Friday, March 15, 2013

The Crippling High Cost of RV Fuel... Reality or Hystrionics?

Yup... pulled out my dikshunairy agin fer this'un...

Every conversation about RVing or RV Boondocking, just about everywhere we go always seems to come around to a Media fixation on the cost of fuel and how it obstructs folks; "We Just can't afford to travel."

To me it ain't obstruction... It's misdirection... I'm thinkin' they've been herded to follow Somebody's "Company Line"... and they didn't stop to see how an' why (the why's I'll leave to your own imagination) they're bein' pushed...

There's a lot of drifters that leave the road and their dreams behind; claiming the cost of fuel as the reason.

For the most part, I can only believe one of two things. Either they aren't being honest with me or themselves, and feel the need to avoid saying they just don't like the wandering way... or... the greatest majority of 'em have ONLY looked at the price on the pump and then kicked their brain pans into neutral right exactly there.

Now, let me say right off the bat that yup, I understand reality. If you're livin' at my end of the economic spectrum and say; "we just don't have it any more"; I get that. When the tank runs dry and you got no long green left for fresh dino-juice there's not a whole lot of options.

Except; To do things my way. Make the same dang run... just do it in 90 days rather than 30. (you just dealt with a tripling of fuel cost) Stretch the days/miles out to flow along with your income. That 300 miles you were gonna do today... now takes you three days... or ten... how ever your income flows... You're still gonna have to eat and LIVE somewhere, no matter whether you're traveling or not...

... and of course... you could split the difference... and break the thing up two ways. Cut the 5000 miles to 4000 and then stretch the days of that. You adjust... you don't quit, you still have what you had before the fuel went up!

Second, if you changed, and the wandering way just don't appeal to you any more SAY that. ~ and there's Nothing Wrong With That! ~  There's no reason to be embarrassed by the fact that people change. But don't hide behind the cost of diesel. You're only cooking yourself other trials down the road you ARE pursuing; if you paint yourself to be somebody you ain't.

But, back to where I started down this trail... People are looking at the price of fuel... ONLY... and doing NONE of the calculations to see what that really means. They aren't putting it into a clear perspective...

Let's take a 5000 mile summer circle together... we'll be pushing a rig that gets 10mpg.

So 5000 miles = 500 gallons. We're lucky and we buy our dino-juice at $3.50 a gallon which costs us $1750 bucks for the summer... right?

Now... next year we're planning to make a different 5000 mile circle in the same rig... another 500 gallons but we say; "NO! We can't! Fuel is up 75 cents a gallon! That's more than 20%! We can't afford that!"

Now... wait just a minute. If you're in that group I mentioned before (the one I'm in), I understand... though I offered a solution... But, for the rest of you? Do the math people!

It's still 500 gallons. At 4.25 a gallon it gives you a cost of $2125 for the circle... Now... if you make that run in five months like we do... that comes to an increase of $375... which spread out over the whole RV summer circle is $75 a month.

Are you seriously going to tell me that you'll give up great bloody chunks of your life, and your dreams of yondering and chasing the horizon... to save a measly $75 bucks a month? Even if you whittle it down to a faster 3 and a half month circle, it's just two cups of Starbucks coffee over a hundred bucks. Less than a single tank of go juice in my old rig!

Go out to dinner once or twice less a month at the sorts of places you high rollers congregate ;) and you just made up the difference if you feel the need. Of course... considering what OUR high end eateries are... let's see... we'd have to reduce our "eating out" by, oh... 17 or 23 times! ;) ... considering that we eat out... maybe once or twice in a moon... we're gonna have a hard time making it up that way! :)

Stop traveling if you want to. That's your choice and only making the choices that fit you is the only thing that makes any sort of sense.

But, if you truly are abandoning long held dreams, do it for a legitimate reason... Not because of some misperception that the cost is too huge... sit down with a pencil, calculator and some paper... and sketch out your circles... Put it into a clear, proper, and accurate perspective. Make your choices based on some real and genuine cogitations... not the hysteriatrics that gets squalled around the airwaves.

Just Sayin'


KarenInTheWoods said...

Yup... agree with you 100%! We are just finishing up the 4th week of a trip and although diesel costs are up, it's not going to stop us. We are on the bottom end of the budget spectrum, and just did more boondocking, less "tourist" stuff and very little eating out. Spending about the same in groceries as we do at home. Spending about the same in fuel for 6 weeks at 4,000 miles is as much as some spend on one week in a condo rental or a cruise!

so we travel cheap in all ways to make up for the fuel increase. And we are having fun with our own food, kitchen, toilet, shower and bed (no bed bugs) LOL

Karen and Steve
The USA Is Our Big Backyard

CJ said...

Heck's all what you make it. Give a little here...take a little there! And believe me I can give up a heck of a lot to begin this journey...besides I love hanging in one spot with a super duper view, hiking, biking, and stitching and some tasty canned beans over a sweet piece of bread any ole' day!

Barney, The Old Fat Man said...

They way I look at it is I am going to run around anyway, how much extra does the towing cost me? Last year it was well under $100 a month extra and the trailer went over 9000 miles. Basically the extra cost of towing costs me, at $4 a gallon, 14 cents a mile. that is an easy monthly cost to control.

Myrddin said...

Right On!!! I've been trying to explain that to people for years!!


bill said...

I couldn't agree with you more, Brian,
Life is what you make of it and if you choose to stay home reasoning that you can't afford to travel, then your not seeing the whole picture.
Maybe you will need to eliminate something else, but life is too short.
Make the most of it.

gorgieandrich said...

The people I meet that say they may stay home next year are not the ones who live life at the lower levels of the income income spectrum. We are used to adapting to income and expense changes and are good at it. Rather these are folks who are looking to protect their assets, we have so few that we don't worry about them. Thanks for the post Brian.

LiveWorkDream said...

Here's the thing...we've found that the total amount we spend each year on fuel is actually less than that of the average worker bee going to and from work! We drive a lot less miles than they do too. So yeah you're right, people need to do the math because the cost of fuel is just a lazy excuse not to follow your dreams.