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We have a pop up so compared to most of yall, we have it a lot easier when it come to gas mileage. While the cost of our fuel does come in to play more now than it used to, its the wider ranging effects that have cut our camping more than half what it used to be. Higher fuel costs cause everyone to raise prices on everything to make up for it. It isn't just the cost of the actual trip that comes into play, but the extra money we have to spend the rest of the year. Unfortunately, we have to rob our camping fund to make up for it. Fortunately we are still able to get away at least one week a year. This keeps us sane until the next trip rolls around.
My own opinion is that we are all on borrowed time with our motor homes. The current administration has already put gas guzzling cars on their list of evil items and I feel that it is only a matter of time before we are next. Soon we will all be targeted as if we were Hummer owners.
I also fall in the evil income category so between an obvious increase in my taxes, and anticipated future restrictions on motor homes that use too much gas, as defined by those legislatures in DC, I intend to enjoy my RV as much as possible.
I am setting things up right now where I can deduct all travel expenses as part of doing business. I play the stock market and am constantly traveling around in my RV to inspect companies prior to purchasing any stock. If those in DC are going to play their games, then I am going to look for tax deductions in every nook and cranny. Where I used to travel just for enjoyment, I will now travel for "business", and deduct all mileage, depreciation on my MH, and any other items that I can find. I will not let the price of fuel, or our Gov't, to interfere with my pursuit of happiness at this point in my life. Last year I put on almost 20,000 miles of pure pleasure in my MH. In 2009 I will do at least that many miles but they will be for "business", and tax deductible. wink.gif
RV Camper

Just be careful as you dance around the laws as this administration is just looking to find ways to get more money and we don't want to hear from you in jail!
QUOTE(Kirk @ Jul 22 2009, 06:32 PM) *


Just be careful as you dance around the laws as this administration is just looking to find ways to get more money and we don't want to hear from you in jail!

For the past ten years or so I have made a living playing the stock market (not investing in it, but day trading with it). I seem to have a knack with it and it allowed both the wife and I to retire early and spend out time traveling around the country. Since ALL of my income is short term capital gains, I write the big check to the IRS each year. In the past I have just written the check, grumbled, and moved on. Since I can still day trade when I am on the road, as long as I can get internet access, I've never thought too much about it.
With this new administration I decided to contact an accountant to see what my options are. Since my history has been trading stocks, it is not a stretch to travel coast to coast to visit companies and pick up a prospectus. Naturally I may stop and see the sights along the way. I guess I am sort of like John Madden who did all of his traveling in a MH because he was afraid to fly. I do have a pilot's license, but you get the point.
In any case, I feel that this administration is forcing all of us to rethink the way we conduct ourselves financially. Now, I plan on doing everything I can, and using every legal tax loophole available, to minimize the amount of IRS tax that I pay. I can only hope that they don't figure out a way to regulate our motor homes out of existence. Those that tow fifth wheel trailers are already finding that a large tow vehicle is getting harder to find. This will only get worse.
Trailer Park Casanova
IPB Image

We just rolled over 125.000 miles on our Yellowstone RV trip.

We tow with a GMC 8.1 gas pickup.
Camshaft position sensor $95
Crankshaft position Sensor $105
ERG Valve gasket $5
Transmission Solenoid $396

Fuel burn towing is around 9.5 MPG.
A new comparable Pickup is now about a whopping MSRP of $58.000.
Our friends with near the same set-up have over 200.000 miles so we think we're shooting for that too.
tongue.gif I retired this year and we have tried to go somewhere every month. This past summer we went to Minnesota, 3k round trip. The price of diesel does fit into the budget, but it has not stopped us from going. We hardly eat out and I fix prepared frozen dinners for the trip. What we don't spend on eating out, goes to fuel. We use PA, Good Sam, and KOA for campgrounds or ones that can handle a 42' rig. We have had our new rig since May and have put 6k on it in 7 months.
Jerry S
It has been a little over 3 years since I started this thread. It seems to have a life of its' own. With the way gas prices look right now ($3+/gal. in much of the country), it looks like we may be headed for our most expensive summer gas prices since 2007. Since almost 200 folks here have already taken this poll, I am curious as to whether or not people who took the poll (or posted responses) 2-3 years ago still have the same outlook for this coming RV travel year. I, for example, still travel about 130 days a year and have averaged almost 14,000 miles/yr. since 2007. Before that I averaged closer to 17,000 miles/yr. for the first 12 years of my retirement.

