As Gas Prices Rise, So Do RV Sales

Saturday, May 3rd 2008, 9:51 pm
By: News On 6

Despite what you might think, RV dealerships are reaping the benefit of higher gas prices. The News On 6's Dan Bewley reports the rising gas gauge is good for business.

You can think of it as buying everything you need for your vacation, an airline ticket, a hotel room and trips to the restaurant, all at the same time. That's what the RV industry says happens when you put down the money for a recreational vehicle.

They come in all shapes and sizes.

It's the RV, an all-in-one vacation get-about with microwave ovens, bunk beds and some even with the all-important grandfather clock. You might think the sale of RV's is taking a hit because of the ever-escalating gas prices. Not so, say the folks at Dave's Claremore RV.

"We can't complain at all," said Dave's RV General Manager Randy Sloan.

Sloan couldn't give the exact numbers, but he says gas prices have actually spurred sales.

The News On 6 caught up with the Metz family who is looking to upgrade from their current RV.

"We like to camp so we're out looking," said Lavonne Metz.        

They say the convenience of an RV beats the hassle of the airport, renting a car and checking into a hotel room.

"You don't have to make all them pit stops," said Sherry Metz.

The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association says a family of four can save as much as 74% if it takes an RV instead of vacationing the traditional way. The Metz back up that claim, adding it comes in handy in case of an emergency. Like the time a medical issue forced the family to stay an extra 15 days in Arkansas during a cross-country trip.

"Cause it would have been really expensive for motels for two weeks," said Sherry Metz.

Sloan says he's seeing a lot of first-time buyers, couples in their 20's and 30's, many deciding to vacation locally.

"And for $160 to $200 a month they can go once a month or twice a month, whatever they would like to do," said Sloan.

A study from the University of Michigan projects sales of RV's will decline slightly this year, but the overall number is still expected to rank among the highest in more than 25 years.

It's believed nearly eight million people in the U.S. own an RV.