Lucky Us - Fiberglass RV


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Old 02-05-2012, 02:47 PM   #1
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Lucky Us

Fiberglass owners are better positioned for the economy than many.

This week we're at the Escapee headquarters in Livingston, TX. It's the second or third time we've stopped here. Unfortunately the place is comparatively empty compared to previous visits, something we've particularly noticed this year on our stops.

Fortunately a fiberglass trailer is a low cost solution to travel, keeps it's value, inexpensive to own and less expensive to tow.

Ginny thinks the 'hey day' of RVing has passed.
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Old 02-05-2012, 03:11 PM   #2
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Interesting observations, Norm. Ginny's observation is kind of sad.

Sure hope that the trend will just be a switch to smaller RVs so all the great campgrounds stay open.
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Old 02-05-2012, 03:43 PM   #3
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Ginny may be right. Although right now in Oregon the weather is absolutely beautiful. My neighbors who typically drive their monster MH south for the winter and wet spring haven't left yet and probably won't for a couple more weeks. Maybe this is the same thing happening in other areas of the country and when the weather finally does change, Escapees in Livingston will be full.
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Old 02-05-2012, 10:30 PM   #4
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My friends who staff a snowbird RV park in Palm Springs say their occupancy is down 45% from 2 years ago. I the past they were completely full and turned away people on several key dates. This year they never got above 75% occupied.
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Old 02-05-2012, 10:56 PM   #5
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Maybe the hey day of RV's is over--we're just seeing the start of baby boomers retiring and the RV generation seemed to be my parent's (pre baby boomer) generation. But then again maybe the RV parks are pricing themselves out of business. At those prices an all-inclusive to Puerto Vallarta looks like a pretty good alternative.
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Old 02-06-2012, 01:46 AM   #6
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Zigaktly! The prices of many RV Parks are such that other alternatives are often cheaper. I have been chastised on here in the past for noting that I can travel with the car and stay in hotels & motels for less than traveling with the trailer, and a lot of "all-inclusives" are cheaper yet!

I suspect that Cruise ship vacations will be especially low cost this year!!! (since my smilies have vanished, I'll let you insert the appropriate grins and sarcastic giggles here!)
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Old 02-06-2012, 07:32 AM   #7
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Pricing

It's true that some RV parks, particularly some state parks in the face of unbalanced budgets, have increased their rates.

Though part of the problem, there are many low cost wonderful campgrounds experiencing the same problem. The Corp of Engineer parks have not been even half full ($8-11 with Golden Eagle and $16-22 with out) or even the Escapee Park ($5 for boondocking and $13-15 for full hookup).

In talking to people, and most have big rigs, it's the dramatic increase in fuel over the last 3 years. One guy described to me that every 2 miles driven cost him $1. For me it's a $1 every 6-7 miles.

Secondarily it's also the lack of national confidence, of not having faith in the future.

Of those that do travel, I see them spending extended periods in one place, partially to save money by paying long term campground rates (still reasonably low at $10-15/day) and to avoid fuel expenditures.
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Old 02-06-2012, 11:40 AM   #8
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I wonder if the demand for new RV's will go down and in turn lower the prices. New sure is expensive compared to pre-loved.
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Old 02-06-2012, 12:42 PM   #9
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No doubt the demand for large RVs is down, there are a lot of used RVs available at reasonable rates. I think the small Fiberglass manufacturers could do more to make their units more generally useful as well many of the big rig manufacturers are expanding their lines to smaller rigs.
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Old 02-06-2012, 12:46 PM   #10
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I think there are many elements involved. Many of those nice retirement plans have disappeared as have some of the people's investments and others can't afford to retire and/or need to work to supplement their retirement. We watched the costs of RV parks really go up out of reach and even monthly rates, in some areas, would allow you to take that same money and rent an apartment/mobile home. Perhaps it is becoming more a love of the RV lifestyle rather than a cost savings in making the choice which, in my opinion, would be good! I am not surprised by this. We saw people full and part-timing and became familiar with the lifestyle in the early 90's and I thought it was like the coolest thing in the whole world!
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Old 02-06-2012, 12:54 PM   #11
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Fulltiming still affordable

Full timing is still affordable, particularly in a small trailer, even more so if you don't own a home and fulltime at the same time.

Keeping our small home amounts to about 1/4 of all our expenses.
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Old 02-06-2012, 02:27 PM   #12
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We can't afford to retire like many of our classmates are. It causes us issues with some of the rallies too; they are often held during the week. We would like to go, but we work.

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Old 02-06-2012, 03:47 PM   #13
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If RVing is on the decline and the CGs are getting less crowded, maybe by the time I retire I can actually get a prime winter campsite in the Keys! Woohoo!
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Old 02-06-2012, 03:48 PM   #14
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I believe it is a matter of perception. Our gas prices are not horrible, but they were much cheaper not that long ago. Gas prices are still only a small part of the expence of vacation (a NICE dinner for two at a resturant will cost as much as gas for a day of driving) and most people with monster motor homes eat even NICER dinners. So I believe it is more sticker shock. Another example is a person driving 20 miles to SAVE? a penny or two on 10 or 20 gallons of gas.

As for the cost of campgrounds, I would rather spend $50-75 for a campground and sleep in my own bed than spend $75-150 for a room which may have bed bugs.

One final thought. Gas prices and campground prices are set by supply and demand (although it can swing like a pendulum) people will only pay as much as the value they put on things.

Art

P.S. Don't misunderstand me, I still long for $.35 gas and $.25 loaves of bread.
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