So, does the prospect of $4/gal. this summer have any of the old-timers changing their plans this time?
John Blue
Not me. We plan to keep moving around the USA. Diesel is at $3.59 here now. Will be at $4.00 or more soon. See you on the road someplace. tongue.gif
We always manage to plan trips when gas is the highest. We go anyway.
I signed up to go to Kentucky again this year. I will go next November. I may end up rethinking that if gas hits $4 a gallon.....

We too are looking forward to hitting the road again this year, soon as the center of our nation thaws out. This year we're heading to the Midwest. ALWAYS get a break in gas prices, as soon as we drive out of California! laugh.gif
Hi Foster,

I get the same break as soon as I hit the USA border! That will be Friday Feb 18, 2011 this year. Propane is also cheaper in the States.
We're planning on going to Glacier and Yellowstone National parks this year, just have to save a little more. We usually go to Red River New Mexico for a few years then go on a big trip. I figure I can't take my money with me when i die so I'm going to enjoy it while I'm here. Hope to see y'all out there.
We are camping longer at a time.We just make the trips we make count.In place of 3 days we go for up to three weeks.We will take a few trips over 500 miles this year but most are with in a few hundred.If we go more than 200 miles from home we go for at least two weeks.We are retired and stay in Federal and state parks.With what I call the gray hair pass and my states discount over 65 it is still a good bang for the buck in fun and relaxation.
We will probably do around 120 days camping this year.I found if I cut off the water heaters and other things in the house I can save up to 12 dollars a day on my electric bill and that pays for some of the days we camp. rolleyes.gif
Wink cool.gif
It has been almost three years since I first answered this poll. Gas prices are up, but it didn't stop me from travelling over 25,000 miles in the motorhome this past year. That is up from past years as it was catch up time. The wife had an operation in 2009 and I only used the motorhome when she was in the hospital. We intend to take a shorter trip this summer and save ourselves for a bigger trip this winter. Even if gas prices stay high, I don't think it will stop us from travelling. As long as I have gas money, it's time to hit the road and enjoy all the wonderful places away from home. biggrin.gif
Hi Glen,

Since I purchased my "new to me" RV, on Feb 14, 2009, I've been driving 1200 miles per month on average. That is a significant increase.
Hi Don:
I guess your mileage also depends on how well your rig runs. Over the past 8 years that we have owned our present motorhome we have been very fortunate to have not had very many incidents on the road. Your increase in miles driven sounds like you are enjoying the drive! smile.gif
Jerry S
Hi again folks,

As the originator of this poll/thread, I check in "once in a while" with my personal updates concerning RV usage as effected by gas prices. This summer I ended up taking the shortest (mileage-wise) summer trip since I retired in 15 years ago. For all of those years until now, our, on average, our summer trip was 8-10 weeks and 8-10,000 miles. This year is was 9 weeks but less than 4,000 miles. My usually fairly accurate math shows that we saved somewhere around $2,000 in gas costs compared to our usual trip.

When we decided on this mini-mileage trip (IL, IN, OH, MI, WI, MN, WI, and back to IL), gas was pushing toward $4/gal. Fortunately, it did not go up much in July and August as it has in the recent years. Since, gas is now actually going down we may actually use some of that gas cost savings from the summer and have a longer fall trip. Usually we just go down to MS, LA and the gulf coast. This year we are going to head west from Lousiana and go all the way to the Grand Canyon. We already have 4 nights reserved at the RV park at the south rim. It has been about 10 years since we've been to GCNP and this will be our longest stay and the first time not in hot weather. In fact, even though it should be in the 60s while we are there, it can snow in late October at 7,000 feet in northern AZ. Hopefully, the extra 3,000 miles for this fall trip will only cost about $1,000 if most gas is under $3.50 as it was per Gasbuddy last week.

