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Survey Shows RV Owners Are Adjusting to Higher Fuel Costs

Primary Contact:
Kevin Broom
703-620-6003, ext. 304
  Secondary Contact:
Fran Connors
Barton Gilanelli & Associates

RESTON, Va., May 13, 2008 – 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’d 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.

John Bargo, a computer operator from Milwaukee, Wis., says that the price of fuel isn’t going to stop him and his wife, Nora, from traveling this spring and summer, including spending two weeks in Gettysburg, Pa. “Most of our trips will be closer to home, and on our one long trip to Gettysburg, we’ll spend more time at that location and not move around as much,” says Bargo.

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,

According to the survey, RV owners appreciate the recreational and health benefits associated with RV travel:

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.

Visit GoRVing.com for more information about RVing, or to get a free DVD about how to get started RVing.

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