The RV Industry: Running on Empty - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-19-2008, 02:57 PM   #15
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I wish I could find the article I was reading the other day.

Basically, it said camping was DOWN. And not for why you would think.

The economy plays into it a little. It still isn't a cheap activity on the whole. Compared to staying in a hotel and airfares, yes, but when what were "normal" middle income non struggling folks last year are, this year, scrambling to eat and buy gas, even the cheapest camping trip requires thought and planning. Example..

I spent 3 days at a campground very near my house a couple weeks ago. With camp fees and gas and supplies, it was still over 100 bucks. That didn't include food, as I gotta eat anyway..

That aside, the reasoning behind the slump at campgrounds is that for areas near large cities, camping is just not a "todays" kid kind of thing. Fewer families plan this activity in favor of others. Soccer, technology, struggling to maintain the McMansions of recent development. Thats not to say it isn't done, but I have noticed over the past decade that you actually see fewer families in campgrounds myself.

That seems unthinkable to most of us boomers, but the reality of those behind us is different. WE always had the vacation camping trip with our parents in the summer and it was pretty much a right and expectation.. depending on where you grew up. (I know growing up in the Northwest.. thats what you did and if you had never slept in the rain you were some sort of deprived weird kid)

I happily, am astounded at seeing mostly empty campsites on normal lovely weekends here. The weekend mentioned above was the weekend after memorial day, the weather is perfect at this time of year in so. cal.. and I was the only person in a 40 site loop. One whole loop was empty, and the other two were *maybe* 25% used.

5 years ago, the place would have been at least 1/2 full, all around.

*WE* look at it differently, but keep in mind, this group is highly focussed on camping.. we are by far in the minority when it comes to the rest of the world and leisure time, even if it doesn't seem like it.. we get extra exposure here and it seems that that is what everyone does. But it's not.
I agree totally... my teens would do anything to stay home and wear the ends off their thumbs playing video games. ain't gonna happen though. we go to a small private loop every weekend and have a permanently parked 31 foot there. there is a waiting list to get in because the Provincial park next to us has raised the price of a serviced site to near $40. per night and with the gas costs to tow your rig out there, it has left the place pretty empty so far this year. we also know the resorts in the area are down at least 50% because they can't draw the usual business from south of the border. All of the private seasonal trailer parks are full but a few closed last year to put up condos on the lake side... not sure if that was the best idea given the shift that's taking place now. My little egg is going to be staying close to home and taking in some great music festivals this year.
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Old 06-22-2008, 01:22 AM   #16
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If things play out the way Gina says, the campgrounds will end up looking like a 55 and over mobile home community!!! I guess that wouldn't be all bad. However, on the bright side, my 18 year old son was sitting in his vw camper bus the other day and my wife asked him what he was doing. He said he was thinking about camping. My wife told him he and his friends were more than welcome to tent it along with us on our upcoming trip as they always have. His response was that they were planning on going somewhere without the parents. A little bit of a surprise, but it was nice to see that they do think about more than video games.
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Old 06-22-2008, 01:35 PM   #17
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If things play out the way Gina says, the campgrounds will end up looking like a 55 and over mobile home community!
I have friends who are workcampers at a senior's (55+) property in Palm Springs, CA. 1/2 is a mobilehome (or manufactured home) park and the other 1/2 is an RV park, that during the winter season is full of snowbirds. Many of the snowbirds are choosing to store their motorhomes [b]there and find other transportation "home" for the summer, as 6 months of storage fees work out to be a little less than the fuel costs for a round trip to the upper midwest or Canada.
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Old 06-22-2008, 01:49 PM   #18
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I have friends who are workcampers at a senior's (55+) property in Palm Springs, CA. 1/2 is a mobilehome (or manufactured home) park and the other 1/2 is an RV park, that during the winter season is full of snowbirds. Many of the snowbirds are choosing to store their motorhomes [b]there and find other transportation "home" for the summer, as 6 months of storage fees work out to be a little less than the fuel costs for a round trip to the upper midwest or Canada.
If you travel on the cheap (bus) and factor in the additional wear and tear on your rig as well as the cost of staying at other campgrounds along the way as you travel to and from your destination, you could probably save hundreds.
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