We should be leaving Sunday.


Be careful of the Grand Canyon as it can be cold there early. We camped at Williams in May of this year and we had snow showers. Plus we may have another wet year that starts early. We are getting our first west coast storm off the Pacific starting tomorrow. That is about six weeks early.

We cut our summer trip too due to fuel prices. Instead of getting back to Ohio and looping back through MT, we just did the loop out to WY & MT and then towards home.

Jerry S

Thanks for the warning. For what it's worth, I do realize there is the possiblity of getting cold and even snow at that time (late Oct.) in northern AZ. That is one reason we will be coming back east on I40 through New Mexico and not I70 through Colorado.
Jerry S
Well my traveling is over for the year. The trip to the Grand Canyon went great. The total mileage for the trip (IL to Louisiana to AZ and back to IL) was 4800 miles (about 2500 miles more than our usual fall trip). Based on our mpg (a bit less than 10) and the average cost of gas for the trip (about $3.25), the extra mileage cost us less than $900.

Although it got a little "iffy" weatherwise the fourth night (low of 20F and another predicted for the the next night), our three full days there were terrific - sunny and 60s, partly cloudy and 60, and partly cloudy, a few sprinkles, and 60. We had good to decent weather on the trip back home via I40, I44, I70, and I57. If we had waited until this past week, we would have run into violent storms, tornadoes, snow, and even earthquakes. Somebody leads a charmed life.

Next April/May can't come soon enough.
QUOTE(Jerry S. @ Nov 10 2011, 11:15 PM) *

Well my traveling is over for the year. The trip to the Grand Canyon went great. The total mileage for the trip (IL to Louisiana to AZ and back to IL) was 4800 miles (about 2500 miles more than our usual fall trip). Based on our mpg (a bit less than 10) and the average cost of gas for the trip (about $3.25), the extra mileage cost us less than $900.

Although it got a little "iffy" weatherwise the fourth night (low of 20F and another predicted for the the next night), our three full days there were terrific - sunny and 60s, partly cloudy and 60, and partly cloudy, a few sprinkles, and 60. We had good to decent weather on the trip back home via I40, I44, I70, and I57. If we had waited until this past week, we would have run into violent storms, tornadoes, snow, and even earthquakes. Somebody leads a charmed life.

Next April/May can't come soon enough.

welcome back home
Jerry S
Has it already been almost 4 months since my last post in this thread?

Well, here we are nearing the end of the mildest, least snowy winter many of us around the Great Lakes have ever experienced. I am almost tempted to put away the snow shovel and bucket of salt. Then again, I can remember 10" snows in early April, but it doesn't look likely this year. My usual de-winterize and preparation month of April is just around the corner and the usual spring trip down south departure date of about May 1st just beyond that.

Then, last week, I spent over $4 per gallon for gas - a definite, potential bump in the road (pun intended). As noted in my posts in this thread last year, I still took three (spring, summer, and fall) trips in 2011 but gas prices kept my summer trip fairly close to home and reduced my total mileage for the year by several thousand miles below my yearly average in recent years. I'd certainly like to do my usual three trips, but the gas prices and another, more personal, problem may limit my traveling this year. I do want to make one more northwest (WA, OR, ID, MT, WY, etc.) while I still can. I can't seem to tire of those areas.

So I've got a lot to do and figure out in the next 6-8 weeks.
Jerry S
Since everytime somebody new takes the poll in this thread, it pops to the top of the topic list until somebody else posts in a new or another thread. So the poor reader keeps reading my 3/8/12 post thinking it is new. So to put those folks out of their misery, here's an actual new post.

