Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 04-27-2008, 08:20 AM   #1
3 Rivet Member
 
Jimarq's Avatar
 
2004 28' Classic
1965 20' Globetrotter
Stephenville , Texas
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 242
Images: 13
Beginning of the end?

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.
__________________

__________________
Jimmy and Marque (Zoey)
WBCCI#: 2344
Texas Highland Lakes Unit
Jimarq is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-2008, 08:30 AM   #2
Well Preserved

 
1993 21' Sovereign
Colfax , North Carolina
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 20,193
I am hoping by the time this may happen, we will be able to just bolt a pair of antigravity generators on the bottom of our Airstream, and tow it with a bicycle. I am not joking (well, not much), either we will have the ability to haul our trailer behind whatever vehicle we end up with, or carry it along with us.
The failure of the economy, and lack of infrastructure is a very real thought we have. Will there be a way to tow our trailer in the short term? Will there be equipment available to tow with? I don't know if you ever watched the movie "Americathon", but I am envisioning a situation like that before we find an alternative.
__________________

__________________
Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy, and taste good with ketchup.
Terry
overlander63 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-2008, 09:10 AM   #3
Rivet Master
Commercial Member
 
lewster's Avatar
 
Vintage Kin Owner
Naples, FL , Hood River, OR
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 7,282
The 'challenging' business climate in the RV industry has already claimed it's first victims: Travel Supreme (although I hear that they are about to be purchased by Jayco), Western RV Manuf. and a couple of small outfits.

Winnebago has closed their plants for a week due to slack demand, and this is only the beginning. In this new era of $4-5 gas, only the strong will survive.
__________________
Lew Farber...ABYC Certified Master Marine Electrician...RVIA Certified Master Tech ...AM Solar Authorized Installation Center...AIRSTREAM Solar & Electrical Specialist...Micro Air 'Easy Start' Sales and Installations
lewster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-2008, 09:54 AM   #4
Tramp Streamer
Commercial Member
 
ArtStream's Avatar
 
1995 28' Excella
Artist , at Large
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 2,002
Images: 65
Blog Entries: 1
Welcome to Barter Town

Visited Quartzsite, AZ this year. It is the Snowbird capital of the US they say.
I inquired to all the small business and vendors as to the state of business this year, non-scientific at best.

Business down 50% as opposed to 2006/7, was the consensus.

Most business owners are not placing restock orders for the coming 2008/9 season. Lots of vendors say they are not returning next season.


Artists are hurting as you can imagine. Many artists are being offered loans by the show promoters in order to afford gas to just get to the promoters next show.
Kind of reminds me of the company store scam.


For the first time in 10 years, I'm being pleaded with by second tear art show promoters to exhibit with them just to fill empty spots caused by artist bailing out due to poor or no sales and expensive fuel. (even after paying in-full with no refunds, using the "throwing good money after bad" principle

Craft shows are a different matter, the under 25 dollar "made in China" buy and sell items hawked by "so called artists" sell as fast as these charlatans can important the junk.
Many of these fish mongers are thriving.

Myself, I just went solar, added a cat heater and some fans. Looking to add a 60 gal water tank and an Aux fuel tank to my Tow Vehicle. My daily driver is my Yahama 225cc motorcycle which resides in my TV, and gets 75mpg.

I decided in 2007, that 2008 might be a good year to step back from the art show circuit and reflect. That decision turned out to be a good one for me.

Recently, I met a newly graduated doctorate student traveling cross-country on motorcycle.
He was struggling to set-up his tent in the trailer park I was over-nighting in.

I offered some help and we struck up a conversation.

Gene, is an exchange student from Hong Kong. Just earned his Doctorate in finance from a top collage. His dream as a boy, was to study here in the U.S., settle down and get a job here in the U.S., and travel across the United States on a motorcycle.

He got his degree, is traveling cross-country , but is leaving the US to settle down and get a job, Gene cannot find a job here, while Asia and the middle East are throwing money at him left and right, even offering him a home for free!

He also said that he is one of the last generations seeking an education here in the United States.

He asked me if he could be candid about his take on the future of the U.S. from an outsiders prospective.


He shared with me the sentiment of his collage professors and fellow students, the opinions of his friends and relatives back in Hong Kong, as well as his own.

At times it was hard for me to believe he was actually talking about the United States.


His take on the state and direction of the U.S. is only his own opinion of course, and I thanked him for his candor.


Each and everyone of us has his or her's own opinion, I have mine, you have yours.


Did I mention I'm fully solar now and looking for a tribe.

Michael
ArtStream is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-2008, 09:59 AM   #5
Site Team
 
, Minnesota
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 6,940
Images: 59
I don't know what the effect is going to be long term, but in the short term I think the pain will be rotating through the different parts of the travel industry. I see each segment having to deal with unique problems.

Airfares are going to skyrocket, so leisure travel will drop by 10 to 15%. Will that mean more vacancies at hotels in preferred destinations? Will it be cheaper to throw a bag in your Toyota Prius and drive to Las Vegas?

