PA Walmarts says NO to RVers

Walmart says no to RVers

Walmart says no to RVers

September 25, 2012 • Stacy Brown, The Sentinel

Known as a big-box retail store that has something for just about everyone, Walmart has also garnered a reputation for being friendly to the traveling camper.

But, RVers hoping to stay in the Carlisle Walmart parking lot on Noble Boulevard for an extended period of time can expect to be turned away. Or, ticketed and towed.

The store has installed large signs at the entrance of the lot reminding customers that overnight parking for RVs or trucks is prohibited.

Carlisle Police Lt. Michael Dzezinski said the rules have been in place for a long time.

“This parking enforcement isn’t anything new,” he said. “The property owners have asked us to enforce these parking regulations for RVs and tractor trailers for several years, and we’ve done so when time permitted or a complaint was received. As such, there are signs posted in each entrance to the lot that advise motorist of the parking restrictions.”

Further, Dzezinski said, enforcement actions typically involve tractor trailers that aren’t making deliveries to stores within the complex, as well as RVs that are attempting to occupy the parking lot overnight.

A spokesperson for the local store could not immediately be reached.

However, a message posted on the chain’s corporate website said, “While we do not offer electrical service or accommodations typically necessary for RV customers, Walmart values RV travelers and considers them among our best customers. Consequently, we do permit RV parking on our store parking lots as we are able. Permission to park is extended by individual store managers, based on availability of parking space and local laws. Please contact management in each store to ensure accommodations before parking your RV.”

One Walmart location that has a no-camping policy resulted in a $1.2 million RV being towed earlier this year at one of the stores near Chicago.

The policy has many drivers livid.

“I cannot even legally park my RV while being a paying customer at the Carlisle, Pa., Walmart store without being issued a parking citation by your police department,” out-of-town RV owner Charles Quinn said in an email to The Sentinel.

“Apparently, the overzealous property owner has asked the police department to cite all trucks and RV in this privately owned lot, even when they are paying customers,” Quinn said.

That the Carlisle Walmart prohibits the parking is a shame, said local resident David Hardy.

“I will be passing the word to all of my RVing friends to bypass Carlisle in the future. Not only will Walmart suffer from the loss of business from the RV community but other businesses in the area will be bypassed while RVs go to places that are more welcome,” Hardy said.

New Jersey resident Larry Socha parked his $1.2 million motor home at a Walmart near Chicago in June to attend his 50th high school reunion but, according to the Glen Ellyn, Ill. Daily Herald, his RV was towed away from the Walmart parking lot while he was running errands for his 90-year-old mother.

Socha had thought the RV had been stolen, but later discovered the store had the vehicle towed off the lot, the newspaper reported.

A spokesperson for the store claimed the manager knocked on the motor home’s door a few times before ordering the unit towed.

Socha also told the paper that the parking lot was listed in an online directory of free overnight parking lots. It cost him $872.50 to get his RV and its contents back.

The Walmart in Carlisle is likely responding to some property damage and other concerns, officials said.

“I can’t speak directly for the property owners, however I believe that their position is based on two primary concerns,” Dzezinski said.

“First, they have experienced damage to landscaping and other property as a result of trucks and similar vehicles trying to maneuver within the confines of the parking lot,” he said. “Second, the lot isn’t designed in such a manner as to be conducive to the travel and parking of such large vehicles.”

It should also be noted that when the shopping complex was initially proposed, the Borough had to grant a zoning variance for the amount of parking spaces within the center, Dzezinski said.

“Essentially, there wasn’t enough parking for the square footage of the complex,” he said.

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Arriving safely in the rain.

After the week we have had here in central Pennsylvania, I felt this would be a great blog posting. Eventually all of us will camp in the rain at some point of our RVing life. If you have to travel in the rain to reach your destination or on your way back home, here are some great tips to help you reach that destination safely.

The Spring and Summer seasons brings all kinds of new weather conditions, including the increased chance for rain. In order to remain safe while driving or towing your RV it is important to be aware of the necessary precautions that should be taken in the event you find yourself driving in severe weather – including rain storms.

The Weather Channel has provided drivers with the following tips to take into account when driving on wet roads and in rainy weather.

1. In order to avoid hydroplaning, you should always make sure your tires are inflated properly and that your tire tread is in good condition. Never put off replacing your tires when they need to be.

2. In order to prevent skidding on the wet pavement, you should always drive slow and carefully, especially on curves and turns. You should also steer and brake with a light touch, and be careful not to make any quick movements with your vehicle. Never slam on your brakes in rainy, slick conditions and risk locking the wheel and skidding.

