Open Range RV dicontinues the Rolling Thunder Toy Hauler 5th wheel camper

Put out to Pasture; the Rolling Thunder by Open Range RV

Open Range RV dicontinues the Rolling Thunder Toy Hauler 5th wheel camper

The Rolling Thunder Toy Hauler by Open Range RV has been put out to pasture.

I would like to inform my readers of the end of a great run.  At the time of this blog posting, the Open Range Rolling Thunder Toy Hauler product line is no more. The Rolling Thunder, with its stampeding herd of horses logo, has been put out to pasture by the Shipshewana, Indiana RV manufacturer.  The Rolling Thunder has been part of Open Range RV’s stable for about two and a half years.  Slow sales and subtle shifts of interest by RV consumers were believed to be several of the determining factors in the discontinuation of the toy hauler product line.

The Rolling Thunder was introduced to the public in 2009 as a toy hauler designed to be more comfy and utilitarian in design than its competition.  The Rolling Thunder was the fifth wheel toy hauler that was ‘not on steroids’ as owner Randy Graber noted.  The Rolling Thunder product line did not feature over the top interior designs in decor or graphics, but gave the owner of the toy hauler more comforts of home.  The four season unit was light weight by industry standards.  As of the time of writing this, there has been no news of a replacement toy hauler product from the manufacturer.

Here at Lerch RV, we currently have one Rolling Thunder H345 MPR left in inventory, having sold over twenty-five Rolling Thunders in previous years.  Come visit our Milroy, Pennsylvania location and see why we are the largest Open Range dealership in the commonwealth.  And maybe you will leave here with a great deal on a great trailer.

Happy Trails Rolling Thunder…

Open Range RV's Rolling Thunder toy hauler out to pasture

Safe Travels and Happy RVing!

The perfect gifts for the RVer/Camper in your family.

RV Christmas Tree Lot @ Lerch RV, Keystone RV, Open Range RV

Tis' the Season...

Christmas seems to come faster every year. If you are like me, then you probably wait until the last minute to find gifts for your friends and loved ones. It can be hard trying to pick out that special present for those who mean so much to you. If you are looking for the perfect gift for the RV enthusiast that you know, you may not know what to get. There are many great gift ideas to make RVing easier and more fun for RV owners and passengers alike.

One of the things that you have to take into consideration when buying gifts for an RVer is space. RVs may have more room than other vehicles, but in terms of living space, being economical is key. One great gift for the avid reader would be an e-book such as a Kindle, Nook or maybe a new Kindle Fire. These devices will free up a lot of storage space currently being used up by books, many of which are read once and then never touched again. Less flashy things, like portable meal trays, are a great way to open up more room for someone who is living in an RV. One of the best gifts that you could give an RVer is the gift of more living space, so you may want to look for items that will take up little space or allow more space to be used.

Another great part of RVing is being outdoors. Making life better while at a campsite is a great way to make an RVer happy on Christmas morning. Outdoor furniture such as chairs, tables, and even outdoor recliners will make living outdoors a lot easier. Outdoor carpets/area rugs for under the awning are always a hot seller too.  If you are looking to get a gift for the chef in the family, kitchen utensils and appliances are always a hit. Just look for items that will take up minimal space and open up possibilities in the kitchen.

There are many great products and possibilities out there for RV owners, so be sure to start your shopping now, because Christmas is just around the corner. Be sure to visit your Pennsylvania RV dealer for all your RV Christmas needs.

Safe Travels and Happy RVing!

Stay warm on those cold RV nights

With the weather starting to get colder, and the days shorter, you are probably experiencing a bit of a chill at night now. This is also the time of year where you are still RVing in cooler climates before either heading south for the winter or storing your RV until next season. Staying warm and comfortable in your RV is a key to have a great trip this time of year. No one likes sleepless nights shivering the whole time, so how should you stay warm? The easy answer is your RV furnace, but you may be out at a camp site when that breaks down, so what are you back up options?
"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" "glamping" "fith wheel" "5th wheel camper" "travel trailer" "Open Range RV"

The two most popular choices are heating strips and portable heaters. Like all things, there are pros and cons that go with both, and it is more of a preferential choice. Let’s look at portable heaters first. The great thing about these are that they do a good job heating a small space. At night, shut the door to your room and turn one of these on and you will stay warm through out the night. They are also quiet, which is key to falling asleep. The problem with them is that they tend to break down easily over time. If you buy one you can expect to buy another after a few years. Also, there is always to risk of fire with these heaters, due to the exposed heating coils. If you use one, be sure to put it in a safe place out of contact with combustibles.

