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Old 08-08-2009, 01:03 PM   #1
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Recession? What Recession?

Just got back from a two week meander through Michigan's Upper Peninsula and, boy, if there are problems with the economy you sure couldn't tell from the RV situation. Everywhere we stayed, from RV parks to Forest Service campgrounds, they were packed with RVs and not small ones either. At Mill Creek campground in Mackinaw City were rows and rows of really huge fifth wheelers pulled by nice shiny new diesel pickups. Oh sure, there was the occasional popup or midsized travel trailer (like us), but mostly you saw big rigs. We've gone to Mill Creek multiple times over the years and we've never seen it so packed with expensive units. The same was true most everywhere we stayed. What amazes me more than anything else is that this is occurring in the midwest, which has been hit particularly hard economically with the loss of manufacturing jobs (including RV manufacturing). If there's any part of the country where a pullback in RVing should be evident, it's here. But you just don't see it. Whatever the explanation, there's still a lot of disposable income out there.
Don
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Old 08-08-2009, 03:13 PM   #2
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Don.....

We just returned from a 3 + 1/2 week trip from PA thru Colorado & Utah. (The trip Emam's 08 Fall photos enticed me into planning). Our experience here was a bit different.

The first thing we noted was that we seldom saw an RV more than 2 states away from its home state. For example, PA license plates and those of other eastern states were almost totally missing from RVs out west this year.

Second, in the wide-open spaces of OK, and in desert and canyonlands of CO, Utah, NM and AZ, there seemed to be a marked reduction in the number of RVs and a change in the composition of RVs from that seen in our prior experience. What we saw were mostly either upper-end motor homes or Cruise America's class B's in those areas. Travel trailers and 5th wheels were a much smaller percentage of RVs than we saw on our last western trip in '07.

Of course, this isn't scientific, but it seems to me that
==> A: Many RV community members may be controlling travel costs as much as possible by sticking closer to their home states.
==> B: Those who have either more disposable income (or much greater credit) and their motorhomes seem to represent a greater proportion of RVs on the road this year.

Frank
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Old 08-08-2009, 03:15 PM   #3
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I'm seeing the same thing at all the Michigan state parks this year. But I figured there are a couple logical explanations. First, fuel is nearly half the cost it was last year, making RV travel much more affordable. Second, many of the auto related jobs are on shutdown, providing extended vacation opportunities for many of those in this industry. And third, RV travel is still cheaper than many other forms of vacation. For example, a two week long camping trip is much cheaper than a trip to disney or Hawaii.

My 2 cents.
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Old 08-08-2009, 07:11 PM   #4
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I work (at a motel) on Route 28 in Old Forge - which is in the middle of the Adirondacks and home of MANY campgrounds......from Thursday thru Saturday - all you see is TT after TT heading into the various campgrounds in the area - on Sunday there is the exodus heading south out of town - the former KOA now know as Old Forge Camping Resort does not have any availabilities until the end of summer......Nick's Lake has had NO VACANCY signs up since mid-July.....camping is one of the more reasonable types of vacation (not taking into consideration the initial cost of the TT)......I'll take camping anytime over a hotel destination vacation anytime!!!!!
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Old 08-08-2009, 08:53 PM   #5
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You may not see the recession unless you are one of the people that lost their jobs.
If you are one of those then you see it, if the job cut or loss has not effected you then you won't see it, but ask one that has lost that job and see what they say.
This post on Recession,what Recession was in poor taste
I think an I am Sorry to those that this post hurt would be in order,it will be a long time before I will come back to this Sunline Forum
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Old 08-09-2009, 05:49 AM   #6
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Obviously

I know there was no intent to hurt with this posting.

There is obviously a major recession and many people are fearing for the nation and themselves with a congress spends wildly; the same congress admitting to not even reading the bills they vote on. A lot of people are angry and disappointed.

The title of the post should have been something like people turn to RVing During the Recession. I'm certain there was no intent to hurt others feelings.

Norm
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Old 08-09-2009, 06:53 AM   #7
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Hmm. More is being read into my post than is warranted. As far as being familiar with the effects of the recession, I live in a state that is tied intimately with the auto industry and where my friends and family are directly affected by the economic downturn. To suggest I'm taking a cavalier attitude regarding job losses is simply wrong.

The point of my posting (and the purpose of the post's subject heading) is to emphasize, albeit in an tongue-in-cheek manner, an amazing fact: RVing appears more popular than ever even despite the recession, at least in the region I visited. More amazingly, not only do more people appear to be RVing, they're doing it in bigger, more luxurious RVs. This is counter-intuitive and, I think, an interesting subject for discussion here. Nothing in this post passes judgement one way or another on the tragedy of job losses.

