Even As Inflation Rises To Record Levels, RVs Are Saving The American Vacation
The economy may be getting rough and bringing back images of the 1970’s under Jimmy Carter, however, we bring great news. Even with Gas prices over $5 a gallon in many parts of the country, RV rentals are still a fantastic way to explore the country. More Americans are scrapping Resorts For RV Vacations. Ok, maybe you won’t take a cross country trip in an RV rental, but you can certainly explore your own state at a better price than staying at a Hotel or Resort.
In fact, we wrote an article about the RV rental being less expensive than staying in a hotel already. We wanted to revisit the topic with the inflation being a larger factor in travel and vacations now.
Recent studies show that most people travel in RV Vacations within 200 miles of their home. The image of cross country RV trips or long one way road trips, are not based in reality. A few more interesting facts are from a study conducted by Thor Industries:
- 67% of those who have RVed in the last two years reported rising fuel costs have increased their likelihood to purchase an RV in the next five years, or has no impact
- 69% reported rising fuel costs have increased their likelihood to use an RV within the next year, or has no impact
- 73% are more likely to purchase from companies with sustainable/eco-friendly manufacturing processes
According to KOA, camping over Memorial Day weekend is up about 5% over 2021, with more than 22 million households planning to partake in the holiday camping weekend. For Summer, and 26% of campers have booked at least half of their camping and RV Vacations for 2022, with 17% of study respondents state they will take fewer trips and stay longer at the destinations.
Another survey by the RV Renter’s Association shows RV rentals are still growing. 59% of the RV dealers surveyed stated that 1/5 of their rentals last year were for towables, aka, 5th wheels or trailers from people who own a viable tow vehicle.
Let’s start with the good news first. RV rentals are the growing vacation sector, year over year, providing a comfortable and even luxurious trip with a lot more flexibility.
RVs To Drive Or To Tow Or Have Delivered
With prices rising all around us and impacting airfare and hotels and theme parks. We still have the option of renting an RV. What’s great about this is that the nightly rate to rent an RV is relatively unchanged year over year. One website, RVnGO.com offers a wide variety from tear drop trailers to Airstreams to 5th wheels and campervans to class C and the uber luxurious diesel pusher Class A motorcoaches. People are renting these RVs for trips from Motocross to NASCAR races, and music festivals, and even horse races to fishing trips.
A guest of these RV hosts can pick a drivable or a towable unit for their trip, whatever they are most comfortable with using. For special events, the Host can even have the RV delivered to the spot where the guest will be and all you must do is show up. The host will do a walkthrough of the features and amenities and then you enjoy the RV. In fact, due to exclusive partnerships with places like NASCAR tracks, a person can contact RVnGO and state that they need an RV for the NASCAR race in Homestead Miami or the Phoenix Raceway as two examples and if you are among the 1st 20 RV rentals, you will get a free camping spot at the track.
So what is the average cost to rent an RV for a week? We have several articles that itemize the costs and do an apples to apples comparison. One hot tourist destination is Miami. Read the article to learn how much it costs to rent an RV for a week in that city.
So how does that compare with staying at a resort this summer?
Hospitality Costs Rising With Inflation
In the wake of US inflation, research is showing “staycations” or “nearcations” and vehicle rentals are the way to go — especially for those who are scaling back on vacation plans. In 2020, when Hotels, Resorts and Airlines were shutdown, the RV rental market exploded and helped companies like RVnGO, a person to person RV Rental website, get on the map. Well now with prices of everything going up, the cost of airfare and stays at typical lodging is a lot less attractive. In fact, the cost of Hotel stays have increased a whopping 40% year over year. Whereas the cost to rent an RV for a week has remained steady throughout most of the country. A recent survey also found that 52% of travelers will turn to rental vehicles for vacations in order to save money, with 9 out of 10 people prefer to rent something they can easily sleep and stay in, rather than book a hotel. 56% of the 2,000 adults in the survey doubt they can afford a traditional vacation because of how this economy has taken a dramatic downturn under the current leadership.
American Traveler Stats
American vacation-goers, in an effort to save money, according to the study, are planning to spend less on attractions (40%), lodging (40%), and clothing (39%). According to the RVIA, (RV Industry Association), RV vacations continue to be a fantastic alternative for consumers’ pocketbooks in the current financial climate as they represent a cost savings of up to 21-64% for the average family of 4, by removing unnecessary spending out of travel and allowing consumers to be at ease. Another note is that RVnGO is able to save travelers on average 30% – 40% over other RV rental companies because they don’t take on the unnecessary fees. They stripped out many of the overhead costs so they don’t need to charge exorbitant fees. This is good for the Guests AND the Hosts.
Rising Costs for Hotels Get Passed To Guests
The inflation impacts the cost of food and goods that hotels buy and thus, the raise their rates to remain profitable. Prices on these goods rose on average 8.5% for the past 12 months ending in March 2022, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Seasonality definitely plays a part in hospitality, but February and March 2022 still recorded all-time highs for their respective months. Given how much seasonality plays into resort prices, you can expect that the summer will have higher prices to match the higher temperatures.
Compound this affect with many resorts and hotels have cut back on amenities including daily housekeeping and room service. We can blame factors such as high demand, continued staffing shortages and supply chain issues.
This has hit the most famous of resort/theme parks, Disney. To combat the rising costs, the 4 parks have instituted a Time Based Ticket System. This date-based ticket system gives people incentive to go to Disney World in a “slower” period of the year when attendance is less, helping to spread out park traffic more evenly between the peak season and the “off” season. They also increased the ticket price for peak season taking the magic away from many families. There are several alternatives to the Disney Parks that are just as much fun and more economical for families.
PS, You Don’t Need To Sacrifice Your Vacation
Use one of the RVnGO rental RVs to start out on your adventure. Take a few minutes to find the perfect RV for your journey, and then plan your trip and save over traditional vacations.
Read more about what to pack for any road trip in our packing checklist.