A newly published study shows that RV vacations cost substantially less than other forms of vacation travel, even when factoring in fuel prices and the cost of RV ownership.
For a four-person travel party, the study found savings of 27 percent to 62 percent; a two-person travel party saved 11 percent to 48 percent.
The research was conducted by PKF Consulting USA, and commissioned by the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA). It updates previous vacation cost comparison studies done by PKF.
The PKF study provides a vacation cost analysis using two sets of hypothetical travel parties: a four-person travel party of two adults and two children, and a two-person travel party of two adults.
PKF analyzed major costs these hypothetical travelers would incur taking nine different types of vacations to nine popular vacation destinations. For each destination, researchers analyzed vacations that last three, seven, and 14 days.
The study compared different methods of travel, including a folding camping trailer, a lightweight travel trailer, a compact motorhome, a Class C motorhome, and a Class A motorhome. The Class A motorhome was used for comparison vs. first-class travel options such as flying first class, renting a premium car, staying in upscale hotels/resorts, and eating meals in restaurants.
RV travel emerged as having a clear economic advantage over other forms of travel, regardless of the RV type. Following is what a four-person travel party could expect to save:
- Folding camping trailer – 47-62 percent
- Lightweight travel trailer – 34-53 percent
- Compact motorhome – 27-48 percent
- Class C motorhome – 28-48 percent
- Class A motorhome – 38 percent
Following is the what a two-person travel party could expect to save:
- Folding camping trailer – 38-48 percent
- Lightweight travel trailer – 23-36 percent
- Compact motorhome – 19-32 percent
- Class C motorhome – 15-28 percent
- Class A motorhome – 14 percent
As part of its analysis, PKF considered how fluctuating fuel prices might affect vacation costs. Their findings showed that fuel prices would have to reach more than $12 per gallon for a four-person travel party before RVing would begin to lose its economic advantage over other forms of travel. For a two-person travel party, fuel would have to reach $6 per gallon.
Buying a new recreational vehicle is one of the biggest purchases you’ll ever make, so it should come as no surprise that choosing the right one for you is no small decision.
When contemplating the purchase of an RV, take your time, do your homework, talk to owners of similar brands and models, attend RV shows.
RV shows are a great place to begin exploring what’s out there. These events allow you to explore different RV manufacturers and models while providing you with an opportunity to speak with dealer and manufacturer representatives, as well as other owners and shoppers in an ideal setting where your questions can be answered. You’ll also be able to compare floor plans and features side-by-side.
When it comes to researching your new RV purchase, the last thing you want to be is hasty. It is important to consider your budget, wants and needs, future travel plans, and any other items you feel are important in making your decision, such as safety, quality, and reliability.
There are plenty of ways to do your homework online using sites like vogeltalksrving.com. Sites like these provide news on the latest and greatest in RVs along with reviews on many of the newest models available. Internet forums are a good way to obtain honest feedback from current owners and learn from their experiences.
Take notes on each RV you see, focusing on your likes and dislikes.
Do not underestimate the importance of selecting the right floor plan for your needs.
It is also important to locate a good reputable dealer who stands behind his products and provides quality service Best of all, there is a coach for just about every budget and every family. It just takes some time to find it.
I enjoy the RV world. I will have one until the day I die.
—Bob Gibson, Hall of Fame major league pitcher