RVIA Survey: RVers Hike 2011 Travel Plans
More than half of RV owners plan to use their RVs more often this spring/summer than they did last year by enjoying frequent weekend vacations and staying closer to home, according to a new survey by Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA).
The latest Campfire Canvass survey of RV owners reveals that 53% intend to use their RV more this spring/summer despite higher fuel prices, while 38% plan to use theirs the same amount and just 9% say they’ll use their RVs less.
Of the respondents who plan to use their RVs more often, 65% said one of the reasons is to take more mini-vacations.
“RV owners love the RV lifestyle and when gas prices rise, they don’t stop RVing,” says RVIA President Richard Coon. “With more than 16,000 campgrounds throughout the country, RVers adapt by traveling closer to home and staying longer in one place. Whether they travel five or 500 miles, they can still have a great outdoor experience.”
Joe Halat is one RV owner who isn’t letting higher gas prices stop him from enjoying the RV lifestyle. “Gas prices are high, but not high enough to spoil our fun,” says Halat, a 62-year-old native of Rochester, N.Y., who owns a 38-foot motorhome. “Prices may keep my wife and me from traveling far distances, but we’ll continue to RV. It’s the only way to travel.”
Like Halat, RV owners remain passionate about the RV lifestyle despite higher fuel prices, while at the same time they’re concerned about fuel costs. According to the study, 68% said they expect fuel prices to affect their spring/summer travel plans. Of those respondents, 61% said they’ll travel closer to home, 42% will travel fewer miles and 37% will stay longer in one place.
Surprisingly, 32% said they wouldn’t be affected by higher prices. As gas prices increase, RV owners cite the affordability and value of RV travel as a major benefit to owning an RV.
“We may spend a little more on gas, but the amount we save in hotel and food costs more than makes up for it,” says David Fuller, a 57-year-old commercial filmmaker from Gorham, Maine, who’s planning to make an RV trip to Washington, D.C. this summer with his wife in their travel trailer.
Frances Stuart, a 56-year-old engineering consultant, and her husband John, 57, a vice president of technology for an engineering company in Albuquerque, N.M., are also among those not allowing gas prices to impact their travel plans.
“We bought an RV to use it and we are,” says Ms. Stuart. “We have a trip to Monument Valley, Utah, coming up in May. We’ve already spent a weekend at NASCAR in Phoenix and we’re planning to return there for another race in November.”
RV family vacations are, on average, 27 to 61% less expensive than other types of vacations, according to a study by international travel and tourism experts Collier’s PKF Consulting USA.
According to the survey, many families plan to take shorter but more frequent trips in their RVs. Sixty-three percent plan to spend at least five or more weekends in their RVs.
Nineteen percent said they plan to reserve a seasonal site at a campground this summer, and visit it on weekends.
RV owners appreciate the health benefits associated with RVing. According to the study, 77% say they’re more physically active on RV trips than they are at home and on other types of vacations.