Consumers looking to save on vacation travel should go RVing, according to preliminary data from updated  vacation cost comparison research by PKF Consulting.

Commissioned by the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA), the study shows that even during a time of  economic turmoil and fluctuating fuel prices, RV trips remain the least costly, according to a news release.

PKF, an international travel and tourism consulting company, found that RVing is 28% to 59% less expensive than other types of vacations for a family of four. For an “empty-nester” couple traveling by RV, savings were 15% to 45%.

Even after accounting for factors such as RV ownership costs and fuel prices, the study confirms that RV vacations offer greater savings than those taken using a personal car or airline, and staying in a hotel or rental house or condominium.

PKF analyzed vacation costs for two sets of traveling parties — a family of four, including two adults and two children; and a party of two adults. PKF calculated the costs for these hypothetical travelers taking seven types of vacations to popular destinations, including: Branson, Mo.; Cape Cod, Mass.; the Grand Canyon; Corpus Christi, Texas; Orlando, Fla.; Lancaster, Pa.; Napa, Calif.; and Traverse City, Mich.

The study analyzed popular RV types, including folding camping trailers, lightweight travel trailers, and compact motorhomes. Also studied were costs associated with an RV rental vacation, and a comparison of travel in a Class A motorhome against an upscale/luxury vacation. Vacation durations were three, seven and 14 days, and were directly related to the round-trip distances in highway miles between city-pairs.

PKF also analyzed how theoretical increases in fuel prices could affect vacation travel costs, and found that fuel prices would have to more than double for RV vacations to lose its economic advantage over other forms of travel.

The report will be finalized in the coming weeks, and will be published by RVIA this fall.