Fluctuating fuel prices were to blame for scuttling two trips being scheduled for the more than 400 members of the Recreational Vehicle Club of Sun City West, Ariz., this summer: a fishing trip to San Diego and a trip to Las Vegas.
No other major trips were planned for the group, said Tom Metzger, membership director. The club is looking to the future and planning a month-long trip to Colorado in the summer of 2009, according to YourWestValley.com.
“It gets us into the cooler climates,” Metzger said.
Soaring gas prices and a struggling economy have local RV enthusiasts like the Sun City club feeling like they are grounded. Instead of spending their summers meandering around the country, members of the Sun City RV Club are sticking closer to home.
Pat and Howard Mayhew of Sun City have been RVing for 25 years and have traveled across the United States, Mexico and Canada on their own and with the club.
“We’re cutting back some,” Pat said. “We’re traveling mostly in Arizona.”
They joined the group in Show Low, Ariz., where some members were spending the entire summer. That trip cost them $200 in gas.
Gypsy and Don Christopherson said they took their annual trip to northern California to see their family.
“We had to do it,” Gypsy said. “We can’t go more than a year without seeing our grandchildren.”
That trip cost the Christophersons $800 in gas, as they have a large rig and pull their car. Consequently, the RV gas mileage was 8 miles per gallon.
Mindy and Fred Garner have been traveling by RV for 30 years, after graduating from tent, pop up and trailer before moving on to a motorhome.
They spent a month in Show Low, enjoying the 3½-hour drive for a summer destination.
“We have a 75-gallon tank,” Fred said. “So when we fill up, it’s about $300.”
Pat said many of the more than 400 club members make an annual trek to Quartzite, Ariz., for several days, so they are looking forward to that excursion.
“We all shop and eat,” Pat said. “And (on the last night) we have a show and tell of what we bought.”
Though the gas prices and economy are keeping many motorhomes in storage facilities, some of the pricier, larger vehicles are still on the road. Pat said some full-time RVers were in Show Low for the summer driving their $900,000 motorhomes.
Gypsy said even though they have other, more reasonable travel options, they will always drive their motorhome.
“We can fly for free since our daughter is a pilot (with a major airline)”, Gypsy said. “But we don’t. We take the RV, can take the dogs.”
“And we have no suitcases,” Don said.