Gas prices exceeding the $2-per-gallon mark may be having a small impact on recreational vehicle traffic in Alabama, but RVers say their pain at the pump won’t keep them off the road, according to the Montgomery Advertiser.
The expense for RV families has grown dramatically. The average price of gas in the Southeast is $2.21 per gallon. The average recreational vehicle holds 75 to 110 gallons of gas and gets five to 10 miles per gallon, which means that a full tank of gas can cost as much as $243.
Thomas Dunlap, chief accountant for Alabama State Parks, said the number of state park campers is down, but that number is skewed somewhat by Hurricane Ivan’s impact on Gulf State Park. The state’s second largest park is at just 20% capacity.
Dunlap pulls a camper behind his truck and recently made a trip to the coast.
Although he said high gas prices will have an impact on RV campers, it’s not going to keep them off the road.
“If you want to go camping, you’re going to go camping,” he said. “The high gas prices may mean you go out to eat one less time on the trip. You may cut your shopping short or going out to eat short.”
The trip cost him $130 in gas, which he admitted was kind of steep. “But a hotel room would have cost me that much,” he said.
Dunlap said that as far as state parks within two hours of the Montgomery area are concerned, Oak Mountain State Park has seen a slight increase in RV users, while Wind Creek State Park on Lake Martin is down. Lakepoint Resort State Park is holding steady with last year’s numbers.
Fort Toulouse Park Manager Jim Parker said it’s too soon to be able to tell if gas is having a negative effect on RV travel or if recent rainy weather has been the deterrent.”
When gas prices go up, one of the first things you start seeing is less travel,” he said. “In the past when we’ve had high gas prices, we would pick up on local folks that would still want to camp but not necessarily want to go the distance.”