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Old 04-28-2008, 07:31 AM   #29
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'Been following this thread with interest.

One burning question is un-addressed an un-answered. Many people are screaming for us to tap into wilderness areas for 'our own' cheap oil. Oil is an international commodity, and the price is 'set' every day based on the traders biddings for future contracts.

If you had your own oil well that was strictly for your own use, you would have all of the oil that you wanted for what ever the cost was to extract and refine it.

If you are selling it, would you sell it for less than the current world asking price? I think not!

Being a goldsmith for 30 years, I am intimately familiar with the commodity pricing of precious metals. Using the example above, if you owned your own gold mine and it cost you $250/ounce to extract and process your gold, would you then sell it for a small profit when you know that you can easily get the current world market price of $900/ounce for it? I THINK NOT!

This is by no means a defense of the big oil companies ( I despise them as much as the next guy), but they are no more willing to sell you their 'cheap oil' when the world price is $120/barrel than you would be in the same stuation. Big oil companies are in this game for one reason and one reason ONLY...............TO MAKE $$$$$$$$$$$$$

I don't have any answers to this situation, other than aggresively pursuing alternative energy sources like wind, solar and bio fuels that are NOT food based like corn/ethanol. If this foolish path is continued, we will be choosing between eating and transportation in 20 years. Cellulose based ethanol (look at Brazil) and bio-diesel are attractive alternatives.

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Old 04-28-2008, 07:42 AM   #30
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has there been any talk of reducing the federal taxes on gas? is it a flat rate per gallon or a percentage?

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Old 04-28-2008, 08:47 AM   #31
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Beginning of the end ??? sure NO

Originally Posted by Jimarq
Let me start off by saying that I'm generally a very optimistic person and hope to avoid being labeled Mrs. Gloom and Doom BUT

how bad does it have to get before the fuel prices start preventing people from getting out and camping and damaging if not ruining the RV business?

We are in that stage of our lives - one retired, the second close behind - where we are beginning to think about doing some serious camping and traveling. We have owned 3 Airstreams and are seriously looking a 4th newer, more expensive, "forever" Airstream. We are not rich by any means and are having second thoughts of spending that money on the trailer if we're not going to be able to enjoy it anywhere but in our driveway.

I realize it's going to be everyone's own decision as to how much they are willing and can afford to spend for say a long weekend at the lake but could there come a time that your favorite RV park at the lake is going to be closed down due to lack of business? Will RV supply companies and manufactures close down for the same reason? Is this a domino effect and the price at the pump is going to trickle (flood) down and hurt not just campers but business owners and manufacturers - thousands, maybe millions of people?

And my second question, is there a legitimate solution being developed? Is the solution already out there and for some reason (ie, government intervention) being kept from the us, the consumers?

These are questions Jimmy and I discussed yesterday after having to pull out that credit card and fill up twice for a relatively short trip (without the trailer). Please give us some reasons to be hopeful that our years of dreaming and planning of Airstreaming in our retirement years can still be a reality.
here is my opinion ... not want to do a polemic so some things disturb me.
No, it's not the beginning of the end;i try to explain:
I'm really not a rich man an even if i 'ld want it, I 'll never be able to buy a new airstream, in USA or even in Europe so i've gotten a vintage one for only $4000 and i 'll certainly keep it until my death...

Not wanted to frustrating you, but you're talking about gas prices so you are thinking about your 4th airstream... and at what price.... few $10 000 or only $4000 as me ?
How many gallons can you buy with the price of a new airstream ?

My advice is you have to keep your 3rd Airstream and take the road without having an eye on your gas comsumption and take pleasure with your passion that is Airstream and travel with.

In France and Europe, gas is really more expensive that yours ( 1,50 Euro for 1 liter, 1 gal =3,8 liter ) so even if our cars have low consumptions, driving is expensive ( i don't speak about tolls, taxes and other to drive).
So do you see demonstrations or meetings in the streets over the world from drivers against the gas prices ? NO !

In fact, gas prices is a bad problem... OK it's expensive so, but we spend so much money in stupids stuffs , in media systems, in a lot of useless things ... and you certainly earn sufficient money to pay this gas that this becomes ridiculous.

If riding with an Airstream is a passion or simply, you love that, Don't tell me the gas price is a brake .... If it is , stop watching tv, switch off your home electricity to do economies by example and live in a campground...
in your Airstream.

So, one more time, it's only my opinion from a french guy that love s your country, but NO, it's not the beginning of the end;
Only some choices to do cleverly and I try ...

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Old 04-28-2008, 08:52 AM   #32
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The price of fuel always has been, and always will be market driven. No government can afford to artifically lower the price of oil and they aren't going to lower taxes just to temporarily mitigate the pain a little bit. Besides, they've become dependent on those taxes.

