Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Lunacy at the pump, and the leading industry association - RVIA !!!

RVIA, the industry association that represents most RV manufacturers, thinks that even if gas went to $10, $15 or $20 a gallon that it would have absolutely no impact on your camping activity or RV road trips.  Really, they said that this week in the South Bend Tribune  -  you can read the full story here:  http://bit.ly/AiyJQv.


I'm quite sure you don't agree with them :-)

It is inconcievable to me that anybody working in the RV industry, in any capacity, could be that far removed from reality to make such a statement to the press, regardless of the other items mentioned in the article about the lifestyle and how much people enjoy it.

They are not enjoying it much right now as gas nears, or exceeds, $5.00 a gallon.  RVers understand the impact of gas prices on their enjoyment of the lifestyle, so why can't the industry association understand this?  I hope that the manufacturers that build all the products you enjoy, and who are the primary members of RVIA, will address the perception of RV consumers when one of the association staff say that doubling, tripling or quadrupling gas prices won't phase you at all.

Here's what he said:

"The fuel prices don't really impact RV sales quite the way a lot of people might think," Kevin Broom, director of media relations for the RVIA, said. "Part of it is there's so much savings already built into RVs that stay when fuel prices rise."

The RVIA had San Francisco-based PKF Consulting look into that question, Broom said, and it concluded that fuel prices would have to get to nearly $10 a gallon before the most expensive RV -- a Type C Motorhome -- would lose its economic advantage.

For travel trailers, fifth wheels and folding campers, gas prices would have to rise to $15 to $20 a gallon before those vehicles lose their economic value, Broom said.


What an unbelievable statement to make when people can't find work, the country is head over heels in debt, and RVIA doesn't think that gas at $10 a gallon is going to impact consumers RVing habits or further erode RV sales? There must be a full moon rising over Reston.

Even a consumer with a million dollar Prevost is going to choke when his/her 300 gallon tank takes $3000 out of their wallet. The impact and consequences are even greater with the average RVer who truly wants to enjoy their trailer or motorhome, but if they think $10 a gallon is not going to bother them, then it just tells me that the folks at RVIA have never been in a campground and have no idea how this statement will be ridiculed around the country.

I just can't imagine this industry association making a statement like this when gas at $10 a gallon could wipe out half their membership of manufacturers. While they (RVIA) are vacationing in Palm Springs - far away from reality - maybe they should take a vote and see how many of their members agree with a statement like this being provided to the press. Is this how they are handling public relations and communications in-house these days?  They are actually out there for a Board of Directors meeting.

This is truly an unbelievable statement to make given the state of the economy today? Do they think people are standing around the water cooler telling their friends they are not worried about $5 a gallon gas and can't wait for it to get to $10 and they still won't change their camping or RVing habits?

It does not take an MIT genus to understand that RVers will travel less, more used units will be dumped on the market, and new unit sales will plummet.   

As for the consulting firm they quote in the article, one could question if they have ever spent time in an RV, roasted S'mores around a campfire, or slept under the stars in one of our great National Parks.  I would like to see the questions they asked when they took their survey and what the demographics were of their target audience.

Oh, one other thing . . . in another decision they made in Palm Springs, the Board of Directors voted to open an RV office in China.  I think it would be ok for RVers to wonder about RVIA when they have people telling us that $10, $15 and $20 a gallon gas won't have any impact on how we RV, and then with all the problems we have in this country today, they decide to open an office in China to make it easier for them to knock off American parts, RV supplier products, RV supplies and accessories and start making exact copies of our great AMERICAN MADE RV's. 

So let's see what the RV consumers have to say about all of this.  What is $10 a gallon gas going to do to you, your family, and how will it affect the way you enjoy your RV?

40 comments:

  1. It has already affect mine and will continue to do so. We have changed our summer Nova Scotia trip to a Smokie mountain trip due to high fuel prices. We plan to take shorter trips and stay longer at the each site. We are no longer considering upgrading.

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  2. We have made the decision that this summer the trip we had planned for the trip up North has been scaled back to smaller trips within 200-250 miles from home.We have also decided to put on hold the upgrading that we wanted to do.

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  3. We scored a great deal on a used rig the first time gas spiked to $4. People panic and won't make big vehicle purchases when gas prices rise. In most family budgets, the extra spent on gas comes right out of disposable income.

    I've never understood the affordable RV vacation theme from the RVIA. It doesn't make any sense unless you conveniently ignore the cost of the actual RV itself. Their ads, counting only fuel, campsite fees, and food, wouldn't fool a 5th grader. Add in a years worth of payments for 2-3 weeks of vacation and it's not cheap at all!