So here we are approaching June 1st and we haven't even begun traveling this year. Our usual May trip down south didn't happen due to a unexpected problem. It has been going on for almost 2 months and, unfortunately, I see no guarantee that we will even be able to take our usual 8-10 week summer trip from late June or early July to late August or early September. After over 15 years of 3 trips taking up 4-5 of the 6+ months between late April and early Novemeber, the string may be broken.

So much for the "Somebody leads a charmed life" comment I made back in my 11/11/11 post in this thread.
John Blue
Jerry S,

I hope you are OK and can travel soon. smile.gif
Jerry S

Thanks. Unfortunately, I am still in "limbo" as far as whether or not I will be travelling this summer. I will be driving a car for the first time in almost 2 months to get to my next doctor's appointment on Thursday which may or may not lead to some answers. Most likely, it will be a "let's give it a couple more weeks". That's better than "surgery is your only option".
Jerry S
Just an update if anyone cares. Physically, we are well enough (but just barely) to hit the road. Unfortunately, we have to be back home the first week of August for a followup doctor appointment with an eye specialist. My better half has been having vision problems in the right eye diagnosed as a swollen optic nerve. It is supposed to heal itself in 4-6 weeks but whether or not the vision will return to normal is questionable. I've recovered enough to handle the trip, but still see surgical repair (tendon re-attachment) in my future.

So, we are leaving tomorrow and will do a mini-version of last summer's IN, OH, MI, WI, MN trip. Most of this trip will be MI (both lower and upper pennisulas). We do plan on hitting some RV parks we have never been to and several we have been to before and enjoyed. We are planning on 3 weeks and may stretch it to 4. That will get us home 2 days before the next medical appointment. Then, who knows?

Jerry S
We managed to be on the road for the full 4 weeks. We barely broke 2,000 miles and, at a typical price of about $3.50/gal. for most of the trip and just under 10mpg, we spent a little over $700 for gas. Our last 2 top offs were $3.70 near Madison and a bit over $4 just over the WI/IL state line in IL. We normally fill up in WI but there was road construction on I90/94 that closed the last exit in WI. Cost me an extra $2-3 for a 10 gallon top off.

With OK medical news (eye is stable - no better, no worse), we will be heading out again this Sunday for as much as 4 weeks again. Our next medical appointments are 9/18, 20, and 28). If it looks like the oppresive heat will not be retuning to the northern plains (SD and ND), we may go as far as the Black Hills and maybe WY. Otherwise we'll just bum around MN and maybe head back over to the UP of MI before coming home mid-September.

It's hard to believe that the family traveling/vacation season is almost over. Some kids are already back in school and most start before Labor Day now.
QUOTE(Jerry S. @ Aug 17 2012, 08:31 PM) *

Some kids are already back in school and most start before Labor Day now.

Hi, Jerry - Glad to read that health-wise things are working out well for your family. You know, though, this is when the traveling/vacation seasons starts for some of us smile.gif

Just an insite.. The date of GandJ & Jerry S. post is showing the 17th. My date shows the 16th Sunday and the time here in Vermont is 6:58pm...


I was mistaken in what I said so I have removed my post so that I don't confuse everyone else.
My bad. Actually my post is a month after Jerry's because I didn't see his update 'til now. Maybe we can have a comprehensive "On the Mend" thread for site members' health updates so they won't get overlooked or buried in posts about other subjects? Just a thought...
Jerry S
OK, let's get this straight before everybody gets confused:

My last post was dated August 17th.
GandJ responded to it on September 16th.
TXBobcat thought both posts were September 17 which isn't here for a few hours.
Texasrvers thought both my and Gand J 's posts were from August - not so.

As for the idea of a "healing" thread, I started this thread years ago and I have been using it as a my own "update" thread for my travels as they relate to the gas cost of traveling. It just happens that this year my travelling and thus total mileage, has been significantly reduced by medical issues. Prior to this year, I haven't had a year with my RV mileage under 12,000 since my retirement over 15 years ago. Before the prices started to go nuts 10+ years ago, my yearly average was over 18,000 miles a year. The two trips I have managed to take so far this year have totalled a measly 5,500 miles - half what I normally have by this point in the year. If the medical appointments of the next 2 weeks go well enough, we may try to get a third trip in but I doubt that it will, at most, be enough to get us over 10,000 miles for the year.
I am so glad Jerry has the eyesight to see what the dates really were and the brainpower to explain it to the rest of us! biggrin.gif
Jerry S
Hi TX,

Thanks for the compliments but I'm not sure they are deserved. As I fast approach 65, my eyesight has been faltering in recent years and I was able to explain the misconceptions only because I was part of the scenario.