Will there be more vacancies at your favorite campground? Will cheaper camping fees offset some of the higher fuel prices?

How about closer in destinations? Will we continue to drive all across the Western US, spending a night or two at each place? Or will we be making shorter trips and spending a week at each place.

I live in Minnesota. I'm a lot more likely to drive to the north shore and Lake Superior than I am to drive to the Grand Canyon this year.

Will shorter trips and longer stays mean a different camping experience? Maybe that will drive people to a different end of the travel trailer market? I might be more likely to buy a heavier, larger trailer if I travel less and stay longer.

And what about all the people who won't be going to Asia or Europe due to high airfares? Will they be buying a travel trailer and staying "domestic" this year?
__________________
markdoane is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-2008, 10:11 AM   #6
Rivet Master
 
myoung's Avatar
 
Nipomo , California
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 627
Images: 24
Undoubtedly, this is just another cycle not at all like many, many cycles that have happened before. Perhaps someone here with a good memory or an interest in economic history can provide perspective that will help relieve the blues that seem all too pervasive and all too unwarranted when viewed over years rather than months.
__________________
Mike Young & Rosemary Nelson

Bowlus Road Chief "Endymion" (coming soon)
BMW X3 xDrive 28D
myoung is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-2008, 10:25 AM   #7
4 Rivet Member
 
Stream 1529's Avatar
 
2004 34' Classic S/O
San Antonio , Texas
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 294
Images: 19
Fuel costs are causing people, and companies to make hard decisions. I've just returned from a 15 day trip towing my trailer. I drove a total of 1,610 miles combined towing and sight seeing. My fuel cost, diesel, ran from a low of 3.95 a gallon to a high of 4.58 a gallon. My total fuel bill for the trip was 560.53, .35 per mile or 37.37 per day.

Has this had an impact on my travel plans? Yes and no. It has forced me to really factor in fuel cost as a more significant factor in my trips. I had planned for this trip last November, and then I had estimated my fuel cost to be around $300, almost half of the actual cost. It will affect my travel on shorter trips of 3-4 days because the shorter the trip the higher the daily costs will be. So when my fuel is going to run me $300 for a weekend trip, I will really have to want to go. For the longer trips I will probably still go, but I will eat in the trailer more often than before and may not make as many side trips.

The fuel factor is spread out over more days on a longer trip. This summer I will be gone for two months and travel over 5,000 miles excluding side trips. I'm just having to decide what side trips we really want to do. I've already dropped scenic drives around Glacier NP, and a self-drive tour of San Francisco as well as an excursion up and down Hwy 1 north of San Francisco.

Hard decisions to make by everyone. I'm retired, but my DW still works so our prime time for trips will still be limited to the summer. I'm not yet forced to determine if we can afford to make 3-4 long trips a year, but I will have to at some point. Your decisions are more immediate. I've found that if I focus on the daily cost of the trip I am better able to determine how much the cost of fuel impacts me.

Good luck on your decision.

_____Tom
__________________
Blog: www.travelpod.com/members/wbcci1529
'04 34' Classic S/O lounge, dome king, twin a/c, faux fireplace to keep the wife warm , equa-li-zer, prodigy, 4 birds, dog - no kids allowed!

'05 Excursion 4x4, 6.0 PSD, magnaflow, helwig anti-sway, air lift springs.
Stream 1529 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-2008, 10:25 AM   #8
2 Rivet Member
 
A/SimpleLife's Avatar
 
1971 29' Ambassador
Sunny South , Florida
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by ArtStream


He asked me if he could be candid about his take on the future of the U.S. from an outsiders prospective.


He shared with me the sentiment of his collage professors and fellow students, the opinions of his friends and relatives back in Hong Kong, as well as his own.



Michael
So, what are those opinions? Inquiring minds want to know

Hopefully, with high prices the attractive profit will encourage domestic production and there will come a point when that enters the market that prices will level out.
If not, maybe McDonald's will start recycling its french fry oil into a burnable fuel, wouldn't that be great!
__________________
A/SimpleLife is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-2008, 10:26 AM   #9
Rivet Master
 
centennialman's Avatar

 
2016 20' Flying Cloud
Centennial , Colorado
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1,284
Maybe I will camp less than I used to...maybe not. I know that I will stay closer to home for now, but I will still get out. I work from home part time and work from an employers office part time. I can cut out driving downtown and ride the bus to save up for the gas to go camping. A small adjustment and a worthwhile one. Eventually, I will work from home and my Airstream full time.....that's the plan.

There are many ways to economize and it's an exercise we Americans are having to face. Fuel is expensive in Europe and I see stories all the time (even on this forum) about Airstream's being exported to Europe.....and most of them seem to go to England. Those folks are willing to pay for fuel to pull their rig around.

Think about going to rallies that are closer to home. We will adjust, we will make do....we will survive this.

