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Survey Reveals RV Owners Adjusting to Higher Fuel Costs

Originally Published in MotorHome Magazine

Despite high fuel prices, 82 percent of RV owners say RV vacations cost
less than other types of vacations. This is one of the reasons why so
many RVers plan to travel this spring and summer. Most RVers are simply
adjusting to fuel costs rather than not traveling in their RVs,
according to a new study.

The latest biannual Campfire Canvass survey of RV owners,
conducted by the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA), reveals
that 76 percent of RV owners intend to use their RVs at least as much
this spring and summer as last year.

Of those who said their plans would be affected, 58 percent
said they would travel to destinations closer to home, 35 percent said
they’d travel fewer miles, and 34 percent said they’d stay longer at
one destination.

“Because there are more than 16,000 campgrounds throughout the
country, RVers have the flexibility to cut costs by staying closer to
home,” says Richard Coon, president of RVIA. “Whether they travel five
or 500 miles, they can still have a great outdoor experience.”

Surprisingly, one-third of RV owners say fuel costs won’t
affect their travel plans, according to the study. Their travel
intentions reflect research by international travel and tourism experts
PKF Consulting. They found that even as fuel prices increase, RV trips
remain the most affordable way for a family to go because of the
significant savings on hotels and restaurant costs.

Many families are taking shorter, more frequent weekend trips
in their RVs. According to the survey, nearly 75 percent plan to spend
at least five or more weekends in their RVs.

In addition to turning off home utilities to save energy when
traveling, RV owners also take additional measures to be more energy
efficient while vacationing in their RVs. For example,

  • 66 percent say they drive or tow their RV at 55 mph
  • 76 percent minimize the use of air conditioning by opening windows
  • 74 percent turn off lights in their RVs
  • 68 percent turn off water when bathing
  • 15 percent use solar panels on their RVs According to the survey, RV owners
    appreciate the recreational and health benefits associated with RV travel:
  • 86 percent say RV travel provides them with the opportunity to spend more time
    enjoying outdoor activities
  • 78 percent say RVs allow them to escape everyday stress and pressure — seven out
    of 10 RV owners say that they are more physically active on RV trips than they are at
    home and other types of vacations 

RVers enjoy an array of activities during their RV
vacations. Favorites include: camping (86 percent); sightseeing (80 percent);
hiking/walking (71 percent); biking (43 percent); grilling/cookouts (66 percent); and
visiting friends/family (65 percent).

The Internet is another boon for RVers, who can
access online maps, travel information and weather reports while on the road. According
to the survey, 56 percent of RV owners access the Internet, while 63 percent have
laptops in their RVs.

The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (rvia.org) is the
national association representing more than 500 manufacturers and component suppliers
producing approximately 98 percent of all RVs made in the United States.

For more
information about RVing: GoRVing.com 

Subscribe to Wildsam Magazine today, Camping World and Good Sam’s magazine of the open road.

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