RV Living In a $4-Dollar-A-Gallon World With gas prices at record highs, people like Pat and Cindy Bonish, who live in their RV full-time, have had to make some adjustments. They've adopted all kinds of creative ways to save money, like putting solar panels on the roof.
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RV Living In a $4-Dollar-A-Gallon World

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RV Living In a $4-Dollar-A-Gallon World

RV Living In a $4-Dollar-A-Gallon World

RV Living In a $4-Dollar-A-Gallon World

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/92241283/92241266" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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With gas prices at record highs, people like Pat and Cindy Bonish, who live in their RV full-time, have had to make some adjustments. They've adopted all kinds of creative ways to save money, like putting solar panels on the roof.

MADELEINE BRAND, host:

Pat Bonish and his wife Cindy live in their RV. They're committed to this lifestyle. They committed to it a year and a half ago, but that was when they were paying $2.20 a gallon for gas. And since then, they've been forced to come up with some creative ways to save money, and joining me now from Victoria, Minnesota, is Pat Bonish. Hi, Pat.

Mr. PAT BONISH (RV Enthusiast): Hello.

BRAND: What about these high gas prices? Has that changed the way you've been RVing?

Mr. BONISH: Very much so. We also carry a motorcycle on the back of the camper, so we tend to find places to go, and then bring the motorcycle down and we ride on that during the daytime, because that gets about 50 miles to the gallon, and leave the camper parked a lot more than we used to.

BRAND: So, are you planning to spend the rest of your days RVing or is there a finite moment?

Mr. BONISH: That's our goal. Originally, we had saved up enough money when fuel was only at around two dollars a gallon. We're in the process of researching a few alternatives. I know, we're talking with a company that does the grease systems, it's where your diesel runs off of recycled vegetable oil.

BRAND: So, you could just, you know, motor around and pull up to a McDonald's, get some grease and off you go.

Mr. BONISH: That's why we're in Victoria right now. We're headed back towards Michigan, because the gentleman that we talked to that installs them, he said they usually take about a month or two. Michigan weather, in the summer, is usually pretty beautiful. So, we were going to go spend some time with some family, and get this system installed and then work out all the kinks, and then hopefully by next winter, once it starts getting - the weather turns nasty and we can go back out RVing and following the beautiful weather. Then all we have to do is find french fries to be able to run our motor on.

BRAND: So, that's some good news.

Mr. BONISH: Yeah.

BRAND: What are some of the other cost-cutting measures that you've heard from your fellow RVers?

Mr. BONISH: The Wal-Marts, obviously. For us, we have solar panel, which means that we never really need to find a camp ground, because as long as it's sunny, we have full 100-percent power. So, ours can run. We haven't been plugged in now for - going on a few months.

BRAND: I understand you have a blog?

Mr. BONISH: Yes.

BRAND: It's called everymilesamemory.com?

Mr. BONISH: Yes.

BRAND: What's your latest blog posting?

Mr. BONISH: We got lost in the Bad Lands.

BRAND: Oh.

Mr. BONISH: Going 70-something miles out of your way, while you're lost at around five dollars a gallon, isn't something that is fun anymore.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. BONISH: It used to add to the adventure, and now, we both sort of want to look at each other and strangle each other when you realize that you've just driven, by the time you backtrack, 160 miles at five dollars a gallon.

BRAND: Who's doing the strangling?

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. BONISH: Well, luckily, when you're out in the middle of the Bad Lands, you can just relieve all your tension, right there, screaming at each other, and you don't bother anyone but the buffalo population.

(Soundbite of laughter)

BRAND: Well, at least it's a beautiful place, you know, if you're going to...

Mr. BONISH: Well, that's the one thing that we've both kept saying to each other is, I don't really care if fuel prices would go up to 10 dollars a gallon. To go out and do what we're doing is something- the road trip is something everyone - you know, it's an American dream. Everyone wants to do it. So, for us to be able to do it, especially at our ages, when we're physically fit enough, that we can be biking, and hiking, and climbing, and, you know, kayaking. We've probably paddled 100 miles this year. You know, it's worth it, no matter how much it costs.

BRAND: Happy camping, Pat.

Mr. BONISH: All right, take care.

BRAND: That's Pat Bonish. He and his wife have been living full time in their RV.

(Soundbite of music)

BRAND: Coming up on the show, what you watch on YouTube is not private. A judge says your information must be handed over to Viacom for its lawsuit against YouTube owner, Google. Man, speaking of online, guess where a lot of that government stimulus money went. Mm, online porn. We'll have that story when Day to Day continues.

(Soundbite of music)

BRAND: Stay with us. NPR's Day to Day continues.

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