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RVers Will Be On The Road This Fall and Winter To Enjoy Savings and the Great Outdoors

A new survey of RV owners indicates that they have strong travel plans this fall/winter and expect to save significantly, despite the soft U.S. economy and fluctuating fuel prices.

According to the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association’s biannual Campfire Canvass, 34 percent of RV owners plan to travel more this fall and winter than last year, 43 percent plan to travel the same amount and just 11 percent plan to travel less.

“My wife and I are planning a fall trip in our motorhome to Virginia and New Jersey to visit relatives,” says George Dougherty of Ankeny, Iowa and a former chief technology officer at Faith Baptist College. “Since 2006, when we bought our first RV, we’ve traveled over 22,000 miles.

“We’re having a great time seeing America and we enjoy the RV lifestyle. We just got back from a two-week trip that took us through six states, including South Dakota, Wyoming, Nebraska and Kansas. During the winter months, we’ll head south to get away from the snow in Iowa.” 

Like the Doughertys, many families are buying RVs to see America. According to the survey, 71 percent ranked “seeing America” as the most important reason for buying an RV in the last two years. 

Along with seeing America, another primary reason why millions of owners will be traveling and enjoying the RV lifestyle this fall/winter is because they appreciate the value that RV travel delivers. Nearly 90 percent said that RVing is an affordable way to travel.

Almost 65 percent of the respondents said that they save at least 25 percent when traveling in their RV compared to other types of travel, while 27 percent save 35-50 percent. This reflects a new study by PKF, an international travel and tourism consulting company, which found that RVing is 23-to-59 percent less expensive than other types of vacations for a family of four. 

In addition to saving on rising hotel costs and airfares, RV owners also avoid the expense of eating in restaurants.  The study found that 49 percent of RV owners said that they eat at least two meals a day onboard their RVs, while 44 percent said three meals.

Despite these uncertain economic times, 45 percent of RV owners said that they’re considering another RV purchase within the next two years, with 79 percent of those respondents citing the availability of “great deals” in today’s RV market. More than 60 percent will attend RV retail shows this fall and winter.

Owners surveyed will use their RVs in a variety of ways during the fall/winter travel season.

69 percent of the respondents said that they plan to sightsee
64 percent visit state parks and 55 percent national parks
46 percent attend festivals and fairs
39 percent take part in foliage tours

The survey also reveals that owners are physically active on their RV trips. For example, 41 percent said that they enjoy hiking, 38 percent fishing, 23 percent biking and 12 percent canoeing and kayaking. 
Results also show that holiday travel remains popular with RV owners. Among the respondents, 42 percent said they plan to travel in their RVs over the Thanksgiving weekend and 21 percent over the Christmas/Hanukkah season.

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