Thursday, June 19, 2008

Fuel prices put a hitch in get-along for RVers

Carol and Stanley Patrick still flip down the entry steps of their travel trailer, roll out the artificial grass carpet and plop down for a long weekend of friends, fishing and fun. But with gas prices sweeping to record highs, they hitch their 26-foot Keystone Springdale to their pickup about half as often as usual.

"We'll still try and steal away; we'll just have to save a little more to do it," says Carol Patrick, 55, as the Visalia couple set up camp last week at a KOA campground in West Sacramento.

Even though sales of RVs are dropping, people are still RVing.

"Rentals are up 20 percent and campground bookings are up 5 to 15 percent, depending on the region," says Kevin Broom, spokesman for the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association. "RVing is still the most cost- effective way for a family to take a vacation.

"For a typical RV vacation, fuel prices would have to more than double what they are now for RVing to lose its cost advantage."

The California State Parks system has not seen a drop in reservations, and is actually breaking records, with campers often trying to get reservations six months in advance, says spokesman Roy Stearns.

Nationally, camping and RV bookings are the same as last year or even slightly ahead, says Linda Profaizer, president of the National Association of RV Parks & Campgrounds.

Where the RV industry is struggling is in sales, which are down 5 percent to 8 percent in California, according to Skip Daum, executive director of the California RV Dealer Association; and 14 percent nationally.
Full Story...
RV Living in the 21st Century: The Essential Reference Guide for ALL RVers For anyone considering or experiencing the RV lifestyle, this book is a wide-ranging tour of things you need to know. Peggi McDonald, a Canadian with extensive (20 years on the road) RV knowledge; been there, done that. She shares the kind of information and advice that enable people to build their competence and confidence as part-time or full-time RVers.

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