As gas prices continue to eclipse former highs and crude oil costs remain volatile, consumers are beginning to grumble with a bit more conviction as the peak summer driving season approaches.
Last week, the government’s Energy Information Administration published a report indicating gas prices would hit a peak in May, rising to a national average of $2.35 a gallon.
The issue is being heavily covered by the media, of course, including “man-on-the-street” style interviews conducted while drivers listen to the mounting clicks at the gas pump.
As may be expected, RV owners were prime targets. And, as may be also expected, reactions have run the gamut.
The following are excerpted from recent press reports quoting RVers, park owners and dealers:
* Oregonlive.com, April 11: “You just go ahead and pay it,” said Joe Benson of Flagstaff, Ariz., who was pulling a 34-foot travel trailer behind a Ford turbo diesel truck with dual tanks. “There’s not much you can do about it.”
* Albany (N.Y.) Business Review, April 11: John Cetnar, who paid $150 to gas up his new motorhome, said that he’s not happy about paying $2.30 a gallon, but added that gas prices would have to increase significantly before he stopped driving his RV. “I can afford to buy the motorhome, I can afford to put gas in it,” he stated.
* Joplin (Mo.) Globe, April 11: Beverly Coke, co-owner of Cedar Oaks RV Resort, said about 50 RV owners have canceled reservations in the past six weeks. Coke said her customers tell her they’ll be skipping their RV trips this year because of gasoline prices.
* Associated Press, from a report during the March Family Motor Coach Association rally in Perry, Ga.: “The high fuel prices might cause some first-time RV buyers to hesitate, but most will end up buying anyway,” observed Joe Wright, sales manager for John Bleakley Motor Homes in Douglasville, Ga., near Atlanta. “They’re going to buy the motorhome regardless. They lead active lives.”
* WSFA, Montgomery, Ala., April 9: Ed Pavlick, who was returning with his wife to his home in Kentucky after two months in Florida, noted, “The people who are full-time, they can stay put for a while and they can save their disposable income for the gas necessary to move the next time.” He claimed that it’s people who still work and use the RV for a two-week vacation who are really hurt by pump prices.
* Sierra Star, Oakhurst, Calif., April 11: Upland, Calif., resident Jose Vazquez, 58, estimated he will spend between $600 to $800 in gas throughout California during a 10-day trip in his motorhome, which boasts a 75-gallon tank and gets roughly eight miles to the gallon. “I’m thinking about buying a bicycle,” he said, adding, “You feel like you’re being gouged, like you’re being trapped.”
* News 14, Raleigh, N.C., April 12: Full-timer George Keith offered, “You certainly don’t have to spend a lot of money. If the budget is tight, you just stay in one place, you don’t spend that $60 a day in gasoline.” He added, “You might spend anywhere from $50 to $100 a night in a hotel, and most RV parks average $25 to $30. And the longer you stay the better rates you get.”