    Most RV owners I talk with travel and vacation by RV despite the fact that it costs more. We enjoy sleeping in our own beds, traveling on our own schedule, not packing and unpacking every night, and never worrying about things like bed bugs. For families, always having a fridge, a bathroom, and a place for a kids nap is a huge plus.

    We RV because it's a great way to travel - not because it's cheaper.

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    1. At $5.00 a gallon we will not travel as much, If I budget $1000.00 for fuel on a trip thats what we have to work with so just don't go as far. At $10.00 a gallon that budget would not exsist we have to live every day not just for vacation. The RVIA needs to get in touch with reality. Maybe vacations become a thing of the past.

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  4. We had planned a trip at the end of March to Florida, of about 7 weeks. Canceled it in favor of a much shorter distance to Oregon which will be our only trip this year! The reason...fuel prices!

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  5. I can tell that $4.00 gas has caused my wife and I to change plans this year. $10.00 gas would cause our camping to cease, period!

    I don't what this guy is smoking thinking that $10.00 is something the RV community will handle with no problem. Makes no sense at $15 to $20 the industry would be ruined, heck I think at $10 a gallon it would hurt the industry big time as well.

    Erik

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  6. A well respected RV industry executive sent me a private message today on this topic. You have to love his view: "At $10 a gallon I'm not driving my car!"

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    1. Just remember where Reston, VA is located. Too close to Washington, DC.

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  7. While I do think that we adjust to things like price hikes, whether it be in fuel, coffee beans, and for some...cigarettes, it's obvious to see that we ARE affected by them and reflect it in our usage of products whose prices soar.
    What I see happening is that wages increase by necessity when prices increase and it causes a vicious circle of economic problems that it seems at some point will collapse the economy. Alas, I'm not an economist, just an RVer and park owner, and on both counts I hope the increases you wrote about are way far off...like 50 years or more. The RVIA seems to have less accuracy to foretell RV trends than a meteorologist in Texas where the weather changes every five minutes.

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  8. Pretty much any association / organization is going to spin things the way it thinks its members want to hear it. It will buy 'studies' that validate that spin. This does seem to be so far off base as to have no credibility whatsover. If I was a member I'd wonder what my dues were buying.

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  9. At $10.00 we won't have to worry about an association, there won't be any more rv industry to associate. All the rv's out there now will become storage units as my parents did when they got older and sick.

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  10. The RVIA has some smart people I'm sure they will retract what was said! If they don't then I would have to say they are out of touch with the real world.

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  11. "Kevin Broom, director of media relations" That says it right there. This guy is a shill for the RV industry - only concerned with keeping a happy face on in the face of the one thing that could kill sales faster than anything else - $10/gal gas. They see a small increase in sales beginning and don't want reality to quell a potential buyer's enthusiasm. To say that $10 - $20/gal gas wouldn't affect buyers is ludicrous. He knows that, but he obviously thinks customers are stupid enough to believe it. Well, Mr. Broom, my wife and I have not yet bought. We've been on the cusp a couple of times and have decided what we would like, but I guarantee you, even $6/gal gas will make us look elsewhere for our retirement travels.

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  12. As the price of gas goes up, the more r.v's will be for sale. If gas gets to $10.00 a gallion,the R.V. manufactures will all close shop.There will be no RVIA!

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  13. We have cancelled our trip to New Brunswick and Nova Scotia at $4.00 a gal. We own a camp site in VA and that is where we are now planning our summer. This guy is living in a dream world to think people can afford that kind of money per gallon for gas.

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  14. Although we love camping, we just returned from a month in Florida. We rented a Condo for the month for about $950. and drove out car that gets twice the millage of our truck. We calculated it our and decided it would be cheaper or equal to do it this way. I know we missed many of the pleasures of using our camper, but we need to economize if we intend to keep moving in our retirement. If gas goes up much more the camper may have to go.

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  15. We are retired live on a fixed income. In days gone by, we used to travel by plane, stay in hotels or condos, and use rental cars. Now because of prices, greed and unscrupulous business practices we've changed our mode of travel to a small motorhome. Naively, we thought our travel, lodging and meals would be a bit less expensive. Right now, with gas less than $5 per gallon it still costs us over a thousand to visit family and over three to vacation in the west. As the oil barrons and speculators continue to drive fuel prices into orbit, it looks like we'll be spending a lot of time in our driveway.

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  16. Most of all the comments here are spot on, the issue here is not $5/$10/$20 per gallon it is what is the fed going to spin it into? All the price hicks have nothing to do with oil (per say) it has to do with wall street and traders. So until we can stop wall street or the banking industry from lying and stealing the rug out from under us, i do not put any thing out of reach. But yes i can tell you that $10 per gallon fuel or more will cripple the whole RV industry!!

