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Try gassing-up an RV...

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May 12, 2008

Albany -- A gallon of gas in Albany will cost you five more cents today than it did Friday.

When it comes to filling up a recreational vehicle every cent counts. In fact, steadily rising gas prices have left many RV's parked on the lot. Dealers say sales are down, but those who already have RV's say they're taking other measures to cut costs so they can keep moving.

Higher gas prices have Valeria Koch of Crystal River, Florida regretting she signed up for a RV trip north to tour Civil War battlefields. "Last year I was only paying two dollars a gallon, I'll probably be paying four dollars a gallon by the time I get home," she said.

She topped off her tank in East Albany where she says gas was a steal at $3.63. "Cheapest I've seen since Florida," she said.

Her bill, $74.00, that's for less than a half tank. It's exactly why Team RV says they're seeing poor sales. These gas guzzlers on average get between eight and ten miles per gallon. The RV and Camper at Jack Stone's Creekside Sales have have seen few interested buyers.

"Maybe one or two in the last month, and it's typically two, or three, or four a week," said Bryan LaSalle of Jack Stone's Creekside Sales.

Both dealers say high fuel prices and the economic condition created in an election year mean they'll likely be stuck with their inventory despite incentives. Those who already own RV's say they'll make compromises so they can stay on the road. Valeria packed the RV with food from home and will forgo hotels to keep going.

"Oh yeah, but it takes the fun out of it when I put $74 in here and it's only half a tank," said Koch.

This trip she'll be keeping a close eye on her speedometer, keeping it at 55 miles per hour to get the maximum mileage out of her tank.

RV makers like Winnebago have scaled back production by 20 percent after seeing demand for the vehicles shrink.

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