As gasoline prices hit all-time highs, Jeff Redmond says he’s looking to stay closer to home when RV camping this summer.
The owner and general manager of Bucars RV Centre located in Balzac (Alberta, Canada) says recreational vehicles remain one of the most affordable options to travel as a couple or as a family once the cost of hotels, gas prices, or airline costs are taken into consideration.
“We laugh that RVers are the ones that are winning,” Redmond said in an interview.
The price of gasoline fell slightly before the long May weekend, the unofficial start of the summer camping season; however, experts believe that summer demand over the next few weeks could potentially send prices higher.
Redmond said that this could affect the places where he travels this year.
“The Okanagan Valley is a place I like to go, and that’s a seven-hour drive, so maybe I am going to go to Pigeon Lake or Gull Lake (Alberta), which is an hour-and-a-half drive,” he said. “The good news is that I am still going.
“We’re able to alter our plans and to work within our budget.”
Redmond reported that he received similar sentiments from customers. Some plan to stay closer to their home, while others plan to stay longer at one campsite.
“You park the larger trailer at a permanent campsite, or at your friend’s cottage, or at the old family farm, or at a winery in the Okanagan — and you don’t tow it,” he said. “You hop in your family car, and you go back and forth. You have a built-in, very affordable off-the-grid cabin that is extremely efficient once you get there.”
Rob Minarchi, the vice-president of sales at ArrKann Trailer & R.V. Centre, with outlets throughout Alberta, said there had been a massive demand for RVs from the onset of the pandemic, and it’s not slowed down this year.
“Most (people) are upgrading, as crazy as that sounds,” Minarchi said in an interview.
“Some individuals are for sale… due to their circumstances have changed, but in the majority of cases, it’s just a matter of trading in units for other units.
Minarchi says he’s never heard of anyone getting rid of their RV due to the rising gas prices.
“What we’re seeing is a lot of people are just camping a little closer,” he said. “If they were going to do a five-hour trip, now they are going to do a one-hour trip. I think it actually ties in a little bit with COVID and staying close to home.
Some RVers, he said, are installing solar panels and purchasing generators to enable them to camp off the grid, including on Crown land, and others are parking their RVs at permanent sites for the entire summer.
This story originally appeared on Global News.
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