You don’t have to scroll on your social media accounts very long before you’ll see memes trying to find humor in the current high gas prices that drivers are experiencing across the country. The national average price per gallon for unleaded gas is currently $4.23, with prices expected to move sporadically higher according to CNBC, who predict drivers could pay over $5 or even $6 in the peak of the upcoming summer travel season. These prices are affecting how Americans spend time on the road, including how they plan their upcoming RV trips.
To better understand how high gas prices are impacting campers, RV Trader recently surveyed 1,083 shoppers on their leading RV marketplace, all of whom are considering taking an RV trip in the next three months. Among the respondents, just over half of RVers (51%) said that high gas prices have caused them to adjust their trip.
With over 11 million U.S. households owning an RV in 2021, according to the RV Industry Association, that would suggest over 5.6 million RVers may currently feel forced to change their travel and camping plans due to high gas prices.
The most common way that RVers are adapting their time on the road is by decreasing how far they’re willing to travel to a campsite. In fact, half of those who have made RV trip adjustments have decided to travel fewer miles, choosing to reserve spots at RV parks and other locations that are closer to home and avoiding long, gas-guzzling road trips.
Among those who have made changes to their travel plans, 32% also say they plan on staying in one location longer, as opposed to driving to several different destinations during a trip. Others have decided to cut short how long they’ll travel in the next few months, with 18% shortening the duration of their upcoming trips.
Another 18% report that they are pushing their trip to a later date, delaying their travels with the hope that gas prices will go down. Finally, 22% of those who say they’ve adjusted an upcoming trip have actually canceled their plans outright, determining that travel is simply not worth the current high cost of gas.
In addition to impacting time and distance on the road, high gas prices have impacted RVers purchase decisions. Some RVers are looking into fuel financing plans, while others are looking to buy smaller, more fuel-efficient RVs. Said one RVer, “[I’m] buying a smaller RV for longer trips and using the big RV for shorter trips.” Others talked about “downsizing” from their current RV and “looking for a smaller, lighter unit.”
With several contributing factors, and uncertain international market forecasts, it’s unclear how long prices at the gas pump will remain high. Until they go down, research from RV Trader suggests that millions of RVers may be adapting their time on the road, including decreasing travel distance, time, and/or destinations, as well as delaying or outright canceling their RV trip plans. RV shopping may also be shifting due to high gas prices.
Check out our previous article for tips on how RVers can use less gas while on the road. If high gas prices have caused you to adapt your camping plans, we want to hear from you – let us know how your RV travel has changed in the comments below! And if you’re looking for a fuel-efficient RV, start your search today on the nation’s leading online RV marketplace, RVTrader.com.