RV renters across the U.S. are planning trips closer to home or having their fuel-gulping vehicles delivered to their destination to lower expenses for fuel, as travel remains the top priority, even amid record inflation.
As per a report, during the onset of the pandemic, recreational vehicles became a huge hit, with Americans looking forward to exploring the great outdoors. However, this summer is a bit different; with gasoline and diesel prices at record levels, some RV enthusiasts are shifting their plans to save money.
Many travelers who prefer spending their summer on the road decide to ditch long-haul travel to take trips that usually take between 100 and 150 miles (160 to 240 kilometers).
“We’re seeing cancellations from people coming further away, but then those reservations are filling up with people that might be more in the region or local,” said Toby O’Rourke, chief executive of Kampgrounds of America (KOA), a franchise brand of campgrounds across the country.
Online RV rental site RVshare shared that about 58% of its customers factored fuel costs in their plans this summer, while about 16% of travelers said that rising gas prices have affected or stopped their plans, as per its travel sentiment survey.
The company offers fuel rebates of $500,000 to its customers to alleviate their worries about fuel prices.
The Smith family began living in their RV full-time during the pandemic, and they planned this year to travel from Florida to Maine and then drive towards California. However, as gas prices continue to rise, the Smiths are reconsidering their trip west.
“When we first planned it at our mileage per gallon, we figured it out to be about $1 for every three miles. We (now) envision the dollar bills just flying out the window,” said Michelle Smith.
RV renter and seller Cruise America‘s global marketing executive, Randall Smalley, said that during the previous fuel price booms, people still rented RVs but cut their trips shorter.
Some RV vacationers have decided to skip driving entirely.
“People are getting the RV delivered to their destination rather than driving themselves, which definitely curbs gas price cost. We’re seeing about a third of our bookings are delivered, which is a huge jump from previous years,” said RVshare communications director Maddi Bourgerie.
Austin, Texas-based Outdoorsy stated that, so far, around 28% of their customers requested that the rental be delivered to their campsite this summer, as compared to just 24% the previous summer.
If gas prices continue to increase, 25% of owners of RVs stated that they would plan to travel less frequently. Eight out of ten campers have already made changes to their travel plans because of rising gas prices, as per KOA’s June monthly research report.
This story originally appeared on Reuters.