As Fuel Prices Surge, RV Drivers Take Shorter Trips, Get Vehicles Delivered

As Fuel Prices Surge, RV Drivers Take Shorter Trips, Get Vehicles Delivered

In an effort to cut down on fuel costs, recreational vehicle renters in the U.S. are planning trips closer to home or having fuel-gulping motor homes delivered to their final destination

Americans were eager for the great outdoors and socially distant experiences at the peak of the RV craze. Some RV travelers are changing their itineraries to save money because of the high diesel and gasoline prices.

Some travelers are opting to spend their summer on the road, instead of taking long-haul trips that can take up to 150 miles.

Toby O’Rourke, chief executive of the franchise brand of campgrounds, said that they were seeing cancellation from people coming further away, but then those reservations were filling up with people who might be more in the region or local.

About 58 percent of RVshare’s renters factored fuel prices into their plans this summer, while 16 percent of travelers said increased gas prices have hindered or halted their plans, according to its travel sentiment survey.

The company is giving $500,000 worth of fuel rebates to customers to help them with their concerns about pump prices.

recreational vehicle
Javier Jerez, 56, of San Francisco, backs up his RV (recreational vehicle) during a visit with his family at Joshua Tree National Park, Calif., on Jan. 2, 2019. (Alex L. Dobuzinskis/Reuters)

More Dollars, Fewer Miles

The Smith family started living in an RV full-time during the Pandemic and planned to drive from Florida to Maine and then to California this year. The Smiths are rethinking their trip west now that gas prices are rising.

When we first conceived of it, we thought it would be about $1 for every three miles. “We envision the dollar bills flying out the window.”

Motor homes that travel under their own power are included in the RV category. Some are powered by diesel and some by gasoline.

The largest motorized RVs have a fuel tank that can hold up to 100 gallons, but there are many smaller models. An average-sized Class C motor- home tank holds about 25 gallons and would cost more than $150 to fill up with diesel today.

The total gas used in a recreational vehicle trip is less than the airline ticket. An RV trip is cheaper than a hotel vacation according to the chief brand officer for Outdoorsy.

RV renter and seller Cruise America’s global marketing executive, Randall Smalley, said that during previous fuel price booms people still rented RVs but shortened their itineraries.

Some RV vacationers are taking a break.

People are getting the RV delivered to their destination instead of driving their own, which curbs the gas price cost. RVshare communications director Maddi Bourgerie said that they are seeing a huge jump in the number of deliveries.

According to Austin, Texas-based Outdoorsy, about 28 percent of their customers requested their rental be delivered to their campsite, compared with 24 percent last summer.

RV vacations grew in popularity among younger people.

About 2.6 million more households in North America owned an RV than the year before, and the RV rental market added more than 2 million new renters, according to a report.

25% of RV owners said they would use their RV less often if gas prices continued to rise.

Not everyone is cutting back on RV vacations.

The McCune family traveled north by RV for 12 weeks from Florida to Virginia Beach, Virginia, and plan to drive for another 12 weeks to Maine.

“We already booked out our campgrounds for the summer, so we wouldn’t change our plans just because of theDiesel prices.”

Doyinsola Oladipo was the author.

Tags: , , ,