More RV drivers are boondocking as gas prices soar

More RV drivers are boondocking as gas prices soar

CREATED Mar 3, 2012

Reporter: Valerie Cavazos

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - We all know Tucson's spectacular weather this time of year draws visitors from all over the country. But this spring, we may see more travelers sticking around a little bit longer. The reason --- the rising cost of gas.

Charles Arp is a part-time RVer, who hails from Mt. Vernon Washington. He's part of a singles network that criss-cross the country and meet at various destinations -- like Tucson. Arp said, "We'll spend 10 days to 2 weeks in different destinations -- mostly drycamping." Or boondocking -- where Rver's can park for free. Casino del Sol is one of the hot spots in Tucson and it's likely to continue to attract more travelers as gas prices near 4 dollars.

"Oh gas prices, now you're hitting a sore spot," said Arp. That's because Arp, who's retired, is having to budget more than he wants to because he's on a fixed income.

KGUN9 reporter Valerie Cavazos asked Arp how much it costs to fill the tank of his RV.  Arp answered, "It cost about $250 to $260 today, but next week, probably $300."

Feeding this gas guzzler means he may have to stay in Tucson a bit longer than originally planned. During his extended stay, he's been contributing to the local economy "going to theatres, going to movies, shopping, shopping too much," said Arp.

But now he already planning to cut back on some expenses -- something full-time RVer's Lisa and Rick Echols say they might have to do if gas prices continue to rise. "It hasn't affected us yet," said Lisa. "We'll probably go out and eat less then we normally would," said Rick.

As well as spend less on entertainment. That schools of thought worries Ron Kendricks, an entertainer, who is constantly on the road travelling from gig to gig. He plans to stay in Tucson through the summer. "It's been pretty rough -- make it up," said Kendricks.

But these travelers say there is one thing they don't plan to cancel anytime soon -- and that's roaming the roads in their Rvs. "Gas prices will have to go well over 4 dollars to take me off the road," said Arp.

Apparently, it would take a lot to scare RV drivers from hitting the road. A survey by the rv industry found that gas prices would have to double before travelers would park their rv's permanently.