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Old 06-27-2013, 12:26 PM   #1
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Count your blessings

Folks, times are tough and we are VERY fortunate to have our coaches and be living as well as we are.

Between the 15th of June and today, I've run 2700+ miles across the country. Durango, CO to Elkhart, IN and back to Sturgis, SD. No, not going to the rally..... Heading to Idaho for the rest of the summer.

Years ago (as few as 5-6) the three interstates (I-70, I-80 and I-90) crossing the great plains were literally awash in motorhomes, 5-ers, and TTs this time of year.

In 2700 miles, I've seen less than 50 campers total!!!

Are we in bad shape or what?? Please.... no political comments.... It's not my intention to lay blame for this situation. OF COURSE, I have my opinions, but will keep them to myself.

Boowho??
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Old 06-27-2013, 12:36 PM   #2
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Will be trekking from TN to WA via Disneyland come this July. It could be timing with people nowadays. My excuse...active duty Navy with four boys under 9 yes old. Have to schedule around a schedule.
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Old 06-27-2013, 12:49 PM   #3
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They must all be going to the GULF in Fl. I cant get a reservation for anythig less than 6 mo to 1 year out.
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Old 06-27-2013, 12:52 PM   #4
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I think it really depends on who you ask...I work in a field that goes up and down with the economy to some degree. We deal with engineered equipment in the power, petrochemical, Bio and Refining markets. Those folks are always spending money....projects that were on hold back in 2007 are now being re ignited. Everyone in these markets say its the best its been in years. If you go down to the local fab shop they have a much different view on things. Most everyone has been affected by the slowdown however...automotive and manufacturing seems to have taken the biggest hit. Blame it on what ever or who ever you want but the american lust for cheap junk is the primary culprit in my opinion. Dont know if you heard this...just a few days ago some NE news paper did a poll of how many people live paycheck to paycheck and its close to 78%. No matter how much these people make I feel this number would be about the same no matter what the economy is doing.

Plenty of RV's in my neck of the woods....I have seen a large volume of most every Friday afternoon on my way home from work.
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Old 06-27-2013, 12:56 PM   #5
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Might have been just the stretch of I80 you were on because I run it about once week for work I see probably 10-20 campers on a 80 mile trip. And actually I think I see more and more all the time. Maybe it's just certain areas. I don't know.
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Old 06-27-2013, 01:10 PM   #6
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They must all be going to the GULF in Fl. I cant get a reservation for anythig less than 6 mo to 1 year out.
Every campground I've pulled into the last few weeks has plenty of openings, even after 6:00 PM. Maybe they're all coming to the Gulf because of the heavy advertising being done by British Petroleum??

Also the narrow gauge railroad in Durango, which is pretty much a world class attraction (lots of Europeans come here and for many it's a "must see"), was running at about 50% capacity two weeks ago. There was a time when if you weren't reserved at least 6 months out, you weren't riding.

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Old 06-27-2013, 01:26 PM   #7
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AAA recent estimate was that more people than ever before would travel this July 4th, but that they were not travelling as far. I know people who just look at closer options than travelling far away. We are leaving Saturday for a one week trip to Colorado. Round trip will be right around 2300 miles. We have budgeted $920 for diesel and already agreed we will not go back next year simply because of the cost of fuel. It is what it is.
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Old 06-27-2013, 01:43 PM   #8
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It's hard to get reservations at a "good" CG here, need to reserve way ahead of time, but see alot of campers on the road here all the time, make the trip down to Ft. Wayne Ind. about once a month to visit our kids, not a lack of campers at all. I think unfortunitly where owning a camper, TT did not used to be expensive some years ago, that has changed.
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Old 06-27-2013, 01:50 PM   #9
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We took a trip from upstate NY to D.C. in April, and I couldn't believe how many large 5th wheels and diesel pusher motorhomes we passed on the road. I was thinking just the opposite of the OP - somebody must be doing well! We were fortunate enough to upgrade the 13 year old popup this spring at the RV show (no diesel motorhome yet, though), and the dealer said it was the best year they ever had at the show (since the early 70's).

