Wednesday, November 26, 2008

RV and Camping Life in Texas

The recent roller coaster ride in fuel costs has failed to deter recreational vehicle enthusiasts from enjoying private campgrounds and RV resorts in Texas, according to a recent online survey by the Texas Association of Campground Owners (TACO).

The survey, conducted in October, found that 82 percent of RV enthusiasts planned to use their RVs this fall at least as much as they did last year at this time.

“Winter reservations for campgrounds and RV resorts in Texas are as strong as they’ve ever been,” said Brian Schaeffer, TACO’s executive director.

Some parks are already booked up for the winter. “We stopped taking reservations two months ago,” said Mac McLaughlin, co-owner of the 129-site Hatch RV Park in Corpus Christi, adding that his park continues to see large numbers of Canadians. “We had four times as many Canadians last year as the year before,” he said.

McLaughlin said about 20 percent of his winter visitors arrive just after Thanksgiving, although he’s already had “about eight or nine” show up at his park unexpectedly. He said the remaining 80 percent of his winter visitors will arrive at his park just after Christmas. “A lot of Winter Texans like to spend Christmas at home,” he said.

Not every park is seeing strong business, however. Doug Shearer, owner of the 95-site Parkview Riverside RV Park in Rio Frio, said his winter bookings are down slightly from last year. “We were off in October and our advance reservations for November and December are down. But you can’t go by that. I had a surprise guest show up today without a reservation and he wants to spend the winter here.” Shearer added that his winter business has generally increased 10 or 20 percent each year since he opened the park in March of 2001.
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