Sunday, June 24, 2007

Will gas increases put an end to RVing?

Tim and Bonnie Smith, for example, are newly retired and plan to spend between five and six months on the road every year.

Right now the Smiths are in Tok, Alaska — part of a four-month excursion. Fortunately, they have been planning and saving for this trip for three years. However, they have still had to make some cutbacks.

“Of course (gas prices) are an issue,” Bonnie Smith said. “We planned on gas being around $3 a gallon, so we will just eat more hotdogs and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.”

Some of the Smiths’ friends travel in RVs as well. The couple hasn’t noticed anyone stopping their travels because of the increase in gas prices yet. From Alaska, Bonnie Smith said, “There are so many people out here in 5th wheels, RVs, campers, lance campers, and cars packed to the hill.”

RV rentals also don’t look like they are slowing down. Doyle said, “If people have the money, they’ll take the trip.”

All Season RV, a small business, has not been affected by the gas prices. Rental prices also have not increased, because the renters also pay for their own gas.

Overall, it doesn’t look like people are going to completely stop enjoying their summer fun even with the high gas prices; they will just be more cautious. The Smiths don’t plan on putting their travel schedule aside any time soon.

Tim Smith said even if gas prices continue to rise, “We would still drive the RV, but we would drive less and stay in one place longer versus moving around so much. I guess we better hurry and cover the country as best we can. This country is beautiful and the best way to see it is on the road.”
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