3. If you do happen to begin hydroplaning, again maintain a light hand on the steering wheel and brakes and do not brake or turn suddenly. Instead ease up on the gas and slowly pump the brakes if you need to.

4. If you do happen to skid in your RV, ease off the gas, steer into the direction you want your vehicle to go, and remain calm. You should also anticipate having to turn the steering wheel over and over until the front of the vehicle is traveling in a straight line.

5. Always remember to anticipate rainy weather and hazardous driving conditions. Slow down on wet roads, avoid driving through puddles, follow the drive tracks in front of you left by another driver, and always pay attention to others around you. A defensive driver is the best type of driver.

Being prepared for driving and towing your RV safely in the rain is an important part of being an Lerch RV owner.

Triple Towing: Legal or not in your state?

tiple towing, Lerch RV, Pennsylvania RV Dealership,PA RV Sales, RV dealership

Sometimes when traveling we just need to take a bit more equipment than the average family. For example you might want to tow a boat & a camper behind your vehicle. This is known as triple towing.  It is important to know your limits when it comes to triple towing.

Triple towing is illegal in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. However the good news is that in most states it is legal to tow two trailers at the same time behind your vehicle. It is allowed in the following States:

  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maryland
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Mexico
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah

But things aren’t always just black and white so here are some exceptions to the rule. And the states listed above can change their laws at any time. States will have different variations of triple towing so it might restrict your abilities to triple tow.

Be sure to find out which states limit the total length of all 3 units to 65 feet. But in other circumstances the limit is 70 feet or 75 feet total length. Other issues you might find is that States can also limit the second trailer to recreational equipment, such as a boat, snowmobile, or ATV 4-wheelers.  Special endorsement on your driver’s license to tow any trailer over 10,000 lbs or to drive a motor-home that is over 40 feet in length is required in California.

Some good websites that contain the rules and guidelines for triple towing by State are Woodall’s Rules of the Road & Towing World. Although these websites do contain good information, it is important to know that rules and laws can change frequently and information can often times get mixed up so be sure to find out the latest rules and regulations before you plan your trip.  To do this, contact the Transportation Department or Highway Patrol in your State & the States you are traveling through.

Lastly, remember that safety is the name of the game when it comes to triple towing so be sure that you are properly following all safety measures and regulations. Triple towing requires a great deal of responsibility. This responsibility includes being able to maneuver in close spaces, using your brake with enough room to stop safely, and knowing how to back up all those units without causing a wreck. But most importantly, use common sense and watch your surrounds.

** This information came from “The Fun Times Guide” on their article called “Triple Towing: What You Need To Know Before You Pull 2 Trailers Behind A Car, Truck, or RV”.

***Lerch RV does not recommend triple towing.  And if you decide to triple tow, do so only after you know all the risks. Make sure you can see 200 feet behind the last vehicle you’re towing (towing mirrors help with this), and when you are backing up, you know how to maneuver your trailers properly. Check all State laws and guidelines when tripe towing or even thinking about triple towing. And remember it is illegal to triple tow in the state of Pennsylvania. 

****Article adapted from towing article found on Bish RV blog.

Blue-Ox Motorcycle Carrier

"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 Over-Bilt Sport-Loader provides a simple and effective method of
hauling a motorcycle while also providing the ability to tow a trailer,
camper, or travel trailer. The motorcycle will ride approximately
one inch off the bed of the pickup, providing a stable base for the ride.

To load, attach the channel extensions to the rear of the loader and
secure with the pin. Run the cradle to the base of the Sport-Loader
and roll the front tire of the motorcycle into the cradle, tighten the
bracket against the tire and strap the motorcycle to the cradle for
further stability while loading. The rear tire of the motorcycle will
track in the channel as the motorcycle is pulled into the bed of the
pickup.

motorcycle hauler, blue ox, "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"

As the motorcycle is pulled up the channel, the unit pivots on a
tube attached between the tailgate mounting posts, lowering the
motorcycle to the bed of the pickup. When the motorcycle’s tire
reaches the front of the pickup box,the motorcycle is fully loaded
and ready to be strapped in for travel.The channel extensions are
secured in the bed of the pickup when not in use.

One person loading and unloading
Stable base for cycle (approximately .1” off the bed)
Removable ramp extensions store in pickup bed
Extension available for over-height pickups (SC9010)
Optional stand for changing oil or working on your bike (SC9012)
Additional Cargo Buckle (SC9011)
Cross tube required (see Blue Ox Application Guide)
No modifications to the pickup box or wiring required.

