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Is the general interest news media hurting RV sales by placing too much emphasis on the impact of gasoline prices?

A case in point was an article appearing Tuesday (May 8) in the Chicago Tribune with the headline: Rough road for RV sector.

Certainly, the last several months have been difficult for RV manufacturers and many dealers as consumer confidence eroded and dealers lowered their inventory levels. But how much of a factor is the price of gas?

The Chicago Tribune article begins with the suggestion that gas prices are a big factor, although sources are quoted later in the piece saying that concerns about the overall condition of the economy have a much bigger impact on RV sales.

The Chicago area currently has the highest gas prices in the nation and the millions of Chicago area motorists who drive a car to work everyday certainly notice the difference.

But RVs are not driven or towed everyday. They are used by people who are on vacation. “You have to pay to play,” was the answer given by many attendees at last winter’s Florida RV Supershow when asked about the impact of fuel prices on their RV buying decisions.

This is not to suggest that the general interest news media has ill will towards the RV industry. But reports over-emphasizing the connection between gas prices and RV sales will make it more difficult for dealers to close sales in some cases.