Beyond Branson; Pondering Future Travel

This past Tuesday, we moved from Branson to a very nice Corps of Engineer’s Park on Wappapello Lake.  We’re in the Redman Creek CG. This facility is like so many other Corps parks with long asphalt pads, electric, water, and this one even has full sewer hookups as well.  Regular price $24/night.  We get half off, so $12 for a premium FHU site.  I don’t think this is going to last too much longer. What a deal!

With the latest plan, we're here until the 17th… next Friday.

The following was done for my Journal, but I’ll re-post it here for future reference:

Regarding travel in a more expensive future world… I did some math yesterday.  Here’s the setup:  Consider two versions of a one day, 500 mile trip.  One is by small RV pulled by an adequate but still relatively efficient tow vehicle.  Real life data from the Escape forum says that a Ford F-150 with an eco-boost 3.5 motor, pulling a small camper like our E19, will get between 12 and 14 overall mpg.  So let’s use 13mpg. With this setup, a campsite is still needed to complete the full day. The second version is an efficient car - a CRV or similar - that get’s a real world 35mpg overall.  Here, we’ll have to get a motel in order to complete the day. Both vehicles use regular gas at an assumed future price of $5.00/gallon

And the results:  

Fuel consumption:  Truck: 38.5 gallons;   Car: 14.3 gallons

Fuel cost:   Truck: $192.31    Car: $71.43

Lodging:   RVPark:  $35.00     Motel:  $140.00 (a mid-level+ joint, a Hampton Inn or similar)

Total cost:  Truck+RVPark:  $227.31      Car+Motel:  $211.43

Upshot:  The Car+Motel model is $15.88 less costly than RVing.

Sure, there are other considerations.  Some just hate sleeping in motels. But on the other side of the equation, there are always the side-hassles of using the RV model… hitching/unhitching, set-up time and effort, comfort, bathroom size, dumping tanks, reversing the process the next morning.

All in all, however, this example calls into question the use of big RVs for touring.  For example, would I pull the Escape all the way across the country in order to tour New England and the Maritimes?  Really?  Small RV Parks, higher expenses, smaller roads, more people, and maybe even more people.


It might be time to fully consider more alternative methods of travel:  B and Bs, AirBnBs, hotels and traveling by small efficient car, or even mix it up by air travel for some trips… or cruises… 


Slightly Better than Most