Here we go again…
In 2008-2009 gas prices hit a record high. And RVers stayed home for the first few months of that memorable crisis. But those of us who love the lifestyle didn’t stay deterred for long. Let’s face it, the only thinig worse than paying $100+ to fill up your tank is to sit in your house all summer, staring longingly at the trailer parked outside, as lonely as it was in mid-January.
For those of you still cringing at the thought of how much extra your summer getaways are going to cost, let’s do what we did way back when and do a little math.
Let’s say you two 2,000 miles per year, which is higher than typical, but the snowbirds raise the average. And we’ll go with 10mpg to keep the math simple.
- At $2 per gallon, you’d pay $400 for gas each year.
- At $4 per gallon, $800, or $400 more.
- At $6 per gallon, $1200, or $800 more.
You’ve invested, on average, $30,000 for your trailer. Let’s say it has a life expectancy of 10 years, so about $3,000 per year.
Campsites average about $25 per night (unless you like the fancy ones). So let’s say you get about 30 nights per year for $750. Let’s throw in another $250 for food, maintenance, margarita awning lights, etc.
So total annual expenses for your lifestyle comes to roughly $4000 before gas.
Right now, if you’re at the $4 per gallon cost, your camping expenses have increased 10%. At $6, 20%.
Now, if we truly love our RV lifestyle and want to keep it, what should we do? We can just accept the extra cost. We can buy an electric truck (they’re getting better…but probably still a couple of years out for us towing folks). We can stare out the window at our abandoned trailer.
Or…we can plan accordingly. In 2008-2009 I suggested that we set a budget for gas. If it’s $400, we stick to the plan. The obvious solution is to take fewer trips, but stay longer (my preference…about the time I get settled in, it’s time to go home). We can choose campgrounds closer to home.
We can also increase our gas budget and make cuts in other areas, like those margarita awning lights. Find less expensive campgrounds (I’ve been preaching boondocking and state forest campgrounds for years). If you’re just getting into this thing, buy a trailer that’s $800 less than you’d orginally planned. You know the drill. Like anyting else, if costs go up in one area, you have to cut in others.
Now, I don’t mean to make less of the situation. Some of you are truly struggling. But take a deep breath, jot down your own numbers, and you’ll likely see it’s not as bad as it looks. If it’s still a struggle, shift some expenses around, see what happens with half the trips and longer stays…whatever it takes. Rest assurred all of us at Hensley are doing the same as our Michigan winter ever-so-slowly releases its grip on us and Up North beckons.
What do you think? Join the conversation in our Facebook User’s Group. You don’t have to be a Hensley Arrow or TrailerSaver owner to join. All are welcome.