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Old 05-04-2007, 11:37 AM   #1
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Have you seen the impact of higher fuel prices in your travel?

Have you seen the impact of higher fuel prices in your travels? It may have impacted you specifically, but I'm also wondering if you have seen it in your destinations or along the way.

For example. Last year in Branson they offered some type of gas voucher for travelers. I think Springfield Missouri is doing it this year. I've noticed specifically in Branson, private campgrounds last fall that used to be near full in the fall were now showing vacancy rates of as much as 75%. This year the Forums Branson Rally is staying at a campground that is offering us full hookup sites for Good Sam members for $15 a night. They've never offered a discount like this before. On a trip a couple of years ago to Door County Wisconsin, we saw high vacancy rates at the private campground we stayed at. Three years earlier we were lucky to get a spot during the same timeframe.

What's your view from your side?

Jack
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Old 05-04-2007, 11:49 AM   #2
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Yes, strangely enough...it seems that more people than ever are buying RV's. Many of our favorite campgrounds are booked through the summer, we can't even get in. I started calling some of them months ago!
I would guess that folks are not travelling by air, and are putting their dollars into RV's rather than hotels, etc...

Bill
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Old 05-04-2007, 11:53 AM   #3
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Another point of view,, a dear friend and ardent traveller with a motorhome,, sob,,, is re thinking plans for the summer due to the high cost of fuel,,, so are many others after snowbirding all winter who live in the Northwest,,, hate to say it may curtail my plans a bit,, but roaming Montana is not all bad,,, donna
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Old 05-04-2007, 12:09 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dieterdog
Another point of view,, a dear friend and ardent traveller with a motorhome,, sob,,, is re thinking plans for the summer due to the high cost of fuel,,, so are many others after snowbirding all winter who live in the Northwest,,, hate to say it may curtail my plans a bit,, but roaming Montana is not all bad,,, donna
I think RV sales have held on to a point. Really once air travel became so nasty, RV sales soared. You are correct that a lot of folk are doing much more local travel. I guess where the pinch might come is in the destination parks, areas that not only get local travelers but depend upon those driving a goodly distance. Going back to my Branson example, lots of campgrounds and spaces that local travelers alone can't fill.

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Old 05-04-2007, 09:59 PM   #5
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We were planning on a trip to Mt. Rushmore this spring but changed to a more local excursion because of fuel costs. And now I'm even thinking of cutting the new plans in half and staying put at one spot longer. Regular gas was $3.69 today at my local station. I've cut out a day trip to a sports tournament today for the same reason. I wonder if the campground at my planned trip to Lava Beds National Monument will be busier? Or less crowded since it is a bit remote. Jamie
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Old 05-05-2007, 07:13 AM   #6
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Wow, what a question! Not much impact here.... I've only put about $400 into the tank this week. My bottom line is hurt big time when gas gets above the $2.50 mark. 50 gals. this a.m. at $2.78 in Sumter.

Sales reps in my business have been working for 10% for a long time. Things are changing though and some of the manufacturers are getting the message.

Guess who pays more in the long run? The consumer.

I don't see folks traveling less yet. Myrtle Beach was chock full of golfers on vacation this week and of course bike week starts next week.

We seem to have a thirst for gas and oil regardless of the cost.
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Old 05-05-2007, 07:47 AM   #7
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As a member of the RV Industry (not a dealer) I read all of the stats and reports about sales trends and industry growth. Yes, the industry continues to grow well. Motorized sales have softened but seem to have been picked up by towables. Additionally, manufacturers finally started understanding that fuel economy is indeed a selling feature and now we have some higher efficiency diesel class Bs and Cs.

Growth, however is fuled by pure numbers. More and more people are entering the buying demographic for RVing. We're on a Boomer Bubble right now and there is no end in sight for about ten years.

That said the two largest issue facing the continued growth of the industry are: service after the sale and destintations (placed to camp).
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Old 05-05-2007, 10:28 AM   #8
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The problem is that people listen to the panic forum and don't use common sense. I have seen people spend thousands of dollars to trade vehicles to save hundreds of dollars in fuel costs. A lot of the time it just doesn't make much sense. You need to figure out what your fuel costs are at the old price and then compare it to the cost at the new price. A lot of the time it really isn't that much money.

Now salesmen like Glen do have a problem because It really hits their bottom line. If fuel prices just went to say three dollars, and stayed there, everything would adjust and go back to normal. The big problem is the big flucuations that we see. Traveling people, trucking companies, and all other forms of transportation can't adjust their rates in a reasonable manner without some stable form of pricing.

Figure this. At ten miles to the gallon a one thousand mile trip at two dollars fifty cents a gallon costs two hundred and fifty dollars. At three dollars a gallon it costs three hundred dollars. Now I know that fifty dollars is still a lot of money, and I hate to give it to the oil company, but I still won't cancel a trip over fifty dollars.

Another thing to think about is that the oil reserves are figured by the cost of oil by the barrel. There are thousands of oil wells in the US that are not pumping and not included when calculating our reserves. At sixty dollars a barrel they can't spend the money needed to get the oil out of the ground, so they are not counted. When the cost of a barrel of oil goes to sixty barrels the reserves suddenly multiply because at sixty dollars many wells can be pumped for a profit. It seems strange, but we do have huge reserves. We just can't afford to operate them in competition with foreign oil.

