RV Sales Keep Cruising Along

RVs for Schlesinger's May 25 RV piece.
Gasoline may costs 78 cents a gallon more than it did a year ago. But as CBS News correspondent Richard Schlesinger reports, higher prices don't seem to be hurting sales of one big gas-guzzler: the RV. In fact, RV owners say that when you think about it, they are really economical.

J.T. and Bevin Bolger are typical thirty-somethings in more ways than you'd expect. They live in the suburbs, have four kids ... and they drive a giant RV.

Though most RVers today are near retirement age, Bevin Bolger says people her age owning RVs "are not as unusual as you might think."

People in their 30s, many with families, make up the fastest-growing market in the $14 billion a year RV industry.

Dundee Kelbel sells almost 300 motor homes a year, and he admits he was a little surprised when his customers started getting a little younger.

"Soccer moms drive them to tournaments because kids have three- and four-day tournaments," Kelbel says.

The Bolgers strap the kids in and hit the road at least once a month.

"My kids are young right now," says J.T. "They're only gonna want to hang out with me for so long, spend time together, do things. For me, this is the ideal situation."

The Bolgers travel with everything they need ... including the kitchen sink.

"You have your own stuff, you have your own toys," Bevin says. "If you forget something, you always have it in here, it's always here, you don't have to worry about it."

So how do people with families to support support a pastime like this, with gas going for about $3 a gallon? After all, RVs only get about 10 miles to the gallon — if you're lucky.

"It cost me $455 to fill my tanks," J.T. admits. But the Bolgers maintain that they can't afford to travel any other way. They figure they saved 50 percent on a recent vacation because they went in their RV.

"We didn't have to stay in a hotel, we didn't have to buy all of our food, we didn't have to pay for airline tickets," J.T. says.

That's what makes A.J. Bolger one well-traveled 6 year old. He says he's been to "probably about 13" places — all without really leaving home.