RVers are adapting their travel habits in order to conserve fuel, according to the latest Campfire Canvass, a biannual survey of RV owners by the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA).
Responses showed that reducing the distances they travel (45%) and spending more time in one place (52%) are the top ways RV owners will adapt to higher prices at the pump.
“This latest research confirms what we found last summer – higher gas prices won’t stop RVers from traveling, but they will make adjustments,” said Richard Coon, president of RVIA. “In times of high fuel prices, RVers tend to spend more time enjoying the campground and less on the road. Whether they travel five miles or 500, their outdoor experience can be the same.”
The April survey found that two-thirds of RV owners intend to use their RV more this summer than last, and nearly a third plan to use it the same amount. A surprising 37% say fuel costs will not affect their RV travel plans.
RV owner Frank Washer of Islip, N.Y., noted: “We do so much more than just drive with our RV. Our motorhome is just that, our home. The kids sleep in their own beds, get a snack from our refrigerator and use our own bathroom, so we don’t have to stop at a rest stop that’s less than appealing. It’s also our garage, as we bring along our ATVs.”
According to research by travel and tourism research firm PKF Consulting, a family of four can spend 26% to 74% less on RV trips compared to other vacation types due to savings on air, hotels and restaurant costs. Fuel prices would need to triple from their current level to make RVing more expensive for a family of four than other forms of travel, PKF found.
Other key findings from RVIA’s Campfire Canvass:
• Almost 70% of RVers will be on the road during the summer holidays of Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day.
• Camping is the favorite activity families will enjoy during their upcoming RV trips. Taking scenic drives (72%) and hiking/walking (67%) also ranked high on the list of favorite activities of RVing families.
• 80% said RVing strengthens family bonds. Nearly 73% said that going RVing has resulted in a closer relationship with their spouse.
• More than half of all RVers said they’d enjoy outdoor activities and sports. In fact, two-thirds of the respondents said they are more physically active on RV trips than on other vacations.
• 91% of respondents said their RVs will allow them to take more weekend trips or mini-vacations this summer.