RV Hall of Fame reaches fundraising goal!

The RV/MH Hall of Fame

Hall of Fame reaches fundraising goal at last-minute…

ELKHART — The leadership at the RV/MH Hall of Fame is ready to reach for the lighter.

In the final day of the “burn the bank-note” push to raise $150,000 by April 30, the hall was still $20,000 shy of what it needed to get a $50,000 matching grant from the Ingram family.

With 12 hours left to go, one unidentified donor stepped forward with $5,000, and another came up with a donation of $15,000, according to Darryl Searer, president of the hall.

”On behalf of the hall’s board of directors, I would like to thank all of those who contributed and helped us achieve this success. I continue to be amazed by the generosity of those who believe in the hall’s mission and continue to open their hearts and pocketbooks. We cannot thank them enough,” Searer said in the written announcement of the successful fundraiser.

At the top of the list of generous donors is the family of Robert “Boots” Ingram, who have postponed some debts and offered matching grants to retire other debts, bringing the hall back from the brink of financial ruin and shutdown a little more than two years ago.

Between the $150,000 in matching grants from the Ingram family and the money donated by others, the hall will be ready to burn the note for their loan from 1st Source Bank, a loan that stood at $840,000 in early 2012.

The city of Elkhart forgave roughly $115,000 in fees owed by the hall, which also helped reduce the stress on the museum, hall of fame and events center near C.R. 17 and the Indiana Toll Road.

Wednesday morning, May 1, Searer said, “I spoke with Tony Ingram last night with the good news and was assured that the $50,000 check is in the mail and we’ll be able to pay off the bank loan soon. As soon as the Ingrams’ check arrives, the bank loan will be retired with a blazing ‘burn the bank-note’ ceremony.”

Congratulations to the RV / Motor Home Hall of Fame….

Article from The Elkhart Truth (elkharttruth.com)

Boomers rolling into Retirement in RVs

Baby Boomers love RVing!

Baby boomers have long been recognized as a generation on the move and many of them have plans to pick up the pace even more in retirement.

They’re flying overseas for exotic African safaris, European river cruises and walks atop the Great Wall of China.

But they’re also staying closer to home, getting an up-close-and-personal view of the nation they grew up in, perhaps along two-lane roads, stopping for the night at some secluded campground. For those trips, many will use recreational vehicles.

RV sales have spiked in recent years due to several factors, including an improving economy and more boomers retiring.

“RV sales will benefit as aging baby boomers continue to enter the age range in which RV ownership is highest,” noted the authors of a 2012 report from the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association.

Boomers are drawn to RVs because they have, in general, always been drawn to travel.

Baby boomers, in fact, are America’s most traveled generation, even to this day, according to the AARP Public Policy Institute.

“When they were younger, baby boomers traveled more than older people, and now that they are older, they travel more than younger people,” according to a recent report from the institute.

The increase in interest by baby boomers has certainly been good news for RV dealers and manufacturers, but destinations, too, are adjusting to the influx of boomers.

RV travel is still camping, but many baby boomers are now accustomed to traveling in style so campgrounds are modifying their offerings as a result.

Many RV resorts have in recent years added wellness centers and exercise classes — two trends that have long been popular with baby boomers. Others offer concierge service, elegant dining halls and lighted tennis courts.

Some resorts have added live shows and musical acts to draw in boomers.

The Rocky Fork Ranch Resort in Eastern Ohio offers an indoor pool, fitness center and sauna.

Baby boomers also enjoy their technology so many campgrounds now offer cable TV and free Wi-Fi. It’s not exactly roughing it, but it’s certainly something many boomers don’t want to surrender while away from home.

“The baby boomers have arrived … and RV parks and resorts are responding by providing a greater variety of activities and entertainment,” Paul Bambei, president and CEO of the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds recently told RV Business magazine.

The RVs themselves these days also allow for luxurious travel. The big ones can be 40 feet long and cost $200,000 or more.

Some have maple cabinetry, satellite-fed LCD TVs, washer and dryers and even fireplaces. All in all, “camping” isn’t what it used to be and boomers are enjoying the change.

information written by RICK ADAMCZAK, The Daily Reporter

RV Lifestyle: Tips for beginners and vets

There’s never been a better time to take up the RV lifestyle.

Whether you’re a weekend wanderer, a snow bird or an RV full-timer, there’s an RV to suit any travel budget and taste.

With baby boomers reaching retirement age, more and more people are taking to the road with their motor homes, RVs or travel trailers. The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association recently reported that nearly 8 million American households have an RV, motor home or travel trailer and that there are as many as 30 million RV enthusiasts in the U.S.