And I've already learned some things from the posting. There may be regional differences in response to the recession as Frank mentions, and maybe we still RV as much as ever, but we don't go as far, as others indicate. It may even be that during recessions more people turn to RVing as a less expensive (?) alternative to hotels and restaurants. It's all very interesting to talk about, which is the point of the post.
Don
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Old 08-09-2009, 06:56 AM   #8
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Hi Irishguy 101.....I am sorry if this post offended you - I for one have lost work because of the recession....we live in a tourist town (Old Forge NY) and I work at a motel part time (no work here full time at all) anyway - I see that some people are NOT cutting their vacations out and are still coming HOWEVER - the rooms are filled with pizza boxes and Chinese food containers.....they come but they don't spend $ going out to dinner. This is not meant to hurt you in anyway.....DH and I are on social security and still work to support our camping habit.........however not working during the month of June or this coming September has taken two months of pay checks away....we are still going on vacation BUT some of the extra activities will be curtailed.


This recession is like the market crash back in 2001 - DH & I, have never, nor will we ever recoup from those loses.......we don't have what we used to have, but we have learned to manage to cut corners, so we can enjoy life! I have had heart problems for the past 5 years, suffering from 2 heart attacks and just recently open heart surgery - I have learned life is way to short and to live one day at a time! Now if you want to talk about medical bills......I have a pile on my desk that I pay on every month....BUT that is a different subject!

Things HAVE to turn around sooner or later and hopefully you will also have some of the burden taken off your shoulders.....please don't think anyone meant any harm by this post.......I belong to other forums (as do you - I've seen you over on RV.net) and this one exceeds the comradery, friendliness & helpfulness by leaps and bounds! I know I did not mean any harm in my post - it is just my observations!

Hope things get better for you!
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Old 08-09-2009, 07:31 AM   #9
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Folks.....

Yes, this is a tense time and many have major concerns and worries due to the employment/economic situation. But I would hate to see SOC members fall into the trap of being afraid to mention and/or rationally discuss issues.... (such as RVing consequences of the economy, for one).

Everyone (certainly, myself included) has hotbutton concerns/issues which may make us less than objective in interpreting the intent of others. I think we need to be aware of those tendencies and to accord those who post here the benefit of the doubt when interpreting subjects and comments..

If we don't remain open and positive toward others and accord others some assumption of the same , we diminish both ourselves and our opportunities.

Frank
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Old 08-09-2009, 08:09 AM   #10
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I took Don's post as an observation, a little food for thought, a thread to start conversation. It's interesting to hear from others what effect the economy has on the industry in various states/regions.

Michigan's "Pure Michigan" advertising campaign appears to have been successful. People are still camping and visiting our state. Here in Michigan, we have heard of and observed more weekend camping than weekday/weeklong camping and camping closer to home. Many older units have reappeared with younger families towing them. Residents are not heading north each weekend, but changing destinations or curtailing the frequency of travel. We have also noticed more tents between MH, 5th's and TT in Traverse City State Park. Tourism and camping has always been an important part of summertime in Michigan. Just our observation.

Jill
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Old 08-09-2009, 08:47 AM   #11
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I agree I do not think Don's post was to hurt anyone. Just an observation and a play on words.

We all have seen the effect of this recession. Some worst than others, but everybody feels it.

Hang in there and keep plugging.
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Old 08-09-2009, 09:30 AM   #12
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I lost my job in February, partly due to the recession. I feel no hurt or anything else negative about donreitz's post. It was an interesting and thoughtful observation, and in SOC, it is especially relevant.

My observations as we travel through the Adirondacks and Finger Lakes areas of New York State are much the same. There's a lot big units out there enjoying our great state.

I happen to live in a part of New York State that has not been hit hard by the current financial problems. New York's banking and lending laws largely prevented much of the problems that plagued other states. We don't have thousands of homes in foreclosure. Aside from a tight job market and some delays on large commercial construction projects, there is not a lot of visible evidence of a deep recession here. The Rochester metro area is comparatively stable.

That doesn't mean there aren't folks with serious problems because of the recession. It's an observation, much like Don's, that there are some signs of better times ahead.

SOC is one of the best places on the Internet to have open, enjoyable conversations on a wide variety of topics centered on our mutual love for our Sunlines. There's no flaming here. There's no arguing beyond intelligent and thoughtful differences of opinion or experience. Nobody accuses anybody of anything negative here. Nobody takes a "my way or the highway" attitude about things. Nobody belittles anyone here. And we all do this with little or no moderator involvement.

I don't always agree with everything presented here on SOC. If I enter the discussion, I bend over backwards to say things respectfully yet honestly. And I hope others continue to do the same.