But I don't think the RV industry is going anywhere soon. I think what we will see is a transformation to smaller, lighter and more innovative RVs' and definitely more fuel efficient TV's. Early reports of the new MB diesels delivering nearly 20 MPG towing mid-sized Airstreams is very encouraging. The fact is that there are V6's on the market right now that can be configured to tow 30 foot Airstreams -- Can-Am RV has demonstration set ups for anyone to tryout.

No doubt higher prices will force some financially strapped retirees on fixed incomes out of RVing which is unfortunate, but the rest of us along with the industry will just be forced to adapt.
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Old 04-28-2008, 09:04 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by cameront120
If nothing else, maybe Airstream will pay attention to its buying public's concerns and start seriously developing lighter trailers. Trailers that can be towed easily and safely by smaller, 6 cylinder vehicles. If they can do it for the overseas market, why not for it's domestic market?
A good thought but history has shown up untill now that the Airstream Customer wants a fully loaded travel trailer with the big stove, micro-wave, refrig., Audio/Video upgrades, lots of water and room for grey and black and a big bed. Don't blame Airstream for making products that their customers want!
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Old 04-28-2008, 09:07 AM   #34
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I posted this in the other big oil thread too. I found it interesting and true:

Glenn Beck: U.S. is a suicidal superpower -
Computers manufactured by companies such as IBM, Compaq and millions of others are by far the most popular with about 70 million machines in use worldwide. Macintosh fans note that cockroaches are far more numerous than humans and that numbers alone do not denote a higher life form. -NY Times 11/91
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Old 04-28-2008, 09:23 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by brunoffrance
So, one more time, it's only my opinion from a french guy that love s your country, but NO, it's not the beginning of the end;
Only some choices to do cleverly and I try ...
Bravo, Bruno!

As you say, it comes down to setting our priorities.

Let's continue to enjoy our Airstream dreams and adventures...

Only do it wisely... Smarter, not harder!


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Old 04-28-2008, 09:33 AM   #36
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Drive a little slower. Drive a little less. Tow an Airstream instead of driving a big motorhome. But it can still be done.

I have another gas-intensive hobby... flying a small airplane. Fly a little slower, lean more aggresively, go GPS direct, fly a little less, and use the web to find the cheapest fuel. I'm trying to stretch my gas dollars so I can fly more Angel Flights (free medical transportation for those in need).
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Old 04-28-2008, 09:36 AM   #37
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I am also shocked and angry about the high prices and wonder how this will effect the RV industry and the boaters? And everybody...
Have to include the boaters in this.

1973-74 and 79 were bad years and we survived, RV companies adjusted and carried on. Some did go under.

But is it really different this time?

Since 911, everything feels "different"....
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Old 04-28-2008, 09:38 AM   #38
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I'm trying to stretch my gas dollars so I can fly more Angel Flights (free medical transportation for those in need).
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Old 04-28-2008, 09:49 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by brunoffrance
In fact, gas prices is a bad problem... OK it's expensive so, but we spend so much money in stupids stuffs , in media systems, in a lot of useless things ... and you certainly earn sufficient money to pay this gas that this becomes ridiculous.

If riding with an Airstream is a passion or simply, you love that, Don't tell me the gas price is a brake .... If it is , stop watching tv, switch off your home electricity to do economies by example and live in a campground...
in your Airstream.

So, one more time, it's only my opinion from a french guy that love s your country, but NO, it's not the beginning of the end;
Only some choices to do cleverly and I try ...

Here, here!

Thanks Bruno! We just need to adjust our lifestyles.... it's about time IMHO
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Old 04-28-2008, 09:55 AM   #40
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I like Glen Beck and watch his TV show from time to time, but his stock and trade is fear mongering. He has us all living as savages in an anarchist world, or so one would think. He makes some good points however.
This is still the best and greatest country in the world to live in. Any of you want to live elsewhere?

The recent problem in the Mortgage Markets has left those investers with no place to invest their money, so guess what, they are investing in "Oil Futures". And now they compete with the capitolists that were already in the market driving the prices up. I hope a lot of them lose their a**s!

You hear very little about the new Bakke Oil Field being developed in North Dakota, Wyoming, and Montana. Proven reserves already announced at 3 billion by the USGS, and predicted to grow to 300 billion. They are drilling like mad right now. At 300 billion it would exceed all the oil that Saudi Arabia has.

For years now the cheap oil importation has shut down a lot of production here in the states. Friends, we have a LOT of oil. We just didn't have the need to go get it. Many wells were shut down because they couldn't pump it out of the ground and compete with the prices offered by OPEC. Well, guess what? We now have the incentive. Don't be surprised if the American people rise up against the "Green Weenies" and demand that we drill for our own oil! Modern methods disrupt the environment very little.

