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A growing number of RVers are enlisting into the “staycationing” lifestyle as gas prices continue to rise, causing travelers to think twice about driving long distances.
According to a report by WCAX TV, Burlington, Vt., Candy Conover is representative of the trend that is keeping people closer to home. The Vermont native traditionally would haul her camper to Tennessee and Texas for getaways, but this year she’s parking her unit for the season at a local park.
“It’s just too much,” Conover said of volatile pump prices.
Conover reported that over the Memorial Day holiday, Vermont’s River Bend Campground was jam-packed with weekend guests. But Conover said that several other campers also had decided to park for the whole season.
River Bend’s Tom Crilley confirmed that this year’s clientele was definitely “more local,” adding, “We’re not seeing much out of state.”
Dealers of RVs and travel trailers say their biggest competition used to be Disney World. But now with airfare so high, more people are sticking closer to home. Pete’s RV Center in South Burlington has had two consecutive record months of sales in March and April.
“Most people have a camper payment of around $200 a month and figure that out for a whole year and campsites at $20 a night, it’s a pretty inexpensive way to go out and have fun with your family,” says Todd McGinnis of Pete’s RV.
High gas prices are also driving new patterns in the campground. Experienced campers like Conover are making meticulous lists when they have to stock up on food and materials. No more quick trips just to pick up charcoal or soda.
“I’ve only made two trips and the truck’s been loaded. I’m done for a week and a half,” says Conover.
She’s as fed up with $4 gas as anyone, but hopes her “staycation” will actually help her save money.
“I’m looking forward to a fantastic summer,” she said.