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Old 05-28-2008, 12:38 PM   #1
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Not Traveling as Much?

As the news is reporting less people traveling due to the cost of fuel, I have been wondering just how true it is for RVers. Starting the middle of June I'll be on the road for two months. This trip has been in the works for well over a year now. When I started planning I alloted $3.45 a gallon for diesel. Today my estimate is $4.75, and that's probably low.

Other threads on traveling this summer on the Pacific Coast Hwy have had suggestions to make reservations early due to summer travelers. I've made my reservations, and the places that I feared crowds presented no problems. LA, Marina, San Francisco, Benbow through Portland. The only place that had to work to get me in was Hungry Horse, MT just outside Glacier NP. That was the place I thought would see the end result of high fuel prices. I talked with them about it, and they agreed that they were indeed seeing a drop off in reservations from previous years. This was the first of May, and they said that if I had called the same time last year that they would have been full.

I'm wondering what other travelers are experiencing. Are the roads beginning to fill up with travelers, are is there a noticeable decrease in traffic?

________Tom
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Old 05-28-2008, 12:59 PM   #2
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We live near Interstate 5 North of Los Angeles City but still in L.A. County. I still see tons of RV's on the freeway and on the streets locally. I don't see any less traveling.

We are still going somewhere at least once a month but as boondockers RV park reservations are something we can't comment on.

There are still lots of others we see out in the desert so I suspect just as many folks are still getting away.

How far from home they are going may be the question. For us we can get out to boondock all by ourselves in the wilderness and get home on one tank of diesel.
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Old 05-28-2008, 02:06 PM   #3
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We were out for 10 days but only about 130 miles from home. Most of the others in the RV park were over-nighters and fell into the "Snow-bird" category. They were heading north after having wintered in the warmer climes.
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Old 05-28-2008, 04:21 PM   #4
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Smile On the Road

We just got back from a trip to Illinois, 370 miles one way. We saw quite a few RV's on the way, only one AS and they seemed really glad to see us. The gas was a little steep up that way with regular running 399.9 and diesel at 479.9. We spent 8 days out and when you compare the price of a hotel and gas for a car to camper and TV we came out way ahead.

Have a great day...

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Old 05-28-2008, 10:02 PM   #5
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As ya'll know, South Texas is a "winter bird" haven. On tonights news, (my wife was watching), a local winter bird (they usually fly away at April 1st), was complaining about the price of fuel as it would [quote] "cost me $3,000 to return to Rhode Island". I found that number about incomprehensible and did the math: Corpus Christi to Providence is 2,024-miles. $3,000 in fuel (at $5-gal) is 3.37 mpg. No one is that bad off. I used to drive OTR and never got less than 6-mpg at above 78,000# gross.

So, let's try round-trip: 4,048-miles = 6.74 mpg. Still not believable. Think maybe somebody was drinking the gas money [beer] before the TV reporter showed up.

The point was that fixed-income folks are feeling stranded. I have a hard time imagining how anyone could plan some sort of retirement and NOT figure in increased fuel price for, I guess, a seven or eight year period of driving around. In other words, where is the cut-off point?

Then, they go out a buy a big sloppy fifth wheel box and a dually diesel (what, $80 or $100,000 tied up what with miscellaneous costs?) AND HAVEN'T FIGURED OUT THAT THEY COULD BE S.O.L. IF PRICES ROSE? This beggars belief. I'm no good at a lot of things, but, whew, that's tough to believe.

I understand about the roundtrip costs being high, but, shoot, sell the old home place, put a few things in storage (and eventually buy a condo or into assisted living at that time) and GO!!!

But, to be smart, do it in a rig that CAN achieve good mpg if the tow rig can be one those CAN AM prepped babies. Best of both worlds: Independently-suspended TV and TT plus high teens towing and mid-20's solo.

Leave the junk at home. Slides, 10,000 toys and 100-gal fuel tanks ain't the deal if you can't ante the $500 fillup every 1,100 miles or so.

Better to have decreased that FIXED cost by 30% with a more sensible rig.

And -- since I'm on the rant box -- I guess I shouldn't be surprised. Ever have a look from the inside to the out on one of these boxes -- triple slide, 16,000-lb gvwr -- shoot, you can hardly see out of them. What's the point of being outdoors if you won't enjoy it? God forbid their TVs quit working.
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Old 05-28-2008, 10:07 PM   #6
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I think as y'all do that there are still cost savings when compared to a hotel, and eating out all of the time. If things go as planned I'm looking in the neighborhood of $150 a day. That's still a good price for a trip.