Back to the topic. The last 3 or 4 days of my recently (we got home this morning) concluded trip showed a significant rise in gas prices. My understanding is that the increase is a reflection of the current middle east violence toward the US supposedly because of some anti-Moslem film trailer on the internet. I went from paying $3.60ish in SD to almost $4 in southern WI. I passed on the $4+ in IL the last 100 miles home. I know WI and IL gas is more expensive than SD, but it wasn't this much a week ago. It is sad that the gas companies can get away with raising prices because something happened that MIGHT increase their costs sometime down the road. They've been pulling this stunt (and others) for over a decade.
The trouble is that the gas companies use this both ways. Price of crude goes up: "oh, we have to raise the prices right now because we'll soon be paying more for crude". Price of crude goes down: "oh, we can't lower the prices right away because we're still selling gas produced from the more expensive crude." Uh..... But until I can figure how to run the rig on water, we're stuck with their fuzzy economics.
Our travel depend upon what we want to do and see. Take Alaska for instance, that was a 9,000 thousand mile trek, and covered 56 days. Our last big trip was 7,500 miles and we traveled in 14 states. This year we only were out 4 times, for a total of less than 500 miles. Our next big trip?
Jerry S
Well, we managed to get on the road for a full 5 weeks for our fall trip. We made it all the way to southern Utah and enjoyed some of its' spectacular scenery (Zion, Bryce Canyon, and Capitol Reef National Parks along with Cedar Breaks National Monument and Monument Valley (think all those John Ford movies of the 1940s/50s starring John Wayne. We went from IL to MO and then AR, TN, MS, LA, TX, NM, AZ, and finally UT. We came back pretty much the reverse route state wise and managed to put on over 5,000 miles. So, we did crack the 10,000 miles total for the year.

There were no major price fluctuations during the trip except for a bit a a rise after a refinery fire in Califronia. Fortunately, we were home before Sandy struck the northeast. I heard yesterday that prices were actually falling because of the drop in demand for gas as a result of the way Sandy froze travel in the northeast.

How long is it until next May?
Jerry S
To answer the final question of my previous post - it is three weeks and a few hours until May. I almost added a post to this thread over a month ago when that still unexplained half a buck jump in gas prices took place in February. After paying $3.50-3.60 a gallon in January,my last two fillups have been over $4/gal. Chicago prices are on the high side. Prices seemed to have stabilized in March. I'm still waiting for the, what I believe is bogus, price rise due to the spring change to "warm weather" gas. This usual spring price jump may put most of the country at or over the $4 mark. It could be an interesting to see what the gas prices do the next few months leading up to the main travel season.

Personally, I've had another physical setback this late winter/spring that may delay my hitting the road this May. Long story fairly short: recurrance of leg problems led me to believe I was having tendon problems again but it turned out to be spine problems (spinal stenosis is one of the terms used). After over a month of pills, a epidural steroid injection in the lower spin, and more pills, I am back to being fairly mobile and able to drive. While nowhere near 100%, I've progressed well enough that the neurosurgeon has put off back surgery for now. I see him again 4/30 for a followup and hopefully will be able to hit the road in May. Fingers and toes crossed.

So sorry to hear about your recent health problems. I sure hope that you heal quickly and that you are able to get on the road as soon as the weather lets you.
Jerry, to comment on you last message about gas prices, we recently took a week+ trip to CA from home state of CO. We encountered reasonable prices, anywhere from $3.45-3.65 in most states, but got sticker shock in CA at $4.15. I was proud we put over 3500 miles on our old '89 Southwind, with only a couple of minor problems.

