Click here to watch a video, courtesy of KIDK-TV, Idaho Falls, Idaho, about the following story.
With the weather warming up and the fishing season right around the corner, many eastern Idaho families will be hitting the roads. Many will be traveling in RVs for camping.
Since last month’s devastation in Japan and the continued uncertainty in the Middle East, gas prices have risen around the country.
Smith RV in Idaho Falls said that they still have people coming in the doors, but the current gas prices have definitely affected the recreation industry, KIDK-TV, Idaho Falls, reported.
Recreational vehicles don’t have a reputation for being good on gas, and with current gas prices nearing an all-time high, Keith Richards at Smith RV said that RV users aren’t traveling as far as they used to.
“Go up to Ririe reservoir. You know, 15 to 20 miles away, spend the weekend up there. It’s a beautiful place,” said Richards.
Staying relevant in a struggling economy, Richards said, is actually benefiting the consumer.
“They are always on the edge of technology, looking for new things, different things. How can we change it? How can we make it better?” said Richards.
According to the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA), the industry took its hardest hit in 2008 when sales declined almost 33% from the previous year. Sales rebounded in 2010 with a 46% increase from 2009.
Although sales are continuing a positive trend for 2011, current gas prices are a major concern for the industry.
Grand Teton Harley Davidson manager Ken Angell said that people are paying attention to gas prices, and it’s sending more people into their door.
“Gas is heading to $5-plus a gallon this summer. You know, a lot of people are coming into the store saying, ‘What is the mpg?’ I tell them about 50 to 60 miles per gallon,” said Angell.
Richards also said that consumers are taking gas expenses into consideration when purchasing, and RVs over the $50,000 mark are the ones selling the least.
Gas prices are up 24% from the first of the year.