By: Lorrie Ward | Category: Recreation/Leisure | Issue: July 2012
Dave Pierce, owner of Dave’s Claremore RV, and his daughter Stephanie.
Often during tough economic times, such as the country has experienced in recent years, vacation dollars are one of the first things to be slashed from the family budget. But why get rid of vacations altogether when you can simply make them more affordable, sacrificing much of the cost and none of the fun?
All over America, people are finding the answer to this question by joining the ever-growing number of RV owners and taking the family vacation back, one mile at a time. That’s why Dave Pierce, owner of Dave’s Claremore RV, reports that not only has his business grown over the last three decades to be the largest RV dealer in the state, but he expects this year to generate his largest revenues ever.
“That’s pretty incredible considering the economy,” says Dave, who cites both the ease of RV travel and the lower cost versus other types of vacation lodging and entertainment as reasons for this explosive growth.
With airlines tightening security and increasing baggage cost, Dave reports that people are “turned off” by that type of travel right now. However, people are valuing quality time with their families more than ever before. “People like long holidays, and the RV lifestyle fits in with that,” Dave points out. “You have a clean bed and bath, access to your own things, and you can take your pets with you.”
These advantages factor into cost savings as well – no large hotel bills and no trips to the pet kennel with RV travel. Many amenities are available on certain RV models in addition to refrigerator, air, heat and shower, such televisions and outside stereos.
Technology has made setting up your own “home away from home” easier than ever before with electric awnings, electric stabilizer jacks, and electric tongue jacks. “You don’t have to crank anything up anymore,” Dave says.
To illustrate the lower cost of an RV vacation, Dave compares a typical weekend at the lake in an RV to a family of four outing to the movies on a Saturday night. “When you go to the movies, you are going to spend at least $50 – more if you get soft drinks and popcorn,” he says. “You spend less than that for a weekend hookup for your RV at the lake, where you spend two days as opposed to two hours.” For a $125-a-month payment, a family could obtain a nice travel trailer for these weekend vacations. “I know people who spend more than that on their cable or satellite TV,” Dave adds. “And it’s less than a car payment.” In fact, he goes further to point out that for the same price as a typical car payment, a family could get a mini motor home.
Taking all of these factors into account, Dave has one word of “caution” for anyone who wants to join the growing ranks of RV owners: be prepared to get hooked. “Most people who get an RV don’t give it up until they cannot physically travel anymore,” he says. “People fall in love with this lifestyle. It’s hard to give up.”
For more information, contact