Despite Rising Fuel Costs, RVers Still Upbeat at Pa. Show

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March 12, 2012 by   - () Leave a Comment

Some visitors to the York Campers World RV Show in Pennsylvania last weekend said rising gas prices can have an effect when it comes to hitting the road, but those who want to camp will find a way.

The York Daily Record reported that in Pennsylvania, the average price for a gallon of regular gasoline is about $3.77, according to the AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report. The national average has climbed from about $3.49 per gallon one month ago to about $3.78. This time last year, the national average was about $3.54 per gallon, according to the report.

Most gas-powered motorhomes average between 7 and 10 miles per gallon, according to the website

Some of those crowded into the York Expo Center said that their camping plans will go on, despite the rising gas prices. At the show, vendors displayed several styles of RVs, including units to tow or those to drive.

Dennis and Megan Schell, of Manchester, have an RV and are looking to upgrade. Megan Schell said it’s still cheaper to use the RV and go camping than it would be to pay for hotel rooms on a vacation. Prices at the campground are better and there are many things for families to do there like swimming and fishing, she said.

Ryan Reich, business manager at Susquehanna RV, said he hardly hears anyone talk about gas prices.

Some might take shorter trips than they used to, he said, and he’s seen some customers going for “v-nose” RVs that are more aerodynamic and are better on gas mileage.

Bob and Shari Small, of Hanover, said they would be sticking closer to home with the RV they bought last year, instead of traveling around.

“We can still enjoy camping but within our budget,” Shari Small said.

Cory Decker, salesman with Ben’s RV Center, said he thinks gas prices have maybe had a part in slowing down the industry in recent years, but “it’s coming back.”

This year, customers have been looking for lighter-weight units, he said because of gas prices and because some of the newer fuel-efficient vehicles can’t tow quite as much weight.

“I think people will still be getting out,” said Robert Klaus, owner of Paradise Stream Family Campground in Loysville. Gas prices might stop people from traveling very far or might cause them to do longer stays in one place, he said.

He thinks the “bigger rigs” are the area hurting, he said, noting that last year, he saw more small campers and pop-ups.

Virginia Aldinger, who works at Paradise Stream, said people book far in advance before they know what gas prices will be like. Someone could even lose a job unexpectedly.

“You can’t really tell until it gets here,” she said.

Karl Littman, of Candy Hill Campground in Virginia, said he’s trying to stay optimistic, hoping gas prices will stay where they are or go back down.

“We’re just hoping they’ll continue to camp and enjoy themselves, wherever (they go),” he said.

One of the new features that attracted interest at the show was an outside kitchen on the RV. “It saves the inside from smelling like food,” said Dennis Schell, of Manchester. “It keeps it all outside.”

Other popular features include electric bunks that offer extra sleeping room but conceal overhead when not in use, and keyless entry systems, said Ryan Reich, business manager for Susquehanna RV.

Many RVs are also now “green certified,” meaning they are more environmentally friendly, he said.

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