Seeing the country in an RV offers many benefits for travelers seeking an affordable and exciting way to spend quality family time. According to one study, a family of four can save up to 74% traveling by RV over more conventional travel. And with more than 16,000 public and privately owned campgrounds in the US, there’s a site to fulfill everyone’s vacation fantasy, whether it’s an oceanfront view, hiking trails, casino gambling or tennis.

6 Tips for Successful RV Travel
RV travel is easy to learn, and once you’ve got the hang of it there’ll be no going back! Here are six helpful tips that will come in handy for both beginning and seasoned RV enthusiasts:

    1. Map Your RV Travel Destinations
      A large part of the RV appeal is the exhilarating freedom of the open road — to go wherever you want, whenever you want. But it helps to have a solid travel plan in place. If you know where you’re heading, you can determine the route that will offer the most interesting sights.Look in RV and other travel guides, contact tourism boards in states you’ll be passing through, and search the Internet.Make sure to bring the correct road maps, and a GPS system is a good idea as well, especially if you’re new to RV travel.

      Carefully designing the route you’ll be taking will make it easier to do spur-of-the moment things like checking out that oddball museum you just spotted on a roadside billboard!

    2. Have A Checklist? Just Checking
      During your pre-trip prep, in addition to working out what needs to be in the RV, put together a thorough checklist of things to do when setting up at an RV campground.There are the basics:

      • Locate all campground connections
      • Make sure your RV is level
      • Properly hook up your water, gas and electric systems

      Don’t forget comfort concerns, like making sure you packed your favorite CDs and DVDs, and those new lawn chairs.

      Equally important, you should have a second checklist of things that have to be done to break camp and set up your RV for departure (Quick hint: when you think the job is done and everything is ready, check again).

    3. Be Prepared with a “Just-For-The-RV” First-Aid Kit
      Always make sure you have a fully stocked RV first-aid kit, and keep it in an outside storage compartment.Your RV first-aid kit should include basic medical supplies:

      • Bandages
      • Ointment
      • Over-the-counter pain reliever
      • Insect repellant
      • Scissors
      • An emergency supply of must-have medications

      Plus the following extras for your RV:

      • Flashlight and extra batteries
      • Paper and pens
      • A disposable camera in case you have to take photos of an accident site.
      • Cell phone and charger

      If you don’t feel up to the task of putting together an RV first-aid kit yourself, an extensive range of ready-made first-aid kits is available for purchase.

      Don’t forget to include a list of important contact information, including family members, doctors, insurance agents, etc. [Editor’s note: Leave a copy of your itinerary and your contact information with a family member or friend, in case you need to be located in an emergency.]

       

    4. RV Camping with Kids and Pets
      If your RV travel includes children, make sure to set aside time during the day for outdoor activities, as even the roomiest RV can be confining for kids.And give each child his or her own space in the RV (no matter how small) for toys, games and personal stuff.RV travel is a unique opportunity for your children to see new and different places and faces. There are often plenty of other kids at campgrounds – but be sure to walk around a new campground with your children when you first get settled there. They need to know how to find your campsite and navigate the RV grounds. If you plan to bring the family pet, check beforehand to confirm that pets are allowed at the RV campground.
  1. A Little Help From Your Friends
    When in doubt, ask your fellow RVer. However well-traveled you might be, odds are there is someone you’ll meet along the way who has been somewhere you haven’t, solved a problem you haven’t yet encountered, or spotted an out-of-the-way delight you’ve never heard of.No matter how much research you’ve done, there’s bound to be an RV campsite you haven’t read about, a storage system that has escaped your notice, or a funny anecdote that you’ll laugh about for years to come.The new folks you meet may or may not become close friends for life, but they are an important part of your RV journey.
article written by John Noble from about.com

Fall into Pennsylvania camping

Autumn camping, is camping at the best time of year.

Autumn camping, is camping at the best time of year.

With the arrival of autumn, comes fall foliage and football. Cooler weather and shorter days are on their way, but that doesn’t mean that your camping and RVing fun has to end. Fall is a great time plan a camping trip to destination hot spots that may have been too busy during the summer. In the fall campgrounds and parks are less congested and rates are usually reduced. Many campgrounds offer kids of all ages fun, autumn inspired activities.

Consider a fall color tour while camping — from mid-September to late October the autumn foliage colors can be spectacular. To help you plan your fall color drive or nature hike near your destination, check online for tour dates and maps that list the best locations to view the changing fall colors.