It's sad that the RV industry is suffering so much now. There is a lot of new inventory out there and I see ads on TV all the time with marked down prices. If you are thinking of a new Airstream, it's probably more of a shopper's market than it was a year ago. Take advantage of that and negotiate your deal. The glass is half full.
__________________
Steve "Centennial Man"
centennialman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-2008, 10:30 AM   #10
Site Team
 
, Minnesota
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 6,940
Images: 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by myoung
Undoubtedly, this is just another cycle not at all like many, many cycles that have happened before. .
This cycle takes me right back to the that disaster we elected back in 468, Romulus Augustulus. Or before him, that goofball Justinian I.

We just keep repeating the same mistakes. In a few centuries, the Independent States of American will be the low cost producer, and we'll be sending all of our natural resources (cornstarch, switchgrass, and water) to the United Empire of Eastern Europe and the Consolidated States of Asiaifica.
__________________
markdoane is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-2008, 10:31 AM   #11
Rivet Master
 
Fyrzowt's Avatar
 
2000 25' Safari
West of Fort Worth , Texas
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 6,697
Images: 8
I tend to take the same mental path as posts 5 and 6. Glass half full.
So much of this is mental, but I realise that mindset can affect how the nation reacts in harder economic times.

While there may be some slowdown in the RV industry, I suspect that it would be mostly in manufacturing and sales. Those of us with an RV will still use them, but as MarkDoan points out, it may just be more local.

For perspective.
I bought my house 9 years ago next June. The market value today, even in the current housing crunch is at least twice what I paid, and probably closer to 2 1/2 times what I paid.

There are other parts of the economy that have increased as much (or more) as fuel, but as a nation we all have been spoiled by our cheap fuel. This has been discussed extensively on other threads.

I suspect that we will become accustomed to the level that fuel prices stabilize, and it will become our new "norm".

We are a nation with short term memory. Just look at how we dealt with security issues in October of '01 VS how we deal with them today.
Dave
__________________
AIR #15800

"Wimpy" 1/2 ton 2002 GMC Sierra 4X4 Z-71 Gasser
2000 Safari SS 25'
Fyrzowt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-2008, 10:45 AM   #12
Rivet Master
 
cameront120's Avatar
 
1972 25' Tradewind
North Vancouver , British Columbia
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 3,422
Images: 23
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?
__________________
Cameron & the Labradors, Kai & Samm
North Vancouver, BC
Live! Life's a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death! - Mame Dennis
cameront120 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-2008, 10:53 AM   #13
Aluminitus Carrier
 
lovingtahoe's Avatar
 
1968 26' Overlander
south lake tahoe , California
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 178
Images: 6
Send a message via Skype™ to lovingtahoe
Dollar's fall forces new standard of frugality

Great article in this morning's paper. I think some very good things will come out of this mess. One being that Americans will learn how to be more appreciative of the non-material things... such as camping with the family instead of shopping on the weekends and buyimg more crap.
__________________
Come visit my Airstream Web-Log at:
http://mandarava.net/airstream

WBCCI - #4066 / Sierra Nevada Unit 157
TAC - # CA-9
South Lake Tahoe, California
lovingtahoe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-2008, 11:32 AM   #14
Well Preserved

 
1993 21' Sovereign
Colfax , North Carolina
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 20,193
Quote:
Originally Posted by myoung
Undoubtedly, this is just another cycle not at all like many, many cycles that have happened before. Perhaps someone here with a good memory or an interest in economic history can provide perspective that will help relieve the blues that seem all too pervasive and all too unwarranted when viewed over years rather than months.
I have one-- Just after WWII in Europe, if you went to a bar, you ordered two beers at once, because by the time you were ready for your second beer, the price would have gone up. At this point, I just hope the price of fuel will stabilize, then there can be an adjustment across the board. As it is, the price of fuel keeps climbing and no one knows how much to plan, or how much to charge to recover transportation and manufacturing costs, because the price just keeps jumping, with no stability in sight. Even if the price of gas stops at (gasp) $5/gallon, and stays there, the farmer will know how much it will cost to plant, grow, and harvest his crops. The trucker will know how much it will cost to get the crops to market. The baker will know how much to get his bread to the grocery store, and we will know how much it will cost to go pick it up. The uncertainty is currently causing much more trouble than a higher, stable price would.
__________________

__________________
Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy, and taste good with ketchup.
Terry
overlander63 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
The end of Airstreaming as we know it? bjond Off Topic Forum 157 05-28-2008 12:25 AM
Is summer ever going to end? azflycaster Off Topic Forum 29 11-09-2007 10:03 PM
front end joboy1 Classic Motorhomes 3 05-27-2006 06:47 AM
A sad ending with a new beginning AV8 Our Community 35 04-06-2005 02:09 PM
Beginning the polishing project yukionna Cleaning, Stripping & Polishing 3 06-28-2004 01:45 AM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:44 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.