In 2007 Dan and I were returning from visiting our Colorado family when we decided to count Recreational Vehicles on I70. It was the end of May, Memorial Day weekend. We started counting at the Kansas State line and ended at Salina—250 miles.
Today, July 27, 2015, we did the same survey while once again returning from visiting our Colorado family. We started counting at Limon Colorado and ended at Topeka—449 miles. These were our rules: opposing traffic, anything we could see at interchanges or rest stops that appeared to be stopped a short while (gas stations, etc) and those we passed, making sure we didn’t count them twice when we stopped ourselves.
Obviously, there is one column missing. I do not have the original count from 2007 and the number of RVs per type came out to 1/2 vehicle when I used the percentages. I decided to just leave that column out—it is close enough.
The blog post I wrote from the 2007 is here. I mentioned that the price of gas/diesel was not making a difference in choice of type of RVs. However, I think in the eight years since the last survey, it is making a difference. The new light weight hitch pull campers seem to be making a significant change in choice of RVs according to our little informal survey. I didn’t make a breakout count, but definitely there were a significant number of the 14 to 16 foot hitch pull campers similar to the brand name R Pod.
Another big jump was in the Van Conversions—our RV of choice. It does not surprise me that interest in these have grown because, obviously, the public still likes RVs that put the driver with the passengers (note the Class A Bus numbers and the Class C square back numbers). The advantage the Class B, Van conversion is the mileage, which could reach up to 10 miles per gallon better than other RVs of that type. If the buyer likes road trips, that becomes significant. And, it is not necessary to tow a vehicle behind.
We counted 11 motorcycle trailers (those little tiny things) and could have missed a few because there were a bunch of motorcycles on the road—maybe because Sturgis starts next weekend…
Another observation were the number of vehicles that might be packed to tent camp. We didn’t count because that is a hard one to call, but honestly if we would have counted the ones we thought looked most likely, it would have ranked right up near the top. That might be the young married and young families. Certainly I could understand that with the cost of RVs now days.
Finally, we are at the height of tourist season and the last survey was taken at the very beginning. But, even with the informality of it all, the percentages do say something about current trends.