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  17. Contemplated a new RV this year but cancelled plans ... Cost of fuel, cheaper made products, pointed to keeping what we have!

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  18. We have not made our planned RV purchase due to fuel prices.
    Mr. Broom is, apparently, unaware of my decision.
    I have just attempted to leave "feedback" at rvia.org and received the message that the site no longer accepts interactive feedback.
    Wonder why.

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  19. Gas prices have not effected our travel much. We bought an older used motor home that was very clean and low miles for $18,000. We traveled 37 states in 2010 traveling 13,000 miles. Our daily expense with gas, food, camping fees, entertainment and depreciation on the motor home totalled just $125.00 per day. I think that is quite reasonable compared to doing the same 16 week trip any other way. In 2011 we traveled from south Florida to Alaska and back again totalling just over 13000 miles. Our expenses were only slightly higher probably due to much higher fuel prices in Canada. If you don't have to keep up with the Jones and buy the biggest and best, you can do very well even at the prices we are paying for fuel now. By the way. When we crossed into Alaska and fueled up just over the line we paid $4.29 a gallon and felt like we stole it compared to Canada. Have you been to Canada lately? Things don't seem to have slowed down much up there with high fuel prices. $10.00.....that might be another matter.

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  20. Kevin Broom should probably switch careers and move into the 'Fertilizer Industry'......he seems to be an 'expert' more suited to that arena.

    He may have obtained a copy of the Washington DC's new energy policy. I just don't think a Chevy VOLT will tow my 40' motorhome!

    He makes it difficult to say anything with a positive spin on his behalf.

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  21. don't worry about whether or not you take a vacation in your rv' worry about if you will have enough money to buy groceries when the price uf fuel is added to the cost of groceries.

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  22. How ignorant can the supposedly intelligent people be????? $10 a gallon? I would be looking at mine in my driveway. They can forget manufacturing more because no one will be able to sell what is already out there. These folks must be sleeping with our congressional folks....and living in their own little dream world. And doing ANYTHING with China removes me from the picture. I've already stopped buying many things I want because I can't find a Made in America version. I'm checking labels and if it isn't Made in America, it doesn't come home with me. You would be surprised what you can live without. Lord help us all. And I pray God will Bless America with some righteous leaders who don't have their heads up their posteriors and their hands in everyone else's pockets.

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    1. You are right on with your comments. We, too, do not bring home other than "Made in America" anymore, and products made here are hard to find. Thus, our way of living has decreased somewhat. And China??? This is the country that gave us leaded baby toys, etc. Do our leaders not learn from their errored ways. Be careful who you vote for this fall folks.

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  23. With gasoline prices at $4.00, we have already canceled one camping trip to consolidate our gasoline budget to a single trip this summer. And that trip is getting pared into as gasoline prices rise. When we're looking at buying cars that get nearly 50 mpg just so we can afford to go to work it seems silly to spend what little we save, after paying a premium for those cars, on a 6 to 8 mpg guzzler at $4.00 per gallon.

    If anyone thinks $10 or $20 per gallon is reasonable then they need to stop smoking whatever they are smoking or they might consider sharing their lottery winnings with the rest of us.

    Last year a major gasoline company that begins with "E" put out a press release stating that, and I paraphrase, when gas prices go up it is a good indication that the economy is getting better.

    At $3 per gallon we took 3 pretty long trips per year. At $4 per gallon we'll take 2 (this year).
    At $5 per gallon we might take 1.
    As the price goes up from there we might cut down to a trip every other year or longer.
    At $20 per gallon, or even $10, I won't be able to afford to drive the 55 miles to work (4 gallons round trip +/-). We certainly won't even think about RVing at, or even near, those prices.

    One of two things need to happen:
    1) Stableize or even lower gasoline prices
    2) Make ALL vehicles including RVs much more gas efficient

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  24. I could make a suggestion, buy a diesel. I tow a fifth wheeler and by buying a diesel I just about doubled my mpg. same trailer just differant truck. No, big oil doesn"t want you to do that. They need to sell more fuel.Are they making any C diesel motorhomes? I don"t think so.

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    1. Lots of Sprinter based diesel B
      s and C's out there that get 15+ mpg. Winnebago even makes a small A (Via), but at $10 - $20/gallon, even those are non-starters.

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  25. If the fuel gets over $5.00 a gallon I will be worring about getting to work. Not how far I can go Camping.

