Survey Indicates RVers Planning Big Cutbacks in Travel and RV Purchases

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Recreational vehicle enthusiasts are feeling a severe pinch to their pocketbooks as fuel prices climb according to a popular RV website. Several recent surveys by RVtravel.com have revealed significant cutbacks in how RVers are spending their fuel-diminished dollars and their plans to purchase a new recreational vehicle.

Recreational vehicle enthusiasts are feeling a severe pinch to their pocketbooks as fuel prices climb according to a popular RV website. Several recent surveys by RVtravel.com -- http://www.RVtravel.com -- have revealed significant cutbacks in how RVers are spending their fuel-diminished dollars and their plans to purchase a new motorhome, travel trailer or other recreational vehicle.

"Based on what our readers are telling us, sales of RVs are headed into a dramatic decline," said RVtravel.com editor Chuck Woodbury. "At the end of 2006 we asked our readers if they planned to buy an RV in the upcoming year. About 20 percent said they would either definitely or probably buy. In last month's (December) survey asking the same question, only about seven percent of the more than 1,500 RVers who participated said they were likely to buy in 2008 -- nearly two-thirds less than the year before."

In a separate RVtravel.com survey, eight percent of those who responded said they would stop RVing entirely if fuel prices reached $4 a gallon. Most of the 3,300 RVers who participated in the survey said that the high cost of fuel has forced them to either cut back the distance they travel or the time they spend on the road. In another recent RVtravel.com survey, 60 percent of readers said they believed fuel prices would reach $5 a gallon in 2008.

Woodbury said that when gas and diesel prices climbed above $2 he worried that RVers would stop traveling. At $3 he was again concerned. Now, as prices are hitting $4 a gallon in some areas, he says he is more concerned than ever. Yet, as has happened before, he expects to be surprised.

"Every time I think fuel prices are just too high for RVers to keep going, I discover otherwise," he explained. "The fact is, RVers are avid about the lifestyle and it appears most will not quit RVing no matter what fuel costs. I believe that traveling closer to home will become a lot more popular in 2008, and long trips will be put on hold."

RVtravel.com has conducted more than 300 surveys of its readers through its six years of online publishing (available at http://www.rvtravel.com/rvtravel/results.aspx ). The results provide a unique insight into RVers' behavior and the RV lifestyle.

Besides editing RVtravel.com, Woodbury operates RVbookstore.com ( http://www.RVbookstore.com ), the world's largest store specializing in books and DVDs about recreational vehicles and the RV lifestyle. He is also the host of the Better Business Bureau DVD, "Buying a Recreational Vehicle," available at RVbookstore.com and at many public libraries.

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CHUCK WOODBURY
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