Fall is the perfect time to visit orchards, farms and  markets throughout the country. Cider mills and apple orchards are usually busiest during the fall months, offering fresh apples, cider and doughnuts. Check for farms near your campground that offer corn mazes, wagon rides and pumpkin picking during the fall months. Or find an enjoyable scenic railroad that offers a nice leisure fall inspired scenic trip.

With autumn’s arrival comes the tailgating season. Besides the excitement watching your favorite college or NFL team play, the tailgating tradition allows you to enjoy some leisure time with family, friends or complete strangers, before you enter the stadium. Tailgating in an RV is an experience that just may spoil you and your guests for life.

Besides having a roof over your head in case of bad weather while tailgating, most RVs have a bathroom allowing you to skip the porta potty lines and a refrigerator to keep your food and beverages cold. After the game, forget about sitting in traffic, fire up the grill for some hot dogs or hamburgers, watch game highlights on your TV or play some games until it’s time to leave.

Sooner or later, the cold weather will approach and many of us will be winterizing our RVs. So get out there and enjoy the fall camping season before it is too late.

Safe Travels and Happy RVing!

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”…

A safe place to stay the night in your RV.

When traveling across the country with your RV, you probably shouldn’t expect to make the entire trip in one sitting.  Since you are already traveling in your sleeping space, you aren’t going to want to spend any money you don’t have to on a motel room.  The good news is that there are places all over the country that allow RVers to overnight for little or no money, granted they follow certain rules.  Here are some of the best places to overnight safely and cheaply.

Safe and Secure. Wally-docking is a way of life. Walmart Camping.

One of the better known places to stop by for a few hours of rest are Wal-Mart parking lots, Wally Docking is a way of life for certain RVers.  If you are driving through the night then you may see a few rigs parked in the back of the lot. Of course, if you don’t see any RVs in the lot, be sure to ask permission to park there for the night.  If they allow it (which most of them do) then be sure to park in the back, or away from the premium parking spaces. You should only stay for one night, and leave the lot before the store gets too busy.  While staying there, do not extend your awning, take out chairs, or grills. You are not tail gating, you are just getting a quiet, safe night of sleep.

Walmart camping. Safe and secure camping.

If you are near a Camping World store, then you may be allowed to park there as well. They allow people who are scheduled to be there the next morning to stay over night, but if they have vacant spots they will usually allow drive ups to park for the evening. Like Wal-Mart. be sure to keep your area spotless and leave before the store opens in the morning. Other places that offer a place to rest are truck stops. Many truck stops offer special spaces for RVs to park. If they do not have these spots, then be sure to stay out-of-the-way of truck traffic. You can also check casinos and state attractions if they are nearby.

And if you are traveling through the heart of Pennsylvania, you can even spend the night right here at Lerch RV.  We only ask that you inquire with us before you park for the night.

Safe Travels and Happy RVing!

Take a Camera Safari on your next RV trip…

stickman with camera at lerch rv

Passing the time while on the road can become hard after eight hours of driving across the country.  While you probably have plenty of plans to make your next trip fun and activity filled once you reach your destination, you may not know how to keep yourself and everyone on board stimulated until you get there.  Well there is a new craze that many RVers and road trippers are doing to help those miles go by a bit more quickly.  It’s called Digital Camera Safari, and it is sure to keep your eyes searching for the next great snap shot to add to your collection.

The idea is simple enough, find some of the most unusual and funny sights, people, animals, and places along your route and take a picture of it.  At the end of the trip, compare your photos with the rest of your passengers and see who got some of the best shots while on the road. They can be funny, beautiful, or just plain odd, but a Camera Safari will not only help you pass the time, but it will also help create great memories of time on the road that you can save and share with everyone who asks what you saw when you went on your last RV adventure.

rv dinner, family enjoying rving

So what are some of the things that would make great Safari catches?  It can be anything from a beautiful sunset, animals wearing costumes, tourist oddities (such as the largest ball of string in the world), or excessive lawn decorations.  Anything that you think will only be seen once while traveling across the country.  At the end of your trip, you can share the photos with your other passengers and award the person who got the funniest, most beautiful, or most odd picture during the trip.

Finding new and inventive ways to keep your family engaged while traveling can get tough, but this is a way to get everyone talking with their eyes peeled for the next great picture.  If you’re looking for a new RV, then be sure to come into Lerch RV.  We will gladly help you find the one that will suit your families needs, no matter what they are.