Veteran RVers Philosophical About Gas Prices
When Dail Martin drove his motorhome from Peoria, Ill., to California last October, he paid about $800 in diesel fuel for the trip.
He thought that was a lot. But when he returned this month to his native Peoria area, the retired steelworker paid more than $1,100 for fuel, even though the mileage was the same.
Martin, 81, who has lived exclusively in a motorhome with his wife, Sue, for 30 years, was philosophical about it when asked about how the explosion in fuel prices affected him, according to the Peoria Journal Star.
"When you're moving your entire home every time you drive anywhere, I guess you're going to pay a little for it. We have no control over it and this is what we want to do, so we pay it," said Martin as he bicycled with his 11-year-old granddaughter, Hannah, around Spindler Campground in East Peoria last week.
It helps, Martin said, that he and his wife tow a car with them when they make the longer trips so they don't pay to drive the motorhome – which gets about 11 miles to the gallon – on short trips or errands.
Annette and Carl Ferrie, who have lived in a travel trailer they tow with a diesel pickup truck since selling their Dunlap, Ill., home in 1999, don't have that luxury. They take the truck everywhere when they reach one destination or another.
Still, Annette said while walking at Spindler, "We're not going to let the fuel prices stop us from doing what we love. It may have slowed us some, we've put off a couple trips, but it's still doable."
It cost the Ferries $800 to drive back from Florida, where they wintered this year. But normally, she said, they don't chew that many miles at once. "We usually go on shorter trips, stop a while, then go again. It doesn't seem to be as big of a hit all at once that way," she said.
In the meantime, Martin and Ferrie said they will wait for politicians or somebody to decide enough is enough and bring fuel costs under control.
"We can't do anything about it, but I think others can," Martin said.
Americans have been spoiled by an abundance of fuel that has been – and remains – less expensive than in many other countries, Ferrie said.
"Americans love to go. This is such a beautiful country to see, and it is great to meet new people. It is such a privilege, but it's a privilege we should protect," she said.