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New Research Shows RVers Save on Vacations

A new study shows that RV vacations cost substantially less than other forms of vacation travel, even when factoring in fuel prices and the cost of RV ownership. For a four-person travel party, the study found savings of 27-62%; a two-person travel party saved 15-48%.

The research was conducted by PKF Consulting USA, and com­missioned by RVIA. It updates previous vacation cost comparison studies done by PKF.

The PKF study provides a vacation cost analysis using two sets of hypothetical travel parties: a 4-person travel party of two adults and two children, and a 2-person travel party of two adults.

PKF analyzed major costs these hypothetical travelers would incur taking nine different types of vacations to nine popular vacation destinations. For each destination, researchers analyzed vacations last 3, 7 and 14 days.

The study compared different methods of travel, including a folding camping trailer, a lightweight travel trailer, a compact motorhome, a type C motorhome, and a type A motorhome. The type A motorhome was used for comparison vs. first-class travel options such as flying first class, renting a premium car, staying in upscale hotels/resorts, and eating meals in restaurants.

RV travel emerged as having a clear economic advantage over other forms of travel, regardless of the RV type. Below is what a four-person travel party could expect to save:

• Folding camping trailer – 47-62%

• Lightweight travel trailer – 34-53%

• Compact motorhome – 27-48%

• Type C motorhome – 28-48%

• Type A motorhome – 38%

A two-person travel party also saved, according to the analysis:

• Folding camping trailer – 38-48%

• Lightweight travel trailer – 23-36%

• Compact motorhome – 19-32%

• Type C motorhome – 15-28%

• Type A motorhome – 14%

As part of its analysis, PKF considered how fluctuating fuel prices might affect vacation costs. Their findings showed that fuel prices would have to reach more than $12 per gallon for a four-person travel party before RVing would begin to lose its economic advantage over other forms of travel. For a two-person travel party, fuel would have to reach $6 per gallon. 


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