A lot of this is hype. Here in the midwest the farmers are making big money on ethonal. I don't want to even go there, but that is just one of the interests influencing the market. There are so many. Environmentalists, politics, and so on. We have too few refineries in the US. That is the environmentalists. That has a huge effect on the cost of fuel as well.

We all have to make our own decisions, but I simply won't let these forces intimidate me. I will make rational decisions and probably not curtail much at all.

As a side note, our VW Jedda diesel gets better mileage with no batteries to replace, and costs less to buy than most of the so called hybrid cars on the road. 45 to 46 mpg. I have of course heard all the stories about fantastic mileage from these cars, but they do not include the cost of plugging them in all night to charge the batteries, or the cost of replacing the batteries themselves. All of this should be taken into account.
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Old 05-05-2007, 11:12 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cooperhawk
The problem is that people listen to the panic forum and don't use common sense. ......................... You need to figure out what your fuel costs are at the old price and then compare it to the cost at the new price. A lot of the time it really isn't that much money...................Figure this. At ten miles to the gallon a one thousand mile trip at two dollars fifty cents a gallon costs two hundred and fifty dollars. At three dollars a gallon it costs three hundred dollars. Now I know that fifty dollars is still a lot of money, and I hate to give it to the oil company, but I still won't cancel a trip over fifty dollars.......................
We all have to make our own decisions, but I simply won't let these forces intimidate me. I will make rational decisions and probably not curtail much at all.
I couldn’t agree more with Glen in regard to the need to be dispassionate as possible and to calculate the actual cost of the increases. Having said that, and while I am likely in the minority here in regard to the depth of my finances, for me the money is a considerable issue.
I do not have the same depth of economic footing that many here seem to enjoy. When people talk about $40k trailers being within reach, I wonder if I am even on the same planet. When people speak easily of switching from what they are driving to a TV that cost $50K and more, I know I’m not on the same planet. My reality is I have a 40 year old camper (don’t get me wrong I love it) and a 1991 F150 that needs a new seat that I ended up putting a new motor in last year rather than getting a new truck. Would I like a diesel, sure; is the purchase of one on the horizon? Not a prayer.

I am about a month out from a western trip I have been promising myself for a long time. For my summer trip I have assumed a fuel budget of 1000 gallons. This means every 10 cent increase adds $100 dollars to the trip. In reality, when gas gets another 20-30 cents from where it is now, which I am thinking is a near certainty, parts of the trip will have to be cut. To be frank, I wouldn’t be surprised to see gas approaching $4/gal this summer. Last summer I stayed in the east because of gas prices versus budget and it could happen again. That’s not panic, that is reality for those with modest budgets.

I doubt that there will be a lot of accomidations made to draw travelers to the areas I would go. There will be plenty of people who can afford to pay the increased cost without being hurt.
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Old 05-05-2007, 12:45 PM   #10
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Quote:
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Yes, strangely enough...it seems that more people than ever are buying RV's. Many of our favorite campgrounds are booked through the summer, we can't even get in. I started calling some of them months ago!
I would guess that folks are not travelling by air, and are putting their dollars into RV's rather than hotels, etc...

Bill
We have one campground destination we have visited every year for the past six, with a one year advance reservation. This year we won't be heading there because it now requires a two year advance reservation.
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Old 05-05-2007, 12:54 PM   #11
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You all who are planning on coming to California, Oregon and Washington State be aware that gas here is at $3.45 to 3.50 a gallon. Cooperhawk taks about $3.00 a gallon. I wish!

John
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Old 05-05-2007, 02:13 PM   #12
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Well, as usual the pundits are all predicting $4.00 gas this summer. They did last year too you know. Right now the refineries are all switching over from winter production to summer production. That means that some are not producing right now and that impacts the price of gas. It happened the same way last year and went down when they all came back on line. Let's hope that is the case again.

As for California, gas costs more there due to a lot of environmental restrictions placed on the producers. Another factor is the gas tax charged by the state.

Here in Minnesooooota, the politicians want to double our gas tax this year. Why you ask? Is the state broke? No, just because they think that the people who want their neighbors to stay home more and not waste gas will support them. They think that the neighbors wouldn't pay it. Good time to raise taxes don't you think? The state actually has an operating surplus and has no need for additional revenue. See, its Politics!!!

Good time to raise your voice.
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Old 05-05-2007, 04:53 PM   #13
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I heard an interesting 'factoid' in an editorial by Minneapolis's Channel4 News Anchor last night... If we as a Nation would all 'drive 55' it would eliminate the need to import gasolene through conservation... But you think anyone would actually say their individual 2-20-200 minutes time lost is worth it?
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Old 05-05-2007, 07:11 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Relentless
You all who are planning on coming to California, Oregon and Washington State be aware that gas here is at $3.45 to 3.50 a gallon. Cooperhawk taks about $3.00 a gallon. I wish!

John
That is exactly where our big 2 week trip is this year. We're going in July for a camping trip to Olympic, Ranier, and Redwoods; about 4000 miles in all. It may hit us for an additional $200 in fuel just for the difference from our cost to yours. All I can do is fuel up before we leave Idaho, and deal with it from there.
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