COLORADO, USA — Gas prices have set records this summer but according to one local RV rental company, it has not stopped people from booking RV vacations.
With Coloradans on average paying about $4.89 a gallon, it would cost someone roughly $500 to fill up an RV. According to Chris Wolstenholme, families are doing it.
"To have the fuel prices jump up is a little bit of a monkey wrench but so far it's not really impacting us too much," Wolstenholme, the owner of Around the Park RV told 9NEWS. "People need vacation in some regard, you need a rest. So I’m optimistic that the fuel prices aren’t going to be a direct driver of our business flow."
Since gas prices picked up, Wolstenholme said the only change is people are booking shorter vacations but he believes that has to do more with people no longer working remotely.
"So instead of making week-long trips or two-week long trips, we had guests that were doing month-long rentals at that time frame," he explained.
Colorado Camper Rental previously told 9NEWS they were seeing an significant impact from high gas prices, but clarified it is not to the point of closure.
"There has been a little drop in demand, but not enough to make us unlucky," Jessica Black the co-owner of Colorado Camper Rental said.
Black felt part of the drop in demand is gas prices but also manufacturing and employment shortages.
"We started our business with eight pop-ups in 2009. Lon [the co-owner] and I were the only two running things for years, until we jumped up to a 65 camper rental fleet plus two tow vehicles. Unfortunately, the hardship of staffing has caused us to decrease the fleet so that our small staff, including ourselves, can handle it," Black added.
"We pride ourselves in our rentals because we have a repair shop on site. So, if a camper is returned damaged, my two mechanics can usually make repairs before the next rental. This is huge, given that all dealer repair shops in the area are booked out 6-9 months and mobile RV techs are booked out 2-3 weeks."
Wolstenholme is staying cautiously optimistic. The former digital marketer studied RV travel in 2008 when gas prices surged to over $4 a gallon for the first time ever.
"I did a case study in that timeframe on National Park entries and campground reservations inside the National Parks as well as RV entries into the National Parks and those all were up in some cases 10 to 15% on the actual national park destination," Wolstenholme added. "So if history repeats itself I think the fuel prices aren't going to necessarily hurt the RV rental business because what we found back then is that people still want to travel."
AAA reports despite historically high gas prices, about 47 million people were expected to travel on the road for the Fourth of July weekend.
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