P/N:
SC3000, 8′ Long Box
SC3001, 6′ Short Box

***Pivot Tube Sold Separately***

For more information see: Blue Ox.com

Making an old RV new again. RV Restoration.

1948 Westcraft Sequoia:the Redux

Unique Design Gets Modern Amenities

The Westcraft Manufacturing Company of Los Angeles and later Burbank, California, manufactured two different lines of trailers: Westwood and Westcraft. The earlier Westwood brand models included the Coronado, Montecito, Monterey, Tahoe and Sequoia. The Westcraft series included the Coronado, Montecito, Shasta, Sequoia and Yosemite models.

Westwoods were only built by Westcraft during the period from 1946 through 1948, and designs for each of these three model years were different and unique. The earlier Westwood series had a plain “bread loaf” appearance. The Westcraft company discontinued the Westwood models and began focusing exclusively on the “Pullman” roof Westcraft models by 1949.

westcraft travel trailer, RV, Lerch RV, camper, restored camper, RV restorationBoth types were top-quality trailers that used aircraft-construction methods with aluminum frame ribs, but they used heavier-gauge aluminum skin panels than many contemporary brands. All Westcraft models had painted exteriors, many in handsome two-tones. During the late 1940s and early ’50s, Westcraft trailers were considered to be among the highest quality trailers on the market. Thanks to their excellent construction, they rarely leaked at the outer seams, vents or windows, areas where many other trailers had problems. Unfortunately, production had stopped by 1955.

The 1948 Westcraft Sequoia featured here is owned by Justin and Anna Scribner of Bend, Oregon. Anna told us: “We found this trailer just outside of Vancouver, Washington. It was in pretty rough shape, but we instantly fell in love with it.”
To return it to its former glory, the exterior was stripped of its many coats of latex house paint, polished, etched primed and professionally painted. All windows were removed, all glass was replaced and window frames were all stripped and either polished or repainted. All window gasket and rubber was replaced. Both front, rear and all “trolley” or clerestory windows were re-screened with original-style copper screening.

westcraft travel trailer, RV, Lerch RV, camper, restored camper, RV restoration

The all wood interior turns the Westcraft Sequoia into a homey cabin on the road. Several modern amenities were added, all the while retaining the vintage look. A new awning was made, using Sunbrella fabric. All light bezels were rebuilt with new bases, but the original glass lenses were retained. Brand-new wheels were installed and painted to match with new white-wall tires. For safety, an entirely new LP-gas system was installed. The under carriage was prepped and cleaned, and rubberized under coating was applied.

The interior had to be gutted, with all existing cabinetry removed from the coach, repaired and re-skinned as needed and then refinished. Wall and ceiling panels were removed, and the trailer was reinsulated and completely rewired. The interior was then re-paneled using 1⁄8-inch birch, as would have been used in 1948. Expandable insulation was also shot into the floor, and a new sub floor was installed.

westcraft travel trailer, RV, Lerch RV, camper, restored camper, RV restorationEven the furniture stays anachronistic in the new Westcraft Sequoia.

Period-correct Marmoleum was installed with a border on each side with an inlaid Westcraft “W” at the entryway. A hidden surround-sound system was installed with a Blu-ray player and two 20-inch LCD screens, which are on motorized linear actuators that move up and down out of the cabinets. All of the appliances, including the stove, refrigerator and kerosene heater were dismantled, reconditioned and refinished to match; however the kerosene function of the heater was disabled for safety reasons.

Two forward cabinets were combined to make a bathroom, and a new toilet was installed. New stainless-steel counter-tops and a back-splash were fabricated and installed along with a new sink and faucet. An on-demand LP-gas water heater was added and vented through the roof. All new plumbing and drain lines were then installed.

Anna added, “We searched long and hard to find an original click-clack couch and finally found one in amazing original condition. All of the inserts for the trolley windows were re-manufactured on a CNC router; they are now better than the original with decorative metal trim. All cover plates, trim rings, etc. were also copied with a CNC machine and installed to match. Additional light fixtures were added in a tasteful way with several on a dimmer switch.”

westcraft travel trailer, RV, Lerch RV, camper, restored camper, RV restorationFor retro trailer campers, this is picture perfect.

Brand-new wooden blinds were installed with thick period-correct chocolate ribbons. Aluminum blinds were installed on the two doors and the original screen doors were reconstructed and refinished.

The final result is a great exciting travel trailer that looks like it did the day it rolled out of the factory, but includes some subtle creature comforts and safety features that weren’t available at the time.

Are you doing your own restoration project? Do you need RV parts?  If you do, give you central Pennsylvania RV Dealership a call at 800-722-1236.  Our RV parts and service teams will help guide you in the right direction.