We are the Mideast of Coal. New technologies allow us to burn coal cleanly and economically. It makes very little sense to not use what we have.

The high price of oil is not really new. In the seventies we had the Arab Oil Embargo. I sat in gas lines on alternate days just so I could get to work. Just when our own oil industry was gearing up the Arabs saw what was happening and dropped the price right out from under them. I hope that doesn't happen again.

Why you ask? Well, I would like to be free of the Mideast clutches. I would like our own industry to supply us. Yes, it can be done. If the price stays up just sit back and watch. We can and will kick their butts.

With the falling dollar people will vacation here in the states. Better value for the money. Yep, they'll come from overseas too. It's happened this way before. Our products will compete better as well. More for the dollar.

I want to see new fuels come on line as much as anyone else. I just don't think there is anything ready as of yet. I like hydrogen. The problem is that we really don't have a cheap way to manufacture it yet. Until then we have all we need right here at home. We only need the incentive to go get it.
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Old 04-28-2008, 10:13 AM   #41
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Lighter trailers pulled by lighter tow vehicles is an obvious answer. But the price of new is hurt tremendously by depreciation and finance charges, the reason I bought both the truck and trailer in the signature used. Bought both for just under $30,000. Have spent a fair amount since on the trailer (Hensley, etc) and next to nothing on the truck.

As suggested above it is the overall cost that matters, and value of money. Some trips aren't so important. Then there are those that are, places my wife has never been and that I haven't been to since childhood. The only fixed cost that "hurts" is an expensive overnight stop while en-route. A bit of planning can fix that, as can avoiding eating out as much.

Lot's of folks ran out and bought cheap Jap cars in the middle 1970's to replace otherwise solid, better built and more reliable American "gas guzzlers." Some of those big American cars were on the road for decades, and the cheap cars were gone in less than five. False economy.

Better driving habits, trip planning and logging expenses will give a more accurate picture. Selling the house, getting rid of excess and having a smaller home base is an obvious move to equalizing the costs of having two homes, one mobile and one that is not. Sell the second car, etc.

That's how I'd full-time in retirement. My grandparents and parents did the same. And when they were too old for trailering (late 70's in age) the trailer was parked in the mountains 100 or so miles away, or sold. And the sole family vehicle was economical by comparison to it's predecessor.

Traveling has to be a priority, not an addition to a house-based life, for a full-timer (even if that is 6-months of the year). A house is only a burden, and once children have grown and gone, then maybe IT is the sentiment that is too expensive and is in need of examination, not traveling by RV.

There are several half-decent articles out there (search) on the end of suburbia. It has been evident since 1973, so maybe "our long national nightmare" (denial) IS finally over.
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Old 04-28-2008, 11:45 AM   #42
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I, like most of us, have been pondering just what this increase in the cost of oil will lead to.
Thanks to Bruno for chipping in with the Euro experience…it was one of my first thoughts; petro has been expensive there for a long time, but caravanning is still popular (albeit smaller caravans and smaller TV’s), but it is popular.

Thanks to rednax and elolson for saying something else that I have been thinking; all those folks who think it is trivial to purchase foreign products and that one person’s choices don’t make a difference, are now reaping what you have sown. Though there are many factors (the mortgage/credit crisis) the downturn in our economy can certainly be credited to so many folks refusing to buy AMERICAN MADE PRODUCTS. It’s no joke, and it’s here now. The American economy and the bulk of our wealth were built on manufacturing. Buy American…invest in your Country. You don’t see the Japanese driving Chevy’s. And you don’t see the French driving Toyotas. They buy what they build! Why is this so hard to understand? I’ll get off my soapbox before this hole post goes off track.

Thanks also to fitzwhopper for pointing out that individual choices in lifestyle matter too. Several years ago I left a big corporation (that has now moved to China!) to take a job in a small aerospace company 5 miles from home. I ride my bike 10 months out of the year. My Wife only works 2-3 days per week, also less than 10 miles from home. Overall our fuel expenses are not as significant. But we made choices to insure this. How many of you could make the choice to bike to work? Think about it…
We all need to reduce our carbon footprint any way we can.(Even if for the selfish reason of towing our AirStream around on weekends.)

To answer the question; is the end near? Let’s hope fuel costs stabilize and we can all budget more responsibly, and be more environmentally responsible. The Euros are way ahead of us in this thinking. I am for the first time however, concerned about the costs. We have our trips planned for this year, and we are going (unless something much worse happens. I remember waiting in gas lines too.). Next year? Maybe longer stays in the same spot and not so much venturin’ around. Maybe less trips too. Hate to say it, but if fuel goes to $8-$9-$? I think I’ll be in a tent a lot more…but I will always enjoy the great outdoors in this beautiful country.


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*Good people drink good beer-Hunter S Thompson*
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