Check out this article excerpt from The News Journal in Delaware. We know gas prices can make an impact on vacation choices, but at Jellystone Parks we strive to provide a number of free amenities with your stay – from playgrounds to swimming pools.
RV Owners willing to pay in order to get away
By Dan Shortridge
Nationally, more than half of RV owners surveyed this spring by the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association said they’ll be going camping more often than last year, with many taking more frequent, shorter vacations. Just 9 percent said they’ll go camping less this summer.
And the trade group expects overall RV sales to rise to 263,100 this year, up 8.6 percent. That’s still a far cry from the 390,500 units sold before the crash in 2006 but is a nice rebound from the 165,700 units sold in 2009.
“When gas prices rise, they don’t stop RVing,” said RVIA President Richard Coon. “We will face some headwinds such as gas prices and uncertain economic factors, but overall, we have momentum now that will help us continue the recovery that began last year.”
This comes as good news to local RV dealers and to the operators of RV campgrounds.
A strong summer
Delaware’s campgrounds — public and private — reported being at or nearly at capacity for the Memorial Day weekend with visitors from Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland and are looking forward to a strong summer.
The RV trade group’s survey found 53 percent of RV owners planning to drive more this summer, with 65 percent planning “mini-vacations.”
To trim travel costs, they plan to vacation more efficiently — driving slower, packing lighter to reduce weight and turning off home utilities while they’re traveling.
Even with gas nearing the $4 mark in Delaware, they contend it’s still cheaper to RV.
According to a 2008 study for the RV trade group, a 238-mile trip from Pittsburgh to Lancaster, Pa., would cost about $840 for the owner of a medium-sized RV, including a monthly stipend covering the purchase price; the comparable trip in a car, staying at hotels, would cost about $1,050. The $1 jump in gas prices from a year ago would add $17 to the cost of fuel for the owner of that RV owner and $6 for the car owner. Gas mileage varies on the size of the RV from 6 mph to 12 mph.
But talk to RV campers and they’ll tell you the decision is less about money than lifestyle — the freedom and flexibility they have to go where they want, when they want and how they want.
People ‘still want to get away’
Brent Fannin, whose family owns the Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park campground in Milford, DE said its bookings are up more than 30 percent this year, with more than 200 of its 277 sites full for the Memorial Day weekend.
Fannin said it’s far enough inland to be away from the hustle and bustle of the resorts but also close enough to Rehoboth and other beach towns that visitors can go to the outlets or boardwalk. Many bigger RVs tow a small car so campers can travel while leaving the camper on site.