Another option is a heating strip. A heating strip is installed in the air conditioner and it is a 1500 watt heater. This option is good because it is generally more reliable than the portable heater, and it doesn’t take up any extra space in the RV. The not so great part about them is that you have to run your A/C fan through the night, and it doesn’t heat your rig nearly as well as the portable heater. You won’t freeze to death with one, but you won’t be toasty.

If all else fails, keep extra quilts and blankets in your RV and bundle up for warmth. If you are looking for a new RV ta stay warm in, be sure to come into 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.

"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" "glamping" "fith wheel" "5th wheel camper" "travel trailer" "Open Range RV"

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!

Lerch RV can help you if you want to Finance your RV…

If you are one of many families across the country who go camping often and enjoy the outdoors, the next step is for you to invest in a RV. Unfortunately for many families, it ends there.

"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" "glamping" "fith wheel" "5th wheel camper" "travel trailer" "Open Range RV"

The average family of today cannot afford to purchase their own RV. Families have too many other stresses on the family budget that come first.

Lerch RV has the capability to assist you when it comes to purchasing a fifth wheel or travel trailer for the family.

Your new RV may qualify for some of the same tax benefits as a second home mortgage. Of course, check with your tax advisor, but to qualify for these benefits, such as the deductible of interest on the loan, the RV must be used as security for the loan along with providing basic living accommodations such as a sleeping area, bathroom and cooking facilities. The RV is considered a qualified second residence as long as you designate it as that for each tax year.

Your RV might actually cost you less in the end if you finance your purchase. The bottom line is that if you are thinking of buying an RV, you should check financing options to maximize your purchase enjoyment. What are the advantages of Financing through a RV Lending Specialist? Down payments are lower although final terms are determined based on your credit profile and the age, type and cost of the RV being purchased. And financing through RV lenders usually requires down payments in the 10% range.

Finance terms are longer / Monthly payments are lower, because RV finance specialists know that RVs maintain their value and resale appeal, they tend to offer more attractive terms. In fact, it’s not uncommon to find 15-20 year repayment schedules to help you afford the RV of your dreams. Consider allowing Lerch RV to help you in financing that new camper. And you’ll be on the road enjoying your new RV before you know it!

The 2011 Mifflin County Farm-City, City Award Winner is….Lerch RV

Ed Lerch; owner of Lerch RV and camper sales accepts his farm city award

Ed Lerch accepts an award from the PA State Senate.


Lerch RV
owner Ed Lerch and his family recently won the city portion of the 2011 Mifflin County Farm-City Award.  Mr. Lerch has grown his travel trailer and fifth wheel business from very humble origins.  Over thirty-four years ago, he opened Seven Mountain Truck Caps and Lerch’s Arco gas station. Then in 1978 Ed changed the name of his business to the now well-known Lerch RV. Then in 1980 Lerch RV moved to a bigger dealership location, west of Lewistown near the entrance to the Mifflin County Industrial Park, along Route 522/22.  With this move, the business became a full service RV dealership selling travel trailers, fifth wheels, and motor-homes,  discontinuing the sales of truck caps and gasoline. Ed continued the growth of his RV business through the 1980’s and 90’s. In the early part of the 90’s Lerch RVeven developed and built a small handful of customized travel trailers.

PA Senate Citation recognizing Lerch RV.

PA Senate Citation recognizing Lerch RV.

After 20 years of doing business at the location west of Lewistown and after the successful completion of the existing four lanes of Route 322, Lerch RV moved to the present location it now occupies in Milroy, PA. The new location offered the business room to grow. With larger service bays and a larger parts store, the new building has enabled the business to become one of the largest RV dealerships in Pennsylvania. The inventory the dealership now has to offer at the current location is built by the largest, most reputable manufacturers in the RV industry; the Keystone RV Company and the Open Range Company. Along with offering a large selection of pre-owned pop ups, fifth wheels, travel trailers and the occasional used motor home.