Portions of this article are re-posts from Trailer Life Magazine.

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

Pennsylvania Learn to Control Your RV Trailer Brakes

New technology improves safety and reliability for braking when towing…

Electric-brake systems have been employed for several decades on most trailers that have any significant weight. Each trailer with electric brakes, in turn, also requires that the tow vehicle be fitted with a brake controller. For a number of years, brake-controller choices have been extensive — all aftermarket and all electronic — but Ford changed the game in 2005 with the first trailer-brake-control system included as an integral part of the tow vehicle’s design. The trailer-brake controller is part of Ford’s Tow-Command System. Today, GM also offers a built-in control on select vehicles. Until the advent of anti-lock brake systems (ABS), most brake controllers were tapped directly into the hydraulic lines of the tow vehicle’s on-board hydraulic-braking system. They were often described as hydraulic/electric brake controllers, as they converted hydraulic pressure in the tow vehicle’s brake system to an electric signal used to activate the trailer’s brakes directly proportional to hydraulic pressure in the vehicle’s braking system.

A significant factor in elimination of this system was the advent of ABS because vehicle manufacturers’ cautioned against tapping into the hydraulic system. The controllers displaced a small amount of brake fluid, and with ABS systems, brake-cylinder volume was more limited, so manufacturers warned not to add controllers that displaced more than 0.02 cubic inches. The tap-in could not occur downstream of the ABS mechanism, so the pressure was on to devise alternate systems. Electronics were the answer, and many different types of aftermarket brake controllers were developed — none tied in with the tow vehicle’s hydraulic system, however. Even in the old days of hydraulic/electric controllers, all were sold in the aftermarket, until Ford became the first to offer a trailer-brake activation system installed at the factory.

Timer-Based vs. Proportional

1452115_P3-Brake-Control.jpgA timer-based brake controller has a timer that generates an output signal for your RV’s brakes that increases with the amount of time you keep your foot on the brake pedal. It doesn’t know whether you’re braking gently on a gradual downhill grade, or if you’re in a panic stop. The rate of increase in output (the slope of the voltage ramp) has no bearing on pedal effort, but can usually be adjusted for braking aggressiveness.

An inertia-based proportional controller generates an output that is, as the name suggests, directly proportional to your braking needs. Most proportional brake controllers measure the tow vehicle’s rate of deceleration by means of a pendulum. The quicker you slow, the further the pendulum is displaced, via inertia, from its at-rest position. This creates an electric signal to your trailer’s brakes that is proportional to your deceleration rate. Tekonsha and its sister companies use a series of LEDs and photoelectric detectors in their proportional controllers to determine the position of the displaced pendulum, and therefore determine the deceleration rate. Hayes-Lemmerz uses the Hall effect, a well-known physics principle involving moving magnets, to determine the pendulum’s position. All pendulum controllers are subject to some inaccuracies, as the pendulum can tilt slightly forward or backward on steep grades. Most such controllers employ a damping device to stabilize the sensor against vibrations, and the damper helps reduce the effect of the fore-or-aft-tilt problem. The pendulum’s position is adjusted through the level-control knob. This allows the pendulum to be oriented to a true vertical resting position to compensate for the angle of the brake-controller body (the “leveling” referred to in some timer-based-controller advertising). The level adjustment also allows the driver to pitch the pendulum slightly forward or aft of its normal resting position to set up the trailer so its braking is aggressive or delayed.

Most drivers prefer some braking effect from the trailer’s brakes on the initial touch of the brake pedal, and adjust the brake controller accordingly to provide this so-called threshold voltage. This adjustment produces some output (typically 2 volts), without the initial time period having passed or deceleration having occurred in the two electric brake-controller types. This time period, or deceleration event, is normally needed to activate the timer-based controller or the proportional pendulum-based controller, respectively.


Which is Which?
With dozens of different models of brake controllers on the market, many RVers may find the selection of the right controller difficult without some form of guidance. While budgetary considerations may force a user into one category of controller, this is a critical system where pinching pennies may not be advisable. When faced with the need for a panic stop, most drivers want a controller that will respond in proportion to their braking needs at that moment. Keep in mind that a timer-based controller can’t respond in this manner, as its output is fixed for a certain timed duration.

I hope this helps you understand what your RV brakes are doing while you are on the road.  If you have any questions about your brake controller or would like to upgrade to a newer one, give your central Pennsylvania RV Parts and Service Center a call at 800-722-1236.  Our team will gladly help you.

Safe Travel and Happy RVing!


Portions of this blog are a re-posting of an article by By Fred Pausch from Trailer Life magazine.