We have also seen over the last few years that reservations are tough to come by at many places. It sure feels like the economy is pretty bad, but the RV industry and camping in general seems to be doing well.
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Old 06-27-2013, 01:53 PM   #10
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Going back to the title. I do count my blessings. I have also been watching Coaches, TT, etc going down the highway. There are a lot that are being pulled by transport companies. I just did a stretch between KC and east central Illinois on Rt 36 and I-72/74. There were many, didn't get a count. I know that he dealer who my wife works for sold 16 TT's in 12 days around their Grand Reopening. They sold both new and used. So, knowing that myself or anyone else who is happily employed could be standing in a completely different line tomorrow, I count my blessings daily.
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Old 06-27-2013, 02:13 PM   #11
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My best guess would be that school may have run late in several areas of the country due to the rotten weather a lot of the country has been having. Now that school is out, you'll probably see a lot more campers on the road. I remember years ago when we wanted to take our children to Disney in Orlando that summer. Called and campgrounds were booked way in advance. We changed our plans and went the week before Memorial day and were able to get in. School didn't give excused absence, but we didn't care - grades were already great so they could take the hit!
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Old 06-27-2013, 04:24 PM   #12
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....... It sure feels like the economy is pretty bad, but the RV industry and camping in general seems to be doing well.
Or wants you to THINK they are doing well.

I mentioned in another post that the FR plant in Elkhart normally builds about 10 coaches a week. They're now building only 8 coaches per week, and the line is completely shut down on Mondays.

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Old 06-28-2013, 12:25 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by boowho View Post
Folks, times are tough and we are VERY fortunate to have our coaches and be living as well as we are.

Between the 15th of June and today, I've run 2700+ miles across the country. Durango, CO to Elkhart, IN and back to Sturgis, SD. No, not going to the rally..... Heading to Idaho for the rest of the summer.

Years ago (as few as 5-6) the three interstates (I-70, I-80 and I-90) crossing the great plains were literally awash in motorhomes, 5-ers, and TTs this time of year.

In 2700 miles, I've seen less than 50 campers total!!!

Are we in bad shape or what?? Please.... no political comments.... It's not my intention to lay blame for this situation. OF COURSE, I have my opinions, but will keep them to myself.

Boowho??
Boo

We have been traveling cross country as well. What we have noticed is more rental units especially Europeans. Since we got into southern utah it has steadily increased as we got to California. Sequoia national park and Yosemite the camp grounds were mostly filled with Europeans in rental units. We were definalty the minority. We are currently heading across Nevada toward colorado. And I have to agree not many people out in campers. The only busy campgrounds we have run into so far have only been sequoia and Yosemite. Other than that they Have been less then half occupied.
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Old 06-28-2013, 01:33 PM   #14
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Boo

We have been traveling cross country as well. What we have noticed is more rental units especially Europeans. Since we got into southern utah it has steadily increased as we got to California. Sequoia national park and Yosemite the camp grounds were mostly filled with Europeans in rental units. We were definalty the minority. We are currently heading across Nevada toward colorado. And I have to agree not many people out in campers. The only busy campgrounds we have run into so far have only been sequoia and Yosemite. Other than that they Have been less then half occupied.

Yep, those Europeans LOVE our American West!!

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Old 06-28-2013, 01:48 PM   #15
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Man, you cant drive a mile on I-49 in Louisiana without seeing a tt, 5th wheel or motor home. I tried counting them recently for a one hour trip. Got tired and quit. Maybe rvers are all in the south now. :-)
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Old 06-28-2013, 01:50 PM   #16
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I think you start seeing more campers out in July and Aug, I live near I-80 and have been seeing a lot of RVs the last couple of weeks. That is inless their being delivered to camping world or other RV dealer?
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Old 06-28-2013, 02:09 PM   #17
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This shows shipment trends are on the rise the last few years compared to the big recession. 2008 and 2009 were the worst loses, while 2010 was a huge increase (pent up demand probably). Shipments have improved every year since 2010 also. This data does not include 2013, but the website does have month to month for the year so far, and estimates a gain of 7.5% this year.
All in all still down from highs in 1978, 2005, and 2006, but like most things in the economy, slowly rising. Now if fuel would just go down and stay down, we'd probably boom across most industries, but growth that is super fast fuels inflation (pardon the pun) and interest rates.

http://www.rvia.org/?esid=histglance.
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Old 07-19-2013, 04:33 PM   #18
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Today while traveling back form Joplin to St. Louis for work Via I-44....I started counting all RV's heading westbound. I stopped as traffic was picking up around St. Clair (MO Hwy 47) and was at 162. I was even a little shocked at the number. I counted everthing from Huge Class A's To Pop ups and even a few of the hard to find Truck Campers!

Seems like SE Mo is doing very well assuming that most were heading this direction.
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Old 07-19-2013, 05:04 PM   #19
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I've been through five states in the last few days and there are RV everywhere. I'm in a KOA camp ground in Custer SD right now and the camp is filling up for the week end.
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Old 07-19-2013, 05:21 PM   #20
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Try the stretch of I94 in Indiana between Michigan and Illinois....Tons of trailers!! :-)
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