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  26. I am On a fixed income an i wanted a scamp from Bockus,Minn, but now i have to hold off as i can barelyafford to drive my car an i do not go very many places as i am 84 yrs old an it is hard to get around.We are really headed for trouble in this country trashing our Lord An doing the things that are way beyond reason.

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  27. Bob, you are way off base on this one. The RV industry people are quite correct. You may not remember when gas prices were $.33 (Canadian) a gallon. I do. We were concerned the price might go to $.50 because we would never be able to afford to drive a car. How we would welcome that price today. And a few years from now we will say the same thing about $5 a gal. EVERYTHING will go up as it has in past so please, do not insult the Rv industry people when they say we will conntinue to buy and drive their rigs. Most of us know they are right. We don't like it but there seems little we can do. We need alternate sources of renewable energy, more efficient motors and better driving education to give us some measure of control over these costs.

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    1. Congratulations Camperman, after hundreds of responses on blogs, LinkedIn and other sites talking about this subject, you are the only person responding that thinks this is not a problem. Without identifying yourself, unless you want to, can you share with us if you a a consumer, dealer, supplier, manufacturer, campground owner or affiliated with the RV industry as a consumber or a business person? This may help us better understand your position here. I don't agree with you but I do give you credit for throwing the rock back over the fence.

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    2. In camperman's defense, I_think_ he's talking about general inflation.

      Newspapers used to be a nickel, coke was a nickel too. A brand new 1964 Mustang Convertible cost $2500 - in 1964.

      Gas will eventually be $10 and even $20 a gallon. As long as wages and investments rise accordingly, everyone will be no better or worse off than they are today. The problem comes when fuel prices rise dramatically faster than wages or other inflation. That's where we are right now.

      Camperman is apparently comfortable waiting until general inflation catches up with fuel costs. He's already planning a big trip - for 2050!

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  28. remove all our troops from the middle east - oil prices (thus gas) will plummet. Just look at the price since 2002 (Iraq invasion) and answer the question easily.

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  29. We were planning a trip of 800 miles for the summer now we are cutting back to a 200 mile trip.
    If the RVIA thinks that $10.00 a gallon will not affect the industry and campgrounds they better get ready to look for new jobs,they are nuts.

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  30. And today we get the Washingto Post and ABC News poll showing a 65% diapproval rating for the President on the way he is handling the gas crisis. The national average for a gallon of gasoline has climbed thirty cents in the last four weeks to a national average of $3.81 a gallon - dangerously close to $4.00 a gallon.

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  31. The year after the current administration got into office, we curtailed our travel plans to no more than 500 miles or so (one way). This was after the gas prices zoomed up into the stratisphere.
    We went from several trips to like one or two.

    Last year it was a short trip and one longer one to go four wheeling. All the calculations for fuel were based on $4.00 a gallon. This is a class A that is getting 9.5 on the flats towing but it goes down the drain when in the mountains. If fuel costs rise over $4.00 then I think the bank can have it. Our primary residence takes priority as does all our girls who are attempting to make a living under this current administration.

    Any plans for up-grading have gone out the window along with any notion of another newer replacement vehicle to simply drive around. Speculation by investors on Wall Street as well as the administration not allowing this country to start using our own resources, (read new drilling, opening up more public lands,etc.) the EPA forcing the current refineries to newer and so called better enviromental requirements are some of the reasons that RV'ers will not be doing much traveling in the next year or so.

    Lock and load folks, because if the current administration gets back into office, then our way of life as we know it will vanish.

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  32. It sounds like the RVIA folks have been drinking the kool-aid. Their statements are so foolish that they lose credibility with most of us in the real world.

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  33. 16.00 gas. 8 miles to the gallon. 2.00 dollar a mile for gas. Depreciation now doubled or tripled due to so many rigs being sacrificed on the used market. Insurance rates going up. Price of food going up. Price of repairs and parts going up. I am thinking about all this as I am driving down the highway to Pismo Beach, CA to pay 50.00 a night for a rv space while I am passing motels that are offering 35.95 per night for a room. I am towing a toad that gets 35 miles to the gallon. I have planned three rallies in three pacific coast states this spring ending with a round trip of 2200 miles up to canada and back to san Jose. that trip is predicated on current price of 4.27. At 10.00 it will be a trip in a tent in the 35 MPG car. AT 15.00 it will be a trip to the local state park with a sleeping bag. At 20.00 it will be on a bicycle to that state park. Any questions?

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    1. i know this is an older post but ty guys for the truth about rving cost. I think the rvia and others who make these statements are doing it to help sell rvs .If people knew it cost so much too own one and maintain it they would probably not sell as many .This is one of the first places if found with honest answers from real rvers not salesmen so ty again

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