Monday, August 13, 2007

RV Rentals Up Despite High Gas Prices

At El Monte RV, the nation's second-biggest RV rental operation, rentals are up 4 percent this summer after dipping 4 percent last year.

Going into the 2007 travel season, "we were a little worried," said Joe Laing, director of marketing at the Santa Fe Springs, Calif.-based company. "But the price of gas doesn't seem to have really affected peoples' plans."

The dollar's weakness against the euro and the British pound, which increases the buying power of travelers from countries that use those currencies, has helped.

"And the Europeans have absolutely no problem with our gas prices," he added. Gasoline prices in Germany, for instance, topped the U.S. equivalent of $7 a gallon this year.

Laing and others in the industry contend that even with high gas prices, vacationing by RV can be economical, especially for families with kids. Meals can be cooked on board, and lodging, of course, is included.

At El Monte RV, the average rental cost is $1,100 a week, though a 30-foot "slide out" motor home that sleeps eight costs about $2,100 a week. A spot at an RV campground can run $20 or $30 a night to well over $100 a night at upscale resorts, some of which have minimum RV size requirements.
Full Story...
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