Gas might not be cheap, but that shouldn’t keep you off the road come vacation time.
As reported by MLive.com, that was just one of the things the Michigan Association of Recreation Vehicles and Campgrounds (MARVAC) Director Bill Sheffer had to say when we called him up, just a few days before the Perani and Event Center’s RV show kicks off. Our question: In today’s economy, with gas prices what they are, is there really any point in buying an RV.
The short version: Yes, said Sheffer.
Below is the longer version, seven reasons from Sheffer you might want to rethink that plane ticket.
1. Gas prices shouldn’t deter you.
Yes, he was being serious.
“When you start to run the numbers,” he said, it might add up driving a vehicle that only gets 10 miles to the gallon isn’t actually as expensive as it sounds when you start to add up what an alternative choice involves: plane tickets, hotel room, restaurant food, and car rentals among them.
“A family of four can go easier on their pocketbook (in an RV) rather than getting on a plane and going to a resort,” he said.
2. You can camp at your favorite resort destinations.
“There’s lots of campgrounds around Disney World. Now, it’s going to be a little bit longer … but if you’ve got the time and the option to do that with a family, it makes for a pretty special trip,” Sheffer said.
3. More people are doing it
Sheffer said RV sales have grown 16 percent over the last year.
“I’m even surprised by that,” he said.
4. RVs might be more more affordable than you think.
There will be 90 RVs at this year’s show, and you can essentially pay whatever you like. Sheffer said the prices range from about $7,000 to $90,000, adding that you can get a nice RV paying about $200 a month.
5. If you’re still worried about gas, you don’t have to drive very far.
If Disney World isn’t in the cards, or even if driving out of state isn’t an option, Sheffer said there are a lot of campgrounds throughout Michigan — even mid-Michigan — that are worth checking out.
“We don’t drive our RV to work every day so it’s not like it’s a big fuel buster because we only use these for vacations,” he said. “You can travel really quite close to home and still travel with your RV.”
6. You’re taking your home with you.
If you’re creeped out by wondering who slept on the hotel room bed last, that’s not a problem in an RV. And the sandwich you’ve been thinking about is never far away.
“When you lay your head on your pillow, it’s your pillow,” Sheffer said. “You have your own stuff, you take what you want. When you ant a snack or a sandwich you don’t have to worry about what restaurant you’re going to.”
7. Make it a group activity.
Sheffer said it’s common for families to hit the road together, often renting campground spaces next to each other.
“Being outdoors is something special,” he said. “When you can get together around a campfire, that’s special.”
And sure, he admitted, you can travel together in hotels, too. But the campground experience is different.
“When’s the last time you went to the person in the hotel room next door and said, ‘hey you want to come over for a s’more?'” Sheffer said.
The RV show takes place this year from March 14-17. Hours are weekdays from 2-9 p.m., Saturday, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. and Sunday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Go to the event website for more information.