform maintenance as specified by the leveling jack manufacturer.
  • Test all exterior and interior lights. Replace any bulbs if they are burnt out.
  • Inspect the tires for wear, cracks and inflation pressure.
  • Wash the exterior of the RV.
  • Do a sealant inspection and repair as necessary.
  • De-winterize and sanitize the fresh water system.
  • Connect your tow vehicle to the RV and test all connections and lights. This should be done every time you hook up to tow.

Some of the above items should be looked over a couple of times a year. We recommend having your RV thoroughly checked when you have your required state inspection completed.  Preventative RV maintenance will allow you to enjoy a trouble-free camper for many years to come.

Safe Travels and Happy RVing!

Fiberglass Propane Cyclinders for RVing?

Fiberglass propane cylinders lighter, more durable…

If you ever thought that in the world of propane cylinders, “There’s nothing new under the sun,” think again. How about an LP cylinder made, not from steel or aluminum, but from plastic and fiberglass? Sound a bit wild? Hang on, there’s a company that sells them, and you might just want to consider them.

The Lite Cylinder Company is happily turning out fiberglass/plastic composite LP gas cylinders, and yes, first off, they are government DOT approved for use on RVs. What makes these little tanks different from their typical steel cousins?

First, they’re a wee bit lighter–about 30% lighter than conventional steel cylinders. This translates into about four pounds lighter for a standard 20-pound (five gallon) cylinder. The next size up? Lite Cylinder offers a 25-pound (six-gallon plus) cylinder that scales in at just about 19 pounds. While it holds a gallon less than the steel standard, it does weigh six-pounds less.

But the weight of these LP containments isn’t the only consideration. The actual gas containment vessel is made of spun fiberglass and plastic. The resulting vessel is translucent–you’ll never need to guess how much (or better still–how little) fuel is left in the cylinder–you can see the level with you own eyes. The actual “tank” if you will, is contained in a strong plastic shell that provides a carrying handle, a flat base to sit on, and stackability–you can toss these guys one on top of another.

The materials used in construction of Lite’s cylinders are also completely impervious to rust. No more “painting” your tanks; they won’t scratch and look ugly.

Ah, but what about price? The 20-pound cylinders retail on Lite’s website for $99, while the largest vertical cylinder, the 25-pounder, retails for $120.00. That’s a bit higher than your average camping store $99 retail price for a 30-pounder, but take into consideration you don’t need any “accessories” like a gauge system to determine how much LP is left, and no $11.00 “tank foot” to keep your cylinder from falling over while transporting.

The government gives a 15-year life estimate to these fiberglass cylinders. They are subject to the usual fire code regulations for periodic recertification. Get more information, locate a dealer, or order directly at the Lite Cylinder web site.

Article Courtesy of RV TECH Tips.

More RV and Camping Safety Tips

You may read about RV and camper safety a lot when you’re surfing the internet or picking up the latest Trailer Life magazine. Personally I think you can never learn too much or think too often when it comes to RV safety. And as with anything else in life, practice what you read and preach.  To many times safety is placed on the back burner of our thought process when it comes to hitching up the wagon and hitting the road.  Many of my previous posts have been about RV and camping safety.  I can not stress how import this subject matter is.  So once again here are some more RV safety tips to think about….

"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"Propane:

Never paint the tank a dark color. It can absorb the sun’s rays and can cause it to overheat and explode.

  • Don’t travel with the stove, oven or heater burners lit.
  • Never refuel while any propane appliance or engine is running.
  • If you have an older propane tank, make sure it has an overfill protection device.
  • Install a propane gas detector.

Create a step-by-step checklist!!

Before you drive:

  • Make sure bay doors are closed and latched.
  • Double-check tow bar and safety cables.
  • Disconnect all power, TV, phone, water and sewer lines.
  • Retract jacks, steps, and awnings.
  • Look under the rig for signs of fluid leaks.
  • Check oil, transmission and coolant levels.
  • Check air brakes, parking brake and tow brakes.
  • Inspect tire inflation pressure and tread wear.
  • Make sure smoke and propane leak detectors are working.

Practice S.A.F.E Cornering:

RVers must compensate for the extra weight, height and length of their vehicles when cornering. Practice S.A.F.E. cornering:

  • Slowly approach the turn. It’s much easier to speed up in the corner than have to brake.
  • Arc the turn, careful to not arc the first swing in the opposite direction, confusing drivers behind as to where you really intend to go.
  • Finish the turn completely. Drivers make a common mistake when they straighten before the back-end of the vehicle has cleared the pivot point.
  • Experience is key. The best way to become a good RV driver is practice, practice, practice.[GMAC Insurance]

There are some good tidbits that I think you can print out and keep in your RV to refer back to every once in a while. That is if you like. I truly hope you have enjoyed some of these safety tips! That way next time you hit the road you will know that you and your family are good to go!

Have a great weekend adventure, run by on your way back so we can hear all about it.  And, if there is anything we can do to help, let us know!!

Safe Travels and Happy RVing!

RV Propane Tank Safety..LPG in PA

RV Tanks at Lerch RV in PA

Dual 30 lb LP Bottle Sketch

One of the main systems that helps your RV function on all levels is your propane system.  Without your propane, you lose most of the accessories that make your RV comfortable to use.  But did you know that you have to keep your propane cylinders certified?  If you are the owner of an older RV, then this is something that you need to check out to make sure that your propane system meets safety standards.

When you buy a new RV, you can go twelve years before having your cylinders certified.  After the first twelve-year check, you need to have it certified every five years after that.  Here’s some more information about propane certification from rvbasics.com:

If you have an older RV you should know that according to Federal law, DoT cylinders may only be used for 12 years after their manufacture date. After that, the cylinders must be “re-certified” which provides another five years of use. The cylinders can be re-certified every five years thereafter.Propane dispensers are legally required to look at the date stamped on the cylinder before filling it. Some dealers actually do look. We’ve been reminded a few times that our cylinders were about to expire. Check the date stamped on your cylinders… don’t rely on your rig’s model year even if the cylinders are original. It’s quite possible they are a year or older than your rig. Ours were.

Re-certification is usually done by the large bulk propane suppliers but we found one of our local RV repair shops was certified to do the job and they do it for free! Call around to see who may do it in your area.

Some other simple tips to follow as well:

Inspect your Propane Appliances

You should also have the tech check your fridge and any other propane appliances inside your RV.

Install Properly and Identify

You should have a way to identify the presence of a propane tank if your tank is hidden. ASME-identified tanks should be installed horizontally, and DOT-identified cylinders are installed vertically.

Replace Damaged Tanks

If you have a damaged tank, including dents and rust, or damage to a hose, you should replace your tank.

Don’t Overfill

Since the late 1980s, tanks with capacities of 40 lbs. and less have a overfilling protection device, or OPD. If you have an older tank, have a OPD installed. Don’t fill your tank with the RV running, or with anyone in it, if you are filling the tank while still attached to the RV.

Detecting a Leak

If you think you have a leak or smell gas, everyone needs to get out of the RV quickly. Leave the door open to your RV and shut off the supply valve.

If you have any questions regarding your propane bottles/cylinders, please give your Central PA RV Dealer a call.  You can reach the Lerch RV Service Department at 800-722-1236.

And if you are looking for that new travel trailer or fifth wheel, do not forget to give our Sales Team a call as well.

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.