2011 Mifflin County Farm City Award Winners

2011 Mifflin County Farm City Award Winners

Lerch RV attracts customers from all over the state of Pennsylvania, and many from even further away. The Lerch Family is the perfect example of what an award-winning family business is all about. With the inclusion of Mr. Lerch’s daughters and son in-laws working at the dealership along side of the owner. Our congratulations to the family…

Safe Travels and Happy RVing!

How familiar are you with your RV Water Heater PA?

For those of you RV owners who have a shower on board, you know that there’s nothing worse than hopping in the shower and then realizing that there’s something wrong with your water heater. The most common problem, and in my opinion the worst, with water heaters in RVs is that foul, rotten egg smell. Though this isn’t harmful to you, it’s definitely not ideal. This happens when there are high levels of sulphur in the water and you can try to eliminate by flushing the water heater.

RV Dealership Pennsylvania,"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" "glamping" "fith wheel" "5th wheel camper" "travel trailer" "Open Range RV"Another common problem is  a dripping pressure relief valve. When the air pocket at the top of your water heaters gets absorbed by the water, there is no where for the heated water to expand to and pressure is released through the pressure relief valve. If this occurs, RV-Basics suggests the following:

Turn off the water heater and let the water cool. Then shut off the water supply to the water heater, open a faucet inside your camper to let off the pressure, open the pressure valve on the water heater and let the water flow until it stops on its own, then snap shut the valve, close the faucet, and turn the water supply back on.

If you have any problems with the water heater staying lit, this could be an issue with the gas valve or circuit. You should definitely come by and get it checked out.

There are three tips to help keep your water heater trouble-free. First, make sure your water heater is full before lighting. To check this, open a hot water faucet and wait until you see a steady flow. Second, regularly check the exterior vent and burner for anything obstructing the air flow. Lastly, drain and flush the heater at least twice a year.

Safe Travels and Happy RVing!

Welcome to the RV Capital of the world!

Elkhart County, Indiana is considered to be the RV capital of the world. Supposedly one of every two RV’s is the world are made right there.  More than 20 RV manufacturers in Elkhart offer factory tours, you just have to pick which ones you want to see. I came across this article at mlive.com and thought I would share it with my readers.  This is a recap from one RVer’s visit to 3 different manufacturers. It should give you an idea of what the tours will be like.

First stop: Renegade RV, 52216 State Road 15 in Bristol, a 14-year-old company founded by Chuck McKibbin for the auto racing industry. Here, we were ushered onto the factory floor where employees were working on several custom units. The smallest unit they build is about 32 feet. Most of their vehicles are made for people who have owned several RVs and now want to design one to their own specifications.

We climbed up into these huge RVs to see the work in progress. We saw granite countertops, flat-screen TVs ready for installation — even one on the outside of the vehicle — granite floors, space-efficient layouts and unique storage solutions. Impressive!

Second stop: Jayco, 903 South Main St. in Middlebury. You can’t miss Jayco because you’ll see hundreds of white travel-trailers in the factory lot.

But watch carefully for the Visitors Center sign. Inside the center, a renovated 1880s farmhouse, we were invited to look around the center or to go outside and look at the vehicles on display while we waited for our noon tour. We did both.

A video told us about founders Lloyd and Bertha Bontrager, who started the company in a chicken coop in 1968. They quickly outgrew that and are now the largest privately owned RV manufacturer. Then we traveled in a trolley back to the building where they make about 11 fifth-wheels per day.

We went to the cavernous and fascinating sewing room. We watched a machine quilting two yards of material every 45 seconds. The material is used for bedspreads and pillow shams.

One of the installers placed a foam cushion on a vacuum machine, covered it with plastic, turned the machine on and, instantly, it shrank. She popped it inside the covering and, in a nano-second, it re-inflated and filled the covering.

Our final stop was Sunnybrook RV, 201 14th St., Middlebury. We joined a group of insurance agents on the tour, explaining the manufacturing process from the naked chassis stage to the finished product, whether a fifth-wheel or a travel-trailer.

