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Despite record high fuel costs, RV vacations remain affordable
The experts are predicting fuel costs will reach $4 a gallon this summer. Don't let this affect your vacation plans! Even if you factor in higher fuel prices, RV vacations remain the most economical. In fact, A recent study by PKF Consulting found that fuel prices would have to triple for RVing to be more expensive than other forms of travel.
A typical vacation, even with just a family of four, can become quite expensive. There are costs for transportation, lodging, food–and don't forget the entertainment. Amusement park tickets, museum admission, historic tours, boat rentals and the like all add to vacation expenses. RV family vacations are, on average, 26 to 74 percent less expensive than travel by personal car, airline or cruise ship.
The RV combines your transportation, lodging and restaurant all in one. RVs come fully equipped with state-of-the-art kitchens, bathrooms, central air and heat, king-sized beds, entertainment systems and more, allowing you to bring all the comforts of home when you travel.
Here are some tips that will help you save money on fuel while still enjoying all the fun, freedom and flexibility that RVing has to offer.
Veteran RVer, Jayne Kasper travels nearly 2,000 miles in Michigan each year with husband Ted and dog Jasper. Jayne doesn't let the cost of gas slow her down, "We stay at campgrounds closer to home. I'm on vacation the moment I step into my motor home, whether we're 20 minutes or 2 hours from home."
- Camp closer to home. There's no need to venture outside leave the state! There are over 1,000 campgrounds in Michigan, located near popular destinations, along major tourist routes and even in metropolitan areas. You're always on vacation at the campsite, even if it's only an hour drive home.
- Stay longer in one place. Many RV parks are vacation destinations in their own right, offering something for everyone–swimming pools, playgrounds, game rooms, boating, fishing, nature trails, planned activities and more!
- Eat in. Cook your family favorites in the convenience of an RV to avoid the high costs of eating out. Better yet, cook over your campfire!
- Drive 55 instead of 65. AAA reports, for every 1 mph increase over 55 mph, fuel efficiency decreases 2.2 percent.
- Adjust home thermostats to save energy when traveling.
- Pack light and purchase firewood, water and other camping materials at the campground to keep the RV lightweight while traveling.
- Tune up the engine of your motorhome or tow vehicle, inflate tires properly and conduct regular maintenance to maximize fuel efficiency.
- Use the grade of fuel recommended by the engine manufacturer to increase miles per gallon.
- Travel during off-peak times. Avoid rush hour or travel at night when the weather is cooler and the vehicle air conditioning is needed less.
Here are some other facts to remember:
RVing is still one of the most cost effective ways to explore Michigan. Replace family memories of airport delays, cramped hotel rooms and expensive restaurants with those of scenic drives, comfortable, amenity-filled campgrounds, campfire cookouts and outdoor adventures. There's so much to see and do right here in your home state! RV owners surveyed by Robert Hilton Associates cited the most important benefits of family camping are bringing the family closer together, having new experiences and teaching a respect of nature.
- Airfares and hotel rates are rising rapidly as fuel costs increase and fuel surcharges are added. You can avoid those costs in an RV. Fuel prices would need to triple from their current level to make RVing more expensive for a family of four than other forms of travel.
- Fuel is typically only the fourth largest expense on a road trip, behind lodging, food and vehicle payment and maintenance.
- Save on entertainment costs by bringing along your family's favorite DVDs and game systems.
- Memories made on RV trips will last a lifetime–as will the physical and mental health benefits. With a few simple adjustments for fuel price increases, RVing remains as affordable and as fun as ever.