Most RV enthusiasts in Texas plan to camp at least as much this summer as they did last summer, and nearly half of them plan to camp even more often, according to the latest online survey by the Texas Association of Campground Owners (TACO).
The survey, conducted from early June, found that 45.9% of RV enthusiasts planned to go camping even more often than last summer, while 39.9% planned to camp as much as they did last summer. Only 14.2% said they planned to camp less often than last summer.
“We knew the numbers would be good, but these statistics are even better than we anticipated,” said Brian Schaeffer, TACO executive director and CEO, adding that camping remains the most affordable vacation option for consumers.
Rising fuel costs and the economic downturn have had an impact on people’s travel plans, however. Nearly 55% of survey respondents said they were taking shorter trips and staying at campgrounds for longer periods of time to reduce their travel costs, while 45.2% said they hadn’t scaled back their travel plans at all.
Looking at Texas RVers in general, 53.8% said they planned to do their camping in the Lone Star State, while 35.3% planned to visit surrounding states and 10.9% planned to take cross-country trips. Parks in Texas are reporting that as much as 70% of their business is in-state campers.
In terms of equipment, nearly half of the survey respondents (45.2%) said they camp in a travel trailer or fifth-wheel, while 24.4% use a tent, 22.4% use a motorhome and 7.9% travel with a folding camping trailer. Just over 3% of survey respondents said they planned to rent an RV this summer, while 14.5% planned to rent a cabin or park model.
Most RVers also said they traveled with friends and family:
- 37.3% with their children.
- 14.2% with grandchildren.
- 12.5% with extended family.
- 14.2% with friends.
Just over one-fifth of RVers (21.8%) said they traveled only with their spouse.
The survey, conducted through www.texascampgrounds.com, generated 913 responses, Schaeffer said. TACO markets more than 400 private campgrounds and RV resorts through TexasCampgrounds.com, which shows up No. 1 in Google searches as people search for ‘campgrounds in Texas’.
For campground sources, statistics and other information about camping trends in Texas, please contact Brian Schaeffer at (817) 307-0129 or visit www.TexasCampgrounds.com.
TexasCampgrounds.com, the web portal for researching and booking reservations at private campgrounds and RV resorts, saw a 15.4% increase in unique visitors in May, setting an all-time record.
“We think the record numbers of unique visitors to TexasCampgrounds.com will translate into strong business for private campgrounds and RV parks this summer,” said Brian Schaeffer, president and CEO of the Texas Association of Campground Owners (TACO), which manages the site. TACO reported 21,781 unique visits to TexasCampgrounds.com in May, compared to 18,867 in May of 2008. The previous record of 20,945 unique visitors was set in March.
Campground owners, for their part, say their occupancies and revenue are keeping pace with or exceeding last year’s figures, including The Vineyards Campground and Cabins in Grapevine, which has seen a 10% increase in occupancy for the past eight months, according to manager Joe Moore, who added that occupancy increases took place along with a 34% increase in revenue.
“We’re literally booked,” Moore said. “The first available weekends that we have anything available are in mid-August.”
Rayford Crossing in Spring has experienced a 10% increase in occupancy during the first five months of this year along with a 13% increase in revenue, said park owner Gwen Craig. “We are getting a lot of bookings for this month, a lot of online reservations,” she said. “Our rally business is really up, even with the heat of Texas. We have as many big groups as we can handle in July and August.”
In the Hill Country, Guadalupe River RV Resort in Kerrville is seeing an uptick in business as well and expects to exceed last year’s occupancy and revenue figures, said park owner Don Temple. “I’d be terribly surprised if we weren’t as busy this summer as last year,” he said.
TexasCampgrounds.com features a searchable database of nearly 400 campgrounds and RV parks in every region of Texas, roughly half of which offer campsites and cabins that can be booked online through the same website. Most visitors to TexasCampgrounds.com also request a copy of the 2009 Texas RV Travel & Camping Guide.
For more statistics or other information involving the latest camping trends in Texas, contact Brian Schaeffer at (817) 307-0129 or visit the association’s website at www.texascampgrounds.com.
Dick Grymonprez, center, representing Athens Park Homes, a recreational park trailer manufacturer based in Athens, Texas, displays the Supplier of the Year award presented to APH at this week’s Texas Association of Campground Owners (TACO) Spring Meeting and Trade Show. He is flanked by Doug Shearer, left, TACO president, and Brian Schaeffer, TACO CEO. More than 150 people attended the event held May 17-19 at Guadalupe River RV Resort in Kerrville, Texas. The trade show featured 45 vendors. A number of informative seminars were conducted and TACO handed out several other awards. Mill Creek Ranch in Canton received the Large Park of the Year award and Website of the Year award, while Vineyards Campground in Grapewine was named Medium Park of the Year.
Ninety-two percent of RV enthusiasts camping in Texas RV parks and campgrounds say it’s cheaper to stay in a campground or RV resort than a hotel or motel, and many derive additional savings by cooking some or all of their own meals, according to the latest online survey by the Texas Association of Campground Owners (TACO).
More than half of the survey respondents said they save anywhere from $20 to $50 a night by staying in a campground or RV resort, with an additional 25.7% of respondents saying they save $50 to $100 per night. Forty-five percent of survey respondents said they save even more by eating only dinner out, while 32.3% cook all of their own meals.
“Our latest survey indicates that people are still wanting to get out and enjoy some time off, but I think they are also trying to stretch their dollar as far as they can, and the camping lifestyle is giving them the options that they’re looking for in that regard,” said Brian Schaeffer, TACO executive director.
The April survey, conducted through www.texascampgrounds.com, generated 614 responses involving the cost of RVing, percentage of meals out and fuel costs, Schaeffer said.
The survey also collected data on how RVers travel:
- 57.7% travel with a spouse or significant other.
- 35.5% travel with a spouse or significant other and their children or grandchildren.
- 3.6% travel alone.
- 3.6% travel with friends.
TACO markets more than 400 private campgrounds and RV resorts.