We usually total about 5K miles per year.

Hope you feel better soon, and can get back on the road soon!
I'm going to make you guys cry. We just saw $3.23 here in south Texas. The problem is that sounds great. But it is not when you consider how much lower it used to be and should be!
Jerry S
We are finally on the brink of our travel season. We head south tomorrow for our usual spring trip to MS and LA. The gas prices here in Chicago are still unbelievable. A local news show a few days ago said we have the highest city prices in the lower 48. They are still well over $4 everywhere locally and I even saw a station today whose lowest priced gas was $4.57/gallon. Considering the amount of gas I used over the winter keeping the batteries and generator up, I am hoping to get a couple hundred miles south of here before I have to get gas. I'm certainly looking forward to relatively cheaper gas during this trip.
Gas prices just went up over 10% this past week in many places in BC. Just another ripoff from our friendly oil companies. I noticed that just south of the border in Washington state the rise wasn't as big. I usually check out this website for up-to-date gas prices. It usually is more current and has more locations than most of the other gas websites.
We have WAWA gas stations opening all over Central Florida and I've noticed that anywhere one of them has opened, the other stations have had to lower their prices. Gas is the cheapest I've seen in a long time. Luckily we're only heading to North Carolina and maybe Virginia this summer, so our gas consumption will be WAAAAY down (we usually put 13-15,000 miles on the truck in our 4-5 months on the road).
Jerry S
Well, our 4 week trip to MS and LA is about to end and we will be back to $4+ gas prices at home. Once we got out of IL and into MO 4 weeks ago, we paid between $3 and $3.40/gal. in MO, AR, MS, and LA. There were some guys in the RV park office this evening talking about gas prices north of here (Effingham, IL). They were saying that it was $3.80 in Champaign, IL and well over $4 in Joliet, IL. We usually top off around Kankakee, IL, so I'm guessing that our last fill will be over $4/gal. What lies ahead when we hit the road again in July?
Excellent thread!

The price of fuel really does influence our driving anywhere decisions...not just pulling the Travel Trailer.
We just came through a siege of over 3 weeks in our Northern Midwest area where the cheapest gasoline was in excess of $4.30 per gallon. Pulling the camper with the truck was out of the question. We actually limited our driving even into town for groceries to one trip a week which is combined with mandatory scheduled Dr. Appointments.

Both my husband and I are retired and our only income is Social Security. We do not delve into our retirement savings except for large purchases (cars) etc. We choose to live out of our monthly income. This involves saving up for trips lasting a month or more.

Fuel costs are the largest expense we encur while traveling with the RV.
Campgrounds are our next biggest expense.
If we are sightseeing intransit then entrance fees and tour tickets are our next biggest cost.
(We compensate for the high fuel costs by rarely eating in restauraunts)
We buy groceries locally and don't encur any more cost than if we were at home.
We carry a motor scooter with us, and use it for transportation while in a campground.

Gal from the North Country
Jerry S
It is hard to believe that we've been home for almost 5 weeks and will be leaving for our summer trip this Sunday. The local gas prices here have finally gotten down to around $4/gal. I was paying over $4.40 in the middle of June. I know almost the entire rest of the country has been cheaper than our general area (IL, WI, MI, etc.). It would be nice if we didn't have to pay anywhere near that for our entire 2 month trip. It is a long way out to Washington/Oregon and back. We usually put on about 7,000 miles on this kind of trip. We haven't been all the way out to the Pacific in 4 years.

I need to start adding to my review total since the are a couple of others on this site who have been cutting into my lead since the beginning of the year. Folks who travel all year have a big advantage over those of us who are only on the road 4 or 5 months a year.
John S.
Well i amswered this in 08 and i was at 165k now I am over 300k so the travel continues and I am still putting on 25,000 miles min a year.
New trailer this year, we are shooting for 40 nights but since it is all in New England the miles do not add up that much, trips are anywhere from 50 - 240 miles round trip for the most part.
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