The movement of the vanlife slowed down by the price of gasoline

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The movement of the vanlife slowed down by the price of gasoline

Traveling and living aboard your vehicle, whether it is; whether it be a van or a trailer, has experienced tremendous popularity during the pandemic, particularly due to the closing of borders.

Gerry Lauzon started traveling in his van nearly four years ago. For the past three years, he has led a full-time nomadic life there.

While many have become followers of the vanlife movement over the past two years, many have become disillusioned with the rise in gas prices, which has forced some owners to curb their momentum of freedom, while others have gone right back to where they started.

This is the case of Gerry Lauzon, who decided three years ago to sell his duplex to indulge in a full-time nomadic life and who, today, reluctantly chooses to settle in the city of Quebec.

My base camp is the Quebec region from now on.

In recent years , this traveler wandered freely through the many roads of Quebec, through the landscapes of the Maritimes and through the United States to reach sunny California. Twice, he escaped from the cold Canadian winter in the American Southwest.

However, Gerry Lauzon must face the facts: this summer, he will have to reduce the distances to respect his budget. This therefore translates into fewer kilometers traveled and fewer trips. With my girlfriend, we are going to visit the Côte-Nord […] and what there is around Quebec. An option, he says, which is recommended by many travelers.

With the price of gasoline, there are many people who have started visiting [places located] between one and three hours around where they live, he raises.

In recent years, Gerry Lauzon has visited several regions of Quebec, the Maritimes and the United States.

Another way to save money for traveler and content creator Camille Dezwirek Sperandio is to put her foot down momentarily.

Accompanied by her sweetheart and four-legged friend, she left on February 1 with the idea of ​​touring the United States in her trailer.

However, a change of course occurred: they had to change their plans and land in the village of Tofino, British Columbia, just two months after their departure. Too cool days and too cold nights prevented them from enjoying their time in certain parts of the United States in addition to making life in a trailer quite uncomfortable.

As of April 1, Camille Dezwirek Sperandio, her boyfriend and her dog have been living in Tofino, British Columbia.

Since then, they have settled in the small village. Tofino is really small. To go to the village, it takes me eight minutes […]. The advantage for us here is that we fill up about every three weeks, she explains.

The couple, who had planned to pick up his US tour in the fall where he left off in the spring, had to reconsider his plans a second time. It will be for another time, it's a bit too expensive, says Ms. Sperandio.

And if the couple decided to go through the United States to return home a month earlier than planned, they gave up the idea of ​​​​visiting several national parks. American roads will therefore have only one use: to bring the couple back to Quebec.

Camille Dezwirek Sperandio and her spouse have planned to return to Quebec a month earlier than planned, next September, via the United States without however visiting the national parks.

This type of turnaround, Amaury Regnaud also experienced it. Last year, he spent the season traveling in his vehicle which he equips for the summer. But this year, rising gas prices prompted his final decision: he and his girlfriend will take a vacation to Mexico by air instead.

Despite the additional $2,000 he had planned just for fuel, the price [of gasoline] […] confirmed everything to us [not to leave], specifies Amaury Regnaud.

Amaury Regnaud modifies his vehicle in the summer to travel while living in it.

Gusts of wind in mid-June caused nearly $20,000 in damage to his vehicle. A friend who is trying to help him has therefore offered to lend him his vehicle and trailer. However, seeing no advantage for this summer, Amaury and his wife have decided to drop their initial project.

Both are not giving up on their desire for the outdoors, however. . Only, they will take advantage of the season to go camping closer to home in Quebec instead of visiting everywhere.

The trees that fell on Amaury Regnaud's vehicle caused several thousand dollars in damage.

At a time when owners and fans of vanlife are withdrawing, vacationers who opt for rental are still there.

Catherine Vachon, director of business development, communications and marketing at VanLife MTL, says she hasn't seen a difference in the number of reservations this summer compared to summer 2021, which was an unusually busy season. .

According to her, this phenomenon is explained by the fact that vacationers will simply include this additional expense in their vacation budget.

However, she thinks that the rise in gas prices could encourage many to abandon the purchase of a van or trailer and opt for short-term rentals.

“A year ago the movement was at its peak, but now the van [rental] scene is framed. »

—Gabriel Jousset, founder of rental service Le Baroudeur

The expanding supply is dampening the frenzy around the move. It would be partly responsible, with the rise in the price of gasoline, for the slight drop in the number of reservations that Gabriel Jousset says he noticed this summer.

He recalls d Moreover, this decline is also associated with a return to pre-pandemic ridership, where people are doing it several months in advance, he argues.

Gabriel Jousset recalls that the price of gas does not have a significant impact on van and trailer rentals, but he thinks that large RVs [recreational vehicles] will eat a […] slap.

Information that the president of the board of directors of the Association of Recreational Vehicle Dealers of Quebec (ACVRQ), Anne-Marie Rochon, confirms.

There was [undoubtedly] a drop in RV purchases [towed or motorized] during the months of May and June, she wrote by email.

According to her, the rising cost of gasoline is certainly having an impact, but other factors such as the fear of a recession, rising interest rates and the x27;inflation all have a share of the blame.

The same observation is made for bookings which, nevertheless, are slowly returning to normal.

Mme Rochon is jibes with observers who believe that the best option for travelers trying to save on gas costs is to travel not too far from home.

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