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Just curious if there has been a noticeable decline in camping this summer due to the high cost of gas?

There seems to be a lot of reviews coming in, but I don't know if there are as many as last year. Maybe people are still camping but staying at places closer to home.
QUOTE(Patster1234 @ Aug 2 2008, 07:15 AM) *

Just curious if there has been a noticeable decline in camping this summer due to the high cost of gas?

When we were in the Grand Tetons in July I asked one of the Park Rangers if visitation had fallen. They said that it was off slightly but we have always found the Teton's to be lower in attendance compared to Yellowstone. It's great for those of us that enjoy the less crowded atmosphere!! We're in Idaho right now at one of their state parks and on Thurs. there was only one other person here. Last night every site was full but this morning (Sat.) a lot of the campers have moved on.
We have a seasonal camper spot in VA and the owners told us that they are up nearly 40% from last year. The reason why is because people arent traveling as far, but when they get where they are going they are staying longer. So for the park in VA the high gas prices has actually helped them instead of hurt them.

On an interesting side note. The owners told us that they are up over 100% from last year for Tent camping. I guess some people are giving up there RV's and picking up tents again.
We are workamping this summer at Sleepy Bear Campground near Empire, MI. Weekends are 3/4 full to packed and weekdays the campground is maybe 1/4 to 1/2 full. Workampers from last year say it's down. They have said in the past this campgorund is packed from the end of June until after Labor Day.

Now I have been out walking early every morning and have noticed 99% of the license plates say Mighigan. The only other states I've seen are Ohio, Illinois and have seen two Florida plates.

But then I have been told that the Big 3 auto companies are hurting so Mighigan is hurting. There are lots of homes for sale up in this area.
John Blue
Everyplace here in FL is very slow but it is to hot to stay here in first place. I look at the Flying-J on I-4 at Lazy Days about each week and most of the RV's are missing over last year. Also looking at new reviews I see comments like we were only RV in this state park over week day. One review said one park had 115 sites they were only ones in it. You will see more locals in parks close to home and less travel. Fuel prices will go higher yet. sad.gif
We are some of the crazy ones that just returned from a cross country trip of 3 1/2 mos. Even in June and July we didn't have any problem finding a site. Some parks were pretty full on the weekends, but there were still empty sites. Memorial Day in Charleston, SC was not full, but we were not on the water. Fourth of July in Lake of the Ozakrs, MO was full. Myrtle Beach was pretty full in May on the weekend, so I'm guessing it would still be busy. When we looked at license plates, we noticed mostly local and neighboring states. We did see other CA plates all along the way though. I guess they, like us, figure it can't be any worse than it is in CA. When we left CA in early April, the diesel was right at $4. When we came back we paid $5.03 in Vegas and $5.05 at Kramer's Jct. which is the only game in town for quite a while. Flying J in Bakersfield was $4.95 but that was because we were able to get cash price even when using a debit card, something that didn't happen very often. Until we got to Vegas, $4.99 was the highest we paid (one time) and in the $3.90's was the lowest I think.

Our neighbor who has a larger rig than we do said all his friends have cancelled any trip they were going to take this year and the place where he stores his rig is full. Usually in the summer the coaches are out.
Florida Native
We are some of the crazy ones that just returned from a cross country trip of 3 1/2 mos. Even in June and July we didn't have any problem finding a site

We too returned from a 3 month trip in May and have canceled, or postponded our 3 month trip starting in August. Will do a 5 week trip starting in Sept. Our eperence here in Florida is that camping is very, very light. Sad to say. $3/gallon, I could rationalize, but $4 we have to start making radical plans in our route and whole concept of what we are doing. We booddock a lot and gas prices seem to be a much bigger portion of our expenses. We can lower this by going shorter distances and staying longer.
I've been to a federal park in the NC mountains twice this summer, and the rangers told me people from closer are coming and staying longer. I've been going to this same place for 18 years, and can attest to that. Sundays you used to have your pick of at least half the campground when you showed up - not anymore. And I'd say 95% of the vehicles had NC plates.

Can only speak as to the campgrounds in our local area, within 50 miles of home, and they are being used heavily by the locals at 50 to 100 miles out and the occasional Rver from many miles from home. The numbers of Rvs on the roads locally varies but must say there are not the travellers as before the fuel increases. As the fuel prices are dropping, only time will tell if the rvers will return to the road. At this point we are still planning our annual trip to our vacation area in the State of Maine. We just will not move the motorhome to different areas...will use the auto to make day trips.
Jay Janek
We were in the Outer Banks in NC and the campgrounds appeared to be only about 1/4 full I loved it there were no crowds anywhere and going out to dinner did'nt include an hour wait for a table.

Gas prices won't deter me! I just went out and bought a new '08 F-150 with the bigger V-8 engine for more pulling power. Gas prices will fall again and everything will even out. I'm an optimist. biggrin.gif
QUOTE(Jay Janek @ Aug 7 2008, 09:06 PM) *

...Gas prices will fall again and everything will even out. I'm an optimist. biggrin.gif

Welcome aboard Jay! Always great to have optimists in our midst. rolleyes.gif
We just returned from 2 weeks in Arkansas and Missouri, driving from Florida. We had no difficulty getting campsites at State Parks with no reservations. Most of the license plates and the people we spoke with were from the state in which we were camping. Very few RV's on the road.
Lee and Fran
And yet here in North Cascade National Park, Washington we are having a banner year for campers. I think its cuz more are staying close to home. The rv park I am in is doing twice the business this year as they had last year. But than I hear this place was a dump a year ago.
I would like to chime in on this subject from 3 different angles.

First; todays edition of USA Today stated that "Americans drove 42 billion fewer miles during the first six months of this year compared with the same period last year". Does this translate into less camping? I don't know.

Second; personally we live in Michigan and had to cancel our trip to Disney's Wilderness lodge. Not due to Michigan's Crappy economy, but due to gas prices. We couldn't go. sad.gif

Third; instead of Disney, we opted to stay in our state and head to Mackinaw City which we had done every year since 2000. This year however, during peak season, the area is dead! The campground, which is always packed at this time of year is about 1/2 full and the business owners who rely on tourists, are very concerned. Again, this could be the bad economy in Michigan which is just keeping people home for the summer, or the gas prices which are keeping them close to home (Mackinaw is at the northern tip of the lower peninsula).

Remember though, gas is a commodity. Prices are a result of supply and demand. If we don't adjust our driving habits at $2/gal, then why would they not charge more? If we continue to drive the same at $3/gal, then why not raise the price? If we continue to buy as much gas at $4/gal, then the price will continue to go up. Maybe, since we are finally driving less, the big oil companies will finally see how much we are willing and not willing to pay.

RV Camper
I suspect that fuel prices have had a significant effect on the RV park industry, just as it has on all of the tourism industry and probably every other business. We are presently volunteers in a Corps of Engineers park in Texas, and our park is off in terms of campsite use, but we have had more longer term visitors from the local area.

The total number of "visitor days" is almost the same as last year as a result, but the numbers have not been as up & down as in the past, more middle of the road with fewer swings. We still fill up on major week ends, because of the lake and most week ends are busy. The Lake Manager says that he believes that the numbers may be down slightly, for the year to date.

Since the subject is the effect on RV parks and not the politics of gas prices, I'll not respond to the last part of the previous post.
Politics?! We're talking about how gas prices affect campgrounds. Which means how gas prices affect the average camper. Which means how gas prices affect our pocketbooks.

Since it is our pocketbooks that put gas in our tanks, and our tanks that take us to the campgrounds, then for the sake of all our campgrounds, businesses, economy, etc., my last post was pertinent.
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