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RV drivers at Lake Manawa managing tight budgets due to fuel costs: 'Every little bit helps out'

Posted at 6:49 PM, Jun 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-22 19:49:46-04

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa. (KMTV)  — With the average price of diesel close to $6, RV drivers are managing tighter budgets than before.

Stacey Whittington and Jamie Sommerville are a couple with a taste for wanderlust. They've been planning an RV trip for at least a year. So far, they've traveled to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. But all their planning didn't prepare them for what they'd see at the pump.

"The price of fuel went up considerably, it was $5.20 in Missouri and then it went from there to about $5.80 to $6.00, and then about $6.60 when we were in the North Carolina area. And it was the same way going back," Sommerville said.

This year they estimate they are paying 40% more on fuel than they're used to. The travel goal now — saving where they can.

"Probably drove a little bit slower, we definitely drove a bit slower, used the travel card. We used the travel card, the TSC fuel card gives us a discount on fuel at truck stops, saved us $20 a fill-up, so it was about 10% which every little bit helps out," Sommerville said.

The adventurous couple is also opting to take shorter trips. Fellow RVer, Roger Stormo is looking at scaling back too.

"We travel out west in the wintertime, and usually try to take 2-3 big trips during the summer from here - that we may not be able to do 3 trips this year," Stormo said.

A conservation officer with Nebraska Game and Parks says some things you can do to save money are maintain proper air pressure in your tire, stay in a shaded area so you use less energy to stay cool and have a checklist of what to pack - so you don't have to travel back and forth for your items.

For now, Stormo is accepting the reality that his "dreams for retirement" might start to look a little different.

"We worked hard for a lot of years to be able to retire and travel and see the country, and right now, we're gonna have to either extend those plans or cut them out and maybe not travel as far as we hoped to," Stormo said.

The RVers say it can be close to $300.00 to fill up.

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