In a lot of ways, SOC feels like family. I would not have it any other way.
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Old 08-17-2009, 06:18 AM   #13
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Just returned from a week at Algonac State Park in Michigan next to the St. Claire river - the park was packed closer to the weekend...and hardly any little or older rv's in the lot. More fivers than I could count. I was one of 4 Sunlines this week! Many MH's - and many very big ones! One across the road with 6 slides...it was the awe of many until a 40 ft. MH bus/coach pulled in on our other side! We also passed many rv's on the interstate's - mostly newer fivers...it surely doesn't seem like the downturn in the economy has hit the rv industry...or camping in general.
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Old 08-17-2009, 07:34 AM   #14
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Just returned from a weekend of boondocking Most of our route was on I-81 and there was NO shortage of rigs out there. Mostly newer units and I'd say MH & 5th wheel out numbered travel trailers.

As for "OUR SITE", there is none better as far as I'm concerned. I don't believe anyone intentionally says anything to be dis-respectful, it's just sometimes the way something is written is not read the same way as it would be heard if it was spoken.

I don't recall one incident/post since I joined on 8-18-06 that was intentionally written to hurt someones feelings. I'm on several forums and this IS the only one that I've NEVER seen a moderator have to take any action by reminding posters about the rules.

YAHOO, I'll be here 3 years tomorrow, I was the 14th member and of those first 14 to join 3 years ago, I am the most active.

SOC the best there is

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Old 08-17-2009, 11:13 AM   #15
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When we drove down I81 from the PA Tpk to Blacksburg, VA 2 weeks ago we saw tons of all kinds of campers. The one thing I noticed was that there were MORE small trailers than we'd ever seen on that stretch of road, and we've been doing some long sections of that for the last 9 years with various kids in various colleges. It seemed to me like there were about the same number of big rigs, but that there were WAY more little ones. We saw 2 Sunline 1550s, another tiny Sunline, a Scamp, a Casita, several other unknown brand small trailers and a T@b. That was all on the way down on a thursday. We've never seen that number of little rigs in one day. I don't really think people traded their big motorhomes for tiny trailers. Maybe more people are getting into camping and choosing these little units as starters? Or maybe it was a fluke and all the tiny trailer owners decided to drive down I81 on a random thursday .
Kitty...boondocking along I81? Please do tell if there's any place nice...like that's not WalMart. I know our son knows about places near Blacksburg that are free sites set up along some random forest road in Jefferson Naitonal Forest. I hadn't really heard of boondocking in the east like there is on the BLM land out west, but I guess you just have to know where to go?
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Old 08-17-2009, 12:13 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tweety
Kitty...boondocking along I81? Please do tell if there's any place nice...like that's not WalMart. I know our son knows about places near Blacksburg that are free sites set up along some random forest road in Jefferson Naitonal Forest. I hadn't really heard of boondocking in the east like there is on the BLM land out west, but I guess you just have to know where to go?
We would love to know where we could do a little dry camping or boondocking. It seems like every acre of land in TN is privately owned, other than the State and COE parks.
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Old 08-17-2009, 01:03 PM   #17
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Hi, Just wanted to comment on the recession thing. I live in FLorida and just returned from camping from Florida to Colorado, through the Midwest and back to Florida. From what I saw, things seems much worse here in Florida than any place we visited. In my neighborhood there are empty, ambandoned houses on every street, sometimes more than one. Some neighborhoods are worse. Factories have closed, partly because Florida does not encourage manufacturing, and many offices and businesses have closed. Just before I left, the local Blockbuster closed up. Already numerous restaurants and businesses sit empty. Many people sit with homes that are worth less than half of what they paid for them, forcing many to abandon them. Jobs are hard to find and the homeless population is growing. Now I live south of Tampa and I'm sure other areas of FLorida are not as affected. Plus if you are a visitor, you may not notice it as much as someone who lives here. As we traveled from state to state, communities seemed less affected. We spent soem time visiting family near Rockford Illinois, not far from a GM plant and a Chrysler plant, and the community seemed pretty much unaffected as far as we could see. A few less campers as we crossed states, but many bigger motorhomes as opposed to trailers, and amazingly, the parks were always pretty full. Ronny
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Old 09-07-2009, 07:08 PM   #18
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While I am in NO way offended by anything in this post, I was affected by the recession. I lost my job in late February. I finally found another the first of June- for less pay of course. Between my new schedule, my school schedule, Lori's schedule, and the income loss we have not camped much at all this year I hope next year will be better
My sympathy to all in this group who have been affected by the recession. To those of you fortunate enough to have dodged this bullet-I'm jealous
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