When I was in the Davis Mtns and Big Bend in April, I saw plenty of RV's in the parks and on the road. The RV parks weren't full, but they weren't empty either. I guess that my DW is right when she states that I plan further ahead than a sane person. I'll just stick with the assumption that Summer traffic will be just about as always.

________Tom
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Old 05-31-2008, 12:56 AM   #7
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We have been out in our AS since April 28th and currently in Salkum, WA. During this time we have only seen one park that was a little crowded but not full and that was Pacific City, OR. The rest of the parks we have stayed at were less than half full. The travelers we have talked with are staying parked longer between legs. A few work from their trailers so they have a write off. Most are in tune with the current price of fuel and shop for the best price.

The only problems we have encounter with park reservations was at Yellowstorne for the July 4th weekend. We were unable to get into Fishing Bridge but did get into one of the other sites inside the park.

I feel for those on fixed incomes because they are having a difficult time and no control over the fuel prices.
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Old 05-31-2008, 10:20 AM   #8
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not us!

We won't be traveling far this year, a few local fishing weekends and the rally in August. My husband's brother and wife have started full-timing this year, and have stated that they are going to pull it into a park and that's where they will stay for at least this year, maybe only going south for warmer weather this winter as it is too expensive to fill their Ford 350 diesel and travel much.
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Old 05-31-2008, 10:51 AM   #9
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We are heading off on Tuesday from Miami to Maine via Michigan (The 3M Tour). Will I whimper quietly every time I refuel my TV? You betcha. Will I then brood on it and curse all the evil speculators and OPEC and the Congress and the Girl Scouts etc. etc. etc? Nope, not a chance.

I'm going Airstreaming.

Worth every penny.

mike
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Old 05-31-2008, 12:02 PM   #10
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Does Airstream make a tent?
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Old 05-31-2008, 09:30 PM   #11
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We have been tearing up the roads for 2 weeks and have not seen a full campground yet. All of the sites in the Tetons and Yellowstone reported daily that they were not full, an oddity from talking with the camphosts. I'm sure the weather and snow had some effect but in most cases, they didn't even have all of the loops open so I'd estimate they still have 60% open capacity.
A real blessing for traveling with no-reservations
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Old 05-31-2008, 10:37 PM   #12
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My guess is that those of us who really enjoy getting out are still going to do so... But we may change the way we do it...we will probably not go as far; we'll drive slower; we'll think about the stuff we're hauling; and we'll probably stay longer in a given place between legs of the trip...but we will probably not stay home. I'm just glad we are not driving a huge truck and dragging a SOB down the road...a nice aerodynamic AS is a good thing in these times!
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Old 06-01-2008, 09:44 AM   #13
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We've definitely cut back on the distance we're traveling this year. Last year we put over 10,000 miles on between 3 long trips. This year our longest trip is to Yellowstone which is only 500 miles away for us. I'd say we'll tow somewhere around 3,000 - 3,500 miles this year, but we are lucky to live where we do and have so much around us. I've seen very few campgrounds full so far this year as we went through the np systems in southern Utah for 10 days. Locally we have 4 campgrounds around lake Dillon with only 1 open due to the removal of trees from pine beetle kill. I've been to the one that's open twice and it wasn't close to being full. We have a lot fewer early season campers then normal.
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Old 06-01-2008, 10:55 AM   #14
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Interestingly enough, I noticed that all of the preceding comments were from folks in relatively warm climate areas. It's not the fuel for our vehicles that's worrying most of us here in the Northern areas - it's the price of heating fuel for our homes! My heating fuel costs last year - for a new and highly efficient home were $2,375.00. That represents an average price of around $2.79/gal. This year, the cost is already approaching $4.79/gal for a net increase of $1,702.00. The older, and often highly inefficient homes, can easily see double that increase - and all too many of these older homes are occupied by people who can ill-afford the increase. Yesterday, one of the larger employers in northern Maine (800 employees) just announced that they would be shutting down because they are oil-dependent and cannot afford the increased cost of doing business. This, of course, has a ripple effect that probably affects several thousand people. Replacement jobs are simply not available in Maine. Theft of fuel oil and wood is already happening and there is genuine fear being expressed about what will happen this winter. Mainers are a hardy and innovative group of people. They love their homes and many will find a way to get by - but there will be deaths among the old, the frail, and other less fortunate souls when the heat goes off and they have no place to go. Like many of us on the forums, I'll substantially curtail my travels this summer by sticking close to home. I have options - but all too many do not. By no means do I intend to admonish those who are taking long trips with their Airstreams. I would love to join you! Just pray that we can find a solution to the high cost of fuel before it literally brings this nation to it's knees!
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