Friday, October 22, 2004

Temperatures fall but RV travel stays hot

A new Rv Industry Association survey shows recreation vehicle travel will be strong this autumn and winter. Americans plan to turn on the heat in their RVs and hit the road to pursue a variety of outdoor passions like camping, viewing fall foliage, tailgating and even skiing.

The latest “Campfire Canvass” biannual survey of RV owners reveals that 95 percent of RV owners expect to travel more (56%) or about the same (39%) this season as they did a year ago.

RVers anticipate traveling an average of 29 days this fall/winter... three more than they did last year during this period... despite the rise in gas prices since then. They also plan to log approximately 1,700 miles—almost 70 more than they did last fall/winter—including 6 weekends.

Survey respondents cited desires to enjoy nature (62%), take more mini-vacations (58%) travel at their own pace (51%), escape stress (45%) and spend time with family (34%) as key reasons for increasing their travel plans this fall/winter.

Reflecting Americans’ increased preference for shorter, more frequent getaways, 9 out of 10 respondents believe owning an RV allows them to take more mini-vacations. For example, RV owner Timothy DeJoy of Warners, N.Y., explains, “After work on Friday we hook up the RV and we’re rolling down the road for the weekend.”

Similarly, RVer Charles Elkins of Mary Esther, Fla. agrees: “We can go on the spur-of-the-moment and not have to worry about reservations or keeping a schedule.

The overwhelming favorite activity of RVers is camping, which was cited by 8 out of 10 survey respondents. Fishing (49%), hiking (42%), attending craft and harvest festivals (42%), shopping (40%) and viewing foliage (36%) were also mentioned as top activities enjoyed by RVers.

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