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Survey Indicates RVers Will Travel More This Summer

Originally Published in Trailer Life Magazine

RV owners report they will travel more this summer than last, despite a cooler economy and
uncertainties about fuel prices. RVers surveyed for the Recreation Vehicle Industry
Association’s (RVIA) biannual “Campfire Canvass” anticipate traveling with their
motorhomes, travel trailers, truck campers and folding camping trailers an average of 46
days this summer — 10 days more than last year. They plan to log an average of 2,965 miles
each — 200 more than last summer. In all, over half (59 percent) expect to travel more
than last summer and nearly a third (29 percent) the same amount. Only 2.5 percent expect
to travel less in their RVs. Of those, only 2 percent cite concerns about the economy and 5
percent point to high gas prices. A majority of RV travelers will be on the roads during
each of the long holiday weekends. More than seven in ten will hit the roads for each of
the major summer holidays, including Fourth of July (71 percent) and Labor Day (74
percent). “RVers recognize they have discovered a highly comfortable, convenient way to
explore the country at their own pace, without the usual hassles summer travelers face,
such as overbooked flights, inflexible schedules and endless check-in lines,” said RVIA
President David J. Humphreys. “RV travel is highly affordable too. Even after factoring in
the cost of the vehicle, RV vacations cost significantly less than trips involving hotels,
restaurants and rental cars.” The most popular summer RV destinations will be state parks
and forests (74 percent), with roughly half of RVers planning to go to the mountains, RV
resorts, beaches, national parks and historical sites. More than seven in ten, or 73
percent, of RV owners will travel to such destinations with their children or
grandchildren, up from 60 percent last year. As the peak travel months approach, the RV
campground industry is gearing up for brisk business. “Summer 2001 certainly seems to be
lining up as a strong camping season, with advance bookings for RV parks very strong,” said
David Gorin, president of the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds.
“Affordability of family vacations is once again at the top of people’s minds. RV parks
offer the amenities of a resort at a far lower cost.” RV owners will be joined on the roads
this summer by growing ranks of RV renters, according to the Recreation Vehicle Rental
Association, a subsidiary of the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA). “RV rental
companies report that more and more consumers are interested in rentals, and all
indications are this trend will continue in 2001,” said RVDA President Mike Molino. The
largest RV rental agency, Cruise America, echoed that optimism, anticipating a very busy
year. “We are confident of strong growth in our domestic rental market, and are expanding
our outlets to accommodate it,” said Bob Caldarone, Cruise America’s director of marketing.

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