RV Holidays a cheaper way to travel PKF study showsvia http://www.dailybulletin.com/ci_9872970
Although it might seem counterintuitive with gas prices skyrocketing, a recent study says vacationing in recreational vehicles is still one of the cheapest options available to families seeking summertime fun.
A study conducted by PKF Consulting, an international consulting firm with expertise in travel and tourism, found that "typical RV family vacations are on average 27 to 61percent less expensive than other types of vacations studied."
The study factors in RV ownership and increased fuel costs.
Even though RV ownership has decreased, rentals have gone up 20 percent this year, according to a spokesman from the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association.
"People are postponing the purchase, so they're renting RVs instead," said Kevin Broom, director of media relations for RVIA.
In the Inland Empire, most RV rental places are seeing those increases firsthand.
"When you rent, you get to try out the RV before buying it," said Jeff Ramsey, owner of Quality RV Rental in Chino.
Ramsey said rental customers do not have to worry about maintenance costs or putting miles on their personal vehicles.
Joe Laing, director of marketing for El Monte RV, attributes the decrease in sales to the credit crisis, not increased fuel prices.
"The credit crisis has affected motor-home sales the most," said Laing. "People think it's gas prices, but it's not."
Broom said an estimated 30million people travel in RVs each year and that 8.2 million families own RVs.
RV owners and renters save money because they do not have to pay for hotels, restaurants, flights and rental cars, he said.
"When you add all these things together, it's still cheaper to rent the motor home and take the trip," said Ken Schork, president of El Monte RV, one of the largest RV rental companies in California.
Most rental RVs can fit six people or more and do not require a special classification on the renter's driver's license. Most the rental companies said their motor homes get 8 to 11 miles per gallon.
Mellanie Ingle, vice president of corporate affairs for Giant RV, which has locations in Colton and Montclair, said the company sells smaller RVs available that get 16 to 18 miles per gallon.
The average campground costs $30 to $50 a night, but savvy RV drivers can park for free overnight in many Wal-Mart parking lots, according to Phillip Keene, a company spokesman.
The company does not offer amenities such as electrical and sewage hookups, and drivers should ask the store's manager if they can park overnight.
Besides the cheaper price tag, RV users experience other advantages, such as the freedom to stop whenever needed and take pets along with the rest of the family, according to RV dealers.
"It's really a hassle-free form of travel," Ingle said. RV travelers get to spend "real, true quality time with their families."
For information about RVs and the cost of renting one, visit RVIA.org.