With the insurance agents asking questions, we heard all the things RV manufacturers do to avoid problems for the consumers. We learned about glues, insulation, windows, awnings, and the craftsmanship.

Most impressive for me was the outdoor kitchen on one of the vehicles. You pop up the cover to find a tiny sink, refrigerator, and stove.

This day of “RVs Unwrapped” is a great way to learn about RVs before purchasing one or just to be impressed with manufacturing innovations. It also answered my ever-present question: “How do they do that?”

It goes without saying that this part of the country is very RV friendly! And it is only a short 7 1/2 hour drive from central PA.  If you do not want to drive that far to see your favorite brand, just stop at PA’s largest travel trailer dealership, Lerch RV.

Safe Travels and Happy RVing!

Turn, Turn, Turn. The Open Range Light story.

I am still amazed when I recall what I witnessed the day when our first 2012 Open Range Light LF297 was picked up by its new owner. When it was time for the customer to leave we put the truck, which happened to be a Ford F150 Super Crew with a 5.5′ bed, and the trailer through a series of turning radius tests. The distance from the front cap of the fifth wheel and the rear cap of the pick up is substantial enough to allow true 90 degree turning. Take a look at Lerch RV’s YouTube video depicting that radius testing. Keep in mind that the Open Range Light is truly a half ton tow-able fifth wheel. And with the innovative front camp design and hitch pin placement, you can tow this beauty with just a standard fifth wheel hitch installed in your tow vehicle. No need for a sliding fifth wheel hitch (slider) or any other special modifications need to be made.

The Light is another great innovative idea from the Open Range RV company. The Light product line includes the above  pictured LF297RLS, LF289RES and the LF305BHS (bunk model with outside kitchen). There is also a travel trailer in the mix as well, the LT252FLR. So if you are driving a half ton tow vehicle and are looking for a truly unique fifth wheel to camp in, look no further than the Open Range Light. And if you happen to have a 5.5′ short bed truck and want a fifth wheel camper, the Light is especially for you! You can have full size fifth wheel fun in a half ton tow-able package, without missing anything.  All the features that you require in an exciting package.

The Open Range Light fifth wheel campers and travel trailers are available at Pennsylvania’s largest Open Range RV Dealer, Lerch RV. Located in Milroy, which is one hour west of Harrisburg and thirty minutes southeast of State College, the home of Penn State University. For more information on the Open Range Light, please contact us.

A few tips to keep Ants from Invading your RV…

Ants marching toward Lerch RV, how to keep ants from invading your RV/Camper...

When you are RVing at a campground or boon docking in the wilderness, you are susceptible to all kinds of insects and animals.

Ants are one of the more aggravating creatures to invade a RV, fortunately they are easy to get rid of. RV Travel shares this advice for us.

We woke up in our RV one fine morning with an upset cat. A large, black, moving column of ants, working its way across the RV from a crack near the entry door, across the flooring, up the wall cabinet, and into the kitchen sink. Hundreds of the little buggers, all intent on carrying away whatever it is that struck their fancy.

ANTS ARE CLEVER CREATURES – they send out scouts who scurry about the territory, looking for suitable food and water sources. If one crawls up your RV tire, water hose or power cable and eventually finds something inside your rig, he or she leaves a little smell trail of pheromones. Your proboscis won’t pick up on it, but to the ants, it’s an irresistible essence that must be followed — by hundreds of the scout’s fellows.

For whatever reason, ants won’t cross a line of bleach-containing scouring powder. Maybe it kills the pheromone trail, maybe it burns their little feet, we don’t know.

In any event, get out the Comet and shake a good border around everything of your rig that touches the ground: Tires, landing gear, stabilizers, cords, and hoses. This is better than spraying insecticide on these utilities, because the powdered cleanser will simply shake off, not stick to your hands, nor cause grief for pets and kids.

Of course, if the rains fall you may need to renew your magic circle, but while the powder’s out, the ants are gone.

This is a pretty easy fix. I wish it was this easy to repel other bugs or animals like, say, bears!

No, bears are nothing to laugh at. Now you should be equipped with some ant knowledge and some “bear” knowledge.

What more do you need? A new RV you say? We can equip you with that too!